bims-proarb Biomed News
on Proteostasis in Aging and Regenerative Biology
Issue of 2021‒07‒04
thirty-four papers selected by
Rich Giadone
Harvard University

  1. Front Aging Neurosci. 2021 ;13 682633
      Immune surveillance is an essential process that safeguards the homeostasis of a healthy brain. Among the increasing diversity of immune cells present in the central nervous system (CNS), microglia have emerged as a prominent leukocyte subset with key roles in the support of brain function and in the control of neuroinflammation. In fact, impaired microglial function is associated with the development of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Interestingly, these pathologies are also typified by protein aggregation and proteostasis dysfunction at the level of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). These processes trigger activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR), which is a conserved signaling network that maintains the fidelity of the cellular proteome. Remarkably, beyond its role in protein folding, the UPR has also emerged as a key regulator of the development and function of immune cells. However, despite this evidence, the contribution of the UPR to immune cell homeostasis, immune surveillance, and neuro-inflammatory processes remains largely unexplored. In this review, we discuss the potential contribution of the UPR in brain-associated immune cells in the context of neurodegenerative diseases.
    Keywords:  ER stress; UPR; immune system; inflammation; microglia; neurodegeneration; neuroinflammation; protein misfolding
  2. J Parkinsons Dis. 2021 Jun 19.
      Parkinson's disease (PD) pathology involves progressive degeneration and death of vulnerable dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra. Extensive axonal arborisation and distinct functions make this type of neurons particularly sensitive to homeostatic perturbations, such as protein misfolding and Ca2 + dysregulation. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a cell compartment orchestrating protein synthesis and folding, as well as synthesis of lipids and maintenance of Ca2 +-homeostasis in eukaryotic cells. When misfolded proteins start to accumulate in ER lumen the unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated. UPR is an adaptive signalling machinery aimed at relieving of protein folding load in the ER. When UPR is chronic, it can either boost neurodegeneration and apoptosis or cause neuronal dysfunctions. We have recently discovered that mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) exerts its prosurvival action in dopamine neurons and in animal model of PD through the direct binding to UPR sensor inositol-requiring protein 1 alpha (IRE1α) and attenuation of UPR. In line with this, UPR targeting resulted in neuroprotection and neurorestoration in various preclinical PD animal models. Therefore, growth factors (GFs), possessing both neurorestorative activity and restoration of protein folding capacity are attractive as drug candidates for PD treatment especially their blood-brain barrier penetrating analogs and small molecule mimetics. In this review, we discuss ER stress as a therapeutic target to treat PD; we summarize the existing preclinical data on the regulation of ER stress for PD treatment. In addition, we point out the crucial aspects for successful clinical translation of UPR-regulating GFs and new prospective in GFs-based treatments of PD, focusing on ER stress regulation.
    Keywords:  Parkinson’s disease; cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor; endoplasmic reticulum stress; growth factors; mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor; unfolded protein response
  3. Cell Rep. 2021 Jun 29. pii: S2211-1247(21)00704-X. [Epub ahead of print]35(13): 109328
      In this paper, we show that the essential Hsp90 co-chaperone Sgt1 is a member of a general protein quality control network that links folding and degradation through its participation in the degradation of misfolded proteins both in the cytosol and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Sgt1-dependent protein degradation acts in a parallel pathway to the ubiquitin ligase (E3) and ubiquitin chain elongase (E4), Hul5, and overproduction of Hul5 partly suppresses defects in cells with reduced Sgt1 activity. Upon proteostatic stress, Sgt1 accumulates transiently, in an Hsp90- and proteasome-dependent manner, with quality control sites (Q-bodies) of both yeast and human cells that co-localize with Vps13, a protein that creates organelle contact sites. Misfolding disease proteins, such as synphilin-1 involved in Parkinson's disease, are also sequestered to these compartments and require Sgt1 for their clearance.
    Keywords:  26S proteasome; Hsp90; Hul5; Sgt1; aging; chaperone; protein quality control; proteostasis
  4. EMBO Rep. 2021 Jun 30. e52905
      Planarians are able to stand long periods of starvation by maintaining adult stem cell pools and regenerative capacity. The molecular pathways that are needed for the maintenance of regeneration during starvation are not known. Here, we show that down-regulation of chaperonin TRiC/CCT subunits abrogates the regeneration capacity of planarians during starvation, but TRiC/CCT subunits are dispensable for regeneration in fed planarians. Under starvation, they are required to maintain mitotic fidelity and for blastema formation. We show that TRiC subunits modulate the unfolded protein response (UPR) and are required to maintain ATP levels in starved planarians. Regenerative defects in starved CCT-depleted planarians can be rescued by either chemical induction of mild endoplasmic reticulum stress, which leads to induction of the UPR, or by the supplementation of fatty acids. Together, these results indicate that CCT-dependent UPR induction promotes regeneration of planarians under food restriction.
