bims-proteo Biomed News
on Proteostasis
Issue of 2021‒10‒24
fifty-three papers selected by
Eric Chevet

  1. Cells. 2021 Oct 09. pii: 2706. [Epub ahead of print]10(10):
      The ubiquitin system modulates protein functions by decorating target proteins with ubiquitin chains in most cases. Several types of ubiquitin chains exist, and chain type determines the mode of regulation of conjugated proteins. LUBAC is a ubiquitin ligase complex that specifically generates N-terminally Met1-linked linear ubiquitin chains. Although linear ubiquitin chains are much less abundant than other types of ubiquitin chains, they play pivotal roles in cell survival, proliferation, the immune response, and elimination of bacteria by selective autophagy. Because linear ubiquitin chains regulate inflammatory responses by controlling the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-κB and programmed cell death (including apoptosis and necroptosis), abnormal generation of linear chains can result in pathogenesis. LUBAC consists of HOIP, HOIL-1L, and SHARPIN; HOIP is the catalytic center for linear ubiquitination. LUBAC is unique in that it contains two different ubiquitin ligases, HOIP and HOIL-1L, in the same ligase complex. Furthermore, LUBAC constitutively interacts with the deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) OTULIN and CYLD, which cleave linear ubiquitin chains generated by LUBAC. In this review, we summarize the current status of linear ubiquitination research, and we discuss the intricate regulation of LUBAC-mediated linear ubiquitination by coordinate function of the HOIP and HOIL-1L ligases and OTULIN. Furthermore, we discuss therapeutic approaches to targeting LUBAC-mediated linear ubiquitin chains.
    Keywords:  HOIL-1L; HOIP; LUBAC; NF-κB; OTULIN; cancer; cell death; linear ubiquitin chains; selective autophagy; ubiquitin
  2. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 740653
      The endoplasmic reticulum quality control (ERQC) system, including endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD), the unfolded protein response (UPR), and autophagy, presides over cellular protein secretion and maintains proteostasis in mammalian cells. As part of the immune system, a variety of proteins are synthesized and assembled correctly for the development, activation, and differentiation of immune cells, such as dendritic cells (DCs), macrophages, myeloid-derived-suppressor cells (MDSCs), B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, and natural killer (NK) cells. In this review, we emphasize the role of the ERQC in these immune cells, and also discuss how the imbalance of ER homeostasis affects the immune response, thereby suggesting new therapeutic targets for immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  ERAD; ERQC; UPR; autophagy; immune cell
  3. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2021 Oct 22.
      The Hsp70 and Hsp90 molecular chaperone systems are critical regulators of protein homeostasis (proteostasis) in eukaryotes under normal and stressed conditions. The Hsp70 and Hsp90 systems physically and functionally interact to ensure cellular proteostasis. Co-chaperones interact with Hsp70 and Hsp90 to regulate and to promote their molecular chaperone functions. Mammalian Hop, also called Stip1, and its budding yeast ortholog Sti1 are eukaryote-specific co-chaperones, which have been thought to be essential for substrate ("client") transfer from Hsp70 to Hsp90. Substrate transfer is facilitated by the ability of Hop to interact simultaneously with Hsp70 and Hsp90 as part of a ternary complex. Intriguingly, in prokaryotes, which lack a Hop ortholog, the Hsp70 and Hsp90 orthologs interact directly. Recent evidence shows that eukaryotic Hsp70 and Hsp90 can also form a prokaryote-like binary chaperone complex in the absence of Hop, and that this binary complex displays enhanced protein folding and anti-aggregation activities. The canonical Hsp70-Hop-Hsp90 ternary chaperone complex is essential for optimal maturation and stability of a small subset of clients, including the glucocorticoid receptor, the tyrosine kinase v-Src, and the 26S/30S proteasome. Whereas many cancers have increased levels of Hop, the levels of Hop decrease in the aging human brain. Since Hop is not essential in all eukaryotic cells and organisms, tuning Hop levels or activity might be beneficial for the treatment of cancer and neurodegeneration.
    Keywords:  Aggregation; Aging; Degradation; Molecular chaperone; Proteasome; Protein folding; Proteostasis; Stress response
  4. Cell Rep. 2021 Oct 19. pii: S2211-1247(21)01304-8. [Epub ahead of print]37(3): 109840
      Nearly one-third of proteins are initially targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane, where they are correctly folded and then delivered to their final cellular destinations. To prevent the accumulation of misfolded membrane proteins, ER-associated degradation (ERAD) moves these clients from the ER membrane to the cytosol, a process known as retrotranslocation. Our recent work in Saccharomyces cerevisiae reveals a derlin rhomboid pseudoprotease, Dfm1, is involved in the retrotranslocation of ubiquitinated ERAD membrane substrates. In this study, we identify conserved residues of Dfm1 that are critical for retrotranslocation. We find several retrotranslocation-deficient Loop 1 mutants that display impaired binding to membrane substrates. Furthermore, Dfm1 possesses lipid thinning function to facilitate in the removal of ER membrane substrates, and this feature is conserved in its human homolog, Derlin-1, further implicating that derlin-mediated retrotranslocation is a well-conserved process.
    Keywords:  DOA; Dfm1; ER; ERAD; HMG-CoA reductase; HRD; Hmg2; derlins; retrotranslocation; rhomboid pseudoprotease
  5. Mol Plant Pathol. 2021 Oct 20.
      Many viruses usurp the functions of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) for virus-encoded membrane proteins proper functional folding or assembly to promote virus spread. Southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV), a plant reovirus, exploits virus-containing tubules composed of nonstructural membrane protein P7-1 to spread in its planthopper vector Sogatella furcifera. Here, we report that two factors of the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) machinery, the ER chaperone DNAJB12 and its cytosolic co-chaperone Hsc70, are activated by SRBSDV to facilitate ER-to-cytosol export of P7-1 tubules in S. furcifera. Both P7-1 of SRBSDV and Hsc70 directly bind to the J-domain of DNAJB12. DNAJB12 overexpression induces ER retention of P7-1, but Hsc70 overexpression promotes the transport of P7-1 from the ER to the cytosol to initiate tubule assembly. Thus, P7-1 is initially retained in the ER by interaction with DNAJB12 and then delivered to Hsc70. Furthermore, the inhibitors of the ATPase activity of Hsc70 reduce P7-1 tubule assembly, suggesting that the proper folding and assembly of P7-1 tubules is dependent on the ATPase activity of Hsc70. The DNAJB12-Hsc70 chaperone complex is recruited to P7-1 tubules in virus-infected midgut epithelial cells in S. furcifera. The knockdown of DNAJB12 or Hsc70 strongly inhibits P7-1 tubule assembly in vivo, finally suppressing effective viral spread in S. furcifera. Taken together, our results indicate that the DNAJB12-Hsc70 chaperone complex in the ERAD machinery facilitates the ER-to-cytosol transport of P7-1 for proper assembly of tubules, enabling viral spread in insect vectors in a manner dependent on ATPase activity of Hsc70.
    Keywords:  DNAJB12; Hsc70; P7-1; SRBSDV; tubule
  6. J Cell Biol. 2021 Dec 06. pii: e202108105. [Epub ahead of print]220(12):
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) carries out essential and conserved cellular functions, which depend on the maintenance of its structure and subcellular distribution. Here, we report developmentally regulated changes in ER morphology and composition during budding yeast meiosis, a conserved differentiation program that gives rise to gametes. A subset of the cortical ER collapses away from the plasma membrane at anaphase II, thus separating into a spatially distinct compartment. This programmed collapse depends on the transcription factor Ndt80, conserved ER membrane structuring proteins Lnp1 and reticulons, and the actin cytoskeleton. A subset of ER is retained at the mother cell plasma membrane and excluded from gamete cells via the action of ER-plasma membrane tethering proteins. ER remodeling is coupled to ER degradation by selective autophagy, which relies on ER collapse and is regulated by timed expression of the autophagy receptor Atg40. Thus, developmentally programmed changes in ER morphology determine the selective degradation or inheritance of ER subdomains by gametes.
