Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Conserved kinase protects cells from endosomal traffic jam

Some molecules have a single, highly specific function in physiology, while others have a much broader remit. Kinases in the IKK family are of the latter sort, playing a variety of roles. A new report from RIKEN shows that this factor regulates shuttling of endosomes in the tips of growing mechanosensory bristles.

Some molecules have a single, highly specific function in physiology, while others have a much broader remit. Kinases in the IKK (inhibitor of nuclear factor êB (NF-êB) kinase) family are of the latter sort, playing a variety of roles in the immune system, cancer, and differentiation. Previous work with a related kinase, IKKå, in Drosophila has shown that this protein regulates the cytoskeleton and cell elongation in a number of contexts. It has yet to be shown, however, how it accomplishes this.

Activated IKKå (Magenta) accumulates at the tips of growing bristles, and actin bundles (green) run along the long axis of growing bristles.

A new report by Tetsuhisa Otani in the Laboratory of Morphogenetic Signaling (Shigeo Hayashi, Group Director) and colleagues, working in collaboration with the CDB Electron Microscope and Proteomics labs, does just that. In an article published in Developmental Cell, the groups show that this factor regulates shuttling of endosomes in the tips of growing mechanosensory bristles, converting the direction of their trafficking from incoming to outward bound.

Bristles form from single cells during the fly’s pupal stage. A previous report had indicated that IKKå is expressed at the tips of these structures. Otani looked at the active, phosphorylated form of the molecule and found that it indeed accumulated at the tips of growing bristles. He looked closer at cytoskeletal organization in these structures in wildtype and IKKå mutants, and found that in the mutant bristles, actin bundles were poorly organized and frequently had failed to attach to their anchor points in the cell cortex. Transmission electron microscopy further showed that while microtubules in mutants maintained their usual orientation with the respect to the bristle, an abnormal number of vesicles had accumulated in this space, suggesting that vesicle transport was somehow affected.

An examination of vesicle markers turned up a promising candidate in Rab11, a recycling endosome protein known to be essential in bristle morphogenesis. In contrast to its tendency to cluster around the tip in control animals, Rab11 was clumped in the bristle shaft in IKKå mutants. Other endosome markers also showed aberrant localization. The effect was replicated in cultured cells, in which mutant IKKå caused Rab11 to aggregate.

What then was the link between the defects in actin bundles and endosome distribution in IKKå mutants? Looking at the timing of these events, Otani found that Rab11 accumulation precedes the misrouting of actin, and was unaffected by various mutations that disturb the bundling of actin filaments, suggesting that IKKå’s roles in Rab11 distribution and actin bundling are independent.

He next used photobleaching and time-lapse imaging to track the localization of Rab11 over time. Rab11 normally moves along the bristle, shuttling between shaft and tip in a state of dynamic equilibrium. This rate and overall directionality of this back-and-forth varied, and was at its highest during bristle elongation. Looking for a mechanism, the group examined functional relationships between IKKå, Rab11, and the Rab11 effector, Nuf, which binds to Rab11 and the Dynein light intermediate chain (a component in microtubule trafficking). What they found pointed to opposing roles for IKKå and Nuf in the trafficking of Rab11. This antagonistic effect appears to be due to the phosphorylation of Nuf at a specific amino acid (serine 225) by IKKå. Preliminary experiments using IKKå homologs in mammalian cells suggested that the function of this factor in the trafficking of recycling endosomes is conserved.

"In addition to their role as vehicles for cellular materials, endosomes also serve as a platform for various signaling activities in cell proliferation and immunity,” says Hayashi. “The identification of new downstream targets of IKKå sheds light on the roles of endosomal trafficking in morphogenesis, innate immunity, and cancer."

[ Contact ]
Douglas Sipp : sipp(at)
TEL : +81-78-306-3043
RIKEN CDB, Office for Science Communications and International Affairs
Journal information
Dev Cell. 2011 Feb 15;20(2):219-32.
'IKKɛ Regulates Cell Elongation through Recycling Endosome Shuttling.'
Otani T, Oshima K, Onishi S, Takeda M, Shinmyozu K, Yonemura S, Hayashi S.

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>