The Journal of biological chemistry

Extracellular TNFR1 release requires the calcium-dependent formation of a nucleobindin 2-ARTS-1 complex.

PMID 16407280


Extracellular tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptors function as TNF-binding proteins that modulate TNF activity. In human vascular endothelial cells (HUVEC), extracellular TNFR1 (type I TNF receptor, TNFRSF1A) is generated by two mechanisms, proteolytic cleavage of soluble TNFR1 ectodomains and the release of full-length 55-kDa TNFR1 in the membranes of exosome-like vesicles. TNFR1 release from HUVEC is known to involve the association between ARTS-1 (aminopeptidase regulator of TNFR1 shedding), an integral membrane aminopeptidase, and TNFR1. The goal of this study was to identify ARTS-1 binding partners that modulate TNFR1 release to the extracellular space. A yeast two-hybrid screen of a human placenta cDNA library showed that NUCB2 (nucleobindin 2), via its helix-loop-helix domains, binds the ARTS-1 extracellular domain. The association between endogenous ARTS-1 and NUCB2 in HUVEC was demonstrated by co-immunoprecipitation experiments, which showed the formation of a calcium-dependent NUCB2.ARTS-1 complex that associated with a subset of total cellular TNFR1. Confocal microscopy experiments demonstrated that this association involved a distinct population of NUCB2-containing intracytoplasmic vesicles. RNA interference was utilized to specifically knock down NUCB2 and ARTS-1 expression, which demonstrated that both are required for the constitutive release of a full-length 55-kDa TNFR1 within exosome-like vesicles as well as the inducible proteolytic cleavage of soluble TNFR1 ectodomains. We propose that calcium-dependent NUCB2.ARTS-1 complexes, which associate with TNFR1 prior to its commitment to pathways that result in either the constitutive release of TNFR1 exosome-like vesicles or the inducible proteolytic cleavage of TNFR1 ectodomains, play an important role in mediating TNFR1 release to the extracellular compartment.