  7. Autophagy. 2021 Oct 17. 1-17
      In selective macroautophagy/autophagy, cargo receptors are recruited to the forming autophagosome by interacting with Atg8 (autophagy-related 8)-family proteins and facilitate the selective sequestration of specific cargoes for autophagic degradation. In addition, Atg8 interacts with a number of adaptors essential for autophagosome biogenesis, including ATG and non-ATG proteins. The majority of these adaptors and receptors are characterized by an Atg8-family interacting motif (AIM) for binding to Atg8. However, the molecular basis for the interaction mode between ATG8 and regulators or cargo receptors in plants remains largely unclear. In this study, we unveiled an atypical interaction mode for Arabidopsis ATG8f with a plant unique adaptor protein, SH3P2 (SH3 domain-containing protein 2), but not with the other two SH3 proteins. By structure analysis of the unbound form of ATG8f, we identified the unique conformational changes in ATG8f upon binding to the AIM sequence of a plant known autophagic receptor, NBR1. To compare the binding affinity of SH3P2-ATG8f with that of ATG8f-NBR1, we performed a gel filtration assay to show that ubiquitin-associated domain of NBR1 outcompetes the SH3 domain of SH3P2 for ATG8f interaction. Biochemical and cellular analysis revealed that distinct interfaces were employed by ATG8f to interact with NBR1 and SH3P2. Further subcellular analysis showed that the AIM-like motif of SH3P2 is essential for its recruitment to the phagophore membrane but is dispensable for its trafficking in endocytosis. Taken together, our study provides an insightful structural basis for the ATG8 binding specificity toward a plant-specific autophagic adaptor and a conserved autophagic receptor.Abbreviations: ATG, autophagy-related; AIM, Atg8-family interacting motif; BAR, Bin-Amphiphysin-Rvs; BFA, brefeldin A; BTH, benzo-(1,2,3)-thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester; CCV, clathrin-coated-vesicle; CLC2, clathrin light chain 2; Conc A, concanamycin A; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; LDS, LIR docking site; MAP1LC3/LC3, microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; LIR, LC3-interacting region; PE, phosphatidylethanolamine; SH3P2, SH3 domain containing protein 2; SH3, Src-Homology-3; UBA, ubiquitin-associated; UIM, ubiquitin-interacting motif.
    Keywords:  ATG8 interacting motif; Arabidopsis ATG8; NBR1; SH3P2; selective autophagy
  8. Cell Rep. 2021 Oct 19. pii: S2211-1247(21)01334-6. [Epub ahead of print]37(3): 109867
      Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-related kinases (PIKKs) are a family of kinases that control fundamental processes, including cell growth, DNA damage repair, and gene expression. Although their regulation and activities are well characterized, little is known about how PIKKs fold and assemble into active complexes. Previous work has identified a heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) cochaperone, the TTT complex, that specifically stabilizes PIKKs. Here, we describe a mechanism by which TTT promotes their de novo maturation in fission yeast. We show that TTT recognizes newly synthesized PIKKs during translation. Although PIKKs form multimeric complexes, we find that they do not engage in cotranslational assembly with their partners. Rather, our findings suggest a model by which TTT protects nascent PIKK polypeptides from misfolding and degradation because PIKKs acquire their native state after translation is terminated. Thus, PIKK maturation and assembly are temporally segregated, suggesting that the biogenesis of large complexes requires both dedicated chaperones and cotranslational interactions between subunits.
    Keywords:  HSP90; PIKKs; TTT; assembly; biogenesis; chaperone; folding; multimeric complex; translation
  9. Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2021 Oct 19. pii: gmab131. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cancer cells are often exposed to cell intrinsic stresses and environmental perturbations that may lead to accumulation of unfolded and/or misfolded proteins in the lumen of endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a cellular condition known as ER stress. In response to ER stress, the cells elicit an adaptive process called unfolded protein response (UPR) to cope with the stress, supporting cellular homeostasis and survival. The ER stress sensors inositol requiring protein 1α (IRE1α), eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha kinase 3 (EIF2AK3, also called PERK), and activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) constitute the three branches of UPR to resolve ER stress. IRE1α, PERK, and ATF6 play an important role in tumor cell growth and survival. They are also involved in chemotherapy resistance of cancers. These have generated widespread interest in targeting these UPR branches for cancer treatment. In this review, we provide an overview of the role of IRE1α, PERK, and ATF6 in cancer progression and drug resistance and we summarize the research advances in targeting these UPR branches to enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy of cancers.
    Keywords:  ER stress; cancer; chemotherapy; drug resistance; unfolded protein response
  10. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Oct 13. pii: 11049. [Epub ahead of print]22(20):
      The sigma-1 receptor (S1R) is a highly conserved transmembrane protein highly enriched in mitochondria-associated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes, where it interacts with several partners involved in ER-mitochondria Ca2+ transfer, activation of the ER stress pathways, and mitochondria function. We characterized a new S1R deficient zebrafish line and analyzed the impact of S1R deficiency on visual, auditory and locomotor functions. The s1r+25/+25 mutant line showed impairments in visual and locomotor functions compared to s1rWT. The locomotion of the s1r+25/+25 larvae, at 5 days post fertilization, was increased in the light and dark phases of the visual motor response. No deficit was observed in acoustic startle response. A critical role of S1R was shown in ER stress pathways and mitochondrial activity. Using qPCR to analyze the unfolded protein response genes, we observed that loss of S1R led to decreased levels of IRE1 and PERK-related effectors and increased over-expression of most of the effectors after a tunicamycin challenge. Finally, S1R deficiency led to alterations in mitochondria bioenergetics with decreased in basal, ATP-linked and non-mitochondrial respiration and following tunicamycin challenge. In conclusion, this new zebrafish model confirmed the importance of S1R activity on ER-mitochondria communication. It will be a useful tool to further analyze the physiopathological roles of S1R.
    Keywords:  ER stress; mitochondria bioenergetics; phenotyping; sigma-1 receptor; zebrafish
  11. Autophagy. 2021 Oct 18. 1-16
      Macroautophagy/autophagy is an evolutionarily well-conserved recycling process in response to stress conditions, including a burst of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. High level of ROS attack key cellular macromolecules. Protein cysteinyl thiols or non-protein thiols as the major redox-sensitive targets thus constitute the first-line defense. Autophagy is unique, because it removes not only oxidized/damaged proteins but also bulky ROS-generating organelles (such as mitochondria and peroxisome) to restrict further ROS production. The oxidative regulations of autophagy occur in all processes of autophagy, from induction, phagophore nucleation, phagophore expansion, autophagosome maturation, cargo delivery to the lysosome, and finally to degradation of the cargo and recycling of the products, as well as autophagy gene transcription. Mechanically, these regulations are achieved through direct or indirect manners. Direct thiol oxidation of key proteins such as ATG4, ATM and TFEB are responsible for specific regulations in phagophore expansion, cargo recognition and autophagy gene transcription, respectively. Meanwhile, oxidation of certain redox-sensitive chaperone-like proteins (e.g. PRDX family members and PARK7) may impair a nonspecifically local reducing environment in the phagophore membrane, and influence BECN1-involved phagophore nucleation and mitophagy recognition. However, ROS do exhibit some inhibitory effects on autophagy through direct oxidation of key autophagy regulators such as ATG3, ATG7 and SENP3 proteins. SQSTM1 provides an alternative antioxidant mechanism when autophagy is unavailable or impaired. However, it is yet to be unraveled how cells evolve to equip proteins with different redox susceptibility and in their correct subcellular positions, and how cells fine-tune autophagy machinery in response to different levels of ROS.Abbreviations: AKT1/PKB: AKT serine/threonine kinase 1; AMPK: AMP-activated protein kinase; ATG: autophagy related; ATM: ATM serine/threonine kinase; BAX: BCL2 associated X, apoptosis regulator; BECN1: beclin 1; BH3: BCL2-homology-3; CAV1: caveolin 1; CCCP: carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone; CTSB: cathepsin B; CTSL: cathepsin L; DAPK: death associated protein kinase; ER: endoplasmic reticulum; ETC: electron transport chain; GSH: glutathione; GSTP1: glutathione S-transferase pi 1; H2O2: hydrogen peroxide; HK2: hexokinase 2; KEAP1: kelch like ECH associated protein 1; MAMs: mitochondria-associated ER membranes; MAP1LC3B/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta; MAPK8/JNK1: mitogen-activated protein kinase 8; MAP3K5/ASK1: mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 5; MCOLN1: mucolipin 1; MMP: mitochondrial membrane potential; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; NFE2L2/NRF2: nuclear factor, erythroid 2 like 2; NFKB1: nuclear factor kappa B subunit 1; NOX: NADPH oxidase; O2-: superoxide radical anion; p-Ub: phosphorylated Ub; PARK7/DJ-1: Parkinsonism associated deglycase; PE: phosphatidylethanolamine; PEX5: peroxisomal biogenesis factor 5; PINK1: PTEN induced kinase 1; PPP3CA/calcineurin: protein phosphatase 3 catalytic subunit beta; PRDX: peroxiredoxin; PRKAA1: protein kinase AMP-activated catalytic subunit alpha 1; PRKD/PKD: protein kinase D; PRKN/parkin: parkin RBR E3 ubiquitin protein ligase; PtdIns3K: class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; PtdIns3P: phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate; PTEN: phosphatase and tensin homolog; ROS: reactive oxygen species; SENP3: SUMO specific peptidase 3; SIRT1: sirtuin 1; SOD1: superoxide dismutase 1; SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; SUMO: small ubiquitin like modifier; TFEB: transcription factor EB; TRAF6: TNF receptor associated factor 6; TSC2: TSC complex subunit 2; TXN: thioredoxin; TXNRD1: thioredoxin reductase 1; TXNIP: thioredoxin interacting protein; Ub: ubiquitin; ULK1: unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1.