    Keywords:  ER stress; chaperonin; hematopoietic stem cell; planarian; starvation
  5. Mol Biol Cell. 2021 Jun 30. mbcE21010014
      Heat shock factor 1 (Hsf1) activation is responsible for increasing the abundance of protein folding chaperones and degradation machinery in response to proteotoxic conditions that give rise to misfolded or aggregated proteins. Here, we systematically explored the link between concurrent protein synthesis and proteotoxic stress in the budding yeast, S. cerevisiae. Consistent with prior work, inhibiting protein synthesis before inducing proteotoxic stress prevents Hsf1 activation, which we demonstrated across a broad array of stresses and validate using orthogonal means of blocking protein synthesis. However, other stress-dependent transcription pathways remained activatable under conditions of translation inhibition. Titrating the protein denaturant ethanol to a higher concentration results in Hsf1 activation in the absence of translation, suggesting extreme protein folding stress can induce proteotoxicity independent of protein synthesis. Furthermore, we demonstrate this connection under physiological conditions where protein synthesis occurs naturally at reduced rates. We find that disrupting the assembly or subcellular localization of newly synthesized proteins is sufficient to activate Hsf1. Thus, new proteins appear to be especially sensitive to proteotoxic conditions, and we propose that their aggregation may represent the bulk of the signal that activates Hsf1 in the wake of these insults.
  6. Front Aging Neurosci. 2021 ;13 653334
      Amyloidogenicity and vascular dysfunction are the key players in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), involving dysregulated cellular interactions. An intricate balance between neurons, astrocytes, microglia, oligodendrocytes and vascular cells sustains the normal neuronal circuits. Conversely, cerebrovascular diseases overlap neuropathologically with AD, and glial dyshomeostasis promotes AD-associated neurodegenerative cascade. While pathological hallmarks of AD primarily include amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, microvascular disorders, altered cerebral blood flow (CBF), and blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability induce neuronal loss and synaptic atrophy. Accordingly, microglia-mediated inflammation and astrogliosis disrupt the homeostasis of the neuro-vascular unit and stimulate infiltration of circulating leukocytes into the brain. Large-scale genetic and epidemiological studies demonstrate a critical role of cellular crosstalk for altered immune response, metabolism, and vasculature in AD. The glia associated genetic risk factors include APOE, TREM2, CD33, PGRN, CR1, and NLRP3, which correlate with the deposition and altered phagocytosis of Aβ. Moreover, aging-dependent downregulation of astrocyte and microglial Aβ-degrading enzymes limits the neurotrophic and neurogenic role of glial cells and inhibits lysosomal degradation and clearance of Aβ. Microglial cells secrete IGF-1, and neurons show a reduced responsiveness to the neurotrophic IGF-1R/IRS-2/PI3K signaling pathway, generating amyloidogenic and vascular dyshomeostasis in AD. Glial signals connect to neural stem cells, and a shift in glial phenotype over the AD trajectory even affects adult neurogenesis and the neurovascular niche. Overall, the current review informs about the interaction of neuronal and glial cell types in AD pathogenesis and its critical association with cerebrovascular dysfunction.
    Keywords:  amyloid beta; astrocyte; cognition; microglia; neurodegeneration; neurofibrillary tangles; neurovascular unit
  7. Small. 2021 Jul 01. e2102145
      Significant non-genetic stochastic factors affect aging, causing lifespan differences among individuals, even those sharing the same genetic and environmental background. In Caenorhabditis elegans, differences in heat-shock response (HSR) are predictive of lifespan. However, factors contributing to the heterogeneity of HSR are still not fully elucidated. Here, the authors characterized HSR dynamics in isogenic C. elegans expressing GFP reporter for hsp-16.2 for identifying the key contributors of HSR heterogeneity. Specifically, microfluidic devices that enable cross-sectional and longitudinal measurements of HSR dynamics in C. elegans at different scales are developed: in populations, within individuals, and in embryos. The authors adapted a mathematical model of HSR to single C. elegans and identified model parameters associated with proteostasis-maintenance of protein homeostasis-more specifically, protein turnover, as the major drivers of heterogeneity in HSR dynamics. It is verified that individuals with enhanced proteostasis fidelity in early adulthood live longer. The model-based comparative analysis of protein turnover in day-1 and day-2 adult C. elegans revealed a stochastic-onset of age-related proteostasis decline that increases the heterogeneity of HSR capacity. Finally, the analysis of C. elegans embryos showed higher HSR and proteostasis capacity than young adults and established transgenerational contribution to HSR heterogeneity that depends on maternal age.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; aging; heat-shock response; heterogeneity; microfluidics; proteostasis
  8. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(7): e0243522
      Lowering the activity of the Insulin/IGF-1 Signaling (IIS) cascade results in elevated stress resistance, enhanced protein homeostasis (proteostasis) and extended lifespan of worms, flies and mice. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), the longevity phenotype that stems from IIS reduction is entirely dependent upon the activities of a subset of transcription factors including the Forkhead factor DAF-16/FOXO (DAF-16), Heat Shock Factor-1 (HSF-1), SKiNhead/Nrf (SKN-1) and ParaQuat Methylviologen responsive (PQM-1). While DAF-16 determines lifespan exclusively during early adulthood and governs proteostasis in early adulthood and midlife, HSF-1 executes these functions foremost during development. Despite the central roles of SKN-1 as a regulator of lifespan and proteostasis, the temporal requirements of this transcription factor were unknown. Here we employed conditional knockdown techniques and discovered that in C. elegans, SKN-1 is primarily important for longevity and proteostasis during late larval development through early adulthood. Our findings indicate that events that occur during late larval developmental through early adulthood affect lifespan and proteostasis and suggest that subsequent to HSF-1, SKN-1 sets the conditions, partially overlapping temporally with DAF-16, that enable IIS reduction to promote longevity and proteostasis. Our findings raise the intriguing possibility that HSF-1, SKN-1 and DAF-16 function in a coordinated and sequential manner to promote healthy aging.
