bims-proteo Biomed News
on Proteostasis
Issue of 2022‒02‒20
forty-five papers selected by
Eric Chevet

  1. EMBO J. 2022 Feb 16. e109845
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a large, dynamic, and multifunctional organelle. ER protein homeostasis is essential for the coordination of its diverse functions and depends on ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD). The latter process selects target proteins in the lumen and membrane of the ER, promotes their ubiquitination, and facilitates their delivery into the cytosol for degradation by the proteasome. Originally characterized for a role in the degradation of misfolded proteins and rate-limiting enzymes of sterol biosynthesis, the many branches of ERAD now appear to control the levels of a wider range of substrates and influence more broadly the organization and functions of the ER, as well as its interactions with adjacent organelles. Here, we discuss recent mechanistic advances in our understanding of ERAD and of its consequences for the regulation of ER functions.
    Keywords:  ERAD; endoplasmic reticulum; protein degradation; protein quality control; ubiquitin ligase
  2. PLoS Biol. 2022 Feb 18. 20(2): e3001569
      The sequence space accessible to evolving proteins can be enhanced by cellular chaperones that assist biophysically defective clients in navigating complex folding landscapes. It is also possible, at least in theory, for proteostasis mechanisms that promote strict quality control to greatly constrain accessible protein sequence space. Unfortunately, most efforts to understand how proteostasis mechanisms influence evolution rely on artificial inhibition or genetic knockdown of specific chaperones. The few experiments that perturb quality control pathways also generally modulate the levels of only individual quality control factors. Here, we use chemical genetic strategies to tune proteostasis networks via natural stress response pathways that regulate the levels of entire suites of chaperones and quality control mechanisms. Specifically, we upregulate the unfolded protein response (UPR) to test the hypothesis that the host endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteostasis network shapes the sequence space accessible to human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) envelope (Env) protein. Elucidating factors that enhance or constrain Env sequence space is critical because Env evolves extremely rapidly, yielding HIV strains with antibody- and drug-escape mutations. We find that UPR-mediated upregulation of ER proteostasis factors, particularly those controlled by the IRE1-XBP1s UPR arm, globally reduces Env mutational tolerance. Conserved, functionally important Env regions exhibit the largest decreases in mutational tolerance upon XBP1s induction. Our data indicate that this phenomenon likely reflects strict quality control endowed by XBP1s-mediated remodeling of the ER proteostasis environment. Intriguingly, and in contrast, specific regions of Env, including regions targeted by broadly neutralizing antibodies, display enhanced mutational tolerance when XBP1s is induced, hinting at a role for host proteostasis network hijacking in potentiating antibody escape. These observations reveal a key function for proteostasis networks in decreasing instead of expanding the sequence space accessible to client proteins, while also demonstrating that the host ER proteostasis network profoundly shapes the mutational tolerance of Env in ways that could have important consequences for HIV adaptation.
  3. Mol Cell. 2022 Feb 09. pii: S1097-2765(22)00059-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Folding of stringent clients requires transfer from Hsp70 to Hsp90. The co-chaperone Hop physically connects the chaperone machineries. Here, we define its role from the remodeling of Hsp70/40-client complexes to the mechanism of client transfer and the conformational switching from stalled to active client-processing states of Hsp90. We show that Hsp70 together with Hsp40 completely unfold a stringent client, the glucocorticoid receptor ligand-binding domain (GR-LBD) in large assemblies. Hop remodels these for efficient transfer onto Hsp90. As p23 enters, Hsp70 leaves the complex via switching between binding sites in Hop. Current concepts assume that to proceed to client folding, Hop dissociates and the co-chaperone p23 stabilizes the Hsp90 closed state. In contrast, we show that p23 functionally interacts with Hop, relieves the stalling Hsp90-Hop interaction, and closes Hsp90. This reaction allows folding of the client and is thus the key regulatory step for the progression of the chaperone cycle.
