bims-proteo Biomed News
on Proteostasis
Issue of 2022‒01‒16
twenty-nine papers selected by
Eric Chevet

  1. EMBO Rep. 2022 Jan 10. e51679
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a subcellular organelle crucial for protein folding and calcium storage. Accumulation of unfolded proteins or calcium depletion causes ER stress. Deficiency of ER stress adaptation leads to apoptosis, which is associated with several human disorders. Here, we reveal that ER transmembrane protein EI24 promotes cell adaptation to ER stress by coordinating the IRE1 branch of the unfolded protein response (UPR) and calcium signaling. Under nonstressed conditions, EI24 binds to the kinase domain of IRE1 to inhibit its activation. Upon ER stress, EI24 disassociates from IRE1 to permit UPR activation, and meanwhile targets IP3R1 to prevent ER calcium depletion, which together promote cell adaptation to ER stress. EI24 knockout causes failure of ER stress adaptation and apoptosis. Thus, EI24 is a novel anti-apoptotic factor implicated in ER stress signaling.
    Keywords:  EI24; ER stress; apoptosis; calcium; unfolded protein response
  2. Autophagy. 2022 Jan 09. 1-22
      Intracellular pathogens have evolved various efficient molecular armaments to subvert innate defenses. Cellular ubiquitination, a normal physiological process to maintain homeostasis, is emerging one such exploited mechanism. Ubiquitin (Ub), a small protein modifier, is conjugated to diverse protein substrates to regulate many functions. Structurally diverse linkages of poly-Ub to target proteins allow enormous functional diversity with specificity being governed by evolutionarily conserved enzymes (E3-Ub ligases). The Ub-binding domain (UBD) and LC3-interacting region (LIR) are critical features of macroautophagy/autophagy receptors that recognize Ub-conjugated on protein substrates. Emerging evidence suggests that E3-Ub ligases unexpectedly protect against intracellular pathogens by tagging poly-Ub on their surfaces and targeting them to phagophores. Two E3-Ub ligases, PRKN and SMURF1, provide immunity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb). Both enzymes conjugate K63 and K48-linked poly-Ub to M. tb for successful delivery to phagophores. Intriguingly, M. tb exploits virulence factors to effectively dampen host-directed autophagy utilizing diverse mechanisms. Autophagy receptors contain LIR-motifs that interact with conserved Atg8-family proteins to modulate phagophore biogenesis and fusion to the lysosome. Intracellular pathogens have evolved a vast repertoire of virulence effectors to subdue host-immunity via hijacking the host ubiquitination process. This review highlights the xenophagy-mediated clearance of M. tb involving host E3-Ub ligases and counter-strategy of autophagy inhibition by M. tb using virulence factors. The role of Ub-binding receptors and their mode of autophagy regulation is also explained. We also discuss the co-opting and utilization of the host Ub system by M. tb for its survival and virulence.Abbreviations: APC: anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome; ATG5: autophagy related 5; BCG: bacille Calmette-Guerin; C2: Ca2+-binding motif; CALCOCO2: calcium binding and coiled-coil domain 2; CUE: coupling of ubiquitin conjugation to ER degradation domains; DUB: deubiquitinating enzyme; GABARAP: GABA type A receptor-associated protein; HECT: homologous to the E6-AP carboxyl terminus; IBR: in-between-ring fingers; IFN: interferon; IL1B: interleukin 1 beta; KEAP1: kelch like ECH associated protein 1; LAMP1: lysosomal associated membrane protein 1; LGALS: galectin; LIR: LC3-interacting region; MAPK11/p38: mitogen-activated protein kinase 11; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; MAP3K7/TAK1: mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 7; MAPK8/JNK: mitogen-activated protein kinase 8; MHC-II: major histocompatibility complex-II; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; NBR1: NBR1 autophagy cargo receptor; NFKB1/p50: nuclear factor kappa B subunit 1; OPTN: optineurin; PB1: phox and bem 1; PE/PPE: proline-glutamic acid/proline-proline-glutamic acid; PknG: serine/threonine-protein kinase PknG; PRKN: parkin RBR E3 ubiquitin protein ligase; RBR: RING-in between RING; RING: really interesting new gene; RNF166: RING finger protein 166; ROS: reactive oxygen species; SMURF1: SMAD specific E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 1; SQSTM1: sequestosome 1; STING1: stimulator of interferon response cGAMP interactor 1; TAX1BP1: Tax1 binding protein 1; TBK1: TANK binding kinase 1; TNF: tumor necrosis factor; TRAF6: TNF receptor associated factor 6; Ub: ubiquitin; UBA: ubiquitin-associated; UBAN: ubiquitin-binding domain in ABIN proteins and NEMO; UBD: ubiquitin-binding domain; UBL: ubiquitin-like; ULK1: unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; E3-Ub ligase; LC3; intracellular pathogens; phagolysosome; ubiquitin-binding receptors; virulence effectors; xenophagy
  3. Mol Biomed. 2021 Jul 30. 2(1): 23
      E3 ubiquitin ligases are a large family of enzymes that join in a three-enzyme ubiquitination cascade together with ubiquitin activating enzyme E1 and ubiquitin conjugating enzyme E2. E3 ubiquitin ligases play an essential role in catalyzing the ubiquitination process and transferring ubiquitin protein to attach the lysine site of targeted substrates. Importantly, ubiquitination modification is involved in almost all life activities of eukaryotes. Thus, E3 ligases might be involved in regulating various biological processes and cellular responses to stress signal associated with cancer development. Thanks to their multi-functions, E3 ligases can be a promising target of cancer therapy. A deeper understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of E3 ligases in tumorigenesis will help to find new prognostic markers and accelerate the growth of anticancer therapeutic approaches. In general, we mainly introduce the classifications of E3 ligases and their important roles in cancer progression and therapeutic functions.