    Keywords:  ATGs; ROS; autophagy; oxidative regulation; protein thiols
  12. Oncogene. 2021 Oct 20.
      Aberrant regulation of ubiquitination often leads to metabolic reprogramming in tumor cells. However, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Here we demonstrate that OTUB2, an OTU deubiquitinase, is upregulated in colorectal cancer (CRC) and exacerbates the progression of CRC through modulating the aerobic glycolysis. Mechanistically, OTUB2 directly interacts with pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) and inhibits its ubiquitination by blocking the interaction between PKM2 and its ubiquitin E3 ligase Parkin, thereby enhancing PKM2 activity and promoting glycolysis. In response to glucose starvation stress, the effect of OTUB2 on PKM2 is enhanced, which confers metabolic advantage to CRC cells. Moreover, OTUB2 depletion reduces glucose consumption, lactate production, and cellular ATP production. OTUB2-knockout CRC cells exhibit attenuated proliferation and migration, as well as an elevated level of apoptosis and increased sensitivity to chemotherapy drugs. Furthermore, in vivo assays show that knockout of OTUB2 inhibits tumor growth in mice. Taken together, these findings reveal the critical role of OTUB2 in the regulation of glycolysis and illustrate the molecular mechanism underlying its role as a negative regulator of PKM2 ubiquitination in CRC, establishing a bridge between OTUB2-regulated PKM2 ubiquitination and altered metabolic patterns in CRC and suggesting that OTUB2 is a promising target for CRC treatment.
  13. J Biol Chem. 2021 Oct 15. pii: S0021-9258(21)01113-3. [Epub ahead of print] 101307
      Neddylation is a post-translational modification that attaches ubiquitin-like protein Nedd8 to protein targets via Nedd8-specific E1-E2-E3 enzymes, and modulates many important biological processes. Nedd8 attaches to a lysine residue of a substrate, not for degradation, but for modulation of substrate activity. We previously identified the HECT-type ubiquitin ligase Smurf1, which controls diverse cellular processes, is activated by Nedd8 through covalent neddylation. Smurf1 functions as a thioester bond-type Nedd8 ligase to catalyze its own neddylation. Numerous ubiquitination substrates of Smurf1 have been identified, but the neddylation substrates of Smurf1 remain unknown. Here, we show that Smurf1 interacts with RRP9, a core component of the U3 snoRNP complex, which is involved in pre-rRNA processing. Our in vivo and in vitro neddylation modification assays show that RRP9 is conjugated with Nedd8. RRP9 neddylation is catalyzed by Smurf1 and removed by the NEDP1 deneddylase. We identified Lys221 as a major neddylation site on RRP9. Deficiency of RRP9 neddylation inhibits pre-rRNA processing and leads to downregulation of ribosomal biogenesis. Consequently, functional studies suggest that ectopic expression of RRP9 promotes tumor cell proliferation, colony formation and cell migration, whereas unneddylated RRP9, K221R mutant has no such effect. Furthermore, in human colorectal cancer, elevated expression of RRP9 and Smurf1 correlates with cancer progression. These results reveal that Smurf1 plays a multifaceted role in pre-rRNA processing by catalyzing RRP9 neddylation, and shed new light on the oncogenic role of RRP9.
    Keywords:  Neddylation; RRP9; Smurf1; tumorigenesis
  14. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Oct 26. pii: e2115430118. [Epub ahead of print]118(43):
      N-degron pathways are proteolytic systems that recognize proteins bearing N-terminal (Nt) degradation signals (degrons) called N-degrons. Our previous work identified Gid4 as a recognition component (N-recognin) of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteolytic system termed the proline (Pro)/N-degron pathway. Gid4 is a subunit of the oligomeric glucose-induced degradation (GID) ubiquitin ligase. Gid4 targets proteins through the binding to their Nt-Pro residue. Gid4 is also required for degradation of Nt-Xaa-Pro (Xaa is any amino acid residue) proteins such as Nt-[Ala-Pro]-Aro10 and Nt-[Ser-Pro]-Pck1, with Pro at position 2. Here, we show that specific aminopeptidases function as components of the Pro/N-degron pathway by removing Nt-Ala or Nt-Ser and yielding Nt-Pro, which can be recognized by Gid4-GID. Nt-Ala is removed by the previously uncharacterized aminopeptidase Fra1. The enzymatic activity of Fra1 is shown to be essential for the GID-dependent degradation of Nt-[Ala-Pro]-Aro10. Fra1 can also trim Nt-[Ala-Pro-Pro-Pro] (stopping immediately before the last Pro) and thereby can target for degradation a protein bearing this Nt sequence. Nt-Ser is removed largely by the mitochondrial/cytosolic/nuclear aminopeptidase Icp55. These advances are relevant to eukaryotes from fungi to animals and plants, as Fra1, Icp55, and the GID ubiquitin ligase are conserved in evolution. In addition to discovering the mechanism of targeting of Xaa-Pro proteins, these insights have also expanded the diversity of substrates of the Pro/N-degron pathway.
    Keywords:  Fra1; Icp55; aminopeptidase; degron; ubiquitin
  15. Cell Rep. 2021 Oct 19. pii: S2211-1247(21)01321-8. [Epub ahead of print]37(3): 109854
      Despite the tremendous success of targeted and conventional therapies for lung cancer, therapeutic resistance is a common and major clinical challenge. RNF8 is a ubiquitin E3 ligase that plays essential roles in the DNA damage response; however, its role in the pathogenesis of lung cancer is unclear. Here, we report that RNF8 is overexpressed in lung cancer and positively correlates with the expression of p-Akt and poor survival of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. In addition, we identify RNF8 as the E3 ligase for regulating the activation of Akt by K63-linked ubiquitination under physiological and genotoxic conditions, which leads to lung cancer cell proliferation and resistance to chemotherapy. Together, our study suggests that RNF8 could be a very promising target in precision medicine for lung cancer.
    Keywords:  Akt; DNA damage response; RNF8; chemoresistance; lung cancer; ubiquitination
  16. FASEB J. 2021 Nov;35(11): e21990
      Eukaryotic initiation factor 2A (eIF2A) is a 65 kDa protein that functions in minor initiation pathways, which affect the translation of only a subset of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNAs), such as internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-containing mRNAs and/or mRNAs harboring upstream near cognate/non-AUG start codons. These non-canonical initiation events are important for regulation of protein synthesis during cellular development and/or the integrated stress response. Selective eIF2A knockdown in cellular systems significantly inhibits translation of such mRNAs, which rely on alternative initiation mechanisms for their translation. However, there exists a gap in our understanding of how eIF2A functions in mammalian systems in vivo (on the organismal level) and ex vivo (in cells). Here, using an eIF2A-knockout (KO) mouse model, we present evidence implicating eIF2A in the biology of aging, metabolic syndrome and central tolerance. We discovered that eIF2A-KO mice have reduced life span and that eIF2A plays an important role in maintenance of lipid homeostasis, the control of glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and also reduces the abundance of B lymphocytes and dendritic cells in the thymic medulla of mice. We also show the eIF2A KO affects male and female mice differently, suggesting that eIF2A may affect sex-specific pathways. Interestingly, our experiments involving pharmacological induction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress with tunicamycin did not reveal any substantial difference between the response to ER stress in eIF2A-KO and wild-type mice. The identification of eIF2A function in the development of metabolic syndrome bears promise for the further identification of specific eIF2A targets responsible for these changes.
    Keywords:  ER stress; eukaryotic initiation factor 2A (eIF2A); life span; lipid homeostasis; metabolic syndrome
  17. Nat Immunol. 2021 Oct 22.
      Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) display pro-tumorigenic phenotypes for supporting tumor progression in response to microenvironmental cues imposed by tumor and stromal cells. However, the underlying mechanisms by which tumor cells instruct TAM behavior remain elusive. Here, we uncover that tumor-cell-derived glucosylceramide stimulated unconventional endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress responses by inducing reshuffling of lipid composition and saturation on the ER membrane in macrophages, which induced IRE1-mediated spliced XBP1 production and STAT3 activation. The cooperation of spliced XBP1 and STAT3 reinforced the pro-tumorigenic phenotype and expression of immunosuppressive genes. Ablation of XBP1 expression with genetic manipulation or ameliorating ER stress responses by facilitating LPCAT3-mediated incorporation of unsaturated lipids to the phosphatidylcholine hampered pro-tumorigenic phenotype and survival in TAMs. Together, we uncover the unexpected roles of tumor-cell-produced lipids that simultaneously orchestrate macrophage polarization and survival in tumors via induction of ER stress responses and reveal therapeutic targets for sustaining host antitumor immunity.