  9. Neuronal Signal. 2021 Jun;5(2): NS20200101
      Cognitive dysfunction is a key symptom of ageing and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Strategies to enhance cognition would impact the quality of life for a significant proportion of the ageing population. The α-klotho protein may protect against cognitive decline through multiple mechanisms: such as promoting optimal synaptic function via activation of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor signalling; stimulating the antioxidant defence system; reducing inflammation; promoting autophagy and enhancing clearance of amyloid-β. However, the molecular and cellular pathways by which α-klotho mediates these neuroprotective functions have yet to be fully elucidated. Key questions remain unanswered: which form of α-klotho (transmembrane, soluble or secreted) mediates its cognitive enhancing properties; what is the neuronal receptor for α-klotho and which signalling pathways are activated by α-klotho in the brain to enhance cognition; how does peripherally administered α-klotho mediate neuroprotection; and what is the molecular basis for the beneficial effect of the VS variant of α-klotho? In this review, we summarise the recent research on neuronal α-klotho and discuss how the neuroprotective properties of α-klotho could be exploited to tackle age- and neurodegeneration-associated cognitive dysfunction.
    Keywords:  Alzheimers disease; aging; cognition; neurodegeneration; neuroprotection
  10. Mol Neurodegener. 2021 Jul 02. 16(1): 45
      Neuritic plaques in Alzheimer's disease (AD) brains refer to β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques surrounded by dystrophic neurites (DNs), activated microglia and reactive astrocytes. Most recently, we showed that DNs form sequentially in three layers during plaque growth. Although lysosomal proteins such as LAMP1 are found in DNs, it is not clear how many and how early lysosomal proteins are involved in forming neuritic plaques. To answer this unmet question, we examined APP knock-in (APPNL-G-F), 5xFAD and APP/PS1ΔE9 mouse brains and found that the lysosomal activator proteins saposins (SAPs) and LAMP1 were accumulated to surround Aβ plaques at the earliest stage, namely the 1st layer of DNs. Noticeably, lysosomal hydrolases were not detectable in these early DNs, suggesting that DNs at this early stage likely enrich dysfunctional lysosomes. In old AD mouse brains and in the later stage of human AD brains, SAP-C+-DNs and LAMP1+-DNs were gradually reduced in concomitant with the growth of amyloid plaques. Remarkably, the observed LAMP1 immunoreactivity near plaques in aged AD mouse and human brains were actually associated with disease-associated microglia rather than neuronal sources, likely reflecting more severely impaired lysosomal functions in neurons. Western blot analyses showed increased levels of SAP-C in AD mouse brains, and Aβ oligomers induced elevated levels of SAP-C in cellular assays. The elevated protein levels of SAP-C in AD mouse brains during plaque growth potentially contributed lysosomal membrane leakage and loss of hydrolases. Together, our study indicates that lysosomal functions are impaired by being entrapped in DNs early during plaque growth, and this may viciously facilitate growth of amyloid plaques.
    Keywords:  ATG9; Aging; Alzheimer’s disease; Dystrophic neurites; LAMP1 and galectin-3; Lysosomes; Prosaposin; Saposin-C
  11. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2021 Jun 29. pii: a040907. [Epub ahead of print]
      While some animals, such as planaria and hydra, appear to be capable of seemingly endless cycles of regeneration, most animals experience a gradual decline in fitness and ultimately die. The progressive loss of cell and tissue function, leading to senescence and death, is generally referred to as aging. Adult ("tissue") stem cells maintain tissue homeostasis and facilitate repair; however, age-related changes in stem cell function over time are major contributors to loss of organ function or disease in older individuals. Therefore, considerable effort is being invested in restoring stem cell function to counter degenerative diseases and age-related tissue dysfunction. Here, we will review strategies that could be used to restore stem cell function, including the use of environmental interventions, such as diet and exercise, heterochronic approaches, and cellular reprogramming. Maintaining optimal stem cell function and tissue homeostasis into late life will likely extend the amount of time older adults are able to be independent and lead healthy lives.
  12. Biomedicines. 2021 Jun 23. pii: 717. [Epub ahead of print]9(7):
      Monocytes play a crucial role in immunity and tissue homeostasis. They constitute the first line of defense during the inflammatory process, playing a role in the pathogenesis and progression of diseases, making them an attractive therapeutic target. They are heterogeneous in morphology and surface marker expression, which suggest different molecular and physiological properties. Recent evidences have demonstrated their ability to enter the brain, and, as a consequence, their hypothetical role in different neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we will discuss the current knowledge about the correlation between monocyte dysregulation in the brain and/or in the periphery and neurological diseases in humans. Here we will focus on the most common neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis.
    Keywords:  epigenetics; gene expression; human monocytes; innate immunity; neurodegeneration; single cells analysis; trained immunity
  13. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2021 Jun 28. pii: S0006-291X(21)00986-4. [Epub ahead of print]568 83-88
      Myogenesis is a complex process regulated by several factors. This study evaluated the functional interaction between vitamin C and a high dose of capsaicin (a potential endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress inducer) on myogenesis. After the induction of differentiation, treatment with ascorbic acid or ascorbic acid phosphate (AsAp) alone had minimal effects on myogenesis in C2C12 cells. However, treatment with capsaicin (300 μM) in undifferentiated C2C12 cells increased the expression levels of genes related to ER stress as well as oxidative stress. Myogenesis was effectively enhanced in C2C12 cells treated with a combination of capsaicin (300 μM) for one day before differentiation stimulation and AsAp for four days post-differentiation; subsequently, thick and long myotubes formed, and the expression levels of myosin heavy chain (MYH) 1/2 and Myh1, Myh4, and Myh7 increased. Considering that mild ER stress stimulates myogenesis, AsAp may elicit myogenesis through the alleviation of oxidative stress-induced negative effects in capsaicin-pretreated cells. The enhanced expression of Myh1 and Myh4 coincided with the expression of Col1a1, a type I collagen, suggesting that the fine-tuning of the myogenic cell microenvironment is responsible for efficient myogenesis. Our results indicate that vitamin C is a potential stimulator of myogenesis in cells, depending on the cell context.
    Keywords:  Capsaicin; Endoplasmic reticulum stress; Myogenesis; Vitamin C
  14. Biomedicines. 2021 Jun 02. pii: 636. [Epub ahead of print]9(6):
      New evidence refers to a high degree of heterogeneity in normal but also Alzheimer's disease (AD) clinical and temporal patterns, increased mortality, and the need to find specific end-of-life prognosticators. This heterogeneity is scarcely explored in very old male AD mice models due to their reduced survival. In the present work, using 915 (432 APP23 and 483 C57BL/6 littermates) mice, we confirmed the better survival curves in male than female APP23 mice and respective wildtypes, providing the chance to characterize behavioral signatures in middle-aged, old, and long-lived male animals. The sensitivity of a battery of seven paradigms for comprehensive screening of motor (activity and gait analysis), neuropsychiatric and cognitive symptoms was analyzed using a cohort of 56 animals, composed of 12-, 18- and 24-month-old male APP23 mice and wildtype littermates. Most variables analyzed detected age-related differences. However, variables related to coping with stress, thigmotaxis, frailty, gait, and poor cognition better discriminated the behavioral phenotype of male APP23 mice through the three old ages compared with controls. Most importantly, non-linear age- and genotype-dependent behavioral signatures were found in long-lived animals, suggesting crosstalk between chronological and biological/behavioral ages useful to study underlying mechanisms and distinct compensations through physiological and AD-associated aging.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; BPSD; aging; cognition; gait analysis; heterogeneity; long-life; survival
  15. Microorganisms. 2021 Jun 15. pii: 1301. [Epub ahead of print]9(6):
      Alzheimer's disease is associated with prion-like aggregation of the amyloid β (Aβ) peptide and the subsequent accumulation of misfolded neurotoxic aggregates in the brain. Therefore, it is critical to clearly identify the factors that trigger the cascade of Aβ misfolding and aggregation. Numerous studies have pointed out the association between microorganisms and their virulence factors and Alzheimer's disease; however, their exact mechanisms of action remain unclear. Recently, we discovered a new pathogenic role of bacterial extracellular DNA, triggering the formation of misfolded Tau aggregates. In this study, we investigated the possible role of DNA extracted from different bacterial and eukaryotic cells in triggering Aβ aggregation in vitro. Interestingly, we found that the extracellular DNA of some, but not all, bacteria is an effective trigger of Aβ aggregation. Furthermore, the acceleration of Aβ nucleation and elongation can vary based on the concentration of the bacterial DNA and the bacterial strain from which this DNA had originated. Our findings suggest that bacterial extracellular DNA might play a previously overlooked role in the Aβ protein misfolding associated with Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. Moreover, it highlights a new mechanism of how distantly localized bacteria can remotely contribute to protein misfolding and diseases associated with this process. These findings might lead to the use of bacterial DNA as a novel therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid plaques; amyloid-beta; bacterial DNA; protein aggregation
  16. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Jul 06. pii: e2100356118. [Epub ahead of print]118(27):
      Heterozygous genetic variants within the TREM2 gene show a strong association with increased Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. Amyloid beta-depositing mouse models haploinsufficient or null for Trem2 have identified important relationships among TREM2, microglia, and AD pathology; however, results are challenging to interpret in the context of varying microglial phenotypes and disease progression. We hypothesized that acute Trem2 reduction may alter amyloid pathology and microglial responses independent of genetic Trem2 deletion in mouse models. We developed antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) that potently but transiently lower Trem2 messenger RNA throughout the brain and administered them to APP/PS1 mice at varying stages of plaque pathology. Late-stage ASO-mediated Trem2 knockdown significantly reduced plaque deposition and attenuated microglial association around plaque deposits when evaluated 1 mo after ASO injection. Changes in microglial gene signatures 1 wk after ASO administration and phagocytosis measured in ASO-treated cells together indicate that microglia may be activated with short-term Trem2 reduction. These results suggest a time- and/or dose-dependent role for TREM2 in mediating plaque deposition and microglial responses in which loss of TREM2 function may be beneficial for microglial activation and plaque removal in an acute context.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; Trem2; amyloid; antisense oligonucleotide; microglia
