Selective Interactions of UPIa and UPIb, Two Members of the Transmembrane 4 Superfamily, with Distinct Single Transmembrane-domained Proteins in Differentiated Urothelial Cells
Journal of Biological Chemistry
The transmembrane 4 (TM4) superfamily contains many important leukocyte differentiation-related surface proteins including CD9, CD37, CD53, and CD81; tumor-associated antigens including CD63/ME491, CO-029, and SAS; and a newly identified metastasis suppressor gene R2. Relatively little is known, however, about the structure and aggregation state of these four transmembrane-domained proteins. The asymmetrical unit membrane (AUM), believed to play a major role in stabilizing the apical surface of
... e apical surface of mammalian urothelium thus preventing it from rupturing during bladder distention, contains two TM4 members, the uroplakins (UPs) Ia and Ib. In association with two other (single transmembrane-domained) membrane proteins, UPII and UPIII, UPIa and UPIb form 16-nm particles that naturally form two-dimensional crystalline arrays, thus providing unique opportunities for studying membrane structure and function. To better understand how these proteins interact to form the 16-nm particles, we analyzed their nearest neighbor relationship by chemical cross-linking. We show here that UPIa and UPIb, which share 39% of their amino acid sequence, are cross-linked to UPII and UPIII, respectively. We also show that UPIa has a propensity to oligomerize, forming complexes that are stable in SDS, and that UPII can be readily crosslinked to form homodimers. The formation of UPII homodimers is sensitive, however, to octyl glucoside that can solubilize the AUMs. These data suggest that there exist two types of 16-nm AUM particles that contain UPIa/UPII or UPIb/UPIII, and support a model in which the UPIa and UPII occupy the inner and outer domains, respectively, of the UPIa/UPII particle. This model can account for the apparent "redundancy" of the uroplakins, as the structurally related UPIa and UPIb, by interacting with different partners, may play different roles in AUM formation. The model also suggests that AUM plaques with different uroplakin compositions may differ in their assembly, and in their abilities to interact with an underlying cytoskeleton. Our data indicate that two closely related TM4 proteins, UPIa and UPIb, can be present in the same cell, interacting with distinct partners. AUM thus provides an excellent model system for studying the targeting, processing, and assembly of TM4 proteins.