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J Biol Chem. 2002 Mar 15;277(11):9468-73. Epub 2002 Jan 2.

Overexpression of an ADP-ribosylation factor-guanine nucleotide exchange factor, BIG2, uncouples brefeldin A-induced adaptor protein-1 coat dissociation and membrane tubulation.

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  • 1Institute of Biological Sciences and Gene Research Center, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennohdai, Tsukuba Science City, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan.


BIG2 is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for the ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF) family of small GTPases, which regulate membrane association of COPI and adaptor protein (AP)-1 coat protein complexes. A fungal metabolite, brefeldin A (BFA), inhibits ARF-GEFs and leads to redistribution of coat proteins from membranes to the cytoplasm and membrane tubulation of the Golgi complex and the trans-Golgi network (TGN). To investigate the function of BIG2, we examined the effects of BIG2-overexpression on the BFA-induced redistribution of ARF, coat proteins, and organelle markers. The BIG2 overexpression blocked BFA-induced redistribution from membranes of ARF1 and the AP-1 complex but not that of the COPI complex. These observations indicate that BIG2 is implicated in membrane association of AP-1, but not that of COPI, through activating ARF. Furthermore, not only BIG2 but also ARF1 and AP-1 were found as queues of spherical swellings along the BFA-induced membrane tubules emanating from the TGN. These observations indicate that BFA-induced AP-1 dissociation from TGN membranes and tubulation of TGN membranes are not coupled events and suggest that a BFA target other than ARF-GEFs exists in the cell.

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