bims-proteo Biomed News
on Proteostasis
Issue of 2021‒12‒26
thirty-two papers selected by
Eric Chevet

  1. Cells. 2021 Nov 28. pii: 3337. [Epub ahead of print]10(12):
      As one of the largest organelles in eukaryotic cells, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) plays a vital role in the synthesis, folding, and assembly of secretory and membrane proteins. To maintain its homeostasis, the ER is equipped with an elaborate network of protein folding chaperones and multiple quality control pathways whose cooperative actions safeguard the fidelity of protein biogenesis. However, due to genetic abnormalities, the error-prone nature of protein folding and assembly, and/or defects or limited capacities of the protein quality control systems, nascent proteins may become misfolded and fail to exit the ER. If not cleared efficiently, the progressive accumulation of misfolded proteins within the ER may result in the formation of toxic protein aggregates, leading to the so-called "ER storage diseases". In this review, we first summarize our current understanding of the protein folding and quality control networks in the ER, including chaperones, unfolded protein response (UPR), ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD), and ER-selective autophagy (ER-phagy). We then survey recent research progress on a few ER storage diseases, with a focus on the role of ER quality control in the disease etiology, followed by a discussion on outstanding questions and emerging concepts in the field.
    Keywords:  ER; ER storage disease; ER-associated protein degradation; ER-phagy; chaperone; protein aggregate; unfolded protein response
  2. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2021 Dec 24. 79(1): 9
      Accumulation of misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) induces a well-orchestrated cellular response to reduce the protein burden within the ER. This unfolded protein response (UPR) is controlled primarily by three transmembrane proteins, IRE1α, ATF6, and PERK, the activity of which is controlled by BiP, the ER-resident Hsp70 protein. Binding of BiP to co-chaperones via their highly conserved J-domains stimulates the intrinsic ATPase activity of BiP, thereby providing the energy necessary for (re-)folding of proteins, or for targeting of misfolded proteins to the degradation pathway, processes specified and controlled by the respective co-chaperone. In this review, our aim is to elucidate the function of the co-chaperone ERDJ4, also known as MDG1, MDJ7, or DNAJB9. Knockout and knockin experiments clearly point to the central role of ERDJ4 in controlling lipogenesis and protein synthesis by promoting degradation of SREBP1c and the assembly of the protein complex mTORC2. Accumulating data reveal that ERDJ4 controls epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, a central process during embryogenesis, in wound healing, and tumor development. Overexpression of ERdj4 has been shown to improve engraftment of transplanted human stem cells, possibly due to its ability to promote cellular survival in stressed cells. High ERDJ4-plasma levels are specific for fibrillary glomerulonephritis and serve as a diagnostic marker. As outlined in this review, the functions of ERDJ4 are manifold, depending on the cellular (patho-) physiological state, the cellular protein repertoire, and the subcellular localization of ERDJ4.
    Keywords:  BiP/GRP78; Cell differentiation; Diabetes; ERAD; HSP70; UPR
  3. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2021 Dec 17. pii: S1535-9476(21)00160-2. [Epub ahead of print] 100188
      AGR2 is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) known to be overexpressed in many human epithelial cancers, and is involved in cell migration, cellular transformation, angiogenesis, and metastasis. This protein inhibits the activity of the tumor suppressor p53 and its expression levels can be used to predict cancer patient outcome. However, the precise network of AGR2-interacting partners and clients remains to be fully characterized. Herein, we used label-free quantification and also SILAC-based LC-MS/MS analyses to identify proteins interacting with AGR2. Functional annotation confirmed that AGR2 and its interaction partners are associated with processes in the ER that maintain intracellular metabolic homeostasis and participate in the unfolded protein response, including those associated with changes in cellular metabolism, energy, and redox states in response to ER stress. As a proof of concept, the interaction between AGR2 and PDIA3, another ER resident PDI, was studied in more detail. Pathway analysis revealed that AGR2 and PDIA3 play roles in protein folding in ER, including posttranslational modification and in cellular response to stress. We confirmed the AGR2-PDIA3 complex formation in cancer cells, which was enhanced in response to ER stress. Accordingly, molecular docking characterized potential quaternary structure of this complex, however, it remains to be elucidated whether (i) AGR2 rather contributes to PDIA3 maturation in ER, (ii) the complex directly acts in cellular signaling, or (iii) mediates AGR2 secretion. Our study provides a comprehensive insight into the protein-protein interaction network of AGR2 by identifying functionally relevant proteins and related cellular and biochemical pathways associated with the role of AGR2 in cancer cells.
