bims-proteo Biomed News
on Proteostasis
Issue of 2021‒05‒23
fifty-eight papers selected by
Eric Chevet

  1. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.243790. [Epub ahead of print]
      The Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER)-resident intramembrane rhomboid protease RHBDL4 generates metastable protein fragments and together with the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) machinery provides a clearance mechanism for aberrant and surplus proteins. However, the endogenous substrate spectrum and with that the role of RHBDL4 in physiological ERAD is mainly unknown. Here, we use a substrate trapping approach in combination with quantitative proteomics to identify physiological RHBDL4 substrates. This revealed oligosacharyltransferase (OST) complex subunits such as the catalytic active subunit STT3A as substrates for the RHBDL4-dependent ERAD pathway. RHBDL4-catalyzed cleavage inactivates OST subunits by triggering dislocation into the cytoplasm and subsequent proteasomal degradation. Thereby, RHBDL4 controls the abundance and activity of OST, suggesting a novel link between the ERAD machinery and glycosylation tuning.
    Keywords:  N-linked glycosylation; Post-translational protein abundance control; Rhbdd1; Rhomboid serine protease; Ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis
  2. EMBO J. 2021 May 21. e105990
      Cholesterol and phosphoinositides (PI) are two critically important lipids that are found in cellular membranes and dysregulated in many disorders. Therefore, uncovering molecular pathways connecting these essential lipids may offer new therapeutic insights. We report that loss of function of lysosomal Niemann-Pick Type C1 (NPC1) cholesterol transporter, which leads to neurodegenerative NPC disease, initiates a signaling cascade that alters the cholesterol/phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PtdIns4P) countertransport cycle between Golgi-endoplasmic reticulum (ER), as well as lysosome-ER membrane contact sites (MCS). Central to these disruptions is increased recruitment of phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases-PI4KIIα and PI4KIIIβ-which boosts PtdIns4P metabolism at Golgi and lysosomal membranes. Aberrantly increased PtdIns4P levels elevate constitutive anterograde secretion from the Golgi complex, and mTORC1 recruitment to lysosomes. NPC1 disease mutations phenocopy the transporter loss of function and can be rescued by inhibition or knockdown of either key phosphoinositide enzymes or their recruiting partners. In summary, we show that the lysosomal NPC1 cholesterol transporter tunes the molecular content of Golgi and lysosome MCS to regulate intracellular trafficking and growth signaling in health and disease.
    Keywords:  Niemann-Pick Type C; mTORC; membrane contact sites; neurodegeneration; phosphoinositides
  3. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.248526. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lipid droplets (LDs) are implicated in conditions of lipid and protein dysregulation. The fat storage inducing transmembrane (FIT) family induces LD formation. Here, we establish a model system to study the role of S. cerevisiae FIT homologues (ScFIT), SCS3 and YFT2, in proteostasis and stress response pathways. While LD biogenesis and basal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced unfolded protein response (UPR) remain unaltered in ScFIT mutants, SCS3 was found essential for proper stress-induced UPR activation and for viability in the absence of the sole yeast UPR transducer IRE1. Devoid of a functional UPR, muted SCS3 exhibited accumulation of triacylglycerol within the ER along with aberrant LD morphology, suggesting a UPR-dependent compensatory mechanism. Additionally, SCS3 was necessary to maintain phospholipid homeostasis. Strikingly, global protein ubiquitination and the turnover of both ER and cytoplasmic misfolded proteins is impaired in ScFITΔ cells, while a screen for interacting partners of Scs3 identifies components of the proteostatic machinery as putative targets. Together, our data support a model where ScFITs play an important role in lipid metabolism and proteostasis beyond their defined roles in LD biogenesis.
    Keywords:  Endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD); Lipid droplet; Phospholipid metabolism; Proteostasis; Scs3; Unfolded protein response (UPR)
  4. Nature. 2021 May 19.
      Ubiquitylation is a widespread post-translational protein modification in eukaryotes and marks bacteria that invade the cytosol as cargo for antibacterial autophagy1-3. The identity of the ubiquitylated substrate on bacteria is unknown. Here we show that the ubiquitin coat on Salmonella that invade the cytosol is formed through the ubiquitylation of a non-proteinaceous substrate, the lipid A moiety of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), by the E3 ubiquitin ligase ring finger protein 213 (RNF213). RNF213 is a risk factor for moyamoya disease4,5, which is a progressive stenosis of the supraclinoid internal carotid artery that causes stroke (especially in children)6,7. RNF213 restricts the proliferation of cytosolic Salmonella and is essential for the generation of the bacterial ubiquitin coat, both directly (through the ubiquitylation of LPS) and indirectly (through the recruitment of LUBAC, which is a downstream E3 ligase that adds M1-linked ubiquitin chains onto pre-existing ubiquitin coats8). In cells that lack RNF213, bacteria do not attract ubiquitin-dependent autophagy receptors or induce antibacterial autophagy. The ubiquitylation of LPS on Salmonella that invade the cytosol requires the dynein-like core of RNF213, but not its RING domain. Instead, ubiquitylation of LPS relies on an RZ finger in the E3 shell. We conclude that ubiquitylation extends beyond protein substrates and that ubiquitylation of LPS triggers cell-autonomous immunity, and we postulate that non-proteinaceous substances other than LPS may also become ubiquitylated.
  5. J Biol Chem. 2021 May 12. pii: S0021-9258(21)00528-7. [Epub ahead of print] 100739
      Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) is a potent mitogen that activates the IGF receptor (IGFR)/insulin receptor substrate (IRS) axis, thus stimulating growth in normal cells and uncontrolled cell proliferation in cancer. Post-translational modifications of IRS such as ubiquitination tightly control IGF signaling, and we previously identified IRS-1 as a potential substrate for the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRAF4 using an unbiased screen. Here we provide evidence that TRAF4-mediated ubiquitination of IRS-1 is physiologically relevant and crucial for IGF signal transduction. Through site-directed mutagenesis we found that TRAF4 promotes an atypical K29-linked ubiquitination at the C-terminal end of IRS-1. Its depletion abolishes AKT and ERK phosphorylation downstream of IGF-1, and inhibits breast cancer cell proliferation. Overexpression of TRAF4 enhances IGF1-induced IGFR-IRS-1 interaction, IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation, and downstream effector protein activation while mutation of IRS-1 ubiquitination sites completely abolishes these effects. Altogether, our studies demonstrate that non-proteolytic ubiquitination of IRS-1 is a key step in conveying IGF-1 stimulation from IGFR to IRS-1.
    Keywords:  Akt; TNF receptor associated factor (TRAF); insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS‐1); insulin‐like growth factor (IGF); proliferation; protein phosphorylation; ubiquitination
  6. EMBO J. 2021 May 19. e106183
      Exposure to heat stress triggers a well-defined acute response marked by HSF1-dependent transcriptional upregulation of heat shock proteins. Cells allowed to recover acquire thermotolerance, but this adaptation is poorly understood. By quantitative proteomics, we discovered selective upregulation of HSP70-family chaperone HSPA1 and its co-factors, HSPH1 and DNAJB1, in MCF7 breast cancer cells acquiring thermotolerance. HSPA1 was found to have dual function during heat stress response: (i) During acute stress, it promotes the recruitment of the 26S proteasome to translating ribosomes, thus poising cells for rapid protein degradation and resumption of protein synthesis upon recovery; (ii) during thermotolerance, HSPA1 together with HSPH1 maintains ubiquitylated nascent/newly synthesized proteins in a soluble state required for their efficient proteasomal clearance. Consistently, deletion of HSPH1 impedes thermotolerance and esophageal tumor growth in mice, thus providing a potential explanation for the poor prognosis of digestive tract cancers with high HSPH1 and nominating HSPH1 as a cancer drug target. We propose dual roles of HSPA1 either alone or in complex with HSPH1 and DNAJB1 in promoting quality control of nascent/newly synthesized proteins and cellular thermotolerance.
    Keywords:  co-translational protein quality control; esophageal cancer; heat shock protein 70; stress response; ubiquitin-proteasome system
  7. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.241539. [Epub ahead of print]
      One major cause of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is homeostatic imbalance between biosynthetic protein folding and protein folding capacity. Cells utilize mechanisms such as the unfolded protein response (UPR) to cope with ER stress. Nevertheless, when ER stress is prolonged or severe, cell death may occur, accompanied by production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). Using a yeast model, we describe an innate, adaptive response to ER stress to increase select mitochondrial proteins, O2 consumption, and cell survival. The mitochondrial response allows cells to resist additional ER stress. ER stress-induced mitochondrial response is mediated by activation of retrograde (RTG) signaling to enhance anapleurotic reactions of the TCA cycle. Mitochondrial response to ER stress is accompanied by inactivation of the conserved TORC1 pathway, and activation of Snf1/AMPK, the conserved energy sensor and regulator of metabolism. Our results provide new insight into the role of respiration in cell survival in the face of ER stress, and should help in developing therapeutic strategies to limit cell death in disorders linked to ER stress.