    Keywords:  26S proteasome degradation; Cancer progression; E3 ligases; PROTACs; Therapeutics; Ubiquitination
  4. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2022 Jan 08.
      Targeted protein degradation is critical for proper cellular function and development. Protein degradation pathways, such as the ubiquitin proteasomes system, autophagy, and endosome-lysosome pathway, must be tightly regulated to ensure proper elimination of misfolded and aggregated proteins and regulate changing protein levels during cellular differentiation, while ensuring that normal proteins remain unscathed. Protein degradation pathways have also garnered interest as a means to selectively eliminate target proteins that may be difficult to inhibit via other mechanisms. On June 7 and 8, 2021, several experts in protein degradation pathways met virtually for the Keystone eSymposium "Targeting protein degradation: from small molecules to complex organelles." The event brought together researchers working in different protein degradation pathways in an effort to begin to develop a holistic, integrated vision of protein degradation that incorporates all the major pathways to understand how changes in them can lead to disease pathology and, alternatively, how they can be leveraged for novel therapeutics.
    Keywords:  aggregation; autophagy; lysophagy; proteasome; protein degradation; ubiquitin
  5. Commun Biol. 2022 Jan 11. 5(1): 16
      Adverse environmental and pathophysiological situations can overwhelm the biosynthetic capacity of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), igniting a potentially lethal condition known as ER stress. ER stress hampers growth and triggers a conserved cytoprotective signaling cascade, the unfolded protein response (UPR) for ER homeostasis. As ER stress subsides, growth is resumed. Despite the pivotal role of the UPR in growth restoration, the underlying mechanisms for growth resumption are yet unknown. To discover these, we undertook a genomics approach in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana and mined the gene reprogramming roles of the UPR modulators, basic leucine zipper28 (bZIP28) and bZIP60, in ER stress resolution. Through a network modeling and experimental validation, we identified key genes downstream of the UPR bZIP-transcription factors (bZIP-TFs), and demonstrated their functional roles. Our analyses have set up a critical pipeline for functional gene discovery in ER stress resolution with broad applicability across multicellular eukaryotes.
  6. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Dec 21. pii: 7. [Epub ahead of print]23(1):
      With few exceptions, proteins that constitute the proteome of mitochondria originate outside of this organelle in precursor forms. Such protein precursors follow dedicated transportation paths to reach specific parts of mitochondria, where they complete their maturation and perform their functions. Mitochondrial precursor targeting and import pathways are essential to maintain proper mitochondrial function and cell survival, thus are tightly controlled at each stage. Mechanisms that sustain protein homeostasis of the cytosol play a vital role in the quality control of proteins targeted to the organelle. Starting from their synthesis, precursors are constantly chaperoned and guided to reduce the risk of premature folding, erroneous interactions, or protein damage. The ubiquitin-proteasome system provides proteolytic control that is not restricted to defective proteins but also regulates the supply of precursors to the organelle. Recent discoveries provide evidence that stress caused by the mislocalization of mitochondrial proteins may contribute to disease development. Precursors are not only subject to regulation but also modulate cytosolic machinery. Here we provide an overview of the cellular pathways that are involved in precursor maintenance and guidance at the early cytosolic stages of mitochondrial biogenesis. Moreover, we follow the circumstances in which mitochondrial protein import deregulation disturbs the cellular balance, carefully looking for rescue paths that can restore proteostasis.
    Keywords:  mitochondrial biogenesis; molecular chaperone; proteasome; protein degradation; protein precursor; protein transport; proteostasis; quality control; ubiquitin
  7. Autophagy. 2022 Jan 09. 1-3
      The removal of mitochondria in a programmed or stress-induced manner is essential for maintaining cellular homeostasis. To date, much research has focused upon stress-induced mitophagy that is largely regulated by the E3 ligase PRKN, with limited insight into the mechanisms regulating basal "housekeeping" mitophagy levels in different model organisms. Using iron chelation as an inducer of PRKN-independent mitophagy, we recently screened an siRNA library of lipid-binding proteins and determined that two kinases, GAK and PRKCD, act as positive regulators of PRKN-independent mitophagy. We demonstrate that PRKCD is localized to mitochondria and regulates recruitment of ULK1-ATG13 upon induction of mitophagy. GAK activity, by contrast, modifies the mitochondrial network and lysosomal morphology that compromise efficient transport of mitochondria for degradation. Impairment of either kinase in vivo blocks basal mitophagy, demonstrating the biological relevance of our findings.Abbreviations: CCCP: carbonyl cyanide-m-chlorophenyl hydrazone; DFP: deferiprone; GAK: cyclin G associated kinase; HIF1A: hypoxia inducible factor 1 subunit alpha; PRKC/PKC: protein kinase C; PRKCD: protein kinase C delta; PRKN: parkin RBR E3 ubiquitin protein ligase.