    Keywords:  anterior gradient protein 2; mass spectrometry; protein disulfide isomerase; protein-protein interactions; secretory pathway
  4. FASEB J. 2022 Jan;36(1): e22121
      Protein aggregation and degradation via autophagy (aggrephagy) are major strategies adopted by cells to remove misfolded polypeptides when there is proteasome dysfunction. The functional protein complex consisting of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), cochaperone ubiquitin ligase carboxyl-terminal of Hsp70/Hsp90 interacting protein (CHIP), and co-chaperone Bcl-2-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) has been associated with the activation of protein aggregation. However, data on the mechanisms of action of the complex in the protein degradation remains scant. Here, we report that upon proteasome stress, the M2 isoform of pyruvate kinase (PKM2) promotes the aggregation of ubiquitinated proteins and its knockout or knockdown aggravates the sensitivity of cells to proteasome inhibitors. Besides, following proteasome inhibition, PKM2 promotes the interaction of BAG3 with CHIP and HSP70. Interestingly, re-expression of loss-of-function mutants in PKM2-knockout cells showed that the regulatory function of PKM2 in this progress does not depend on the activity of glycolytic enzymes or protein kinases. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that PKM2 mediates the formation of the CHIP-HSP70-BAG3 protein complex and promotes the aggregation of ubiquitinated misfolded proteins, thus compensating for proteasome stress in cells.
    Keywords:  BAG3; PKM2; aggregation; aggresome; proteasome inhibition
  5. Mol Cell. 2021 Dec 15. pii: S1097-2765(21)01035-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      The hexameric Cdc48 ATPase (p97 or VCP in mammals) cooperates with its cofactor Ufd1/Npl4 to extract polyubiquitinated proteins from membranes or macromolecular complexes for degradation by the proteasome. Here, we clarify how the Cdc48 complex unfolds its substrates and translocates polypeptides with branchpoints. The Cdc48 complex recognizes primarily polyubiquitin chains rather than the attached substrate. Cdc48 and Ufd1/Npl4 cooperatively bind the polyubiquitin chain, resulting in the unfolding of one ubiquitin molecule (initiator). Next, the ATPase pulls on the initiator ubiquitin and moves all ubiquitin molecules linked to its C terminus through the central pore of the hexameric double ring, causing transient ubiquitin unfolding. When the ATPase reaches the isopeptide bond of the substrate, it can translocate and unfold both N- and C-terminal segments. Ubiquitins linked to the branchpoint of the initiator dissociate from Ufd1/Npl4 and move outside the central pore, resulting in the release of unfolded, polyubiquitinated substrate from Cdc48.
    Keywords:  AAA ATPase; Npl4; Ufd1; VCP; p97; translocation; ubiquitin; unfolding
  6. Nature. 2021 Dec 22.
      Maintaining a healthy proteome is fundamental for the survival of all organisms1. Integral to this are Hsp90 and Hsp70, molecular chaperones that together facilitate the folding, remodelling and maturation of the many 'client proteins' of Hsp902. The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a model client protein that is strictly dependent on Hsp90 and Hsp70 for activity3-7. Chaperoning GR involves a cycle of inactivation by Hsp70; formation of an inactive GR-Hsp90-Hsp70-Hop 'loading' complex; conversion to an active GR-Hsp90-p23 'maturation' complex; and subsequent GR release8. However, to our knowledge, a molecular understanding of this intricate chaperone cycle is lacking for any client protein. Here we report the cryo-electron microscopy structure of the GR-loading complex, in which Hsp70 loads GR onto Hsp90, uncovering the molecular basis of direct coordination by Hsp90 and Hsp70. The structure reveals two Hsp70 proteins, one of which delivers GR and the other scaffolds the Hop cochaperone. Hop interacts with all components of the complex, including GR, and poises Hsp90 for subsequent ATP hydrolysis. GR is partially unfolded and recognized through an extended binding pocket composed of Hsp90, Hsp70 and Hop, revealing the mechanism of GR loading and inactivation. Together with the GR-maturation complex structure9, we present a complete molecular mechanism of chaperone-dependent client remodelling, and establish general principles of client recognition, inhibition, transfer and activation.
  7. J Neurochem. 2021 Dec 22.
      The neural precursor cell expressed developmentally downregulated protein 4-like (Nedd4-2) is an E3 ubiquitin ligase critical for neurodevelopment and homeostasis of neural circuit excitability. While dysregulation of Nedd4-2 has been linked to elevated seizure susceptibility through impaired ubiquitination of multiple direct substrates, it remains largely unclear whether Nedd4-2 interconnects other cellular pathways that affect neuronal activity and seizure susceptibility. Here, we first showed that Nedd4-2 associates with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and regulates the expression of multiple ER resident proteins. Further, utilizing Nedd4-2 conditional knockout mice, we showed that Nedd4-2 is required for the maintenance of spontaneous neural activity and excitatory synapses following the induction of ER stress. When analyzing activation of the canonical pathways of ER stress response, we found that Nedd4-2 is required for phosphorylation of eIF2α. While phosphorylation of eIF2α has been shown to reduce seizure susceptibility, attempts to facilitate phosphorylation of eIF2α in Nedd4-2 conditional knockout mice failed to produce such a beneficial function, suggesting a role for Nedd4-2 in integrating the ER stress response to modulate seizure susceptibility. Altogether, our study demonstrates neuroprotective functions of Nedd4-2 during ER stress in neurons and could provide insight into neurological diseases in which the expression or activity of Nedd4-2 is impaired.
