The FEBS journal

The calcium-binding protein ALG-2 promotes endoplasmic reticulum exit site localization and polymerization of Trk-fused gene (TFG) protein.

PMID 27813252


Apoptosis-linked gene 2 (ALG-2), which is a gene product of PDCD6, is a 22-kDa Ca(2+) -binding protein. Accumulating evidence points to a role for ALG-2 as a Ca(2+) -responsive adaptor protein. On binding to Ca(2+) , ALG-2 undergoes a conformational change that facilitates its interaction with various proteins. It also forms a homodimer and heterodimer with peflin, a paralog of ALG-2. However, the differences in cellular roles for the ALG-2 homodimer and ALG-2/peflin heterodimer are unclear. In the present study, we found that Trk-fused gene (TFG) protein interacted with the ALG-2 homodimer. Immunostaining analysis revealed that TFG and ALG-2 partially overlapped at endoplasmic reticulum exit sites (ERES), a platform for COPII-mediated protein transport from the endoplasmic reticulum. Time-lapse live-cell imaging demonstrated that both green fluorescent protein-fused TFG and mCherry-fused ALG-2 are recruited to ERES after thapsigargin treatment, which raises intracellular Ca(2+) levels. Furthermore, overexpression of ALG-2 induced the accumulation of TFG at ERES. TFG has an ALG-2-binding motif and deletion of the motif decreased TFG binding to ALG-2 and shortened its half-life at ERES, suggesting a critical role for ALG-2 in retaining TFG at ERES. We also demonstrated, by in vitro cross-linking assays, that ALG-2 promoted the polymerization of TFG in a Ca(2+) -dependent manner. Collectively, the results suggest that ALG-2 acts as a Ca(2+) -sensitive adaptor to concentrate and polymerize TFG at ERES, supporting a potential role for ALG-2 in COPII-dependent trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum.