bims-proteo Biomed News
on Proteostasis
Issue of 2021‒04‒25
38 papers selected by
Eric Chevet

  1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Apr 27. pii: e2021293118. [Epub ahead of print]118(17):
      In eukaryotes, secretory proteins traffic from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi apparatus via coat protein complex II (COPII) vesicles. Intriguingly, during nutrient starvation, the COPII machinery acts constructively as a membrane source for autophagosomes during autophagy to maintain cellular homeostasis by recycling intermediate metabolites. In higher plants, essential roles of autophagy have been implicated in plant development and stress responses. Nonetheless, the membrane sources of autophagosomes, especially the participation of the COPII machinery in the autophagic pathway and autophagosome biogenesis, remains elusive in plants. Here, we provided evidence in support of a novel role of a specific Sar1 homolog AtSar1d in plant autophagy in concert with a unique Rab1/Ypt1 homolog AtRabD2a. First, proteomic analysis of the plant ATG (autophagy-related gene) interactome uncovered the mechanistic connections between ATG machinery and specific COPII components including AtSar1d and Sec23s, while a dominant negative mutant of AtSar1d exhibited distinct inhibition on YFP-ATG8 vacuolar degradation upon autophagic induction. Second, a transfer DNA insertion mutant of AtSar1d displayed starvation-related phenotypes. Third, AtSar1d regulated autophagosome progression through specific recognition of ATG8e by a noncanonical motif. Fourth, we demonstrated that a plant-unique Rab1/Ypt1 homolog AtRabD2a coordinates with AtSar1d to function as the molecular switch in mediating the COPII functions in the autophagy pathway. AtRabD2a appears to be essential for bridging the specific AtSar1d-positive COPII vesicles to the autophagy initiation complex and therefore contributes to autophagosome formation in plants. Taken together, we identified a plant-specific nexus of AtSar1d-AtRabD2a in regulating autophagosome biogenesis.
    Keywords:  Rab GTPase; Sar1; autophagy; coat protein complex II; plant stress
  2. Cell Chem Biol. 2021 Apr 17. pii: S2451-9456(21)00157-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Induced protein degradation accomplishes elimination, rather than inhibition, of pathological proteins. Key to the success of this novel therapeutic modality is the modification of proteins with ubiquitin chains, which is brought about by molecular glues or bivalent compounds that induce proximity between the target protein and an E3 ligase. The human genome encodes ∼600 E3 ligases that differ widely in their structures, catalytic mechanisms, modes of regulation, and physiological roles. While many of these enzymes hold great promise for drug discovery, few have been successfully engaged by small-molecule degraders. Here, we review E3 ligases that are being used for induced protein degradation. Based on these prior successes and our growing understanding of the biology and biochemistry of E3 ligases, we propose new ubiquitylation enzymes that can be harnessed for drug discovery to firmly establish induced protein degradation as a specific and efficient therapeutic approach.
    Keywords:  CRBN; E3 ligase; PROTAC; VHL; molecular glue; ubiquitin
  3. Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 23. 12(1): 2426
      To adapt to fluctuating protein folding loads in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the Hsp70 chaperone BiP is reversibly modified with adenosine monophosphate (AMP) by the ER-resident Fic-enzyme FICD/HYPE. The structural basis for BiP binding and AMPylation by FICD has remained elusive due to the transient nature of the enzyme-substrate-complex. Here, we use thiol-reactive derivatives of the cosubstrate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to covalently stabilize the transient FICD:BiP complex and determine its crystal structure. The complex reveals that the TPR-motifs of FICD bind specifically to the conserved hydrophobic linker of BiP and thus mediate specificity for the domain-docked conformation of BiP. Furthermore, we show that both AMPylation and deAMPylation of BiP are not directly regulated by the presence of unfolded proteins. Together, combining chemical biology, crystallography and biochemistry, our study provides structural insights into a key regulatory mechanism that safeguards ER homeostasis.
  4. J Neurosci. 2021 Apr 20. pii: JN-RM-2384-20. [Epub ahead of print]
      Schwann cells produce a considerable amount of lipids and proteins to form myelin in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). For this reason, the quality control of myelin proteins is crucial to ensure proper myelin synthesis. Deletion of serine 63 from P0 (P0S63del) protein in myelin forming Schwann cells causes Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1B (CMT1B) neuropathy in humans and mice. Misfolded P0S63del accumulates in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of Schwann cells where it elicits the unfolded protein response (UPR). PERK is the UPR transducer that attenuates global translation and reduces ER stress by phosphorylating the translation initiation factor eIF2alpha. Paradoxically, Perk ablation in P0S63del Schwann cells (S63del/PerkSCKO ) reduced the level of P-eIF2alpha, leaving UPR markers upregulated, yet unexpectedly improved S63del myelin defects in vivo We therefore investigated the hypothesis that PERK may interfere with signals outside of the UPR and specifically with Calcineurin/NFATc4 pro-myelinating pathway. Using mouse genetics including females and males in our experimental setting, we show that PERK and Calcineurin interact in P0S63del nerves and that Calcineurin activity and NFATc4 nuclear localization are increased in S63del Schwann cells, without altering EGR2/KROX20 expression. Moreover, genetic manipulation of the Calcineurin subunits appears to be either protective or toxic in S63del in a context dependent manner, suggesting that Schwann cells are highly sensitive to alterations of Calcineurin activity.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT:Our work shows a novel activity and function for Calcineurin in Schwann cells in the context of ER stress. Schwann cells expressing the S63del mutation in P0 protein induce the unfolded protein response and upregulate Calcineurin activity. Calcineurin interacts with the ER stress transducer PERK but the relationship between the UPR and Calcineurin in Schwann cells is unclear. Here we propose a protective role for Calcineurin in S63del neuropathy although Schwann cells appear to be very sensitive to its regulation. The paper uncovers a new important role for Calcineurin in a demyelinating diseases.
  5. J Neurochem. 2021 Apr 19.
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-localized Sigma-1 receptor (S1R) is neuroprotective in models of neurodegenerative diseases, among them Huntington disease (HD). Recent clinical trials in HD patients and preclinical studies in cellular and mouse HD models suggest a therapeutic potential for the high-affinity S1R agonist pridopidine. However, the molecular mechanisms of the cytoprotective effect are unclear. We have previously reported strong induction of ER stress by toxic mutant huntingtin (mHtt) oligomers, which is reduced upon sequestration of these mHtt oligomers into large aggregates. Here, we show that pridopidine significantly ameliorates mHtt-induced ER stress in cellular HD models, starting at low nanomolar concentrations. Pridopidine reduced the levels of markers of the three branches of the unfolded protein response (UPR), showing the strongest effects on the PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) branch. The effect is S1R-dependent, as it is abolished in cells expressing mHtt in which the S1R was deleted using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. mHtt increased the level of the detergent-insoluble fraction of S1R, suggesting a compensatory cellular mechanism that responds to increased ER stress. Pridopidine further enhanced levels of insoluble S1R, suggesting the stabilization of activated S1R oligomers. These S1R oligomeric species appeared in ER-localized patches, and not in the mitochondria-associated membranes nor the ER-derived quality control compartment. The colocalization of S1R with the chaperone BiP was significantly reduced by mHtt, and pridopidine restored this colocalization to normal, unstressed levels. Pridopidine increased toxic oligomeric mHtt recruitment into less toxic large SDS-insoluble aggregates, suggesting that this in turn reduces ER stress and cytotoxicity.
    Keywords:  ER stress; Huntington disease; Sigma-1 receptor; neurodegeneration; unfolded protein response
  6. iScience. 2021 Apr 23. 24(4): 102315
      The acetylation of ATG9A within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen regulates the induction of reticulophagy. ER acetylation is ensured by AT-1/SLC33A1, a membrane transporter that maintains the cytosol-to-ER flux of acetyl-CoA. Defective AT-1 activity, as caused by heterozygous/homozygous mutations and gene duplication events, results in severe disease phenotypes. Here, we show that although the acetylation of ATG9A occurs in the ER lumen, the induction of reticulophagy requires ATG9A to engage FAM134B and SEC62 on the cytosolic side of the ER. To address this conundrum, we resolved the ATG9A interactome in two mouse models of AT-1 dysregulation: AT-1 sTg, a model of systemic AT-1 overexpression with hyperacetylation of ATG9A, and AT-1S113R/+, a model of AT-1 haploinsufficiency with hypoacetylation of ATG9A. We identified CALR and HSPB1 as two ATG9A partners that regulate the induction of reticulophagy as a function of ATG9A acetylation and discovered that ATG9A associates with several proteins that maintain ER proteostasis.
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Molecular Biology; Proteomics
  7. Int J Biol Macromol. 2021 Apr 14. pii: S0141-8130(21)00832-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) play important roles in many physiological and pathological processes by modulating the ubiquitination of their substrates. DUBs undergo post-translational modifications including ubiquitination. However, whether DUBs can reverse their own ubiquitination and regulate their own protein stability requires further investigation. To answer this question, we screened an expression library of DUBs and their enzymatic activity mutants and found that some DUBs regulated their own protein stability in an enzymatic activity- and homomeric interaction-dependent manner. Taking Ubiquitin-specific-processing protease 29 (USP29) as an example, we found that USP29 deubiquitinates itself and protects itself from proteasomal degradation. We also revealed that the N-terminal region of USP29 is critical for its protein stability. Taken together, our work demonstrates that at least some DUBs regulate their own ubiquitination and protein stability. Our findings provide novel molecular insight into the diverse regulation of DUBs.
    Keywords:  Deubiquitinating enzymes; Self-stabilizing; Ubiquitin-specific-processing protease 29
  8. Elife. 2021 Apr 22. pii: e68348. [Epub ahead of print]10
      To adapt in an ever-changing environment, cells must integrate physical and chemical signals and translate them into biological meaningful information through complex signaling pathways. By combining lipidomic and proteomic approaches with functional analysis, we have shown that UBTD1 (Ubiquitin domain-containing protein 1) plays a crucial role in both the EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) self-phosphorylation and its lysosomal degradation. On the one hand, by modulating the cellular level of ceramides through ASAH1 (N-Acylsphingosine Amidohydrolase 1) ubiquitination, UBTD1 controls the ligand-independent phosphorylation of EGFR. On the other hand, UBTD1, via the ubiquitination of SQSTM1/p62 (Sequestosome 1) by RNF26 and endolysosome positioning, participates in the lysosomal degradation of EGFR. The coordination of these two ubiquitin-dependent processes contributes to the control of the duration of the EGFR signal. Moreover, we showed that UBTD1 depletion exacerbates EGFR signaling and induces cell proliferation emphasizing a hitherto unknown function of UBTD1 in EGFR-driven human cell proliferation.
    Keywords:  cell biology; human
  9. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Apr 27. pii: e2018229118. [Epub ahead of print]118(17):
      Cancer cells can survive chemotherapy-induced stress, but how they recover from it is not known. Using a temporal multiomics approach, we delineate the global mechanisms of proteotoxic stress resolution in multiple myeloma cells recovering from proteasome inhibition. Our observations define layered and protracted programs for stress resolution that encompass extensive changes across the transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome. Cellular recovery from proteasome inhibition involved protracted and dynamic changes of glucose and lipid metabolism and suppression of mitochondrial function. We demonstrate that recovering cells are more vulnerable to specific insults than acutely stressed cells and identify the general control nonderepressable 2 (GCN2)-driven cellular response to amino acid scarcity as a key recovery-associated vulnerability. Using a transcriptome analysis pipeline, we further show that GCN2 is also a stress-independent bona fide target in transcriptional signature-defined subsets of solid cancers that share molecular characteristics. Thus, identifying cellular trade-offs tied to the resolution of chemotherapy-induced stress in tumor cells may reveal new therapeutic targets and routes for cancer therapy optimization.
