Molecular Aspects of the Cellular Activities of ADP-Ribosylation Factors

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Science's STKE  21 Nov 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 59, pp. re1
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.59.re1

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Adenosine diphosphate-ribosylation factor (Arf) proteins are members of the Arf arm of the Ras superfamily of guanosine triphosphate (GTP)-binding proteins. Arfs are named for their activity as cofactors for cholera toxin-catalyzed adenosine diphosphate-ribosylation of the heterotrimeric G protein Gs. Physiologically, Arfs regulate membrane traffic and the actin cytoskeleton. Arfs function both constitutively within the secretory pathway and as targets of signal transduction in the cell periphery. In each case, the controlled binding and hydrolysis of GTP is critical to Arf function. The activities of some guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) and guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase)-activating proteins (GAPs) are stimulated by phosphoinositides, including phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3) and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), and phosphatidic acid (PA), likely providing both a means to respond to regulatory signals and a mechanism to coordinate GTP binding and hydrolysis. Arfs affect membrane traffic in part by recruiting coat proteins, including COPI and clathrin adaptor complexes, to membranes. However, Arf function likely involves many additional biochemical activities. Arf activates phospholipase D and phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase with the consequent production of PA and PIP2, respectively. In addition to mediating Arf's effects on membrane traffic and the actin cytoskeleton, PA and PIP2 are involved in the regulation of Arf. Arf also works with Rho family proteins to affect the actin cytoskeleton. Several Arf-binding proteins suspected to be effectors have been identified in two-hybrid screens. Arf-dependent biochemical activities, actin cytoskeleton changes, and membrane trafficking may be integrally related. Understanding Arf's role in complex cellular functions such as protein secretion or cell movement will involve a description of the temporal and spatial coordination of these multiple Arf-dependent events.

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