bims-nucpor Biomed News
on Nuclear pore complex and nucleoporins in stress, aging and disease
Issue of 2023‒01‒22
seven papers selected by
Sara Mingu
Johannes Gutenberg University

  1. Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2023 Jan 13. pii: S0959-440X(22)00202-0. [Epub ahead of print]78 102523
      The nuclear pore complex (NPC) is a supra-molecular assembly that mediates substance and information flow across the nuclear envelope (NE). Due to its extraordinary size and complexity, the NPC remains one of the most challenging tasks in structural elucidation at atomic resolution. Recent breakthroughs in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) reconstruction, Machine Learning empowered structure prediction and biochemical reconstitution have combined to yield molecular models of the NPC at unprecedented accuracy. Furthermore, in cellulo cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) structures reveal substantial structural dynamics of the NPC. These advances shed light on the organizational principles and functions of the NPC.
  2. Cells. 2023 Jan 11. pii: 279. [Epub ahead of print]12(2):
      The cellular response to environmental stresses, such as heat and oxidative stress, is dependent on extensive trafficking of stress-signalling molecules between the cytoplasm and nucleus, which potentiates stress-activated signalling pathways, eventually resulting in cell repair or death. Although Ran-dependent nucleocytoplasmic transport mediated by members of the importin (IPO) super family of nuclear transporters is believed to be responsible for nearly all macromolecular transit between nucleus and cytoplasm, it is paradoxically known to be significantly impaired under conditions of stress. Importin 13 (IPO13) is a unique bidirectional transporter that binds to and releases cargo in a Ran-dependent manner, but in some cases, cargo release from IPO13 is affected by loading of another cargo. To investigate IPO13's role in stress-activated pathways, we performed cell-based screens to identify a multitude of binding partners of IPO13 from human brain, lung, and testes. Analysis of the IPO13 interactome intriguingly indicated more than half of the candidate binding partners to be annotated for roles in stress responses; these included the pro-apoptotic protein nuclear clusterin (nCLU), as well as the nCLU-interacting DNA repair protein KU70. Here, we show, for the first time, that unlike other IPOs which are mislocalised and non-functional, IPO13 continues to translocate between the nucleus and cytoplasm under stress, retaining the capacity to import certain cargoes, such as nCLU, but not export others, such as KU70, as shown by analysis using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. Importantly, depletion of IPO13 reduces stress-induced import of nCLU and protects against stress-induced cell death, with concomitant protection from DNA damage during stress. Overexpression/FACS experiments demonstrate that nCLU is dependent on IPO13 to trigger stress-induced cell death via apoptosis. Taken together, these results implicate IPO13 as a novel functional nuclear transporter in cellular stress, with a key role thereby in cell fate decision.
    Keywords:  cell death; cellular stress; importin 13; nuclear transport
  3. Elife. 2023 Jan 17. pii: e73407. [Epub ahead of print]12
      The nucleoporin (NUP) ELYS, encoded by AHCTF1, is a large multifunctional protein with essential roles in nuclear pore assembly and mitosis. Using both larval and adult zebrafish models of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), in which the expression of an inducible mutant kras transgene (krasG12V) drives hepatocyte-specific hyperplasia and liver enlargement, we show that reducing ahctf1 gene dosage by 50% markedly decreases liver volume, while non-hyperplastic tissues are unaffected. We demonstrate that in the context of cancer, ahctf1 heterozygosity impairs nuclear pore formation, mitotic spindle assembly and chromosome segregation, leading to DNA damage and activation of a Tp53-dependent transcriptional program that induces cell death and cell cycle arrest. Heterozygous expression of both ahctf1 and ranbp2 (encoding a second nucleoporin), or treatment of heterozygous ahctf1 larvae with the nucleocytoplasmic transport inhibitor, Selinexor, completely blocks krasG12V-driven hepatocyte hyperplasia. Gene expression analysis of patient samples in the Liver hepatocellular carcinoma (LIHC) dataset in The Cancer Genome Atlas shows that high expression of one or more of the transcripts encoding the ten components of the NUP107-160 sub-complex, which includes AHCTF1, is positively correlated with worse overall survival. These results provide a strong and feasible rationale for the development of novel cancer therapeutics that target ELYS function and suggest potential avenues for effective combinatorial treatments.