    Keywords:  Nedd4-2; eIF2α; endoplasmic reticulum; seizure; stress
  8. Nature. 2021 Dec 22.
      Hsp90 is a conserved and essential molecular chaperone responsible for the folding and activation of hundreds of 'client' proteins1-3. The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a model client that constantly depends on Hsp90 for activity4-9. GR ligand binding was previously shown to nr inhibited by Hsp70 and restored by Hsp90, aided by the co-chaperone p2310. However, a molecular understanding of the chaperone-mediated remodelling that occurs between the inactive Hsp70-Hsp90 'client-loading complex' and an activated Hsp90-p23 'client-maturation complex' is lacking for any client, including GR. Here we present a cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of the human GR-maturation complex (GR-Hsp90-p23), revealing that the GR ligand-binding domain is restored to a folded, ligand-bound conformation, while being simultaneously threaded through the Hsp90 lumen. In addition, p23 directly stabilizes native GR using a C-terminal helix, resulting in enhanced ligand binding. This structure of a client bound to Hsp90 in a native conformation contrasts sharply with the unfolded kinase-Hsp90 structure11. Thus, aided by direct co-chaperone-client interactions, Hsp90 can directly dictate client-specific folding outcomes. Together with the GR-loading complex structure12, we present the molecular mechanism of chaperone-mediated GR remodelling, establishing the first, to our knowledge, complete chaperone cycle for any Hsp90 client.
  9. Biomolecules. 2021 Dec 03. pii: 1821. [Epub ahead of print]11(12):
      The diverse functions of proteins depend on their proper three-dimensional folding and assembly. Misfolded cellular proteins can potentially harm cells by forming aggregates in their resident compartments that can interfere with vital cellular processes or sequester important factors. Protein quality control (PQC) pathways are responsible for the repair or destruction of these abnormal proteins. Most commonly, the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is employed to recognize and degrade those proteins that cannot be refolded by molecular chaperones. Misfolded substrates are ubiquitylated by a subset of ubiquitin ligases (also called E3s) that operate in different cellular compartments. Recent research in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has shown that the most prominent ligases mediating cytoplasmic and nuclear PQC have overlapping yet distinct substrate specificities. Many substrates have been characterized that can be targeted by more than one ubiquitin ligase depending on their localization, and cytoplasmic PQC substrates can be directed to the nucleus for ubiquitylation and degradation. Here, we review some of the major yeast PQC ubiquitin ligases operating in the nucleus and cytoplasm, as well as current evidence indicating how these ligases can often function redundantly toward substrates in these compartments.
    Keywords:  degron; proteasome; protein degradation; protein quality control; ubiquitin; ubiquitin ligase
  10. EMBO J. 2021 Dec 23. e108823
      Polyubiquitination by E2 and E3 enzymes is crucial to cell cycle control, epigenetic regulation, and development. The hallmark of the E2 family is the ubiquitin (Ub)-conjugating (UBC) domain that forms a dynamic thioester conjugate with ubiquitin (E2~Ub). Numerous studies have focused on E2 surfaces, such as the N-terminal and crossover helices, that directly interact with an E3 or the conjugated ubiquitin to stabilize the active, "closed" state of the E2~Ub. However, it remains unclear how other E2 surfaces regulate ubiquitin transfer. Here, we demonstrate the helix-turn-helix (HTH) motif of the UBC tunes the intrinsic polyubiquitination activity through distinct functions in different E2s. Interestingly, the E2HTH motif is repurposed in UBE2S and UBE2R2 to interact with the conjugated or acceptor ubiquitin, respectively, modulating ubiquitin transfer. Furthermore, we propose that Anaphase-Promoting Complex/Cyclosome binding to the UBE2SHTH reduces the conformational space of the flexible E2~Ub, demonstrating an atypical E3-dependent activation mechanism. Altogether, we postulate the E2HTH motif evolved to provide new functionalities that can be harnessed by E3s and permits additional regulation to facilitate specific E2-E3-mediated polyubiquitination.
    Keywords:  Anaphase-Promoting Complex/Cyclosome; E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme; RING E3 ubiquitin ligase; UBE2R; UBE2S
  11. EMBO Rep. 2021 Dec 20. e51182
      The HECT-type ubiquitin E3 ligases including ITCH regulate many aspects of cellular function through ubiquitinating various substrates. These ligases are known to be allosterically autoinhibited and to require an activator protein to fully achieve the ubiquitination of their substrates. Here we demonstrate that FAM189A2, a downregulated gene in breast cancer, encodes a new type of ITCH activator. FAM189A2 is a transmembrane protein harboring PPxY motifs, and the motifs mediate its association with and ubiquitination by ITCH. FAM189A2 also associates with Epsin and accumulates in early and late endosomes along with ITCH. Intriguingly, FAM189A2 facilitates the association of a chemokine receptor CXCR4 with ITCH and enhances ITCH-mediated ubiquitination of CXCR4. FAM189A2-knockout prohibits CXCL12-induced endocytosis of CXCR4, thereby enhancing the effects of CXCL12 on the chemotaxis and mammosphere formation of breast cancer cells. In comparison to other activators or adaptors known in the previous studies, FAM189A2 is a unique activator for ITCH to desensitize CXCR4 activity, and we here propose that FAM189A2 be renamed as ENdosomal TRansmembrane binding with EPsin (ENTREP).