    Keywords:  GCN2; metabolism; myeloma; proteasome; proteostasis
  10. Cell. 2021 Apr 14. pii: S0092-8674(21)00379-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Components of the proteostasis network malfunction in aging, and reduced protein quality control in neurons has been proposed to promote neurodegeneration. Here, we investigate the role of chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), a selective autophagy shown to degrade neurodegeneration-related proteins, in neuronal proteostasis. Using mouse models with systemic and neuronal-specific CMA blockage, we demonstrate that loss of neuronal CMA leads to altered neuronal function, selective changes in the neuronal metastable proteome, and proteotoxicity, all reminiscent of brain aging. Imposing CMA loss on a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has synergistic negative effects on the proteome at risk of aggregation, thus increasing neuronal disease vulnerability and accelerating disease progression. Conversely, chemical enhancement of CMA ameliorates pathology in two different AD experimental mouse models. We conclude that functional CMA is essential for neuronal proteostasis through the maintenance of a subset of the proteome with a higher risk of misfolding than the general proteome.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; aging; chaperones; chemical activators of autophagy; lysosomes; neurodegeneration; protein aggregation; proteotoxicity; supersaturated proteome; tau
  11. Genesis. 2021 Apr 23. e23420
      Upon endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1) is activated and catalyzes nonconventional splicing of an unspliced X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1U) mRNA to yield a spliced XBP1 (XBP1S) mRNA that encodes a potent XBP1S transcription factor. XBP1S is a key mediator of the IRE1 branch that is essential for alleviating ER stress. We generated a novel mouse strain (referred to as "Xbp1CS/+ " mice) that constitutively expressed XBP1S after Cre recombinase-mediated recombination. Further breeding of these mice with Twist2 Cre recombinase (Twist2-Cre) knock-in mice generated Twist2-Cre;Xbp1CS/+ mice. Most Twist2-Cre;Xbp1CS/+ mice died shortly after birth. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed that constitutive expression of XBP1S occurred in various mouse tissues examined, but not in the brain. Immunohistochemistry confirmed that although the immunostaining signals for total XBP1 (XBP1U and XBP1S) were found in the calvarial bones in both Twist2-Cre;Xbp1CS/+ and control mice, the signals for XBP1S were only detected in the Twist2-Cre;Xbp1CS/+ mice, but not in the control mice. These results suggest that a precise control of XBP1S production is essential for normal mouse development.
    Keywords:  X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1); development; mouse
  12. BMC Endocr Disord. 2021 Apr 21. 21(1): 76
      BACKGROUND: Wolfram syndrome (WS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by diabetes insipidus, diabetes mellitus, optic atrophy and deafness. Mutations in Wolfram syndrome 1 (WFS1) gene may cause dysregulated endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-stress and cell apoptosis, contributing to WS symptoms. The aim of this study was to identify the molecular etiology of a case of WS and to explore the functional consequence of the mutant WFS1 gene in vitro.METHODS: A 27 years-old Chinese man was diagnosed as wolfram syndrome type 1 based on clinical data and laboratory data. DNA sequencing of WFS1 gene and mitochondrial m.3337G > A, m.3243A > G mutations were performed in the patient and his 4 family members. Functional analysis was performed to assessed the in vitro effect of the newly identified mutant. ER stress were evaluated by ER stress response element (ERSE)-luciferase assay. Cell apoptosis were performed by CCK-8, TUNEL staining and flow cytometric analysis.
    RESULTS: A novel heterozygous 10-base deletion (c. 2067_2076 del10, p.W690fsX706) was identified in the patient. In vitro studies showed that mutant p.W690fsX706 increased ERSE reporter activity in the presence or absence of thapsigargin instead of wild type WFS1. Knockdown of WFS1 activated the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway and increased the cell apoptosis, which could not be restored by transfection with WFS1 mutant (p.W690fsX706) comparable to the wild type WFS1.
    CONCLUSIONS: A novel heterozygous mutation of WFS1 detected in the patient resulted in loss-of-function of wolframin, thereby inducing dysregulated ER stress signaling and cell apoptosis. These findings increase the spectrum of WFS1 gene mutations and broaden our insights into the roles of mutant WFS1 in the pathogenesis of WS.
    Keywords:  ER stress; Mutation; WFS1 gene; Wolfram syndrome
  13. J Cell Biol. 2021 May 03. pii: e202010004. [Epub ahead of print]220(5):
      Mitochondria, which are excluded from the secretory pathway, depend on lipid transport proteins for their lipid supply from the ER, where most lipids are synthesized. In yeast, the outer mitochondrial membrane GTPase Gem1 is an accessory factor of ERMES, an ER-mitochondria tethering complex that contains lipid transport domains and that functions, partially redundantly with Vps13, in lipid transfer between the two organelles. In metazoa, where VPS13, but not ERMES, is present, the Gem1 orthologue Miro was linked to mitochondrial dynamics but not to lipid transport. Here we show that Miro, including its peroxisome-enriched splice variant, recruits the lipid transport protein VPS13D, which in turn binds the ER in a VAP-dependent way and thus could provide a lipid conduit between the ER and mitochondria. These findings reveal a so far missing link between function(s) of Gem1/Miro in yeast and higher eukaryotes, where Miro is a Parkin substrate, with potential implications for Parkinson's disease pathogenesis.
