bims-proteo Biomed News
on Proteostasis
Issue of 2021‒09‒26
33 papers selected by
Eric Chevet

  1. Cell Rep. 2021 Sep 21. pii: S2211-1247(21)01166-9. [Epub ahead of print]36(12): 109717
      To maintain secretory pathway fidelity, misfolded proteins are commonly retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and selected for ER-associated degradation (ERAD). Soluble misfolded proteins use ER chaperones for retention, but the machinery that restricts aberrant membrane proteins to the ER is unclear. In fact, some misfolded membrane proteins escape the ER and traffic to the lysosome/vacuole. To this end, we describe a model substrate, SZ∗, that contains an ER export signal but is also targeted for ERAD. We observe decreased ER retention when chaperone-dependent SZ∗ ubiquitination is compromised. In addition, appending a linear tetra-ubiquitin motif onto SZ∗ overrides ER export. By screening known ubiquitin-binding proteins, we then positively correlate SZ∗ retention with Ubx2 binding. Deletion of Ubx2 also inhibits the retention of another misfolded membrane protein. Our results indicate that polyubiquitination is sufficient to retain misfolded membrane proteins in the ER prior to ERAD.
    Keywords:  ERAD; Ubx2; chaperone; proteasome; protein quality control; ubiquitination; vacuole; yeast
  2. J Cell Sci. 2021 Sep 24. pii: jcs.259220. [Epub ahead of print]
      Membrane proteins destined for lipid droplets (LDs), a major intracellular storage site for neutral lipids, are inserted into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and then trafficked to LDs where they reside in a hairpin loop conformation. Here, we show that LD membrane proteins can be delivered to the ER either co- or post-translationally and that their membrane-embedded region specifies pathway selection. The co-translational route for LD membrane protein biogenesis is insensitive to a small molecule inhibitor of the Sec61 translocon, Ipomoeassin F, and instead relies on the ER membrane protein complex (EMC) for membrane insertion. This route may even result in a transient exposure of the short N-termini of some LD membrane proteins to the ER lumen, followed by putative topological rearrangements that would enable their transmembrane segment to form a hairpin loop and N-termini to face the cytosol. Our study reveals an unexpected complexity to LD membrane protein biogenesis and identifies a role for the EMC during their co-translational insertion into the ER.
    Keywords:  Co-translational; Endoplasmic Reticulum; Lipid Droplets; Membrane Proteins; Protein Targeting
  3. Nat Chem Biol. 2021 Sep 23.
      The unfolded protein response (UPR) homeostatically matches endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein-folding capacity to cellular secretory needs. However, under high or chronic ER stress, the UPR triggers apoptosis. This cell fate dichotomy is promoted by differential activation of the ER transmembrane kinase/endoribonuclease (RNase) IRE1α. We previously found that the RNase of IRE1α can be either fully activated or inactivated by ATP-competitive kinase inhibitors. Here we developed kinase inhibitors, partial antagonists of IRE1α RNase (PAIRs), that partially antagonize the IRE1α RNase at full occupancy. Biochemical and structural studies show that PAIRs promote partial RNase antagonism by intermediately displacing the helix αC in the IRE1α kinase domain. In insulin-producing β-cells, PAIRs permit adaptive splicing of Xbp1 mRNA while quelling destructive ER mRNA endonucleolytic decay and apoptosis. By preserving Xbp1 mRNA splicing, PAIRs allow B cells to differentiate into immunoglobulin-producing plasma cells. Thus, an intermediate RNase-inhibitory 'sweet spot', achieved by PAIR-bound IRE1α, captures a desirable conformation for drugging this master UPR sensor/effector.
  4. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 09 28. pii: e2110476118. [Epub ahead of print]118(39):
      Necroptosis is a form of regulated necrosis mediated by the formation of the necrosome, composed of the RIPK1/RIPK3/MLKL complex. Here, we developed a proximity ligation assay (PLA) that allows in situ visualization of necrosomes in necroptotic cells and in vivo. Using PLA assay, we show that necrosomes can be found in close proximity to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Furthermore, we show that necroptosis activates ER stress sensors, PERK, IRE1α, and ATF6 in a RIPK1-RIPK3-MLKL axis-dependent manner. Activated MLKL can be translocated to the ER membrane to directly initiate the activation of ER stress signaling. The activation of IRE1α in necroptosis promotes the splicing of XBP1, and the subsequent incorporation of spliced XBP1 messenger RNA (mRNA) into extracellular vesicles (EVs). Finally, we show that unlike that of a conventional ER stress response, necroptosis promotes the activation of unfolded protein response (UPR) sensors without affecting their binding of GRP78. Our study reveals a signaling pathway that links MLKL activation in necroptosis to an unconventional ER stress response.
    Keywords:  ER stress; IRE1α; PERK; UPR sensors; necroptosis
  5. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2374 139-147
      The Hedgehog (Hh) family of secreted proteins governs embryonic development and adult tissue homeostasis by regulating the abundance, localization, and activity of the GPCR family protein Smoothened (Smo). Smo trafficking and subcellular accumulation are controlled by multiple posttranslational modifications (PTMs) including phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and sumoylation, which appears to be conserved from Drosophila to mammals. Smo ubiquitination is dynamically regulated by E3 ubiquitin ligases and deubiquitinases (dubs) and is opposed by Hh signaling. By contrast, Smo sumoylation is stimulated by Hh, which counteracts Smo ubiquitination by recruiting the dub USP8. We describe cell-base assays for Smo ubiquitination and its regulation by Hh and the E3 ligases in Drosophila. We also describe assays for Smo sumoylation in both Drosophila and mammalian cultured cells.