  17. J Evol Biol. 2021 Jul 01.
      The ability to tolerate temperature stress is an important component of adult fitness. In holometabolous insects like Drosophila melanogaster, adult stress resistance can be affected by growth conditions experienced during the larval stages. While evolution under crowded larval conditions is known to lead to the correlated evolution of many adult traits, its consequences on adult heat stress tolerance have not been investigated. Therefore, in the present study, we assessed the adult heat stress tolerance in populations of D. melanogaster adapted to a stressful larval crowding environment. We used replicate populations of D. melanogaster, selected for adaptation to larval crowding stress (MCUs), for more than 230 generations, and their respective controls (MBs). Larvae from selected and control populations were grown under crowded and uncrowded conditions and their adult heat shock resistance at two different temperatures was measured. Further, we compared Hsp70 expression in crowded and uncrowded larvae of both populations and also measured the Hsp70 expression after a mild-heat treatment in adults of selected and control populations. Our results showed that adaptation to larval crowding leads to the evolution of Hsp70 gene expression in larval stages and improves adult heat-stress tolerance ability in males, but not in females.
  18. Commun Biol. 2021 Jun 30. 4(1): 823
      Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disorder associated with memory loss, but the AD-associated neuropathological changes begin years before memory impairments. Investigation of the early molecular abnormalities in AD might offer innovative opportunities to target memory impairment prior to onset. Decreased protein synthesis plays a fundamental role in AD, yet the consequences of this dysregulation for cellular function remain unknown. We hypothesize that alterations in the de novo proteome drive early metabolic alterations in the hippocampus that persist throughout AD progression. Using a combinatorial amino acid tagging approach to selectively label and enrich newly synthesized proteins, we found that the de novo proteome is disturbed in young APP/PS1 mice prior to symptom onset, affecting the synthesis of multiple components of the synaptic, lysosomal, and mitochondrial pathways. Furthermore, the synthesis of large clusters of ribosomal subunits were affected throughout development. Our data suggest that large-scale changes in protein synthesis could underlie cellular dysfunction in AD.
  19. Exp Eye Res. 2021 Jun 29. pii: S0014-4835(21)00248-7. [Epub ahead of print] 108682
      A hallmark feature of lens development and differentiation is the complete elimination of organelles from the center of the eye lens. A long unanswered question in lens biology is what are the mechanisms that control the elimination of organelles during the terminal remodeling program to form mature lens fiber cells? Recent advances have expanded our understanding of these mechanisms including newly discovered signaling pathways, proteasomal regulators, autophagy proteins, transcription factors and the hypoxic environment of the lens itself. These recent discoveries suggest that distinct mechanisms coordinate the elimination of the nucleus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus during lens fiber cell differentiation. Since regulation of organelle number and distribution is also a feature of the terminal remodeling programs of more complex cell-types and tissues, these advances are likely to impact a wide-variety of fields.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Chromatin; Development; Differentiation; Endoplasmic reticulum; Golgi apparatus; Hypoxia; Lens; Mitochondria; Nucleus; Organelle regulation; Transcriptional regulation
  20. Cell Stem Cell. 2021 Jul 01. pii: S1934-5909(21)00266-6. [Epub ahead of print]28(7): 1183-1185
      Protein synthesis regulation constitutes a key node in directing decisions between hematopoietic stemness and differentiation. In this issue of Cell Stem Cell, Lv et al. (2021) describe a mechanism by which HSCs fine-tune translation rates by controlling 60S and 40S ribosomal subunit joining through targeted degradation of ZNF622 in response to stress.
  21. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 09. pii: 6213. [Epub ahead of print]22(12):
      The 26S proteasome is the principal protease for regulated intracellular proteolysis. This multi-subunit complex is also pivotal for clearance of harmful proteins that are produced throughout the lifetime of eukaryotes. Recent structural and kinetic studies have revealed a multitude of conformational states of the proteasome in substrate-free and substrate-engaged forms. These conformational transitions demonstrate that proteasome is a highly dynamic machinery during substrate processing that can be also controlled by a number of proteasome-associated factors. Essentially, three distinct family of deubiquitinases-USP14, RPN11, and UCH37-are associated with the 19S regulatory particle of human proteasome. USP14 and UCH37 are capable of editing ubiquitin conjugates during the process of their dynamic engagement into the proteasome prior to the catalytic commitment. In contrast, RPN11-mediated deubiquitination is directly coupled to substrate degradation by sensing the proteasome's conformational switch into the commitment steps. Therefore, proteasome-bound deubiquitinases are likely to tailor the degradation events in accordance with substrate processing steps and for dynamic proteolysis outcomes. Recent chemical screening efforts have yielded highly selective small-molecule inhibitors for targeting proteasomal deubiquitinases, such as USP14 and RPN11. USP14 inhibitors, IU1 and its progeny, were found to promote the degradation of a subset of substrates probably by overriding USP14-imposed checkpoint on the proteasome. On the other hand, capzimin, a RPN11 inhibitor, stabilized the proteasome substrates and showed the anti-proliferative effects on cancer cells. It is highly conceivable that these specific inhibitors will aid to dissect the role of each deubiquitinase on the proteasome. Moreover, customized targeting of proteasome-associated deubiquitinases may also provide versatile therapeutic strategies for induced or repressed protein degradation depending on proteolytic demand and cellular context.
