bims-ershed Biomed News
on ER Stress in Health and Diseases
Issue of 2021‒07‒04
seven papers selected by
Matías Eduardo González Quiroz
Worker’s Hospital

  1. J Parkinsons Dis. 2021 Jun 19.
      Parkinson's disease (PD) pathology involves progressive degeneration and death of vulnerable dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra. Extensive axonal arborisation and distinct functions make this type of neurons particularly sensitive to homeostatic perturbations, such as protein misfolding and Ca2 + dysregulation. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a cell compartment orchestrating protein synthesis and folding, as well as synthesis of lipids and maintenance of Ca2 +-homeostasis in eukaryotic cells. When misfolded proteins start to accumulate in ER lumen the unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated. UPR is an adaptive signalling machinery aimed at relieving of protein folding load in the ER. When UPR is chronic, it can either boost neurodegeneration and apoptosis or cause neuronal dysfunctions. We have recently discovered that mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) exerts its prosurvival action in dopamine neurons and in animal model of PD through the direct binding to UPR sensor inositol-requiring protein 1 alpha (IRE1α) and attenuation of UPR. In line with this, UPR targeting resulted in neuroprotection and neurorestoration in various preclinical PD animal models. Therefore, growth factors (GFs), possessing both neurorestorative activity and restoration of protein folding capacity are attractive as drug candidates for PD treatment especially their blood-brain barrier penetrating analogs and small molecule mimetics. In this review, we discuss ER stress as a therapeutic target to treat PD; we summarize the existing preclinical data on the regulation of ER stress for PD treatment. In addition, we point out the crucial aspects for successful clinical translation of UPR-regulating GFs and new prospective in GFs-based treatments of PD, focusing on ER stress regulation.
    Keywords:  Parkinson’s disease; cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor; endoplasmic reticulum stress; growth factors; mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor; unfolded protein response
  2. Front Aging Neurosci. 2021 ;13 682633
      Immune surveillance is an essential process that safeguards the homeostasis of a healthy brain. Among the increasing diversity of immune cells present in the central nervous system (CNS), microglia have emerged as a prominent leukocyte subset with key roles in the support of brain function and in the control of neuroinflammation. In fact, impaired microglial function is associated with the development of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Interestingly, these pathologies are also typified by protein aggregation and proteostasis dysfunction at the level of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). These processes trigger activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR), which is a conserved signaling network that maintains the fidelity of the cellular proteome. Remarkably, beyond its role in protein folding, the UPR has also emerged as a key regulator of the development and function of immune cells. However, despite this evidence, the contribution of the UPR to immune cell homeostasis, immune surveillance, and neuro-inflammatory processes remains largely unexplored. In this review, we discuss the potential contribution of the UPR in brain-associated immune cells in the context of neurodegenerative diseases.
    Keywords:  ER stress; UPR; immune system; inflammation; microglia; neurodegeneration; neuroinflammation; protein misfolding
  3. J Cell Biol. 2021 Aug 02. pii: e202011078. [Epub ahead of print]220(8):
      The ER is a key organelle of membrane biogenesis and crucial for the folding of both membrane and secretory proteins. Sensors of the unfolded protein response (UPR) monitor the unfolded protein load in the ER and convey effector functions for maintaining ER homeostasis. Aberrant compositions of the ER membrane, referred to as lipid bilayer stress, are equally potent activators of the UPR. How the distinct signals from lipid bilayer stress and unfolded proteins are processed by the conserved UPR transducer Ire1 remains unknown. Here, we have generated a functional, cysteine-less variant of Ire1 and performed systematic cysteine cross-linking experiments in native membranes to establish its transmembrane architecture in signaling-active clusters. We show that the transmembrane helices of two neighboring Ire1 molecules adopt an X-shaped configuration independent of the primary cause for ER stress. This suggests that different forms of stress converge in a common, signaling-active transmembrane architecture of Ire1.
  4. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 08. pii: 6169. [Epub ahead of print]22(12):
      Cadmium is a carcinogen that can induce ER stress, DNA damage, oxidative stress and cell death. The yeast mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling pathways paly crucial roles in response to various stresses. Here, we demonstrate that the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway, the high osmolarity glycerol (HOG) pathway and the cell wall integrity (CWI) pathway are all essential for yeast cells to defend against the cadmium-induced toxicity, including the elevated ROS and cell death levels induced by cadmium. We show that the UPR pathway is required for the cadmium-induced phosphorylation of HOG_MAPK Hog1 but not for CWI_MAPK Slt2, while Slt2 but not Hog1 is required for the activation of the UPR pathway through the transcription factors of Swi6 and Rlm1. Moreover, deletion of HAC1 and IRE1 could promote the nuclear accumulation of Hog1, and increase the cytosolic and bud neck localisation of Slt2, indicating crucial roles of Hog1 and Slt2 in regulating the cellular process in the absence of UPR pathway. Altogether, our findings highlight the significance of these two MAPK pathways of HOG and CWI and their interrelationship with the UPR pathway in responding to cadmium-induced toxicity in budding yeast.
