bims-proteo Biomed News
on Proteostasis
Issue of 2021‒09‒19
forty-three papers selected by
Eric Chevet

  1. Biol Open. 2021 Sep 17. pii: bio.058736. [Epub ahead of print]
      There is great interest in understanding the cellular mechanisms controlling autophagy, a tightly regulated catabolic and stress response pathway. Prior work has uncovered links between autophagy and the Golgi reassembly stacking protein of 55 kDa (GRASP55), but their precise interrelationship remains unclear. Intriguingly, both autophagy and GRASP55 have been functionally and spatially linked to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-Golgi interface, broaching this compartment as a site where GRASP55 and autophagy may intersect. Here, we uncover that loss of GRASP55 enhances LC3 puncta formation, indicating that GRASP55 restricts autophagosome formation. Additionally, using proximity-dependent biotinylation, we identify a GRASP55 proximal interactome highly associated with the ER-Golgi interface. Both nutrient starvation and loss of GRASP55 are associated with coalescence of early secretory pathway markers. In light of these findings, we propose that GRASP55 regulates spatial organization of the ER-Golgi interface, which suppresses early autophagosome formation.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Cell biology; GRASP55
  2. EMBO Rep. 2021 Sep 13. e52584
      Xenophagy, also known as antibacterial selective autophagy, degrades invading bacterial pathogens such as group A Streptococcus (GAS) to defend cells. Although invading bacteria are known to be marked with ubiquitin and selectively targeted by xenophagy, how ubiquitin ligases recognize invading bacteria is poorly understood. Here, we show that FBXO2, a glycoprotein-specific receptor for substrate in the SKP1/CUL1/F-box protein (SCF) ubiquitin ligase complex, mediates recognition of GlcNAc side chains of the GAS surface carbohydrate structure and promotes ubiquitin-mediated xenophagy against GAS. FBXO2 targets cytosolic GAS through its sugar-binding motif and GlcNAc expression on the GAS surface. FBXO2 knockout resulted in decreased ubiquitin accumulation on intracellular GAS and xenophagic degradation of bacteria. Furthermore, SCF components such as SKP1, CUL1, and ROC1 are required for ubiquitin-mediated xenophagy against GAS. Thus, SCFFBXO2 recognizes GlcNAc residues of GAS surface carbohydrates and functions in ubiquitination during xenophagy.
    Keywords:  bacterial surface glycan; group A Streptococcus; ubiquitination; xenophagy
  3. Traffic. 2021 Sep 18.
      GRP94 (glucose-regulated protein 94) is a well-studied chaperone with a KDEL (lysine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and leucine) motif at its C-terminal, which is responsible for GRP94 localization in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). GRP94 is upregulated during ER stress to help fold unfolded proteins or direct proteins to ER-associated degradation. In a previous study, engineered GRP94 without the KDEL motif stimulated a powerful immune response in vaccine cells. In this report, we show that endogenous GRP94 is naturally secreted into the medium in a truncated form that lacks the KDEL motif in Chinese hamster ovary cells. The secretion of the truncated form of GRP94 was stimulated by the induction of ER stress. These truncations prevent GRP94 recognition by KDEL receptors and retention inside the cell. This study sheds light on a potential trafficking phenomenon during the unfolded protein response that may help understand the functional role of GRP94 as a trafficking molecule. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  ER stress; GRP94; KDEL motif; endoplasmic reticulum; heat shock protein; protein secretion; trafficking; unfolded protein response
  4. Cell Rep. 2021 Sep 14. pii: S2211-1247(21)01154-2. [Epub ahead of print]36(11): 109707
      Secretory cargos are collected at endoplasmic reticulum (ER) exit sites (ERES) before transport to the Golgi apparatus. Decades of research have provided many details of the molecular events underlying ER-Golgi exchanges. Essential questions, however, remain about the organization of the ER-Golgi interface in cells and the type of membrane structures mediating traffic from ERES. To investigate these, we use transgenic tagging in Drosophila flies, 3D-structured illumination microscopy (SIM), and focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) to characterize ERES-Golgi units in collagen-producing fat body, imaginal discs, and imaginal discs overexpressing ERES determinant Tango1. Facing ERES, we find a pre-cis-Golgi region, equivalent to the vertebrate ER-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC), involved in both anterograde and retrograde transport. This pre-cis-Golgi is continuous with the rest of the Golgi, not a separate compartment or collection of large carriers, for which we find no evidence. We observe, however, many vesicles, as well as pearled tubules connecting ERES and Golgi.
    Keywords:  ERGIC; Golgi; Tango1; intermediate compartment; secretion; traffic
  5. EMBO Rep. 2021 Sep 13. e52864
      The ubiquitin system is an important part of the host cellular defense program during bacterial infection. This is in particular evident for a number of bacteria including Salmonella Typhimurium and Mycobacterium tuberculosis which-inventively as part of their invasion strategy or accidentally upon rupture of seized host endomembranes-become exposed to the host cytosol. Ubiquitylation is involved in the detection and clearance of these bacteria as well as in the activation of innate immune and inflammatory signaling. Remarkably, all these defense responses seem to emanate from a dense layer of ubiquitin which coats the invading pathogens. In this review, we focus on the diverse group of host cell E3 ubiquitin ligases that help to tailor this ubiquitin coat. In particular, we address how the divergent ubiquitin conjugation mechanisms of these ligases contribute to the complexity of the anti-bacterial coating and the recruitment of different ubiquitin-binding effectors. We also discuss the activation and coordination of the different E3 ligases and which strategies bacteria evolved to evade the activities of the host ubiquitin system.
    Keywords:   Salmonella ; E3 ligase; innate immunity; ubiquitin; xenophagy
  6. Neuroscience. 2021 Sep 09. pii: S0306-4522(21)00455-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Chaperones and cellular degradative mechanisms modulate Tau aggregation. During aging and neurodegenerative disorders, the cellular proteostasis is disturbed due to impaired protective mechanisms. This results in accumulation of aberrant Tau aggregates in the neuron that leads to microtubule destabilization and neuronal degeneration. The intricate mechanisms to prevent Tau aggregation involve chaperones, autophagy, and proteasomal system have gained main focus about concerning to therapeutic intervention. However, the thorough understanding of other key proteins, such as Valosin-containing protein (VCP), is limited. In various neurodegenerative diseases, the chaperone-like activity of VCP is involved in preventing protein aggregation and mediating the degradation of aberrant proteins by proteasome and autophagy. In the case of Tau aggregation associated with Alzheimer's disease, the importance of VCP is poorly understood. VCP is known to co-localize with Tau, and alterations in VCP cause aberrant accumulation of Tau. Nevertheless, the direct mechanism of VCP in altering Tau aggregation is not known. Hence, we speculate that VCP might be one of the key modulators in preventing Tau aggregation and can disintegrate Tau aggregates by directing its clearance by autophagy.