    Keywords:  CXCR4; ENTREP; FAM189A2; ITCH; breast cancer
  12. Mol Cell. 2021 Dec 16. pii: S1097-2765(21)01033-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Neurodevelopmental cognitive disorders provide insights into mechanisms of human brain development. Here, we report an intellectual disability syndrome caused by the loss of APC7, a core component of the E3 ubiquitin ligase anaphase promoting complex (APC). In mechanistic studies, we uncover a critical role for APC7 during the recruitment and ubiquitination of APC substrates. In proteomics analyses of the brain from mice harboring the patient-specific APC7 mutation, we identify the chromatin-associated protein Ki-67 as an APC7-dependent substrate of the APC in neurons. Conditional knockout of the APC coactivator protein Cdh1, but not Cdc20, leads to the accumulation of Ki-67 protein in neurons in vivo, suggesting that APC7 is required for the function of Cdh1-APC in the brain. Deregulated neuronal Ki-67 upon APC7 loss localizes predominantly to constitutive heterochromatin. Our findings define an essential function for APC7 and Cdh1-APC in neuronal heterochromatin regulation, with implications for understanding human brain development and disease.
    Keywords:  APC7; Cdh1; Ki-67; anaphase-promoting complex; brain; chromatin; heterochromatin; neurodevelopment; ubiquitin; ubiquitin ligase
  13. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2021 Dec 21. pii: S1084-9521(21)00317-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      mRNAs translation to proteins constitutes an important step of cellular gene expression that is highly regulated in response to different extracellular stimuli and stress situations. The fine control of protein synthesis is carried out both qualitatively and quantitatively, depending on the cellular demand at each moment. Post-translational modifications, in turn regulated by intracellular signaling pathways, play a key role in translation regulation. Among them, ubiquitination, whose role is becoming increasingly important in the control of translation, determines a correct balance between protein synthesis and degradation. In this review we focus on the role of ubiquitination (both degradative K48-linkage type and non-degradative K63-linkage type and monoubiquitination) in eukaryotic translation, both at the pre-translational level during the biogenesis/degradation of the components of translational machinery as well as at the co-translational level under stressful conditions. We also discuss other ubiquitin-dependent regulatory mechanisms of mRNA protection and resumption of translation after stress removal, where the ubiquitination of ribosomal proteins and associated regulatory proteins play an important role in the global rhythm of translation.
    Keywords:  Proteasome; Ribosome; Stress condition; Translation; Ubiquitination
  14. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Dec 28. pii: e2103015118. [Epub ahead of print]118(52):
      In the cell, the conformations of nascent polypeptide chains during translation are modulated by both the ribosome and its associated molecular chaperone, trigger factor. The specific interactions that underlie these modulations, however, are still not known in detail. Here, we combine protein engineering, in-cell and in vitro NMR spectroscopy, and molecular dynamics simulations to explore how proteins interact with the ribosome during their biosynthesis before folding occurs. Our observations of α-synuclein nascent chains in living Escherichia coli cells reveal that ribosome surface interactions dictate the dynamics of emerging disordered polypeptides in the crowded cytosol. We show that specific basic and aromatic motifs drive such interactions and directly compete with trigger factor binding while biasing the direction of the nascent chain during its exit out of the tunnel. These results reveal a structural basis for the functional role of the ribosome as a scaffold with holdase characteristics and explain how handover of the nascent chain to specific auxiliary proteins occurs among a host of other factors in the cytosol.
    Keywords:  NMR spectroscopy; alpha synuclein; cotranslational folding; in-cell NMR; structural biology
  15. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2021 Dec 15. pii: S0006-291X(21)01680-6. [Epub ahead of print]588 55-60
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is equipped with protein disulfide isomerases (PDIs), molecular chaperons, and other folding enzymes to ensure that newly synthesized proteins in the ER are properly folded. Molecular chaperons and PDIs can form complex to promote protein folding in the ER of mammalian cells. In plants, many PDIs associate with each other and function cooperatively in oxidative protein folding. As a plant unique protein disulfide isomerase, Arabidopsis thaliana PDI11 (AtPDI11) demonstrates oxidative protein folding activities and works synergistically with AtPDI2/5. However, whether AtPDI11 associates with molecular chaperons or AtPDIs in catalyzing disulfide formation remained unknown. Here, we find that AtPDI11 interacts with ER resident lectin chaperones calreticulin 1 (CRT1) and CRT2. Furthermore, the D domain, but not the a or a' domain of AtPDI11 provides the biding sites for its interaction with CRT1/2. Moreover, the P domain of CRT1 is responsible for its interaction with AtPDI11. Our work implies that Arabidopsis CRT1/2 may specifically recruit AtPDI11 to assist the folding of glycoproteins in the ER.
