bims-ershed Biomed News
on ER Stress in Health and Diseases
Issue of 2022‒05‒29
ten papers selected by
Matías Eduardo González Quiroz
Worker’s Hospital

  1. Cancers (Basel). 2022 May 20. pii: 2526. [Epub ahead of print]14(10):
      Synthesis, folding, and structural maturation of proteins occur in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Accumulation of misfolded or unfolded proteins in the ER lumen contributes to the induction of ER stress and activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling pathway. Under ER stress, the UPR tries to maintain cellular homeostasis through different pathways, including the inositol-requiring enzyme 1 alpha (IRE1α)-dependent ones. IRE1α is located in an ER membrane, and it is evolutionarily the oldest UPR sensor. Activation of IRE1α via ER stress triggers the formation of the spliced form of XBP1 (XBP1s), which has been linked to a pro-survival effect in cancer cells. The role of IRE1α is critical for blood cancer cells, and it was found that the levels of IRE1α and XBP1s are elevated in various hematological malignancies. This review paper is focused on summarizing the latest knowledge about the role of IRE1α and on the assessment of the potential utility of IRE1α inhibitors in blood cancers.
    Keywords:  X-box-binding protein 1 (XBP1); blood cancer; endoplasmic reticulum stress; inositol-requiring enzyme 1 alpha (IRE1α); leukemia; lymphoma; multiple myeloma; unfolded protein response
  2. Cells. 2022 May 17. pii: 1661. [Epub ahead of print]11(10):
      The extracellular aggregation of destabilized transthyretin (TTR) variants is implicated in the onset and pathogenesis of familial TTR-related amyloid diseases. One strategy to reduce the toxic, extracellular aggregation of TTR is to decrease the population of aggregation-prone proteins secreted from mammalian cells. The stress-independent activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR)-associated transcription factor ATF6 preferentially decreases the secretion and subsequent aggregation of destabilized, aggregation-prone TTR variants. However, the mechanism of this reduced secretion was previously undefined. Here, we implement a mass-spectrometry-based interactomics approach to identify endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteostasis factors involved in ATF6-dependent reductions in destabilized TTR secretion. We show that ATF6 activation reduces amyloidogenic TTR secretion and subsequent aggregation through a mechanism involving ER retention that is mediated by increased interactions with ATF6-regulated ER proteostasis factors including BiP and PDIA4. Intriguingly, the PDIA4-dependent retention of TTR is independent of both the single TTR cysteine residue and the redox activity of PDIA4, indicating that PDIA4 retains destabilized TTR in the ER through a redox-independent mechanism. Our results define a mechanistic basis to explain the ATF6 activation-dependent reduction in destabilized, amyloidogenic TTR secretion that could be therapeutically accessed to improve treatments of TTR-related amyloid diseases.
    Keywords:  ATF6; ER proteostasis; amyloid disease; extracellular proteostasis; protein aggregation; protein disulfide isomerase (PDI); unfolded protein response (UPR)
  3. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2022 May 17. pii: S0006-291X(22)00751-3. [Epub ahead of print]615 109-115
      Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress) plays a crucial role in the process of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) is a crucial sensor of ER stress. In AD patients, the homeostasis of the endogenous signal H2S produced by cystathionine γ-lyase (CTH) is in disbalance. However, the role of ATF6 and CTH in AD is rarely reported. Herein, we found that ATF6 and CTH were reduced in AD patients and APP/PS1 mice by immunohistochemistry and western blots. In LN229 and U87 MG cells, knockdown of ATF6 attenuated CTH expression, whereas overexpression of ATF6 resulted in upregulation of CTH. Brain-specific ATF6 knockout mice expressed significantly down-regulated CTH in the hippocampus and cortex compared to wild-type mice. Mechanistically, ATF6 and CTH increased H2S generation and autophagy-related proteins. Further we observed that CTH promoted the sulfhydration of αSNAP. This is probably to be the specific mechanism by which AFT6 promotes autophagy. Through in vivo studies, we found that αSNAP sulfhydration expression was significantly lower in ATF6 knockout mice than in wild-type mice. Decreased ATF6 impaired spatial memory retention, while addition of CTH rescued memory loss. Together, we demonstrate that ATF6 positively regulates the expression of CTH, which is closely related to the rescue of AD. Targeting the ATF6/CTH signal pathway may provide a new strategy for the treatment of AD.