    Keywords:  cancer biology; cell biology; zebrafish
  4. Cancers (Basel). 2023 Jan 12. pii: 486. [Epub ahead of print]15(2):
      RANBP1 encoded by RANBP1 or HTF9A (Hpall Tiny Fragments Locus 9A), plays regulatory functions of the RAN-network, belonging to the RAS superfamily of small GTPases. Through this function, RANBP1 regulates the RANGAP1 activity and, thus, the fluctuations between GTP-RAN and GDP-RAN. In the light of this, RANBP1 take actions in maintaining the nucleus-cytoplasmic gradient, thus making nuclear import-export functional. RANBP1 has been implicated in the inter-nuclear transport of proteins, nucleic acids and microRNAs, fully contributing to cellular epigenomic signature. Recently, a RANBP1 diriment role in spindle checkpoint formation and nucleation has emerged, thus constituting an essential element in the control of mitotic stability. Over time, RANBP1 has been demonstrated to be variously involved in human cancers both for the role in controlling nuclear transport and RAN activity and for its ability to determine the efficiency of the mitotic process. RANBP1 also appears to be implicated in chemo-hormone and radio-resistance. A key role of this small-GTPases related protein has also been demonstrated in alterations of axonal flow and neuronal plasticity, as well as in viral and bacterial metabolism and in embryological maturation. In conclusion, RANBP1 appears not only to be an interesting factor in several pathological conditions but also a putative target of clinical interest.
    Keywords:  RANBP1; SGK1; mitotic stability; nuclear transport; tumor
  5. Biomolecules. 2023 Jan 05. pii: 111. [Epub ahead of print]13(1):
      Exportin-1 (XPO1) is a key player in the nuclear export pathway and is overexpressed in almost all cancers. This is especially relevant for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), where high XPO1 expression is associated with poor prognosis due to its oncogenic role in exporting proteins and RNA that are involved in cancer progression and treatment resistance. Here, we discuss the proteins and RNA transcripts that have been identified as XPO1 cargo in NHL lymphoma including tumour suppressors, immune modulators, and transcription factors, and their implications for oncogenesis. We then highlight the research to date on XPO1 inhibitors such as selinexor and other selective inhibitors of nuclear export (SINEs), which are used to treat some cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies investigating the anti-cancer effects of SINEs from bench to bedside, both as a single agent and in combination, are also reported. Finally, we discuss the limitations of the current research landscape and future directions to better understand and improve the clinical utility of SINE compounds in NHL.
    Keywords:  cancer; hematology; lymphoma; nuclear export; proteomics; targeted therapy
  6. Nat Commun. 2023 Jan 20. 14(1): 342
    Project Mine Als Sequencing Consortium
      Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has substantial heritability, in part shared with fronto-temporal dementia (FTD). We show that ALS heritability is enriched in splicing variants and in binding sites of 6 RNA-binding proteins including TDP-43 and FUS. A transcriptome wide association study (TWAS) identified 6 loci associated with ALS, including in NUP50 encoding for the nucleopore basket protein NUP50. Independently, rare variants in NUP50 were associated with ALS risk (P = 3.71.10-03; odds ratio = 3.29; 95%CI, 1.37 to 7.87) in a cohort of 9,390 ALS/FTD patients and 4,594 controls. Cells from one patient carrying a NUP50 frameshift mutation displayed a decreased level of NUP50. Loss of NUP50 leads to death of cultured neurons, and motor defects in Drosophila and zebrafish. Thus, our study identifies alterations in splicing in neurons as critical in ALS and provides genetic evidence linking nuclear pore defects to ALS.
  7. J Clin Invest. 2023 Jan 17. pii: e159951. [Epub ahead of print]133(2):
      Preimplantation embryo arrest (PREMBA) is a common cause of female infertility and recurrent failure of assisted reproductive technology. However, the genetic basis of PREMBA is largely unrevealed. Here, using whole-exome sequencing data from 606 women experiencing PREMBA compared with 2,813 controls, we performed a population and gene-based burden test and identified a candidate gene, karyopherin subunit α7 (KPNA7). In vitro studies showed that identified sequence variants reduced KPNA7 protein levels, impaired KPNA7 capacity for binding to its substrate ribosomal L1 domain-containing protein 1 (RSL1D1), and affected KPNA7 nuclear transport activity. Comparison between humans and mice suggested that mouse KPNA2, rather than mouse KPNA7, acts as an essential karyopherin in embryonic development. Kpna2-/- female mice showed embryo arrest due to zygotic genome activation defects, recapitulating the phenotype of human PREMBA. In addition, female mice with an oocyte-specific knockout of Rsl1d1 recapitulated the phenotype of Kpna2-/- mice, demonstrating the vital role of substrate RSL1D1. Finally, complementary RNA (cRNA) microinjection of human KPNA7, but not mouse Kpna7, was able to rescue the embryo arrest phenotype in Kpna2-/- mice, suggesting mouse KPNA2 might be a homologue of human KPNA7. Our findings uncovered a mechanistic understanding for the pathogenesis of PREMBA, which acts by impairing nuclear protein transport, and provide a diagnostic marker for PREMBA patients.
    Keywords:  Fertility; Genetic diseases; Genetics; Population genetics; Reproductive Biology