    Keywords:  Tau aggregates; Valosin-containing protein; autophagy; segregase; ubiquitin-proteasome system
  7. Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 16. 11(1): 18435
      The significance of crosstalks among constituents of plasma membrane protein clusters/complexes in cellular proteostasis and protein quality control (PQC) remains incompletely understood. Examining the glial (enriched) cell adhesion molecule (CAM), we demonstrate its chaperone-like role in the biosynthetic processing of the megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cyst 1 (MLC1)-heteromeric regulatory membrane protein complex, as well as the function of the GlialCAM/MLC1 signalling complex. We show that in the absence of GlialCAM, newly synthesized MLC1 molecules remain unfolded and are susceptible to polyubiquitination-dependent proteasomal degradation at the endoplasmic reticulum. At the plasma membrane, GlialCAM regulates the diffusional partitioning and endocytic dynamics of cluster members, including the ClC-2 chloride channel and MLC1. Impaired folding and/or expression of GlialCAM or MLC1 in the presence of diseases causing mutations, as well as plasma membrane tethering compromise the functional expression of the cluster, leading to compromised endo-lysosomal organellar identity. In addition, the enlarged endo-lysosomal compartments display accelerated acidification, ubiquitinated cargo-sorting and impaired endosomal recycling. Jointly, these observations indicate an essential and previously unrecognized role for CAM, where GliaCAM functions as a PQC factor for the MLC1 signalling complex biogenesis and possess a permissive role in the membrane dynamic and cargo sorting functions with implications in modulations of receptor signalling.
  8. Nat Commun. 2021 Sep 15. 12(1): 5156
      R-loops are by-products of transcription that must be tightly regulated to maintain genomic stability and gene expression. Here, we describe a mechanism for the regulation of the R-loop-specific helicase, senataxin (SETX), and identify the ubiquitin specific peptidase 11 (USP11) as an R-loop regulator. USP11 de-ubiquitinates SETX and its depletion increases SETX K48-ubiquitination and protein turnover. Loss of USP11 decreases SETX steady-state levels and reduces R-loop dissolution. Ageing of USP11 knockout cells restores SETX levels via compensatory transcriptional downregulation of the E3 ubiquitin ligase, KEAP1. Loss of USP11 reduces SETX enrichment at KEAP1 promoter, leading to R-loop accumulation, enrichment of the endonuclease XPF and formation of double-strand breaks. Overexpression of KEAP1 increases SETX K48-ubiquitination, promotes its degradation and R-loop accumulation. These data define a ubiquitination-dependent mechanism for SETX regulation, which is controlled by the opposing activities of USP11 and KEAP1 with broad applications for cancer and neurological disease.
  9. J Cell Sci. 2021 Sep 15. pii: jcs.255299. [Epub ahead of print]
      The Voltage Dependent Anion channel (VDAC) is a ubiquitous channel in the outer membrane of the mitochondrion with multiple roles in protein, metabolite and small molecule transport. In mammalian cells, VDAC, as part of a larger complex including the inositol triphosphate receptor, has been shown to have a role in mediating contacts between the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We identify VDAC of the pathogenic apicomplexan Toxoplasma gondii and demonstrate its importance for parasite growth. We show that VDAC is involved in protein import and metabolite transfer to mitochondria. Further, depletion of VDAC resulted in significant morphological changes of the mitochondrion and ER, suggesting a role in mediating contacts between these organelles in T. gondii.
    Keywords:  Calcium; ER; Membrane contact sites; Mitochondria; Mitochondrion; Motility; Porin; Toxoplasma; VDAC
  10. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2021 Sep 15. 55(S4): 68-95
      Protein homeostasis strongly depends on the targeted and selective removal of unneeded or flawed proteins, of protein aggregates, and of damaged or excess organelles by the two main intracellular degradative systems, namely the ubiquitin proteasomal system (UPS) and the autophagosomal lysosomal system. Despite representing completely distinct mechanisms of degradation, which underlie differing regulatory mechanisms, growing evidence suggests that the UPS and autophagy strongly interact especially in situations of overwhelming and impairment, and that both are involved in podocyte proteostasis and in the pathogenesis of podocyte injury. The differential impact of autophagy and the UPS on podocyte biology and on podocyte disease development and progression is not understood. Recent advances in understanding the role of the UPS and autophagy in podocyte biology are reviewed here.
    Keywords:  Podocyte; Autophagy; Lysosome; Proteasome; Ubiquitin proteasome system; Crosstalk; Diabetic nephropathy; Membranous nephropathy; Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis; Lupus nephritis; Ageing
  11. Traffic. 2021 Sep 17.
      Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-to-Golgi trafficking is an essential and highly conserved cellular process. The coat protein complex-II (COPII) arm of the trafficking machinery incorporates a wide array of cargo proteins into vesicles through direct or indirect interactions with Sec24, the principal subunit of the COPII coat. Approximately one-third of all mammalian proteins rely on the COPII-mediated secretory pathway for membrane insertion or secretion. There are four mammalian Sec24 paralogs and three yeast Sec24 paralogs with emerging evidence of paralog-specific cargo interaction motifs. Furthermore, individual paralogs also differ in their affinity for a subset of sorting motifs present on cargo proteins. As with many aspects of protein trafficking, we lack a systematic and thorough understanding of the interaction of Sec24 with cargoes. This systematic review focuses on the current knowledge of cargo binding to both yeast and mammalian Sec24 paralogs and their ER export motifs. The analyses show that Sec24 paralog specificity of cargo (and cargo receptors) range from exclusive paralog dependence or preference to partial redundancy. We also discuss how the Sec24 secretion system is hijacked by viral (e.g., VSV-G, Hepatitis B envelope protein) and bacterial (e.g., the enteropathogenic E. coli type III secretion system effector NleA/EspI) pathogens. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  COPII; ER Golgi transport; ER export motif; Sec24; Sec24 paralog; cargo
  12. J Cell Biochem. 2021 Sep 14.
      Viruses are known to cause various diseases in human and also infect other species such as animal plants, fungi, and bacteria. Replication of viruses depends upon their interaction with hosts. Human cells are prone to such unwanted viral infections. Disintegration and reconstitution require host machinery and various macromolecules like DNA, RNA, and proteins are invaded by viral particles. E3 ubiquitin ligases are known for their specific function, that is, recognition of their respective substrates for intracellular degradation. Still, we do not understand how ubiquitin proteasome system-based enzymes E3 ubiquitin ligases do their functional interaction with different viruses. Whether E3 ubiquitin ligases help in the elimination of viral components or viruses utilize their molecular capabilities in their intracellular propagation is not clear. The first time our current article comprehends fundamental concepts and new insights on the different viruses and their interaction with various E3 Ubiquitin Ligases. In this review, we highlight the molecular pathomechanism of viruses linked with E3 Ubiquitin Ligases dependent mechanisms. An enhanced understanding of E3 Ubiquitin Ligase-mediated removal of viral proteins may open new therapeutic strategies against viral infections.