    Keywords:  Arabidopsis; AtPDI11; Calreticulin 1; Endoplasmic reticulum
  16. Mol Biol Cell. 2021 Dec 22. mbcE21100493
      J-domain protein cochaperones drive much of the functional diversity of Hsp70-based chaperone systems. Sis1 is the only essential J-domain protein of the cytosol/nucleus of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Why it is required for cell growth is not understood, nor is how critical its role in regulation of heat shock transcription factor 1 (Hsf1). We report that single residue substitutions in Tti1, a component of the heterotrimeric TTT complex, a specialized chaperone system for phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-related kinase (PIKK) proteins, allow growth of cells lacking Sis1. Upon depletion of Sis1, cells become hypersensitive to rapamycin, a specific inhibitor of TORC1 kinase. In addition, levels of the three essential PIKKs (Mec1, Tra1, and Tor2), as well as Tor1, decrease upon Sis1depletion. Overexpression of Tti1 allows growth, without an increase in the other subunits of the TTT complex, Tel2 and Tti2, suggesting that it can function independent of the complex. Cells lacking Sis1, with viability supported by Tti1 suppressor, substantially upregulate some, but not all, heat shock elements activated by Hsf1. Together, our results suggest that Sis1 is required as a cochaperone of Hsp70 for the folding/maintenance of PIKKs making Sis1 an essential gene, and its requirement for Hsf1 regulation is more nuanced than generally appreciated.
  17. Autophagy. 2021 Dec 19. 1-17
      Early events during development leading to exit from a pluripotent state and commitment toward a specific germ layer still need in depth understanding. Autophagy has been shown to play a crucial role in both development and differentiation. This study employs human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells to understand the early events of lineage commitment with respect to the role of autophagy in this process. Our data indicate that a dip in autophagy facilitates exit from pluripotency. Upon exit, we demonstrate that the modulation of autophagy affects SOX2 levels and lineage commitment, with induction of autophagy promoting SOX2 degradation and mesendoderm formation, whereas inhibition of autophagy causes SOX2 accumulation and neuroectoderm formation. Thus, our results indicate that autophagy-mediated SOX2 turnover is a determining factor for lineage commitment. These findings will deepen our understanding of development and lead to improved methods to derive different lineages and cell types.Abbreviations: ACTB: Actin, beta; ATG: Autophagy-related; BafA1: Bafilomycin A1; CAS9: CRISPR associated protein 9; CQ: Chloroquine; DE: Definitive endoderm; hESCs: Human Embryonic Stem Cells; hiPSCs: Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells; LAMP1: Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein 1; MAP1LC3: Microtubule-Associated Protein 1 Light Chain 3; MTOR: Mechanistic Target Of Rapamycin Kinase; NANOG: Nanog Homeobox; PAX6: Paired Box 6; PE: Phosphatidylethanolamine; POU5F1: POU class 5 Homeobox 1; PRKAA2: Protein Kinase AMP-Activated Catalytic Subunit Alpha 2; SOX2: SRY-box Transcription Factor 2; SQSTM1: Sequestosome 1; ULK1: unc-51 like Autophagy Activating Kinase 1; WDFY3: WD Repeat and FYVE Domain Containing 3.
    Keywords:  Autophagosome; SOX2; differentiation; ectoderm; endoderm; mesoderm; pluripotent stem cells
  18. Dev Cell. 2021 Dec 20. pii: S1534-5807(21)00990-4. [Epub ahead of print]56(24): 3305-3306
      Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and microtubule (MT) interactions have been observed in different cell types. However, how these interactions are regulated remains unknown. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Nourbakhsh et al. show that an ER-localized kinase, TAOK2, catalyzes the dynamic tethering of the ER tip to the MT tip.
  19. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 760226
      The maintenance of genome stability requires dedicated DNA repair processes and pathways that are essential for the faithful duplication and propagation of chromosomes. These DNA repair mechanisms counteract the potentially deleterious impact of the frequent genotoxic challenges faced by cells from both exogenous and endogenous agents. Intrinsic to these mechanisms, cells have an arsenal of protein factors that can be utilised to promote repair processes in response to DNA lesions. Orchestration of the protein factors within the various cellular DNA repair pathways is performed, in part, by post-translational modifications, such as phosphorylation, ubiquitin, SUMO and other ubiquitin-like modifiers (UBLs). In this review, we firstly explore recent advances in the tools for identifying factors involved in both DNA repair and ubiquitin signaling pathways. We then expand on this by evaluating the growing repertoire of proteomic, biochemical and structural techniques available to further understand the mechanistic basis by which these complex modifications regulate DNA repair. Together, we provide a snapshot of the range of methods now available to investigate and decode how ubiquitin signaling can promote DNA repair and maintain genome stability in mammalian cells.