    Keywords:  Cyclin-G-associated kinase; GAK; PKC; PRKCD; PRKN; mitophagy; protein kinase C
  8. Mol Neurobiol. 2022 Jan 09.
      The cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a ubiquitous glycoprotein highly expressed in the brain where it is involved in neurite outgrowth, copper homeostasis, NMDA receptor regulation, cell adhesion, and cell signaling. Conformational conversion of PrPC into its insoluble and aggregation-prone scrapie form (PrPSc) is the trigger for several rare devastating neurodegenerative disorders, collectively referred to as prion diseases. Recent work indicates that the ubiquitin-proteasome system is involved in quality control of PrPC. To better dissect the role of ubiquitination in PrPC physiology, we focused on the E3 RING ubiquitin ligase tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR)-associated factor 6 (TRAF6). Here, we report that PrPC interacts with TRAF6 both in vitro, in cells, and in vivo, in the mouse brain. Transient overexpression of TRAF6 indirectly modulates PrPC ubiquitination and triggers redistribution of PrPC into the insoluble fraction. Importantly, in the presence of wild-type TRAF6, but not a mutant lacking E3 ligase activity, PrPC accumulates into cytoplasmic aggresome-like inclusions containing TRAF6 and p62/SQSTM1. Our results suggest that TRAF6 ligase activity could exert a role in the regulation of PrPC redistribution in cells under physiological conditions. This novel interaction may uncover possible mechanisms of cell clearance/reorganization in prion diseases.
    Keywords:  Aggresomes; Cellular prion protein; TRAF6; Ubiquitination
  9. Mol Cell. 2021 Dec 30. pii: S1097-2765(21)01067-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      An increasing number of genetic diseases are linked to deregulation of E3 ubiquitin ligases. Loss-of-function mutations in the RING-between-RING (RBR) family E3 ligase RNF216 (TRIAD3) cause Gordon-Holmes syndrome (GHS) and related neurodegenerative diseases. Functionally, RNF216 assembles K63-linked ubiquitin chains and has been implicated in regulation of innate immunity signaling pathways and synaptic plasticity. Here, we report crystal structures of key RNF216 reaction states including RNF216 in complex with ubiquitin and its reaction product, K63 di-ubiquitin. Our data provide a molecular explanation for chain-type specificity and reveal the molecular basis for disruption of RNF216 function by pathogenic GHS mutations. Furthermore, we demonstrate how RNF216 activity and chain-type specificity are regulated by phosphorylation and that RNF216 is allosterically activated by K63-linked di-ubiquitin. These molecular insights expand our understanding of RNF216 function and its role in disease and further define the mechanistic diversity of the RBR E3 ligase family.
    Keywords:  E3 ligases; Gordon-Holmes syndrome; RBR; RNF216; allostery; neurodegeneration; phosphorylation; structural biology; ubiquitin; zinc finger
  10. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Dec 23. pii: 117. [Epub ahead of print]23(1):
      Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) degradation-enhancing α-mannosidase-like protein 1 (EDEM1) is a quality control factor directly involved in the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) process. It recognizes terminally misfolded proteins and directs them to retrotranslocation which is followed by proteasomal degradation in the cytosol. The amyloid-β precursor protein (APP) is synthesized and N-glycosylated in the ER and transported to the Golgi for maturation before being delivered to the cell surface. The amyloidogenic cleavage pathway of APP leads to production of amyloid-β (Aβ), deposited in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Here, using biochemical methods applied to human embryonic kidney, HEK293, and SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, we show that EDEM1 is an important regulatory factor involved in APP metabolism. We find that APP cellular levels are significantly reduced after EDEM1 overproduction and are increased in cells with downregulated EDEM1. We also report on EDEM1-dependent transport of APP from the ER to the cytosol that leads to proteasomal degradation of APP. EDEM1 directly interacts with APP. Furthermore, overproduction of EDEM1 results in decreased Aβ40 and Aβ42 secretion. These findings indicate that EDEM1 is a novel regulator of APP metabolism through ERAD.