    Keywords:  E3 ubiquitin ligases; NF-κB activation; coronavirus infection; influenza infection; viral encephalitis; viral oncogenesis
  13. Cell Stress. 2021 Sep;5(9): 128-142
      The yeast Atg8 protein and its paralogs in mammals, mammalian Atg8s (mAtg8s), have been primarily appreciated for their participation in autophagy. However, lipidated mAtg8s, including the most frequently used autophagosomal membrane marker LC3B, are found on cellular membranes other than autophagosomes. Here we put forward a hypothesis that the lipidation of mAtg8s, termed 'Atg8ylation', is a general membrane stress and remodeling response analogous to the role that ubiquitylation plays in tagging proteins. Ubiquitin and mAtg8s are related in sequence and structure, and the lipidation of mAtg8s occurs on its C-terminal glycine, akin to the C-terminal glycine of ubiquitin. Conceptually, we propose that mAtg8s and Atg8ylation are to membranes what ubiquitin and ubiquitylation are to proteins, and that, like ubiquitylation, Atg8ylation has a multitude of downstream effector outputs, one of which is autophagy.
    Keywords:  ampk; atg8; autophagy; endosome; exosomes; galectin; lap; lc3; lysosome; microvesicles; mtor; secretion; secretory autophagy; tfeb; ubiquitin; ubiquitylation; unconventional secretion
  14. Plant Cell. 2021 Sep 17. pii: koab229. [Epub ahead of print]
      COPII, a coat protein complex that forms vesicles on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), mediates trafficking to the Golgi. While metazoans have few genes encoding each COPII component, plants have expanded these gene families, leading to the hypothesis that plant COPII has functionally diversified. In the moss Physcomitrium (Physcomitrella) patens, the Sec23/24 gene families are each composed of seven genes. Silencing Sec23/24 revealed isoform-specific contributions to polarized growth, with the closely related Sec23D/E and Sec24C/D essential for protonemal development. Focusing on Sec23, we discovered that Sec23D/E mediate ER-to Golgi transport and are essential for tip growth, with Sec23D localizing to presumptive ER exit sites. By contrast, Sec23A,B,C,F, and G are dispensable and do not quantitatively affect ER-to-Golgi trafficking. However, Δsec23abcfg plants exhibited reduced secretion of plasma membrane cargo. Of the four highly expressed protonemal Sec23 genes, Sec23F/G are members of a divergent Sec23 clade specifically retained in land plants. Notably, Sec23G accumulates on ER-associated foci that are significantly larger, do not overlap with, and are independent of Sec23D. While Sec23D/E form ER exit sites and function as bona fide COPII components essential for tip-growing protonemata, Sec23G and the closely related Sec23F have likely functionally diversified, forming separate and independent ER exit sites and participating in Golgi-independent trafficking pathways.
  15. Nat Chem Biol. 2021 Sep 13.
      An emerging mechanism of ubiquitylation involves partnering of two distinct E3 ligases. In the best-characterized E3-E3 pathways, ARIH-family RING-between-RING (RBR) E3s ligate ubiquitin to substrates of neddylated cullin-RING E3s. The E3 ARIH2 has been implicated in ubiquitylation of substrates of neddylated CUL5-RBX2-based E3s, including APOBEC3-family substrates of the host E3 hijacked by HIV-1 virion infectivity factor (Vif). However, the structural mechanisms remained elusive. Here structural and biochemical analyses reveal distinctive ARIH2 autoinhibition, and activation on assembly with neddylated CUL5-RBX2. Comparison to structures of E3-E3 assemblies comprising ARIH1 and neddylated CUL1-RBX1-based E3s shows cullin-specific regulation by NEDD8. Whereas CUL1-linked NEDD8 directly recruits ARIH1, CUL5-linked NEDD8 does not bind ARIH2. Instead, the data reveal an allosteric mechanism. NEDD8 uniquely contacts covalently linked CUL5, and elicits structural rearrangements that unveil cryptic ARIH2-binding sites. The data reveal how a ubiquitin-like protein induces protein-protein interactions indirectly, through allostery. Allosteric specificity of ubiquitin-like protein modifications may offer opportunities for therapeutic targeting.
  16. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 706997
      Ubiquitination is a posttranslational modification of proteins that significantly affects protein stability and function. The specificity of substrate recognition is determined by ubiquitin E3 ligase during ubiquitination. Human Deltex (DTX) protein family, which functions as ubiquitin E3 ligases, comprises five members, namely, DTX1, DTX2, DTX3, DTX3L, and DTX4. The characteristics and functional diversity of the DTX family proteins have attracted significant attention over the last decade. DTX proteins have several physiological and pathological roles and are closely associated with cell signal transduction, growth, differentiation, and apoptosis, as well as the occurrence and development of various tumors. Although they have been extensively studied in various species, data on structural features, biological functions, and potential mechanisms of action of the DTX family proteins remain limited. In this review, recent research progress on each member of the DTX family is summarized, providing insights into future research directions and potential strategies in disease diagnosis and therapy.
    Keywords:  Deltex family proteins; post-translational modification; protein homeostasis; ubiquitin E3 ligase; ubiquitin code; ubiquitination
  17. Autophagy. 2021 Sep 14. 1-3
      The mammalian ULK kinase complex is the most upstream component in the macroautophagy/autophagy signaling pathway. ULK1 and homolog ULK2, the sole serine/threonine kinases in autophagy, transduce an array of autophagy-inducing stimuli to downstream autophagic machinery, regulating autophagy from autophagosome initiation to fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes. ULK signaling is also implicated in a diverse array of non-canonical processes from necroptosis to ER-Golgi trafficking to stress granule clearance. However, the exact mechanisms by which ULK regulates these diverse processes remain largely unknown. Most notably, the number of validated ULK substrates is surprisingly low. Our study identifies new ULK substrates from a wide array of protein families and signaling pathways and supports an expanded range of physiological roles for the ULKs. We further characterize several new substrates, including the PIK3C3/VPS34-containing complex subunit PIK3R4/VPS15 and the AMPK component PRKAG2. Finally, by analyzing PIK3R4/VPS15-deficient models we discover novel aspects of ULK signaling with potential relevance in selective autophagy.