    Keywords:  CRISPR-Cas9 screen; DNA damage; DNA repair; cross-linking mass spectrometry; cryo-EM; genome stability; proteomics; ubiquitin
  20. Biochem Soc Trans. 2021 Dec 23. pii: BST20210369. [Epub ahead of print]
      Proteostasis refers to a delicately tuned balance between the processes of protein synthesis, folding, localization, and the degradation of proteins found inside and outside cells. Our understanding of extracellular proteostasis is rather limited and largely restricted to knowledge of 11 currently established extracellular chaperones (ECs). This review will briefly outline what is known of the established ECs, before moving on to discuss experimental strategies used to identify new members of this growing family, and an examination of a group of putative new ECs identified using one of these approaches. An observation that emerges from an analysis of the expanding number of ECs is that all of these proteins are multifunctional. Strikingly, the armory of activities each possess uniquely suit them as a group to act together at sites of tissue damage, infection, and inflammation to restore homeostasis. Lastly, we highlight outstanding questions to guide future research in this field.
    Keywords:  extracellular chaperones; extracellular proteostasis; protein conformation; protein misfolding
  21. Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Dec 20. pii: gkab1231. [Epub ahead of print]
      The production of ribosomes is an energy-intensive process owing to the intricacy of these massive macromolecular machines. Each human ribosome contains 80 ribosomal proteins and four non-coding RNAs. Accurate assembly requires precise regulation of protein and RNA subunits. In response to stress, the integrated stress response (ISR) rapidly inhibits global translation. How rRNA is coordinately regulated with the rapid inhibition of ribosomal protein synthesis is not known. Here, we show that stress specifically inhibits the first step of rRNA processing. Unprocessed rRNA is stored within the nucleolus, and when stress resolves, it re-enters the ribosome biogenesis pathway. Retention of unprocessed rRNA within the nucleolus aids in the maintenance of this organelle. This response is independent of the ISR or inhibition of cellular translation but is independently regulated. Failure to coordinately control ribosomal protein translation and rRNA production results in nucleolar fragmentation. Our study unveils how the rapid translational shut-off in response to stress coordinates with rRNA synthesis production to maintain nucleolar integrity.
  22. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Jan 04. pii: e2116142119. [Epub ahead of print]119(1):
      Recent advances in super-resolution microscopy revealed the previously unknown nanoscopic level of organization of endoplasmic reticulum (ER), one of the most vital intracellular organelles. Membrane nanostructures of 10- to 100-nm intrinsic length scales, which include ER tubular matrices, ER sheet nanoholes, internal membranes of ER exit sites (ERES), and ER transport intermediates, were discovered and imaged in considerable detail, but the physical factors determining their unique geometrical features remained unknown. Here, we proposed and computationally substantiated a common concept for mechanisms of all ER nanostructures based on the membrane intrinsic curvature as a primary factor shaping the membrane and ultra-low membrane tensions as modulators of the membrane configurations. We computationally revealed a common structural motif underlying most of the nanostructures. We predicted the existence of a discrete series of equilibrium configurations of ER tubular matrices and recovered the one corresponding to the observations and favored by ultra-low tensions. We modeled the nanohole formation as resulting from a spontaneous collapse of elements of the ER tubular network adjacent to the ER sheet edge and calculated the nanohole dimensions. We proposed the ERES membrane to have a shape of a super flexible membrane bead chain, which acquires random walk configurations unless an ultra-low tension converts it into a straight conformation of a transport intermediate. The adequacy of the proposed concept is supported by a close qualitative and quantitative similarity between the predicted and observed configurations of all four ER nanostructures.
    Keywords:  endoplasmic reticulum; membrane curvature; membrane elasticity; membrane nanostructures; membrane shaping
  23. Elife. 2021 Dec 24. pii: e62645. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Rewired metabolism is a hallmark of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDA). Previously, we demonstrated that PDA cells enhance glycosylation precursor biogenesis through the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP) via activation of the rate limiting enzyme, glutamine-fructose 6-phosphate amidotransferase 1 (GFAT1). Here, we genetically ablated GFAT1 in human PDA cell lines, which completely blocked proliferation in vitro and led to cell death. In contrast, GFAT1 knockout did not preclude the growth of human tumor xenografts in mice, suggesting that cancer cells can maintain fidelity of glycosylation precursor pools by scavenging nutrients from the tumor microenvironment. We found that hyaluronic acid (HA), an abundant carbohydrate polymer in pancreatic tumors composed of repeating N-acetyl-glucosamine (GlcNAc) and glucuronic acid sugars, can bypass GFAT1 to refuel the HBP via the GlcNAc salvage pathway. Together, these data show HA can serve as a nutrient fueling PDA metabolism beyond its previously appreciated structural and signaling roles.