    Keywords:  Activating transcription factor 6; Alzheimer's disease; Autophagy; Cystathionine γ-lyase; H(2)S
  4. Front Aging Neurosci. 2022 ;14 880167
      Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative proteinopathic disease. The deposits of misfolded Amyloid β and Tau proteins in the brain of patients with AD suggest an imbalance in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteostasis. ER stress is due to accumulation of aberrant proteins in the ER lumen, which then leads to activation of three sensor protein pathways that ultimately evokes the adaptive mechanism of the unfolded protein response (UPR). The UPR mechanism operates via adaptive UPR and the apoptotic UPR. Adaptive UPR tries to restore imbalance in ER hemostasis by decreasing protein production, enhanced chaperone involvement to restore protein folding, misfolded protein decay by proteasome, and suppression of ribosomal translation ultimately relieving the excessive protein load in the ER. Subsequently, apoptotic UPR activated under severe ER stress conditions triggers cell death. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding protein causing dysregulated translational of mRNAs in a sequential manner. They are considered to be critical elements in the maintenance of numerous cellular activities, hemostasis, and developmental processes. Therefore, upregulation or downregulation of miRNA expression is implicated in several pathogenic processes. Evidence from scientific studies suggest a strong correlation between ERUPR signaling and miRNA dysregulation but the research done is still dormant. In this review, we summarized the cross-talk between ER stress, and the UPR signaling processes and their role in AD pathology by scrutinizing and collecting information from original research and review articles.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; ER stress; microRNA; neurodegeneration; unfolded protein response (UPR)
  5. Cell Death Dis. 2022 May 27. 13(5): 504
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria are interconnected intracellular organelles with vital roles in the regulation of cell signaling and function. While the ER participates in a number of biological processes including lipid biosynthesis, Ca2+ storage and protein folding and processing, mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles governing ATP synthesis, free radical production, innate immunity and apoptosis. Interplay between the ER and mitochondria plays a crucial role in regulating energy metabolism and cell fate control under stress. The mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs) denote physical contact sites between ER and mitochondria that mediate bidirectional communications between the two organelles. Although Ca2+ transport from ER to mitochondria is vital for mitochondrial homeostasis and energy metabolism, unrestrained Ca2+ transfer may result in mitochondrial Ca2+ overload, mitochondrial damage and cell death. Here we summarize the roles of MAMs in cell physiology and its impact in pathological conditions with a focus on cardiovascular disease. The possibility of manipulating ER-mitochondria contacts as potential therapeutic approaches is also discussed.
  6. J Cell Biol. 2022 Jul 04. pii: e202201071. [Epub ahead of print]221(7):
      The mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) is dedicated to promoting mitochondrial proteostasis and is linked to extreme longevity. The key regulator of this process is the transcription factor ATFS-1, which, upon UPRmt activation, is excluded from the mitochondria and enters the nucleus to regulate UPRmt genes. However, the repair proteins synthesized as a direct result of UPRmt activation must be transported into damaged mitochondria that had previously excluded ATFS-1 owing to reduced import efficiency. To address this conundrum, we analyzed the role of the import machinery when the UPRmt was induced. Using in vitro and in vivo analysis of mitochondrial proteins, we surprisingly find that mitochondrial import increases when the UPRmt is activated in an ATFS-1-dependent manner, despite reduced mitochondrial membrane potential. The import machinery is upregulated, and an intact import machinery is essential for UPRmt-mediated lifespan extension. ATFS-1 has a weak mitochondrial targeting sequence (MTS), allowing for dynamic subcellular localization during the initial stages of UPRmt activation.
  7. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2022 May 26. e2105469
      Targeting the G2/M checkpoint mediator WEE1 has been explored as a novel treatment strategy in ovarian cancer, but mechanisms underlying its efficacy and resistance remains to be understood. Here, it is demonstrated that the WEE1 inhibitor AZD1775 induces endoplasmic reticulum stress and activates the protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase (PERK) and inositol-required enzyme 1α (IRE1α) branches of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in TP53 mutant (mtTP53) ovarian cancer models. This is facilitated through NF-κB mediated senescence-associated secretory phenotype. Upon AZD1775 treatment, activated PERK promotes apoptotic signaling via C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP), while IRE1α-induced splicing of XBP1 (XBP1s) maintains cell survival by repressing apoptosis. This leads to an encouraging synergistic antitumor effect of combining AZD1775 and an IRE1α inhibitor MKC8866 in multiple cell lines and preclinical models of ovarian cancers. Taken together, the data reveal an important dual role of the UPR signaling network in mtTP53 ovarian cancer models in response to AZD1775 and suggest that inhibition of the IRE1α-XBP1s pathway may enhance the efficacy of AZD1775 in the clinics.