    Keywords:  ER stress; Endoplasmic reticulum; Mitochondria; Yeast
  8. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.241976. [Epub ahead of print]
      Folding of proteins entering the mammalian secretory pathway requires the insertion of the correct disulfides. Disulfide formation involves both an oxidative pathway for their insertion and a reductive pathway to remove incorrectly formed disulfides. Reduction of these disulfides is critical for correct folding and degradation of misfolded proteins. Previously, we showed that the reductive pathway is driven by NADPH generated in the cytosol. Here, by reconstituting the pathway using purified proteins and ER microsomal membranes, we demonstrate that the thioredoxin reductase system provides the minimal cytosolic components required for reducing proteins within the ER lumen. In particular, saturation of the pathway and its protease sensitivity demonstrates the requirement for a membrane protein to shuttle electrons from the cytosol to the ER. These results provide compelling evidence for the critical role of the cytosol in regulating ER redox homeostasis ensuring correct protein folding and facilitating the degradation of misfolded ER proteins.
    Keywords:  Disulfide formation; Endoplasmic reticulum; Protein folding; Thioredoxin pathway
  9. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.250241. [Epub ahead of print]
      Defective intracellular trafficking and export of microRNAs have been observed in growth retarded mammalian cells having impaired mitochondrial potential and dynamics. Uncoupling Protein 2 mediated depolarization of mitochondrial membrane also results in progressive sequestration of microRNAs with polysomes and lowered their release via extracellular vesicles. Interestingly, impaired miRNA-trafficking process in growth retarded human cells could be reversed in presence of Genipin an inhibitor of Uncoupling Protein 2. Mitochondrial detethering of endoplasmic reticulum, observed in mitochondria depolarized cells, found to be responsible for defective compartmentalization of translation initiation factor eIF4E to endoplasmic reticulum attached polysomes. It causes retarded translation process accompanied by enhanced retention of miRNAs and target mRNAs with endoplasmic reticulum attached polysomes to restrict extracellular export of miRNAs. Reduced compartment specific activity of mTORC1 complex, the master regulator of protein synthesis, in mitochondria defective or ER- detethered cells, causes reduced phosphorylation of eIF4E-BP1 to prevent eIF-4E targeting to ER attached polysome and microRNA export. These data suggest how mitochondrial membrane potential and dynamics, by affecting mTORC1 activity and compartmentalization, determine sub-cellular localization and export of microRNAs.
    Keywords:  EIF4E and mTORC1; Exosomes; Extracellular vesicles; MiRNA; Mitochondria; P-body; Polysome; Processing bodies
  10. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.240085. [Epub ahead of print]
      Dendritic cell (DC) aggresome-like induced structures (DALIS) are protein aggregates of polyubiquitylated proteins that form transiently during DC maturation. DALIS scatter randomly throughout the cytosol and serve as antigen storage sites synchronising DC maturation and antigen presentation. Maturation of DCs is accompanied by the induction of the ubiquitin-like modifier FAT10 that localises to aggresomes that are structures similar to DALIS. FAT10 is conjugated to substrate proteins and serves as a signal for their rapid and irreversible degradation by the 26S proteasome similar to, yet independently of ubiquitin, thereby contributing to antigen presentation. Here we have investigated whether FAT10 is involved in the formation and turnover of DALIS and whether proteins accumulating in DALIS can be FAT10ylated. We found that FAT10 localises to DALIS in maturing DCs and that this localisation occurs independently of its conjugation to substrates. Additionally, we investigated the DALIS turnover in FAT10-deficient and -proficient DCs and observed FAT10-mediated disassembly of DALIS. Thus, we report further evidence that FAT10 is involved in antigen processing which may provide a functional rationale why FAT10 is selectively induced upon DC maturation.
    Keywords:  DALIS; Dendritic cells; FAT10; Proteasome; Ubiquitin
  11. J Biol Chem. 2021 Apr 29. pii: S0021-9258(21)00508-1. [Epub ahead of print] 100719
      Peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) folds and trafficks inefficiently, with only 20% of newly expressed protein trafficking to the cell surface. This behavior is exacerbated in many of the mutants associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTD), motivating further study. Here we characterized the role of N-glycosylation in limiting PMP22 trafficking. We first eliminated N-glycosylation using an N41Q mutation, which resulted in an almost 3-fold increase in trafficking efficiency of wild type (WT) PMP22 and a 10-fold increase for the severely unstable L16P disease mutant in HEK293 cells, with similar results in Schwann cells. Total cellular levels were also much higher for the WT/N41Q mutant, though not for the L16P/N41Q form. Depletion of oligosaccharyltransferase OST-A and OST-B subunits revealed that WT PMP22 is N-glycosylated post-translationally by OST-B, whereas L16P is co-translationally glycosylated by OST-A. Quantitative proteomic screens revealed similarities and differences in the interactome for WT, glycosylation-deficient, and unstable mutant forms of PMP22 and also suggested that L16P is sequestered at earlier stages of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) quality control. CRISPR knock-out studies revealed a role for retention in ER sorting receptor 1 (RER1) in limiting the trafficking of all three forms, for UDP-glucose glycoprotein glucosyltransferase 1 (UGGT1) in limiting the trafficking of WT and L16P but not N41Q, and calnexin (CNX) in limiting the trafficking of WT and N41Q but not L16P. This work shows that N-glycosylation is a limiting factor to forward trafficking PMP22 and sheds light on the proteins involved in its quality control.
    Keywords:  Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTD); ER quality control; N-linked glycosylation; peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22); peripheral neuropathy; trafficking
  12. Biol Open. 2020 Jan 01. pii: bio.046391. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cells exposed to starvation have to adjust their metabolism to conserve energy and protect themselves. Protein synthesis is one of the major energy-consuming processes and as such has to be tightly controlled. Many mechanistic details about how starved cells regulate the process of protein synthesis are still unknown. Here, we report that the essential translation initiation factor eIF2B forms filaments in starved budding yeast cells. We demonstrate that filamentation is triggered by starvation-induced acidification of the cytosol, which is caused by an influx of protons from the extracellular environment. We show that filament assembly by eIF2B is necessary for rapid and efficient downregulation of translation. Importantly, this mechanism does not require the kinase Gcn2. Furthermore, analysis of site-specific variants of eIF2B suggests that eIF2B assembly results in enzymatically inactive filaments that promote stress survival and fast recovery of cells from starvation. We propose that translation regulation through filament formation is an efficient mechanism that allows yeast cells to adapt to fluctuating environments.
    Keywords:  Budding yeast; Protein assembly; Regulation of translation; Starvation; Stress response
  13. Cell Metab. 2021 May 17. pii: S1550-4131(21)00223-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      How amphipathic phospholipids are shuttled between the membrane bilayer remains an essential but elusive process, particularly at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). One prominent phospholipid shuttling process concerns the biogenesis of APOB-containing lipoproteins within the ER lumen, which may require bulk trans-bilayer movement of phospholipids from the cytoplasmic leaflet of the ER bilayer. Here, we show that TMEM41B, present in the lipoprotein export machinery, encodes a previously conceptualized ER lipid scramblase mediating trans-bilayer shuttling of bulk phospholipids. Loss of hepatic TMEM41B eliminates plasma lipids, due to complete absence of mature lipoproteins within the ER, but paradoxically also activates lipid production. Mechanistically, scramblase deficiency triggers unique ER morphological changes and unsuppressed activation of SREBPs, which potently promotes lipid synthesis despite stalled secretion. Together, this response induces full-blown nonalcoholic hepatosteatosis in the TMEM41B-deficient mice within weeks. Collectively, our data uncovered a fundamental mechanism safe-guarding ER function and integrity, dysfunction of which disrupts lipid homeostasis.
