bims-proteo Biomed News
on Proteostasis
Issue of 2022‒02‒06
thirty-two papers selected by
Eric Chevet

  1. Autophagy. 2022 Jan 31. 1-2
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) forms a contiguous network of tubules and sheets. When errors in protein folding occur, misfolded proteins accumulate in the ER. Proteostasis can be restored by ER quality control pathways. Reticulophagy is an ER quality control pathway that uses resident autophagy receptors to link an ER domain to the autophagy machinery. We recently showed that the reticulophagy receptor RTN3L recruits the COPII cargo adaptor SEC24C to target disease-causing mutant proinsulin INS2Akita puncta to the lysosome for degradation. When reticulophagy is disrupted and delivery to the lysosome is blocked, large INS2Akita puncta accumulate in the ER. Photobleach analysis revealed that these puncta behave like liquid condensates and not aggregates, as previously suggested. Other reticulophagy substrates that are segregated into tubules behave like INS2Akita, whereas a substrate of the ER sheets receptor, RETREG1/FAM134B, appears to be less fluid. Large INS2Akita puncta also accumulate when ER sheets are proliferated by the loss of LNPK, or by overproduction of the sheets-producing protein, CKAP4/CLIMP63. Restoring the tubular network by overexpressing reticulons reverses this phenotype. Our findings revealed that fluid-like deleterious cargoes are segregated into tubules to prevent them from expanding and affecting cell health while they are waiting to undergo reticulophagy.
    Keywords:  ER structure; Lunapark; SEC24C; misfolded prohormones and neuropeptides; protein quality control; reticulophagy
  2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Feb 08. pii: e2117554119. [Epub ahead of print]119(6):
      Fragments of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are selectively delivered to the lysosome (mammals) or vacuole (yeast) in response to starvation or the accumulation of misfolded proteins through an autophagic process known as ER-phagy. A screen of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae deletion library identified end3Δ as a candidate knockout strain that is defective in ER-phagy during starvation conditions, but not bulk autophagy. We find that loss of End3 and its stable binding partner Pan1, or inhibition of the Arp2/3 complex that is coupled by the End3-Pan1 complex to endocytic pits, blocks the association of the cortical ER autophagy receptor, Atg40, with the autophagosomal assembly scaffold protein Atg11. The membrane contact site module linking the rim of cortical ER sheets and endocytic pits, consisting of Scs2 or Scs22, Osh2 or Osh3, and Myo3 or Myo5, is also needed for ER-phagy. Both Atg40 and Scs2 are concentrated at the edges of ER sheets and can be cross-linked to each other. Our results are consistent with a model in which actin assembly at sites of contact between the cortical ER and endocytic pits contributes to ER sequestration into autophagosomes.
    Keywords:  actin; autophagy; endoplasmic reticulum
  3. Mol Cell. 2022 Feb 03. pii: S1097-2765(22)00004-1. [Epub ahead of print]82(3): 585-597.e11
      Cullin-RING E3 ligases (CRLs) are essential ubiquitylation enzymes that combine a catalytic core built around cullin scaffolds with ∼300 exchangeable substrate adaptors. To ensure robust signal transduction, cells must constantly form new CRLs by pairing substrate-bound adaptors with their cullins, but how this occurs at the right time and place is still poorly understood. Here, we show that formation of individual CRL complexes is a tightly regulated process. Using CUL3KLHL12 as a model, we found that its co-adaptor PEF1-ALG2 initiates CRL3 formation by releasing KLHL12 from an assembly inhibitor at the endoplasmic reticulum, before co-adaptor monoubiquitylation stabilizes the enzyme for substrate modification. As the co-adaptor also helps recruit substrates, its role in CRL assembly couples target recognition to ubiquitylation. We propose that regulators dedicated to specific CRLs, such as assembly inhibitors or co-adaptors, cooperate with target-agnostic adaptor exchange mechanisms to establish E3 ligase complexes that control metazoan development.
    Keywords:  ALG2; CAND1; CUL3; KLHL12; PEF1; SEC31; adaptor exchange; monoubiquitylation; ubiquitin
  4. JCI Insight. 2022 Feb 01. pii: e151869. [Epub ahead of print]
      Molecular chaperones are responsible for maintaining cellular homeostasis, and one such chaperone, GRP170, is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) resident that oversees both protein biogenesis and quality control. We previously discovered that GRP170 regulates the degradation and assembly of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), which reabsorbs sodium in the distal nephron and thereby regulates salt-water homeostasis and blood pressure. To define the role of GRP170 and more generally molecular chaperones in kidney physiology, we developed an inducible, nephron-specific GRP170 knockout mouse. Here we show that GRP170 deficiency causes a dramatic phenotype: profound hypovolemia, hyperaldosteronemia, and dysregulation of ion homeostasis, all of which are associated with the loss of ENaC. Additionally, the GRP170 KO mouse exhibits hallmarks of acute kidney injury (AKI). We further demonstrate that the unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated in the GRP170 deficient mouse. Notably, the UPR is also activated in AKI when originating from various other etiologies, including ischemia, sepsis, glomerulonephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and transplant rejection. Our work establishes the central role of GRP170 in kidney homeostasis and directly links molecular chaperone function to kidney injury.
