Regulating the regulators: role of phosphorylation in modulating the function of the GBF1/BIG family of Sec7 ARF-GEFs

Academic Article


  • Membrane traffic between secretory and endosomal compartments is vesicle-mediated and must be tightly balanced to maintain a physiological compartment size. Vesicle formation is initiated by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) that activate the ARF family of small GTPases. Regulatory mechanisms, including reversible phosphorylation, allow ARF-GEFs to support vesicle formation only at the right time and place in response to cellular needs. Here, we review current knowledge of how the Golgi-specific brefeldin A-resistance factor 1 (GBF1)/brefeldin A-inhibited guanine nucleotide exchange protein (BIG) family of ARF-GEFs is influenced by phosphorylation and use predictive paradigms to propose new regulatory paradigms. We describe a conserved cluster of phosphorylation sites within the N-terminal domains of the GBF1/BIG ARF-GEFs and suggest that these sites may respond to homeostatic signals related to cell growth and division. In the C-terminal region, GBF1 shows phosphorylation sites clustered differently as compared with the similar configuration found in both BIG1 and BIG2. Despite this similarity, BIG1 and BIG2 phosphorylation patterns are divergent in other domains. The different clustering of phosphorylation sites suggests that the nonconserved sites may represent distinct regulatory nodes and specify the function of GBF1, BIG1, and BIG2.
  • Published In

  • FEBS Letters  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Walton K; Leier A; Sztul E
  • Start Page

  • 2213
  • End Page

  • 2226
  • Volume

  • 594
  • Issue

  • 14