    Keywords:  amyloid-β (Aβ); amyloid-β precursor protein (APP); endoplasmic reticulum (ER); endoplasmic reticulum degradation-enhancing α-mannosidase-like 1 protein (EDEM1); endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD); protein degradation; protein quality control
  11. Autophagy. 2022 Jan 09. 1-30
      Accumulation of the neuronal protein SNCA/alpha-synuclein and of the oligodendroglial phosphoprotein TPPP/p25A within the glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) represents the key histophathological hallmark of multiple system atrophy (MSA). Even though the levels/distribution of both oligodendroglial SNCA and TPPP/p25A proteins are critical for disease pathogenesis, the proteolytic mechanisms involved in their turnover in health and disease remain poorly understood. Herein, by pharmacological and molecular modulation of the autophagy-lysosome pathway (ALP) and the proteasome we demonstrate that the endogenous oligodendroglial SNCA and TPPP/p25A are degraded mainly by the ALP in murine primary oligodendrocytes and oligodendroglial cell lines under basal conditions. We also identify a KFERQ-like motif in the TPPP/p25A sequence that enables its effective degradation via chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) in an in vitro system of rat brain lysosomes. Furthermore, in a MSA-like setting established by addition of human recombinant SNCA pre-formed fibrils (PFFs) as seeds of pathological SNCA, we thoroughly characterize the contribution of CMA and macroautophagy in particular, in the removal of the exogenously added and the seeded oligodendroglial SNCA pathological assemblies. We also show that PFF treatment impairs autophagic flux and that TPPP/p25A exerts an inhibitory effect on macroautophagy, while at the same time CMA is upregulated to remove the pathological SNCA species formed within oligodendrocytes. Finally, augmentation of CMA or macroautophagy accelerates the removal of the engendered pathological SNCA conformations further suggesting that autophagy targeting may represent a successful approach for the clearance of pathological SNCA and/or TPPP/p25A in the context of MSA.Abbreviations: 3MA: 3-methyladenine; ACTB: actin, beta; ALP: autophagy-lysosome pathway; ATG5: autophagy related 5; AR7: atypical retinoid 7; CMA: chaperone-mediated autophagy; CMV: cytomegalovirus; CTSD: cathepsin D; DAPI: 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole; DMEM: Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium; Epox: epoxomicin; GAPDH: glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; GCIs: glial cytoplasmic inclusions; GFP: green fluorescent protein; HMW: high molecular weight; h: hours; HSPA8/HSC70: heat shock protein 8; LAMP1: lysosomal-associated membrane protein 1; LAMP2A: lysosomal-associated membrane protein 2A; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3; mcherry: monomeric cherry; MFI: mean fluorescence intensity; mRFP: monomeric red fluorescent protein; MSA: multiple system atrophy; OLN: oligodendrocytes; OPCs: oligodendroglial progenitor cells; PBS: phosphate-buffered saline; PC12: pheochromocytoma cell line; PD: Parkinson disease; PFFs: pre-formed fibrils; PIs: protease inhibitors; PSMB5: proteasome (prosome, macropain) subunit, beta type 5; Rap: rapamycin; RFP: red fluorescent protein; Scr: scrambled; SDS: sodium dodecyl sulfate; SE: standard error; siRNAs: small interfering RNAs; SNCA: synuclein, alpha; SQSTM1: sequestosome 1; TPPP: tubulin polymerization promoting protein; TUBA: tubulin, alpha; UPS: ubiquitin-proteasome system; WT: wild type.
    Keywords:  Chaperone-mediated autophagy; fibrils; inclusions; macroautophagy; oligodendrocytes; proteasome; seeding
  12. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Jan;24(1): 62-73
      Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors elicit antitumour activity in homologous recombination-defective cancers by trapping PARP1 in a chromatin-bound state. How cells process trapped PARP1 remains unclear. Using wild-type and a trapping-deficient PARP1 mutant combined with rapid immunoprecipitation mass spectrometry of endogenous proteins and Apex2 proximity labelling, we delineated mass spectrometry-based interactomes of trapped and non-trapped PARP1. These analyses identified an interaction between trapped PARP1 and the ubiquitin-regulated p97 ATPase/segregase. We found that following trapping, PARP1 is SUMOylated by PIAS4 and subsequently ubiquitylated by the SUMO-targeted E3 ubiquitin ligase RNF4, events that promote recruitment of p97 and removal of trapped PARP1 from chromatin. Small-molecule p97-complex inhibitors, including a metabolite of the clinically used drug disulfiram (CuET), prolonged PARP1 trapping and enhanced PARP inhibitor-induced cytotoxicity in homologous recombination-defective tumour cells and patient-derived tumour organoids. Together, these results suggest that p97 ATPase plays a key role in the processing of trapped PARP1 and the response of tumour cells to PARP inhibitors.