    Keywords:  SREBP; endoplasmic reticulum; fatty liver disease; lipid scramblase; lipoprotein metabolism
  14. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.239814. [Epub ahead of print]
      Secretory cargo is recognized, concentrated and trafficked from ER exit sites (ERES) to the Golgi. Cargo export from the ER begins when a series of highly conserved COPII coat proteins accumulate at the ER and regulate the formation of cargo loaded, COPII vesicles. In animal cells, capturing live de novo cargo trafficking past this point is challenging; it has been difficult to discriminate whether cargo is trafficked to the Golgi in a COPII coated vesicle. Here, we utilized a recently developed live cell, cargo export system that can be synchronously released from ERES to illustrate de novo trafficking in animal cells. We find that components of the COPII coat remain associated with the ERES, while cargo is extruded into COPII uncoated, non-ER associated, Rab1-dependent carriers. Our data suggest that in animal cells COPII coat components remain stably associated with the ER at exit sites to generate a specialized compartment, but once cargo is sorted and organized, Rab1 labels these export carriers and facilitates efficient forward trafficking.
    Keywords:  COPII; ERES; MANII; RUSH; Rab1; TNF-alpha
  15. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.244566. [Epub ahead of print]
      Polyubiquitin chains linked via lysine (K) 63 play an important role in endocytosis and membrane trafficking. Their primary source is the ubiquitin protein ligase (E3) Rsp5/NEDD4, which acts as a key regulator of membrane protein sorting. The heterodimeric ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (E2), Ubc13-Mms2, catalyses K63-specific polyubiquitylation in genome maintenance and inflammatory signalling. In budding yeast, the only ubiquitin protein ligase (E3) known to cooperate with Ubc13-Mms2 so far is a nuclear RING finger protein, Rad5, involved in the replication of damaged DNA. We now report a contribution of Ubc13-Mms2 to the sorting of membrane proteins to the yeast vacuole via the multivesicular body (MVB) pathway. In this context, Ubc13-Mms2 cooperates with Pib1, a FYVE-RING finger protein associated with internal membranes. Moreover, we identified a family of membrane-associated FYVE-(type)-RING finger proteins as cognate E3s for Ubc13-Mms2 in several species, and genetic analysis indicates that the contribution of Ubc13-Mms2 to membrane trafficking in budding yeast goes beyond its cooperation with Pib1. Thus, our results widely implicate Ubc13-Mms2 as an Rsp5-independent source of K63-linked polyubiquitin chains in the regulation of membrane protein sorting.
    Keywords:  FYVE domain; K63-polyubiquitin chains; Membrane protein sorting; RING finger; Ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme; Ubiquitin-protein ligase
  16. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.248336. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lysosomes are compartments for the degradation of both endocytic and autophagic cargoes. The shape of lysosomes changes with cellular degradative demands, however, there is limited knowledge about the mechanisms or significance that underlies distinct lysosomal morphologies. Here, we found an extensive tubular autolysosomal network in Drosophila abdominal muscle remodeling during metamorphosis. The tubular network transiently appeared and exhibited the capacity to degrade autophagic cargoes. The tubular autolysosomal network was uniquely marked by the autophagic SNARE protein, Syntaxin 17, and its formation depended on both autophagic flux and degradative function, with the exception of the Atg12 and Atg8 ubiquitin-like conjugation systems. Among ATG-deficient mutants, the efficiency of lysosomal tubulation correlated with the phenotypic severity in muscle remodeling. The lumen of the tubular network was continuous and homogeneous across a broad region of the remodeling muscle. Altogether, we revealed that the dynamic expansion of a tubular autolysosomal network synchronizes the abundant degradative activity required for developmentally regulated muscle remodeling.
    Keywords:  Atrophy; Autolysosome; Drosophila; Metamorphosis; Muscle; Syntaxin17
  17. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.244855. [Epub ahead of print]
      Imbalances in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis provoke a condition known as ER stress and activate the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway, an evolutionary conserved cell survival mechanism. Here, we show that mouse myoblasts respond to UPR activation by stimulating glycogenesis and the formation of α-amylase-degradable, glycogen-containing, ER structures. We demonstrate that, the glycogen-binding protein Stbd1 is markedly upregulated through the PERK signalling branch of the UPR pathway and is required for the build-up of glycogen structures in response to ER stress activation. In the absence of ER stress, Stbd1 overexpression is sufficient to induce glycogen clustering but does not stimulate glycogenesis. Glycogen structures induced by ER stress are degraded under conditions of glucose restriction through a process which does not depend on autophagosome-lysosome fusion. Furthermore, we provide evidence that failure to induce glycogen clustering during ER stress is associated with enhanced activation of the apoptotic pathway. Our results reveal a so far unknown response of mouse myoblasts to ER stress and uncover a novel specific function of Stbd1 in this process, which may have physiological implications during myogenic differentiation.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; ER stress; Glycogen; Glycogen synthase; Glycogenin; UPR
  18. Oncogene. 2021 May 18.
      The Ubiquitin-Specific Protease 22 (USP22) is a deubiquitinating subunit of the mammalian SAGA transcriptional co-activating complex. USP22 was identified as a member of the so-called "death-from-cancer" signature predicting therapy failure in cancer patients. However, the importance and functional role of USP22 in different types and subtypes of cancer remain largely unknown. In the present study, we leveraged human cell lines and genetic mouse models to investigate the role of USP22 in HER2-driven breast cancer (HER2+-BC) and demonstrate for the first time that USP22 is required for the tumorigenic properties in murine and human HER2+-BC models. To get insight into the underlying mechanisms, we performed transcriptome-wide gene expression analyses and identified the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) as a pathway deregulated upon USP22 loss. The UPR is normally induced upon extrinsic or intrinsic stresses that can promote cell survival and recovery if shortly activated or programmed cell death if activated for an extended period. Strikingly, we found that USP22 actively suppresses UPR induction in HER2+-BC cells by stabilizing the major endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone HSPA5. Consistently, loss of USP22 renders tumor cells more sensitive to apoptosis and significantly increases the efficiency of therapies targeting the ER folding capacity. Together, our data suggest that therapeutic strategies targeting USP22 activity may sensitize tumor cells to UPR induction and could provide a novel, effective approach to treat HER2+-BC.
  19. Biol Open. 2020 Jan 01. pii: bio.053918. [Epub ahead of print]
      In response to injury, skeletal muscle stem cells (MuSCs) undergo myogenesis where they become activated, proliferate rapidly, differentiate and undergo fusion to form multinucleated myotubes. Dramatic changes in cell size, shape, metabolism and motility occur during myogenesis which cause cellular stress and alter proteostasis. The molecular chaperone heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) maintains proteostasis by regulating protein biosynthesis and folding, facilitating transport of polypeptides across intracellular membranes and preventing stress-induced protein unfolding/aggregation. Although HSP70 overexpression can exert beneficial effects in skeletal muscle diseases and enhance skeletal muscle repair after injury, its effect on myogenesis has not been investigated. Plasmid-mediated overexpression of HSP70 did not affect the rate of C2C12 proliferation or differentiation, but the median number of myonuclei per myotube and median myotube width in differentiated C2C12 myotubes were increased with HSP70 overexpression. These findings reveal that increased HSP70 expression can promote myoblast fusion, identifying a mechanism for its therapeutic potential to enhance muscle repair after injury.
    Keywords:  C2C12; Fusion; Heat shock protein 70; Myogenesis; Skeletal muscle
  20. Dis Model Mech. 2020 Jan 01. pii: dmm.041350. [Epub ahead of print]
      Spinal muscular atrophy is (SMA) is a devastating, autosomal recessive neuromuscular disease resulting in muscle atrophy, neurodegeneration, and is the leading genetic cause of infant death. SMA arises when there are homozygous deletion mutations in the human SMN1 gene, leading to a decrease in corresponding SMN1 protein. Although SMN1 is expressed across multiple tissue types, much of the previous research into SMA focused on the neuronal aspect of the disease, overlooking many of the potential non-neuronal aspects of the disease. Therefore, we sought to address this gap in knowledge by modeling SMA in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used a previously uncharacterized allele which resulted in the onset of mild SMA-like phenotypes allowing us to monitor the onset of phenotypes at different stages. We observed that these mutant animals recapitulated many key features of the human disease, and most importantly, we observed that muscle dysfunction precedes neurodegeneration. Furthermore, we tested the therapeutic efficacy of targeting endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in non-neuronal cells and found it to be more effective than targeting ER stress in neuronal cells. We also found that the most potent therapeutic potential came from a combination of ER- and neuromuscular junction (NMJ)-targeting drugs. Together, our results suggest an important non-neuronal component of SMA pathology and highlight new considerations for therapeutic intervention.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; ER stress; Genetics; Muscle pathology; Spinal muscular atrophy
  21. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.246306. [Epub ahead of print]
      The sorting nexins (SNXs) are a family of peripheral membrane proteins that direct protein trafficking decisions within the endocytic network. Emerging evidence in yeast and mammalian cells implicates a sub-group of SNXs in selective and non-selective forms of (macro)autophagy. Using siRNA and CRISPR-Cas9, we demonstrate that the SNX-BAR protein, SNX4, is needed for efficient LC3 lipidation and autophagosome assembly in mammalian cells. SNX-BARs exist as homo- and heterodimers, and we show that SNX4 forms functional heterodimers with either SNX7 or SNX30 that associate with tubulovesicular endocytic membranes. Detailed image-based analysis during the early stages of autophagosome assembly reveal that SNX4:SNX7 is the autophagy-specific SNX-BAR heterodimer, required for efficient recruitment/retention of core autophagy regulators at the nascent isolation membrane. SNX4 partially co-localises with juxtanuclear ATG9A-positive membranes, with our data linking the SNX4 autophagy defect to the mis-trafficking and/or retention of ATG9A in the Golgi region. Together, our findings show that the SNX4:SNX7 heterodimer coordinates ATG9A trafficking within the endocytic network to establish productive autophagosome assembly sites, thus extending knowledge of SNXs as positive regulators of autophagy.