  18. FEBS Lett. 2021 Oct 21.
      The timing of cytokinesis relative to other mitotic events in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe is controlled by the septation initiation network (SIN). During a mitotic checkpoint, the SIN is inhibited by the E3 ubiquitin ligase Dma1 to prevent chromosome mis-segregation. Dma1 dynamically localizes to spindle pole bodies (SPBs) and the contractile ring (CR) during mitosis, though its role at the CR is unknown. Here, we examined whether Dma1 phosphorylation affects its localization or function. We found that preventing Dma1 phosphorylation by substituting the six phosphosites with alanines diminished its CR localization but did not affect its mitotic checkpoint function. These studies reinforce the conclusion that Dma1 localization to the SPB is key to its role in the mitotic checkpoint.
    Keywords:  cytokinesis; fission yeast; protein kinase; septation initiation network; signaling; spindle pole body; ubiquitin ligase
  19. Genome Biol Evol. 2021 Oct 19. pii: evab235. [Epub ahead of print]
      Highly expressed proteins tend to evolve slowly, a trend known as the expression level-rate of evolution (E-R) anticorrelation. Whereas the reasons for this anticorrelation remain unclear, the most influential hypotheses attribute it to highly expressed proteins being subjected to strong selective pressures to avoid misfolding and/or misinteraction. In accordance with these hypotheses, work in our laboratory has recently shown that extracellular (secreted) proteins lack an E-R anticorrelation (or exhibit a weaker than usual E-R anticorrelation). Extracellular proteins are folded inside the endoplasmic reticulum, where enhanced quality control of folding mechanisms exist, and function in the extracellular space, where misinteraction is unlikely to occur or to produce deleterious effects. Transmembrane proteins contain both intracellular domains (which are folded and function in the cytosol) and extracellular domains (which complete their folding in the endoplasmic reticulum and function in the extracellular space). We thus hypothesized that the extracellular domains of transmembrane proteins should exhibit a weaker E-R anticorrelation than their intracellular domains. Our analyses of human, Saccharomyces and Arabidopsis transmembrane proteins allowed us to confirm our hypothesis. Our results are in agreement with models attributing the E-R anticorrelation to the deleterious effects of misfolding and/or misinteraction.
    Keywords:  E–R anticorrelation; misfolding avoidance hypothesis; translational robustness hypothesis; transmembrane proteins
  20. RSC Med Chem. 2021 Sep 23. 12(9): 1604-1611
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is one of the crucial sub-cellular organelles controlling myriads of functions including protein biosynthesis, folding, misfolding and unfolding. As a result, dysregulation of these pathways in the ER is implicated in cancer development and progression. Subsequently, targeting the ER in cancer cells emerged as an interesting unorthodox strategy in next-generation anticancer therapy. However, development of small molecules to selectively target the ER for cancer therapy remained elusive and unexplored. To address this, herein, we have developed a novel small molecule library of sulfonylhydrazide-hydrazones through a short and concise chemical synthetic strategy. We identified a fluorescent small molecule that localized into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of HeLa cells, induced ER stress followed by triggering autophagy which was subsequently inhibited by chloroquine (autophagy inhibitor) to initiate apoptosis. This small molecule showed remarkable cancer cell killing efficacy in different cancer cells as mono and combination therapy with chloroquine, thus opening a new direction to illuminate ER-biology towards the development of novel anticancer therapeutics.
  21. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Oct 18. 12(11): 960
      Aberrant activation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress by extrinsic and intrinsic factors contributes to tumorigenesis and resistance to chemotherapies in various cancer types. Our previous studies have shown that the downregulation of PHLPP, a novel family of Ser/Thr protein phosphatases, promotes tumor initiation, and progression. Here we investigated the functional interaction between the ER stress and PHLPP expression in colon cancer. We found that induction of ER stress significantly decreased the expression of PHLPP proteins through a proteasome-dependent mechanism. Knockdown of PHLPP increased the phosphorylation of eIF2α as well as the expression of autophagy-associated genes downstream of the eIF2α/ATF4 signaling pathway. In addition, results from immunoprecipitation experiments showed that PHLPP interacted with eIF2α and this interaction was enhanced by ER stress. Functionally, knockdown of PHLPP improved cell survival under ER stress conditions, whereas overexpression of a degradation-resistant mutant PHLPP1 had the opposite effect. Taken together, our studies identified ER stress as a novel mechanism that triggers PHLPP downregulation; and PHLPP-loss promotes chemoresistance by upregulating the eIF2α/ATF4 signaling axis in colon cancer cells.
  22. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Oct 14. pii: 11073. [Epub ahead of print]22(20):
      Levels of O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and hyper-O-GlcNAcylation expression levels are associated with cancer pathogenesis. This study aimed to find conditions that maximize the therapeutic effect of cancer and minimize tissue damage by combining an OGT inhibitor (OSMI-1) and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). We found that OSMI-1 treatment in HCT116 human colon cancer cells has a potent synergistic effect on TRAIL-induced apoptosis signaling. Interestingly, OSMI-1 significantly increased TRAIL-mediated apoptosis by increasing the expression of the cell surface receptor DR5. ROS-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress by OSMI-1 not only upregulated CHOP-DR5 signaling but also activated Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK), resulting in a decrease in Bcl2 and the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria. TRAIL induced the activation of NF-κB and played a role in resistance as an antiapoptotic factor. During this process, O-GlcNAcylation of IκB kinase (IKK) and IκBα degradation occurred, followed by translocation of p65 into the nucleus. However, combination treatment with OSMI-1 counteracted the effect of TRAIL-mediated NF-κB signaling, resulting in a more synergistic effect on apoptosis. Therefore, the combined treatment of OSMI-1 and TRAIL synergistically increased TRAIL-induced apoptosis through caspase-8 activation. Conclusively, OSMI-1 potentially sensitizes TRAIL-induced cell death in HCT116 cells through the blockade of NF-κB signaling and activation of apoptosis through ER stress response.
    Keywords:  ER stress; NF-κB; O-GlcNAc transferase inhibitor; TRAIL; apoptosis
  23. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2021 Oct 18. 9(1): 169
      Amyloid precursor protein (APP) metabolism is central to Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis, but the key etiological driver remains elusive. Recent failures of clinical trials targeting amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, the proteolytic fragments of amyloid precursor protein (APP) that are the main component of amyloid plaques, suggest that the proteostasis-disrupting, key pathogenic species remain to be identified. Previous studies suggest that APP C-terminal fragment (APP.C99) can cause disease in an Aβ-independent manner. The mechanism of APP.C99 pathogenesis is incompletely understood. We used Drosophila models expressing APP.C99 with the native ER-targeting signal of human APP, expressing full-length human APP only, or co-expressing full-length human APP and β-secretase (BACE), to investigate mechanisms of APP.C99 pathogenesis. Key findings are validated in mammalian cell culture models, mouse 5xFAD model, and postmortem AD patient brain materials. We find that ribosomes stall at the ER membrane during co-translational translocation of APP.C99, activating ribosome-associated quality control (RQC) to resolve ribosome collision and stalled translation. Stalled APP.C99 species with C-terminal extensions (CAT-tails) resulting from inadequate RQC are prone to aggregation, causing endolysosomal and autophagy defects and seeding the aggregation of amyloid β peptides, the main component of amyloid plaques. Genetically removing stalled and CAT-tailed APP.C99 rescued proteostasis failure, endolysosomal/autophagy dysfunction, neuromuscular degeneration, and cognitive deficits in AD models. Our finding of RQC factor deposition at the core of amyloid plaques from AD brains further supports the central role of defective RQC of ribosome collision and stalled translation in AD pathogenesis. These findings demonstrate that amyloid plaque formation is the consequence and manifestation of a deeper level proteostasis failure caused by inadequate RQC of translational stalling and the resultant aberrantly modified APP.C99 species, previously unrecognized etiological drivers of AD and newly discovered therapeutic targets.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid precursor protein C-terminal fragment (APP.C99); CAT-tailing; Proteostasis; Ribosome stalling; Ribosome-associated quality control
  24. J Cell Sci. 2021 Oct 20. pii: jcs.258785. [Epub ahead of print]
      In neurons, endoplasmic reticulum forms a highly dynamic network that enters axons and presynaptic terminals and plays a central role in Ca2+ homeostasis and synapse maintenance. However, the underlying mechanisms involved in regulation of its dynamic remodeling as well as its function in axon development and presynaptic differentiation remain elusive. Here, we used high resolution microscopy and live cell imaging to investigate rapid movements of endoplasmic reticulum and ribosomes in axons of cultured motoneurons after stimulation with Brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Our results indicate that the endoplasmic reticulum extends into axonal growth cone filopodia where its integrity and dynamic remodeling are regulated mainly by actin and its motor protein myosin VI. Additionally, we found that in axonal growth cones, ribosomes assemble into 80S subunits within seconds and associate with ER in response to extracellular stimuli which describes a novel function of axonal ER in dynamic regulation of local translation.
