bims-ershed Biomed News
on ER Stress in Health and Diseases
Issue of 2022‒05‒01
four papers selected by
Matías Eduardo González Quiroz
Worker’s Hospital

  1. Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 2022 ;20 1584-1592
      The unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated to cope with an accumulation of improperly folded proteins in the Endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The Inositol requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α) is the most evolutionary conserved transducer of the UPR. Activated IRE1 forms 'back-to-back'-dimers that enables the unconventional splicing of X-box Binding Protein 1 (XBP1) mRNA. The spliced XBP1 (XBP1s) mRNA is translated into a transcription factor controlling the expression of UPR target genes. Herein, we report a detailed in silico screening specifically targeting for the first time the dimer interface at the IRE1 RNase region. Using the database of FDA approved drugs, we identified four compounds (neomycin, pemetrexed, quercitrin and rutin) that were able to bind to and distort IRE1 RNase cavity. The activity of the compounds on IRE1 phosphorylation was evaluated in HEK293T cells and on IRE1 RNase activity using an in vitro fluorescence assay. These analyzes revealed sub-micromolar IC50 values. The current study reveals a new and unique mode of action to target and block the IRE1-mediated UPR signaling, whereby we may avoid problems associated with selectivity occurring when targeting the IRE1 kinase pocket as well as the inherent reactivity of covalent inhibitors targeting the RNase pocket.
    Keywords:  Dimer disruptor; FDA approved drugs; IRE1α; MD simulations; Peptide docking; UPR
  2. Cell Biosci. 2022 Apr 27. 12(1): 48
      BACKGROUND: Genetic variants in the subunits of the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors are implicated in the onset of multiple pathologic conditions including genetic epilepsy. Previous work showed that pathogenic GABAA subunits promote misfolding and inefficient assembly of the GABAA receptors, limiting receptor expression and activity at the plasma membrane. However, GABAA receptors containing variant subunits can retain activity, indicating that enhancing the folding, assembly, and trafficking of these variant receptors offers a potential opportunity to mitigate pathology associated with genetic epilepsy.RESULTS: Here, we demonstrate that pharmacologically enhancing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteostasis using small molecule activators of the ATF6 (Activating Transcription Factor 6) signaling arm of the unfolded protein response (UPR) increases the assembly, trafficking, and surface expression of variant GABAA receptors. These improvements are attributed to ATF6-dependent remodeling of the ER proteostasis environment, which increases protein levels of pro-folding ER proteostasis factors including the ER chaperone BiP (Immunoglobulin Binding Protein) and trafficking receptors, such as LMAN1 (Lectin Mannose-Binding 1) and enhances their interactions with GABAA receptors. Importantly, we further show that pharmacologic ATF6 activators increase the activity of GABAA receptors at the cell surface, revealing the potential for this strategy to restore receptor activity to levels that could mitigate disease pathogenesis.
    CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that pharmacologic ATF6 activators offer an opportunity to restore GABAA receptor activity in diseases including genetic epilepsy and point to the potential for similar pharmacologic enhancement of ER proteostasis to improve trafficking of other disease-associated variant ion channels implicated in etiologically-diverse diseases.
  3. Nature. 2022 Apr 27.
    Keywords:  Molecular biology; Non-coding RNAs
  4. Cells Dev. 2022 Apr 25. pii: S2667-2901(22)00017-1. [Epub ahead of print] 203781
      The development of the central nervous system requires a series of morphogenetic events that shape brain and spinal cord structures. Several brain regions and neural circuits are formed by differential gene expression patterns and cell migration events involving neurons. During neurogenesis and neuritogenesis, increased demand for protein synthesis occurs to express key neuronal proteins to generate axons, dendrites, and active synapsis. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a central hub controlling protein homeostasis (proteostasis), impacting a wide range of cellular processes required for brain function. Although most of the field has focused on ER stress in neurodegenerative diseases marked by abnormal protein aggregation, accumulating evidence indicates that ER proteostasis contributes to brain development impacting processes such as neuronal migration, differentiation, and function. Here, we review emerging evidence linking neurodevelopment with ER proteostasis and its relevance to human disorders.
    Keywords:  Brain development; Chaperones; Endoplasmic reticulum; Neurodevelopmental disorders; Proteostasis; Unfolded protein response