    Keywords:  AMPK; PIK3R4; PRKAG2; VPS15; VPS34; p150
  18. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Sep 14. pii: dgab680. [Epub ahead of print]
      CONTEXT: Circulating adiponectin levels are decreased in pregnant women with obesity or gestational diabetes, and this is believed to contribute to the insulin resistance and increased risk of fetal overgrowth associated with these conditions. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating adiponectin secretion from maternal adipose tissues in pregnancy are poorly understood.OBJECTIVES: We tested the hypothesis that obesity in pregnancy is associated with adipose tissue insulin resistance and increased adiponectin ubiquitination and degradation, caused by inflammation and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress.
    METHODS: Visceral adipose tissues were collected from lean and obese pregnant humans and mice. Total and ubiquitinated adiponectin, and markers of inflammation, ER stress and insulin resistance were examined in adipose tissues. The role of insulin, inflammation and ER stress in mediating adiponectin ubiquitination and degradation was examined using 3T3L-1 adipocytes.
    RESULTS: Obesity in pregnancy is associated with adipose tissue inflammation, ER stress, insulin resistance, increased adiponectin ubiquitination and decreased total abundance of adiponectin. Adiponectin ubiquitination was increased in visceral fat of obese pregnant women as compared to lean pregnant women. We further observed that insulin prevents, whereas ER stress and inflammation promote, adiponectin ubiquitination and degradation in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes.
    CONCLUSION: We have identified adiponectin ubiquitination as a key mechanism by which obesity diminishes adiponectin secretion in pregnancy. This information will help us better understand the mechanisms controlling maternal insulin resistance and fetal growth in pregnancy and may provide a foundation for the development of strategies aimed at improving adiponectin production in pregnant women with obesity or gestational diabetes.
    Keywords:  adipose tissue; human; insulin resistance
  19. EMBO J. 2021 Sep 13. e107766
      The Golgi apparatus, the main glycosylation station of the cell, consists of a stack of discontinuous cisternae. Glycosylation enzymes are usually concentrated in one or two specific cisternae along the cis-trans axis of the organelle. How such compartmentalized localization of enzymes is achieved and how it contributes to glycosylation are not clear. Here, we show that the Golgi matrix protein GRASP55 directs the compartmentalized localization of key enzymes involved in glycosphingolipid (GSL) biosynthesis. GRASP55 binds to these enzymes and prevents their entry into COPI-based retrograde transport vesicles, thus concentrating them in the trans-Golgi. In genome-edited cells lacking GRASP55, or in cells expressing mutant enzymes without GRASP55 binding sites, these enzymes relocate to the cis-Golgi, which affects glycosphingolipid biosynthesis by changing flux across metabolic branch points. These findings reveal a mechanism by which a matrix protein regulates polarized localization of glycosylation enzymes in the Golgi and controls competition in glycan biosynthesis.
    Keywords:  GRASP55; Golgi apparatus; glucosylceramide synthase; glycosphingolipids; glycosylation
  20. Nat Commun. 2021 Sep 13. 12(1): 5397
      Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains incurable, largely due to its resistance to conventional treatments. Here, we find that increased abundance of the ubiquitin ligase RNF5 contributes to AML development and survival. High RNF5 expression in AML patient specimens correlates with poor prognosis. RNF5 inhibition decreases AML cell growth in culture, in patient-derived xenograft (PDX) samples and in vivo, and delays development of MLL-AF9-driven leukemogenesis in mice, prolonging their survival. RNF5 inhibition causes transcriptional changes that overlap with those seen upon histone deacetylase (HDAC)1 inhibition. RNF5 induces the formation of K29 ubiquitin chains on the histone-binding protein RBBP4, promoting its recruitment to and subsequent epigenetic regulation of genes involved in AML maintenance. Correspondingly, RNF5 or RBBP4 knockdown enhances AML cell sensitivity to HDAC inhibitors. Notably, low expression of both RNF5 and HDAC coincides with a favorable prognosis. Our studies identify an ERAD-independent role for RNF5, demonstrating that its control of RBBP4 constitutes an epigenetic pathway that drives AML, and highlight RNF5/RBBP4 as markers useful to stratify patients for treatment with HDAC inhibitors.
  21. J Pept Sci. 2021 Sep 12. e3367
      Ubiquitination is an important posttranslation modification (PTM) that regulates a variety of cellular processes, including protein degradation, DNA repair, and viral infections. In this process, the C-terminal carboxyl group of ubiquitin (Ub) or poly-Ub is attached to the ε-amine of lysine (Lys) side chain of an acceptor protein through an isopeptide bond. Studying a molecular mechanism of ubiquitination and deubiquitination is fundamental for unraveling its precise role in health and disease and hence crucial for drug development. Enzymatic approaches for protein ubiquitination possess limited ability to selectivity install Ub or Ub chain on the desired position of an acceptor protein and often lead to heterogeneous mixtures. In the past decades, chemical protein (semi)synthesis has been proved to be an efficient tool to facilitate site-specific protein ubiquitination, which significantly contributes to decode the Ub signal at molecular and structural levels. In this review, we summarize the synthetic strategies developed for protein ubiquitination, and the achievements to generate monoubiquitinated, di-ubiquitinated, and tetraubiquitinated proteins with native isopeptide and ester bonds.
    Keywords:  chemical protein synthesis; isopeptide bond; semi-synthesis; ubiquitinated protein; ubiquitination
  22. Mol Cell. 2021 Sep 10. pii: S1097-2765(21)00691-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Of the eight distinct polyubiquitin (polyUb) linkages that can be assembled, the roles of K48-linked polyUb (K48-polyUb) are the most established, with K48-polyUb modified proteins being targeted for degradation. MINDY1 and MINDY2 are members of the MINDY family of deubiquitinases (DUBs) that have exquisite specificity for cleaving K48-polyUb, yet we have a poor understanding of their catalytic mechanism. Here, we analyze the crystal structures of MINDY1 and MINDY2 alone and in complex with monoUb, di-, and penta-K48-polyUb, identifying 5 distinct Ub binding sites in the catalytic domain that explain how these DUBs sense both Ub chain length and linkage type to cleave K48-polyUb chains. The activity of MINDY1/2 is inhibited by the Cys-loop, and we find that substrate interaction relieves autoinhibition to activate these DUBs. We also find that MINDY1/2 use a non-canonical catalytic triad composed of Cys-His-Thr. Our findings highlight multiple layers of regulation modulating DUB activity in MINDY1 and MINDY2.