    Keywords:  Hop; Hsp70; Hsp90; TPR domains; chaperone networks; client transfer; glucocorticoid receptor; optical trap; p23; protein folding
  4. Elife. 2022 Feb 16. pii: e57593. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Primary ciliary defects cause a group of developmental conditions known as ciliopathies. Here, we provide mechanistic insight into ciliary ubiquitin processing in cells and for mouse model lacking the ciliary protein Mks1. In vivo loss of Mks1 sensitizes cells to proteasomal disruption, leading to abnormal accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins. We identified UBE2E1, an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme that polyubiquitinates β-catenin, and RNF34, an E3 ligase, as novel interactants of MKS1. UBE2E1 and MKS1 colocalized, and loss of UBE2E1 recapitulates the ciliary and Wnt signalling phenotypes observed during loss of MKS1. Levels of UBE2E1 and MKS1 are co-dependent and UBE2E1 mediates both regulatory and degradative ubiquitination of MKS1. We demonstrate that processing of phosphorylated β-catenin occurs at the ciliary base through the functional interaction between UBE2E1 and MKS1. These observations suggest that correct β-catenin levels are tightly regulated at the primary cilium by a ciliary-specific E2 (UBE2E1) and a regulatory substrate-adaptor (MKS1).
    Keywords:  cell biology; human; mouse
  5. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2022 Feb 14.
      Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) molecules are complex glycophospholipids and serve as membrane anchors for tethering many proteins to the cell surface. Attaching GPI to the protein in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is catalyzed by the transmembrane GPI transamidase (GPIT) complex, which is essential for maturation of the GPI-anchored proteins. The GPIT complex is known to be composed of five subunits: PIGK, PIGU, PIGT, PIGS and GPAA1. Here, we determined the structure of the human GPIT complex at a resolution of 3.1 Å using single-particle cryo-EM, elucidating its overall assembly. The PIGK subunit functions as the catalytic component, in which we identified a C206-H164-N58 triad that is critical for the transamination reaction. Transmembrane helices constitute a widely opened cleft, which is located underneath PIGK, serving as a GPI substrate-binding site. The ubiquitin E3 ligase RNF121 is visualized at the back of the complex and probably serves as a quality control factor for the GPIT complex.
  6. Front Mol Biosci. 2021 ;8 804097
      The endoplasmic reticulum is a central player in liver pathophysiology. Chronic injury to the ER through increased lipid content, alcohol metabolism, or accumulation of misfolded proteins causes ER stress, dysregulated hepatocyte function, inflammation, and worsened disease pathogenesis. A key adaptation of the ER to resolve stress is the removal of excess or misfolded proteins. Degradation of intra-luminal or ER membrane proteins occurs through distinct mechanisms that include ER-associated Degradation (ERAD) and ER-to-lysosome-associated degradation (ERLAD), which includes macro-ER-phagy, micro-ER-phagy, and Atg8/LC-3-dependent vesicular delivery. All three of these processes are critical for removing misfolded or unfolded protein aggregates, and re-establishing ER homeostasis following expansion/stress, which is critical for liver function and adaptation to injury. Despite playing a key role in resolving ER stress, the contribution of these degradative processes to liver physiology and pathophysiology is understudied. Analysis of publicly available datasets from diseased livers revealed that numerous genes involved in ER-related degradative pathways are dysregulated; however, their roles and regulation in disease progression are not well defined. Here we discuss the dynamic regulation of ER-related protein disposal pathways in chronic liver disease and cell-type specific roles, as well as potentially targetable mechanisms for treatment of chronic liver disease.
    Keywords:  ER associated degradation; ER-lysosomal degradation; ER-phagy; alcoholic liver disease; alpha-1 antitrypsin disease; fibrosis; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
  7. Aging Cell. 2022 Feb 16. e13558
      Age is a risk factor for numerous diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, cancers, and diabetes. Loss of protein homeostasis is a central hallmark of aging. Activation of the endoplasmic reticulum unfolded protein response (UPRER ) includes changes in protein translation and membrane lipid synthesis. Using stable isotope labeling, a flux "signature" of the UPRER in vivo in mouse liver was developed by inducing ER stress with tunicamycin and measuring rates of both proteome-wide translation and de novo lipogenesis. Several changes in protein synthesis across ontologies were noted with age, including a more dramatic suppression of translation under ER stress in aged mice as compared with young mice. Binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP) synthesis rates and mRNA levels were increased more in aged than young mice. De novo lipogenesis rates decreased under ER stress conditions in aged mice, including both triglyceride and phospholipid fractions. In young mice, a significant reduction was seen only in the triglyceride fraction. These data indicate that aged mice have an exaggerated metabolic flux response to ER stress, which may indicate that aging renders the UPRER less effective in resolving proteotoxic stress.