    Keywords:  ER stress; Hog1; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Slt2; cadmium toxicity; cell death; reactive oxygen species (ROS); unfolded protein response (UPR)
  5. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2021 Jun 30.
      Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is often associated with elevated levels of CO2 (hypercapnia) and impaired alveolar fluid clearance. Misfolding of the Na,K-ATPase (NKA), a key molecule involved in both alveolar epithelial barrier tightness and in resolution of alveolar edema, in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) may decrease plasma membrane (PM) abundance of the transporter. Here, we investigated how hypercapnia affects the NKA β-subunit (NKA-β) in the ER. Exposing murine precision-cut lung slices (PCLS) and human alveolar epithelial A549 cells to elevated CO2 levels led to a rapid decrease of NKA-β abundance in the ER and at the cell surface. Knockdown of ER alpha-mannosidase I (MAN1B1) and ER degradation enhancing alpha-mannosidase like protein 1 by siRNA or treatment with the MAN1B1 inhibitor, kifunensine rescued loss of NKA-β in the ER, suggesting ER-associated degradation (ERAD) of the enzyme. Furthermore, hypercapnia activated the unfolded protein response (UPR) by promoting phosphorylation of inositol-requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α) and treatment with a siRNA against IRE1α prevented the decrease of NKA-β in the ER. Of note, the hypercapnia-induced phosphorylation of IRE1α was triggered by a Ca2+-dependent mechanism. Additionally, inhibition of the inositol trisphosphate receptor decreased phosphorylation levels of IRE1α in PCLS and A549 cells, suggesting that Ca2+ efflux from the ER might be responsible for IRE1α activation and ERAD of NKA-β. In conclusion, here we provide evidence that hypercapnia attenuates maturation of the regulatory subunit of NKA by activating IRE1α and promoting ERAD, which may contribute to impaired alveolar epithelial integrity in patients with ARDS and hypercapnia.
    Keywords:  Na,K-ATPase; alveolar epithelium; carbon dioxide; endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation; sodium transport
  6. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 06. pii: 6117. [Epub ahead of print]22(11):
      The prohibitin (PHB)-binding compound fluorizoline as well as PHB-downregulation activate the integrated stress response (ISR) in HEK293T and U2OS human cell lines. This activation is denoted by phosphorylation of eIF2α and increases in ATF4, ATF3, and CHOP protein levels. The blockage of the activation of the ISR by overexpression of GRP78, as well as an increase in IRE1 activity, indicate the presence of ER stress after fluorizoline treatment. The inhibition of the ER stress response in HEK293T and U2OS led to increased sensitivity to fluorizoline-induced apoptosis, indicating a pro-survival role of this pathway after fluorizoline treatment in these cell lines. Fluorizoline induced an increase in calcium concentration in the cytosol and the mitochondria. Finally, two different calcium chelators reduced fluorizoline-induced apoptosis in U2OS cells. Thus, we have found that fluorizoline causes increased ER stress and activation of the integrated stress response, which in HEK293T and U2OS cells are protective against fluorizoline-induced apoptosis.
    Keywords:  ER stress; ISR; apoptosis; fluorizoline; prohibitin
  7. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Jul 06. pii: e2101416118. [Epub ahead of print]118(27):
      Disruption of circadian rhythms increases the risk of several types of cancer. Mammalian cryptochromes (CRY1 and CRY2) are circadian transcriptional repressors that are related to DNA-repair enzymes. While CRYs lack DNA-repair activity, they modulate the transcriptional response to DNA damage, and CRY2 can promote SKP1 cullin 1-F-box (SCF)FBXL3-mediated ubiquitination of c-MYC and other targets. Here, we characterize five mutations in CRY2 observed in human cancers in The Cancer Genome Atlas. We demonstrate that two orthologous mutations of mouse CRY2 (D325H and S510L) accelerate the growth of primary mouse fibroblasts expressing high levels of c-MYC. Neither mutant affects steady-state levels of overexpressed c-MYC, and they have divergent impacts on circadian rhythms and on the ability of CRY2 to interact with SCFFBXL3 Unexpectedly, stable expression of either CRY2 D325H or of CRY2 S510L robustly suppresses P53 target-gene expression, suggesting that this may be a primary mechanism by which they influence cell growth.
    Keywords:  circadian clocks; cryptochromes; tumor suppressor protein P53