bims-ershed Biomed News
on ER Stress in Health and Diseases
Issue of 2022‒05‒08
ten papers selected by
Matías Eduardo González Quiroz
Worker’s Hospital

  1. J Biol Chem. 2022 Apr 29. pii: S0021-9258(22)00437-9. [Epub ahead of print] 101997
      Inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1) is an evolutionarily conserved sensor of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and mediates a key branch of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in eukaryotic cells. It is an ER-resident transmembrane protein that possesses Ser/Thr protein kinase and endoribonuclease (RNase) activities in its cytoplasmic region. IRE1 is activated through dimerization/oligomerization and autophosphorylation at multiple sites, acting through its RNase activity to restore the functional capacity of the ER. However, it remains poorly defined in vivo how the autophosphorylation events of endogenous IRE1 govern its dynamic activation and functional output. Here we generated a mouse model harboring a S724A knock-in mutation (Ern1S724A/S724A) and investigated the importance of phosphorylation at Ser724 located within the kinase activation loop of murine IRE1α. We found that in mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) cells as well as in primary hepatocytes, S724A mutation resulted in markedly reduced rate of IRE1α autophosphorylation in parallel with blunted activation of its RNase activity to catalyze Xbp1 mRNA splicing. Furthermore, ablation of IRE1α phosphorylation at Ser724 exacerbated ER stress-induced hepatic steatosis in Tunicamycin-treated Ern1S724A/S724A mice. This was accompanied by significantly decreased production of XBP1s protein but increased CHOP protein levels in the liver, along with suppressed expression of key metabolic regulators of fatty acid β-oxidation and lipid secretion. These results demonstrate a critical role of phosphorylation at Ser724 of IRE1α in dynamically controlling its kinase activity, and thus its autophosphorylation state, which is coupled to the activation of its RNase activity in counteracting hepatic steatosis under ER stress conditions.
    Keywords:  ER stress; Hepatic steatosis; IRE1α; RIDD; Xbp1; autophosphorylation
  2. Hepatology. 2022 May 06.
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an intracellular organelle that fosters the correct folding of linear polypeptides and proteins, a process tightly governed by the ER-resident enzymes and chaperones. Failure to shape the proper 3-dimensional architecture of proteins culminates in the accumulation of misfolded or unfolded proteins within the ER, disturbs ER homeostasis, and leads to canonically defined ER stress. Recent studies have elucidated that cellular perturbations, such as lipotoxicity, can also lead to ER stress. In response to ER stress, the unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated to reestablish ER homeostasis ("adaptive UPR") or conversely, to provoke cell death when ER stress is overwhelmed and sustained ("maladaptive UPR"). It is well documented that ER stress contributes to the onset and progression of multiple hepatic pathologies including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), alcoholic liver disease (ALD), viral hepatitis, liver ischemia, drug toxicity, and liver cancers. Here, we review key studies dealing with the emerging role of ER stress and the UPR in the pathophysiology of liver diseases from cellular, murine, and human models. Specifically, we will summarize current available knowledge on pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions that may be employed to target maladaptive UPR for the treatment of non-malignant liver diseases.
    Keywords:  ER stress; Liver cancer; Liver disease; Liver toxicity; Liver viral infections; UPR
  3. Nat Commun. 2022 May 06. 13(1): 2493
      IRE1α is constitutively active in several cancers and can contribute to cancer progression. Activated IRE1α cleaves XBP1 mRNA, a key step in production of the transcription factor XBP1s. In addition, IRE1α cleaves select mRNAs through regulated IRE1α-dependent decay (RIDD). Accumulating evidence implicates IRE1α in the regulation of lipid metabolism. However, the roles of XBP1s and RIDD in this process remain ill-defined. In this study, transcriptome and lipidome profiling of triple negative breast cancer cells subjected to pharmacological inhibition of IRE1α reveals changes in lipid metabolism genes associated with accumulation of triacylglycerols (TAGs). We identify DGAT2 mRNA, encoding the rate-limiting enzyme in TAG biosynthesis, as a RIDD target. Inhibition of IRE1α, leads to DGAT2-dependent accumulation of TAGs in lipid droplets and sensitizes cells to nutritional stress, which is rescued by treatment with the DGAT2 inhibitor PF-06424439. Our results highlight the importance of IRE1α RIDD activity in reprograming cellular lipid metabolism.