    Keywords:  IU1; RPN11; UCH37; USP14; capzimin; deubiquitinase; proteasome; proteolysis; small-molecule inhibitors
  22. Life (Basel). 2021 Jun 24. pii: 605. [Epub ahead of print]11(7):
      How proteins properly fold and maintain solubility at the risk of misfolding and aggregation in the cellular environments still remains largely unknown. Aggregation has been traditionally treated as a consequence of protein folding (or misfolding). Notably, however, aggregation can be generally inhibited by affecting the intermolecular interactions leading to aggregation, independently of protein folding and conformation. We here point out that rigorous distinction between protein folding and aggregation as two independent processes is necessary to reconcile and underlie all observations regarding the combined cellular protein folding and aggregation. So far, the direct attractive interactions (e.g., hydrophobic interactions) between cellular macromolecules including chaperones and interacting polypeptides have been widely believed to mainly stabilize polypeptides against aggregation. However, the intermolecular repulsions by large excluded volume and surface charges of cellular macromolecules can play a key role in stabilizing their physically connected polypeptides against aggregation, irrespective of the connection types and induced conformational changes, underlying the generic intrinsic chaperone activity of cellular macromolecules. Such rigorous distinction and intermolecular repulsive force-driven aggregation inhibition by cellular macromolecules could give new insights into understanding the complex cellular protein landscapes that remain uncharted.
    Keywords:  aggregation; chaperones; excluded volume; intermolecular repulsions; misfolding; protein folding; surface charges
  23. J Neurosci Res. 2021 Jul 01.
      Glutamate excitotoxicity and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) recently have been found to be instrumental in the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases. However, the paucity of literature deciphering the inter-linkage among glutamate receptors, behavioral alterations, and ER demands thorough exploration. Reckoning the aforesaid concerns, a prospective study was outlined to delineate the influence of ER stress inhibition via 4-phenylbutyric acid (PBA) on α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) excitotoxicity-induced behavioral aspects and possible ER stress-glutamate linkage. Male SD rats were randomly divided into four groups namely sham (surgical control+vehicle, group 1), AMPA-induced excitotoxic group 2 receive a single intra-hippocampal injection of 10 mM AMPA, group 3 received AMPA along with PBA (i.p, 100 mg/kg body weight) for 15 days, and group 4 received PBA alone. Behavioral analyses were performed prior to the sacrifice of animals and hippocampus was extracted thereafter for further analysis. AMPA-induced excitotoxicity exhibited significant impairment of locomotion as well as cognitive functions. The levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, homo vanillic acid (HVA), norepinephrine, and serotonin were reduced accompanied by reduced expression of GLUR1 and GLUR4 (glutamate receptor) as well as loss of neurons in different layers of hippocampus. ER stress markers were upregulated upon AMPA excitotoxicity. However, chemical chaperone PBA supplementation remarkably mitigated the behavioral alterations along with expression of glutamate and ER stress intermediates/markers in AMPA excitotoxic animals. Therefore, the present exploration convincingly emphasizes the significance of ER stress and its inhibition via PBA in combating cognitive impairment as well as improving locomotion in excitotoxic animals.
    Keywords:  ER stress; RRID:AB_10715096; RRID:AB_2119991; RRID:AB_2230863; RRID:AB_2293243; RRID:AB_2687626; RRID:AB_2810998; RRID:AB_395198; RRID:AB_629532; RRID:RGD_70508; RRID:SCR_002798; RRID:SCR_003073; RRID:SCR_014289; behavioral alterations; excitotoxicity; glutamate receptors; hippocampus
  24. Materials (Basel). 2021 Jun 02. pii: 3019. [Epub ahead of print]14(11):
      Autophagy is an essential cellular process of self-degradation for dysfunctional or unnecessary cytosolic constituents and organelles. Dysregulation of autophagy is thus involved in various diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases. To investigate the complex process of autophagy, various biochemical, chemical assays, and imaging methods have been developed. Here we introduce various methods to study autophagy, in particular focusing on the review of designs, principles, and limitations of the fluorescent protein (FP)-based autophagy biosensors. Different physicochemical properties of FPs, such as pH-sensitivity, stability, brightness, spectral profile, and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), are considered to design autophagy biosensors. These FP-based biosensors allow for sensitive detection and real-time monitoring of autophagy progression in live cells with high spatiotemporal resolution. We also discuss future directions utilizing an optobiochemical strategy to investigate the in-depth mechanisms of autophagy. These cutting-edge technologies will further help us to develop the treatment strategies of autophagy-related diseases.