    Keywords:  ATG9A; Autophagy; Endosomes; SNX30; SNX4; SNX7; Sorting nexin
  22. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.247841. [Epub ahead of print]
      Ubiquitination of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) regulates both the levels and functions of these receptors. TrkB neurotrophin receptor, a RTK, is ubiquitinated upon activation by the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) binding. Although TrkB ubiquitination has been demonstrated, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the precise repertoire of proteins that regulates TrkB ubiquitination. Here, we provide mechanistic evidence indicating that ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase 8 (USP8) modulates BDNF/TrkB-dependent neuronal differentiation. USP8 binds to the C-terminus of TrkB using its microtubule interacting domain (MIT). Immunopurified USP8 deubiquitinates TrkB in vitro whereas knockdown of USP8 results in enhanced ubiquitination of TrkB upon BDNF treatment in neurons. As a consequence of USP8 depletion, TrkB levels and its activation were reduced. Moreover, USP8 protein regulates the differentiation and proper BDNF-dependent dendritic formation of hippocampal neurons in vitro and in vivo. We conclude that USP8 positively regulates the levels and activation of TrkB modulating BDNF-dependent neuronal differentiation.
    Keywords:  BDNF; Differentiation; Neuron; Signaling; TrkB; USP8
  23. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.249045. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cytoskeleton-associated protein 4 (CKAP4) is palmitoylated type II transmembrane protein localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Knockout (KO) of CKAP4 in HeLaS3 cells induced the alterations of mitochondrial structures and increased the number of ER-mitochondria contact sites. To understand the involvement of CKAP4 in mitochondrial functions, the binding proteins of CKAP4 were explored, enabling identification of the mitochondrial porin voltage-dependent anion-selective channel protein 2 (VDAC2), which is localized to the outer mitochondrial membrane. Palmitoylation at Cys100 of CKAP4 was required for the binding of CKAP4 and VDAC2. In CKAP4 KO cells, the binding of inositol trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) and VDAC2 was enhanced, the intramitochondrial Ca2+ concentration increased, and the mitochondrial membrane potential decreased. In addition, CKAP4 KO decreased the oxidative consumption rate, in vitro cancer cell proliferation under low-glucose conditions, and in vivo xenograft tumor formation. The phenotypes were not rescued by a palmitoylation-deficient CKAP4 mutant. These results suggest that CKAP4 plays a role in maintaining mitochondrial functions through the binding to VDAC2 at ER-mitochondria contact sites and that palmitoylation is required for this novel function of CKAP4.
    Keywords:  CKAP4; ER; MAM; Mitochondria; Palmitoylation; VDAC2
  24. Development. 2020 Jan 01. pii: dev.190082. [Epub ahead of print]
      Insulin/IGF signaling in C. elegans is crucial for proper development of the dauer larva and growth control. Mutants disturbing insulin processing, secretion and downstream signaling perturb this process and have helped identify genes that affect progression of type 2 diabetes. Insulin maturation is required for its proper secretion by pancreatic β cells. The role of the ER chaperones in insulin processing and secretion needs further study. We show that the Caenorhabditis elegans ER chaperone ENPL-1/GRP94/HSP90B1, acts in dauer development by promoting insulin secretion and signaling. Processing of a proinsulin likely involves binding between the two proteins via a specific domain. We show that in enpl-1 mutants, an unprocessed insulin exits the ER lumen and is found in dense core vesicles, but is not secreted. The high ER stress in enpl-1 mutants does not cause the secretion defect. Importantly, increased ENPL-1 levels result in increased secretion. Taken together, our work indicates that ENPL-1 operates at the level of insulin availability and is an essential modulator of insulin processing and secretion.
    Keywords:  Dauer; Dense core vesicles; ER chaperone; Endoplasmic reticulum; Insulin secretion
  25. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.249862. [Epub ahead of print]
      The core protease (CP) sub-complex of the 26S proteasome houses the proteolytic active sites and assumes a barrel-shape comprised of four co-axially stacked heptameric rings formed by structurally related α- and β-subunits. CP biogenesis typically begins with the assembly of the α-ring, which then provides a template for β-subunit integration. In eukaryotes, α-ring assembly is partially mediated by two hetero-dimeric chaperones, termed Pba1-Pba2 and Pba3-Pba4 in yeast. Pba1-Pba2 initially promotes orderly recruitment of the α-subunits through interactions between their C-terminal HbYX/HbF motifs and pockets at the α5-α6 and α6-α7 interfaces. Here, we identified PBAC5 as a fifth α-ring assembly chaperone in Arabidopsis that directly binds the Pba1 homolog PBAC1 to form a trimeric PBAC5-PBAC1-PBAC2 complex. PBAC5 harbors a HbYX motif that docks with a pocket between the α4 and α5 subunits during α-ring construction. Arabidopsis lacking PBAC5, PBAC1, and/or PBAC2 are hypersensitive to proteotoxic, salt, and osmotic stresses, and display proteasome assembly defects. Remarkably, while PBAC5 is evolutionarily conserved among plants, sequence relatives are also dispersed within other kingdoms, including a scattered array of fungal, metazoan, and oomycete species.
    Keywords:  Arabidopsis; Chaperone; Core protease; Degradation; Evolution; Proteasome; Proteolysis; Proteostasis; Regulatory particle; Ubiquitin
  26. Biol Open. 2020 Jan 01. pii: bio.054296. [Epub ahead of print]
      Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are genetic neurodegenerative diseases. HSPs are characterized by lower-extremity weakness and spasticity. However, there is no specific clinical treatment strategy to prevent or reverse nerve degeneration in HSPs. Mutations in receptor expression-enhancing protein 1 (REEP1) are well-recognized and relatively common causes of autosomal dominant HSPs. REEP1 modifies the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) shape, and is implicated in the ER stress response. Defects in the ER stress response seem to be crucial mechanisms underlying HSP neurodegeneration. Here, we report that REEP1-/- mice exhibit progressive motor deficits, along with denervation of neuromuscular junctions and increased ER stress. Moreover, marked axonal degeneration and morphological abnormalities are observed. In this study, we treated both REEP1-/- and wild-type (WT) mice with salubrinal, which is a specific inhibitor of ER stress, and we observed increased nerve-muscle connections and enhanced motor functions. Our data highlight the importance of ER homeostasis in HSPs, providing new opportunities for HSP treatment.
