bims-ershed Biomed News
on ER Stress in Health and Diseases
Issue of 2022‒03‒13
seven papers selected by
Matías Eduardo González Quiroz
Worker’s Hospital

  1. Mol Pharm. 2022 Mar 07.
      Activation of the IRE-1/XBP-1s pathway supports tumor progression. Here, we report a novel prodrug, TC-D-F07, in which a thiol-reactive dinitrobenzenesulfonyl (Dns) cage was installed onto the C8 hydroxyl of the covalent IRE-1 inhibitor D-F07. The electron-withdrawing Dns group in TC-D-F07 stabilizes the neighboring 1,3-dioxane acetal, allowing for stimulus-mediated control of its inhibitory activity. TC-D-F07 exhibits high sensitivity to intracellular thiols. Because tumor cells exhibit higher concentrations of glutathione and cysteine, treatment with TC-D-F07 results in more sustained levels of D-F07 in transformed versus normal cells. In addition, we show that a dinitrophenyl cysteine adduct resulting from cleavage of the Dns group induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, causing tumor cells to increase the expression of XBP-1s. The accumulated levels of D-F07 and its gradual decomposition into the active IRE-1 inhibitor eventually deprive tumor cells of XBP-1s, leading to more severe apoptosis than those treated with its uncaged analogue.
    Keywords:  ATF4; ATF6; IRE-1; PERK; cancer; endoplasmic reticulum stress; unfolded protein response
  2. Biochim Biophys Acta Rev Cancer. 2022 Mar 07. pii: S0304-419X(22)00041-5. [Epub ahead of print] 188716
      The cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) family plays a critical role in a variety of signaling pathways that regulate transcription and cell-cycle progression. Recently, the role of CDKs in DNA damage response (DDR) has emerged. CDKs affect both damage signaling and DNA repair, contributing to the fidelity of the cell division process as well as the maintenance of genomic integrity following DNA damage. This is due to the modulatory role of CDKs on double-strand break repair (DSBR) components, including their influence on enzymes involved in homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). In this review, the impact of CDKs on DDR and DNA repair is discussed.
    Keywords:  Cell-cycle checkpoint; Cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK); DNA damage response (DDR); DNA repair
  3. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 02. pii: 2746. [Epub ahead of print]23(5):
      X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1) is a member of the CREB/ATF basic region leucine zipper family transcribed as the unspliced isoform (XBP1-u), which, upon exposure to endoplasmic reticulum stress, is spliced into its spliced isoform (XBP1-s). XBP1-s interacts with the cAMP response element of major histocompatibility complex class II gene and plays critical role in unfolded protein response (UPR) by regulating the transcriptional activity of genes involved in UPR. XBP1-s is also involved in other physiological pathways, including lipid metabolism, insulin metabolism, and differentiation of immune cells. Its aberrant expression is closely related to inflammation, neurodegenerative disease, viral infection, and is crucial for promoting tumor progression and drug resistance. Meanwhile, recent studies reported that the function of XBP1-u has been underestimated, as it is not merely a precursor of XBP1-s. Instead, XBP-1u is a critical factor involved in various biological pathways including autophagy and tumorigenesis through post-translational regulation. Herein, we summarize recent research on the biological functions of both XBP1-u and XBP1-s, as well as their relation to diseases.
    Keywords:  physiological and pathological pathways; post-translational modification; spliced XBP1 (XBP1-s); transcriptional activator; unspliced XBP1 (XBP1-u)
  4. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 10. 13(1): 1257
      The folding capacity of membrane and secretory proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) can be challenged by physiological and pathological perturbations, causing ER stress. If unresolved, this leads to cell death. We report a role for iRhom pseudoproteases in controlling apoptosis due to persistent ER stress. Loss of iRhoms causes cells to be resistant to ER stress-induced apoptosis. iRhom1 and iRhom2 interact with IP3 receptors, critical mediators of intracellular Ca2+ signalling, and regulate ER stress-induced transport of Ca2+ into mitochondria, a primary trigger of mitochondrial membrane depolarisation and cell death. iRhoms also bind to the anti-apoptotic regulator BCL-2, attenuating the inhibitory interaction between BCL-2 and IP3 receptors, which promotes ER Ca2+ release. The discovery of the participation of iRhoms in the control of ER stress-induced cell death further extends their potential pathological significance to include diseases dependent on protein misfolding and aggregation.