    Keywords:  Cul4; DDB1; Gβ; Hedgehog; Nedd4; Smo; Smurf; Sumoylation; USP8; Ubiquitination; Ulp1
  6. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 09 28. pii: e2108751118. [Epub ahead of print]118(39):
      The bZIP transcription factor ATF6α is a master regulator of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response genes. In this report, we identify the multifunctional RNA polymerase II transcription factor Elongin as a cofactor for ATF6α-dependent transcription activation. Biochemical studies reveal that Elongin functions at least in part by facilitating ATF6α-dependent loading of Mediator at the promoters and enhancers of ER stress response genes. Depletion of Elongin from cells leads to impaired transcription of ER stress response genes and to defects in the recruitment of Mediator and its CDK8 kinase subunit. Taken together, these findings bring to light a role for Elongin as a loading factor for Mediator during the ER stress response.
    Keywords:  Mediator; RNA polymerase II; enhancer; transcription
  7. Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Sep 22. pii: gkab834. [Epub ahead of print]
      C9ORF72-derived dipeptide repeat proteins have emerged as the pathogenic cause of neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia (C9-ALS/FTD). However, the mechanisms underlying their expression are not fully understood. Here, we demonstrate that ZNF598, the rate-limiting factor for ribosome-associated quality control (RQC), co-translationally titrates the expression of C9ORF72-derived poly(GR) protein. A Drosophila genetic screen identified key RQC factors as potent modifiers of poly(GR)-induced neurodegeneration. ZNF598 overexpression in human neuroblastoma cells inhibited the nuclear accumulation of poly(GR) protein and decreased its cytotoxicity, whereas ZNF598 deletion had opposing effects. Poly(GR)-encoding sequences in the reporter RNAs caused translational stalling and generated ribosome-associated translation products, sharing molecular signatures with canonical RQC substrates. Furthermore, ZNF598 and listerin 1, the RQC E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase, promoted poly(GR) degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. An ALS-relevant ZNF598R69C mutant displayed loss-of-function effects on poly(GR) expression, as well as on general RQC. Moreover, RQC function was impaired in C9-ALS patient-derived neurons, whereas lentiviral overexpression of ZNF598 lowered their poly(GR) expression and suppressed proapoptotic caspase-3 activation. Taken together, we propose that an adaptive nature of the RQC-relevant ZNF598 activity allows the co-translational surveillance to cope with the atypical expression of pathogenic poly(GR) protein, thereby acquiring a neuroprotective function in C9-ALS/FTD.
  8. J Genet Genomics. 2021 Sep 18. pii: S1673-8527(21)00303-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Adult stem cells are critical for the maintenance of residential tissue homeostasis and functions. However, the roles of cellular protein homeostasis maintenance in stem cell proliferation and tissue homeostasis are not fully understood. Here, we find that Derlin-1 and TER94/VCP/p97, components of the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway, restrain intestinal stem cell proliferation to maintain intestinal homeostasis in adult Drosophila. Depleting any of them results in increased stem cell proliferation and midgut homeostasis disruption. Derlin-1 is specifically expressed in the ER of progenitors and its C-terminus is required for its function. Interestingly, we find that increased stem cell proliferation is resulted from elevated ROS levels and activated JNK signaling in Derlin-1- or TER94-deficient progenitors. Further removal of ROS or inhibition of JNK signaling almost completely suppressed increased stem cell proliferation. Together, these data demonstrate that the ERAD pathway is critical for stem cell proliferation and tissue homeostasis. Thus we provide insights into our understanding of the mechanisms underlying cellular protein homeostasis maintenance (ER protein quality control) in tissue homeostasis and tumor development.
    Keywords:  Derlin-1; Drosophila; ERAD; Intestinal homeostasis; TER94/VCP/p97
  9. FASEB J. 2021 Oct;35(10): e21939
      The unfolded protein response (UPR) is associated with hepatic metabolic function, yet it is not well understood how endoplasmic reticulum (ER) disturbance might influence metabolic homeostasis. Here, we describe the physiological function of Cysteine-rich with EGF-like domains 2 (Creld2), previously characterized as a downstream target of the ER-stress signal transducer Atf6. To this end, we generated Creld2-deficient mice and induced UPR by injection of tunicamycin. Creld2 augments protein folding and creates an interlink between the UPR axes through its interaction with proteins involved in the cellular stress response. Thereby, Creld2 promotes tolerance to ER stress and recovery from acute stress. Creld2-deficiency leads to a dysregulated UPR and causes the development of hepatic steatosis during ER stress conditions. Moreover, Creld2-dependent enhancement of the UPR assists in the regulation of energy expenditure. Furthermore, we observed a sex dimorphism in human and mouse livers with only male patients showing an accumulation of CRELD2 protein during the progression from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and only male Creld2-deficient mice developing hepatic steatosis upon aging. These results reveal a Creld2 function at the intersection between UPR and metabolic homeostasis and suggest a mechanism in which chronic ER stress underlies fatty liver disease in males.
