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Dev Cell. 2012 Apr 17;22(4):799-810. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2012.02.006.

The Sec7 Arf-GEF is recruited to the trans-Golgi network by positive feedback.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA.


Arf GTPases are key regulators of both retrograde and anterograde traffic at the Golgi complex. The Golgi-localized Arf activators, Arf-GEFs (guanine exchange factor) of the BIG/GBF family, are poorly understood in terms of both their regulatory and localization mechanisms. We have performed a detailed kinetic characterization of a functional Golgi Arf-GEF, the trans-Golgi network (TGN)-localized Sec7 protein from yeast. We demonstrate that Sec7 is regulated by both autoinhibition and positive feedback. We show that positive feedback arises through the stable recruitment of Sec7 to membranes via its HDS1 domain by interaction with its product, activated Arf1. This interaction mediates localization of Sec7 to the TGN, because deletion of the HDS1 domain or mutation of the HDS1 domain in combination with deletion of Arf1 significantly increases cytoplasmic localization of Sec7. Our results lead us to propose a model in which Arf-GEF recruitment is linked to Golgi maturation via Arf1 activation.

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