    Keywords:  autoinhibition; conformational change; crystal structure; deubiquitinase; enzyme mechanism; polyubiquitin; protease; proteasome; protein degradation; ubiquitylation
  23. Cell Metab. 2021 Sep 08. pii: S1550-4131(21)00417-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Loss of proteostasis is a fundamental process driving aging. Proteostasis is affected by the accuracy of translation, yet the physiological consequence of having fewer protein synthesis errors during multi-cellular organismal aging is poorly understood. Our phylogenetic analysis of RPS23, a key protein in the ribosomal decoding center, uncovered a lysine residue almost universally conserved across all domains of life, which is replaced by an arginine in a small number of hyperthermophilic archaea. When introduced into eukaryotic RPS23 homologs, this mutation leads to accurate translation, as well as heat shock resistance and longer life, in yeast, worms, and flies. Furthermore, we show that anti-aging drugs such as rapamycin, Torin1, and trametinib reduce translation errors, and that rapamycin extends further organismal longevity in RPS23 hyperaccuracy mutants. This implies a unified mode of action for diverse pharmacological anti-aging therapies. These findings pave the way for identifying novel translation accuracy interventions to improve aging.
    Keywords:  RPS23; aging; archaea; mTOR; protein synthesis; proteostasis; ribosome; translation; translation accuracy; translation fidelity
  24. J Am Chem Soc. 2021 Sep 14.
      Proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs) represent a new class of promising therapeutic modalities. PROTACs hijack E3 ligases and the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), leading to selective degradation of the target proteins. However, only a very limited number of E3 ligases have been leveraged to generate effective PROTACs. Herein, we report that the KEAP1 E3 ligase can be harnessed for targeted protein degradation utilizing a highly selective, noncovalent small-molecule KEAP1 binder. We generated a proof-of-concept PROTAC, MS83, by linking the KEAP1 ligand to a BRD4/3/2 binder. MS83 effectively reduces protein levels of BRD4 and BRD3, but not BRD2, in cells in a concentration-, time-, KEAP1- and UPS-dependent manner. Interestingly, MS83 degrades BRD4/3 more durably than the CRBN-recruiting PROTAC dBET1 in MDA-MB-468 cells and selectively degrades BRD4 short isoform over long isoform in MDA-MB-231 cells. It also displays improved antiproliferative activity than dBET1. Overall, our study expands the limited toolbox for targeted protein degradation.
  25. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Sep 21. pii: e2108790118. [Epub ahead of print]118(38):
      Molecular chaperones are key components of the cellular proteostasis network whose role includes the suppression of the formation and proliferation of pathogenic aggregates associated with neurodegenerative diseases. The molecular principles that allow chaperones to recognize misfolded and aggregated proteins remain, however, incompletely understood. To address this challenge, here we probe the thermodynamics and kinetics of the interactions between chaperones and protein aggregates under native solution conditions using a microfluidic platform. We focus on the binding between amyloid fibrils of α-synuclein, associated with Parkinson's disease, to the small heat-shock protein αB-crystallin, a chaperone widely involved in the cellular stress response. We find that αB-crystallin binds to α-synuclein fibrils with high nanomolar affinity and that the binding is driven by entropy rather than enthalpy. Measurements of the change in heat capacity indicate significant entropic gain originates from the disassembly of the oligomeric chaperones that function as an entropic buffer system. These results shed light on the functional roles of chaperone oligomerization and show that chaperones are stored as inactive complexes which are capable of releasing active subunits to target aberrant misfolded species.
    Keywords:  aggregation; chaperones; kinetic analysis; microfluidics; thermodynamic
  26. Thorax. 2021 Sep 11. pii: thoraxjnl-2020-215979. [Epub ahead of print]
      INTRODUCTION: The significance of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in asthma is unclear. Here, we demonstrate that ER stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR) are related to disease severity and inflammatory phenotype.METHODS: Induced sputum (n=47), bronchial lavage (n=23) and endobronchial biopsies (n=40) were collected from participants with asthma with varying disease severity, inflammatory phenotypes and from healthy controls. Markers for ER stress and UPR were assessed. These markers were also assessed in established eosinophilic and neutrophilic murine models of asthma.
    RESULTS: Our results demonstrate increased ER stress and UPR pathways in asthma and these are related to clinical severity and inflammatory phenotypes. Genes associated with ER protein chaperone (BiP, CANX, CALR), ER-associated protein degradation (EDEM1, DERL1) and ER stress-induced apoptosis (DDIT3, PPP1R15A) were dysregulated in participants with asthma and are associated with impaired lung function (forced expiratory volume in 1 s) and active eosinophilic and neutrophilic inflammation. ER stress genes also displayed a significant correlation with classic Th2 (interleukin-4, IL-4/13) genes, Th17 (IL-17F/CXCL1) genes, proinflammatory (IL-1b, tumour necrosis factor α, IL-8) genes and inflammasome activation (NLRP3) in sputum from asthmatic participants. Mice with allergic airway disease (AAD) and severe steroid insensitive AAD also showed increased ER stress signalling in their lungs.
    CONCLUSION: Heightened ER stress is associated with severe eosinophilic and neutrophilic inflammation in asthma and may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of asthma.
    Keywords:  allergic lung disease; asthma; asthma mechanisms
  27. Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Sep 17. pii: gkab805. [Epub ahead of print]
      A DNA replication program, which ensures that the genome is accurately and wholly replicated, is established during G1, before the onset of S phase. In G1, replication origins are licensed, and upon S phase entry, a subset of these will form active replisomes. Tight regulation of the number of active replisomes is crucial to prevent replication stress-induced DNA damage. TICRR/TRESLIN is essential for DNA replication initiation, and the level of TICRR and its phosphorylation determine the number of origins that initiate during S phase. However, the mechanisms regulating TICRR protein levels are unknown. Therefore, we set out to define the TICRR/TRESLIN protein dynamics throughout the cell cycle. Here, we show that TICRR levels are high during G1 and dramatically decrease as cells enter S phase and begin DNA replication. We show that degradation of TICRR occurs specifically during S phase and depends on ubiquitin ligases and proteasomal degradation. Using two targeted siRNA screens, we identify CRL4DTL as a cullin complex necessary for TICRR degradation. We propose that this mechanism moderates the level of TICRR protein available for replication initiation, ensuring the proper number of active origins as cells progress through S phase.