    Keywords:  Creld2; ER stress; NASH; UPR; liver steatosis
  10. Biochem J. 2021 Sep 30. 478(18): 3395-3421
      The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) and autophagy play integral roles in cellular homeostasis. As part of their normal life cycle, most proteins undergo ubiquitination for some form of redistribution, localization and/or functional modulation. However, ubiquitination is also important to the UPP and several autophagic processes. The UPP is initiated after specific lysine residues of short-lived, damaged or misfolded proteins are conjugated to ubiquitin, which targets these proteins to proteasomes. Autophagy is the endosomal/lysosomal-dependent degradation of organelles, invading microbes, zymogen granules and macromolecules such as protein, carbohydrates and lipids. Autophagy can be broadly separated into three distinct subtypes termed microautophagy, chaperone-mediated autophagy and macroautophagy. Although autophagy was once thought of as non-selective bulk degradation, advancements in the field have led to the discovery of several selective forms of autophagy. Here, we focus on the mechanisms of primary and selective mammalian autophagy pathways and highlight the current knowledge gaps in these molecular pathways.
    Keywords:  lysosomes; macroautophagy; microautophagy
  11. Cancer Res. 2021 Sep 21.
      The SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex is frequently altered in human cancers. For example, the SWI/SNF component ARID1A is mutated in more than 50% of ovarian clear cell carcinomas (OCCC), for which effective treatments are lacking. Here, we report that ARID1A transcriptionally represses the IRE1α-XBP1 axis of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response, which confers sensitivity to inhibition of the IRE1α-XBP1 pathway in ARID1A-mutant OCCC. ARID1A mutational status correlated with response to inhibition of the IRE1α-XBP1 pathway. In a conditional Arid1aflox/flox/Pik3caH1047R genetic mouse model, Xbp1 knockout significantly improved survival of mice bearing OCCCs. Furthermore, the IRE1α inhibitor B-I09 suppressed the growth of ARID1A-inactivated OCCCs in vivo in orthotopic xenograft, patient-derived xenograft, and the genetic mouse models. Finally, B-I09 synergized with inhibition of HDAC6, a known regulator of the ER stress response, in suppressing the growth of ARID1A-inactivated OCCCs. These studies define the IRE1α-XBP1 axis of the ER stress response as a targetable vulnerability for ARID1A-mutant OCCCs, revealing a promising therapeutic approach for treating ARID1A-mutant ovarian cancers. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings indicate that pharmacological inhibition of the IRE1α-XBP1 pathway alone or in combination with HDAC6 inhibition represents an urgently needed therapeutic strategy for ARID1A-mutant ovarian cancers.
  12. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2021 Sep 23.
      Roughly one quarter of all genes code for integral membrane proteins that are inserted into the plasma membrane of prokaryotes or the endoplasmic reticulum membrane of eukaryotes. Multiple pathways are used for the targeting and insertion of membrane proteins on the basis of their topological and biophysical characteristics. Multipass membrane proteins span the membrane multiple times and face the additional challenges of intramembrane folding. In many cases, integral membrane proteins require assembly with other proteins to form multi-subunit membrane protein complexes. Recent biochemical and structural analyses have provided considerable clarity regarding the molecular basis of membrane protein targeting and insertion, with tantalizing new insights into the poorly understood processes of multipass membrane protein biogenesis and multi-subunit protein complex assembly.
  13. PLoS Genet. 2021 Sep 23. 17(9): e1009687
      Regulating the balance between self-renewal (proliferation) and differentiation is key to the long-term functioning of all stem cell pools. In the Caenorhabditis elegans germline, the primary signal controlling this balance is the conserved Notch signaling pathway. Gain-of-function mutations in the GLP-1/Notch receptor cause increased stem cell self-renewal, resulting in a tumor of proliferating germline stem cells. Notch gain-of-function mutations activate the receptor, even in the presence of little or no ligand, and have been associated with many human diseases, including cancers. We demonstrate that reduction in CUP-2 and DER-2 function, which are Derlin family proteins that function in endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD), suppresses the C. elegans germline over-proliferation phenotype associated with glp-1(gain-of-function) mutations. We further demonstrate that their reduction does not suppress other mutations that cause over-proliferation, suggesting that over-proliferation suppression due to loss of Derlin activity is specific to glp-1/Notch (gain-of-function) mutations. Reduction of CUP-2 Derlin activity reduces the expression of a read-out of GLP-1/Notch signaling, suggesting that the suppression of over-proliferation in Derlin loss-of-function mutants is due to a reduction in the activity of the mutated GLP-1/Notch(GF) receptor. Over-proliferation suppression in cup-2 mutants is only seen when the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) is functioning properly, suggesting that the suppression, and reduction in GLP-1/Notch signaling levels, observed in Derlin mutants may be the result of activation of the UPR. Chemically inducing ER stress also suppress glp-1(gf) over-proliferation but not other mutations that cause over-proliferation. Therefore, ER stress and activation of the UPR may help correct for increased GLP-1/Notch signaling levels, and associated over-proliferation, in the C. elegans germline.