    Keywords:  Cell stress; Chaperones; Mouse models; Nephrology
  5. J Cell Sci. 2022 Jan 31. pii: jcs.259393. [Epub ahead of print]
      The proteasome is central to proteolysis by the ubiquitin-proteasome system under normal growth conditions but is itself degraded through macroautophagy under nutrient stress. A recently described AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-regulated endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT)-dependent microautophagy pathway also regulates proteasome trafficking and degradation in low glucose conditions in yeast. Aberrant proteasomes are more prone to microautophagy, suggesting the ESCRT system fine-tunes proteasome quality control under low glucose stress. Here we uncover additional features of the selective microautophagy of proteasomes. Genetic or pharmacological induction of aberrant proteasomes is associated with increased mono- or oligo-ubiquitylation of proteasome components, which appear to be recognized by ESCRT-0. AMPK controls this pathway in part by regulating the trafficking of ESCRT-0 to the vacuole surface, which also leads to degradation of the Vps27 subunit of ESCRT-0. The Rsp5 ubiquitin ligase contributes to proteasome subunit ubiquitylation, and multiple ubiquitin-binding elements in Vps27 are involved in their recognition. We propose that ESCRT-0 at the vacuole surface recognizes ubiquitylated proteasomes and initiates their microautophagic elimination during glucose depletion.
    Keywords:  AMPK; ESCRT-0; Microautophagy; Proteasome; Protein quality control; Rsp5; Ubiquitin
  6. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Feb 03. 13(2): 111
      Protein misfolding or unfolding and the resulting endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress frequently occur in highly proliferative tumors. How tumor cells escape cell death by apoptosis after chronic ER stress remains poorly understood. We have investigated in both two-dimensional (2D) cultures and multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTSs) the role of caspase-8 inhibitor cFLIP as a regulator of the balance between apoptosis and survival in colon cancer cells undergoing ER stress. We report that downregulation of cFLIP proteins levels is an early event upon treatment of 2D cultures of colon cancer cells with ER stress inducers, preceding TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor 2 (TRAIL-R2) upregulation, caspase-8 activation, and apoptosis. Maintaining high cFLIP levels during ER stress by ectopic expression of cFLIP markedly inhibits ER stress-induced caspase-8 activation and apoptosis. Conversely, cFLIP knockdown by RNA interference significantly accelerates caspase-8 activation and apoptosis upon ER stress. Despite activation of the proapoptotic PERK branch of the unfolded protein response (UPR) and upregulation of TRAIL-R2, MCTSs are markedly more resistant to ER stress than 2D cultures of tumor cells. Resistance of MCTSs to ER stress-induced apoptosis correlates with sustained cFLIPL expression. Interestingly, resistance to ER stress-induced apoptosis is abolished in MCTSs generated from cFLIPL knockdown tumor cells. Overall, our results suggest that controlling cFLIP levels in tumors is an adaptive strategy to prevent tumor cell's demise in the unfavorable conditions of the tumor microenvironment.
  7. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2022 Feb 02.
      The multi-site ubiquitination of Tau protein found in Alzheimer's disease filaments hints at the failed attempt of neurons to remove early toxic species. The ubiquitin-dependent degradation of Tau is regulated in vivo by the E3 ligase CHIP, a quality controller of the cell proteome dedicated to target misfolded proteins for degradation. In our study, by using site-resolved NMR, biochemical and computational methods, we elucidate the structural determinants underlying the molecular recognition between the ligase and its intrinsically disordered substrate. We reveal a multi-domain dynamic interaction that explains how CHIP can direct ubiquitination of Tau at multiple sites even in the absence of chaperones, including its typical partner Hps70/Hsc70. Our findings thus provide mechanistic insight into the chaperone-independent engagement of a disordered protein by its E3 ligase.
    Keywords:  CHIP E3 ligase; NMR; Tau protein; ubiquitination, Alzheimer's disease
  8. Autophagy. 2022 Jan 31. 1-15
      Deubiquitination plays an important role in the regulation of the crosstalk between macroautophagy/autophagy and innate immune signaling, yet its regulatory mechanisms are not fully understood. Here we identify the deubiquitinase OTUD7B as a negative regulator of antiviral immunity by targeting IRF3 (interferon regulatory factor 3) for selective autophagic degradation. Mechanistically, OTUD7B interacts with IRF3, and activates IRF3-associated cargo receptor SQSTM1/p62 (sequestosome 1) by removing its K63-linked poly-ubiquitin chains at lysine 7 (K7) to enhance SQSTM1 oligomerization. Moreover, viral infection increased the expression of OTUD7B, which forms a negative feedback loop by promoting IRF3 degradation to balance type I interferon (IFN) signaling. Taken together, our study reveals a specific role of OTUD7B in mediating the activation of cargo receptors in a substrate-dependent manner, which could be a potential target against excessive immune responses.Abbreviations: Baf A1: bafilomycin A1; CGAS: cyclic GMP-AMP synthase; DDX58/RIG-I: DExD/H-box helicase 58; DSS: dextran sodium sulfate; DUBs: deubiquitinating enzymes; GFP: green fluorescent protein; IFN: interferon; IKKi: IKBKB/IkappaB kinase inhibitor; IRF3: interferon regulatory factor 3; ISGs: interferon-stimulated genes; MAVS: mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein; MOI: multiplicity of infection; PAMPs: pathogen-associated molecular patterns; SeV: Sendai virus; siRNA: small interfering RNA; SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; STING1: stimulator of interferon response cGAMP interactor 1; TBK1: TANK binding kinase 1; Ub: ubiquitin; WT: wild-type; VSV: vesicular stomatitis virus.