  13. J Cell Biol. 2022 Mar 07. pii: e202003143. [Epub ahead of print]221(3):
      Peroxisomes and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) cooperate in cellular lipid metabolism. They form membrane contacts through interaction of the peroxisomal membrane protein ACBD5 (acyl-coenzyme A-binding domain protein 5) and the ER-resident protein VAPB (vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein B). ACBD5 binds to the major sperm protein domain of VAPB via its FFAT-like (two phenylalanines [FF] in an acidic tract) motif. However, molecular mechanisms, which regulate formation of these membrane contact sites, are unknown. Here, we reveal that peroxisome-ER associations via the ACBD5-VAPB tether are regulated by phosphorylation. We show that ACBD5-VAPB binding is phosphatase-sensitive and identify phosphorylation sites in the flanking regions and core of the FFAT-like motif, which alter interaction with VAPB-and thus peroxisome-ER contact sites-differently. Moreover, we demonstrate that GSK3β (glycogen synthase kinase-3 β) regulates this interaction. Our findings reveal for the first time a molecular mechanism for the regulation of peroxisome-ER contacts in mammalian cells and expand the current model of FFAT motifs and VAP interaction.
  14. Nat Chem Biol. 2022 Jan 13.
      Ubiquitin (Ub) chain types govern distinct biological processes. K48-linked polyUb chains target substrates for proteasomal degradation, but the mechanism of Ub chain synthesis remains elusive due to the transient nature of Ub handover. Here, we present the structure of a chemically trapped complex of the E2 UBE2K covalently linked to donor Ub and acceptor K48-linked di-Ub, primed for K48-linked Ub chain synthesis by a RING E3. The structure reveals the basis for acceptor Ub recognition by UBE2K active site residues and the C-terminal Ub-associated (UBA) domain, to impart K48-linked Ub specificity and catalysis. Furthermore, the structure unveils multiple Ub-binding surfaces on the UBA domain that allow distinct binding modes for K48- and K63-linked Ub chains. This multivalent Ub-binding feature serves to recruit UBE2K to ubiquitinated substrates to overcome weak acceptor Ub affinity and thereby promote chain elongation. These findings elucidate the mechanism of processive K48-linked polyUb chain formation by UBE2K.
  15. Hum Mol Genet. 2022 Jan 12. pii: ddac008. [Epub ahead of print]
      K63-linked polyubiquitination of the neurodegenerative disease-associated misfolded protein copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is associated with the formation of inclusion bodies. Highly expressed E3 ligase Smurf1 promotes cellular homostasis through the enhanced capability of aggregate degradation. However, it is not well explored the role of Smurf1 in the dynamics of SOD1 aggresomes. In this study, we report that Smurf1 promotes the recruitment of SOD1 to form aggresomes. Mechanistically, Smurf1 interacts with mutant SOD1 to promote aggresome formation by modification of its K63-linked polyubiquitination. Moreover, overexpressed Smurf1 enhances mutant SOD1 aggresome formation and autophagic degradation to prevent cell death. Thus, our data suggest that Smurf1 plays an important role in attenuating protein misfolding-induced cell toxicity by both driving the sequestration of misfolded SOD1 into aggresomes and autophagic degradation.
  16. Autophagy. 2022 Jan 09. 1-2
      Selective autophagy of damaged organelles assures maintenance of cellular homeostasis in eukaryotes. While the mechanisms by which cells selectively remove dysfunctional mitochondria, lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum and other organelles has been well characterized, little is known about specific autophagy of damaged early endosomes. In our recent study, we uncovered a new role for RABEP1/Rabaptin5, a long-established regulator of early endosome function, in targeting the autophagy machinery to early endosomes damaged by chloroquine or by internalized Salmonella via interaction with RB1CC1/FIP200 and ATG16L1.
    Keywords:  ATG16L1; FIP200; Rabaptin5; Salmonella; autophagy; early endosome
  17. Nat Commun. 2022 Jan 10. 13(1): 183
      Proteolysis-targeting chimaeras (PROTACs) as well as molecular glues such as immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) and indisulam are drugs that induce interactions between substrate proteins and an E3 ubiquitin ligases for targeted protein degradation. Here, we develop a workflow based on proximity-dependent biotinylation by AirID to identify drug-induced neo-substrates of the E3 ligase cereblon (CRBN). Using AirID-CRBN, we detect IMiD-dependent biotinylation of CRBN neo-substrates in vitro and identify biotinylated peptides of well-known neo-substrates by mass spectrometry with high specificity and selectivity. Additional analyses reveal ZMYM2 and ZMYM2-FGFR1 fusion protein-responsible for the 8p11 syndrome involved in acute myeloid leukaemia-as CRBN neo-substrates. Furthermore, AirID-DCAF15 and AirID-CRBN biotinylate neo-substrates targeted by indisulam and PROTACs, respectively, suggesting that this approach has the potential to serve as a general strategy for characterizing drug-inducible protein-protein interactions in cells.