  14. G3 (Bethesda). 2021 Sep 06. pii: jkab230. [Epub ahead of print]11(9):
      Life requires the oligomerization of individual proteins into higher-order assemblies. In order to form functional oligomers, monomers must adopt appropriate 3D structures. Molecular chaperones transiently bind nascent or misfolded proteins to promote proper folding. Single missense mutations frequently cause disease by perturbing folding despite chaperone engagement. A misfolded mutant capable of oligomerizing with wild-type proteins can dominantly poison oligomer function. We previously found evidence that human-disease-linked mutations in Saccharomyces cerevisiae septin proteins slow folding and attract chaperones, resulting in a kinetic delay in oligomerization that prevents the mutant from interfering with wild-type function. Here, we build upon our septin studies to develop a new approach for identifying chaperone interactions in living cells, and use it to expand our understanding of chaperone involvement, kinetic folding delays, and oligomerization in the recessive behavior of tumor-derived mutants of the tumor suppressor p53. We find evidence of increased binding of several cytosolic chaperones to a recessive, misfolding-prone mutant, p53(V272M). Similar to our septin results, chaperone overexpression inhibits the function of p53(V272M) with minimal effect on the wild type. Unlike mutant septins, p53(V272M) is not kinetically delayed under conditions in which it is functional. Instead, it interacts with wild-type p53 but this interaction is temperature sensitive. At high temperatures or upon chaperone overexpression, p53(V272M) is excluded from the nucleus and cannot function or perturb wild-type function. Hsp90 inhibition liberates mutant p53 to enter the nucleus. These findings provide new insights into the effects of missense mutations.
    Keywords:   Saccharomyces cerevisiae ; bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC); heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90); molecular chaperone; mutant; p53; protein folding; septin
  15. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Sep 28. pii: e2103196118. [Epub ahead of print]118(39):
      Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) signaling promote the pathology of many human diseases. Loss-of-function variants of the UPR regulator Activating Transcription Factor 6 (ATF6) cause severe congenital vision loss diseases such as achromatopsia by unclear pathomechanisms. To investigate this, we generated retinal organoids from achromatopsia patient induced pluripotent stem cells carrying ATF6 disease variants and from gene-edited ATF6 null hESCs. We found that achromatopsia patient and ATF6 null retinal organoids failed to form cone structures concomitant with loss of cone phototransduction gene expression, while rod photoreceptors developed normally. Adaptive optics retinal imaging of achromatopsia patients carrying ATF6 variants also showed absence of cone inner/outer segment structures but preserved rod structures, mirroring the defect in cone formation observed in our retinal organoids. These results establish that ATF6 is essential for human cone development. Interestingly, we find that a selective small molecule ATF6 signaling agonist restores the transcriptional activity of some ATF6 disease-causing variants and stimulates cone growth and gene expression in patient retinal organoids carrying these variants. These findings support that pharmacologic targeting of the ATF6 pathway can promote human cone development and should be further explored for blinding retinal diseases.
    Keywords:  ATF6 signaling; achromatopsia; cone photoreceptors; retinal organoids; stem cell biology
  16. Trends Biochem Sci. 2021 Sep 20. pii: S0968-0004(21)00189-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      The nuclear envelope (NE) is a protective barrier to the genome, yet its membranes undergo highly dynamic remodeling processes that are necessary for cell growth and maintenance. While mechanisms by which proteins promote NE remodeling are emerging, the types of bilayer lipids and the lipid-protein interactions that define and sculpt nuclear membranes remain elusive. The NE is continuous with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and recent evidence suggests that lipids produced in the ER are harnessed to remodel nuclear membranes. In this review, we examine new roles for lipid species made proximally within the ER and locally at the NE to control NE dynamics. We further explore how the biosynthesis of lipids coordinates NE remodeling to ensure genome protection.
    Keywords:  CTDNEP1; ESCRT; Nem1; diacylglycerol; endoplasmic reticulum; inner nuclear membrane; lipid synthesis; lipin; nuclear envelope; nuclear envelope remodeling; phosphatidic acid
  17. J Cell Sci. 2021 Sep 23. pii: jcs.258922. [Epub ahead of print]
      The ERK1/2 signaling pathway is critical in organismal development and tissue morphogenesis. Deregulation of this pathway leads to congenital abnormalities with severe developmental dysmorphisms. The core ERK1/2 cascade relies on scaffold proteins such as Shoc2 to guide and fine-tune its signals. Mutations in shoc2 lead to the development of the pathology termed Noonan-like Syndrome with Loose Anagen Hair (NSLAH). However, the mechanisms underlying the functions of Shoc2 and its contributions to disease progression remain unclear. Here we show that ERK1/2 pathway activation triggers the interaction of Shoc2 with the ubiquitin-specific protease USP7. We identify that in the Shoc2 module USP7 functions as a molecular "switch" that controls the E3 ligase HUWE1 and the HUWE1-induced regulatory feedback loop. We also demonstrate that disruption of Shoc2-USP7 binding leads to aberrant activation of the Shoc2-ERK1/2 axis. Importantly, our studies reveal a possible role for USP7 in the pathogenic mechanisms underlying NSLAH extending our understanding of how ubiquitin-specific proteases regulate intracellular signaling.
    Keywords:  ERK1/2; HUWE1; Shoc2 scaffold and RASopathy; USP7
  18. Mol Cell. 2021 Sep 16. pii: S1097-2765(21)00688-2. [Epub ahead of print]81(18): 3786-3802.e13
      Amino acids are essential building blocks of life. However, increasing evidence suggests that elevated amino acids cause cellular toxicity associated with numerous metabolic disorders. How cells cope with elevated amino acids remains poorly understood. Here, we show that a previously identified cellular structure, the mitochondrial-derived compartment (MDC), functions to protect cells from amino acid stress. In response to amino acid elevation, MDCs are generated from mitochondria, where they selectively sequester and deplete SLC25A nutrient carriers and their associated import receptor Tom70 from the organelle. Generation of MDCs promotes amino acid catabolism, and their formation occurs simultaneously with transporter removal at the plasma membrane via the multivesicular body (MVB) pathway. The combined loss of vacuolar amino acid storage, MVBs, and MDCs renders cells sensitive to high amino acid stress. Thus, we propose that MDCs operate as part of a coordinated cell network that facilitates amino acid homeostasis through post-translational nutrient transporter remodeling.