    Keywords:  Antiviral immunity; cargo receptor; deubiquitination; selective autophagy; type I interferon signaling
  9. Cell Chem Biol. 2022 Jan 27. pii: S2451-9456(22)00050-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is associated with an increased reliance on heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), but it is not clear what other protein homeostasis (proteostasis) factors might be involved. To address this question, we performed functional and synthetic lethal screens in four prostate cancer cell lines. These screens confirmed key roles for HSP70, HSP90, and their co-chaperones, but also suggested that the mitochondrial chaperone, HSP60/HSPD1, is selectively required in CRPC cell lines. Knockdown of HSP60 does not impact the stability of androgen receptor (AR) or its variants; rather, it is associated with loss of mitochondrial spare respiratory capacity, partly owing to increased proton leakage. Finally, transcriptional data revealed a correlation between HSP60 levels and poor survival of prostate cancer patients. These findings suggest that re-wiring of the proteostasis network is associated with CRPC, creating selective vulnerabilities that might be targeted to treat the disease.
    Keywords:  chaperones; functional genomics; heat shock proteins; mitochondria; prostate cancer; proteostasis; shRNA
  10. Mol Cell. 2022 Jan 25. pii: S1097-2765(22)00002-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      The mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) is an essential metabolic hub that coordinates cellular metabolism with the availability of nutrients, including amino acids. Sestrin2 has been identified as a cytosolic leucine sensor that transmits leucine status signals to mTORC1. In this study, we identify an E3 ubiquitin ligase RING finger protein 167 (RNF167) and a deubiquitinase STAMBPL1 that function in concert to control the polyubiquitination level of Sestrin2 in response to leucine availability. Ubiquitination of Sestrin2 promotes its interaction with GATOR2 and inhibits mTORC1 signaling. Bioinformatic analysis reveals decreased RNF167 expression and increased STAMBPL1 expression in gastric and colorectal tumors. Knockout of STAMBPL1 or correction of the heterozygous STAMBPL1 mutation in a human colon cancer cell line suppresses xenograft tumor growth. Lastly, a cell-permeable peptide that blocks the STAMBPL1-Sestrin2 interaction inhibits mTORC1 and provides a potential option for cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  Sestrin2; amino acid sensing; colorectal cancer; mTOR; tumorigenesis; ubiquitination
  11. Cell Death Differ. 2022 Feb 02.
      The NLRP3 (NOD-, LRR- and pyrin domain-containing protein 3) inflammasome plays a pivotal role in defending the host against infection as well as sterile inflammation. Activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome is critically regulated by a de-ubiquitination mechanism, but little is known about how ubiquitination restrains NLRP3 activity. Here, we showed that the membrane-bound E3 ubiquitin ligase gp78 mediated mixed ubiquitination of NLRP3, which inhibited NLRP3 inflammasome activation by suppressing the oligomerization and subcellular translocation of NLRP3. In addition, the endoplasmic reticulum membrane protein insulin-induced gene 1 (Insig-1) was required for this gp78-NLRP3 interaction and gp78-mediated NLRP3 ubiquitination. gp78 or Insig-1 deficiency in myeloid cells led to exacerbated NLRP3 inflammasome-dependent inflammation in vivo, including lipopolysaccharide-induced systemic inflammation and alum-induced peritonitis. Taken together, our study identifies gp78-mediated NLRP3 ubiquitination as a regulatory mechanism that restrains inflammasome activation and highlights NLRP3 ubiquitination as a potential therapeutic target for inflammatory diseases.
  12. Oncogene. 2022 Jan 31.
      The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), a process that is aberrantly activated in cancer and facilitates metastasis to distant organs, requires coordinated transcriptional and post-transcriptional control of gene expression. The tumor-suppressive RNA binding protein, hnRNP-E1, regulates splicing and translation of EMT-associated transcripts and it is thought that it plays a major role in the control of epithelial cell plasticity during cancer progression. We have utilized yeast 2 hybrid screening to identify novel hnRNP-E1 interactors that play a role in regulating hnRNP-E1; this approach led to the identification of the E3 ubiquitin ligase ARIH1. Here, we demonstrate that hnRNP-E1 protein stability is increased upon ARIH1 silencing, whereas, overexpression of ARIH1 leads to a reduction in hnRNP-E1. Reduced ubiquitination of hnRNP-E1 detected in ARIH1 knockdown (KD) cells compared to control suggests a role for ARIH1 in hnRNP-E1 degradation. The identification of hnRNP-E1 as a candidate substrate of ARIH1 led to the characterization of a novel function for this ubiquitin ligase in EMT induction and cancer progression. We demonstrate a delayed induction of EMT and reduced invasion in mammary epithelial cells silenced for ARIH1. Conversely, ARIH1 overexpression promoted EMT induction and invasion. ARIH1 silencing in breast cancer cells significantly attenuated cancer cell stemness in vitro and tumor formation in vivo. Finally, we utilized miniTurboID proximity labeling to identify novel ARIH1 interactors that may contribute to ARIH1's function in EMT induction and cancer progression.