    Keywords:  Endoplasmic reticulum stress; Hereditary spastic paraplegias; Receptor expression-enhancing protein 1; Salubrinal
  27. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.240622. [Epub ahead of print]
      Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is a picornavirus that causes contagious acute infection in cloven-hoofed animals. FMDV replication associated viral protein expression induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and unfolded protein response (UPR), in turn inducing autophagy to restore cellular homeostasis. We observed that inhibition of BiP, a master regulator of ER stress and UPR, decreased FMDV infection confirming their involvement. Further, we show that the FMDV infection induces UPR mainly through PKR-like ER kinase (PERK)-mediated pathway. Knockdown of PERK and chemical inhibition of PERK activation resulted in decreased expression of FMDV proteins along with the reduction of autophagy marker protein LC3B-II. There are conflicting reports on the role of autophagy in FMDV multiplication. Our study systematically demonstrates that during FMDV infection, PERK mediated UPR stimulated an increased level of endogenous LC3B-II and turnover of SQSTM1, thus confirming the activation of functional autophagy. Modulation of UPR and autophagy by pharmacological and genetic approaches resulted in reduced viral progeny, by enhancing antiviral interferon response. Taken together, this study underscores the prospect of exploring the PERK mediated autophagy as an antiviral target.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Foot-and-mouth disease virus; Interferon; LC3; P-eIF2α; PERK; Unfolded protein response
  28. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.251835. [Epub ahead of print]
      Autophagy is a degradative cellular pathway that targets cytoplasmic contents and organelles for turnover by the lysosome. Various autophagy pathways play key roles in the clearance of viral infections, and many families of viruses have developed unique methods for avoiding degradation. Some positive stranded RNA viruses, such as enteroviruses and flaviviruses, usurp the autophagic pathway to promote their own replication. We previously identified the endoplasmic reticulum-localized protein BPIFB3 as an important negative regulator of non-canonical autophagy that uniquely impacts the replication of enteroviruses and flaviviruses. Here, we find that many components of the canonical autophagy machinery are not required for BPIFB3 depletion induced autophagy and identify the host factors that facilitate its role in the replication of enteroviruses and flaviviruses. Using proximity-dependent biotinylation (BioID) followed by mass spectrometry, we identify ARFGAP1 and TMED9 as two cellular components that interact with BPIFB3 to regulate autophagy and viral replication. Importantly, our data demonstrate that non-canonical autophagy in mammalian cells can be controlled outside of the traditional pathway regulators and define the role of two proteins in BPIFB3 depletion mediated non-canonical autophagy.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; BPI-like proteins; BPIFB3; Enterovirus; Flavivirus
  29. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.241356. [Epub ahead of print]
      NFE2L2/NRF2 is a transcription factor and master regulator of cellular antioxidant response. Aberrantly high NRF2-dependent transcription is recurrent in human cancer, and conversely NRF2 activity is diminished with age and in neurodegenerative as well as metabolic disorders. Though NRF2 activating drugs are clinically beneficial, NRF2 inhibitors do not yet exist. Here we used a gain-of-function genetic screen of the kinome to identify new druggable regulators of NRF2 signaling. We found that the understudied protein kinase Brain Specific Kinase 2 (BRSK2) and the related BRSK1 kinases suppress NRF2-dependent transcription and NRF2 protein levels in an activity-dependent manner. Integrated phosphoproteomics and RNAseq studies revealed that BRSK2 drives AMPK signaling and suppresses the mTOR pathway. As a result, BRSK2 kinase activation suppressed ribosome-RNA complexes, global protein synthesis, and NRF2 protein levels. Collectively our data illuminate the BRSK2 and BRSK1 kinases, in part by functionally connecting them to NRF2 signaling and mTOR. This signaling axis may prove useful for therapeutically targeting NRF2 in human disease.
    Keywords:  AMPK; BRSK1; BRSK2; Functional genomics; Kinase; MTOR; NRF2; Oxidative stress response; Phosphoproteomics
  30. Development. 2020 Jan 01. pii: dev.189886. [Epub ahead of print]
      Molecular chaperones often work collaboratively with the ubiquitination-proteasome system (UPS) to facilitate the degradation of misfolded proteins, which typically safeguards cellular differentiation and protects cells from stress. In this study, however, we report that the Hsp70/Hsp90 chaperone machinery and an F-box protein, MEC-15, have opposing effects on neuronal differentiation and that the chaperones negatively regulate neuronal morphogenesis and functions. Using the touch receptor neurons (TRNs) of Caenorhabditis elegans, we find that mec-15(-) mutants display defects in microtubule formation, neurite growth, synaptic development, and neuronal functions, and these defects can be rescued by the loss of Hsp70/Hsp90 chaperones and cochaperones. MEC-15 likely functions in a SCF complex to degrade DLK-1, which is an Hsp90 client protein stabilized by the chaperones. The abundance of DLK-1, and likely other Hsp90 substrates, is fine-tuned by the antagonism between MEC-15 and chaperones; this antagonism regulates TRN development as well as synaptic functions of GABAergic motor neurons. Therefore, a balance between UPS and chaperones tightly controls neuronal differentiation.
    Keywords:  Microtubules; Molecular chaperones; Neurite growth; Protein homeostasis; Touch receptor neurons; Ubiquitination-proteasome system
  31. Curr Biol. 2021 May 14. pii: S0960-9822(21)00609-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutations in Vps13D cause defects in autophagy, clearance of mitochondria, and human movement disorders. Here, we discover that Vps13D functions in a pathway downstream of Vmp1 and upstream of Marf/Mfn2. Like vps13d, vmp1 mutant cells exhibit defects in autophagy, mitochondrial size, and clearance. Through the relationship between vmp1 and vps13d, we reveal a novel role for Vps13D in the regulation of mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) contact. Significantly, the function of Vps13D in mitochondria and ER contact is conserved between fly and human cells, including fibroblasts derived from patients suffering from VPS13D mutation-associated neurological symptoms. vps13d mutants have increased levels of Marf/MFN2, a regulator of mitochondrial fusion. Importantly, loss of marf/MFN2 suppresses vps13d mutant phenotypes, including mitochondria and ER contact. These findings indicate that Vps13d functions at a regulatory point between mitochondria and ER contact, mitochondrial fusion and autophagy, and help to explain how Vps13D contributes to disease.
    Keywords:  Drosophila; Vmp1; Vps13D; autophagy; membrane contact; mitochondria
  32. FEBS J. 2021 May 16.
      Membrane-associated RING-CH (MARCH) family member proteins are RING-finger E3 ubiquitin ligases that are known to downregulate cellular transmembrane proteins. MARCH8 is a novel antiviral factor that inhibits HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein and vesicular stomatitis virus G by downregulating these envelope glycoproteins from the cell surface, resulting in their reduced incorporation into virions. More recently, we have found that MARCH8 reduces viral infectivity via two different mechanisms. Additionally, several groups have reported further antiviral or virus-supportive functions of the MARCH8 protein and its other cellular mechanisms. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms by which MARCH8 can regulate cellular homeostasis and inhibit (and occasionally support) enveloped virus infection.
    Keywords:  MARCH8; antiviral factor; downregulation; transmembrane protein; viral envelope
  33. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.241455. [Epub ahead of print]
      The ESCRT-III protein complex executes reverse-topology membrane scission. The scission mechanism is unclear but is linked to remodeling of ESCRT-III complexes at the membrane surface. At endosomes, ESCRT-III mediates the budding of intralumenal vesicles (ILVs). In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, ESCRT-III activity at endosomes is regulated through an unknown mechanism by Doa4, a ubiquitin hydrolase that deubiquitinates transmembrane proteins sorted into ILVs. We report that the non-catalytic N terminus of Doa4 binds Snf7, the predominant ESCRT-III subunit. Through this interaction, Doa4 overexpression alters Snf7 assembly status and inhibits ILV membrane scission. In vitro, the Doa4 N terminus inhibits Snf7 association with Vps2, which functions with Vps24 to arrest Snf7 polymerization and remodel Snf7 polymer structure. In vivo, Doa4 overexpression inhibits Snf7 interaction with Vps2 and with Vps4, an ATPase recruited by Vps2/Vps24 to remodel ESCRT-III complexes by catalyzing subunit turnover. These data suggest a mechanism by which the deubiquitination machinery regulates ILV biogenesis by interfering with ESCRT-III remodeling.
    Keywords:  ESCRT-III; Endosome; Membrane; Scission; Ubiquitin
  34. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.244863. [Epub ahead of print]
      In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, both RNAi machinery and RNAi- independent factors mediate transcriptional and posttranscriptional silencing and heterochromatin formation. Here, we show that the silencing of reporter genes at major native heterochromatic loci (centromeres, telomeres, mating-type locus and rDNA regions) and an artificially induced heterochromatin locus is alleviated in a fission yeast hsp90 mutant, hsp90-G84C. Also, H3K9me2 enrichment at heterochromatin regions, especially at the mating-type locus and subtelomeres, is compromised, suggesting heterochromatin assembly defects. We further discovered that Hsp90 is required for stabilization or assembly of the RNAi effector complexes RITS and ARC, RNAi-independent factor Fft3, shelterin complex subunit Poz1 and SHREC. Our ChIP data suggest that Hsp90 regulates the efficient recruitment of CLRC by shelterin to chromosome ends and targeting of SHREC and Fft3 to mating type locus and/or rDNA region. Finally, our genetic analyses demonstrated that increased heterochromatin spreading restores silencing at subtelomeres in hsp90-G84C mutant. Thus, this work uncovers a conserved factor critical for promoting RNAi-dependent and -independent heterochromatin assembly and gene silencing through stabilizing multiple effectors and effector complexes.