    Keywords:  MDC; Tom70; amino acid; lysosome; mitochondria; nutrient carrier; vacuole
  19. J Virol. 2021 Sep 22. JVI0099121
      Viral deubiquitinases (DUBs) regulate cellular innate immunity to benefit viral replication. In human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), the UL48-encoded DUB regulates innate immune responses including NF-κB signaling. Although UL48 DUB is known to regulate its stability via auto-deubiquitination, its impact on other viral proteins is not well understood. In this study, we investigated the role of UL48 DUB in regulating the ubiquitination of viral proteins by comparing the levels of ubiquitinated viral peptides in wild-type and DUB active-site mutant virus-infected cells using mass spectrometry. We found that ubiquitinated peptides were increased in DUB-mutant virus infection for 90% of viral proteins with the innermost tegument proteins pp150 (encoded by UL32) and pUL48 itself being most significantly affected. The highly deubiquitinated lysine residues of pUL48 were mapped within its N-terminal DUB domain and the nuclear localization signal. Among them, the arginine substitution of lysine 2 (K2R) increased pUL48 stability and enhanced viral growth at low multiplicity of infection, indicating that K2 auto-deubiquitination has a role in regulating pUL48 stability. pUL48 also interacted with pp150 and increased pp150 expression by downregulating its ubiquitination. Furthermore, we found that, unlike the wild-type virus, mutant viruses expressing the UL48 protein with the DUB-domain deleted or DUB active-site mutated contain higher levels of ubiquitin conjugates, including the ubiquitinated forms of pp150, in their virions. Collectively, our results demonstrate that UL48 DUB mainly acts on the innermost tegument proteins pp150 and pUL48 itself during HCMV infection and may play a role in protecting virions from the inclusion of ubiquitin conjugates. Importance Herpesviruses encode highly conserved tegument proteins that contain deubiquitinase (DUB) activity. Although the role of viral DUBs in the regulation of host innate immune responses has been established, their roles in the stability or function of viral proteins are not well understood. In this study, we performed a comparative analysis of the levels of ubiquitinated viral peptides between wild-type and DUB-inactive HCMV infections and demonstrate that the innermost tegument proteins pp150 and pUL48 (DUB itself) are major targets of viral DUB. We also show that ubiquitinated viral proteins are effectively incorporated into the virions of DUB mutant viruses but not the wild-type virus. Our study demonstrates that viral DUBs may play important roles in promoting the stability of viral proteins and inhibiting the inclusion of ubiquitin conjugates into virions.
  20. Cell Res. 2021 Sep 24.
      Under stress, the endomembrane system undergoes reorganization to support autophagosome biogenesis, which is a central step in autophagy. How the endomembrane system remodels has been poorly understood. Here we identify a new type of membrane contact formed between the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC) and the ER-exit site (ERES) in the ER-Golgi system, which is essential for promoting autophagosome biogenesis induced by different stress stimuli. The ERGIC-ERES contact is established by the interaction between TMED9 and SEC12 which generates a short distance opposition (as close as 2-5 nm) between the two compartments. The tight membrane contact allows the ERES-located SEC12 to transactivate COPII assembly on the ERGIC. In addition, a portion of SEC12 also relocates to the ERGIC. Through both mechanisms, the ERGIC-ERES contact promotes formation of the ERGIC-derived COPII vesicle, a membrane precursor of the autophagosome. The ERGIC-ERES contact is physically and functionally different from the TFG-mediated ERGIC-ERES adjunction involved in secretory protein transport, and therefore defines a unique endomembrane structure generated upon stress conditions for autophagic membrane formation.
  21. Nat Commun. 2021 09 20. 12(1): 5536
      Coronaviruses (CoVs) are important human pathogens for which no specific treatment is available. Here, we provide evidence that pharmacological reprogramming of ER stress pathways can be exploited to suppress CoV replication. The ER stress inducer thapsigargin efficiently inhibits coronavirus (HCoV-229E, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2) replication in different cell types including primary differentiated human bronchial epithelial cells, (partially) reverses the virus-induced translational shut-down, improves viability of infected cells and counteracts the CoV-mediated downregulation of IRE1α and the ER chaperone BiP. Proteome-wide analyses revealed specific pathways, protein networks and components that likely mediate the thapsigargin-induced antiviral state, including essential (HERPUD1) or novel (UBA6 and ZNF622) factors of ER quality control, and ER-associated protein degradation complexes. Additionally, thapsigargin blocks the CoV-induced selective autophagic flux involving p62/SQSTM1. The data show that thapsigargin hits several central mechanisms required for CoV replication, suggesting that this compound (or derivatives thereof) may be developed into broad-spectrum anti-CoV drugs.