    Keywords:  cancer biology; human; mouse
  24. J Biol Chem. 2021 Dec 17. pii: S0021-9258(21)01324-7. [Epub ahead of print] 101514
      Recognition of human autophagy-related 8 (hATG8) proteins by autophagy receptors represents a critical step within this major cellular quality control system. Autophagy impairment is known to be a pathogenic mechanism in the motor neuron disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, overlapping but specific roles of hATG8 proteins belonging to the LC3 and GABARAP subfamilies are incompletely understood, and binding selectivity is typically overlooked. We previously showed an ALS-associated variant of the SQSTM1/p62 (p62) autophagy receptor bearing an L341V mutation within its ATG8-interacting motif (AIM) impairs recognition of LC3B in vitro, yielding an autophagy-deficient phenotype. Improvements in understanding the molecular basis of hATG8 recognition by AIMs now distinguish LC3-interaction and GABARAP-interaction motifs and predict the effects of L341V substitution may extend beyond loss-of-function to biasing AIM binding preference. Through biophysical analyses, we confirm impaired binding of the L341V-AIM mutant to LC3A, LC3B, GABARAP, and GABARAPL1. In contrast, p62 AIM interactions with LC3C and GABARAPL2 are unaffected by this mutation. Isothermal titration calorimetry and NMR investigations provided insights into the entropy-driven GABARAPL2/p62 interaction and how the L341V mutation may be tolerated. Competition binding also demonstrated reduced association of the L341V-AIM with one hATG8 manifests as a relative increase in association with alternate hATG8s, indicating effective reprogramming of hATG8 selectivity. These data highlight how a single AIM peptide might compete for binding with different hATG8s, and suggest the L341V-AIM mutation may be neomorphic, representative of a disease mechanism that likely extends into other human disorders.
    Keywords:  AIM; SQSTM1/p62; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; autophagy; hATG8
  25. Elife. 2021 Dec 23. pii: e72593. [Epub ahead of print]10
      The Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle (TCA) cycle is arguably the most critical metabolic cycle in physiology and exists as an essential interface coordinating cellular metabolism, bioenergetics, and redox homeostasis. Despite decades of research, a comprehensive investigation into the consequences of TCA cycle dysfunction remains elusive. Here, we targeted two TCA cycle enzymes, fumarate hydratase (FH) and succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), and combined metabolomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics analyses to fully appraise the consequences of TCA cycle inhibition (TCAi) in murine kidney epithelial cells. Our comparative approach shows that TCAi elicits a convergent rewiring of redox and amino acid metabolism dependent on the activation of ATF4 and the integrated stress response (ISR). Furthermore, we also uncover a divergent metabolic response, whereby acute FHi, but not SDHi, can maintain asparagine levels via reductive carboxylation and maintenance of cytosolic aspartate synthesis. Our work highlights an important interplay between the TCA cycle, redox biology and amino acid homeostasis.
    Keywords:  biochemistry; cell biology; chemical biology; mouse
  26. Nat Chem Biol. 2022 Jan;18(1): 8-17
      The vast array of cell types of multicellular organisms must individually fine-tune their internal metabolism. One important metabolic and stress regulatory mechanism is the dynamic attachment/removal of glucose-derived sugar N-acetylglucosamine on proteins (O-GlcNAcylation). The number of proteins modified by O-GlcNAc is bewildering, with at least 7,000 sites in human cells. The outstanding challenge is determining how key O-GlcNAc sites regulate a target pathway amidst thousands of potential global sites. Innovative solutions are required to address this challenge in cell models and disease therapy. This Perspective shares critical suggestions for the O-GlcNAc field gleaned from the international O-GlcNAc community. Further, we summarize critical tools and tactics to enable newcomers to O-GlcNAc biology to drive innovation at the interface of metabolism and disease. The growing pace of O-GlcNAc research makes this a timely juncture to involve a wide array of scientists and new toolmakers to selectively approach the regulatory roles of O-GlcNAc in disease.
  27. FASEB J. 2022 Jan;36(1): e22112
      The human RecQ DNA helicase, RECQL4, plays a pivotal role in maintaining genomic stability by regulating the DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) repair pathway, and is, thus, involved in the regulation of aging and cancer onset. However, the regulatory mechanisms of RECQL4, especially its post-translational modifications, have not been fully illustrated. Here, we report that the E2/E3 hybrid ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, UBE2O, physically interacts with RECQL4, and mediates the multi-monoubiquitinylation of RECQL4, subsequently leading to its proteasomal degradation. Functionally, we showed that UBE2O inhibits homologous recombination (HR)-mediated DSBs repair, and this inhibition depends on its E2 catalytic activity and RECQL4 expression. Mechanistically, we showed that UBE2O attenuates the interaction of RECQL4 and DNA damage repair proteins, the MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 complex and CtIP. Furthermore, we show that deubiquitinylase USP7 interacts with both UBE2O and RECQL4, and in that it antagonizes UBE2O-mediated regulation of RECQL4 stability and function. Collectively, we found a novel regulatory mechanism of ubiquitin-mediated regulation of RECQL4 in HR-mediated DSBs repair process.