  13. mBio. 2022 Feb 01. e0316821
      As an enveloped virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) contains a membrane protein (M) that mediates viral release from cellular membranes. However, the molecular mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 virion release remain poorly understood. In the present study, we performed RNA interference (RNAi) screening and identified the E3 ligase RNF5, which mediates the ubiquitination of SARS-CoV-2 M at residue K15 to enhance the interaction of the viral envelope protein (E) with M, whereas the deubiquitinating enzyme POH1 negatively regulates this process. The M-E complex ensures the uniform size of viral particles for viral maturation and mediates virion release. Moreover, M traffics from the Golgi apparatus to autophagosomes and uses autophagosomes for virion release, and this process is dependent on RNF5-mediated ubiquitin modification and M-E interaction. These results demonstrate that ubiquitin modification of SARS-CoV-2 M stabilizes the M-E complex and uses autophagosomes for virion release. IMPORTANCE Enveloped virus particles are released from the membranes of host cells, and viral membrane proteins (M) are critical for this process. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 assembly and budding is critical for the development of antiviral therapies. Envelope protein (E) and M of SARS-CoV-2 form complexes to mediate viral assembly and budding. RNF5 was identified to play a role as the E3 ligase, and POH1 was demonstrated to function as the deubiquitinating enzyme of SARS-CoV-2 M. The two components collectively regulate the interaction of M with E to promote viral assembly and budding. Ubiquitinated M uses autophagosomes for viral release. Our findings provide insights into the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 assembly and budding, demonstrating the importance of ubiquitination modification and autophagy in viral replication.
    Keywords:  RNF5; SARS-CoV-2; autophagy; release; ubiquitination; virus-like particles
  14. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Feb 08. pii: e2111380119. [Epub ahead of print]119(6):
      Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an essential event in the modulation of Ca2+ homeostasis, which is coordinated by multiple biological processes, ranging from cell proliferation to apoptosis. Deregulated Ca2+ homeostasis is linked with various cancer hallmarks; thus, uncovering the mechanisms underlying Ca2+ homeostasis dynamics may lead to new anticancer treatment strategies. Here, we demonstrate that a reported Ca2+-channel protein TMCO1 (transmembrane and coiled-coil domains 1) is overexpressed in colon cancer tissues at protein levels but not at messenger RNA levels in colon cancer. Further study revealed that TMCO1 is a substrate of ER-associated degradation E3 ligase Gp78. Intriguingly, Gp78-mediated TMCO1 degradation at K186 is under the control of the iASPP (inhibitor of apoptosis-stimulating protein of p53) oncogene. Mechanistically, iASPP robustly reduces ER Ca2+ stores, mainly by competitively binding with Gp78 and interfering with Gp78-mediated TMCO1 degradation. A positive correlation between iASPP and TMCO1 proteins is further validated in human colon tissues. Inhibition of iASPP-TMCO1 axis promotes cytosolic Ca2+ overload-induced apoptotic cell death, reducing tumor growth both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, iASPP-TMCO1 represents a promising anticancer treatment target by modulating Ca2+ homeostasis.
    Keywords:  TMCO1; apoptosis; calcium; endoplasmic reticulum; iASPP
  15. Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 01. 13(1): 608
      In obesity, signaling through the IRE1 arm of the unfolded protein response exerts both protective and harmful effects. Overexpression of the IRE1-regulated transcription factor XBP1s in liver or fat protects against obesity-linked metabolic deterioration. However, hyperactivation of IRE1 engages regulated IRE1-dependent decay (RIDD) and TRAF2/JNK pro-inflammatory signaling, which accelerate metabolic dysfunction. These pathologic IRE1-regulated processes have hindered efforts to pharmacologically harness the protective benefits of IRE1/XBP1s signaling in obesity-linked conditions. Here, we report the effects of a XBP1s-selective pharmacological IRE1 activator, IXA4, in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. IXA4 transiently activates protective IRE1/XBP1s signaling in liver without inducing RIDD or TRAF2/JNK signaling. IXA4 treatment improves systemic glucose metabolism and liver insulin action through IRE1-dependent remodeling of the hepatic transcriptome that reduces glucose production and steatosis. IXA4-stimulated IRE1 activation also enhances pancreatic function. Our findings indicate that systemic, transient activation of IRE1/XBP1s signaling engenders multi-tissue benefits that integrate to mitigate obesity-driven metabolic dysfunction.
  16. J Cell Sci. 2022 Jan 31. pii: jcs.259138. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cell migration is a complex process underlying physiological and pathological processes such as brain development and cancer metastasis. The autophagy-linked FYVE protein (ALFY), an autophagy adaptor protein known to promote clearance of protein aggregates, has been implicated in brain development and neural migration during cerebral cortical neurogenesis in mice. However, a specific role of ALFY in cell motility and extracellular matrix adhesion during migration has not been investigated. Here we reveal a novel role for ALFY in the endocytic pathway and in cell migration. We show that ALFY localizes to RAB5 and EEA1 positive early endosomes in a PtdIns(3)P dependent manner and is highly enriched in cellular protrusions at the leading and lagging edge of migrating cells. We find that cells lacking ALFY have reduced attachment and altered protein levels and glycosylation of integrins, resulting in the inability to form a proper leading edge and loss of directional cell motility.