    Keywords:  BDNF stimulation; Dynamics of local translation; ER dynamics in axon terminals
  25. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2021 Oct 19. pii: S1535-9476(21)00139-0. [Epub ahead of print] 100167
      Antibodies against post-translational modifications (PTMs) such as lysine acetylation, ubiquitin remnants, or phosphotyrosine have resulted in significant advances in our understanding of the fundamental roles of PTMs in biology. However, the roles of a number of PTMs remain largely unexplored due to the lack of robust enrichment reagents. The addition of N-acetylglucosamine to serine and threonine residues (O-GlcNAc) by the O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) is a PTM implicated in numerous biological processes and disease states but with limited techniques for its study. Here, we evaluate a new mixture of anti-O-GlcNAc monoclonal antibodies for the immunoprecipitation of native O-GlcNAcylated peptides from cells and tissues. The anti-O-GlcNAc antibodies display good sensitivity and high specificity toward O-GlcNAc-modified peptides, and do not recognize O-GalNAc or GlcNAc in extended glycans. Applying this antibody-based enrichment strategy to synaptosomes from mouse brain tissue samples, we identified over 1,300 unique O-GlcNAc-modified peptides and over 1,000 sites using just a fraction of sample preparation and instrument time required in other landmark investigations of O-GlcNAcylation. Our rapid and robust method greatly simplifies the analysis of O-GlcNAc signaling and will help to elucidate the role of this challenging PTM in health and disease.
  26. Mol Cell. 2021 Oct 21. pii: S1097-2765(21)00798-X. [Epub ahead of print]81(20): 4191-4208.e8
      To survive, mammalian cells must adapt to environmental challenges. While the cellular response to mild stress has been widely studied, how cells respond to severe stress remains unclear. We show here that under severe hyperosmotic stress, cells enter a transient hibernation-like state in anticipation of recovery. We demonstrate this adaptive pausing response (APR) is a coordinated cellular response that limits ATP supply and consumption through mitochondrial fragmentation and widespread pausing of mRNA translation. This pausing is accomplished by ribosome stalling at translation initiation codons, which keeps mRNAs poised to resume translation upon recovery. We further show that recovery from severe stress involves ISR (integrated stress response) signaling that permits cell cycle progression, resumption of growth, and reversal of mitochondria fragmentation. Our findings indicate that cells can respond to severe stress via a hibernation-like mechanism that preserves vital elements of cellular function under harsh environmental conditions.
    Keywords:  ATF4; ISR; hypertonic; mTOR; mitochondria; neMito mRNAs; ribosome stalling; stress; translation
  27. Toxicol Lett. 2021 Oct 19. pii: S0378-4274(21)00861-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Methylmercury (MeHg) is a hazardous environmental pollutant that causes serious toxicity in humans and animals, as well as proteotoxic stress. In our previous study, we found that MeHg induces the expression of p62/sequestosome 1 (p62) that selectively targets ubiquitinated proteins for degradation via autophagy, and that p62 might protect cells against MeHg toxicity. To further investigate the role of p62 in MeHg-induced stress responses, we evaluated the role of p62 in MeHg-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in p62 knockout (p62KO) mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). Treatment of wild-type (WT) MEFs were treated with MeHg (1 µM) increased mRNA levels of Chop encoding C/EBP homologous protein, Trib3 encoding Tribbles homolog 3, and Dnajb9 encoding DnaJ heat-shock protein family (Hsp40) member B9 increased, suggesting that ER stress is elicited by MeHg stress. Additionally, p62KO MEFs treated with MeHg showed a higher mRNA expression of Chop and Trib3 relative to that in WT MEFs. Furthermore, knock-in of GFP-p62 to p62KO cells diminished the Chop and Trib3 induction responses to MeHg stress and resulted in a higher cell viability than that of p62KO MEFs. These results suggest that the protective role of p62 against MeHg toxicity is partly mediated by suppressing the ER stress response.
    Keywords:  C/EBP homologous protein; Tribbles homolog 3; endoplasmic reticulum stress; methylmercury; p62
  28. Cells. 2021 Sep 24. pii: 2535. [Epub ahead of print]10(10):
      Eukaryotic cells contain dynamic membrane-bound organelles that are constantly remodeled in response to physiological and environmental cues. Key organelles are the endoplasmic reticulum, the Golgi apparatus and the plasma membrane, which are interconnected by vesicular traffic through the secretory transport route. Numerous viruses, especially enveloped viruses, use and modify compartments of the secretory pathway to promote their replication, assembly and cell egression by hijacking the host cell machinery. In some cases, the subversion mechanism has been uncovered. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of how the secretory pathway is subverted and exploited by viruses belonging to Picornaviridae, Coronaviridae, Flaviviridae, Poxviridae, Parvoviridae and Herpesviridae families.
    Keywords:  Golgi; endoplasmic reticulum; intracellular trafficking; membrane rearrangements; plasma membrane; vesicles; viruses
  29. BMB Rep. 2021 Oct 22. pii: 5426. [Epub ahead of print]
      Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases in the elderly population and is caused by the loss of dopaminergic neurons. PD has been predominantly attributed to mitochondrial dysfunction. The structural alteration of α-synuclein triggers toxic oligomer formation in the neurons, which greatly contributes to PD. In this article, we discuss the role of several familial PD-related proteins, such as α-synuclein, DJ-1, LRRK2, PINK1, and parkin in mitophagy, which entails a selective degradation of mitochondria via autophagy. Defective changes in mitochondrial dynamics and their biochemical and functional interaction induce the formation of toxic α-synuclein-containing protein aggregates in PD. In addition, these gene products play an essential role in ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS)-mediated proteolysis as well as mitophagy. Interestingly, a few deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) additionally modulate these two pathways negatively or positively. Based on these findings, we summarize the close relationship between several DUBs and the precise modulation of mitophagy. For example, the USP8, USP10, and USP15, among many DUBs are reported to specifically regulate the K48- or K63-linked de-ubiquitination reactions of several target proteins associated with the mitophagic process, in turn upregulating the mitophagy and protecting neuronal cells from α-synuclein-derived toxicity. In contrast, USP30 inhibits mitophagy by opposing parkin-mediated ubiquitination of target proteins. Furthermore, the association between these changes and PD pathogenesis will be discussed. Taken together, although the functional roles of several PD-related genes have yet to be fully understood, they are substantially associated with mitochondrial quality control as well as UPS. Therefore, a better understanding of their relationship provides valuable therapeutic clues for appropriate management strategies.
  30. Cells. 2021 Sep 29. pii: 2596. [Epub ahead of print]10(10):
      The dysfunction of the proteostasis network is a molecular hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Molecular chaperones are a major component of the proteostasis network and maintain cellular homeostasis by folding client proteins, assisting with intracellular transport, and interfering with protein aggregation or degradation. Heat shock protein 70 kDa (Hsp70) and 90 kDa (Hsp90) are two of the most important chaperones whose functions are dependent on ATP hydrolysis and collaboration with their co-chaperones. Numerous studies implicate Hsp70, Hsp90, and their co-chaperones in neurodegenerative diseases. Targeting the specific protein-protein interactions between chaperones and their particular partner co-chaperones with small molecules provides an opportunity to specifically modulate Hsp70 or Hsp90 function for neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review the roles of co-chaperones in Hsp70 or Hsp90 chaperone cycles, the impacts of co-chaperones in neurodegenerative diseases, and the development of small molecules modulating chaperone/co-chaperone interactions. We also provide a future perspective of drug development targeting chaperone/co-chaperone interactions for neurodegenerative diseases.
    Keywords:  Hsp70; Hsp90; co-chaperones; neurodegenerative diseases; small molecules
  31. Mol Cell Biol. 2021 Oct 18. MCB0036821
      San1 ubiquitin ligase is involved in nuclear protein quality control via its interaction with intrinsically disordered proteins for ubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation. Since several transcription/chromatin regulatory factors contain intrinsically disordered domains and can be inhibitory to transcription when in excess, San1 might be involved in transcription regulation. To address this, we analyzed the role of San1 in genome-wide association of TBP [that nucleates pre-initiation complex (PIC) formation for transcription initiation] and RNA polymerase II (Pol II). Our results reveal the roles of San1 in regulating TBP recruitment to the promoters and Pol II association with the coding sequences, and hence PIC formation and coordination of elongating Pol II, respectively. Consistently, transcription is altered in the absence of San1. Such transcriptional alteration is associated with impaired ubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation of Spt16 and gene association of Paf1, but not the incorporation of centromeric histone, Cse4, into the active genes in Δsan1. Collectively, our results demonstrate distinct functions of a nuclear protein quality control factor in regulating the genome-wide PIC formation and elongating Pol II (and hence transcription), thus unraveling new gene regulatory mechanisms.