  14. Biol Cell. 2021 Apr 18.
      Mitochondria are organelles involved in various functions related to cellular metabolism and homeostasis. Though mitochondria contain own genome, their nuclear counterparts encode most of the different mitochondrial proteins. These are synthesized as precursors in the cytosol and have to be delivered into the mitochondria. These organelles hence have elaborate machineries for the import of precursor proteins from cytosol. The protein import machineries present in both mitochondrial membrane and aqueous compartments show great variability in pre-protein recognition, translocation and sorting across or into it. Mitochondrial protein import machineries also interact transiently with other protein complexes of the respiratory chain or those involved in the maintenance of membrane architecture. Hence mitochondrial protein translocation is an indispensable part of the regulatory network that maintains protein biogenesis, bioenergetics, membrane dynamics and quality control of the organelle. Various stress conditions and diseases that are associated with mitochondrial import defects lead to changes in cellular transcriptomic and proteomic profiles. Dysfunction in mitochondrial protein import also causes over-accumulation of precursor proteins and their aggregation in the cytosol. Multiple pathways may be activated for buffering these harmful consequences. Here we present a comprehensive picture of import machinery and its role in cellular quality control in response to defective mitochondrial import. We also discuss the pathological consequences of dysfunctional mitochondrial protein import in neurodegeneration and cancer. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Intracellular compartmentalization; Mitochondria; Protein degradation/proteases
  15. Cell Rep. 2021 Apr 20. pii: S2211-1247(21)00323-5. [Epub ahead of print]35(3): 109009
      Cancer cells function as primary architects of the tumor microenvironment. However, the molecular features of cancer cells that govern stromal cell phenotypes remain unclear. Here, we show that cancer-associated fibroblast (CAF) heterogeneity is driven by lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) cells at either end of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) spectrum. LUAD cells that have high expression of the EMT-activating transcription factor ZEB1 reprogram CAFs through a ZEB1-dependent secretory program and direct CAFs to the tips of invasive projections through a ZEB1-driven CAF repulsion process. The EMT, in turn, sensitizes LUAD cells to pro-metastatic signals from CAFs. Thus, CAFs respond to contextual cues from LUAD cells to promote metastasis.
    Keywords:  EMT; cancer-associated fibroblast; invasion; lung cancer; metastasis; microRNA; secretion; single-cell RNA sequencing; tumor microenvironment
  16. Eur J Med Chem. 2021 Apr 08. pii: S0223-5234(21)00284-1. [Epub ahead of print]219 113435
      The eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) is the master regulator of cap-dependent protein synthesis. Overexpression of eIF4E is implicated in diseases such as cancer, where dysregulation of oncogenic protein translation is frequently observed. eIF4E has been an attractive target for cancer treatment. Here we report a high-resolution X-ray crystal structure of eIF4E in complex with a novel inhibitor (i4EG-BiP) that targets an internal binding site, in contrast to the previously described inhibitor, 4EGI-1, which binds to the surface. We demonstrate that i4EG-BiP is able to displace the scaffold protein eIF4G and inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells. We provide insights into how i4EG-BiP is able to inhibit cap-dependent translation by increasing the eIF4E-4E-BP1 interaction while diminishing the interaction of eIF4E with eIF4G. Leveraging structural details, we designed proteolysis targeted chimeras (PROTACs) derived from 4EGI-1 and i4EG-BiP and characterized these on biochemical and cellular levels. We were able to design PROTACs capable of binding eIF4E and successfully engaging Cereblon, which targets proteins for proteolysis. However, these initial PROTACs did not successfully stimulate degradation of eIF4E, possibly due to competitive effects from 4E-BP1 binding. Our results highlight challenges of targeted proteasomal degradation of eIF4E that must be addressed by future efforts.
    Keywords:  Prodrug; Protein-protein interaction inhibitor; Translation inhibitor; eIF4E PROTAC; eIF4E inhibitor; eIF4E-eIF4G inhibitor
  17. Sci Adv. 2021 Apr;pii: eabd3684. [Epub ahead of print]7(17):
      The extracellular bone resorbing lacuna of the osteoclast shares many characteristics with the degradative lysosome of antigen-presenting cells. γ-Interferon-inducible lysosomal thiol reductase (GILT) enhances antigen processing within lysosomes through direct reduction of antigen disulfides and maintenance of cysteine protease activity. In this study, we found the osteoclastogenic cytokine RANKL drove expression of GILT in osteoclast precursors in a STAT1-dependent manner, resulting in high levels of GILT in mature osteoclasts, which could be further augmented by γ-interferon. GILT colocalized with the collagen-degrading cysteine protease, cathepsin K, suggesting a role for GILT inside the osteoclastic resorption lacuna. GILT-deficient osteoclasts had reduced bone-resorbing capacity, resulting in impaired bone turnover and an osteopetrotic phenotype in GILT-deficient mice. We demonstrated that GILT could directly reduce the noncollagenous bone matrix protein SPARC, and additionally, enhance collagen degradation by cathepsin K. Together, this work describes a previously unidentified, non-immunological role for GILT in osteoclast-mediated bone resorption.
  18. J Immunol. 2021 Apr 23. pii: ji2001178. [Epub ahead of print]
      NLRP3 inflammasome plays an important role in innate immune system through recognizing pathogenic microorganisms and danger-associated molecules. Deubiquitination of NLRP3 has been shown to be essential for its activation, yet the functions of Ubc13, the K63-linked specific ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2, in NLRP3 inflammasome activation are not known. In this study, we found that in mouse macrophages, Ubc13 knockdown or knockout dramatically impaired NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Catalytic activity is required for Ubc13 to control NLRP3 activation, and Ubc13 pharmacological inhibitor significantly attenuates NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Mechanistically, Ubc13 associates with NLRP3 and promotes its K63-linked polyubiquitination. Through mass spectrum and biochemical analysis, we identified lysine 565 and lysine 687 as theK63-linked polyubiquitination sites of NLRP3. Collectively, our data suggest that Ubc13 potentiates NLRP3 inflammasome activation via promoting site-specific K63-linked ubiquitination of NLRP3. Our study sheds light on mechanisms of NLRP3 inflammasome activation and identifies that targeting Ubc13 could be an effective therapeutic strategy for treating aberrant NLRP3 inflammasome activation-induced pathogenesis.
