bims-ershed Biomed News
on ER Stress in Health and Diseases
Issue of 2021‒06‒20
eight papers selected by
Matías Eduardo González Quiroz
Worker’s Hospital

  1. J Am Heart Assoc. 2021 Jun 15. 10(12): e020216
      Background Ischemia/reperfusion injury impairs proteostasis, and triggers adaptive cellular responses, such as the unfolded protein response (UPR), which functions to restore endoplasmic reticulum homeostasis. After cardiac arrest (CA) and resuscitation, the UPR is activated in various organs including the brain. However, the role of the UPR in CA has remained largely unknown. Here we aimed to investigate effects of activation of the ATF6 (activating transcription factor 6) UPR branch in CA. Methods and Results Conditional and inducible sATF6-KI (short-form ATF6 knock-in) mice and a selective ATF6 pathway activator 147 were used. CA was induced in mice by KCl injection, followed by cardiopulmonary resuscitation. We first found that neurologic function was significantly improved, and neuronal damage was mitigated after the ATF6 pathway was activated in neurons of sATF6-KI mice subjected to CA/cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Further RNA sequencing analysis indicated that such beneficial effects were likely attributable to increased expression of pro-proteostatic genes regulated by ATF6. Especially, key components of the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation process, which clears potentially toxic unfolded/misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum, were upregulated in the sATF6-KI brain. Accordingly, the CA-induced increase in K48-linked polyubiquitin in the brain was higher in sATF6-KI mice relative to control mice. Finally, CA outcome, including the survival rate, was significantly improved in mice treated with compound 147. Conclusions This is the first experimental study to determine the role of the ATF6 UPR branch in CA outcome. Our data indicate that the ATF6 UPR branch is a prosurvival pathway and may be considered as a therapeutic target for CA.
    Keywords:  ER stress; ER‐associated degradation; RNA‐Seq; brain ischemia; neuroprotection; transgenic mice
  2. Nat Commun. 2021 06 17. 12(1): 3686
      Tumour hypoxia is associated with poor patient prognosis and therapy resistance. A unique transcriptional response is initiated by hypoxia which includes the rapid activation of numerous transcription factors in a background of reduced global transcription. Here, we show that the biological response to hypoxia includes the accumulation of R-loops and the induction of the RNA/DNA helicase SETX. In the absence of hypoxia-induced SETX, R-loop levels increase, DNA damage accumulates, and DNA replication rates decrease. Therefore, suggesting that, SETX plays a role in protecting cells from DNA damage induced during transcription in hypoxia. Importantly, we propose that the mechanism of SETX induction in hypoxia is reliant on the PERK/ATF4 arm of the unfolded protein response. These data not only highlight the unique cellular response to hypoxia, which includes both a replication stress-dependent DNA damage response and an unfolded protein response but uncover a novel link between these two distinct pathways.
  3. Front Pharmacol. 2021 ;12 690612
      Asiatic acid (AA) has been shown to induce apoptotic death in a range of cancers, but the mechanisms whereby it can inhibit tongue cancer growth have yet to be clarified. Herein, we explored the effects of AA on tongue cancer cells and found that it induced their apoptotic death in vitro and in vivo, while additionally impairing xenograft tumor growth in vivo. From a mechanistic perspective, AA treatment was associated with increases in levels of calcium and the calcium- dependent protease calpain, and it further induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and consequent Grp78-related IRE1α and JNK phosphorylation, ultimately driving caspase-3 activation and apoptotic death. Together, these results highlight AA as a promising tool for the therapeutic treatment of tongue cancer in clinical practice.
    Keywords:  GRP78; apoptosis; asiatic acid; calpain; endoplasmic reticulum stress; tongue cancer
  4. J Biol Chem. 2021 Jun 15. pii: S0021-9258(21)00682-7. [Epub ahead of print] 100882
      Alteration of RNA splicing is a hallmark of cellular senescence, which is associated with age-related disease and cancer development. However, the roles of splicing factors in cellular senescence are not fully understood. In this study, we identified the splicing factor PRPF19 as a critical regulator of cellular senescence in normal human diploid fibroblasts. PRPF19 was down-regulated during replicative senescence, and PRPF19 knockdown prematurely induced senescence-like cell cycle arrest through the p53-p21 pathway. RNA-sequencing analysis revealed that PRPF19 knockdown caused a switch of the MDM4 splicing isoform from stable full-length MDM4-FL to unstable MDM4-S lacking exon 6. We also found that PRPF19 regulates MDM4 splicing by promoting the physical interaction of other splicing factors, PRPF3 and PRPF8, which are key components of the core spliceosome, U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP. Given that MDM4 is a major negative regulator of p53, our findings imply that PRPF19 down-regulation inhibits MDM4-mediated p53 inactivation, resulting in induction of cellular senescence. Thus, PRPF19 plays an important role in the induction of p53-dependent cellular senescence.
