1,575 research outputs found

    Soft Listeria: actin-based propulsion of liquid drops

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    We study the motion of oil drops propelled by actin polymerization in cell extracts. Drops deform and acquire a pear-like shape under the action of the elastic stresses exerted by the actin comet. We solve this free boundary problem and calculate the drop shape taking into account the elasticity of the actin gel and the variation of the polymerization velocity with normal stress. The pressure balance on the liquid drop imposes a zero propulsive force if gradients in surface tension or internal pressure are not taken into account. Quantitative parameters of actin polymerization are obtained by fitting theory to experiment.Comment: 5 pages, 4 figure

    The SNX-PX-BAR Family in Macropinocytosis: The Regulation of Macropinosome Formation by SNX-PX-BAR Proteins

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    Background: Macropinocytosis is an actin-driven endocytic process, whereby membrane ruffles fold back onto the plasma membrane to form large (> 0.2 mu m in diameter) endocytic organelles called macropinosomes. Relative to other endocytic pathways, little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved in macropinocytosis. Recently, members of the Sorting Nexin (SNX) family have been localized to the cell surface and early macropinosomes, and implicated in macropinosome formation. SNX-PX-BAR proteins form a subset of the SNX family and their lipid-binding (PX) and membrane-curvature sensing (BAR) domain architecture further implicates their functional involvement in macropinosome formation

    Differential Requirements for Clathrin-dependent Endocytosis at Sites of Cell–Substrate Adhesion

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    Little is known about the influences of cell–substrate attachment in clathrin-mediated endocytosis. We find that cell–substrate adhesion reduces the rate of endocytosis. In addition, we demonstrate that actin assembly is differentially required for efficient endocytosis, with a stronger requirement for actin dynamics at sites of adhesion

    Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Enters Cells through Vesicles Incompletely Coated with Clathrin That Depend upon Actin for Internalization

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    Many viruses that enter cells by clathrin-dependent endocytosis are significantly larger than the dimensions of a typical clathrin-coated vesicle. The mechanisms by which viruses co-opt the clathrin machinery for efficient internalization remain uncertain. Here we examined how clathrin-coated vesicles accommodate vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) during its entry into cells. Using high-resolution imaging of the internalization of single viral particles into cells expressing fluorescent clathrin and adaptor molecules, we show that VSV enters cells through partially clathrin-coated vesicles. We found that on average, virus-containing vesicles contain more clathrin and clathrin adaptor molecules than conventional vesicles, but this increase is insufficient to permit full coating of the vesicle. We further show that virus-containing vesicles depend upon the actin machinery for their internalization. Specifically, we found that components of the actin machinery are recruited to virus-containing vesicles, and chemical inhibition of actin polymerization trapped viral particles in vesicles at the plasma membrane. By analysis of multiple independent virus internalization events, we show that VSV induces the nucleation of clathrin for its uptake, rather than depending upon random capture by formation of a clathrin-coated pit. This work provides new mechanistic insights into the process of virus internalization as well as uptake of unconventional cargo by the clathrin-dependent endocytic machinery

    Selective targeting of microglia by quantum dots

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, have been implicated in brain injury and various neurological disorders. However, their precise roles in different pathophysiological situations remain enigmatic and may range from detrimental to protective. Targeting the delivery of biologically active compounds to microglia could help elucidate these roles and facilitate the therapeutic modulation of microglial functions in neurological diseases.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Here we employ primary cell cultures and stereotaxic injections into mouse brain to investigate the cell type specific localization of semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) in vitro and in vivo. Two potential receptors for QDs are identified using pharmacological inhibitors and neutralizing antibodies.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>In mixed primary cortical cultures, QDs were selectively taken up by microglia; this uptake was decreased by inhibitors of clathrin-dependent endocytosis, implicating the endosomal pathway as the major route of entry for QDs into microglia. Furthermore, inhibiting mannose receptors and macrophage scavenger receptors blocked the uptake of QDs by microglia, indicating that QD uptake occurs through microglia-specific receptor endocytosis. When injected into the brain, QDs were taken up primarily by microglia and with high efficiency. In primary cortical cultures, QDs conjugated to the toxin saporin depleted microglia in mixed primary cortical cultures, protecting neurons in these cultures against amyloid beta-induced neurotoxicity.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>These findings demonstrate that QDs can be used to specifically label and modulate microglia in primary cortical cultures and in brain and may allow for the selective delivery of therapeutic agents to these cells.</p

