The small Ras-like GTPase Rap1 has been identified as a regulator of integrin activation and cadherin-mediated cell-cell contacts. Surprisingly, null mutants of RAP-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans are viable and fertile. In a synthetic lethal RNAi screen with C. elegans rap-1 mutants, the Ras-like GTPase ral-1 emerged as one of seven genes specifically required for viability. Depletion of exoc-8 and sec-5, encoding two putative RAL-1 effectors and members of the exocyst complex, also caused lethality of rap-1 mutants, but did not affect wild-type worms. The RAP-1 and the RAL-1/exocyst pathway appear to coordinate hypodermal cell movement and elongation during embryonic development. They mediate their effect in part through targeting the alpha-catenin homologue HMP-1 to the lateral membrane. Genetic interactions show that the RAP-1 and RAL-1/exocyst pathway also act in parallel during larval stages. Together these data provide in vivo evidence for the exocyst complex as a downstream RAL-1 effector in cell migration.
Rap1 and Rap2 are closely related proteins of the Ras family of small G-proteins. Rap1 is well known to regulate cell-cell adhesion. Here, we have analysed the effect of Rap-mediated signalling on endothelial permeability using electrical impedance measurements of HUVEC monolayers and subsequent determination of the barrier resistance, which is a measure for the ease with which ions can pass cell junctions. In line with its well-established effect on cell-cell junctions, depletion of Rap1 decreases, whereas activation of Rap1 increases barrier resistance. Despite its high sequence homology with Rap1, depletion of Rap2 has an opposite, enhancing, effect on barrier resistance. This effect can be mimicked by depletion of the Rap2 specific activator RasGEF1C and the Rap2 effector MAP4K4, establishing Rap2 signalling as an independent pathway controlling barrier resistance. As simultaneous depletion or activation of both Rap1 and Rap2 results in a barrier resistance comparable to control cells, Rap1 and Rap2 control barrier resistance in a reciprocal manner. This Rap1-antagonizing effect of Rap2 is established independent of junctional actin formation. These data establish that endothelial barrier resistance is determined by the combined antagonistic actions of Rap1 and Rap2. PMID:23469100
Recent identification and isolation of suture stem cells capable of long-term self-renewal, clonal expanding, and differentiating demonstrate their essential role in calvarial bone development, homeostasis, and injury repair. These bona fide stem cells express a high level of Axin2 and are able to mediate bone regeneration and repair in a cell autonomous fashion. The importance of Axin2 is further demonstrated by its genetic inactivation in mice causing skeletal deformities resembling craniosynostosis in humans. The fate determination and subsequent differentiation of Axin2+ stem cells are highly orchestrated by a variety of evolutionary conserved signaling pathways including Wnt, FGF, and BMP. These signals are often antagonistic of each other and possess differential effects on osteogenic and chondrogenic cell types. However, the mechanisms underlying the interplay of these signaling transductions remain largely elusive. Here we identify Rap1b acting downstream of Axin2 as a signaling interrogator for FGF and BMP. Genetic analysis reveals that Rap1b is essential for development of craniofacial and body skeletons. Axin2 regulates Rap1b through modulation of canonical BMP signaling. The BMP-mediated activation of Rap1b promotes chondrogenic fate and chondrogenesis. Furthermore, by inhibiting MAPK signaling, Rap1b mediates the antagonizing effect of BMP on FGF to repress osteoblast differentiation. Disruption of Rap1b in mice not only enhances osteoblast differentiation but also impairs chondrocyte differentiation during intramembranous and endochondral ossifications, respectively, leading to severe defects in craniofacial and body skeletons. Our findings reveal a dual role of Rap1b in development of the skeletogenic cell types. Rap1b is critical for balancing the signaling effects of BMP and FGF during skeletal development and disease. 2017 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. 2017 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
Rap proteins (Rap1, Rap2a, b, c) are small molecular weight GTPases of the Ras family. Rap G proteins mediate diverse cellular events such as cell adhesion, proliferation, and gene activation through various signaling pathways. Activation of Rap signal is regulated tightly by several specific regulatory proteins including guanine nucleotide exchange factors and GTPase-activating proteins. Beyond cell biological studies, increasing attempts have been made in the past decade to define the roles of Rap signal in specific functions of normal tissue systems as well as in cancer. In the immune and hematopoietic systems, Rap signal plays crucial roles in the developmentmore and function of essentially all lineages of lymphocytes and hematopoietic cells, and importantly, deregulated Rap signal may lead to unique pathological conditions depending on the affected cell types, including various types of leukemia and autoimmunity. The phenotypical studies have unveiled novel, even unexpected functional aspects of Rap signal in cells from a variety of tissues, providing potentially important clues for controlling human diseases, including malignancy. less
