The Journal of biological chemistry

BRAG2/GEP100/IQSec1 interacts with clathrin and regulates α5β1 integrin endocytosis through activation of ADP ribosylation factor 5 (Arf5).

PMID 22815487


ADP ribosylation factors (Arfs) are small GTP-binding proteins known for their role in vesicular transport, where they nucleate the assembly of coat protein complexes at sites of carrier vesicle formation. Similar to other GTPases, Arfs require guanine nucleotide exchange factors to catalyze GTP loading and activation. One subfamily of ArfGEFs, the BRAGs, has been shown to activate Arf6, which acts in the endocytic pathway to control the trafficking of a subset of cargo proteins including integrins. We have previously shown that BRAG2 modulates cell adhesion by regulating integrin surface expression. Here, we show that, in addition to Arf6, endogenous BRAG2 also activates the class II Arfs, Arf4 and Arf5, and that surprisingly, it is Arf5 that mediates integrin internalization. We observed that cell spreading on fibronectin is enhanced upon inhibition of BRAG2 or Arf5 but not Arf6. Similarly, spreading in BRAG2-depleted cells is reverted by expression of a rapid cycling Arf5 mutant (T161A) but not by a corresponding Arf6 construct (T157A). We also show that BRAG2 binds clathrin and the AP-2 adaptor complex and that both BRAG2 and Arf5 localize to clathrin-coated pits at the plasma membrane. Consistent with these observations, depletion of Arf5, but not Arf6 or Arf4, slows internalization of β1 integrins without affecting transferrin receptor uptake. Together, these findings indicate that BRAG2 acts at clathrin-coated pits to promote integrin internalization by activating Arf5 and suggest a previously unrecognized role for Arf5 in clathrin-mediated endocytosis of specific cargoes.