    Keywords:  ALFY; Endosome; Focal adhesion; Integrin; Migration; WDFY3
  17. J Biol Chem. 2022 Jan 27. pii: S0021-9258(22)00084-9. [Epub ahead of print] 101644
      Endocrine therapy-resistant estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer cells often exhibit an augmented capacity to maintain endoplasmic reticulum (EnR) homeostasis under adverse conditions. Oncoprotein hepatitis B X-interacting protein (HBXIP) is a known transcriptional coactivator that promotes cancer development. However, it is unclear whether HBXIP participates in maintaining EnR homeostasis and promoting drug-resistance in ER+ breast cancer. Here, we report that tamoxifen-resistant (TmaR) breast cancer cells exhibit increased expression of HBXIP, which acts as an inactivator of the unfolded protein response (UPR) to diminish tamoxifen (TAM)-induced EnR stress. We show that HBXIP deficiency promotes EnR-associated degradation (ERAD), enhances UPR-element (UPRE) reporter activity and cellular oxidative stress, and ultimately attenuates the growth of TmaR cells in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that HBXIP acts as a chaperone of UPR transducer inositol-requiring enzyme 1a (IRE1α) and diminishes production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in TamR breast cancer cells. Upon loss of HBXIP expression, TAM treatment hyperactivates IRE1α and its downstream proapoptotic pathways and simultaneously induces accumulation of intracellular ROS. This elevated ROS programmatically activates the other two branches of the UPR, mediated by PKR-like ER kinase (PERK) and activating transcription factor 6α (ATF6α). Clinical investigations and Kaplan-Meier plotter analysis revealed that HBXIP is highly expressed in TamR breast cancer tissues. Furthermore, reinforced HBXIP expression associated with a high recurrence and poor relapse-free survival rates in tamoxifen monotherapy ER+ breast cancer patients. These findings indicate that HBXIP is a novel regulator of EnR homeostasis and a potential target for TamR breast cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  Breast cancer; Endoplasmic reticulum stress; HBXIP; Tamoxifen resistance; Unfolded protein response
  18. J Biol Chem. 2022 Jan 28. pii: S0021-9258(22)00088-6. [Epub ahead of print] 101648
      Translation of HAC1 mRNA in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is de-repressed when RNase Ire1 removes its intron via non-conventional cytosolic splicing in response to accumulation of unfolded proteins inside the endoplasmic reticulum. The spliced HAC1 mRNA is translated into a transcription factor that changes the cellular gene expression patterns to increase the protein folding capacity of cells. Previously, we showed that a segment of the intronic sequence interacts with the 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) of the un-spliced mRNA, resulting in repression of HAC1 translation at the initiation stage. However, the exact mechanism of translational de-repression is not clear. Here, we show that at least 11-base-pairing interactions between the 5'-UTR and intron are sufficient to repress HAC1 translation. We also show that over-expression of the helicase eIF4A de-repressed translation of an un-spliced HAC1 mRNA containing only 11-base-pair interactions between the 5'-UTR and intronic sequences. Additionally, our genetic screen identifies that single mutations in the 5'-UTR•intron interaction site could de-repress translation of the un-spliced HAC1 mRNA. Furthermore, we show that the addition of 24 RNA bases between the mRNA 5'-cap and the 5'-UTR•intron interaction site de-repressed translation of the un-spliced HAC1 mRNA. Together, our data provide a mechanistic explanation for why the cap-proximal 5'-UTR•intron RNA duplex inhibits the recruitment of translating ribosomes to HAC1 mRNA, thus keeping mRNA translationally repressed.
    Keywords:  ER; Eukaryotic translation initiation; Hac1; Ire1; UPR
  19. EMBO Mol Med. 2022 Feb 02. e15504
      Prostate cancer (PCa) clinical management relies heavily on androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT). However, despite experiencing initial clinical benefit, patients getting ADT for non-resectable PCa eventually relapse and develop fatal castration-resistant PCa (CRPC). Multiple mechanisms of acquired resistance to treatment have been reported, including metabolic adaptation (Marine et al, 2020). Notably, activation of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) unfolded protein response (UPR) has been associated with oncogenic transformation (Hart et al, 2012), tumor progression, metastasis dissemination, and resistance to therapy (Chen & Cubillos-Ruiz, 2021). Targeting different branches of ER UPR has been found to be an effective tool against aggressive PCa (Nguyen et al, 2018; Sheng et al, 2019). Therefore, a better understanding of these pathways may lead to the identification of novel drug targets.
  20. J Biol Chem. 2022 Jan 28. pii: S0021-9258(22)00093-X. [Epub ahead of print] 101653
      PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeras (PROTACs) are hetero-bifunctional small molecules that can simultaneously recruit target proteins and E3 ligases to form a ternary complex, promoting target protein ubiquitination and degradation via the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System (UPS). PROTACs have gained increasing attention in recent years due to certain advantages over traditional therapeutic modalities and enabling targeting of previously "undruggable" proteins. To better understand the mechanism of PROTAC-induced Target Protein Degradation (TPD), several computational approaches have recently been developed to study and predict ternary complex formation. However, mounting evidence suggests that ubiquitination can also be a rate-limiting step in PROTAC-induced TPD. Here, we propose a structure-based computational approach to predict target protein ubiquitination induced by cereblon (CRBN)-based PROTACs by leveraging available structural information of the CRL4A ligase complex (CRBN/DDB1/CUL4A/Rbx1/NEDD8/E2/Ub). We generated ternary complex ensembles with Rosetta, modeled multiple CRL4A ligase complex conformations, and predicted ubiquitination efficiency by separating the ternary ensemble into productive and unproductive complexes based on the proximity of the ubiquitin to accessible lysines on the target protein. We validated our CRL4A ligase complex models with published ternary complex structures, and additionally employed our modeling workflow to predict ubiquitination efficiencies and sites of a series of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) after treatment with TL12-186, a pan-kinase PROTAC. Our predictions are consistent with CDK ubiquitination and site-directed mutagenesis of specific CDK lysine residues as measured using a NanoBRET ubiquitination assay in HEK293 cells. This work structurally links PROTAC-induced ternary formation and ubiquitination, representing an important step towards prediction of target "degradability".