  22. Oncogene. 2021 Sep 23.
      ISG15 is an ubiquitin-like modifier that is associated with reduced survival rates in breast cancer patients. The mechanism by which ISG15 achieves this however remains elusive. We demonstrate that modification of Rab GDP-Dissociation Inhibitor Beta (GDI2) by ISG15 (ISGylation) alters endocytic recycling of the EGF receptor (EGFR) in non-interferon stimulated cells using CRISPR-knock out models for ISGylation. By regulating EGFR trafficking, ISGylation enhances EGFR recycling and sustains Akt-signalling. We further show that Akt signalling positively correlates with levels of ISG15 and its E2-ligase in basal breast cancer cohorts, confirming the link between ISGylation and Akt signalling in human tumours. Persistent and enhanced Akt activation explains the more aggressive tumour behaviour observed in human breast cancers. We show that ISGylation can act as a driver of tumour progression rather than merely being a bystander.
  23. Life Sci Alliance. 2021 Nov;pii: e202101092. [Epub ahead of print]4(11):
      In neurons, the ER extends throughout all cellular processes, forming multiple contacts with the plasma membrane (PM) to fine-tune neuronal physiology. However, the mechanisms that regulate the distribution of neuronal ER-PM contacts are not known. Here, we used the Caenorhabditis elegans DA9 motor neuron as our model system and found that neuronal ER-PM contacts are enriched in soma and dendrite and mostly absent in axons. Using forward genetic screen, we identified that the inositol 5-phosphatase, CIL-1 (human INPP5K), and the dynamin-like GTPase, ATLN-1 (human Atlastin-1), help to maintain the non-uniform, somatodendritic enrichment of neuronal ER-PM contacts. Mechanistically, CIL-1 acts upstream of ATLN-1 to maintain the balance between ER tubules and sheets. In mutants of CIL-1 or ATLN-1, ER sheets expand and invade into the axon. This is accompanied by the ectopic formation of axonal ER-PM contacts and defects in axon regeneration following laser-induced axotomy. As INPP5K and Atlastin-1 have been linked to neurological disorders, the unique distribution of neuronal ER-PM contacts maintained by these proteins may support neuronal resilience during the onset and progression of these diseases.
  24. Mol Cell. 2021 Sep 18. pii: S1097-2765(21)00729-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      The interferon (IFN) pathway is critical for cytotoxic T cell activation, which is central to tumor immunosurveillance and successful immunotherapy. We demonstrate here that PKCλ/ι inactivation results in the hyper-stimulation of the IFN cascade and the enhanced recruitment of CD8+ T cells that impaired the growth of intestinal tumors. PKCλ/ι directly phosphorylates and represses the activity of ULK2, promoting its degradation through an endosomal microautophagy-driven ubiquitin-dependent mechanism. Loss of PKCλ/ι results in increased levels of enzymatically active ULK2, which, by direct phosphorylation, activates TBK1 to foster the activation of the STING-mediated IFN response. PKCλ/ι inactivation also triggers autophagy, which prevents STING degradation by chaperone-mediated autophagy. Thus, PKCλ/ι is a hub regulating the IFN pathway and three autophagic mechanisms that serve to maintain its homeostatic control. Importantly, single-cell multiplex imaging and bioinformatics analysis demonstrated that low PKCλ/ι levels correlate with enhanced IFN signaling and good prognosis in colorectal cancer patients.
    Keywords:  STING; ULK1/2; atypical PKC; autophagy; chaperone-mediated autophagy; colorectal cancer; immunosuppression; immunosurveillance; immunotherapy; interferon
  25. Cell Rep. 2021 Sep 21. pii: S2211-1247(21)01192-X. [Epub ahead of print]36(12): 109739
      Histone lysine methylation functions at the interface of the extracellular environment and intracellular gene expression. DOT1L is a versatile histone H3K79 methyltransferase with a prominent role in MLL-fusion leukemia, yet little is known about how DOT1L responds to extracellular stimuli. Here, we report that DOT1L protein stability is regulated by the extracellular glucose level through the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP). Mechanistically, DOT1L is O-GlcNAcylated at evolutionarily conserved S1511 in its C terminus. We identify UBE3C as a DOT1L E3 ubiquitin ligase promoting DOT1L degradation whose interaction with DOT1L is susceptible to O-GlcNAcylation. Consequently, HBP enhances H3K79 methylation and expression of critical DOT1L target genes such as HOXA9/MEIS1, promoting cell proliferation in MLL-fusion leukemia. Inhibiting HBP or O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) increases cellular sensitivity to DOT1L inhibitor. Overall, our work uncovers O-GlcNAcylation and UBE3C as critical determinants of DOT1L protein abundance, revealing a mechanism by which glucose metabolism affects malignancy progression through histone methylation.
    Keywords:  DOT1L; MLL; O-GlcNAcylation; UBE3C; glucose; hexosamine biosynthesis pathway; histone; leukemia; methylation; ubiquitination
  26. Bioconjug Chem. 2021 Sep 22.
      The removal of ubiquitin (Ub) from a modified protein or Ub chain is a process that occurs regularly by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. This process is known to be mediated by various deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) in order to control the protein's half-life and its expression levels among many other signaling processes. Since the function of DUBs is also involved in numerous human diseases, such as cancer, there is an obvious need for an effective diagnostic probe that can monitor the activity of these enzymes. We have developed the first chemiluminescence probe for detection of DUBs activity. The probe was prepared by conjugation of the chemically synthesized C-terminally activated Ub(1-75) with a Gly-enolether precursor. Subsequent oxidation, under aqueous conditions, of the enolether conjuagate with singlet-oxygen furnished the dioxetane probe Ub-CL. This synthesis provides the first example of a dioxetane-luminophore protein conjugate. The probe's ability to detect deubiquitinating activity was successfully validated with three different DUBs. In order to demonstrate the advantage of our new probe, comparison measurements for detection of DUB UCH-L3 activity were performed between the chemiluminescent probe Ub-CL and the well-known Ub-AMC probe. The obtained data showed significantly higher S/N, for probe Ub-CL (>93-fold) in comparison to that observed for Ub-AMC (1.5-fold). We anticipate that the successful design and synthesis of the turn-ON protein-dioxetane conjugate probe, demonstrated in this work, will provide the insight and motivation for preparation of other relevant protein-dioxetane conjugates.
