Promiscuity of the catalytic Sec7 domain within the guanine nucleotide exchange factor GBF1 in ARF activation, Golgi homeostasis, and effector recruitment

Academic Article


  • The integrity of the Golgi and trans-Golgi network (TGN) is disrupted by brefeldin A (BFA), which inhibits the Golgi-localized BFA-sensitive factor (GBF1) and brefeldin A-inhibited guanine nucleotide-exchange factors (BIG1 and BIG2). Using a cellular replacement assay to assess GBF1 functionality without interference from the BIGs, we show that GBF1 alone maintains Golgi architecture; facilitates secretion; activates ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF)1, 3, 4, and 5; and recruits ARF effectors to Golgi membranes. Unexpectedly, GBF1 also supports TGN integrity and recruits numerous TGN-localized ARF effectors. The impact of the catalytic Sec7 domain (Sec7d) on GBF1 functionality was assessed by swapping it with the Sec7d from ARF nucleotide-binding site opener (ARNO)/cytohesin-2, a plasma membrane GEF reported to activate all ARFs. The resulting chimera (GBF1-ARNOGBF1 [GARG]) targets like GBF1, supports Golgi/TGN architecture, and facilitates secretion. However, unlike GBF1, GARG activates all ARFs (including ARF6) at the Golgi/TGN and recruits additional ARF effectors to the Golgi/TGN. Our results have general implications: 1) GEF's targeting is independent of Sec7d, but Sec7d influence the GEF substrate specificity and downstream effector events; 2) all ARFs have access to all membranes, but are restricted in their distribution by the localization of their activating GEFs; and 3) effector association with membranes requires the coincidental presence of activated ARFs and specific membrane identifiers.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bhatt JM; Hancock W; Meissner JM; Kaczmarczyk A; Lee E; Viktorova E; Ramanadham S; Belov GA; Sztul E
  • Start Page

  • 1523
  • End Page

  • 1535
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 12