bims-ershed Biomed News
on ER Stress in Health and Diseases
Issue of 2022‒02‒13
five papers selected by
Matías Eduardo González Quiroz
Worker’s Hospital

  1. J Cell Sci. 2022 Feb 01. pii: jcs248534. [Epub ahead of print]135(3):
      Recent advances have revealed common pathological changes in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with related frontotemporal dementia (ALS/FTD). Many of these changes can be linked to alterations in endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondria signaling, including dysregulation of Ca2+ signaling, autophagy, lipid metabolism, ATP production, axonal transport, ER stress responses and synaptic dysfunction. ER-mitochondria signaling involves specialized regions of ER, called mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs). Owing to their role in neurodegenerative processes, MAMs have gained attention as they appear to be associated with all the major neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, their specific role within neuronal maintenance is being revealed as mutant genes linked to major neurodegenerative diseases have been associated with damage to these specialized contacts. Several studies have now demonstrated that these specialized contacts regulate neuronal health and synaptic transmission, and that MAMs are damaged in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. This Review will focus on the role of MAMs and ER-mitochondria signaling within neurons and how damage of the ER-mitochondria axis leads to a disruption of vital processes causing eventual neurodegeneration.
    Keywords:  Endoplasmic reticulum; MAMs; Mitochondria; Neurodegenerative diseases; Neurons; Tethers
  2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Mar 01. pii: e2119995119. [Epub ahead of print]119(9):
      Development of the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine has emerged as an effective and speedy strategy to control the spread of new pathogens. After vaccination, the mRNA is translated into the real protein vaccine, and there is no need to manufacture the protein in vitro. However, the fate of mRNA and its posttranslational modification inside the cell may affect immune response. Here, we showed that the mRNA vaccine of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein with deletion of glycosites in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) or especially the subunit 2 (S2) domain to expose more conserved epitopes elicited stronger antibody and CD8+ T cell responses with broader protection against the alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and omicron variants, compared to the unmodified mRNA. Immunization of such mRNA resulted in accumulation of misfolded spike protein in the endoplasmic reticulum, causing the up-regulation of BiP/GRP78, XBP1, and p-eIF2α to induce cell apoptosis and strong CD8+ T cell response. In addition, dendritic cells (DCs) incubated with S2-glysosite deleted mRNA vaccine increased class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC I) expression. This study provides a direction for the development of broad-spectrum mRNA vaccines which may not be achieved with the use of expressed proteins as antigens.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; broad spectrum; glycosite deletion; mRNA vaccine
  3. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Feb 10. 13(2): 143
      Acetaminophen (APAP) hepatotoxicity induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress which triggers the unfolded protein response (UPR) in hepatocytes. However, the mechanisms underlying ER stress remain poorly understood, thus reducing the options for exploring new pharmacological therapies for patients with hyperacute liver injury. Eight-to-twelve-week-old C57BL/6J Xbp1-floxed (Xbp1f/f) and hepatocyte-specific knockout Xbp1 mice (Xbp1∆hepa) were challenged with either high dose APAP [500 mg/kg] and sacrificed at early (1-2 h) and late (24 h) stages of hepatotoxicity. Histopathological examination of livers, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry, Western blot, real time (RT)-qPCR studies and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were performed. Pharmacological inhibition of XBP1 using pre-treatment with STF-083010 [STF, 75 mg/kg] and autophagy induction with Rapamycin [RAPA, 8 mg/kg] or blockade with Chloroquine [CQ, 60 mg/kg] was also undertaken in vivo. Cytoplasmic expression of XBP1 coincided with severity of human and murine hyperacute liver injury. Transcriptional and translational activation of the UPR and sustained activation of JNK1/2 were major events in APAP hepatotoxicity, both in a human hepatocytic cell line and in a preclinical model. Xbp1∆hepa livers showed decreased UPR and JNK1/2 activation but enhanced autophagy in response to high dose APAP. Additionally, blockade of XBP1 splicing by STF, mitigated APAP-induced liver injury and without non-specific off-target effects (e.g., CYP2E1 activity). Furthermore, enhanced autophagy might be responsible for modulating CYP2E1 activity in Xbp1∆hepa animals. Genetic and pharmacological inhibition of Xbp1 specifically in hepatocytes ameliorated APAP-induced liver injury by enhancing autophagy and decreasing CYP2E1 expression. These findings provide the basis for the therapeutic restoration of ER stress and/or induction of autophagy in patients with hyperacute liver injury.
  4. STAR Protoc. 2022 Mar 18. 3(1): 101140
      Cell death maintains tissue homeostasis by eliminating dispensable cells. Misregulation of cell death is seen in diseases like cancer, neurodegeneration, etc. Therefore, cell death assays like TUNEL have become reliable tools, where fragmented DNA of dying cells gets fluorescently labeled and can be detected under microscope. We used TUNEL assay in Drosophila melanogaster third-instar larval eye-antennal imaginal discs to label and quantify cell death. This assay is sensitive to detect DNA fragmentation, an important event, during apoptosis in retinal neurons. For complete details on the use and execution of this profile, please refer to Wang et al. (1999), Tare et al. (2011), and Mehta et al. (2021).
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Microscopy; Model Organisms; Molecular/Chemical Probes; Neuroscience
  5. Elife. 2022 02 08. pii: e68648. [Epub ahead of print]11
      The phosphatidylinositol 3' kinase (PI3K)-related kinase ATR is crucial for mammalian meiosis. ATR promotes meiotic progression by coordinating key events in DNA repair, meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI), and checkpoint-dependent quality control during meiotic prophase I. Despite its central roles in meiosis, the ATR-dependent meiotic signaling network remains largely unknown. Here, we used phosphoproteomics to define ATR signaling events in testes from mice following chemical and genetic ablation of ATR signaling. Quantitative analysis of phosphoproteomes obtained after germ cell-specific genetic ablation of the ATR activating 9-1-1 complex or treatment with ATR inhibitor identified over 14,000 phosphorylation sites from testes samples, of which 401 phosphorylation sites were found to be dependent on both the 9-1-1 complex and ATR. Our analyses identified ATR-dependent phosphorylation events in crucial DNA damage signaling and DNA repair proteins including TOPBP1, SMC3, MDC1, RAD50, and SLX4. Importantly, we identified ATR and RAD1-dependent phosphorylation events in proteins involved in mRNA regulatory processes, including SETX and RANBP3, whose localization to the sex body was lost upon ATR inhibition. In addition to identifying the expected ATR-targeted S/T-Q motif, we identified enrichment of an S/T-P-X-K motif in the set of ATR-dependent events, suggesting that ATR promotes signaling via proline-directed kinase(s) during meiosis. Indeed, we found that ATR signaling is important for the proper localization of CDK2 in spermatocytes. Overall, our analysis establishes a map of ATR signaling in mouse testes and highlights potential meiotic-specific actions of ATR during prophase I progression.
    Keywords:  9-1-1; ATR; biochemistry; chemical biology; developmental biology; meiosis; mouse; prophase I; sex body