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J Biol Chem. 2007 Mar 30;282(13):9591-9. Epub 2007 Feb 2.

The brefeldin A-inhibited guanine nucleotide-exchange protein, BIG2, regulates the constitutive release of TNFR1 exosome-like vesicles.

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  • 1Pulmonary-Critical Care Medicine Branch, NHLBI, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1590, USA.


The type I, 55-kDa tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR1) is released from cells to the extracellular space where it can bind and modulate TNF bioactivity. Extracellular TNFR1 release occurs by two distinct pathways: the inducible proteolytic cleavage of TNFR1 ectodomains and the constitutive release of full-length TNFR1 in exosome-like vesicles. Regulation of both TNFR1 release pathways appears to involve the trafficking of cytoplasmic TNFR1 vesicles. Vesicular trafficking is controlled by ADP-ribosylation factors (ARFs), which are active in the GTP-bound state and inactive when bound to GDP. ARF activation is enhanced by guanine nucleotide-exchange factors that catalyze replacement of GDP by GTP. We investigated whether the brefeldin A (BFA)-inhibited guanine nucleotide-exchange proteins, BIG1 and/or BIG2, are required for TNFR1 release from human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Effects of specific RNA interference (RNAi) showed that BIG2, but not BIG1, regulated the release of TNFR1 exosome-like vesicles, whereas neither BIG2 nor BIG1 was required for the IL-1beta-induced proteolytic cleavage of TNFR1 ectodomains. BIG2 co-localized with TNFR1 in diffusely distributed cytoplasmic vesicles, and the association between BIG2 and TNFR1 was disrupted by BFA. Consistent with the preferential activation of class I ARFs by BIG2, ARF1 and ARF3 participated in the extracellular release of TNFR1 exosome-like vesicles in a nonredundant and additive fashion. We conclude that the association between BIG2 and TNFR1 selectively regulates the extracellular release of TNFR1 exosome-like vesicles from human vascular endothelial cells via an ARF1- and ARF3-dependent mechanism.

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