Molecular biology of the cell

ADP ribosylation factors 1 and 4 and group VIA phospholipase A₂ regulate morphology and intraorganellar traffic in the endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi intermediate compartment.

PMID 20881058


Organelle morphology of the endomembrane system is critical for optimal organelle function. ADP ribosylation factors (Arfs), a family of small GTPases, are required for maintaining the structure of the Golgi and endosomes. What determines the discontinuous nature of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC) as tubulovesicular clusters is unknown. In search of morphological determinants for the ERGIC, we found that a double knockdown of Arf1+Arf4 induced dynamic ERGIC tubules that connect ERGIC clusters, indicating that the tubules mediated lateral intraERGIC traffic. Tubule formation was inhibited by an antagonist of group VI calcium-independent phospholipase A₂ (PLA2G6) and by silencing the A isoform of PLA2G6 (PLA2G6-A). Arf1+Arf4 depletion altered the expression of PLA2G6-A splice variants and relocalized PLA2G6-A from the cytosol to ERGIC clusters and tubules, suggesting that the enzyme became locally active. We show that changes in Arf1 can modulate the activity of PLA2G6-A. We propose that a concerted action of Arf1, Arf4, and PLA2G6-A controls the architecture of the ERGIC in a way that is predicted to impact the rate and possibly the destination of cargos. Our findings have identified key components in the molecular mechanism underlying the regulation of tubules in the ERGIC and uncover tubular carriers as tightly controlled machinery.