    Keywords:  Fission yeast; Heat-shock molecular chaperon; Heterochromatic gene silencing; Hsp90; RNAi; Schizosaccharomyces pombe
  35. J Cell Sci. 2021 May 18. pii: jcs.258338. [Epub ahead of print]
      The toxic metalloid arsenic causes widespread misfolding and aggregation of cellular proteins. How these protein aggregates are formed in vivo, the mechanisms by which they affect cells, and how cells prevent their accumulation is not fully understood. To find components involved in these processes, we performed a genome-wide imaging screen and identified yeast deletion mutants with either enhanced or reduced protein aggregation levels during arsenite exposure. We show that many of the identified factors are crucial to safeguard protein homeostasis (proteostasis) and to protect cells against arsenite toxicity. The hits were enriched for various functions including protein biosynthesis and transcription, and dedicated follow-up experiments highlight the importance of accurate transcriptional and translational control for mitigating protein aggregation and toxicity during arsenite stress. Some of the hits are associated with pathological conditions, suggesting that arsenite-induced protein aggregation may affect disease processes. The broad network of cellular systems that impinge on proteostasis during arsenic stress identified in this current study provides a valuable resource and a framework for further elucidation of the mechanistic details of metalloid toxicity and pathogenesis.
    Keywords:  Arsenic; Protein aggregation; Protein misfolding; Protein quality control; Proteostasis; Transcription; Translation; Yeast
  36. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2021 ;11 668034
      The ability to sense and adequately respond to variable environmental conditions is central for cellular and organismal homeostasis. Eukaryotic cells are equipped with highly conserved stress-response mechanisms that support cellular function when homeostasis is compromised, promoting survival. Two such mechanisms - the unfolded protein response (UPR) and autophagy - are involved in the cellular response to perturbations in the endoplasmic reticulum, in calcium homeostasis, in cellular energy or redox status. Each of them operates through conserved signaling pathways to promote cellular adaptations that include re-programming transcription of genes and translation of new proteins and degradation of cellular components. In addition to their specific functions, it is becoming increasingly clear that these pathways intersect in many ways in different contexts of cellular stress. Viral infections are a major cause of cellular stress as many cellular functions are coopted to support viral replication. Both UPR and autophagy are induced upon infection with many different viruses with varying outcomes - in some instances controlling infection while in others supporting viral replication and infection. The role of UPR and autophagy in response to coronavirus infection has been a matter of debate in the last decade. It has been suggested that CoV exploit components of autophagy machinery and UPR to generate double-membrane vesicles where it establishes its replicative niche and to control the balance between cell death and survival during infection. Even though the molecular mechanisms are not fully elucidated, it is clear that UPR and autophagy are intimately associated during CoV infections. The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has brought renewed interest to this topic as several drugs known to modulate autophagy - including chloroquine, niclosamide, valinomycin, and spermine - were proposed as therapeutic options. Their efficacy is still debatable, highlighting the need to better understand the molecular interactions between CoV, UPR and autophagy.
    Keywords:  autophagy; coronavirus; host-pathogen interaction; integrated stress response; unfolded protein response
  37. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.236711. [Epub ahead of print]
      Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) is an endosomal receptor, which recognizes single-stranded RNA from viruses. Its trafficking and activation is regulated by the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone UNC93B1 and lysosomal proteases. UNC93B1 also modulates major histocompatibility class II (MHCII) antigen presentation and deficiency in MHCII protein diminishes TLR9 signaling. These results indicate a link between proteins that regulate both innate and adaptive responses. Here we report that TLR7 resides in lysosomes and interacts with the MHCII-chaperone molecule, the invariant chain or CD74 in B cells. In the absence of CD74, TLR7 display both endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and lysosomal localization leading to an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Furthermore, TLR7 but not TLR9 stimulation is inefficient in boosting antigen presentation in Ii deficient cells. In contrast, in B cells lacking TLR7 or mutated for UNC93B1, which are enable to trigger TLR7 activation, antigen presentation is enhanced. This suggests that TLR7 signaling in B cells is controlled by Ii chain.
    Keywords:  B cells; Invariant chain; Toll-like receptor 7; UNC93B1
  38. Plant Cell. 2021 May 20. pii: koab141. [Epub ahead of print]
      Endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) is known to regulate plant responses to diverse stresses, yet its underlying molecular mechanisms and links to various stress signaling pathways are poorly understood. Here, we show that the ERAD component ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme UBC32 positively regulates drought tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana by targeting the aquaporins PIP2;1 and PIP2;2 for degradation. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the RING-type ligase Rma1 acts together with UBC32 and that the E2 activity of UBC32 is essential for the ubiquitination of Rma1. This complex ubiquitinates a phosphorylated form of PIP2;1 at Lys276 to promote its degradation, thereby enhancing plant drought tolerance. Extending these molecular insights into crops, we show that overexpression of Arabidopsis UBC32 also improves drought tolerance in rice (Oryza sativa). Thus, beyond uncovering the molecular basis of an ERAD-regulated stress response, our study suggests multiple potential strategies for engineering crops with improved drought tolerance.
  39. Arch Toxicol. 2021 May 18.
      Cells respond to protein-damaging (proteotoxic) stress by activation of the Heat Shock Response (HSR). The HSR provides cells with an enhanced ability to endure proteotoxic insults and plays a crucial role in determining subsequent cell death or survival. The HSR is, therefore, a critical factor that influences the toxicity of protein stress. While named for its vital role in the cellular response to heat stress, various components of the HSR system and the molecular chaperone network execute essential physiological functions as well as responses to other diverse toxic insults. The effector molecules of the HSR, the Heat Shock Factors (HSFs) and Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs), are also important regulatory targets in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases and cancers. Modulation of the HSR and/or its extended network have, therefore, become attractive treatment strategies for these diseases. Development of effective therapies will, however, require a detailed understanding of the HSR, important features of which continue to be uncovered and are yet to be completely understood. We review recently described and hallmark mechanistic principles of the HSR, the regulation and functions of HSPs, and contexts in which the HSR is activated and influences cell fate in response to various toxic conditions.
    Keywords:  Heat shock protein (HSP); Heat shock response (HSR); Molecular chaperones; Proteostasis; Proteotoxic stress
  40. Sci Adv. 2021 May;pii: eabg0942. [Epub ahead of print]7(21):
      The conserved signal recognition particle (SRP) cotranslationally delivers ~30% of the proteome to the eukaryotic endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The molecular mechanism by which eukaryotic SRP transitions from cargo recognition in the cytosol to protein translocation at the ER is not understood. Here, structural, biochemical, and single-molecule studies show that this transition requires multiple sequential conformational rearrangements in the targeting complex initiated by guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase)-driven compaction of the SRP receptor (SR). Disruption of these rearrangements, particularly in mutant SRP54G226E linked to severe congenital neutropenia, uncouples the SRP/SR GTPase cycle from protein translocation. Structures of targeting intermediates reveal the molecular basis of early SRP-SR recognition and emphasize the role of eukaryote-specific elements in regulating targeting. Our results provide a molecular model for the structural and functional transitions of SRP throughout the targeting cycle and show that these transitions provide important points for biological regulation that can be perturbed in genetic diseases.
  41. Autophagy. 2021 May 19. 1-3
      In eukaryotes, ATG4/Atg4 is a critical regulator of macroautophagy/autophagy. The protease activity of Atg4/ATG4, involved in conjugation and deconjugation of Atg8-family proteins, was so far regarded as its sole functional contribution. However, the role of individual ATG4-family proteins during mammalian autophagy had previously not been examined in vivo. During their recent investigation, Nguyen et al. discovered a hitherto unexplored role for mammalian ATG4s during mitophagy - the recruitment of ATG9A-containing vesicles. Their article, highlighted here, discusses the finding, which uses a novel artificial intelligence (AI)-directed analysis technique for focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) imaging to demonstrate the role of ATG4s in promoting phagophore growth and establishing phagophore-ER contacts.
