bims-nucpor Biomed News
on Nuclear pore complex and nucleoporins in stress, aging and disease
Issue of 2021‒11‒28
nine papers selected by
Sara Mingu
Johannes Gutenberg University

  1. Open Biol. 2021 Nov;11(11): 210250
      The integral membrane protein Apq12 is an important nuclear envelope (NE)/endoplasmic reticulum (ER) modulator that cooperates with the nuclear pore complex (NPC) biogenesis factors Brl1 and Brr6. How Apq12 executes these functions is unknown. Here, we identified a short amphipathic α-helix (AαH) in Apq12 that links the two transmembrane domains in the perinuclear space and has liposome-binding properties. Cells expressing an APQ12 (apq12-ah) version in which AαH is disrupted show NPC biogenesis and NE integrity defects, without impacting Apq12-ah topology or NE/ER localization. Overexpression of APQ12 but not apq12-ah triggers striking over-proliferation of the outer nuclear membrane (ONM)/ER and promotes accumulation of phosphatidic acid (PA) at the NE. Apq12 and Apq12-ah both associate with NPC biogenesis intermediates and removal of AαH increases both Brl1 levels and the interaction between Brl1 and Brr6. We conclude that the short amphipathic α-helix of Apq12 regulates the function of Brl1 and Brr6 and promotes PA accumulation at the NE possibly during NPC biogenesis.
    Keywords:  APQ12; BRL1; BRR6; nuclear envelope; nuclear pore complex; nuclear pore complex biogenesis
  2. Viruses. 2021 Nov 08. pii: 2242. [Epub ahead of print]13(11):
      The delivery of the HIV-1 genome into the nucleus is an indispensable step in retroviral infection of non-dividing cells, but the mechanism of HIV-1 nuclear import has been a longstanding debate due to controversial experimental evidence. It was commonly believed that the HIV-1 capsid would need to disassemble (uncoat) in the cytosol before nuclear import because the capsid is larger than the central channel of nuclear pore complexes (NPCs); however, increasing evidence demonstrates that intact, or nearly intact, HIV-1 capsid passes through the NPC to enter the nucleus. With the protection of the capsid, the HIV-1 core completes reverse transcription in the nucleus and is translocated to the integration site. Uncoating occurs while, or after, the viral genome is released near the integration site. These independent discoveries reveal a compelling new paradigm of this important step of the HIV-1 life cycle. In this review, we summarize the recent studies related to HIV-1 nuclear import, highlighting the spatial-temporal relationship between the nuclear entry of the virus core, reverse transcription, and capsid uncoating.
    Keywords:  HIV-1 core; capsid; nuclear import; nuclear pore complex; reverse transcription; uncoating
  3. Oncogene. 2021 Nov 20.
      Nucleocytoplasmic transport of proteins is disrupted and dysregulated in cancer cells. Nuclear pore complexes and cargo proteins are two main transportation regulators. However, the mechanism regulating nucleocytoplasmic transport in cancer remains elusive. Here, we identified a S100A2/KPNA2 cotransport complex that transports the tumor-associated transcription factor NFYA in colorectal cancer (CRC). Through the S100A2/KNPA2 complex, depending on its interaction with S100A2, NFYA is transported to the nucleus and inhibits the transcriptional activity of E-cadherin, which in turn promotes CRC metastasis. Targeting the S100A2/KPNA2 binding sites with the specific inhibitor delanzomib is a potential therapeutic approach for CRC.
  4. FEBS Lett. 2021 Nov 25.
      Phosphofurin acidic cluster sorting protein 1 (PACS-1) is canonically a cytosolic trafficking protein, yet recent reports have described nuclear roles for PACS-1. Herein, we sought to define the nuclear transport mechanism of PACS-1. We demonstrate that PACS-1 nucleocytoplasmic trafficking is dependent on its interaction with the nuclear transport receptors importin alpha 5 and exportin 1. PACS-1 nuclear entry and exit are defined by a nuclear localization signal (NLS, residues 311-318) and nuclear export signal (NES3, residues 366-375). Mutation of the PACS-1 NLS and NES3 altered the localization of a complex formed between PACS-1 and an RNA-binding protein, polypyrimidine tract-binding protein 1. Overall, we identify the nuclear localization mechanism of PACS-1 and highlight a potential role for PACS-1 in RNA-binding protein trafficking.