  5. Am J Cancer Res. 2022 ;12(2): 793-804
      The phosphorylated histone variant, γ-H2AX, is known to play a key role in DNA damage repair. However, the clinical significance of H2AX mRNA expression in breast cancer remains unclear. Utilizing a bioinformatical approach, a total of 3594 breast cancer patients with clinical and transcriptomic data were investigated. Bioinformatical analysis showed that high expression of H2AX is associated with worse disease-free, disease-specific, and overall survival consistently in two independent cohorts. High H2AX expressing tumors were associated with upregulated DNA repair gene sets. Although H2AX was not predictive of chemotherapy response, it was significantly downregulated after effective chemotherapy or radio-chemotherapy. Notably, tumors with high H2AX expression were enriched for DNA replication and MYC targets gene sets, and associated with increased MKI67 expression, suggesting alterations in cell proliferation machinery. H2AX knockdown cells showed decreased cell proliferation as compared to the control cells. Finally, H2AX mRNA expression was higher in the metastatic clones as compared to the parental cells and in the metastatic tumors as compared to the primary tumors in patients, with higher H2AX mRNA expression found in advanced stage cancer patients. In conclusion, high H2AX mRNA expression is associated with increased DNA repair, cell proliferation, metastasis, and worse survival in breast cancer patients.
    Keywords:  DNA repair; H2AX; breast cancer; cancer; mRNA; prognosis
  6. Cancer Res. 2022 Mar 01. pii: canres.1785.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      Topoisomerase 2a (Topo2a)-dependent G2 arrest engenders faithful segregation of sister chromatids, yet in certain tumor cell lines where this arrest is dysfunctional, a PKCε-dependent failsafe pathway can be triggered. Here we elaborate on recent advances in understanding the underlying mechanisms associated with this G2 arrest by determining that p53-p21 signaling is essential for efficient arrest in cell lines, in patient-derived cells, and in colorectal cancer organoids. Regulation of this p53 axis required the SMC5/6 complex, which is distinct from the p53 pathways observed in the DNA damage response. Topo2a inhibition specifically during S phase did not trigger G2 arrest despite affecting completion of DNA replication. Moreover, in cancer cells reliant upon the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) mechanism, a distinct form of Topo2a-dependent, p53-independent G2 arrest was found to be mediated by BLM and Chk1. Importantly, the previously described PKCε-dependent mitotic failsafe was engaged in hTERT-positive cells when Topo2a-dependent G2 arrest was dysfunctional and where p53 was absent, but not in cells dependent on the ALT mechanism. In PKCε knockout mice, p53 deletion elicited tumors were less aggressive than in PKCε-replete animals and exhibited a distinct pattern of chromosomal rearrangements. This evidence suggests the potential of exploiting synthetic lethality in arrest-defective hTERT-positive tumors through PKCε-directed therapeutic intervention.
  7. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 14. 13(1): 1323
      Secreted proteins, such as hormones or cytokines, are key mediators in multicellular organisms. Response of protein secretion based on transcriptional control is rather slow, as it requires transcription, translation and transport from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the plasma membrane via the conventional protein secretion (CPS) pathway. An alternative regulation to provide faster response would be valuable. Here we present two genetically encoded orthogonal regulatory secretion systems, which rely on the retention of pre-synthesized proteins on the ER membrane (membER, released by a cytosolic protease) or inside the ER lumen (lumER, released by an ER-luminal protease), respectively, and their release by the chemical signal-regulated proteolytic removal of an ER-retention signal, without triggering ER stress due to protein aggregates. Design of orthogonal chemically-regulated split proteases enables the combination of signals into logic functions. Its application was demonstrated on a chemically regulated therapeutic protein secretion and regulated membrane translocation of a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) targeting cancer antigen. Regulation of the ER escape represents a platform for the design of fast-responsive and tightly-controlled modular and scalable protein secretion system for mammalian cells.