    Keywords:  aging; de novo lipogenesis; endoplasmic reticulum; proteome dynamics; proteomics; unfolded protein response
  8. EMBO Rep. 2022 Feb 15. e53354
      Protein ubiquitination is a dynamic and reversible post-translational modification that controls diverse cellular processes in eukaryotes. Ubiquitin-dependent internalization, recycling, and degradation are important mechanisms that regulate the activity and the abundance of plasma membrane (PM)-localized proteins. In plants, although several ubiquitin ligases are implicated in these processes, no deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs), have been identified that directly remove ubiquitin from membrane proteins and limit their vacuolar degradation. Here, we discover two DUB proteins, UBP12 and UBP13, that directly target the PM-localized brassinosteroid (BR) receptor BR INSENSITIVE1 (BRI1) in Arabidopsis. BRI1 protein abundance is decreased in the ubp12i/ubp13 double mutant that displayed severe growth defects and reduced sensitivity to BRs. UBP13 directly interacts with and effectively removes K63-linked polyubiquitin chains from BRI1, thereby negatively modulating its vacuolar targeting and degradation. Our study reveals that UBP12 and UBP13 play crucial roles in governing BRI1 abundance and BR signaling activity to regulate plant growth.
    Keywords:  endocytosis; membrane protein; phytohormone; receptor; ubiquitination
  9. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2428 3-18
      Phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2α is an adaptive signaling event that is essential for cell and organismal survival from yeast to humans. It is central to the integrated stress response (ISR) that maintains cellular homeostasis in the face of threats ranging from viral infection, amino acid, oxygen, and heme deprivation to the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. Phosphorylation of eIF2α has broad physiological, pathological, and therapeutic relevance. However, despite more than two decades of research and growing pharmacological interest, phosphorylation of eIF2α remains difficult to detect and quantify, because of its transient nature and because substoichiometric amounts of this modification are sufficient to profoundly reshape cellular physiology. This review aims to provide a roadmap for facilitating a robust evaluation of eIF2α phosphorylation and its downstream consequences in cells and organisms.
    Keywords:  ATF4; CHOP; Integrated stress response; PPP1R15A/GADD34; PPP1R15B/CReP; Signaling; Stress signaling; Translation; Unfolded protein response; eIF2α dephosphorylation; eIF2α phosphorylation
  10. ACS Omega. 2022 Feb 08. 7(5): 3836-3843
      Protein p53 is degraded by the 26S proteasome, a protein complex that breaks down cellular proteins. Degradation begins with activation of the protein ubiquitin (Ub) by the ubiquitin-activating E1 enzymes, ubiquitin-conjugating E2 enzymes, and ubiquitin E3 ligases, linking Ub or the polyubiquitin chain to p53 and marking it for degradation by the 26S proteasome. E3 ubiquitin ligases participate in this process and regulate p53 stability. There are compounds that inhibit the 26S proteasome and interfere at the p53 level, and some of these inhibitors are used to treat cancer and other diseases and can stabilize tumor suppressor proteins through the p53 pathway. This review discusses how the ubiquitin-proteasome system, p53, and these compounds are related.
  11. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2022 Feb 16.
      After lung injury, "damage-associated transient progenitors" (DATPs) emerge, representing a transitional state between injured epithelial cells and newly regenerated alveoli. DATPs express profibrotic genes, suggesting that they might promote idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). However, the molecular pathways that induce and/or maintain DATPs are incompletely understood. Here we show that the bifunctional kinase/RNase-IRE1α-a central mediator of the unfolded protein response (UPR) to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a critical promoter of DATP abundance and function. Administration of a nanomolar-potent, mono-selective kinase inhibitor of IRE1α (KIRA8)-or conditional epithelial IRE1α gene knockout-both reduce DATP cell number and fibrosis in the bleomycin model, indicating that IRE1α cell-autonomously promotes transition into the DATP state. IRE1α enhances the profibrotic phenotype of DATPs, since KIRA8 decreases expression of integrin αvβ6, a key activator of TGFβ in pulmonary fibrosis, corresponding to decreased TGFβ-induced gene expression in the epithelium and decreased collagen accumulation around DATPs. Furthermore, IRE1α regulates DNA damage response (DDR) signaling, previously shown to promote the DATP phenotype, as IRE1α loss-of-function decreases H2AX phosphorylation, Cdkn1a (p21) expression, and DDR-associated secretory gene expression. Finally, KIRA8 treatment increases the differentiation of Krt19CreERT2-lineage-traced DATPs into type 1 alveolar epithelial cells after bleomycin injury, indicating that relief from IRE1α signaling enables DATPs to exit the transitional state. Thus, IRE1α coordinates a network of stress pathways that conspire to entrap injured cells in the DATP state. Pharmacologic blockade of IRE1α signaling helps resolve the DATP state, thereby ameliorating fibrosis and promoting salutary lung regeneration.