    Actin Dynamics Regulate Multiple Endosomal Steps during Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Entry and Trafficking in Endothelial Cells

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    The role of actin dynamics in clathrin-mediated endocytosis in mammalian cells is unclear. In this study, we define the role of actin cytoskeleton in Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) entry and trafficking in endothelial cells using an immunofluorescence-based assay to visualize viral capsids and the associated cellular components. In contrast to infectivity or reporter assays, this method does not rely on the expression of any viral and reporter genes, but instead directly tracks the accumulation of individual viral particles at the nuclear membrane as an indicator of successful viral entry and trafficking in cells. Inhibitors of endosomal acidification reduced both the percentage of nuclei with viral particles and the total number of viral particles docking at the perinuclear region, indicating endocytosis, rather than plasma membrane fusion, as the primary route for KSHV entry into endothelial cells. Accordingly, a viral envelope protein was only detected on internalized KSHV particles at the early but not late stage of infection. Inhibitors of clathrin- but not caveolae/lipid raft-mediated endocytosis blocked KSHV entry, indicating that clathrin-mediated endocytosis is the major route of KSHV entry into endothelial cells. KSHV particles were colocalized not only with markers of early and recycling endosomes, and lysosomes, but also with actin filaments at the early time points of infection. Consistent with these observations, transferrin, which enters cells by clathrin-mediated endocytosis, was found to be associated with actin filaments together with early and recycling endosomes, and to a lesser degree, with late endosomes and lysosomes. KSHV infection induced dynamic actin cytoskeleton rearrangements. Disruption of the actin cytoskeleton and inhibition of regulators of actin nucleation such as Rho GTPases and Arp2/3 complex profoundly blocked KSHV entry and trafficking. Together, these results indicate an important role for actin dynamics in the internalization and endosomal sorting/trafficking of KSHV and clathrin-mediated endocytosis in endothelial cells

    A Conserved Role for SNX9-Family Members in the Regulation of Phagosome Maturation during Engulfment of Apoptotic Cells

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    Clearance of apoptotic cells is of key importance during development, tissue homeostasis and wound healing in multi-cellular animals. Genetic studies in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have identified a set of genes involved in the early steps of cell clearance, in particular the recognition and internalization of apoptotic cells. A pathway that orchestrates the maturation of phagosomes containing ingested apoptotic cells in the worm has recently been described. However, many steps in this pathway remain elusive. Here we show that the C. elegans SNX9-family member LST-4 (lateral signaling target) and its closest mammalian orthologue SNX33 play an evolutionary conserved role during apoptotic cell corpse clearance. In lst-4 deficient worms, internalized apoptotic cells accumulated within non-acidified, DYN-1-positive but RAB-5-negative phagosomes. Genetically, we show that LST-4 functions at the same step as DYN-1 during corpse removal, upstream of the GTPase RAB-5. We further show that mammalian SNX33 rescue C. elegans lst-4 mutants and that overexpression of truncated SNX33 fragments interfered with phagosome maturation in a mammalian cell system. Taken together, our genetic and cell biological analyses suggest that LST-4 is recruited through a combined activity of DYN-1 and VPS-34 to the early phagosome membrane, where it cooperates with DYN-1 to promote recruitment/retention of RAB-5 on the early phagosomal membrane during cell corpse clearance. The functional conservation between LST-4 and SNX33 indicate that these early steps of apoptotic phagosome maturation are likely conserved through evolution