    Keywords:  DNA damage repair; RECQL4; UBE2O; USP7; multi-monoubiquitinylation
  28. Nat Chem Biol. 2021 Dec 23.
      Small-molecule kinase inhibitors represent a major group of cancer therapeutics, but tumor responses are often incomplete. To identify pathways that modulate kinase inhibitor response, we conducted a genome-wide knockout (KO) screen in glioblastoma cells treated with the pan-ErbB inhibitor neratinib. Loss of general control nonderepressible 2 (GCN2) kinase rendered cells resistant to neratinib, whereas depletion of the GADD34 phosphatase increased neratinib sensitivity. Loss of GCN2 conferred neratinib resistance by preventing binding and activation of GCN2 by neratinib. Several other Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved inhibitors, such erlotinib and sunitinib, also bound and activated GCN2. Our results highlight the utility of genome-wide functional screens to uncover novel mechanisms of drug action and document the role of the integrated stress response (ISR) in modulating the response to inhibitors of oncogenic kinases.
  29. J Cell Biol. 2022 Feb 07. pii: e202105060. [Epub ahead of print]221(2):
      We report here two genome-wide CRISPR screens performed to identify genes that, when knocked out, alter levels of lysosomal cholesterol or bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate. In addition, these screens were also performed under conditions of NPC1 inhibition to identify modifiers of NPC1 function in lysosomal cholesterol export. The screens confirm tight coregulation of cholesterol and bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate in cells and reveal an unexpected role for the ER-localized SNX13 protein as a negative regulator of lysosomal cholesterol export and contributor to ER-lysosome membrane contact sites. In the absence of NPC1 function, SNX13 knockdown redistributes lysosomal cholesterol and is accompanied by triacylglycerol-rich lipid droplet accumulation and increased lysosomal bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate. These experiments provide unexpected insight into the regulation of lysosomal lipids and modification of these processes by novel gene products.
  30. Life Sci Alliance. 2022 Mar;pii: e202101185. [Epub ahead of print]5(3):
      The autophagy-lysosomal pathway is impaired in many neurodegenerative diseases characterized by protein aggregation, but the link between aggregation and lysosomal dysfunction remains poorly understood. Here, we combine cryo-electron tomography, proteomics, and cell biology studies to investigate the effects of protein aggregates in primary neurons. We use artificial amyloid-like β-sheet proteins (β proteins) to focus on the gain-of-function aspect of aggregation. These proteins form fibrillar aggregates and cause neurotoxicity. We show that late stages of autophagy are impaired by the aggregates, resulting in lysosomal alterations reminiscent of lysosomal storage disorders. Mechanistically, β proteins interact with and sequester AP-3 μ1, a subunit of the AP-3 adaptor complex involved in protein trafficking to lysosomal organelles. This leads to destabilization of the AP-3 complex, missorting of AP-3 cargo, and lysosomal defects. Restoring AP-3μ1 expression ameliorates neurotoxicity caused by β proteins. Altogether, our results highlight the link between protein aggregation, lysosomal impairments, and neurotoxicity.
  31. Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Dec 24. pii: gkab1267. [Epub ahead of print]
      Biogenesis of the U5 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) is an essential and highly regulated process. In particular, PRPF8, one of U5 snRNP main components, requires HSP90 working in concert with R2TP, a cochaperone complex containing RUVBL1 and RUVBL2 AAA-ATPases, and additional factors that are still poorly characterized. Here, we use biochemistry, interaction mapping, mass spectrometry and cryoEM to study the role of ZNHIT2 in the regulation of the R2TP chaperone during the biogenesis of PRPF8. ZNHIT2 forms a complex with R2TP which depends exclusively on the direct interaction of ZNHIT2 with the RUVBL1-RUVBL2 ATPases. The cryoEM analysis of this complex reveals that ZNHIT2 alters the conformation and nucleotide state of RUVBL1-RUVBL2, affecting its ATPase activity. We characterized the interactions between R2TP, PRPF8, ZNHIT2, ECD and AAR2 proteins. Interestingly, PRPF8 makes a direct interaction with R2TP and this complex can incorporate ZNHIT2 and other proteins involved in the biogenesis of PRPF8 such as ECD and AAR2. Together, these results show that ZNHIT2 participates in the assembly of the U5 snRNP as part of a network of contacts between assembly factors required for PRPF8 biogenesis and the R2TP-HSP90 chaperone, while concomitantly regulating the structure and nucleotide state of R2TP.
  32. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2021 Dec 18. pii: S1535-9476(21)00161-4. [Epub ahead of print] 100189
      Metabolism is recognized as an important driver of cancer progression and other complex diseases, but global metabolite profiling remains a challenge. Protein expression profiling is often a poor proxy since existing pathway enrichment models provide an incomplete mapping between the proteome and metabolism. To overcome these gaps, we introduce MOMENTA, an integrative multi-omic data analysis framework for more accurately deducing metabolic pathway changes from proteomics data alone in a gene set analysis context by leveraging protein interaction networks to extend annotated metabolic models. We apply MOMENTA to proteomic data from diverse cancer cell lines and human tumors to demonstrate its utility at revealing variation in metabolic pathway activity across cancer types, which we verify using independent metabolomics measurements. The novel metabolic networks we uncover in breast cancer and other tumors are linked to clinical outcomes, underscoring the pathophysiological relevance of the findings.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Multi-omic; Networks; Proteomics; Systems Biology