  28. Cell Death Differ. 2021 Sep 12.
      Mitochondria support multiple cell functions, but an accumulation of dysfunctional or excessive mitochondria is detrimental to cells. We previously demonstrated that a defect in the autophagic removal of mitochondria, termed mitophagy, leads to the acceleration of apoptosis induced by herpesvirus productive infection. However, the exact molecular mechanisms underlying activation of mitophagy and regulation of apoptosis remain poorly understood despite the identification of various mitophagy-associated proteins. Here, we report that the mitochondrial translation elongation factor Tu, a mitophagy-associated protein encoded by the TUFM gene, locates in part on the outer membrane of mitochondria (OMM) where it acts as an inhibitor of altered mitochondria-induced apoptosis through its autophagic function. Inducible depletion of TUFM potentiated caspase-8-mediated apoptosis in virus-infected cells with accumulation of altered mitochondria. In addition, TUFM depletion promoted caspase-8 activation induced by treatment with TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand in cancer cells, potentially via dysregulation of mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy. Importantly, we revealed the existence of and structural requirements for autophagy-competent TUFM on the OMM; the GxxxG motif within the N-terminal mitochondrial targeting sequences of TUFM was required for self-dimerization and mitophagy. Furthermore, we found that autophagy-competent TUFM was subject to ubiquitin-proteasome-mediated degradation but stabilized upon mitophagy or autophagy activation. Moreover, overexpression of autophagy-competent TUFM could inhibit caspase-8 activation. These studies extend our knowledge of mitophagy regulation of apoptosis and could provide a novel strategic basis for targeted therapy of cancer and viral diseases.
  29. Autophagy. 2021 Sep 15. 1-19
      Epidemiological and clinical studies have shown that exposure to particulate matter (PM) is associated with an increased incidence of lung cancer and metastasis. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here, we demonstrated the central role of PM-induced neutrophil recruitment in promoting lung cancer metastasis. We found that reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated alveolar epithelial macroautophagy/autophagy was essential for initiating neutrophil chemotaxis and pre-metastatic niche formation in the lungs in response to PM exposure. During PM-induced autophagy, the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM37 was degraded and protected TRAF6 from proteasomal degradation in lung epithelial cells, which promoted the NFKB-dependent production of chemokines to recruit neutrophils. Importantly, ROS blockade, autophagy inhibition or TRAF6 knockdown abolished PM-induced neutrophil recruitment and lung metastasis enhancement. Our study indicates that host lung epithelial cells and neutrophils coordinate to promote cancer metastasis to the lungs in response to PM exposure and provides ideal therapeutic targets for metastatic progression.Abbreviations: ACTA2/α-SMA: actin alpha 2, smooth muscle, aorta; ATII: alveolar type II; Cho-Traf6 siRNA: 5'-cholesterol-Traf6 siRNA; EMT: epithelial-mesenchymal transition; HBE: human bronchial epithelial; HCQ: hydroxychloroquine; MAPK: mitogen-activated protein kinase; NAC: N-acetyl-L-cysteine; NFKB: nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B cells; NS: normal saline; PM: particulate matter; ROS: reactive oxygen species; TRAF6: TNF receptor-associated factor 6; TRIM37: tripartite motif-containing 37.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; NFKB; ROS; TRAF6; TRIM37; lung metastasis; neutrophils; particulate matter
  30. J Struct Biol. 2021 Sep 08. pii: S1047-8477(21)00101-5. [Epub ahead of print]213(4): 107796
      Ubiquitin fold modifier 1 (UFM1) is an ubiquitin-like protein (Ubl) involved especially in endoplasmic stress response. Activation occurs via a three-step mechanism like other Ubls. Data obtained reveal that UFM1 regulates the oligomeric state of ubiquitin activating enzyme 5 (UBA5) to initiate the activation step. Mixtures of homodimers and heterotrimers are observed in solution at the equilibrium state, demonstrating that the UBA5-UFM1 complex undergoes several concentration dependent oligomeric translational states to form a final functional complex. The oligomerization state of unbound UBA5 is also concentration dependent and shifts from the monomeric to the dimeric state. Data describing different oligomeric states are complemented with binding studies that reveal a negative cooperativity for the complex formation and thereby provide more detailed insights into the complex formation mechanism.
    Keywords:  Analytical ultracentrifugation; Binding cooperativity; Protein–protein interaction; SAXS; Ubiquitin-like proteins
  31. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2021 Sep 14. 40(1): 289
      BACKGROUND: The development of persistent endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is one of the cornerstones of prostate carcinogenesis; however, the mechanism is missing. Also, alcohol is a physiological ER stress inducer, and the link between alcoholism and progression of prostate cancer (PCa) is well documented but not well characterized. According to the canonical model, the mediator of ER stress, ATF6, is cleaved sequentially in the Golgi by S1P and S2P proteases; thereafter, the genes responsible for unfolded protein response (UPR) undergo transactivation.METHODS: Cell lines used were non-malignant prostate epithelial RWPE-1 cells, androgen-responsive LNCaP, and 22RV1 cells, as well as androgen-refractory PC-3 cells. We also utilized PCa tissue sections from patients with different Gleason scores and alcohol consumption backgrounds. Several sophisticated approaches were employed, including Structured illumination superresolution microscopy, Proximity ligation assay, Atomic force microscopy, and Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
    RESULTS: Herein, we identified the trans-Golgi matrix dimeric protein GCC185 as a Golgi retention partner for both S1P and S2P, and in cells lacking GCC185, these enzymes lose intra-Golgi situation. Progression of prostate cancer (PCa) is associated with overproduction of S1P and S2P but monomerization of GCC185 and its downregulation. Utilizing different ER stress models, including ethanol administration, we found that PCa cells employ an elegant mechanism that auto-activates ER stress by fragmentation of Golgi, translocation of S1P and S2P from Golgi to ER, followed by intra-ER cleavage of ATF6, accelerated UPR, and cell proliferation. The segregation of S1P and S2P from Golgi and activation of ATF6 are positively correlated with androgen receptor signaling, different disease stages, and alcohol consumption. Finally, depletion of ATF6 significantly retarded the growth of xenograft prostate tumors and blocks production of pro-metastatic metabolites.
    CONCLUSIONS: We found that progression of PCa associates with translocation of S1P and S2P proteases to the ER and subsequent ATF6 cleavage. This obviates the need for ATF6 transport to the Golgi and enhances UPR and cell proliferation. Thus, we provide the novel mechanistic model of ATF6 activation and ER stress implication in the progression of PCa, suggesting ATF6 is a novel promising target for prostate cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  Alcohol abuse; ER stress; Golgi fragmentation; Prostate cancer
  32. Cell Death Discov. 2021 Sep 17. 7(1): 246
      Transcriptional factor nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) can be activated by various intracellular or extracellular stimuli and its dysregulation leads to pathological conditions, such as neurodegenerative disorders, infection, and cancer. The carboxyl terminus of HSC70-interacting protein (CHIP), a pathogenic gene of spinocerebellar autosomal recessive 16 (SCAR16), plays an important roles in protein degradation, trafficking, and multiple signaling transductions. It has been reported that CHIP participates in the regulation of NF-κB signaling, and the mutant of CHIP (p.T246M) leads to the occurrence of SCAR16. However, the detailed mechanism of CHIP and CHIP (p.T246M) in the regulation of NF-κB signaling in neurological disorders remains unclear. Here, we found that CHIP promoted the activation of NF-κB signaling, while the knockdown had the opposite effect. Furthermore, CHIP interacted with TAK1 and targeted it for K63-linked ubiquitination. Finally, CHIP enhanced the interaction between TAK1 and NEMO. However, CHIP (p.T246M) couldn't upregulate NF-κB signaling, potentiate the ubiquitination of TAK1, and enhance the interactions. Taken together, our study demonstrated for the first time that CHIP positively regulates NF-κB signaling by targeting TAK1 and enhancing its K63-linked ubiquitination.