    Keywords:  ATG9; autophagosome; autophagy; deconjugation; mitophagy
  42. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.236158. [Epub ahead of print]
      The proteasome is an essential regulator of protein homeostasis. In yeast and many mammalian cells, proteasomes strongly concentrate in the nucleus. Yeast Sts1 is an essential protein linked to proteasome nuclear localization. Here we show that Sts1 contains a noncanonical bipartite nuclear localization signal (NLS) important for both nuclear localization of Sts1 itself and the proteasome. Sts1 binds the karyopherin-α import receptor (Srp1) stoichiometrically, and this requires the NLS. The NLS is essential for viability, and overexpressed Sts1 with an inactive NLS interferes with 26S proteasome import. The Sts1-Srp1 complex binds preferentially to fully assembled 26S proteasomes in vitro. Sts1 is itself a rapidly degraded 26S proteasome substrate; notably, this degradation is ubiquitin-independent in cells and in vitro and is inhibited by Srp1 binding. Mutants of Sts1 are stabilized, suggesting its degradation is tightly linked to its role in localizing proteasomes to the nucleus. We propose that Sts1 normally promotes nuclear import of fully assembled proteasomes and is directly degraded by proteasomes without prior ubiquitylation following karyopherin-α release in the nucleus.
    Keywords:  Cut8; Karyopherin; NLS; Proteasome; Sts1; Yeast
  43. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2318 255-266
      A central component of Myc's role as a master coordinator of energy metabolism and biomass accumulation is its ability to increase the rate of protein synthesis, driving cell cycle progression, and proliferation. Importantly, Myc-induced alterations in both global and specific mRNA translation is a key determinant of Myc's oncogenic function. Herein, we provide five assays to enable researchers to measure global protein synthesis changes, to identify the translatome uniquely regulated by Myc and to investigate the mechanisms generating the tailored Myc translation network. Metabolic labeling of cells with 35S-containing methionine and cysteine in culture and O-propargyl-puromycin (OP-Puro) incorporation in vivo are presented as methods to measure the overall rate of global protein synthesis. Isolation of polysome-associated mRNAs followed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and the toeprint assay enable the detection of altered translation of specific mRNAs and isoforms, and visualization of differential ribosomal engagement at start codons uniquely mediated by Myc activation, respectively. Finally, the translation initiation reporter assay is utilized to uncover the molecular mechanism mediating altered translation initiation of a specific mRNA. Together, the protocols detailed in this chapter can be used to illuminate how and to what degree Myc-dependent regulation of translation influences homeostatic cellular functions as well as tumorigenesis.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Myc; Protein synthesis; Ribosome; Translation
  44. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2021 May 22.
      Activity-based E2 conjugating enzyme (E2)-ubiquitin (Ub) probes have recently emerged as effective tools for studying the molecular mechanism of E3 ligase (E3)-catalyzed ubiquitination. However, the preparation of existing activity-based E2-Ub probes depends on recombination technology and bioconjugation chemistry, limiting their structural diversity. Herein we describe an expedient total chemical synthesis of an E2 enzyme variant through a hydrazide-based native chemical ligation, which enabled the construction of a structurally new activity-based E2-Ub probe to covalently capture the catalytic site of Cys-dependent E3s. Chemical cross-linking coupled with mass spectrometry (CXMS) demonstrated the utility of this new probe in structural analysis of the intermediates formed during Nedd4 and Parkin-mediated transthiolation. This study exemplifies the utility of chemical protein synthesis for the development of protein probes for biological studies.
    Keywords:  CXMS; Chemical protein synthesis; E2 conjugating enzyme; Probe; Ubiquitin
  45. Elife. 2021 May 18. pii: e63300. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Germlines shape and balance heredity, integrating and regulating information from both parental and foreign sources. Insights into how germlines handle information have come from the study of factors that specify or maintain the germline fate. In early Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, the CCCH zinc finger protein PIE-1 localizes to the germline where it prevents somatic differentiation programs. Here, we show that PIE-1 also functions in the meiotic ovary where it becomes SUMOylated and engages the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)-conjugating machinery. Using whole-SUMO-proteome mass spectrometry, we identify HDAC SUMOylation as a target of PIE-1. Our analyses of genetic interactions between pie-1 and SUMO pathway mutants suggest that PIE-1 engages the SUMO machinery both to preserve the germline fate in the embryo and to promote Argonaute-mediated surveillance in the adult germline.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; NuRD complex; SUMO pathway; genetics; genomics; germline chromatin; germline fate
  46. Cell Rep. 2021 May 18. pii: S2211-1247(21)00483-6. [Epub ahead of print]35(7): 109144
      Circulating polymers of α1-antitrypsin (α1AT) are neutrophil chemo-attractants and contribute to inflammation, yet cellular factors affecting their secretion remain obscure. We report on a genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screen for genes affecting trafficking of polymerogenic α1ATH334D. A CRISPR enrichment approach based on recovery of single guide RNA (sgRNA) sequences from phenotypically selected fixed cells reveals that cells with high-polymer content are enriched in sgRNAs targeting genes involved in "cargo loading into COPII-coated vesicles," where "COPII" is coat protein II, including the cargo receptors lectin mannose binding1 (LMAN1) and surfeit protein locus 4 (SURF4). LMAN1- and SURF4-disrupted cells display a secretion defect extending beyond α1AT monomers to polymers. Polymer secretion is especially dependent on SURF4 and correlates with a SURF4-α1ATH334D physical interaction and with their co-localization at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). These findings indicate that ER cargo receptors co-ordinate progression of α1AT out of the ER and modulate the accumulation of polymeric α1AT not only by controlling the concentration of precursor monomers but also by promoting secretion of polymers.
    Keywords:  CHO CRISPR-Cas9 library; CHO cells; ERGIC-53; LMAN1; SURF4; cargo receptors; endoplasmic reticulum; genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screen; polymer trafficking; α1-antitrypsin
  47. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 May 25. pii: e2020885118. [Epub ahead of print]118(21):
      Across the Tree of Life (ToL), the complexity of proteomes varies widely. Our systematic analysis depicts that from the simplest archaea to mammals, the total number of proteins per proteome expanded ∼200-fold. Individual proteins also became larger, and multidomain proteins expanded ∼50-fold. Apart from duplication and divergence of existing proteins, completely new proteins were born. Along the ToL, the number of different folds expanded ∼5-fold and fold combinations ∼20-fold. Proteins prone to misfolding and aggregation, such as repeat and beta-rich proteins, proliferated ∼600-fold and, accordingly, proteins predicted as aggregation-prone became 6-fold more frequent in mammalian compared with bacterial proteomes. To control the quality of these expanding proteomes, core chaperones, ranging from heat shock proteins 20 (HSP20s) that prevent aggregation to HSP60, HSP70, HSP90, and HSP100 acting as adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-fueled unfolding and refolding machines, also evolved. However, these core chaperones were already available in prokaryotes, and they comprise ∼0.3% of all genes from archaea to mammals. This challenge-roughly the same number of core chaperones supporting a massive expansion of proteomes-was met by 1) elevation of messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein abundances of the ancient generalist core chaperones in the cell, and 2) continuous emergence of new substrate-binding and nucleotide-exchange factor cochaperones that function cooperatively with core chaperones as a network.
    Keywords:  Tree of Life; chaperone network; cochaperones; core chaperones; expansion of proteomes
  48. J Cell Biol. 2021 Jun 07. pii: e202104062. [Epub ahead of print]220(6):
      Export from the ER is COPII-dependent. However, there is disagreement on the nature of the cargo-containing carriers that exit the ER. Two new studies from Shomron et al. (2021. J. Cell Biol. and Weigel et al. (2021. Cell. present a new model, where COPII helps to select secretory cargo but does not coat the carriers leaving the ER.
  49. J Cell Biol. 2021 Jun 07. pii: e202105005. [Epub ahead of print]220(6):
      Degradation by macroautophagy can be highly selective, but given the promiscuity of cargo receptors, questions remain surrounding how this selectivity is achieved. In this issue, Nthiga et al. (2021. J. Cell Biol. show how the adaptor Calcoco1 distinguishes cargo by how it binds.
  50. J Biol Chem. 2021 May 14. pii: S0021-9258(21)00574-3. [Epub ahead of print] 100781
      The unfolded protein response (UPR) plays an evolutionarily conserved role in homeostasis, and its dysregulation often leads to human disease, including diabetes and cancer. IRE1α is a major transducer that conveys endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress via biochemical signals, yet major gaps persist in our understanding of how the detection of stress is converted to one of several molecular outcomes. It is known that, upon sensing unfolded proteins via its ER luminal domain, IRE1α dimerizes and then oligomerizes (often visualized as clustering). Once assembled, the kinase domain trans-autophosphorylates a neighboring IRE1α, inducing a conformational change that activates the RNase effector domain. However, the full details of how the signal is transmitted are not known. Here, we describe a previously unrecognized role for helix αK, located between the kinase and RNase domains of IRE1α, in conveying this critical conformational change. Using constructs containing mutations within this inter-domain helix, we show that distinct substitutions affect oligomerization, kinase activity and the RNase activity of IRE1α differentially. Furthermore, using both biochemical and computational methods, we found that different residues at position 827 specify distinct conformations at distal sites of the protein, such as in the RNase domain. Importantly, an RNase-inactive mutant, L827P, can still dimerize with wild type monomers, but this mutation inactivates the wild type molecule and renders leukemic cells more susceptible to stress. We surmise that helix αK is a conduit for the activation of IRE1α in response to stress.