    Keywords:  AZD1775; UPR; WEE1; mutant TP53; ovarian cancer
  8. J Biol Chem. 2022 May 24. pii: S0021-9258(22)00502-6. [Epub ahead of print] 102062
      The accumulation of protein inclusions is linked to many neurodegenerative diseases that typically develop in older individuals, due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. In rare familial neurodegenerative disorders, genes encoding for aggregation-prone proteins are often mutated. While the underlying mechanism leading to these diseases still remains to be fully elucidated, efforts in the past twenty years revealed a vast network of protein-protein interactions that play a major role in regulating the aggregation of key proteins associated with neurodegeneration. Misfolded proteins that can oligomerize and form insoluble aggregates associate with molecular chaperones and other elements of the proteolytic machineries that are the front-line workers attempting to protect the cells by promoting clearance and preventing aggregation. Proteins that are normally bound to aggregation-prone proteins can become sequestered and mislocalized in protein inclusions, leading to their loss of function. In contrast, mutations, post-translational modifications or misfolding of aggregation-prone proteins can lead to gain of function by inducing novel or altered protein interactions, which in turn can impact numerous essential cellular processes and organelles, such as vesicle trafficking and the mitochondria. This review examines our current knowledge of protein-protein interactions involving several key aggregation-prone proteins that are associated with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We aim to provide an overview of the protein interaction networks that play a central role in driving or mitigating inclusion formation, while highlighting some of the key proteomic studies that helped to uncover the extent of these networks.
    Keywords:  ALS; Alzheimer; Huntington; Parkinson; amyloid; chaperone; misfolding; mitochondria; neurodegenerative disease; protein aggregation; protein interaction network; proteolysis; proteomics; ubiquitin proteasome system
  9. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2022 May 26. e2105120
      Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer worldwide. Serine-arginine rich splicing factor 3 (SRSF3) plays a critical role in hepatocyte function and its loss in mice promotes chronic liver damage and leads to HCC. Hepatocyte-specific SRSF3 knockout mice (SKO mice) also overexpress insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2). In the present study, double deletion of Igf2 and Srsf3 (DKO mice) prevents hepatic fibrosis and inflammation, and completely prevents tumor formation, and is associated with decreased proliferation, apoptosis and DNA damage, and restored DNA repair enzyme expression. This is confirmed in vitro, where IGF2 treatment of HepG2 hepatoma cells decreases DNA repair enzyme expression and causes DNA damage. Tumors from the SKO mice also show mutational signatures consistent with homologous recombination and mismatch repair defects. Analysis of frozen human samples shows that SRSF3 protein is decreased sixfold in HCC compared to normal liver tissue but SRSF3 mRNA is increased. Looking at public TCGA data, HCC patients having high SRSF3 mRNA expression show poor survival, as do patients with alterations in known SRSF3-dependent splicing events. The results indicate that IGF2 overexpression in conjunction with reduced SRSF3 splicing activity could be a major cause of DNA damage and driver of liver cancer.
    Keywords:  RNA splicing; insulin-like growth factor; liver cancer; prognosis
  10. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 May 31. 119(22): e2118099119
      SignificanceRibosomes translate the genetic codes of messenger RNA (mRNA) to make proteins. Translation must begin at the correct initiation site; otherwise, abnormal proteins will be produced. Here, we show that a short ribosome-specific sequence in the upstream followed by an unstructured downstream sequence is a favorable initiation site. Those mRNAs lacking either of these two characteristics do not associate tightly with the ribosome. Initiator transfer RNA (tRNA) and initiation factors facilitate the binding. However, when the downstream site forms structures, initiation factor 3 triggers the dissociation of the accommodated initiator tRNA and the subsequent disassembly of the ribosome-mRNA complex. Thus, initiation factors help the ribosome distinguish unfavorable structured sequences that may not act as the mRNA translation initiation site.
    Keywords:  initiation factors; optical tweezers; single-molecule; smFRET; translation initiation