Ng Rab5 and Eea1 with AlexaFluor 555 secondary (B), and viewed using fluorescence confocal microscopy. Areas showing co-localization appear as yellow in the merged images and are marked by white arrowheads. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053964.gSRC Activation Downstream of MERTKPrevious studies of apoptotic cell clearance have proposed that SFKs facilitate crosstalk AZ876 chemical information between MERTK and avb5 integrin in downstream signaling to RAC1 involved in cytoskeletal reorganization [16,29,36], however, the mechanistic details and the specific SFK(s) involved have not been elucidated. In the current study, the activation status of SRC was evaluated using an antibody that recognizes the active form of the protein that is phosphorylated on tyrosine residue 416 (pY416). This analysis showed formation of pY416 SRC in HEK-293T cells transfected with active full-length MERTK, but not with kinase-dead MERTK (Figure 7A). In addition, formation of pY416 Src was seen in the RPE/choroid of congenic RCS rats sacrificed during peak phagocytic uptake, but was not seen in animals sacrificed before light onset, or in dystrophic RCS rats sacrificed at either time (Figure 7B). Formation 25331948 of pY416 Src was also seen in RPE-J cells incubated with rod OS, appearing highest at 30 and 45 min post feeding (Figure 7C). Viewed together, these findings suggest that SRC activation in the RPE can result from direct interaction with activated MERTK, and leave open the possibility that additional SFKs may function downstream of MERTK signaling in phagocytosis.DiscussionPhagocytic uptake by the RPE requires multiple activities that regulate cellular plasticity, including cytoskeletal reorganization and membrane remodeling, and also contribute to downmodulating pro-inflammatory responses. 79983-71-4 Although not required for binding of effete membranes, MERTK signaling is essential for initiating phagocytic uptake. The current studies show that MERTK interactions in the RPE/choroid and other phagocytic cell types involve an overlapping set of core SH2-domain proteins that are not down regulated in response to MERTK loss-offunction in the RCS rat. These findings lead to a new appreciation of the phagocytic mechanism adapted to the highly-specialized function of the RPE. Changes in actin polymerization needed for cytoskeletal reorganization are regulated by members of the RHO family of GTPases, including the small G-proteins RAC1, CDC42, and RHO A [37]. Activation of RHO family GTPases requires interaction with guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) necessary for GDP/GTP exchange [34]. These include the VAV family of SH2-domain proteins that act as GEFs for RAC1 involved in regulating F-actin recruitment. Previous studies in macrophages showed that VAV1 interacts with MERTK independent of its phosphorylation status [23]. In the current studies, both VAV1 and VAV3 were shown to interact with MERTK as recombinant proteins, but only native Vav3 was found to interact in assays of endogenous rat RPE proteins. Vav3 was also the major isoform seen in the mouse RPE using immunohistochemical analysis. In contrast, expression of VAV family proteins was not detected in cultured RPE-J cells that retain the capacity to perform MERTK-mediated phagocytic uptake. In addition, previous studies of Vav2/3 knockout mice have shown that Vav loss-of-function results in a glaucoma phenotype, but not retinal degenerative disease [38]. Taken together, these findings are consistent with the view that direct activation of VA.Ng Rab5 and Eea1 with AlexaFluor 555 secondary (B), and viewed using fluorescence confocal microscopy. Areas showing co-localization appear as yellow in the merged images and are marked by white arrowheads. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053964.gSRC Activation Downstream of MERTKPrevious studies of apoptotic cell clearance have proposed that SFKs facilitate crosstalk between MERTK and avb5 integrin in downstream signaling to RAC1 involved in cytoskeletal reorganization [16,29,36], however, the mechanistic details and the specific SFK(s) involved have not been elucidated. In the current study, the activation status of SRC was evaluated using an antibody that recognizes the active form of the protein that is phosphorylated on tyrosine residue 416 (pY416). This analysis showed formation of pY416 SRC in HEK-293T cells transfected with active full-length MERTK, but not with kinase-dead MERTK (Figure 7A). In addition, formation of pY416 Src was seen in the RPE/choroid of congenic RCS rats sacrificed during peak phagocytic uptake, but was not seen in animals sacrificed before light onset, or in dystrophic RCS rats sacrificed at either time (Figure 7B). Formation 25331948 of pY416 Src was also seen in RPE-J cells incubated with rod OS, appearing highest at 30 and 45 min post feeding (Figure 7C). Viewed together, these findings suggest that SRC activation in the RPE can result from direct interaction with activated MERTK, and leave open the possibility that additional SFKs may function downstream of MERTK signaling in phagocytosis.DiscussionPhagocytic uptake by the RPE requires multiple activities that regulate cellular plasticity, including cytoskeletal reorganization and membrane remodeling, and also contribute to downmodulating pro-inflammatory responses. Although not required for binding of effete membranes, MERTK signaling is essential for initiating phagocytic uptake. The current studies show that MERTK interactions in the RPE/choroid and other phagocytic cell types involve an overlapping set of core SH2-domain proteins that are not down regulated in response to MERTK loss-offunction in the RCS rat. These findings lead to a new appreciation of the phagocytic mechanism adapted to the highly-specialized function of the RPE. Changes in actin polymerization needed for cytoskeletal reorganization are regulated by members of the RHO family of GTPases, including the small G-proteins RAC1, CDC42, and RHO A [37]. Activation of RHO family GTPases requires interaction with guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) necessary for GDP/GTP exchange [34]. These include the VAV family of SH2-domain proteins that act as GEFs for RAC1 involved in regulating F-actin recruitment. Previous studies in macrophages showed that VAV1 interacts with MERTK independent of its phosphorylation status [23]. In the current studies, both VAV1 and VAV3 were shown to interact with MERTK as recombinant proteins, but only native Vav3 was found to interact in assays of endogenous rat RPE proteins. Vav3 was also the major isoform seen in the mouse RPE using immunohistochemical analysis. In contrast, expression of VAV family proteins was not detected in cultured RPE-J cells that retain the capacity to perform MERTK-mediated phagocytic uptake. In addition, previous studies of Vav2/3 knockout mice have shown that Vav loss-of-function results in a glaucoma phenotype, but not retinal degenerative disease [38]. Taken together, these findings are consistent with the view that direct activation of VA.

Ng Rab5 and Eea1 with AlexaFluor 555 secondary (B), and viewed using

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