  32. J Mol Biol. 2021 Oct 15. pii: S0022-2836(21)00531-3. [Epub ahead of print] 167294
      Activating mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are common driver mutations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). First, second and third generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are effective at inhibiting mutant EGFR NSCLC, however, acquired resistance is a major issue, leading to disease relapse. Here, we characterize a small molecule, EMI66, an analog of a small molecule which we previously identified to inhibit mutant EGFR signalling via a novel mechanism of action. We show that EMI66 attenuates receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) expression and signalling and alters the electrophoretic mobility of Coatomer Protein Complex Beta 2 (COPB2) protein in mutant EGFR NSCLC cells. Moreover, we demonstrate that EMI66 can alter the subcellular localization of EGFR and COPB2 within the early secretory pathway. Furthermore, we find that COPB2 knockdown reduces the growth of mutant EGFR lung cancer cells, alters the post-translational processing of RTKs, and alters the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response pathway. Lastly, we show that EMI66 treatment also alters the ER stress response pathway and inhibits the growth of mutant EGFR lung cancer cells and organoids. Our results demonstrate that targeting of COPB2 with EMI66 presents a viable approach to attenuate mutant EGFR signalling and growth in NSCLC.
  33. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 724403
      As a fierce pathogen, spring viremia of carp virus (SVCV) can cause high mortality in the common carp, and its glycoprotein (G protein) is a component of the viral structure on the surface of virion, which is crucial in viral life cycle. This report adopted tandem affinity purification (TAP), mass spectrometry analysis (LC-MS/MS), immunoprecipitation, and confocal microscopy assays to identify Heat shock cognate protein 70 (HSC70) as an interaction partner of SVCV G protein. It was found that HSC70 overexpression dramatically inhibited SVCV replication, whereas its loss of functions elicited opposing effects on SVCV replication. Mechanistic studies indicate that HSC70 induces lysosomal degradation of ubiquitinated-SVCV G protein. This study further demonstrates that Membrane-associated RING-CH 8 (MARCH8), an E3 ubiquitin ligase, is critical for SVCV G protein ubiquitylation and leads to its lysosomal degradation. Furthermore, the MARCH8 mediated ubiquitylation of SVCV G protein required the participation of HSC70 through forming a multicomponent complex. Taken together, these results demonstrate that HSC70 serves as a scaffold for MARCH8 and SVCV G, which leads to the ubiquitylation and degradation of SVCV G protein and thus inhibits viral replication. These findings have established a novel host defense mechanism against SVCV.
    Keywords:  HSC70; MARCH8; SVCV G protein; complex; degradation; ubiquitination; viral replication
  34. BMC Bioinformatics. 2021 Oct 18. 22(1): 507
      BACKGROUND: Ubiquitylation is an important post-translational modification of proteins that not only plays a central role in cellular coding, but is also closely associated with the development of a variety of diseases. The specific selection of substrate by ligase E3 is the key in ubiquitylation. As various high-throughput analytical techniques continue to be applied to the study of ubiquitylation, a large amount of ubiquitylation site data, and records of E3-substrate interactions continue to be generated. Biomedical literature is an important vehicle for information on E3-substrate interactions in ubiquitylation and related new discoveries, as well as an important channel for researchers to obtain such up to date data. The continuous explosion of ubiquitylation related literature poses a great challenge to researchers in acquiring and analyzing the information. Therefore, automatic annotation of these E3-substrate interaction sentences from the available literature is urgently needed.RESULTS: In this research, we proposed a model based on representation and attention mechanism based deep learning methods, to automatic annotate E3-substrate interaction sentences in biomedical literature. Focusing on the sentences with E3 protein inside, we applied several natural language processing methods and a Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM)-based deep learning classifier to train the model. Experimental results had proved the effectiveness of our proposed model. And also, the proposed attention mechanism deep learning method outperforms other statistical machine learning methods. We also created a manual corpus of E3-substrate interaction sentences, in which the E3 proteins and substrate proteins are also labeled, in order to construct our model. The corpus and model proposed by our research are definitely able to be very useful and valuable resource for advancement of ubiquitylation-related research.
    CONCLUSION: Having the entire manual corpus of E3-substrate interaction sentences readily available in electronic form will greatly facilitate subsequent text mining and machine learning analyses. Automatic annotating ubiquitylation sentences stating E3 ligase-substrate interaction is significantly benefited from semantic representation and deep learning. The model enables rapid information accessing and can assist in further screening of key ubiquitylation ligase substrates for in-depth studies.
    Keywords:  Deep learning; E3 ligase; Information representation; Natural language processing; Text mining; Ubiquitylation sentences annotation
  35. Mol Biol Cell. 2021 Oct 20. mbcE21040179
      Microlipophagy (µLP), degradation of lipid droplets (LDs) by microautophagy, occurs by autophagosome-independent direct uptake of LDs at lysosomes/vacuoles in response to nutrient limitations and ER stressors in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In nutrient-limited yeast, liquid-ordered (Lo) microdomains, sterol-rich raft-like regions in vacuolar membranes, are sites of membrane invagination during LD uptake. The endosome sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) is required for sterol transport during Lo formation under these conditions. However, ESCRT has been implicated in mediating membrane invagination during µLP induced by ER stressors or the diauxic shift from glycolysis- to respiration-driven growth. Here, we report that ER stress induced by lipid imbalance and other stressors induces Lo microdomain formation. This process is ESCRT-independent and dependent upon Niemann-Pick type C sterol transfer proteins. Inhibition of ESCRT or Lo microdomain formation partially inhibits lipid imbalance-induced µLP, while inhibition of both blocks this µLP. Finally, although the ER stressors dithiothreitol or tunicamycin induce Lo microdomains, µLP in response to these stressors is ESCRT-dependent and Lo microdomain-independent. Our findings reveal that Lo microdomain formation is a yeast stress response, and stress-induced Lo microdomain formation occurs by stressor-specific mechanisms. Moreover, ESCRT and Lo microdomains play functionally distinct roles in LD uptake during stress-induced µLP.
  36. Biomolecules. 2021 Oct 16. pii: 1528. [Epub ahead of print]11(10):
      Rhodopsin (RHO) misfolding mutations are a common cause of the blinding disease autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). The most prevalent mutation, RHOP23H, results in its misfolding and retention in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Under homeostatic conditions, misfolded proteins are selectively identified, retained at the ER, and cleared via ER-associated degradation (ERAD). Overload of these degradation processes for a prolonged period leads to imbalanced proteostasis and may eventually result in cell death. ERAD of misfolded proteins, such as RHOP23H, includes the subsequent steps of protein recognition, targeting for ERAD, retrotranslocation, and proteasomal degradation. In the present study, we investigated and compared pharmacological modulation of ERAD at these four different major steps. We show that inhibition of the VCP/proteasome activity favors cell survival and suppresses P23H-mediated retinal degeneration in RHOP23H rat retinal explants. We suggest targeting this activity as a therapeutic approach for patients with currently untreatable adRP.
    Keywords:  RHOP23H; ocular disease; ocular therapy; retinal degeneration; retinal organotypic culture; retinitis pigmentosa
  37. Biochem J. 2021 Oct 29. 478(20): 3723-3739
      Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein-1c is a transcription factor that controls the synthesis of lipids from glucose in the liver, a process which is of utmost importance for the storage of energy. Discovered in the early nineties by B. Spiegelman and by M. Brown and J. Goldstein, it has generated more than 5000 studies in order to elucidate its mechanism of activation and its role in physiology and pathology. Synthetized as a precursor found in the membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum, it has to be exported to the Golgi and cleaved by a mechanism called regulated intramembrane proteolysis. We reviewed in 2002 its main characteristics, its activation process and its role in the regulation of hepatic glycolytic and lipogenic genes. We particularly emphasized that Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein-1c is the mediator of insulin effects on these genes. In the present review, we would like to update these informations and focus on the response to insulin and to another actor in Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein-1c activation, the endoplasmic reticulum stress.
    Keywords:  endoplasmic reticulum stress; hepatic physiology; insulin resistance; insulin signalling; lipogenesis; sterol regulatory element-binding proteins
  38. Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 19. 12(1): 5739
      Protein aggregates associated with neurodegenerative diseases have the ability to transmit to unaffected cells, thereby templating their own aberrant conformation onto soluble homotypic proteins. Proteopathic seeds can be released into the extracellular space, secreted in association with extracellular vesicles (EV) or exchanged by direct cell-to-cell contact. The extent to which each of these pathways contribute to the prion-like spreading of protein misfolding is unclear. Exchange of cellular cargo by both direct cell contact or via EV depends on receptor-ligand interactions. We hypothesized that enabling these interactions through viral ligands enhances intercellular proteopathic seed transmission. Using different cellular models propagating prions or pathogenic Tau aggregates, we demonstrate that vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein and SARS-CoV-2 spike S increase aggregate induction by cell contact or ligand-decorated EV. Thus, receptor-ligand interactions are important determinants of intercellular aggregate dissemination. Our data raise the possibility that viral infections contribute to proteopathic seed spreading by facilitating intercellular cargo transfer.