    Keywords:  CRL4A ligase complex; PROTAC; Ubiquitination; computational drug design; degrader
  21. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Feb 08. pii: e2111737119. [Epub ahead of print]119(6):
      Hepatic insulin resistance is a hallmark feature of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and type-2 diabetes and significantly contributes to systemic insulin resistance. Abnormal activation of nutrient and stress-sensing kinases leads to serine/threonine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate (IRS) and subsequent IRS proteasome degradation, which is a key underlying cause of hepatic insulin resistance. Recently, members of the cullin-RING E3 ligases (CRLs) have emerged as mediators of IRS protein turnover, but the pathophysiological roles and therapeutic implications of this cellular signaling regulation is largely unknown. CRLs are activated upon cullin neddylation, a process of covalent conjugation of a ubiquitin-like protein called Nedd8 to a cullin scaffold. Here, we report that pharmacological inhibition of cullin neddylation by MLN4924 (Pevonedistat) rapidly decreases hepatic glucose production and attenuates hyperglycemia in mice. Mechanistically, neddylation inhibition delays CRL-mediated IRS protein turnover to prolong insulin action in hepatocytes. In vitro knockdown of either cullin 1 or cullin 3, but not other cullin members, attenuates insulin-induced IRS protein degradation and enhances cellular insulin signaling activation. In contrast, in vivo knockdown of liver cullin 3, but not cullin 1, stabilizes hepatic IRS and decreases blood glucose, which recapitulates the effect of MLN4924 treatment. In summary, these findings suggest that pharmacological inhibition of cullin neddylation represents a therapeutic approach for improving hepatic insulin signaling and lowering blood glucose.
    Keywords:  MLN4924; cullin; diabetes; fatty liver; insulin resistance
  22. Life Sci Alliance. 2022 May;pii: e202101082. [Epub ahead of print]5(5):
      Cells respond to changing nutrient environments by adjusting the abundance of surface nutrient transporters and receptors. This can be achieved by modulating ubiquitin-dependent endocytosis, which in part is regulated by the NEDD4 family of E3 ligases. Here we report novel regulation of Pub1, a fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe member of the NEDD4-family of E3 ligases. We show that nitrogen stress inhibits Pub1 function, thereby increasing the abundance of the amino acid transporter Aat1 at the plasma membrane and enhancing sensitivity to the toxic arginine analogue canavanine. We show that TOR complex 2 (TORC2) signalling negatively regulates Pub1, thus TORC2 mutants under nutrient stress have decreased Aat1 at the plasma membrane and are resistant to canavanine. Inhibition of TORC2 signalling increases Pub1 phosphorylation, and this is dependent on Gsk3 activity. Addition of the Tor inhibitor Torin1 increases phosphorylation of Pub1 at serine 199 (S199) by 2.5-fold, and Pub1 protein levels in S199A phospho-ablated mutants are reduced. S199 is conserved in NEDD4 and is located immediately upstream of a WW domain required for protein interaction. Together, we describe how the major TORC2 nutrient-sensing signalling network regulates environmental control of Pub1 to modulate the abundance of nutrient transporters.
  23. Autophagy. 2022 Feb 01. 1-17
      Impairments in macroautophagy/autophagy, which degrades dysfunctional organelles as well as long-lived and aggregate proteins, are associated with several cardiomyopathies; however, the regulation of cardiac autophagy remains insufficiently understood. In this regard, ULK1 and ULK2 are thought to play primarily redundant roles in autophagy initiation, but whether their function is developmentally determined, potentially having an impact on cardiac integrity and function remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that perinatal loss of ULK1 or ULK2 in cardiomyocytes (cU1-KO and cU2-KO mice, respectively) enhances basal autophagy without altering autophagy machinery content while preserving cardiac function. This increased basal autophagy is dependent on the remaining ULK protein given that perinatal loss of both ULK1 and ULK2 in cU1/2-DKO mice impaired autophagy causing age-related cardiomyopathy and reduced survival. Conversely, adult loss of cardiac ULK1, but not of ULK2 (i.e., icU1-KO and icU2-KO mice, respectively), led to a rapidly developing cardiomyopathy, heart failure and early death. icU1-KO mice had impaired autophagy with robust deficits in mitochondrial respiration and ATP synthesis. Trehalose ameliorated autophagy impairments in icU1-KO hearts but did not delay cardiac dysfunction suggesting that ULK1 plays other critical, autophagy-independent, functions in the adult heart. Collectively, these results indicate that cardiac ULK1 and ULK2 are functionally redundant in the developing heart, while ULK1 assumes a more unique, prominent role in the adult heart.Abbreviations: ATG4: autophagy related 4, cysteine peptidase; ATG5: autophagy related 5; ATG7: autophagy related 7; ATG9: autophagy related 9; ATG13: autophagy related 13; CYCS: Cytochrome C; DNM1L, dynamin 1-like; MAP1LC3A: microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 alpha; MAP1LC3B: microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta; MFN1: mitofusin 1; MFN2: mitofusin 2; MT-CO1: mitochondrially encoded cytochrome c oxidase I; MYH: myosin, heavy polypeptide; NBR1: NBR1 autophagy cargo receptor; NDUFA9: NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase subunit A9; OPA1: OPA1, mitochondrial dynamin like GTPase; PPARGC1A, peroxisome proliferator activated receptor, gamma, coactivator 1 alpha; SDHA: succinate dehydrogenase complex, subunit A, flavoprotein (Fp); SQSTM1: sequestosome 1; ULK1: unc-51 like kinase 1; ULK2: unc-51 like kinase 2; UQCRC1: ubiquinol-cytochrome c reductase core protein 1.