  19. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2021 Apr 23. e13666
      AIM: Mitophagy is the regulated process that targets damaged or dysfunctional mitochondria for lysosomal-mediated removal. This process is an essential element of mitochondrial quality control, and dysregulation of mitophagy may contribute to a host of diseases, most notably neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease. Mitochondria targeted for mitophagic destruction are molecularly marked by the ubiquitination of several outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) proteins. This ubiquitination is positively regulated, in part, by the mitochondrial-targeted kinase PINK1 and the E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin. In contrast, the reverse phenomenon, deubiquitination, removes ubiquitin from Parkin substrates embedded in the OMM proteins, antagonizing mitophagy. Recent evidence suggests that the mitochondrial deubiquitinase USP30 negatively regulates Parkin mediated mitophagy, providing opportunities to identify USP30 inhibitors and test for their effects in augmenting mitophagy. Here we will characterize a USP30 inhibitor and demonstrate how the pharmacological inhibition of USP30 can augment stress-induced mitophagic flux.METHODS: We have conducted mitophagy and mitochondrial analyses in cultured cells. We have determined the plasma pharmacokinetics of the USP30 inhibitor in mice and conducted analyses using the mt-Keima mice to measure in vivo mitophagy directly.
    RESULTS: The compound has minimal mitochondrial toxicity in cultured cells and is tolerated well in mice. Interestingly, we demonstrated tissue-specific induction of mitophagy following USP30 pharmacological inhibition. In particular, pharmacological inhibition of USP30 induces a significant increase in cardiac mitophagy without detriment to cardiac function.
    CONCLUSION: Our data support the evidence that USP30 inhibition may serve as a specific strategy to selectively increase mitophagic flux, allowing for the development of novel therapeutic approaches.
    Keywords:  Mitophagy; PINK1; Parkin; USP30; mitochondrial deubiquitination; mt-Keima
  20. Plant Physiol. 2020 Nov 02. 184(3): 1273-1290
      Drought is an important environmental factor affecting the growth and production of agricultural crops and fruits worldwide, including apple (Malus domestica). Heat shock factors (HSFs) have well-documented functions in stress responses, but their roles in flavonoid synthesis and the flavonoid-mediated drought response mechanism remain elusive. In this study, we demonstrated that a drought-responsive HSF, designated MdHSFA8a, promotes the accumulation of flavonoids, scavenging of reactive oxygen species, and plant survival under drought conditions. A chaperone, HEAT SHOCK PROTEIN90 (HSP90), interacted with MdHSFA8a to inhibit its binding activity and transcriptional activation. However, under drought stress, the MdHSP90-MdHSFA8a complex dissociated and the released MdHSFA8a further interacted with the APETALA2/ETHYLENE RESPONSIVE FACTOR family transcription factor RELATED TO AP2.12 to activate downstream gene activity. In addition, we demonstrated that MdHSFA8a participates in abscisic acid-induced stomatal closure and promotes the expression of abscisic acid signaling-related genes. Collectively, these findings provide insight into the mechanism by which stress-inducible MdHSFA8a modulates flavonoid synthesis to regulate drought tolerance.
  21. Plant Physiol. 2020 Nov 02. 184(3): 1333-1347
      p24 proteins are a family of type-I membrane proteins that cycle between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi apparatus via Coat Protein I (COPI)- and COPII-coated vesicles. These proteins have been proposed to function as cargo receptors, but the identity of putative cargos in plants is still elusive. We previously generated an Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) quadruple loss-of-function mutant affecting p24 genes from the δ-1 subclass of the p24 delta subfamily (p24δ3δ4δ5δ6 mutant). This mutant also had reduced protein levels of other p24 family proteins and was found to be sensitive to salt stress. Here, we used this mutant to test the possible involvement of p24 proteins in the transport to the plasma membrane of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins. We found that GPI-anchored proteins mostly localized to the ER in p24δ3δ4δ5δ6 mutant cells, in contrast to plasma membrane proteins with other types of membrane attachment. The plasma membrane localization of GPI-anchored proteins was restored in the p24δ3δ4δ5δ6 mutant upon transient expression of a single member of the p24 δ-1 subclass, RFP-p24δ5, which was dependent on the coiled-coil domain in p24δ5. The coiled-coil domain was also important for a direct interaction between p24δ5 and the GPI-anchored protein arabinogalactan protein4 (AGP4). These results suggest that Arabidopsis p24 proteins are involved in ER export and transport to the plasma membrane of GPI-anchored proteins.
  22. Autophagy. 2021 Apr 05. 1-3
      Mitophagy is an essential mechanism in maintaining cellular homeostasis, in which damaged and superfluous mitochondria are selectively degraded by the autophagy-lysosome pathway. Our recent study revealed that SPATA33 functions as a novel receptor for mitophagy in the priming of mitochondria for degradation in male germline cells. SPATA33 directly mediates the interaction of the outer mitochondrial membrane protein VDAC2 with the autophagy machinery component ATG16L1 during mitophagy. Upon starvation induction, SPATA33 can promote mitophagy as an autophagy receptor. Thus, SPATA33 confers cargo selectivity during mitophagy in germline cells. These findings provide new insights into selective autophagy and mitochondrial homeostasis.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; SPATA33; mammals; mitochondria; spermatogenesis
  23. Cell Death Discov. 2021 Apr 19. 7(1): 85
      The overexpression of HER2 is associated with a malignant proliferation of breast cancer. In this study, we developed a non-cytotoxic JWA gene activating compound 1 (JAC1) to inhibit the proliferation of HER2-positive breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo experimental models. JAC1 increased the ubiquitination of HER2 at the K716 site through the E3 ubiquitin ligase SMURF1 which was due to the decreased expression of NEDD4, the E3 ubiquitin ligase of SMURF1. In conclusion, JAC1 suppresses the proliferation of HER2-positive breast cancer cells through the JWA triggered HER2 ubiquitination signaling. JAC1 may serve as a potential therapeutic agent for HER2-positive breast cancer.