    Keywords:  autophagy; biosensors; fluorescence imaging; fluorescent protein; neurodegenerative diseases
  25. Mol Biol Cell. 2021 Jun 30. mbcE21030104
      Aneuploid yeast cells are in a chronic state of proteotoxicity yet do not constitutively induce the cytosolic unfolded protein response (HSR) by Heat shock factor 1 (Hsf1). Here, we demonstrate that an active environmental stress response (ESR), a hallmark of aneuploidy across different models, suppresses Hsf1 induction in models of single chromosome gain. Furthermore, engineered activation of the ESR in the absence of stress was sufficient to suppress Hsf1 activation in euploid cells by subsequent heat shock while increasing thermotolerance and blocking formation of heat-induced protein aggregates. Suppression of the ESR in aneuploid cells resulted in longer cell doubling times and decreased viability in the presence of additional proteotoxicity. Lastly, we show that in euploids Hsf1 induction by heat shock is curbed by the ESR. Strikingly, we found a similar relationship between the ESR and the HSR using an inducible model of aneuploidy. Our work explains a long-standing paradox in the field and provides new insights into conserved mechanisms of proteostasis with potential relevance to cancers associated with aneuploidy.
  26. Mol Neurobiol. 2021 Jul 02.
      Autophagy is a catabolic pathway by which misfolded proteins or damaged organelles are engulfed by autophagosomes and then transported to lysosomes for degradation. Recently, a great improvement has been done to explain the molecular mechanisms and roles of autophagy in several important cellular metabolic processes. Besides being a vital clearance pathway or a cell survival pathway in response to different stresses, autophagy dysfunction, either upregulated or down-regulated, has been suggested to be linked with numerous neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Impairment at different stages of autophagy results in the formation of large protein aggregates and damaged organelles, which leads to the onset and progression of different neurodegenerative disorders. This article elucidates the recent progress about the role of autophagy in neurodegenerative disorders and explains how autophagy dysfunction is linked with the pathogenesis of such disorders as well as the novel potential autophagy-associated therapies for treating them.
    Keywords:  Autophagosome; Autophagy; Dysfunction; Neurodegenerative disorders; Pathophysiology
  27. Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2021 Jun 23. pii: S1367-5931(21)00073-9. [Epub ahead of print]64 67-75
      More than a century has passed since pathological protein aggregates were first identified in the brains of patients with neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs). Yet, we still do not have effective therapies to treat or slow the progression of these devastating diseases or diagnostics for early detection and monitoring disease progression. Herein, I reflect on recent findings that are challenging traditional views about the composition, ultrastructural properties, and diversity of protein pathologies in the brain, their mechanisms of formation and how we investigate and model pathological aggregation processes in the laboratory today. This article is an invitation to embrace the complexity of proteinopathies as an essential step to understanding the molecular mechanisms underpinning NDDs and to advance translational research and drug discovery in NDDs.
    Keywords:  Alpha-synuclein; Amyloid; Amyloid-beta; Cryo-EM; Fibrils; Neurodegeneration; Neurodegenerative diseases; Pathological aggregates; Post-translational modifications; TAR DNA-binding protein 43; TDP-43; Tau
  28. FEBS J. 2021 Jul 02.
      The regulatory influence of ubiquitin is vast, encompassing all cellular processes, by virtue of its central roles in protein degradation, membrane trafficking, and cell signaling. But how does ubiquitin, a 76 amino acid peptide, carry out such diverse, complex functions in eukaryotic cells? Part of the answer is rooted in the high degree of complexity associated with ubiquitin polymers, which can be "read" and processed differently depending on topology and cellular context. However, recent evidence indicates that post-translational modifications on ubiquitin itself enhance the complexity of the ubiquitin code. Here, we review recent discoveries related to the regulation of the ubiquitin code by phosphorylation. We summarize what is currently known about phosphorylation of ubiquitin at Ser65, Ser57 and Thr12, and we discuss the potential for phospho-regulation of ubiquitin at other sites. We also discuss accumulating evidence that ubiquitin-like modifiers, such as SUMO, are likewise regulated by phosphorylation. A complete understanding of these regulatory codes and their complex lexicon will require dissection of mechanisms that govern phosphorylation of ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins, particularly in the context of cellular stress and disease.
    Keywords:  mitophagy; phosphorylation; protein degradation; proteostasis; signalling; stress responses; ubiquitin
  29. Dev Cell. 2021 Jun 29. pii: S1534-5807(21)00518-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lysosomes are the recycling center and nutrient signaling hub of the cell. Here, we show that lysosomes also control mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) differentiation by proteomic reprogramming. The chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) lysosome subgroup promotes osteogenesis, while suppressing adipogenesis, by selectively removing osteogenesis-deterring factors, especially master transcriptional factors, such as adipogenic TLE3, ZNF423, and chondrogenic SOX9. The activity of the CMA-committed lysosomes in MSCs are controlled by Van-Gogh-like 2 (Vangl2) at lysosomes. Vangl2 directly binds to lysosome-associated membrane protein 2A (LAMP-2A) and targets it for degradation. MSC-specific Vangl2 ablation in mice increases LAMP-2A expression and CMA-lysosome numbers, promoting bone formation while reducing marrow fat. The Vangl2:LAMP-2A ratio in MSCs correlates inversely with the capacity of the cells for osteoblastic differentiation in humans and mice. These findings demonstrate a critical role for lysosomes in MSC lineage acquisition and establish Vangl2-LAMP-2A signaling as a critical control mechanism.