  33. Dev Cell. 2021 Sep 08. pii: S1534-5807(21)00678-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Atg6Beclin 1 mediates autophagy and endosomal trafficking. We investigated how Atg6 influences replication stress. Combining genetic, genomic, metabolomic, and proteomic approaches, we found that the Vps34-Vps15-Atg6Beclin 1-Vps38UVRAG-phosphatydilinositol-3 phosphate (PtdIns(3)P) axis sensitizes cells to replication stress by favoring the degradation of plasma membrane amino acid (AA) transporters via endosomal trafficking and ESCRT proteins, while the PtdIns(3)P phosphatases Ymr1 and Inp53 promote survival to replication stress by reversing this process. An impaired AA uptake triggers activation of Gcn2, which attenuates protein synthesis by phosphorylating eIF2α. Mec1Atr-Rad53Chk1/Chk2 activation during replication stress further hinders translation efficiency by counteracting eIF2α dephosphorylation through Glc7PP1. AA shortage-induced hyperphosphorylation of eIF2α inhibits the synthesis of 65 stress response proteins, thus resulting in cell sensitization to replication stress, while TORC1 promotes cell survival. Our findings reveal an integrated network mediated by endosomal trafficking, translational control pathways, and checkpoint kinases linking AA availability to the response to replication stress.
    Keywords:  Atg6/Beclin 1; DNA damage response; Gcn2; Rad53; TORC1; amino acids; endosomal trafficking; phosphatydilinositol 3-phosphate; replication stress
  34. Nat Commun. 2021 Sep 13. 12(1): 5416
      Hypoxia is the most prominent feature in human solid tumors and induces activation of hypoxia-inducible factors and their downstream genes to promote cancer progression. However, whether and how hypoxia regulates overall mRNA homeostasis is unclear. Here we show that hypoxia inhibits global-mRNA decay in cancer cells. Mechanistically, hypoxia induces the interaction of AGO2 with LUBAC, the linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex, which co-localizes with miRNA-induced silencing complex and in turn catalyzes AGO2 occurring Met1-linked linear ubiquitination (M1-Ubi). A series of biochemical experiments reveal that M1-Ubi of AGO2 restrains miRNA-mediated gene silencing. Moreover, combination analyses of the AGO2-associated mRNA transcriptome by RIP-Seq and the mRNA transcriptome by RNA-Seq confirm that AGO2 M1-Ubi interferes miRNA-targeted mRNA recruiting to AGO2, and thereby facilitates accumulation of global mRNAs. By this mechanism, short-term hypoxia may protect overall mRNAs and enhances stress tolerance, whereas long-term hypoxia in tumor cells results in seriously changing the entire gene expression profile to drive cell malignant evolution.
  35. Cell Chem Biol. 2021 Sep 11. pii: S2451-9456(21)00355-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Chemical splicing modulators that bind to the spliceosome have provided an attractive avenue for cancer treatment. Splicing modulators induce accumulation and subsequent translation of a subset of intron-retained mRNAs. However, the biological effect of proteins containing translated intron sequences remains unclear. Here, we identify a number of truncated proteins generated upon treatment with the splicing modulator spliceostatin A (SSA) via genome-wide ribosome profiling and bio-orthogonal noncanonical amino acid tagging (BONCAT) mass spectrometry. A subset of these truncated proteins has intrinsically disordered regions, forms insoluble cellular condensates, and triggers the proteotoxic stress response through c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation, thereby inhibiting the mTORC1 pathway. In turn, this reduces global translation. These findings indicate that creating an overburden of condensate-prone proteins derived from introns represses translation and prevents further production of harmful truncated proteins. This mechanism appears to contribute to the antiproliferative and proapoptotic activity of splicing modulators.
    Keywords:  BONCAT; JNK; condensate; intron; mTORC1; proteostasis; ribosome profiling; spliceostatin A; splicing modulator; translation
  36. Nat Commun. 2021 Sep 13. 12(1): 5399
      Mass spectrometry (MS)-based ubiquitinomics provides system-level understanding of ubiquitin signaling. Here we present a scalable workflow for deep and precise in vivo ubiquitinome profiling, coupling an improved sample preparation protocol with data-independent acquisition (DIA)-MS and neural network-based data processing specifically optimized for ubiquitinomics. Compared to data-dependent acquisition (DDA), our method more than triples identification numbers to 70,000 ubiquitinated peptides in single MS runs, while significantly improving robustness and quantification precision. Upon inhibition of the oncology target USP7, we simultaneously record ubiquitination and consequent changes in abundance of more than 8,000 proteins at high temporal resolution. While ubiquitination of hundreds of proteins increases within minutes of USP7 inhibition, we find that only a small fraction of those are ever degraded, thereby dissecting the scope of USP7 action. Our method enables rapid mode-of-action profiling of candidate drugs targeting DUBs or ubiquitin ligases at high precision and throughput.
  37. Elife. 2021 09 14. pii: e69269. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Microsatellite expansions of CCTG repeats in the cellular nucleic acid-binding protein (CNBP) gene leads to accumulation of toxic RNA and have been associated with myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2). However, it is still unclear whether the dystrophic phenotype is also linked to CNBP decrease, a conserved CCHC-type zinc finger RNA-binding protein that regulates translation and is required for mammalian development. Here, we show that depletion of Drosophila CNBP in muscles causes ageing-dependent locomotor defects that are correlated with impaired polyamine metabolism. We demonstrate that the levels of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and polyamines are significantly reduced upon dCNBP depletion. Of note, we show a reduction of the CNBP-polyamine axis in muscles from DM2 patients. Mechanistically, we provide evidence that dCNBP controls polyamine metabolism through binding dOdc mRNA and regulating its translation. Remarkably, the locomotor defect of dCNBP-deficient flies is rescued by either polyamine supplementation or dOdc1 overexpression. We suggest that this dCNBP function is evolutionarily conserved in vertebrates with relevant implications for CNBP-related pathophysiological conditions.