Leukocyte trafficking is crucial to facilitate efficient immune responses. Here, we report that the large GTPase dynamin2, which is generally considered to have a key role in endocytosis and membrane remodeling, is an essential regulator of integrin-dependent human T lymphocyte adhesion and migration. Chemical inhibition or knockdown of dynamin2 expression significantly reduced integrin-dependent T cell adhesion in vitro. This phenotype was not observed when T cells were treated with various chemical inhibitors which abrogate endocytosis or actin polymerization. We furthermore detected dynamin2 in signaling complexes and propose that it controls T cell adhesion via FAK/Pyk2- and RapGEF1-mediated Rap1 activation. In addition, the dynamin2 inhibitor-induced reduction of lymphocyte adhesion can be rescued by Rap1a overexpression. We demonstrate that the dynamin2 effect on T cell adhesion does not involve integrin affinity regulation but instead relies on its ability to modulate integrin valency. Taken together, we suggest a previously unidentified role of dynamin2 in the regulation of integrin-mediated lymphocyte adhesion via a Rap1 signaling pathway. PMID:28273099
Repressor activator protein 1 (Rap1) performs multiple vital cellular functions in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These include regulation of telomere length, transcriptional repression of both telomere-proximal genes and the silent mating type loci, and transcriptional activation of hundreds of mRNA-encoding genes, including the highly transcribed ribosomal protein- and glycolytic enzyme-encoding genes. Studies of the contributions of Rap1 to telomere length regulation and transcriptional repression have yielded significant mechanistic insights. However, the mechanism of Rap1 transcriptional activation remains poorly understood because Rap1 is encoded by a single copy essential gene and is involved in many disparate and essential cellular functions, preventing easy interpretation of attempts to directly dissect Rap1 structure-function relationships. Moreover, conflicting reports on the ability of Rap1-heterologous DNA-binding domain fusion proteins to serve as chimeric transcriptional activators challenge use of this approach to study Rap1. Described here is the development of an altered DNA-binding specificity variant of Rap1 (Rap1AS). We used Rap1AS to map and characterize a 41-amino acid activation domain (AD) within the Rap1 C terminus. We found that this AD is required for transcription of both chimeric reporter genes and authentic chromosomal Rap1 enhancer-containing target genes. Finally, as predicted for a bona fide AD, mutation of this newly identified AD reduced the efficiency of Rap1 binding to a known transcriptional coactivator TFIID-binding target, Taf5. In summary, we show here that Rap1 contains an AD required for Rap1-dependent gene transcription. The Rap1AS variant will likely also be useful for studies of the functions of Rap1 in other biological pathways. PMID:28196871
Epac1 and Rap1 mediate cAMP-induced tightening of endothelial junctions. We have previously found that one of the mechanisms is the inhibition of Rho-mediated tension in radial stress fibers by recruiting the RhoGAP ArhGAP29 in a complex containing the Rap1 effectors Rasip1 and Radil. However, other mechanisms have been proposed as well, most notably the induction of tension in circumferential actin cables by Cdc42 and its GEF FGD5. Here, we have investigated how Rap1 controls FGD5/Cdc42 and how this interconnects with Radil/Rasip1/ArhGAP29. Using endothelial barrier measurements, we show that Rho inhibition is not sufficient to explain the barrier stimulating effect of Rap1. Indeed, Cdc42-mediated tension is induced at cell-cell contacts upon Rap1 activation and this is required for endothelial barrier function. Depletion of potential Rap1 effectors identifies AF6 to mediate Rap1 enhanced tension and concomitant Rho-independent barrier function. When overexpressed in HEK293T cells, AF6 is found in a complex with FGD5 and Radil. From these results we conclude that Rap1 utilizes multiple pathways to control tightening of endothelial junctions, possibly through a multiprotein effector complex, in which AF6 functions to induce tension in circumferential actin cables.
Cytotoxic chemotherapy agents (e.g., cisplatin) are the first-line drugs to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) but NSCLC develops resistance to the agent, limiting therapeutic efficacy. Despite many approaches to id