Guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEF) of the BRAG subfamily activate small Arf GTPases, which are pivotal regulators of intracellular membrane traffic and actin dynamics. Consequently, BRAG proteins have been implicated to regulate the surface levels of adhesive and signaling receptors. However, not much is known about the mechanism leading to the regulation of these surface proteins. In this study we found that the Drosophila BRAG GEF Schizo interacts physically with the Abl-interactor (Abi). schizo mutants display severe defects in myoblast fusion during syncytial muscle formation and show increased amounts of the cell adhesion protein N-cadherin. We demonstrate that the schizo myoblast fusion phenotype can be rescued by the expression of the Schizo GEF (Sec7) and membrane-binding (pleckstrin homology) domain. Furthermore, the expression of the Sec7-PH domain in a wild-type background decreases the amounts of N-cadherin and impairs myoblast fusion. These findings support the notion that the Sec7-PH domain serves as a constitutive-active form of Schizo. Using a yeast-two hybrid assay, we show that the SH3 domain of Abi interacts with the N-terminal region of Schizo. This region is also able to bind to the cytodomain of the cell adhesion molecule N-cadherin. To shed light on the function of Schizo and Abi in N-cadherin removal, we employed epistasis experiments in different developmental contexts of Drosophila. These studies point towards a new model for the regulation of Schizo. We propose that the binding of Abi to the N-terminal part of Schizo antagonizes Schizo function to inhibit N-cadherin removal.
The Abl-interactor Abi suppresses the function of the BRAG2 GEF family member Schizo
Stefanie Lübke, Carina Braukmann, Karl-Heinz Rexer, Lubjinka Cigoja, Pratiti Rout, Susanne F. Önel; The Abl-interactor Abi suppresses the function of the BRAG2 GEF family member Schizo. Biol Open 2021; bio.058666. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/bio.058666
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