    Keywords:  ER stress; Fibrosis; Lung Progenitor Cells; Lung Regeneration; Unfolded Protein Response
  12. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2462 45-57
      Certain E3 ubiquitin ligases play a key role in the abscisic acid (ABA) pathway by targeting clade A type 2C protein phosphatases (PP2Cs) for degradation. At early stages of ABA signaling, degradation of PP2Cs is a complementary step to PP2Cs inhibition by ABA receptors. At later steps, protein levels of PP2Cs are increased as a negative feedback mechanism. Subsequently, E3 ligases targeting PP2Cs are critical to recover the basal PP2C levels and reset the ABA signaling. BTB/POZ AND MATH DOMAIN proteins (BPMs) are substrate adaptors of a multimeric cullin3-RING based E3 ligase and target for degradation clade A PP2Cs. In this chapter, we provide a detailed protocol to assess the ubiquitination of PP2CA, a clade A PP2C, mediated by BPMs using agarose-immobilised p62-derived ubiquitin-associated (UBA) domain, which efficiently binds ubiquitinated proteins.
    Keywords:  ABA; Affinity purification; BPM; E3 ubiquitin ligase; PP2C; Pulldown; p62
  13. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2428 157-171
      Translational control provides a strategy for rapid optimization of gene expression and restoration of protein homeostasis in response to cellular stresses. An important mechanism for translational control involves phosphorylation of eIF2, which invokes the integrated stress response (ISR). In the ISR, initiation of bulk protein synthesis is lowered coincident with enhanced translation efficiency of select gene transcripts that serve critical functions in stress adaptation. In this chapter, we focus on polysome profiling as a tool for establishing and characterizing translation control induced by eIF2 phosphorylation during environmental stresses. We describe in detail the experimental strategies of polysome profiling for detecting bulk repression of the translational machinery and quantifying translational control of key stress-induced gene transcripts. These experimental strategies can be adjusted to measure individual gene transcripts or genome-wide analyses and can be adapted to measure changes in the levels of ribosome subunits and associated factors invoked by various cellular cues in the ISR.
    Keywords:  ATF4; Integrated stress response; Polysome profiling; Translational control; mRNA translation
  14. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Feb 22. pii: e2102248119. [Epub ahead of print]119(8):
      G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) play crucial roles in numerous physiological and pathological processes. Mutations in GPCRs that result in loss of function or alterations in signaling can lead to inherited or acquired diseases. Herein, studying prokineticin receptor 2 (PROKR2), we initially identify distinct interactomes for wild-type (WT) versus a mutant (P290S) PROKR2 that causes hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. We then find that both the WT and mutant PROKR2 are targeted for endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation, but the mutant is degraded to a greater extent. Further analysis revealed that both forms can also leave the ER to reach the Golgi. However, whereas most of the WT is further transported to the cell surface, most of the mutant is retrieved to the ER. Thus, the post-ER itinerary plays an important role in distinguishing the ultimate fate of the WT versus the mutant. We have further discovered that this post-ER itinerary reduces ER stress induced by the mutant PROKR2. Moreover, we extend the core findings to another model GPCR. Our findings advance the understanding of disease pathogenesis induced by a mutation at a key residue that is conserved across many GPCRs and thus contributes to a fundamental understanding of the diverse mechanisms used by cellular quality control to accommodate misfolded proteins.