  39. J Neurochem. 2021 Oct 22.
      Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are two related neurodegenerative disorders that display overlapping features. The hexanucleotide repeat expansion GGGGCC (G4 C2 ) in C9ORF72 gene has been causally linked to both ALS and FTD emergence, thus opening a novel potential therapeutic target for disease intervention. A main driver of C9ORF72 pathology is the disruption of distinct cellular processes involved in the function of the proteostasis network. Here we discuss main findings relating the induction of neurodegeneration by C9ORF72 mutation and proteostasis deregulation, highlighting the role of the endoplasmic reticulum stress, nuclear transport, and autophagy in the disease process. We further discuss possible points of intervention to target proteostasis mediators to treat C9ORF72-linked ALS/FTD.
    Keywords:  ALS; C9ORF72; ER stress; FTD; ISR; UPR; proteostasis
  40. Cell Rep. 2021 Oct 19. pii: S2211-1247(21)01312-7. [Epub ahead of print]37(3): 109848
      During tumor progression, lysosome function is often maladaptively upregulated to match the high energy demand required for cancer cell hyper-proliferation and invasion. Here, we report that mucolipin TRP channel 1 (TRPML1), a lysosomal Ca2+ and Zn2+ release channel that regulates multiple aspects of lysosome function, is dramatically upregulated in metastatic melanoma cells compared with normal cells. TRPML-specific synthetic agonists (ML-SAs) are sufficient to induce rapid (within hours) lysosomal Zn2+-dependent necrotic cell death in metastatic melanoma cells while completely sparing normal cells. ML-SA-caused mitochondria swelling and dysfunction lead to cellular ATP depletion. While pharmacological inhibition or genetic silencing of TRPML1 in metastatic melanoma cells prevents such cell death, overexpression of TRPML1 in normal cells confers ML-SA vulnerability. In the melanoma mouse models, ML-SAs exhibit potent in vivo efficacy of suppressing tumor progression. Hence, targeting maladaptively upregulated lysosome machinery can selectively eradicate metastatic tumor cells in vitro and in vivo.
    Keywords:  ML-SAs; ML-SIs; TRPML1; Zn(2+); cell death; lysosome; metastatic melanoma; mitochondria; small molecule
  41. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 705484
      Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is an effective therapeutic procedure to treat hematological malignancies. However, the benefit of allo-HCT is limited by a major complication, chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). Since transmembrane and secretory proteins are generated and modified in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the ER stress response is of great importance to secretory cells including B cells. By using conditional knock-out (KO) of XBP-1, IRE-1α or both specifically on B cells, we demonstrated that the IRE-1α/XBP-1 pathway, one of the major ER stress response mediators, plays a critical role in B cell pathogenicity on the induction of cGVHD in murine models of allo-HCT. Endoribonuclease activity of IRE-1α activates XBP-1 signaling by converting unspliced XBP-1 (XBP-1u) mRNA into spliced XBP-1 (XBP-1s) mRNA but also cleaves other ER-associated mRNAs through regulated IRE-1α-dependent decay (RIDD). Further, ablation of XBP-1s production leads to unleashed activation of RIDD. Therefore, we hypothesized that RIDD plays an important role in B cells during cGVHD development. In this study, we found that the reduced pathogenicity of XBP-1 deficient B cells in cGVHD was reversed by RIDD restriction in IRE-1α kinase domain KO mice. Restraining RIDD activity per se in B cells resulted in an increased severity of cGVHD. Besides, inhibition of RIDD activity compromised B cell differentiation and led to dysregulated expression of MHC II and costimulatory molecules such as CD86, CD40, and ICOSL in B cells. Furthermore, restraining the RIDD activity without affecting XBP-1 splicing increased B cell ability to induce cGVHD after allo-HCT. These results suggest that RIDD is an important mediator for reducing cGVHD pathogenesis through targeting XBP-1s.
    Keywords:  ER stress; IRE-1α; RIDD; UPR; XBP-1; allo-HCT; chronic GVHD
  42. Nat Chem Biol. 2021 Oct 21.
      Bivalent proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) drive protein degradation by simultaneously binding a target protein and an E3 ligase and forming a productive ternary complex. We hypothesized that increasing binding valency within a PROTAC could enhance degradation. Here, we designed trivalent PROTACs consisting of a bivalent bromo and extra terminal (BET) inhibitor and an E3 ligand tethered via a branched linker. We identified von Hippel-Lindau (VHL)-based SIM1 as a low picomolar BET degrader with preference for bromodomain containing 2 (BRD2). Compared to bivalent PROTACs, SIM1 showed more sustained and higher degradation efficacy, which led to more potent anticancer activity. Mechanistically, SIM1 simultaneously engages with high avidity both BET bromodomains in a cis intramolecular fashion and forms a 1:1:1 ternary complex with VHL, exhibiting positive cooperativity and high cellular stability with prolonged residence time. Collectively, our data along with favorable in vivo pharmacokinetics demonstrate that augmenting the binding valency of proximity-induced modalities can be an enabling strategy for advancing functional outcomes.
  43. EMBO J. 2021 Oct 20. e108299
      Continuous translation elongation, irrespective of amino acid sequences, is a prerequisite for living organisms to produce their proteomes. However, nascent polypeptide products bear an inherent risk of elongation abortion. For example, negatively charged sequences with occasional intermittent prolines, termed intrinsic ribosome destabilization (IRD) sequences, weaken the translating ribosomal complex, causing certain nascent chain sequences to prematurely terminate translation. Here, we show that most potential IRD sequences in the middle of open reading frames remain cryptic and do not interrupt translation, due to two features of the nascent polypeptide. Firstly, the nascent polypeptide itself spans the exit tunnel, and secondly, its bulky amino acid residues occupy the tunnel entrance region, thereby serving as a bridge and protecting the large and small ribosomal subunits from dissociation. Thus, nascent polypeptide products have an inbuilt ability to ensure elongation continuity.
    Keywords:  cell-free translation; nascent polypeptide chain; polypeptidyl-tRNA; ribosomal exit tunnel; ribosome
  44. Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Oct 20. pii: gkab962. [Epub ahead of print]
      As an important post-translational modification, ubiquitination mediates ∼80% of protein degradation in eukaryotes. The degree of protein ubiquitination is tightly determined by the delicate balance between specific ubiquitin ligase (E3)-mediated ubiquitination and deubiquitinase-mediated deubiquitination. In 2017, we developed UbiBrowser 1.0, which is an integrated database for predicted human proteome-wide E3-substrate interactions. Here, to meet the urgent requirement of proteome-wide E3/deubiquitinase-substrate interactions (ESIs/DSIs) in multiple organisms, we updated UbiBrowser to version 2.0 ( Using an improved protocol, we collected 4068/967 known ESIs/DSIs by manual curation, and we predicted about 2.2 million highly confident ESIs/DSIs in 39 organisms, with >210-fold increase in total data volume. In addition, we made several new features in the updated version: (i) it allows exploring proteins' upstream E3 ligases and deubiquitinases simultaneously; (ii) it has significantly increased species coverage; (iii) it presents a uniform confidence scoring system to rank predicted ESIs/DSIs. To facilitate the usage of UbiBrowser 2.0, we also redesigned the web interface for exploring these known and predicted ESIs/DSIs, and added functions of 'Browse', 'Download' and 'Application Programming Interface'. We believe that UbiBrowser 2.0, as a discovery tool, will contribute to the study of protein ubiquitination and the development of drug targets for complex diseases.
  45. Autophagy. 2021 Oct 17. 1-3
      The scaffold protein AMBRA1 regulates the early steps of autophagosome formation and cell growth, and its deficiency is associated with neurodevelopmental defects and cancer. In a recent study, we show that AMBRA1 is a key factor in the upstream branch of the MYCN-MYC and CDK4-CDK6-dependent regulation of G1/S phase transition. Indeed, in the developing neuroepithelium, in neural stem cells, and in cancer cells, we demonstrate that AMBRA1 regulates the expression of D-type cyclins by controlling both their proteasomal degradation and their MYCN-MYC-mediated transcription. Also, we show that this regulation axis maintains genome integrity during DNA replication, and we identify a possible line of treatment for tumors downregulating AMBRA1 and/or overexpressing CCND1 (cyclin D1), by demonstrating that AMBRA1-depleted cells carry an AMBRA1-loss-specific lethal sensitivity to CHEK1 inhibition. Interestingly, we show that this aspect is specific for AMBRA1 loss, because ATG7 knockdown does not display the same response to CHEK1 inhibitors. Hence, our findings underscore that the AMBRA1-CCND1 pathway represents a novel crucial mechanism of cell cycle regulation, deeply interconnected with genomic stability in development and cancer.