  18. J Biol Chem. 2022 Jan 11. pii: S0021-9258(22)00023-0. [Epub ahead of print] 101583
      The eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2) has key functions in the initiation step of protein synthesis. eIF2 guides the initiator tRNA to the ribosome, participates in scanning of the mRNA molecule, supports selection of the start codon, and modulates the translation of mRNAs in response to stress. eIF2 comprises a heterotrimeric complex whose assembly depends on the ATP-grasp protein Cdc123. Mutations of the eIF2γ subunit that compromise eIF2 complex formation cause severe neurological disease in humans. To this date, however, details about the assembly mechanism, step order, and the individual functions of eIF2 subunits remain unclear. Here, we quantified assembly intermediates and studied the behavior of various binding site mutants in budding yeast. Based on these data, we present a model in which a Cdc123-mediated conformational change in eIF2γ exposes binding sites for eIF2α and -β subunits. Contrary to an earlier hypothesis, we found that the associations of eIF2α and -β with the γ-subunit are independent of each other, but the resulting heterodimers are non-functional and fail to bind the guanosine exchange factor eIF2B. In addition, levels of eIF2α influence the rate of eIF2 assembly. By binding to eIF2γ, eIF2α displaces Cdc123 and thereby completes the assembly process. Experiments in human cell culture indicate that the mechanism of eIF2 assembly is conserved between yeast and humans. This study sheds light on an essential step in eukaryotic translation initiation, the dysfunction of which is linked to human disease.
    Keywords:  Cdc123; cell proliferation; eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2); human eIF2; molecular chaperone; protein assembly; protein complex; protein-protein interaction; translation initiation factor; yeast
  19. J Cell Sci. 2022 Jan 01. pii: jcs258879. [Epub ahead of print]135(1):
      The biomechanical and biochemical properties of connective tissues are determined by the composition and quality of their extracellular matrix. This, in turn, is highly dependent on the function and organisation of the secretory pathway. The Golgi complex plays a vital role in directing matrix output by co-ordinating the post-translational modification and proteolytic processing of matrix components prior to their secretion. These modifications have broad impacts on the secretion and subsequent assembly of matrix components, as well as their function in the extracellular environment. In this Review, we highlight the role of the Golgi in the formation of an adaptable, healthy matrix, with a focus on proteoglycan and procollagen secretion as example cargoes. We then discuss the impact of Golgi dysfunction on connective tissue in the context of human disease and ageing.
    Keywords:  Collagen; Extracellular matrix; Glycosylation; Golgi complex; Proteoglycans; Secretory pathway
  20. Cell Rep. 2022 Jan 11. pii: S2211-1247(21)01717-4. [Epub ahead of print]38(2): 110213
      Deficiency of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein seipin results in generalized lipodystrophy by incompletely understood mechanisms. Here, we report mitochondrial abnormalities in seipin-deficient patient cells. A subset of seipin is enriched at ER-mitochondria contact sites (MAMs) in human and mouse cells and localizes in the vicinity of calcium regulators SERCA2, IP3R, and VDAC. Seipin association with MAM calcium regulators is stimulated by fasting-like stimuli, while seipin association with lipid droplets is promoted by lipid loading. Acute seipin removal does not alter ER calcium stores but leads to defective mitochondrial calcium import accompanied by a widespread reduction in Krebs cycle metabolites and ATP levels. In mice, inducible seipin deletion leads to mitochondrial dysfunctions preceding the development of metabolic complications. Together, these data suggest that seipin controls mitochondrial energy metabolism by regulating mitochondrial calcium influx at MAMs. In seipin-deficient adipose tissue, reduced ATP production compromises adipocyte properties, contributing to lipodystrophy pathogenesis.
    Keywords:  ATP production; Adipocyte; Calcium handling; ER-LD contact sites; Krebs cycle metabolites; MAMs; Mitochondria dysfunction; lipid droplet; lipodystrophy; seipin
  21. Dev Biol. 2022 Jan 05. pii: S0012-1606(21)00262-1. [Epub ahead of print]483 89-97
      The airway epithelium is composed of multiple cell types each with designated roles. A stereotyped ratio of these cells is essential for proper airway function. Imbalance of airway cell types underlies many lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. While a number of signals and transcription factors have been implicated in airway cell specification, how cell numbers are coordinated, especially at the protein level is poorly understood. Here we show that in the mouse trachea which contain epithelial cell types similar to human airway, epithelium-specific inactivation of Fbxw7, which encodes an E3 ubiquitin ligase, led to reduced club and ciliated cells, increased goblet cells, and ectopic P63-negative, Keratin5-positive transitory basal cells in the luminal layer. The protein levels of FBXW7 targets including NOTCH1, KLF5 and TGIF were increased. Inactivation of either Notch1, Klf5 but not Tgif genes in the mutant background led to attenuation of selected aspects of the phenotypes, suggesting that FBXW7 acts through different targets to control different cell fates. These findings demonstrate that protein-level regulation by the ubiquitin proteasome system is critical for balancing airway cell fates.