    Keywords:  IPO5/KPNA1; PACS-1; PTBP1; RNA-binding protein; XPO1; nuclear export signal; nuclear localization signal; nuclear transport; protein-protein interaction
  5. J Cell Sci. 2021 Nov 22. pii: jcs.259570. [Epub ahead of print]
      Single Molecule Localisation Microscopy (SMLM) can provide nanoscale resolution in thin samples but has rarely been applied to tissues, because of high background from out of focus emitters and optical aberrations. Here we describe a line scanning microscope that provides optical sectioning for SMLM in tissues. Imaging endogenously-tagged nucleoporins and F-actin on this system using DNA- and peptide-PAINT routinely gives 30 nm resolution or better at depths greater than 20 µm. This revealed that the nuclear pores are nonrandomly distributed in most Drosophila tissues, in contrast to cultured cells. Lamin Dm0 shows a complementary localisation to the nuclear pores, suggesting that it corrals the pores. Furthermore, ectopic expression of the tissue-specific Lamin C distributes the nuclear pores more randomly, whereas lamin C mutants enhance nuclear pore clustering, particularly in muscle nuclei. Since nucleoporins interact with specific chromatin domains, nuclear pore clustering could regulate local chromatin organisation and contribute to the disease phenotypes caused by human Lamin A/C laminopathies.
    Keywords:  DNA-PAINT; Drosophila; Lamin C; Nuclear pore complex; Super-resolution
  6. Brain Sci. 2021 Nov 20. pii: 1543. [Epub ahead of print]11(11):
      Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease with available treatments only marginally slowing progression or improving survival. A hexanucleotide repeat expansion mutation in the C9ORF72 gene is the most commonly known genetic cause of both sporadic and familial cases of ALS and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The C9ORF72 expansion mutation produces five dipeptide repeat proteins (DPRs), and while the mechanistic determinants of DPR-mediated neurotoxicity remain incompletely understood, evidence suggests that disruption of nucleocytoplasmic transport and increased DNA damage contributes to pathology. Therefore, characterizing these disturbances and determining the relative contribution of different DPRs is needed to facilitate the development of novel therapeutics for C9ALS/FTD. To this end, we generated a series of nucleocytoplasmic transport "biosensors", composed of the green fluorescent protein (GFP), fused to different classes of nuclear localization signals (NLSs) and nuclear export signals (NESs). Using these biosensors in conjunction with automated microscopy, we investigated the role of the three most neurotoxic DPRs (PR, GR, and GA) on seven nuclear import and two export pathways. In addition to other DPRs, we found that PR had pronounced inhibitory effects on the classical nuclear export pathway and several nuclear import pathways. To identify compounds capable of counteracting the effects of PR on nucleocytoplasmic transport, we developed a nucleocytoplasmic transport assay and screened several commercially available compound libraries, totaling 2714 compounds. In addition to restoring nucleocytoplasmic transport efficiencies, hits from the screen also counteract the cytotoxic effects of PR. Selected hits were subsequently tested for their ability to rescue another C9ALS/FTD phenotype-persistent DNA double strand breakage. Overall, we found that DPRs disrupt multiple nucleocytoplasmic transport pathways and we identified small molecules that counteract these effects-resulting in increased viability of PR-expressing cells and decreased DNA damage markers in patient-derived motor neurons. Several HDAC inhibitors were validated as hits, supporting previous studies that show that HDAC inhibitors confer therapeutic effects in neurodegenerative models.