  27. J Biol Chem. 2021 Sep 16. pii: S0021-9258(21)01002-4. [Epub ahead of print] 101200
      As a conserved post-translational modification, SUMOylation has been shown to play important roles in chromatin-related biological processes including transcription. However, how the SUMOylation machinery associates with chromatin is not clear. Here, we present evidence that multiple SUMOylation machinery components, including SUMO E1 proteins SAE1 and SAE2 and the PIAS (protein inhibitor of activated STAT) family SUMO E3 ligases, are primarily associated with the nuclear matrix rather than with chromatin. We show using nuclease digestion that all PIAS family proteins maintain nuclear matrix association in the absence of chromatin. Importantly, we identify multiple histones including H3 and H2A.Z as directly interacting with PIAS1, and demonstrate that this interaction requires the PIAS1 SAP (SAF-A/B, Acinus, and PIAS) domain. We demonstrate that PIAS1 promotes SUMOylation of histones H3 and H2B in both a SAP domain- and an E3 ligase activity-dependent manner. Furthermore, we show that PIAS1 binds to heat shock-induced genes and represses their expression, and that this function also requires the SAP domain. Altogether, our study reveals for the first time the nuclear matrix as the compartment most enriched in SUMO E1 and PIAS family E3 ligases. Our finding that PIAS1 interacts directly with histone proteins also suggests a molecular mechanism as to how nuclear matrix-associated PIAS1 is able to regulate transcription and other chromatin-related processes.
    Keywords:  PIAS1; SUMO; chromatin; histone SUMOylation; nuclear matrix
  28. Elife. 2021 Sep 21. pii: e65996. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Preadipocytes are crucial for healthy adipose tissue expansion. Preadipocyte differentiation is altered in obese individuals, which has been proposed to contribute to obesity-associated metabolic disturbances. Here, we aimed at identifying the pathogenic processes underlying impaired adipocyte differentiation in obese individuals with insulin resistance (IR)/type 2 diabetes (T2D). We report that down-regulation of a key member of the major spliceosome, PRFP8/PRP8, as observed in IR/T2D preadipocytes from subcutaneous (SC) fat, prevented adipogenesis by altering both the expression and splicing patterns of adipogenic transcription factors and lipid droplet-related proteins, while adipocyte differentiation was restored upon recovery of PRFP8/PRP8 normal levels. Adipocyte differentiation was also compromised under conditions of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated protein degradation (ERAD) hyperactivation, as occurs in SC and omental (OM) preadipocytes in IR/T2D obesity. Thus, targeting mRNA splicing and ER proteostasis in preadipocytes could improve adipose tissue function and thus contribute to metabolic health in obese individuals.
    Keywords:  cell biology; human
  29. Cell. 2021 Sep 18. pii: S0092-8674(21)01047-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Estrogen receptor α (ERα) is a hormone receptor and key driver for over 70% of breast cancers that has been studied for decades as a transcription factor. Unexpectedly, we discover that ERα is a potent non-canonical RNA-binding protein. We show that ERα RNA binding function is uncoupled from its activity to bind DNA and critical for breast cancer progression. Employing genome-wide cross-linking immunoprecipitation (CLIP) sequencing and a functional CRISPRi screen, we find that ERα-associated mRNAs sustain cancer cell fitness and elicit cellular responses to stress. Mechanistically, ERα controls different steps of RNA metabolism. In particular, we demonstrate that ERα RNA binding mediates alternative splicing of XBP1 and translation of the eIF4G2 and MCL1 mRNAs, which facilitates survival upon stress conditions and sustains tamoxifen resistance of cancer cells. ERα is therefore a multifaceted RNA-binding protein, and this activity transforms our knowledge of post-transcriptional regulation underlying cancer development and drug response.
    Keywords:  ERα; RNA splicing; RNA-binding protein; breast cancer; cell survival; integrated stress response; translation control
  30. EMBO Mol Med. 2021 Sep 20. e14163
      Transcribed CGG repeat expansions cause neurodegeneration in Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). CGG repeat RNAs sequester RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) into nuclear foci and undergo repeat-associated non-AUG (RAN) translation into toxic peptides. To identify proteins involved in these processes, we employed a CGG repeat RNA-tagging system to capture repeat-associated RBPs by mass spectrometry in mammalian cells. We identified several SR (serine/arginine-rich) proteins that interact selectively with CGG repeats basally and under cellular stress. These proteins modify toxicity in a Drosophila model of FXTAS. Pharmacologic inhibition of serine/arginine protein kinases (SRPKs), which alter SRSF protein phosphorylation, localization, and activity, directly inhibits RAN translation of CGG and GGGGCC repeats (associated with C9orf72 ALS/FTD) and triggers repeat RNA retention in the nucleus. Lowering SRPK expression suppressed toxicity in both FXTAS and C9orf72 ALS/FTD model flies, and SRPK inhibitors suppressed CGG repeat toxicity in rodent neurons. Together, these findings demonstrate roles for CGG repeat RNA binding proteins in RAN translation and repeat toxicity and support further evaluation of SRPK inhibitors in modulating RAN translation associated with repeat expansion disorders.
