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J Biol Chem. 1993 May 5;268(13):9555-63.

Activation of ADP-ribosylation factor by Golgi membranes. Evidence for a brefeldin A- and protease-sensitive activating factor on Golgi membranes.

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Section of Regulatory Mechanisms, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Recent evidence has implicated ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF) proteins as critical regulators of the protein secretory pathway, particularly in the endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi pathway. We have examined whether Golgi membranes contain activators of ARF and the consequences of ARF activation and acylation on its membrane association. Two means were used to assess ARF activation. First, guanosine 5'-3-O-(thio)triphosphate (GTP gamma S) binding to protein was found to be greater when ARF and Golgi were incubated together than when either was incubated alone. These data suggested that ARF GTP gamma S was formed. This was confirmed by showing that the GTP gamma S-bound protein functioned as a cofactor for cholera toxin-stimulated ADP-ribosylation of Gs alpha, a reaction for which activated ARF is a necessary cofactor. Trypsin treatment of Golgi, an inhibitory ARF peptide, and brefeldin A each inhibited Golgi-mediated activation by approximately 70%, demonstrating that a specific protein interaction is required for the majority of the ARF activation. This ARF-activating protein is a strong candidate for the molecular target for brefeldin A. The ubiquitous nature of ARF proteins and their importance in both the exocytic and endocytic pathways may explain the effects of brefeldin A on both exocytic and endocytic membrane traffic in animal cells. A protease-insensitive activation of ARF by Golgi could also be demonstrated and was the dominant activity observed in submicromolar concentrations of magnesium. We believe this to be the lipid-mediated process described previously for purified ARF proteins. ARF activation resulted in tight association of ARF with phospholipid vesicles. Vesicle association required amino-terminal myristoylation of ARF whereas activation did not. These studies indicate that the brefeldin A-sensitive ARF-activating protein and other factors that determine the level of activation of ARF in animal cells are fundamental regulators of membrane traffic in animal cells.

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