    Keywords:  LAMP-2A; MSC; Vangl2; autophagy; lysosome; osteoblast; osteogenesis
  30. Molecules. 2021 Jun 11. pii: 3578. [Epub ahead of print]26(12):
      The heat shock protein (HSP) 70 is considered the main hallmark in preclinical studies to stain the peri-infarct region defined area penumbra in preclinical models of brain ischemia. This protein is also considered as a potential disease modifier, which may improve the outcome of ischemic damage. In fact, the molecule HSP70 acts as a chaperonine being able to impact at several level the homeostasis of neurons. Despite being used routinely to stain area penumbra in light microscopy, the subcellular placement of this protein within area penumbra neurons, to our knowledge, remains undefined. This is key mostly when considering studies aimed at deciphering the functional role of this protein as a determinant of neuronal survival. The general subcellular placement of HSP70 was grossly reported in studies using confocal microscopy, although no direct visualization of this molecule at electron microscopy was carried out. The present study aims to provide a direct evidence of HSP70 within various subcellular compartments. In detail, by using ultrastructural morphometry to quantify HSP70 stoichiometrically detected by immuno-gold within specific organelles we could compare the compartmentalization of the molecule within area penumbra compared with control brain areas. The study indicates that two cell compartments in control conditions own a high density of HSP70, cytosolic vacuoles and mitochondria. In these organelles, HSP70 is present in amount exceeding several-fold the presence in the cytosol. Remarkably, within area penumbra a loss of such a specific polarization is documented. This leads to the depletion of HSP70 from mitochondria and mostly cell vacuoles. Such an effect is expected to lead to significant variations in the ability of HSP70 to exert its physiological roles. The present findings, beyond defining the neuronal compartmentalization of HSP70 within area penumbra may lead to a better comprehension of its beneficial/detrimental role in promoting neuronal survival.
    Keywords:  area penumbra; autophagy-related vacuoles; brain ischemia; chaperones; mitochondria; quantitative morphometry; stoichiometric ultrastructural molecule detection; transmission electron microscopy
  31. Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2021 Jul 01. e21826
      The purpose of this study was to develop a new control method for Drosophila using saccharin sodium dihydrate (saccharin), an artificial sweetener that is safe for humans and the environment, and to elucidate its mode of action. In this study, we confirmed that saccharin can dose-dependently inhibit the development of or kill vinegar flies (VFs) and spotted wing Drosophila (SWDs). In addition, we found that low concentrations of saccharin induced a similar effect as starvation in Drosophila, whereas high concentrations of saccharin induced changes in the unfolded protein response (UPR) and autophagy signaling that were unlike starvation and inhibited development or killed the VF and the SWD by performing real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses. Spinosad is a widely used plant protection agent for SWD control. When saccharin was cotreated with 0.25-1.0 ppm spinosad, an additive insecticidal activity was observed only at high concentrations of saccharin. However, when saccharin was cotreated with 2.0 ppm spinosad, an additive insecticidal activity was observed at low concentrations of saccharin. Taken together, alteration of UPR and autophagy signaling represented the molecular basis underlying saccharin toxicity to Drosophila and concurrent spraying of an insecticide with saccharin could enhance the insecticidal activities.
    Keywords:  Drosophila; autophagy; insecticidal activity; saccharin; unfolded protein response
  32. Front Physiol. 2021 ;12 703458
    Keywords:  atrophy; autophagy; mitophagy; proteolysis; skeletal muscles; sympathethic nervous system
  33. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2021 Jun 29. 271678X211027384
      Autophagy is essential to cell function, as it enables the recycling of intracellular constituents during starvation and in addition functions as a quality control mechanism by eliminating spent organelles and proteins that could cause cellular damage if not properly removed. Recently, we reported on Wdfy3's role in mitophagy, a clinically relevant macroautophagic scaffold protein that is linked to intellectual disability, neurodevelopmental delay, and autism spectrum disorder. In this study, we confirm our previous report that Wdfy3 haploinsufficiency in mice results in decreased mitophagy with accumulation of mitochondria with altered morphology, but expanding on that observation, we also note decreased mitochondrial localization at synaptic terminals and decreased synaptic density, which may contribute to altered synaptic plasticity. These changes are accompanied by defective elimination of glycogen particles and a shift to increased glycogen synthesis over glycogenolysis and glycophagy. This imbalance leads to an age-dependent higher incidence of brain glycogen deposits with cerebellar hypoplasia. Our results support and further extend Wdfy3's role in modulating both brain bioenergetics and synaptic plasticity by including glycogen as a target of macroautophagic degradation.
    Keywords:  Glycogen; brain; electron microscopy; mitochondria; synapses