  24. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Apr 13. pii: e2025522118. [Epub ahead of print]118(15):
      The mechanistic/mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) integrates multiple signals to regulate critical cellular processes such as mRNA translation, lipid biogenesis, and autophagy. Germline and somatic mutations in mTOR and genes upstream of mTORC1, such as PTEN, TSC1/2, AKT3, PIK3CA, and components of GATOR1 and KICSTOR complexes, are associated with various epileptic disorders. Increased mTORC1 activity is linked to the pathophysiology of epilepsy in both humans and animal models, and mTORC1 inhibition suppresses epileptogenesis in humans with tuberous sclerosis and animal models with elevated mTORC1 activity. However, the role of mTORC1-dependent translation and the neuronal cell types mediating the effect of enhanced mTORC1 activity in seizures remain unknown. The eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) and 2 (4E-BP2) are translational repressors downstream of mTORC1. Here we show that the ablation of 4E-BP2, but not 4E-BP1, in mice increases the sensitivity to pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)- and kainic acid (KA)-induced seizures. We demonstrate that the deletion of 4E-BP2 in inhibitory, but not excitatory neurons, causes an increase in the susceptibility to PTZ-induced seizures. Moreover, mice lacking 4E-BP2 in parvalbumin, but not somatostatin or VIP inhibitory neurons exhibit a lowered threshold for seizure induction and reduced number of parvalbumin neurons. A mouse model harboring a human PIK3CA mutation that enhances the activity of the PI3K-AKT pathway (Pik3ca H1047R-Pvalb ) selectively in parvalbumin neurons shows susceptibility to PTZ-induced seizures. Our data identify 4E-BP2 as a regulator of epileptogenesis and highlight the central role of increased mTORC1-dependent translation in parvalbumin neurons in the pathophysiology of epilepsy.
    Keywords:  epilepsy; mRNA translation; mTORC1
  25. Plant Physiol. 2020 Oct 05. 184(2): 933-944
      Root development is important for normal plant growth and nutrient absorption. Studies have revealed the involvement of various factors in this complex process, improving our understanding of the relevant regulatory mechanisms. Here, we functionally characterize the role of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase γ2 (PI4Kγ2) in root elongation regulation, which functions to modulate stability of the RING-type E3 ligase MYB30-INTERACTING E3 LIGASE1 (MIEL1) and auxin metabolism. Mutant plants deficient in PI4Kγ2 (pi4kγ2) exhibited a shortened root length and elongation zone due to reduced auxin level. PI4Kγ2 was shown to interact with MIEL1, regulating its degradation and furthering the stability of transcription factor MYB30 (which suppresses auxin metabolism by directly binding to promoter regions of GH3.2 and GH3.6). Interestingly, pi4kγ2 plants presented altered hypersensitive response, indicating that PI4Kγ2 regulates synergetic growth and defense of plants through modulating auxin metabolism. These results reveal the importance of protein interaction in regulating ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation in eukaryotic cells, and illustrate a mechanism coordinating plant growth and biotic stress response.
  26. Blood Adv. 2021 Apr 27. 5(8): 2184-2195
      Calreticulin (CALR), an endoplasmic reticulum-associated chaperone, is frequently mutated in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). Mutated CALR promotes downstream JAK2/STAT5 signaling through interaction with, and activation of, the thrombopoietin receptor (MPL). Here, we provide evidence of a novel mechanism contributing to CALR-mutated MPNs, represented by abnormal activation of the interleukin 6 (IL-6)-signaling pathway. We found that UT7 and UT7/mpl cells, engineered by clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) to express the CALR type 1-like (DEL) mutation, acquired cytokine independence and were primed to the megakaryocyte (Mk) lineage. Levels of IL-6 messenger RNA (mRNA), extracellular-released IL-6, membrane-associated glycoprotein 130 (gp130), and IL-6 receptor (IL-6R), phosphorylated JAK1 and STAT3 (p-JAK1 and p-STAT3), and IL-6 promoter region occupancy by STAT3 all resulted in increased CALR DEL cells in the absence of MPL stimulation. Wild-type, but not mutated, CALR physically interacted with gp130 and IL-6R, downregulating their expression on the cell membrane. Agents targeting gp130 (SC-144), IL-6R (tocilizumab [TCZ]), and cell-released IL-6 reduced proliferation of CALR DEL as well as CALR knockout cells, supporting a mutated CALR loss-of-function model. CD34+ cells from CALR-mutated patients showed increased levels of IL-6 mRNA and p-STAT3, and colony-forming unit-Mk growth was inhibited by either SC144 or TCZ, as well as an IL-6 antibody, supporting cell-autonomous activation of the IL-6 pathway. Targeting IL-6 signaling also reduced colony formation by CD34+ cells of JAK2V617F-mutated patients. The combination of TCZ and ruxolitinib was synergistic at very low nanomolar concentrations. Overall, our results suggest that target inhibition of IL-6 signaling may have therapeutic potential in CALR, and possibly JAK2V617F, mutated MPNs.
  27. Sci Rep. 2021 Apr 19. 11(1): 8422
      The human orthologue of the tumor suppressor protein FBW7 is encoded by the Drosophila archipelago (ago) gene. Ago is an F-box protein that gives substrate specificity to its SCF ubiquitin ligase complex. It has a central role in multiple biological processes in a tissue-specific manner such as cell proliferation, cellular differentiation, hypoxia-induced gene expression. Here we present a previously unknown tissue-specific role of Ago in spermatid differentiation. We identified a classical mutant of ago which is semi-lethal and male-sterile. During the characterization of ago function in testis, we found that ago plays role in spermatid development, following meiosis. We confirmed spermatogenesis defects by silencing ago by RNAi in testes. The ago mutants show multiple abnormalities in elongating and elongated spermatids, including aberration of the cyst morphology, malformed mitochondrial structures, and individualization defects. Additionally, we determined the subcellular localization of Ago protein with mCherry-Ago transgene in spermatids. Our findings highlight the potential roles of Ago in different cellular processes of spermatogenesis, like spermatid individualization, and regulation of mitochondrial morphology.