    Keywords:  AMBRA1; cancer; cell cycle regulation; cyclin D1; neurodevelopment; replication stress; synthetic lethality
  46. RNA Biol. 2021 Oct 21. 1-19
      Non-membrane-bound compartments such as P-bodies (PBs) and stress granules (SGs) play important roles in the regulation of gene expression following environmental stresses. We have systematically and quantitatively determined the protein and mRNA composition of PBs and SGs formed before and after nutrient stress. We find that high molecular weight (HMW) complexes exist prior to glucose depletion that we propose may act as seeds for further condensation of proteins forming mature PBs and SGs. We identify an enrichment of proteins with low complexity and RNA binding domains, as well as long, structured mRNAs that are poorly translated following nutrient stress. Many proteins and mRNAs are shared between PBs and SGs including several multivalent RNA binding proteins that promote condensate interactions during liquid-liquid phase separation. We uncover numerous common protein and RNA components across PBs and SGs that support a complex interaction profile during the maturation of these biological condensates. These interaction networks represent a tuneable response to stress, highlighting previously unrecognized condensate heterogeneity. These studies therefore provide an integrated and quantitative understanding of the dynamic nature of key biological condensates.
    Keywords:  RNA fate; Stress granules; glucose depletion yeast; p-bodies; translational control
  47. Mol Cancer Res. 2021 Oct 20. pii: molcanres.0342.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      Dysregulation of Notch signaling has been implicated in cellular transformation and tumorigenesis in a variety of cancers while potential roles of MIB1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase required for efficient Notch activation, remains to be investigated. We analyzed MIB1 expression levels in tumor samples and performed gain- and loss-of-function studies in cell lines to investigate potential roles of MIB1 in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), cell migration and cell survival. We found that overexpression of MIB1 is detected in a subset of lung squamous carcinoma and adenocarcinoma samples and negative correlation is observed between MIB1 expression and overall patient survival. Ectopic expression of MIB1 in A549 cells induces EMT and stimulates cell migration via a Notch-dependent pathway. Meanwhile, MIB1 stimulates the degradation of NRF2 in a Notch-independent manner and disrupts the antioxidant capacity of cells, rendering them more sensitive to inducers of ferroptosis. On the other hand, MIB1 knockout induces accumulation of NRF2 and resistance to ferroptosis. Collectively, these results indicate that MIB1 may function as a positive regulator of ferroptosis through targeted degradation of the master anti-oxidant transcription factor NRF2. Implications: This study identifies a MIB1-induced proteasomal degradation pathway for NRF2 and reveals elevated ferroptosis sensitivity in MIB1-overexpressing cells which may provide novel insights into the treatment of MIB1-overexpressing cancers.
  48. Mol Cancer Ther. 2021 Oct 21. pii: molcanther.0334.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      A noninvasive test to discriminate indolent prostate cancers from lethal ones would focus treatment where necessary while reducing over-treatment. We exploited the known activity of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) as a chaperone critical for the function of numerous oncogenic drivers, including the androgen receptor and its variants, to detect aggressive prostate cancer. We linked a near infrared fluorescing molecule to an HSP90 binding drug and demonstrated that this probe (designated HS196) was highly sensitive and specific for detecting implanted prostate cancer cell lines with greater uptake by more aggressive subtypes. In a phase I human study, systemically administered HS196 could be detected in malignant nodules within prostatectomy specimens. Single-cell RNA sequencing identified uptake of HS196 by malignant prostate epithelium from the peripheral zone (AMACR+ERG+EPCAM+ cells), including SYP+ neuroendocrine cells that are associated with therapeutic resistance and metastatic progression. A theranostic version of this molecule is under clinical testing.
  49. Mol Cell. 2021 Oct 21. pii: S1097-2765(21)00778-4. [Epub ahead of print]81(20): 4114-4115
      Huang et al. (2021) show that proteins containing aspartate- and glutamate-rich stretches represent a putative new class of ATP-independent molecular chaperones that operate on diverse client proteins in vitro and protect bona fide interactors against aggregation in cells.
  50. RNA. 2021 Oct 20. pii: rna.079000.121. [Epub ahead of print]
      RNP granules are ubiquitous features of eukaryotic cells. Several observations argue that the formation of at least some RNP granules can be considered analogous to the formation of unfolded protein aggregates. First, unfolded protein aggregates form from the exposure of promiscuous protein interaction surfaces, while some mRNP granules form, at least in part, by promiscuous intermolecular RNA-RNA interactions due to exposed RNA surfaces when mRNAs are not engaged with ribosomes. Second, analogous to the role of protein chaperones in preventing misfolded protein aggregation, cells contain abundant "RNA chaperones" to limit inappropriate RNA-RNA interactions and prevent mRNP granule formation. Third, analogous to the role of protein aggregates in diseases, situations where RNA aggregation exceeds the capacity of RNA chaperones to disaggregate RNAs may contribute to human disease. Understanding that RNP granules can be considered as promiscuous, reversible RNA aggregation events allows insight into their composition and how cells have evolved functions for RNP granules.
    Keywords:  RNA aggregates; RNA chaperones; eIF4A; stress granules
  51. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Oct 11. pii: 5076. [Epub ahead of print]13(20):
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients have a dismal prognosis due in large part to chemotherapy resistance. However, a small subset containing defects in the DNA damage response (DDR) pathways are chemotherapy-sensitive. Identifying intrinsic and therapeutically inducible DDR defects can improve precision and efficacy of chemotherapies for PDAC. DNA repair requires dynamic reorganization of chromatin-associated proteins, which is orchestrated by the AAA+ ATPase VCP. We recently discovered that the DDR function of VCP is selectively activated by Ser784 phosphorylation. In this paper, we show that pSer784-VCP but not total VCP levels in primary PDAC tumors negatively correlate with patient survival. In PDAC cell lines, different pSer784-VCP levels are induced by genotoxic chemotherapy agents and positively correlate with genome stability and cell survival. Causal effects of pSer784-VCP on DNA repair and cell survival were confirmed using VCP knockdown and functional rescue. Importantly, DNA damage-induced pSer784-VCP rather than total VCP levels in PDAC cell lines predict their chemotherapy response and chemo-sensitizing ability of selective VCP inhibitor NMS-873. Therefore, pSer784-VCP drives genotoxic chemotherapy resistance of PDAC, and can potentially be used as a predictive biomarker as well as a sensitizing target to enhance the chemotherapy response of PDAC.
    Keywords:  DNA damage response; chemotherapy predictive biomarker; chemotherapy resistance; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; synthetic lethality
  52. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Oct 19. 12(11): 965
      Expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-associated genes is often dysregulated in cancer progression. ER protein 29 (ERp29) is abnormally expressed in many neoplasms and plays an important role in tumorigenesis. Here, we showed ERp29 is a novel target for microRNA-135a-5p (miR-135a-5p) to inhibit the progression of colorectal cancer (CRC); correspondingly, ERp29 acts as an oncoprotein in CRC by promoting proliferation and metastasis of CRC cells, and suppressing apoptosis of the cells. More importantly, we found that miR-135a-5p expression is reversely upregulated by ERp29 through suppressing IL-1β-elicited methylation of miR-135a-5p promoter region, a process for enterocyte to maintain a balance between miR-135a-5p and ERp29 but dysregulated in CRC. Our study reveals a novel feedback regulation loop between miR-135a-5p and ERp29 that is critical for maintaining appropriate level of each of them, but partially imbalanced in CRC, resulting in abnormal expression of miR-135a-5p and ERp29, which further accelerates CRC progression. We provide supporting evidence for ERp29 and miR-135a-5p as potential biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment of CRC.
  53. Cell Death Discov. 2021 Oct 18. 7(1): 298
      The increasing incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is of great concern globally, but the molecular pathogenesis of these tumors remains unclear. Sorafenib is a first-line drug for the treatment of advanced HCC. However, the efficacy of sorafenib in improving patient survival is limited, and most patients inevitably develop resistance to this drug. Recent studies have demonstrated that the activation of the IRE1α-XBP1s pathway might play a protective role in the response to sorafenib and contribute to malignancy in HCC. Here, we found that RCN1, an endoplasmic reticulum resident protein, is significantly upregulated in sorafenib-resistant HCC cells and promotes tumor progression. Our analysis showed that RCN1 may be an independent predictor of tumor recurrence and overall survival. Mechanistically, RCN1 promotes the dissociation of GRP78 from IRE1α in sorafenib-resistant cells by interacting with GRP78 through its EFh1/2 domain. Subsequently, the IRE1α-XBP1s pathway, a branch of the unfolded protein response, is sustainably activated. Interestingly, IRE1α-XBP1s pathway activity is required for c-MYC signaling, one of the most highly activated oncogenic pathways in HCC. These results suggest that RCN1-targeted therapy might be a feasible strategy for the treatment of HCC.