    Keywords:  C9orf72 ALS; CGG repeats; FXTAS; RAN translation; SRSF
  31. Mol Metab. 2021 Sep 18. pii: S2212-8778(21)00185-X. [Epub ahead of print] 101338
      OBJECTIVE: Activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) is a transcriptional regulator of the unfolded protein response and integrated stress response (ISR) that promote the restoration of normal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) function. Previous reports demonstrated that dysregulation of the ISR showed development of severe diabetes. However, the contribution of ATF4 to pancreatic beta cells remains poorly understood. In this study, we aimed to analyze the effect of ISR enhancer Sephin1 and ATF4-deficient beta cells for clarifying the role of ATF4 in beta cells under ER stress conditions.METHODS: To examine the role of ATF4 in vivo, ISR enhancer Sephin1 (5 mg/kg body weight, p.o.) was administered daily for 21 days to Akita mice. We also established beta cell-specific Atf4 knockout (βAtf4-KO) mice that were further crossed with Akita mice. These mice were analyzed for characteristics of diabetes, beta cell function and morphology of the islets. To identify the downstream factors of ATF4 in beta cells, the islets of βAtf4-KO mice were subjected to cDNA microarray analyses. To examine the transcriptional regulation by ATF4, we also performed in situ PCR analysis of pancreatic sections from mice and ChIP-qPCR analysis in CT215 beta cells.
    RESULTS: Administration of the ISR enhancer Sephin1 improved glucose metabolism in Akita mice. Sephin1 also increased the insulin-immunopositive area and ATF4 expression in the pancreatic islets. Akita/βAtf4-KO mice exhibited dramatically exacerbated diabetes as shown by hyperglycemia in their early age as well as a remarkable short life span owing to diabetic ketoacidosis. Moreover, the islets of Akita/βAtf4-KO mice presented increased numbers of cells stained for glucagon, somatostatin, and pancreatic polypeptide and increased expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family member 3, a marker of dedifferentiation. Using microarray analysis, we identified atonal BHLH transcription factor 8 (ATOH8) as a downstream factor of ATF4. Deletion of ATF4 in beta cells showed reduced Atoh8 expression and increased expressions of undifferentiation markers, Nanog and Pou5f1. Atoh8 expression was also abolished in the islets of Akita/βAtf4-KO mice.
    CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that transcriptional regulation by ATF4 maintains beta cell identity via ISR modulation. This mechanism provides a promising target for the treatment of diabetes.
    Keywords:  Activating Transcription Factor 4; Beta Cell; Diabetes; Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress; Integrated Stress Response; Unfolded Protein Response
  32. Mol Cell. 2021 Sep 15. pii: S1097-2765(21)00713-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Initiation is the rate-limiting step in translation, and its dysregulation is vital for carcinogenesis, including hematopoietic malignancy. Thus, discovery of novel translation initiation regulators may provide promising therapeutic targets. Here, combining Ribo-seq, mass spectrometry, and RNA-seq datasets, we discovered an oncomicropeptide, APPLE (a peptide located in ER), encoded by a non-coding RNA transcript in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). APPLE is overexpressed in various subtypes of AML and confers a poor prognosis. The micropeptide is enriched in ribosomes and regulates the initiation step to enhance translation and to maintain high rates of oncoprotein synthesis. Mechanically, APPLE promotes PABPC1-eIF4G interaction and facilitates mRNA circularization and eIF4F initiation complex assembly to support a specific pro-cancer translation program. Targeting APPLE exhibited broad anti-cancer effects in vitro and in vivo. This study not only reports a previously unknown function of micropeptides but also provides new opportunities for targeting the translation machinery in cancer cells.
    Keywords:  Micropeptide; PABPC1; cancer development; eIF4F complex assembly; eIF4G; leukemia; mRNA circularization; non-coding RNA (ncRNA); small open reading frame (ORF); translation initiation
  33. Mol Cell. 2021 Sep 15. pii: S1097-2765(21)00717-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      ADP-ribose (ADPr) readers are essential components of ADP-ribosylation signaling, which regulates genome maintenance and immunity. The identification and discrimination between monoADPr (MAR) and polyADPr (PAR) readers is difficult because of a lack of suitable affinity-enrichment reagents. We synthesized well-defined ADPr probes and used these for affinity purifications combined with relative and absolute quantitative mass spectrometry to generate proteome-wide MAR and PAR interactomes, including determination of apparent binding affinities. Among the main findings, MAR and PAR readers regulate various common and distinct processes, such as the DNA-damage response, cellular metabolism, RNA trafficking, and transcription. We monitored the dynamics of PAR interactions upon induction of oxidative DNA damage and uncovered the mechanistic connections between ubiquitin signaling and ADP-ribosylation. Taken together, chemical biology enables exploration of MAR and PAR readers using interaction proteomics. Furthermore, the generated MAR and PAR interaction maps significantly expand our current understanding of ADPr signaling.
    Keywords:  ADP-ribosylation; chemical biology; interaction proteomics; post-translational modifications; solid-phase synthesis