  28. Traffic. 2021 Apr 23.
      Membrane depolarization activates the multisubunit CaV 1.2 L-type calcium channel initiating various excitation coupling responses. Intracellular trafficking into and out of the plasma membrane regulates the channel's surface expression and stability, and thus, the strength of CaV 1.2-mediated Ca2+ signals. The mechanisms regulating the residency time of the channel at the cell membrane are unclear. Here, we coexpressed the channel core complex CaV 1.2α1 pore-forming and auxiliary CaV β subunits and analysed their trafficking dynamics from single-particle-tracking trajectories. Speed histograms obtained for each subunit were best fitted to a sum of diffusive and directed motion terms. The same mean speed for the highest-mobility state underlying directed motion was found for all subunits. The frequency of this component increased by covalent linkage of CaV β to CaV 1.2α1 suggesting that high-speed transport occurs in association with CaV β. Selective tracking of CaV 1.2α1 along the postendocytic pathway failed to show the highly mobile state, implying CaV β-independent retrograde transport. Retrograde speeds of CaV 1.2α1 are compatible with myosin VI-mediated backward transport. Moreover, residency time at the cell surface was significantly prolonged when CaV 1.2α1 was covalently linked to CaV β. Thus, CaV β promotes fast transport speed along anterograde trafficking and acts as a molecular switch controlling the endocytic turnover of L-type calcium channels. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  L-type calcium channels; Protein Trafficking; endocytosis
  29. Cancer Discov. 2021 Apr 21. pii: candisc.1213.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cancer dependency maps, which use CRISPR/Cas9 depletion screens to profile the landscape of genetic dependencies in hundreds of cancer cell lines, have identified context-specific dependencies that could be therapeutically exploited. An ideal therapy is both lethal and precise, but these depletion screens cannot readily distinguish between gene effects that are cytostatic or cytotoxic. Here, we employ a diverse panel of functional genomic screening assays to identify NXT1 as a selective and rapidly lethal in vivo-relevant genetic dependency in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma. NXT1 heterodimerizes with NXF1 and together they form the principle mRNA nuclear export machinery. We describe a previously unrecognized mechanism of synthetic lethality between NXT1 and its paralog NXT2: their common essential binding partner NXF1 is lost only in the absence of both. We propose a potential therapeutic strategy for tumor-selective elimination of a protein that, if targeted directly, is expected to cause widespread toxicity.
  30. Sci Adv. 2021 Apr;pii: eabg4922. [Epub ahead of print]7(17):
      Selective autophagy of damaged mitochondria, protein aggregates, and other cargoes is essential for health. Cargo initiates phagophore biogenesis, which entails the conjugation of LC3 to phosphatidylethanolamine. Current models suggest that clustered ubiquitin chains on a cargo trigger a cascade from autophagic cargo receptors through the core complexes ULK1 and class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase complex I, WIPI2, and the ATG7, ATG3, and ATG12ATG5-ATG16L1 machinery of LC3 lipidation. This was tested using giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs), GST-Ub4 as a model cargo, the cargo receptors NDP52, TAX1BP1, and OPTN, and the autophagy core complexes. All three cargo receptors potently stimulated LC3 lipidation on GUVs. NDP52- and TAX1BP1-induced LC3 lipidation required all components, but not ULK1 kinase activity. However, OPTN bypassed the ULK1 requirement. Thus, cargo-dependent stimulation of LC3 lipidation is common to multiple autophagic cargo receptors, yet the details of core complex engagement vary between the different receptors.
  31. J Cell Biol. 2021 Jun 07. pii: e202006128. [Epub ahead of print]220(6):
      The Golgi complex is essential for the processing, sorting, and trafficking of newly synthesized proteins and lipids. Golgi turnover is regulated to meet different cellular physiological demands. The role of autophagy in the turnover of Golgi, however, has not been clarified. Here we show that CALCOCO1 binds the Golgi-resident palmitoyltransferase ZDHHC17 to facilitate Golgi degradation by autophagy during starvation. Depletion of CALCOCO1 in cells causes expansion of the Golgi and accumulation of its structural and membrane proteins. ZDHHC17 itself is degraded by autophagy together with other Golgi membrane proteins such as TMEM165. Taken together, our data suggest a model in which CALCOCO1 mediates selective Golgiphagy to control Golgi size and morphology in eukaryotic cells via its interaction with ZDHHC17.
  32. Autophagy. 2021 Apr 18. 1-4
      Whether macroautophagy/autophagy is physiologically relevant to regulate mitochondrial function for a rapid and dynamic adaptation of yeast cells to respiratory growth was not fully understood until recently. May et al. (2020. Nat Commun) report that bulk autophagy provides serine as a one-carbon (1C) metabolite that controls respiratory growth onset by initiating mitochondrial initiator tRNAMet modification and mitochondrial translation linking autophagy mechanistically to mitochondrial function. We discuss the mechanistic interplay between autophagy, one-carbon-metabolism, and mitochondrial function and the possible implications in neurodegeneration, aging, and carcinogenesis.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; mitochondrial respiration; mitochondrial translation; one-carbon metabolism; respiratory growth
  33. Science. 2021 Apr 23. pii: eabe1931. [Epub ahead of print]372(6540):
      The integrated stress response (ISR) maintains proteostasis by modulating protein synthesis and is important in synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. We developed a reporter, SPOTlight, for brainwide imaging of ISR state with cellular resolution. Unexpectedly, we found a class of neurons in mouse brain, striatal cholinergic interneurons (CINs), in which the ISR was activated at steady state. Genetic and pharmacological manipulations revealed that ISR signaling was necessary in CINs for normal type 2 dopamine receptor (D2R) modulation. Inhibiting the ISR inverted the sign of D2R modulation of CIN firing and evoked dopamine release and altered skill learning. Thus, a noncanonical, steady-state mode of ISR activation is found in CINs, revealing a neuromodulatory role for the ISR in learning.