    Keywords:  DNA damage response; RNA processing; RNA splicing; alternative splicing; cellular senescence; fibroblast; p53
  5. Sci Adv. 2021 Jun;pii: eabd9208. [Epub ahead of print]7(25):
      53BP1 activates nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) and inhibits homologous recombination (HR) repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Dissociation of 53BP1 from DSBs and consequent activation of HR, a less error-prone pathway than NHEJ, helps maintain genome integrity during DNA replication; however, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Here, we demonstrate that E3 ubiquitin ligase SPOP promotes HR during S phase of the cell cycle by excluding 53BP1 from DSBs. In response to DNA damage, ATM kinase-catalyzed phosphorylation of SPOP causes a conformational change in SPOP, revealed by x-ray crystal structures, that stabilizes its interaction with 53BP1. 53BP1-bound SPOP induces polyubiquitination of 53BP1, eliciting 53BP1 extraction from chromatin by a valosin-containing protein/p97 segregase complex. Our work shows that SPOP facilitates HR repair over NHEJ during DNA replication by contributing to 53BP1 removal from chromatin. Cancer-derived SPOP mutations block SPOP interaction with 53BP1, inducing HR defects and chromosomal instability.
  6. Front Physiol. 2021 ;12 665622
      The accumulation of unfolded/misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) causes ER stress and induces the unfolded protein response (UPR) and other mechanisms to restore ER homeostasis, including translational shutdown, increased targeting of mRNAs for degradation by the IRE1-dependent decay pathway, selective translation of proteins that contribute to the protein folding capacity of the ER, and activation of the ER-associated degradation machinery. When ER stress is excessive or prolonged and these mechanisms fail to restore proteostasis, the UPR triggers the cell to undergo apoptosis. This review also examines the overlooked role of post-translational modifications and their roles in protein processing and effects on ER stress and the UPR. Finally, these effects are examined in the context of lung structure, function, and disease.
    Keywords:  disulfide bonds; endoplasmic reticulum; integrated stress response; lung disease; lung function; post-translational modifications; unfolded protein response
  7. STAR Protoc. 2021 Jun 18. 2(2): 100570
      G2/M DNA synthesis (G-MiDS) can be observed in one in five G2/M cells in unperturbed conditions by immunofluorescence microscopy. However, little is known of the genomic sites undergoing G-MiDS. Here, we describe a protocol which allows enriching for G2/M cells and investigating the sites of G-MiDS using BrdU-seq. This method can also be used to study the role of DNA replication or transcription-associated factors in affecting G-MiDS levels in different cell lines. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Wang et al. (2021).
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Cell isolation; Flow Cytometry/Mass Cytometry; Molecular Biology; Sequencing
  8. Acta Biomater. 2021 Jun 13. pii: S1742-7061(21)00394-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Synthetic modified messenger RNA (mRNA) has manifested great potentials for therapeutic applications such as vaccines and gene therapies, with the recent mRNA vaccines for global pandemic COVID-19 (corona virus disease 2019) attracting the tremendous attention. The chemical modifications and delivery vehicles of synthetic mRNAs are the two key factors for their in vivo therapeutic applications. Chemical modifications like nucleoside methylation endow the synthetic mRNAs with high stability and reduced stimulation of innate immunity. The development of scalable production of synthetic mRNA and efficient mRNA formulation and delivery strategies in recent years have remarkably advanced the field. It is worth noticing that we had limited knowledge on the roles of mRNA modifications in the past. However, the last decade has witnessed not only new discoveries of several naturally occurring mRNA modifications but also substantial advances in understanding their roles on regulating gene expression. It is highly necessary to reconsider the therapeutic system made by synthetic modified mRNAs and delivery vectors. In this review, we will mainly discuss the roles of various chemical modifications on synthetic mRNAs, briefly summarize the progresses of mRNA delivery strategies, and highlight some latest mRNA therapeutics applications including infectious disease vaccines, cancer immunotherapy, mRNA-based genetic reprogramming and protein replacement, mRNA-based gene editing.
    Keywords:  RNA base modifications; Synthetic modified mRNA; Therapeutic mRNA; mRNA delivery; mRNA vaccines