Annexins induce curvature on free-edge membranes displaying distinct morphologies.

Boye TL, Jeppesen JC, Maeda K, Pezeshkian W, Solovyeva V, Nylandsted J, Simonsen AC. Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 9;8(1)

Annexins are a family of proteins characterized by their ability to bind anionic membranes in response to Ca2+-activation. They are involved in a multitude of cellular functions including vesiculation and membrane repair. Here, we investigate the effect of nine annexins (ANXA1-ANXA7, ANXA11, ANXA13) on negatively charged double supported membrane patches with free edges. We find that annexin members can be classified according to the membrane morphology they induce and matching a dendrogam of the annexin family based on full amino acid sequences. ANXA1 and ANXA2 induce membrane folding and blebbing initiated from membrane structural defects inside patches while ANXA6 induces membrane folding originating both from defects and from the membrane edges. ANXA4 and ANXA5 induce cooperative roll-up of the membrane starting from free edges, producing large rolls. In contrast, ANXA3 and ANXA13 roll the membrane in a fragmented manner producing multiple thin rolls. In addition to rolling, ANXA7 and ANXA11 are characterized by their ability to form fluid lenses localized between the membrane leaflets. A shared feature necessary for generating these morphologies is the ability to induce membrane curvature on free edged anionic membranes. Consequently, induction of membrane curvature may be a significant property of the annexin protein family that is important for their function.

Niemann-Pick C2 protein regulates sterol transport between plasma membrane and late endosomes in human fibroblasts.

Berzina Z, Solanko LM, Mehadi AS, Jensen MLV, Lund FW, Modzel M, Szomek M, Solanko KA, Dupont A, Nielsen GK, Heegaard CW, Ejsing CS, Wüstner D.

Niemann-Pick disease type C2 is a lipid storage disorder in which mutations in the NPC2 protein cause accumulation of lipoprotein-derived cholesterol in late endosomes and lysosomes (LE/LYSs). Whether cholesterol delivered by other means to NPC2 deficient cells also accumulates in LE/LYSs is currently unknown. We show that the close cholesterol analog dehydroergosterol (DHE), when delivered to the plasma membrane (PM) accumulates in LE/LYSs of human fibroblasts lacking functional NPC2. We measured two different time scales of sterol diffusion; while DHE rich LE/LYSs moved by slow anomalous diffusion in disease cells (D ∼ 4.6∙10−4 μm2/sec; α∼0.76), a small pool of sterol could exchange rapidly with D ∼ 3 μm2/s between LE/LYSs, as shown by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). By quantitative lipid mass spectrometry we found that esterification of 13C-labeled cholesterol but not of DHE is reduced 10-fold in disease fibroblasts compared to control cells. Internalized NPC2 rescued the sterol storage phenotype and strongly expanded the dynamic sterol pool seen in FRAP experiments. Together, our study shows that cholesterol esterification and trafficking of sterols between the PM and LE/LYSs depends on a functional NPC2 protein. NPC2 likely acts inside LE/LYSs from where it increases non-vesicular sterol exchange with other organelles.