    Keywords:  Airway; Basal cells; Lung; Lung development; Ubiquitin proteasome system
  22. Nat Commun. 2022 Jan 12. 13(1): 276
      Proteasomes are present in eukaryotes, archaea and Actinobacteria, including the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, where proteasomal degradation supports persistence inside the host. In mycobacteria and other members of Actinobacteria, prokaryotic ubiquitin-like protein (Pup) serves as a degradation tag post-translationally conjugated to target proteins for their recruitment to the mycobacterial proteasome ATPase (Mpa). Here, we use single-particle cryo-electron microscopy to determine the structure of Mpa in complex with the 20S core particle at an early stage of pupylated substrate recruitment, shedding light on the mechanism of substrate translocation. Two conformational states of Mpa show how substrate is translocated stepwise towards the degradation chamber of the proteasome core particle. We also demonstrate, in vitro and in vivo, the importance of a structural feature in Mpa that allows formation of alternating charge-complementary interactions with the proteasome resulting in radial, rail-guided movements during the ATPase conformational cycle.
  23. J Biol Chem. 2022 Jan 07. pii: S0021-9258(22)00013-8. [Epub ahead of print] 101573
      Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation pathway for the removal of damaged and superfluous cytoplasmic material. This is achieved by the sequestration of this cargo material within double membrane vesicles termed autophagosomes. Autophagosome formation is mediated by the conserved autophagy machinery. In selective autophagy this machinery including the transmembrane protein Atg9 is recruited to specific cargo material via cargo receptors and the Atg11/FIP200 scaffold protein. The molecular details of the interaction between Atg11 and Atg9 are unclear and it is still unknown how the recruitment of Atg9 is regulated. Here we employ NMR spectroscopy of the N-terminal disordered domain of Atg9 (Atg9-NTD) to map its interaction with Atg11 revealing that it involves two short peptides both containing a PLF motif. We show that the Atg9-NTD binds to Atg11 with an affinity of about 1 micromolar and that both PLF motifs contribute to the interaction. Mutation of the PLF motifs abolishes the interaction of Atg9-NTD with Atg11, reduces the recruitment of Atg9 to the precursor aminopeptidase 1 (prApe1) cargo and blocks prApe1 transport into the vacuole by the selective autophagy-like cytoplasm-to-vacuole (Cvt) targeting pathway while not affecting bulk autophagy. Our results provide mechanistic insights into the interaction of the Atg11 scaffold with the Atg9 transmembrane protein in selective autophagy and suggest a model where only clustered Atg11 when bound to the prApe1 cargo is able to efficiently recruit Atg9 vesicles.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Intrinsically disordered proteins; Isothermal titration calorimetry; Nuclear magnetic resonance; yeast metabolism
  24. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Dec 24. pii: 78. [Epub ahead of print]14(1):
      Fibropolycystic liver disease is characterized by hyperproliferation of the biliary epithelium and the formation of multiple dilated cysts, a process associated with unfolded protein response (UPR). In the present study, we aimed to understand the mechanisms of cyst formation and UPR activation in hepatocytic c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1/2 (Jnk1/2) knockout mice. Floxed JNK1/2 (Jnkf/f) and Jnk∆hepa animals were sacrificed at different time points during progression of liver disease. Histological examination of specimens evidenced the presence of collagen fiber deposition, increased α-smooth muscle actin (αSMA), infiltration of CD45, CD11b and F4/80 cells and proinflammatory cytokines (Tnf, Tgfβ1) and liver injury (e.g., ALT, apoptosis and Ki67-positive cells) in Jnk∆hepa compared with Jnkf/f livers from 32 weeks of age. This was associated with activation of effectors of the UPR, including BiP/GRP78, CHOP and spliced XBP1. Tunicamycin (TM) challenge strongly induced ER stress and fibrosis in Jnk∆hepa animals compared with Jnkf/f littermates. Finally, thioacetamide (TAA) administration to Jnk∆hepa mice induced UPR activation, peribiliary fibrosis, liver injury and markers of biliary proliferation and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). Orthoallografts of DEN/CCl4-treated Jnk∆hepa liver tissue triggered malignant CCA. Altogether, these results suggest that activation of the UPR in conjunction with fibrogenesis might trigger hepatic cystogenesis and early stages of CCA.
    Keywords:  CM272; c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK); cholangiocarcinoma (CCA); endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress; fibropolycystic liver disease; thioacetamide (TAA)
  25. EMBO Mol Med. 2022 Jan 11. e14740
      Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable malignancy characterized by the uncontrolled expansion of plasma cells in the bone marrow. While proteasome inhibitors like bortezomib efficiently halt MM progression, drug resistance inevitably develop, and novel therapeutic approaches are needed. Here, we used a recently discovered Sec61 inhibitor, mycolactone, to assess the interest of disrupting MM proteostasis via protein translocation blockade. In human MM cell lines, mycolactone caused rapid defects in secretion of immunoglobulins and expression of pro-survival interleukin (IL)-6 receptor and CD40, whose activation stimulates IL-6 production. Mycolactone also triggered pro-apoptotic endoplasmic reticulum stress responses synergizing with bortezomib for induction of MM cell death and overriding acquired resistance to the proteasome inhibitor. Notably, the mycolactone-bortezomib combination rapidly killed patient-derived MM cells ex vivo, but not normal mononuclear cells. In immunodeficient mice engrafted with MM cells, it demonstrated superior therapeutic efficacy over single drug treatments, without inducing toxic side effects. Collectively, these findings establish Sec61 blockers as novel anti-MM agents and reveal the interest of targeting both the translocon and the proteasome in proteostasis-addicted tumors.