    Keywords:  Golgi; PROKR2; endoplasmic reticulum
  15. Nature. 2022 Feb 16.
      Hydrolase enzymes, including proteases, are encoded by 2-3% of the genes in the human genome and 14% of these enzymes are active drug targets1. However, the activities and substrate specificities of many proteases-especially those embedded in membranes-and other hydrolases remain unknown. Here we report a strategy for creating mechanism-based, light-activated protease and hydrolase substrate traps in complex mixtures and live mammalian cells. The traps capture substrates of hydrolases, which normally use a serine or cysteine nucleophile. Replacing the catalytic nucleophile with genetically encoded 2,3-diaminopropionic acid allows the first step reaction to form an acyl-enzyme intermediate in which a substrate fragment is covalently linked to the enzyme through a stable amide bond2; this enables stringent purification and identification of substrates. We identify new substrates for proteases, including an intramembrane mammalian rhomboid protease RHBDL4 (refs. 3,4). We demonstrate that RHBDL4 can shed luminal fragments of endoplasmic reticulum-resident type I transmembrane proteins to the extracellular space, as well as promoting non-canonical secretion of endogenous soluble endoplasmic reticulum-resident chaperones. We also discover that the putative serine hydrolase retinoblastoma binding protein 9 (ref. 5) is an aminopeptidase with a preference for removing aromatic amino acids in human cells. Our results exemplify a powerful paradigm for identifying the substrates and activities of hydrolase enzymes.
  16. Aging (Albany NY). 2022 Feb 15. 14(undefined):
      The protein kinase R (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum (ER) kinase (PERK), a key ER stress sensor of the unfolded protein response (UPR), can confer beneficial effects by facilitating the removal of cytosolic aggregates through the autophagy-lysosome pathway (ALP). In neurodegenerative diseases, the ALP ameliorates the accumulation of intracellular protein aggregates in the brain. Transcription factor-EB (TFEB), a master regulator of the ALP, positively regulates key genes involved in the cellular degradative pathway. However, in neurons, the role of PERK activation in mitigating amyloidogenesis by ALP remains unclear. In this study, we found that SB202190 selectively activates PERK independently of its inhibition of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, but not inositol-requiring transmembrane kinase/endoribonuclease-1α (IRE1α) or activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6), in human neuroblastoma cells. PERK activation by SB202190 was dependent on mitochondrial ROS production and promoted Ca2+-calcineurin activation. The activation of the PERK-Ca2+-calcineurin axis by SB202190 positively affects TFEB activity to increase ALP in neuroblastoma cells. Collectively, our study reveals a novel physiological mechanism underlying ALP activation, dependent on PERK activation, for ameliorating amyloidogenesis in neurodegenerative diseases.
    Keywords:  PERK; amyloidogenesis; autophagy-lysosome pathway; mitochondrial reactive oxygen species; transcription factor-EB
  17. Autophagy. 2022 Feb 15. 1-11
      Macroautophagy/autophagy is a highly conserved catabolic process by which cytoplasmic constituents are delivered to the vacuole/lysosome for degradation and recycling. To maintain cellular homeostasis and prevent pathologies, the induction and amplitude of autophagy activity are finely controlled through regulation of ATG gene expression. Here we report that the Ccr4-Not complex in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has bidirectional roles in regulating autophagy before and after nutrient deprivation. Under nutrient-rich conditions, Ccr4-Not directly targets the mRNAs of several ATG genes in the core autophagy machinery to promote their degradation through deadenylation, thus contributing to maintaining autophagy at the basal level. Upon starvation, Ccr4-Not releases its repression of these ATG genes and switches its role to promote the expression of a different subset of ATG genes, which is required for sufficient autophagy induction and activity. These results reveal that the Ccr4-Not complex is indispensable to maintain autophagy at the appropriate amplitude in both basal and stress conditions.
    Keywords:  ATG mRNA; Ccr4-Not complex; Pop2/Caf1; RNA decay; autophagy; deadenylation; nitrogen starvation; post-transcriptional regulation
  18. Biochem Soc Trans. 2022 Feb 15. pii: BST20210813. [Epub ahead of print]
      Autophagy is an evolutionally conserved cytoplasmic degradation pathway in which the double membrane structure, autophagosome sequesters cytoplasmic material and delivers them to lysosomes for degradation. Many autophagy related (ATG) proteins participate in the regulation of the several steps of autophagic process. Among ATGs, ubiquitin-like protein, ATG8 plays a pivotal role in autophagy. ATG8 is directly conjugated on lipid in autophagosome membrane upon induction of autophagy thus providing a good marker to monitor and analyze autophagy process. However, recent discoveries suggest that ATG8 has autophagy independent non-canonical functions and ATG8 positive structures are not always autophagosomes. This review briefly overviews canonical and non-canonical roles of ATG8 and introduce novel function of ATG8 to activate Transcriptional Factor EB(TFEB), a master transcription factor of autophagy and lysosome function during lysosomal damage.