    Keywords:  ALS; C9ORF72; DNA damage; GA; GR; PR; RAN proteins; arginine-rich peptides; dipeptide repeat proteins; high content screen; iPSC motor neurons; nucleocytoplasmic transport
  7. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2021 Nov 06. pii: 1131. [Epub ahead of print]14(11):
      The nuclear export receptor exportin-1 (XPO1, CRM1) mediates the nuclear export of proteins that contain a leucine-rich nuclear export signal (NES) towards the cytoplasm. XPO1 is considered a relevant target in different human diseases, particularly in hematological malignancies, tumor resistance, inflammation, neurodegeneration and viral infections. Thus, its pharmacological inhibition is of significant therapeutic interest. The best inhibitors described so far (leptomycin B and SINE compounds) interact with XPO1 through a covalent interaction with Cys528 located in the NES-binding cleft of XPO1. Based on the well-established feature of chalcone derivatives to react with thiol groups via hetero-Michael addition reactions, we have synthesized two series of chalcones. Their capacity to react with thiol groups was tested by incubation with GSH to afford the hetero-Michael adducts that evolved backwards to the initial chalcone through a retro-Michael reaction, supporting that the covalent interaction with thiols could be reversible. The chalcone derivatives were evaluated in antiproliferative assays against a panel of cancer cell lines and as XPO1 inhibitors, and a good correlation was observed with the results obtained in both assays. Moreover, no inhibition of the cargo export was observed when the two prototype chalcones 9 and 10 were tested against a XPO1-mutated Jurkat cell line (XPO1C528S), highlighting the importance of the Cys at the NES-binding cleft for inhibition. Finally, their interaction at the molecular level at the NES-binding cleft was studied by applying the computational tool CovDock.
    Keywords:  CovDock; anticancer activity; chalcones; covalent binding; exportin-1
  8. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Nov 10. pii: 12175. [Epub ahead of print]22(22):
      There is ample evidence that nucleocytoplasmic-transport deficits could play an important role in the pathology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, the currently available data are often circumstantial and do not fully clarify the exact causal and temporal role of nucleocytoplasmic transport deficits in ALS patients. Gaining this knowledge will be of great significance in order to be able to target therapeutically nucleocytoplasmic transport and/or the proteins involved in this process. The availability of good model systems to study the nucleocytoplasmic transport process in detail will be especially crucial in investigating the effect of different mutations, as well as of other forms of stress. In this review, we discuss the evidence for the involvement of nucleocytoplasmic transport defects in ALS and the methods used to obtain these data. In addition, we provide an overview of the therapeutic strategies which could potentially counteract these defects.
    Keywords:  ALS; motor neuron; neurodegeneration
  9. Cells. 2021 Oct 22. pii: 2851. [Epub ahead of print]10(11):
      Chromosomal translocations involving the nucleoporin NUP98 gene are recurrently identified in leukemia; yet, the cellular defects accompanying NUP98 fusion proteins are poorly characterized. NUP98 fusions cause changes in nuclear and nuclear envelope (NE) organization, in particular, in the nuclear lamina and the lamina associated polypeptide 2α (LAP2α), a regulator of the tumor suppressor retinoblastoma protein (RB). We demonstrate that, for NUP98-HOXA9 (NHA9), the best-studied NUP98 fusion protein, its effect(s) on nuclear architecture largely depend(s) on RB. Morphological alterations caused by the expression of NHA9 are largely diminished in the absence of RB, both in human cells expressing the human papillomavirus 16 E7 protein and in mouse embryonic fibroblasts lacking RB. We further show that NHA9 expression associates with distinct histone modification. Moreover, the pattern of trimethylation of histone H3 lysine-27 is affected by NHA9, again in an RB-dependent manner. Our results pinpoint to an unexpected interplay between NUP98 fusion proteins and RB, which may contribute to leukemogenesis.
    Keywords:  NUP98-HOXA9; PcG; histones; nuclear envelope; retinoblastoma