  34. iScience. 2021 Apr 23. 24(4): 102321
      Neuroblastoma is a highly heterogeneous embryonal solid tumor of the sympathetic nervous system. As some tumors can be treated to undergo differentiation, investigating this process can guide differentiation-based therapies of neuroblastoma. Here, we studied the role of E3 ubiquitin ligases Cbl and Cbl-b in regulation of long-term signaling responses associated with extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation and neurite outgrowth, a morphological marker of neuroblastoma cell differentiation. Using quantitative mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics, we analyzed how the neuroblastoma cell line proteome, phosphoproteome, and ubiquitylome were affected by Cbl and Cbl-b depletion. To quantitatively assess neurite outgrowth, we developed a high-throughput microscopy assay that was applied in combination with inhibitor studies to pinpoint signaling underlying neurite outgrowth and to functionally validate proteins identified in the MS data sets. Using this combined approach, we identified a role for SHP-2 and CDK16 in Cbl/Cbl-b-dependent regulation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation and neurite outgrowth, highlighting their involvement in neuroblastoma cell differentiation.
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Proteomics; Systems Biology
  35. EMBO Rep. 2021 Apr 20. e52146
      Obesity has become a major health problem that has rapidly prevailed over the past several decades worldwide. Curcumin, a natural polyphenolic compound present in turmeric, has been shown to have a protective effect on against obesity and metabolic diseases. However, its underlying mechanism remains largely unknown. Here, we show that the administration of curcumin significantly prevents HFD-induced obesity and decreases the fat mass of the subcutaneous inguinal WAT (iWAT) and visceral epididymal WAT (eWAT) in mice. Mechanistically, curcumin inhibits adipogenesis by reducing the expression of AlkB homolog 5 (ALKHB5), an m6 A demethylase, which leads to higher m6 A-modified TNF receptor-associated factor 4 (TRAF4) mRNA. TRAF4 mRNA with higher m6 A level is recognized and bound by YTHDF1, leading to enhanced translation of TRAF4. TRAF4, acting as an E3 RING ubiquitin ligase, promotes degradation of adipocyte differentiation regulator PPARγ by a ubiquitin-proteasome pathway thereby inhibiting adipogenesis. Thus, m6 A-dependent TRAF4 expression upregulation by ALKBH5 and YTHDF1 contributes to curcumin-induced obesity prevention. Our findings provide mechanistic insights into how m6 A is involved in the anti-obesity effect of curcumin.
    Keywords:  ALKBH5; adipogenesis; curcumin; m6A; obesity
  36. Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 22. 12(1): 2370
      E1 enzymes function as gatekeepers of ubiquitin (Ub) signaling by catalyzing activation and transfer of Ub to tens of cognate E2 conjugating enzymes in a process called E1-E2 transthioesterification. The molecular mechanisms of transthioesterification and the overall architecture of the E1-E2-Ub complex during catalysis are unknown. Here, we determine the structure of a covalently trapped E1-E2-ubiquitin thioester mimetic. Two distinct architectures of the complex are observed, one in which the Ub thioester (Ub(t)) contacts E1 in an open conformation and another in which Ub(t) instead contacts E2 in a drastically different, closed conformation. Altogether our structural and biochemical data suggest that these two conformational states represent snapshots of the E1-E2-Ub complex pre- and post-thioester transfer, and are consistent with a model in which catalysis is enhanced by a Ub(t)-mediated affinity switch that drives the reaction forward by promoting productive complex formation or product release depending on the conformational state.
  37. Mol Psychiatry. 2021 Apr 20.
      Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR) has been shown to activate the eIF2α kinase PERK to directly regulate translation initiation. Tight control of PERK-eIF2α signaling has been shown to be necessary for normal long-lasting synaptic plasticity and cognitive function, including memory. In contrast, chronic activation of PERK-eIF2α signaling has been shown to contribute to pathophysiology, including memory impairments, associated with multiple neurological diseases, making this pathway an attractive therapeutic target. Herein, using multiple genetic approaches we show that selective deletion of the PERK in mouse midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons results in multiple cognitive and motor phenotypes. Conditional expression of phospho-mutant eIF2α in DA neurons recapitulated the phenotypes caused by deletion of PERK, consistent with a causal role of decreased eIF2α phosphorylation for these phenotypes. In addition, deletion of PERK in DA neurons resulted in altered de novo translation, as well as changes in axonal DA release and uptake in the striatum that mirror the pattern of motor changes observed. Taken together, our findings show that proper regulation of PERK-eIF2α signaling in DA neurons is required for normal cognitive and motor function in a non-pathological state, and also provide new insight concerning the onset of neuropsychiatric disorders that accompany UPR failure.
  38. Eur J Med Chem. 2021 Apr 10. pii: S0223-5234(21)00295-6. [Epub ahead of print]219 113446
      ATPases Associated with Diverse Cellular Activity (AAA ATPase) are essential enzymes found in all organisms. They are involved in various processes such as DNA replication, protein degradation, membrane fusion, microtubule serving, peroxisome biogenesis, signal transduction, and the regulation of gene expression. Due to the importance of AAA ATPases, several researchers identified and developed small-molecule inhibitors against these enzymes. We discuss six AAA ATPases that are potential drug targets and have well-developed inhibitors. We compare available structures that suggest significant differences of the ATP binding pockets among the AAA ATPases with or without ligand. The distances from ADP to the His20 in the His-Ser-His motif and the Arg finger (Arg353 or Arg378) in both RUVBL1/2 complex structures bound with or without ADP have significant differences, suggesting dramatically different interactions of the binding site with ADP. Taken together, the inhibitors of six well-studied AAA ATPases and their structural information suggest further development of specific AAA ATPase inhibitors due to difference in their structures. Future chemical biology coupled with proteomic approaches could be employed to develop variant specific, complex specific, and pathway specific inhibitors or activators for AAA ATPase proteins.
    Keywords:  AAA ATPases; ATAD2; RUVBL1/2; Small molecule inhibitors; p97