    Keywords:  Age-related cardiomyopathy; MAP1LC3; NBR1; SQSTM1; dilated cardiomyopathy; heart failure; mitochondria; mitophagy
  24. Dis Model Mech. 2022 01 01. pii: dmm049345. [Epub ahead of print]15(1):
      Autophagy, as the key nutrient recycling pathway, enables eukaryotic cells to adapt to surging cellular stress during aging and, thereby, delays age-associated deterioration. Autophagic flux declines with age and, in turn, decreases in autophagy contribute to the aging process itself and promote senescence. Here, we outline how autophagy regulates immune aging and discuss autophagy-inducing interventions that target senescent immune cells, which are major drivers of systemic aging. We examine how cutting-edge technologies, such as single-cell omics methods hold the promise to capture the complexity of molecular and cellular phenotypes associated with aging, driving the development of suitable putative biomarkers and clinical bioassays. Finally, we debate the urgency to initiate large-scale human clinical trials. We give special preference to small molecule probes and to dietary interventions that can extend healthy lifespan and are affordable for most of the world's population.
    Keywords:  Aging; Autophagy; Autophagy inducer; Immune system
  25. EMBO J. 2022 Jan 31. e107505
      Establishment of correct synaptic connections is a crucial step during neural circuitry formation. The Teneurin family of neuronal transmembrane proteins promotes cell-cell adhesion via homophilic and heterophilic interactions, and is required for synaptic partner matching in the visual and hippocampal systems in vertebrates. It remains unclear how individual Teneurins form macromolecular cis- and trans-synaptic protein complexes. Here, we present a 2.7 Å cryo-EM structure of the dimeric ectodomain of human Teneurin4. The structure reveals a compact conformation of the dimer, stabilized by interactions mediated by the C-rich, YD-shell, and ABD domains. A 1.5 Å crystal structure of the C-rich domain shows three conserved calcium binding sites, and thermal unfolding assays and SAXS-based rigid-body modeling demonstrate that the compactness and stability of Teneurin4 dimers are calcium-dependent. Teneurin4 dimers form a more extended conformation in conditions that lack calcium. Cellular assays reveal that the compact cis-dimer is compatible with homomeric trans-interactions. Together, these findings support a role for teneurins as a scaffold for macromolecular complex assembly and the establishment of cis- and trans-synaptic interactions to construct functional neuronal circuits.
    Keywords:  Teneurins; neuroscience; structural biology; synaptic cell adhesion; transmembrane proteins
  26. Oncogene. 2022 Feb 02.
      Transmembrane glycoprotein NMB (GPNMB) is a prognostic marker of poor outcome in patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Glembatumumab Vedotin, an antibody drug conjugate targeting GPNMB, exhibits variable efficacy against GPNMB-positive metastatic TNBC as a single agent. We show that GPNMB levels increase in response to standard-of-care and experimental therapies for multiple breast cancer subtypes. While these therapeutic stressors induce GPNMB expression through differential engagement of the MiTF family of transcription factors, not all are capable of increasing GPNMB cell-surface localization required for Glembatumumab Vedotin inhibition. Using a FACS-based genetic screen, we discovered that suppression of heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) concomitantly increases GPNMB expression and cell-surface localization. Mechanistically, HSP90 inhibition resulted in lysosomal dispersion towards the cell periphery and fusion with the plasma membrane, which delivers GPNMB to the cell surface. Finally, treatment with HSP90 inhibitors sensitizes breast cancers to Glembatumumab Vedotin in vivo, suggesting that combination of HSP90 inhibitors and Glembatumumab Vedotin may be a viable treatment strategy for patients with metastatic TNBC.
  27. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Feb 03. 13(2): 106
      Gasdermin D (GSDMD) participates in the activation of inflammasomes and pyroptosis. Meanwhile, ubiquitination strictly regulates inflammatory responses. However, how ubiquitination regulates Gasdermin D activity is not well understood. In this study, we show that pyroptosis triggered by Gasdermin D is regulated through ubiquitination. Specifically, SYVN1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase of gasdermin D, promotes GSDMD-mediated pyroptosis. SYVN1 deficiency inhibits pyroptosis and subsequent LDH release and PI uptake. SYVN1 directly interacts with GSDMD, and mediates K27-linked polyubiquitination of GSDMD on K203 and K204 residues, promoting GSDMD-induced pyroptotic cell death. Thus, our findings revealed the essential role of SYVN1 in GSDMD-mediated pyroptosis. Overall, GSDMD ubiquitination is a potential therapeutic module for inflammatory diseases.