  4. Nat Commun. 2022 May 06. 13(1): 2501
      Protein synthesis is supported by cellular machineries that ensure polypeptides fold to their native conformation, whilst eliminating misfolded, aggregation prone species. Protein aggregation underlies pathologies including neurodegeneration. Aggregates' formation is antagonised by molecular chaperones, with cytoplasmic machinery resolving insoluble protein aggregates. However, it is unknown whether an analogous disaggregation system exists in the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) where ~30% of the proteome is synthesised. Here we show that the ER of a variety of mammalian cell types, including neurons, is endowed with the capability to resolve protein aggregates under stress. Utilising a purpose-developed protein aggregation probing system with a sub-organellar resolution, we observe steady-state aggregate accumulation in the ER. Pharmacological induction of ER stress does not augment aggregates, but rather stimulate their clearance within hours. We show that this dissagregation activity is catalysed by the stress-responsive ER molecular chaperone - BiP. This work reveals a hitherto unknow, non-redundant strand of the proteostasis-restorative ER stress response.
  5. STAR Protoc. 2022 Jun 17. 3(2): 101336
      Live imaging is an important tool to track dynamic processes such as neuronal patterning events. Here, we describe a protocol for time-lapse microscopy analysis using neuronal migration and dendritic growth as examples. This protocol can provide detailed information for understanding cellular dynamics during postembryonic development in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Feng et al. (2020), Li et al. (2021), and Wang et al. (2021).
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Developmental biology; Microscopy; Model Organisms
  6. RSC Adv. 2020 May 20. 10(33): 19720-19729
      The selectivity of the ligand MKC9989, as inhibitor of the Inositol-Requiring Enzyme 1α (IRE1α) transmembrane kinase/ribonuclease protein, towards the residue K907 in the context of Schiff base formation, has been investigated by employing an array of in silico techniques including Multi-Conformation Continuum Electrostatics (MCCE) simulations, Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics (QM/MM) calculations, covalent docking, and Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations. According to the MCCE results, K907 displays the lowest pK a value among all 23 lysine residues in IRE1α. The MMCE simulations also indicate a critical interaction between K907 and D885 within the hydrophobic pocket which increases significantly at low protein dielectric constants. The QM/MM calculations reveal a spontaneous proton transfer from K907 to D885, consistent with the low pK a value of K907. A Potential Energy Surface (PES) scan confirms the lack of energy barrier and transition state associated with this proton transfer reaction. Covalent docking and MD simulations verify that the protein pocket containing K907 can effectively stabilize the inhibitor by strong π-π and hydrogen bonding interactions. In addition, Radial Distribution Function (RDF) analysis shows that the imine group formed in the chemical reaction between MKC9989 and K907 is inaccessible to water molecules and thus the probability of imine hydrolysis is almost zero. The results of the current study explain the high selectivity of the MKC9989 inhibitor towards the K907 residue of IRE1α.
  7. Stem Cells. 2022 Mar 03. 40(1): 35-48
      DNA damage repair (DDR) is a safeguard for genome integrity maintenance. Increasing DDR efficiency could increase the yield of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) upon reprogramming from somatic cells. The epigenetic mechanisms governing DDR during iPSC reprogramming are not completely understood. Our goal was to evaluate the splicing isoforms of histone variant macroH2A1, macroH2A1.1, and macroH2A1.2, as potential regulators of DDR during iPSC reprogramming. GFP-Trap one-step isolation of mtagGFP-macroH2A1.1 or mtagGFP-macroH2A1.2 fusion proteins from overexpressing human cell lines, followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis, uncovered macroH2A1.1 exclusive interaction with Poly-ADP Ribose Polymerase 1 (PARP1) and X-ray cross-complementing protein 1 (XRCC1). MacroH2A1.1 overexpression in U2OS-GFP reporter cells enhanced specifically nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) repair pathway, while macroH2A1.1 knock-out (KO) mice showed an impaired DDR capacity. The exclusive interaction of macroH2A1.1, but not macroH2A1.2, with PARP1/XRCC1, was confirmed in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) undergoing reprogramming into iPSC through episomal vectors. In HUVEC, macroH2A1.1 overexpression activated transcriptional programs that enhanced DDR and reprogramming. Consistently, macroH2A1.1 but not macroH2A1.2 overexpression improved iPSC reprogramming. We propose the macroH2A1 splicing isoform macroH2A1.1 as a promising epigenetic target to improve iPSC genome stability and therapeutic potential.