    Keywords:  Sec61 translocon; multiple myeloma; proteostatic stress
  26. PLoS Genet. 2022 Jan 13. 18(1): e1010015
      Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is a late-onset disorder characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of specific muscles. OPMD is due to extension of a polyalanine tract in poly(A) binding protein nuclear 1 (PABPN1). Aggregation of the mutant protein in muscle nuclei is a hallmark of the disease. Previous transcriptomic analyses revealed the consistent deregulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) in OPMD animal models and patients, suggesting a role of this deregulation in OPMD pathogenesis. Subsequent studies proposed that UPS contribution to OPMD involved PABPN1 aggregation. Here, we use a Drosophila model of OPMD to address the functional importance of UPS deregulation in OPMD. Through genome-wide and targeted genetic screens we identify a large number of UPS components that are involved in OPMD. Half dosage of UPS genes reduces OPMD muscle defects suggesting a pathological increase of UPS activity in the disease. Quantification of proteasome activity confirms stronger activity in OPMD muscles, associated with degradation of myofibrillar proteins. Importantly, improvement of muscle structure and function in the presence of UPS mutants does not correlate with the levels of PABPN1 aggregation, but is linked to decreased degradation of muscle proteins. Oral treatment with the proteasome inhibitor MG132 is beneficial to the OPMD Drosophila model, improving muscle function although PABPN1 aggregation is enhanced. This functional study reveals the importance of increased UPS activity that underlies muscle atrophy in OPMD. It also provides a proof-of-concept that inhibitors of proteasome activity might be an attractive pharmacological approach for OPMD.
  27. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2022 Jan 10. 8(1): 2
      Androgen receptor (AR) is an important prognostic marker and therapeutic target in luminal androgen receptor triple-negative breast cancer (LAR TNBC) and prostate cancer (PCa). Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress may activate the unfolded protein response (UPR) to regulate associated protein expression and is closely related to tumor growth and drug resistance. The effect of ER stress on AR expression and signaling remains unclear. Here, we focused on the regulation and underlying mechanism of AR expression induced by ER stress in LAR TNBC and PCa. Western blotting and quantitative RT-PCR results showed that AR expression was markedly decreased under ER stress induced by thapsigargin and brefeldin A, and this effect was dependent on PERK/eIF2α/ATF4 signaling activation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation-PCR and luciferase reporter gene analysis results showed that ATF4 bound to the AR promoter regions to inhibit its activity. Moreover, ATF4 overexpression inhibited tumor proliferation and AR expression both in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, these results demonstrated that ER stress could decrease AR mRNA and protein levels via PERK/eIF2α/ATF4 signaling in LAR TNBC and PCa. Targeting the UPR may be a treatment strategy for AR-dependent TNBC and PCa.
  28. Nat Commun. 2022 Jan 10. 13(1): 176
      Highly accurate protein structure predictions by deep neural networks such as AlphaFold2 and RoseTTAFold have tremendous impact on structural biology and beyond. Here, we show that, although these deep learning approaches have originally been developed for the in silico folding of protein monomers, AlphaFold2 also enables quick and accurate modeling of peptide-protein interactions. Our simple implementation of AlphaFold2 generates peptide-protein complex models without requiring multiple sequence alignment information for the peptide partner, and can handle binding-induced conformational changes of the receptor. We explore what AlphaFold2 has memorized and learned, and describe specific examples that highlight differences compared to state-of-the-art peptide docking protocol PIPER-FlexPepDock. These results show that AlphaFold2 holds great promise for providing structural insight into a wide range of peptide-protein complexes, serving as a starting point for the detailed characterization and manipulation of these interactions.
  29. EMBO Mol Med. 2022 Jan 11. e14764
      Despite the clinical benefit of androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT), the majority of patients with advanced prostate cancer (PCa) ultimately develop lethal castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In this study, we identified thioesterase superfamily member 6 (THEM6) as a marker of ADT resistance in PCa. THEM6 deletion reduces in vivo tumour growth and restores castration sensitivity in orthograft models of CRPC. Mechanistically, we show that the ER membrane-associated protein THEM6 regulates intracellular levels of ether lipids and is essential to trigger the induction of the ER stress response (UPR). Consequently, THEM6 loss in CRPC cells significantly alters ER function, reducing de novo sterol biosynthesis and preventing lipid-mediated activation of ATF4. Finally, we demonstrate that high THEM6 expression is associated with poor survival and correlates with high levels of UPR activation in PCa patients. Altogether, our results highlight THEM6 as a novel driver of therapy resistance in PCa as well as a promising target for the treatment of CRPC.
    Keywords:  ATF4; ER stress; lipid metabolism; prostate cancer; therapy resistance