Endocytosis is a fundamental process in signaling and membrane trafficking. The formation of vesicles at the plasma membrane is mediated by the G protein dynamin that catalyzes the final fission step, the actin cytoskeleton, and proteins that sense or induce membrane curvature. One such protein, the F-BAR domain-containing protein pacsin, contributes to this process and has been shown to induce a spectrum of membrane morphologies, including tubules and tube constrictions in vitro. Full-length pacsin isoform 1 (pacsin-1) has reduced activity compared to its isolated F-BAR domain, implicating an inhibitory role for its C-terminal Src homology 3 (SH3) domain. Here we show that the autoinhibitory, intramolecular interactions in pacsin-1 can be released upon binding to the entire proline-rich domain (PRD) of dynamin-1, resulting in potent membrane deformation activity that is distinct from the isolated F-BAR domain. Most strikingly, we observe the generation of small, homogenous vesicles with the activated protein complex under certain experimental conditions. In addition, liposomes prepared with different methods yield distinct membrane deformation morphologies of BAR domain proteins and apparent activation barriers to pacsin-1's activity. Theoretical free energy calculations suggest bimodality of the protein-membrane system as a possible source for the different outcomes, which could account for the coexistence of energetically equivalent membrane structures induced by BAR domain-containing proteins in vitro. Taken together, our results suggest a versatile role for pacsin-1 in sculpting cellular membranes that is likely dependent both on protein structure and membrane properties. © 2012 Goh et al.
Goh, S. L., Wang, Q., Byrnes, L. J., & Sondermann, H. (2012). Versatile Membrane Deformation Potential of Activated Pacsin. PLoS ONE, 7(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0051628