    Keywords:  DNA damage; cell reprogramming; induced pluripotent stem cells; macroH2A1.1
  8. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2022 ;1360 1-22
      GADD45 is a gene family consisting of GADD45A, GADD45B, and GADD45G that is often induced by DNA damage and other stress signals associated with growth arrest and apoptosis. Many of these roles are carried out via signaling mediated by p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). The GADD45 proteins can contribute to p38 activation either by activation of upstream kinase(s) or by direct interaction, as well as suppression of p38 activity in certain cases. In vivo, there are important tissue and cell type specific differences in the roles for GADD45 in MAPK signaling. In addition to being p53-regulated, GADD45A has also been found to contribute to p53 activation via p38. Like other stress and signaling proteins, GADD45 proteins show complex regulation and numerous effectors. More recently, aberrant GADD45 expression has been found in several human cancers, but the mechanisms behind these findings largely remain to be understood.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; BRCA1; Cell cycle; Foxo3a; GADD45; MAPK; NFkappaB; Oxidative stress; Tumorigenesis; UV radiation; p53
  9. Trends Cell Biol. 2022 Apr 28. pii: S0962-8924(22)00082-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cell-cycle progression and division are fundamental biological processes in animal cells, and their biochemical regulation has been extensively studied. An emerging body of work has revealed how mechanical interactions of cells with their microenvironment in tissues, including with the extracellular matrix (ECM) and neighboring cells, also plays a crucial role in regulating cell-cycle progression and division. We review recent work on how cells interpret physical cues and alter their mechanics to promote cell-cycle progression and initiate cell division, and then on how dividing cells generate forces on their surrounding microenvironment to successfully divide. Finally, the article ends by discussing how force generation during division potentially contributes to larger tissue-scale processes involved in development and homeostasis.
    Keywords:  cell cycle; cell division; extracellular matrix; force generation; mechanotransduction; microenvironment; mitosis
  10. EMBO Mol Med. 2022 May 05. e15816
      Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) represents a rare group of heterogeneous diseases in urgent need of effective treatments. A scarcity of disease-relevant preclinical models hinders research advances. Here, we isolated a novel mouse (m)PTCL by serially transplanting a lymphoma from a germinal center B-cell hyperplasia model (Cγ1-Cre Blimp1fl/fl ) through immune-competent mice. Lymphoma cells were identified as clonal TCRβ+ T-helper cells expressing T-follicular helper markers. We also observed coincident B-cell activation and development of a de novo B-cell lymphoma in the model, reminiscent of B-cell activation/lymphomagenesis found in human PTCL. Molecular profiling linked the mPTCL to the high-risk "GATA3" subtype of PTCL, showing GATA3 and Th2 gene expression, PI3K/mTOR pathway enrichment, hyperactivated MYC, and genome instability. Exome sequencing identified a human-relevant oncogenic β-catenin mutation possibly involved in T-cell lymphomagenesis. Prolonged treatment responses were achieved in vivo by targeting ATR in the DNA damage response (DDR), a result corroborated in PTCL cell lines. This work provides mechanistic insight into the molecular and immunological drivers of T-cell lymphomagenesis and proposes DDR inhibition as an effective and readily translatable therapy in PTCL.
    Keywords:  DNA damage response; GATA3; T-follicular helper cell; peripheral T-cell lymphoma; syngeneic mouse model