    Keywords:  IRE1 oligomerization; Kinase RNase interdomain helix; RNase activity; conformational change; differential autophosphorylation
  51. Cell Chem Biol. 2021 May 05. pii: S2451-9456(21)00204-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Protein homeostasis, or "proteostasis," is indispensable for a balanced, healthy environment within the cell. However, when natural proteostasis mechanisms are overwhelmed from excessive loads of dysregulated proteins, their accumulation can lead to disease initiation and progression. Fortunately, the induced degradation of such disease-causing proteins by heterobifunctional molecules, i.e., PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeras (PROTACs), is emerging as a potential therapeutic modality. In the 2 decades since the PROTAC concept was proposed, several additional Targeted Protein Degradation (TPD) strategies have also been explored to target previously undruggable proteins, such as transcription factors. In this review, we discuss the progress and evolution of the TPD field, the breadth of the proteins targeted by PROTACs and the biological effects of their degradation.
    Keywords:  PROTACs; proteasome; targeted protein degradation; ubiquitination; undruggable proteome
  52. EMBO Rep. 2021 May 17. e53006
      Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) has evolved various strategies to co-opt the host ubiquitin network to facilitate its proliferation. In the current issue of EMBO Reports, Liu and colleagues (Wang et al, 2021) demonstrate that the Mtb kinase PknG catalyzes ubiquitination by an unprecedented mechanism wherein the reaction starts by ATP hydrolysis occurring at the α-phosphate position, leading to covalent attachment of the modifier to Lys82 of the E2 conjugation enzyme UbcH7. Ubiquitin is then delivered to host proteins important for immunity by a putative peptidase activity also embedded in PknG. This novel activity of PknG expands our understanding of protein ubiquitination mechanisms, which may be harnessed to identify potential therapeutics for fighting Mtb infection.
  53. Nat Commun. 2021 05 20. 12(1): 2970
      Activation of MAVS, an adaptor molecule in Rig-I-like receptor (RLR) signaling, is indispensable for antiviral immunity, yet the molecular mechanisms modulating MAVS activation are not completely understood. Ubiquitination has a central function in regulating the activity of MAVS. Here, we demonstrate that a mitochondria-localized deubiquitinase USP18 specifically interacts with MAVS, promotes K63-linked polyubiquitination and subsequent aggregation of MAVS. USP18 upregulates the expression and production of type I interferon following infection with Sendai virus (SeV) or Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV). Mice with a deficiency of USP18 are more susceptible to RNA virus infection. USP18 functions as a scaffold protein to facilitate the re-localization of TRIM31 and enhances the interaction between TRIM31 and MAVS in mitochondria. Our results indicate that USP18 functions as a post-translational modulator of MAVS-mediated antiviral signaling.
  54. iScience. 2021 May 21. 24(5): 102429
      The emergence of lipid membranes and embedded proteins was essential for the evolution of cells. Translocon complexes mediate cotranslational recruitment and membrane insertion of nascent proteins, but they already contain membrane-integral proteins. Therefore, a simpler mechanism must exist, enabling spontaneous membrane integration while preventing aggregation of unchaperoned protein in the aqueous phase. Here, we used giant unilamellar vesicles encapsulating minimal translation components to systematically interrogate the requirements for insertion of the model protein proteorhodopsin (PR) - a structurally ubiquitous membrane protein. We show that the N-terminal hydrophobic domain of PR is both necessary and sufficient for cotranslational recruitment of ribosomes to the membrane and subsequent membrane insertion of PR. Insertion of N-terminally truncated PR was restored by artificially attaching ribosomes to the membrane. Our findings offer a self-sufficient protein-inherent mechanism as a possible explanation for effective membrane protein biogenesis in a "pretranslocon" era, and they offer new opportunities for generating artificial cells.
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Molecular Biology; Synthetic Biology
  55. J Biochem. 2021 May 16. pii: mvab061. [Epub ahead of print]
      We have shown that cyanobacterial chaperonins have pH-dependent anti-aggregation activity. The pH in cyanobacterial cytosol increases by one pH unit following a shift from darkness to light. In the present study, we examined whether other major chaperones such as Hsp90 (HtpG) and Hsp70 (DnaK2) from the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC7942 also display pH-dependent activity. Suppressing aggregation of various heat-denatured proteins, especially lactate dehydrogenase, at an equimolar ratio of cyanobacterial Hsp90 to protein substrate was found to be pH-dependent. Hsp90 showed the highest activity at pH 8.5 over the examined pH range of 7.0 to 8.5. pH affected the anti-aggregation activity of DnaK2 in a similar manner to that of Hsp90 in the presence of half equimolar DnaK2 to the protein substrate. The ATPase activity of cyanobacterial Hsp90 was pH-dependent, with a four-fold increase in activity when the pH was raised from 7.0 to 8.5. The ATPase activity of DnaK2 was also regulated by pH in a similar manner. Finally, an increase in pH from 7.0 to 8.5 enhanced activities of both Hsp90 and Hsp70 in protein-folding assistance by two- to three-fold. These results suggest that changes in pH may regulate chaperone function during a light-dark cycle in cyanobacterial cells.
    Keywords:  Cyanobacteria; Hsp70; Hsp90; Molecular chaperone; Photosynthesis; pH
  56. Nat Commun. 2021 May 21. 12(1): 3007
      Small heat shock proteins (sHsps) bind unfolding proteins, thereby playing a pivotal role in the maintenance of proteostasis in virtually all living organisms. Structural elucidation of sHsp-substrate complexes has been hampered by the transient and heterogeneous nature of their interactions, and the precise mechanisms underlying substrate recognition, promiscuity, and chaperone activity of sHsps remain unclear. Here we show the formation of a stable complex between Arabidopsis thaliana plastid sHsp, Hsp21, and its natural substrate 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase (DXPS) under heat stress, and report cryo-electron microscopy structures of Hsp21, DXPS and Hsp21-DXPS complex at near-atomic resolution. Monomeric Hsp21 binds across the dimer interface of DXPS and engages in multivalent interactions by recognizing highly dynamic structural elements in DXPS. Hsp21 partly unfolds its central α-crystallin domain to facilitate binding of DXPS, which preserves a native-like structure. This mode of interaction suggests a mechanism of sHsps anti-aggregation activity towards a broad range of substrates.
  57. J Cell Sci. 2020 Jan 01. pii: jcs.246421. [Epub ahead of print]
      Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) is a negative regulator of the leptin and insulin signalling pathways. This phosphate is of great interest as PTP1B knockout mice are protected against the development of obesity and diabetes. Here, we provide evidence for a novel function of PTP1B, which is independent of its phosphatase activity, but requires its localisation to the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum. Upon activation of pattern recognition receptors, macrophages and plasmacytoid dendritic cells from PTP1B knockout mice secrete lower amounts of type I interferon (IFN) than cells from wild type mice. In contrast, secretion of proinflammatory cytokines TNFα and IL-6 was unaltered. While PTP1B deficiency did not affect IFNb1 transcription, type I IFN accumulated in macrophages, suggesting a role for PTP1B in mediating secretion of type I IFN. In summary, we have uncovered that PTP1B positively regulates the type I IFN response by promoting secretion of key antiviral cytokines.
    Keywords:  CGAS; Cytokine secretion; Cytomegalovirus; Herpesvirus; Innate immunity; Pattern recognition receptor; RIG-I; STING; TLR; Type I IFN; UNC93B
  58. Elife. 2021 May 18. pii: e63299. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Eukaryotic cells use guided search to coordinately control dispersed genetic elements. Argonaute proteins and their small RNA cofactors engage nascent RNAs and chromatin-associated proteins to direct transcriptional silencing. The small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) has been shown to promote the formation and maintenance of silent chromatin (called heterochromatin) in yeast, plants, and animals. Here, we show that Argonaute-directed transcriptional silencing in Caenorhabditis elegans requires SUMOylation of the type 1 histone deacetylase HDA-1. Our findings suggest how SUMOylation promotes the association of HDAC1 with chromatin remodeling factors and with a nuclear Argonaute to initiate de novo heterochromatin silencing.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; HDAC SUMOylation; developmental biology; germline; nuclear argonaut