    Keywords:  CNBP; D. melanogaster; Drosophila melanogaster; ODC; genetics; genomics; human; myotonic dystrophy 2; neuroscience; polyamine; translation
  38. FEBS Lett. 2021 Sep 12.
      Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is critical for the ability of cancer cells to evade attacks by the host immune system. However, the molecular mechanisms controlling PD-L1 expression have not been fully understood. Here, we demonstrate that sorting nexin 6 (SNX6) is a novel regulator of PD-L1 expression. Knockdown of SNX6 in cancer cells significantly decreases PD-L1 protein levels. In contrast, loss of SNX6 does not reduce PD-L1 mRNA levels. Instead, SNX6 interacts with Cullin3, an E3 ubiquitin ligase responsible for PD-L1 ubiquitination and subsequent degradation. By binding with Cullin3, SNX6 decreases the interaction between the adaptor protein speckle-type POZ protein (SPOP) and Cullin3, which in turn downregulates Cullin3-mediated PD-L1 ubiquitination. This research reveals a novel molecular nexus in modulating PD-L1.
    Keywords:  Cullin3; PD-L1; SNX6; SPOP; immune checkpoint; immunotherapy; ubiquitination
  39. FEBS Open Bio. 2021 Sep 12.
      Extracellular vesicles (EV) within the cellular secretome are emerging as modulators of pathological processes involved in tumor growth through their ability to transfer donor derived RNA into recipient cells. While the effects of tumor and stromal cell EVs within the tumor microenvironment have been studied, less is known about the contributions of normal, non-transformed cells. We examined the impact of EVs within the cellular secretome from non-malignant cells on transformed cell growth and behavior in cholangiocarcinoma cells. These effects were enhanced in the presence of the pro-fibrogenic mediator TGF-β. We identified miR-195 as a TGF-β responsive miRNA in normal cells that can be transferred via EV to tumor cells and regulate cell growth, invasion and migration. The effects of miR-195 involve modulation of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition through direct effects on the transcription factor Snail. These studies provide in vitro and in vivo evidence for the impact of normal cellular secretome on transformed cell growth, show the importance of EV RNA transfer, and identify mechanisms of EV-mediated transfer of miRNA as a contributor to tumor development, which may provide new therapeutic opportunities for targeting human cholangiocarcinoma.
    Keywords:  Tumor microenvironment; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; extracellular vesicles; microRNA; secretome
  40. Brain. 2021 Sep 17. pii: awab300. [Epub ahead of print]
      Repeat expansions in the C9orf72 gene are a common cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration, two devastating neurodegenerative disorders. One of the proposed mechanisms of GGGGCC repeat expansion is their translation into non-canonical dipeptide repeats, which can then accumulate as aggregates and contribute to these pathologies. There are five different dipeptide repeat proteins (polyGA, polyGR, polyPR, polyPA and polyGP), some of which are known to be neurotoxic. In the present study, we used BioID2 proximity labelling to identify the interactomes of all five dipeptide repeat proteins consisting of 125 repeats each. We identified 113 interacting partners for polyGR, 90 for polyGA, 106 for polyPR, 25 for polyPA, and 27 for polyGP. Gene Ontology enrichment analysis of the proteomic data revealed that these target interaction partners are involved in a variety of functions, including protein translation, signal transduction pathways, protein catabolic processes, amide metabolic processes, and RNA-binding. Using autopsy brain tissue from patients with C9orf72 expansion complemented with cell culture analysis, we evaluated the interactions between polyGA and valosin-containing protein (VCP). Functional analysis of this interaction revealed sequestration of VCP with polyGA aggregates, altering levels of soluble VCP protein. VCP also functions in autophagy processes, and consistent with this, we observed altered autophagy in cells expressing polyGA. We also observed altered co-localisation of polyGA aggregates and p62 in cells depleted of the VCP protein. Altogether these data suggest that sequestration of VCP with polyGA aggregates contributes to the loss of VCP function, and consequently to alterations in autophagy processes in C9orf72 expansion disorders.
    Keywords:  ALS; C9orf72; VCP; autophagy
  41. Elife. 2021 09 15. pii: e71611. [Epub ahead of print]10
      The ability to regulate DNA replication initiation in response to changing nutrient conditions is an important feature of most cell types. In bacteria, DNA replication is triggered by the initiator protein DnaA, which has long been suggested to respond to nutritional changes; nevertheless, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we report a novel mechanism that adjusts DnaA synthesis in response to nutrient availability in Caulobacter crescentus. By performing a detailed biochemical and genetic analysis of the dnaA mRNA, we identified a sequence downstream of the dnaA start codon that inhibits DnaA translation elongation upon carbon exhaustion. Our data show that the corresponding peptide sequence, but not the mRNA secondary structure or the codon choice, is critical for this response, suggesting that specific amino acids in the growing DnaA nascent chain tune translational efficiency. Our study provides new insights into DnaA regulation and highlights the importance of translation elongation as a regulatory target. We propose that translation regulation by nascent chain sequences, like the one described, might constitute a general strategy for modulating the synthesis rate of specific proteins under changing conditions.
    Keywords:  DNA replication; E. coli; bacteria; chromosomes; gene expression; infectious disease; mRNA; microbiology; ribosome; starvation; translation
  42. J Biol Chem. 2021 Sep 09. pii: S0021-9258(21)00986-8. [Epub ahead of print] 101184
      The deubiquitinating enzyme USP37 is known to contribute to timely onset of S-phase and progression of mitosis. However, it is not clear if USP37 is required beyond S-phase entry despite expression and activity of USP37 peaking within S-phase. We have utilized flow cytometry and microscopy to analyze populations of replicating cells labeled with thymidine analogs and monitored mitotic entry in synchronized cells to determine that USP37-depleted cells exhibited altered S-phase kinetics. Further analysis revealed that cells depleted of USP37 harbored increased levels of the replication stress and DNA damage markers γH2AX and 53BP1 in response to perturbed replication. Depletion of USP37 also reduced cellular proliferation and led to increased sensitivity to agents that induce replication stress. Underlying the increased sensitivity, we found that the checkpoint kinase CHK1 is destabilized in the absence of USP37, attenuating its function. We further demonstrated that USP37 deubiquitinates CHK1, promoting its stability. Together our results establish that USP37 is required beyond S-phase entry to promote the efficiency and fidelity of replication. These data further define the role of USP37 in the regulation of cell proliferation and contribute to an evolving understanding of USP37 as a multifaceted regulator of genome stability.
    Keywords:  CHK1; DNA damage response; DNA replication; USP37; cell cycle; checkpoint control; deubiquitination; ubiquitination