  28. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2418 223-241
      Protein synthesis and degradation determine the relationship between mRNA and corresponding protein amounts. This relationship can change in a dynamic and selective fashion when translational efficiencies of transcript subsets are altered downstream of, for example, translation factors and/or RNA binding proteins. Notably, even transcription factors such as estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) can modulate mRNA translation in a transcript-selective manner. Yet, despite ample evidence suggesting a key role for mRNA translation in shaping the proteome in health and disease, it remains largely unexplored. Here, we present a guide for the extraction of mRNA engaged in translation using polysome fractionation with linear and optimized sucrose gradients. The isolated polysome-associated RNA is then quantified, in parallel with total mRNA from the same conditions, using methods such as RNA sequencing; and the resulting data set is analyzed to derive transcriptome-wide insights into how mRNA translation is modulated. The methods we describe are applicable to cultured cells, small numbers of FACS-isolated primary cells, and small tissue samples from biobanks or animal studies. Accordingly, this approach can be applied to study in detail how ERα and other factors control gene expression by selectively modulating mRNA translation both in vitro and in vivo.
    Keywords:  Estrogen receptor alpha; Gene expression; Polysome profiling; RNA sequencing; mRNA translation
  29. Mol Cell. 2022 Jan 28. pii: S1097-2765(22)00009-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      The superkiller (SKI) complex is the cytoplasmic co-factor and regulator of the RNA-degrading exosome. In human cells, the SKI complex functions mainly in co-translational surveillance-decay pathways, and its malfunction is linked to a severe congenital disorder, the trichohepatoenteric syndrome. To obtain insights into the molecular mechanisms regulating the human SKI (hSKI) complex, we structurally characterized several of its functional states in the context of 80S ribosomes and substrate RNA. In a prehydrolytic ATP form, the hSKI complex exhibits a closed conformation with an inherent gating system that effectively traps the 80S-bound RNA into the hSKI2 helicase subunit. When active, hSKI switches to an open conformation in which the gating is released and the RNA 3' end exits the helicase. The emerging picture is that the gatekeeping mechanism and architectural remodeling of hSKI underpin a regulated RNA channeling system that is mechanistically conserved among the cytoplasmic and nuclear helicase-exosome complexes.
    Keywords:  RNA degradation; conformational regulation; cryo-EM; exosome cofactors; helicase; ribosome cofactors; translation; trichohepatoenteric syndrome (THES)
  30. Nucleic Acids Res. 2022 Feb 01. pii: gkac056. [Epub ahead of print]
      N 6-Threonylcarbamoyladenosine (t6A) is a universal and pivotal tRNA modification. KEOPS in eukaryotes participates in its biogenesis, whose mutations are connected with Galloway-Mowat syndrome. However, the tRNA substrate selection mechanism by KEOPS and t6A modification function in mammalian cells remain unclear. Here, we confirmed that all ANN-decoding human cytoplasmic tRNAs harbor a t6A moiety. Using t6A modification systems from various eukaryotes, we proposed the possible coevolution of position 33 of initiator tRNAMet and modification enzymes. The role of the universal CCA end in t6A biogenesis varied among species. However, all KEOPSs critically depended on C32 and two base pairs in the D-stem. Knockdown of the catalytic subunit OSGEP in HEK293T cells had no effect on the steady-state abundance of cytoplasmic tRNAs but selectively inhibited tRNAIle aminoacylation. Combined with in vitro aminoacylation assays, we revealed that t6A functions as a tRNAIle isoacceptor-specific positive determinant for human cytoplasmic isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase (IARS1). t6A deficiency had divergent effects on decoding efficiency at ANN codons and promoted +1 frameshifting. Altogether, our results shed light on the tRNA recognition mechanism, revealing both commonality and diversity in substrate recognition by eukaryotic KEOPSs, and elucidated the critical role of t6A in tRNAIle aminoacylation and codon decoding in human cells.
  31. J Mol Biol. 2022 Jan 28. pii: S0022-2836(22)00032-8. [Epub ahead of print] 167468
      Herein we examine the determinants of the allosteric inhibition of the mitochondrial chaperone TRAP1 by a small molecule ligand. The knowledge generated is harnessed into the design of novel derivatives with interesting biological properties. TRAP1 is a member of the Hsp90 family of proteins, which work through sequential steps of ATP processing coupled to client-protein remodeling. Isoform selective inhibition of TRAP1 can provide novel information on the biomolecular mechanisms of molecular chaperones, as well as new insights into the development of small molecules with therapeutic potential. Our analysis of the interactions between an active first-generation allosteric ligand and TRAP1 shows how the small molecule induces long-range perturbations that influence the attainment of reactive poses in the active site. At the same time, the dynamic adaptation of the allosteric binding pocket to the presence of the first-generation compound sets the stage for the design of a set of second-generation ligands: the characterization of the formation/disappearance of pockets around the allosteric site that is used to guide optimize the ligands' fit for the allosteric site and improve inhibitory activities. The effects of the newly designed molecules are validated experimentally in vitro and in vivo. We discuss the implications of our approach as a promising strategy towards understanding the molecular determinants of allosteric regulation in chemical and molecular biology, and towards speeding up the design of allosteric small molecule modulators.
    Keywords:  Allosteric Ligands; Allosteric Regulation; Hsp90; Molecular chaperones; Protein Folding; TRAP1