    Keywords:  ATG8; TFEB; autophagy; lysosomes
  19. Genetics. 2022 Feb 17. pii: iyac025. [Epub ahead of print]
      The ubiquitin-proteasome system is associated with various phenomena including learning and memory. In this paper, we report that E3 ubiquitin ligase homologs and the proteasome function are involved in taste avoidance learning, a type of associative learning between starvation and salt concentrations, in Caenorhabditis elegans. Pharmacological inhibition of proteasome function using bortezomib causes severe defects in taste avoidance learning. Among nine HECT-type ubiquitin ligase genes, loss-of-function mutations of six ubiquitin ligase genes cause significant abnormalities in taste avoidance learning. Double mutations of those genes cause lethality or enhanced defects in taste avoidance learning, suggesting that the HECT-type ubiquitin ligases act in multiple pathways in the processes of learning. Furthermore, mutations of the ubiquitin ligase genes cause additive effects on taste avoidance learning defects of the insulin-like signaling mutants. Our findings unveil the consequences of aberrant functions of the proteasome and ubiquitin systems in learning behavior of C. elegans.
    Keywords:   Caenorhabditis elegans ; associative learning; proteasome; ubiquitin ligase
  20. Autophagy. 2022 Feb 15. 1-3
      The circadian clock drives daily cycles of physiology and behavioral outputs to keep organisms in tune with the environment. Cyclic oscillations in levels of the clock proteins maintain circadian rhythmicity. In our recent work, we have discovered the interdependence of the circadian clock and chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), a selective form of lysosomal protein degradation. Central and peripheral degradation of core clock proteins by CMA (selective chronophagy) modulates circadian rhythm. Loss of CMA in vivo disrupts physiological circadian cycling, resembling defects observed in aging, a condition with reduced CMA. Conversely, the circadian clock temporally regulates CMA activity in a tissue-specific manner, contributing to remodeling of a distinct subproteome at different circadian times. This timely remodeling cannot be sustained when CMA fails, despite rerouting of some CMA substrates to other degradation pathways.
    Keywords:  Central clock; chaperones; circadian rhythms; lysosomes; organelle proteomics; peripheral clock
  21. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2022 Feb 11. pii: S0925-4439(22)00029-1. [Epub ahead of print] 166366
      Understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie different human pathologies is necessary to develop novel therapeutic strategies. An emerging mechanism of pathogenesis in many genetic disorders is the dysregulation of protein degradation, which leads to the accumulation of proteins that are responsible for the disease phenotype. Among the different cellular pathways that regulate active proteolysis, the Cullin RING E3 ligases represent an important group of sophisticated enzymatic complexes that mediate substrate ubiquitination through the interaction with specific adaptors. However, pathogenic mutations in these adaptors affect the physiological ubiquitination of their substrates. This review discusses our current understanding of this emerging field.
    Keywords:  BTB proteins; CRL3; Congenital disorders; Cullin 3; LZTR1; Ubiquitin
  22. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2022 Feb 15. pii: S1084-9521(22)00047-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Post-translational modifications of cellular substrates by members of the ubiquitin (Ub) and ubiquitin-like (UbL) family are crucial for regulating protein homeostasis in organisms. The term "ubiquitin code" encapsulates how this diverse family of modifications, via adding single UbLs or different types of UbL chains, leads to specific fates for substrates. Cancer, neurodegeneration and other conditions are sometimes linked to underlying errors in this code. Studying these modifications in cells is particularly challenging since they are usually transient, scarce, and compartment-specific. Advances in the use of biotin-based methods to label modified proteins, as well as their proximally-located interactors, facilitate isolation and identification of substrates, modification sites, and the enzymes responsible for writing and erasing these modifications, as well as factors recruited as a consequence of the substrate being modified. In this review, we discuss site-specific and proximity biotinylation approaches being currently applied for studying modifications by UbLs, highlighting the pros and cons, with mention of complementary methods when possible. Future improvements may come from bioengineering and chemical biology but even now, biotin-based technology is uncovering new substrates and regulators, expanding potential therapeutic targets to manipulate the Ub code.
    Keywords:  Biotin; BirA; Proximity proteomics; SUMO; Ubiquitin
  23. J Biol Chem. 2022 Feb 14. pii: S0021-9258(22)00170-3. [Epub ahead of print] 101730
      Optimal activation of NF-κB signaling is crucial for the initiation of inflammatory responses and eliminating invading bacteria. Bacteria have likewise evolved the ability to evade immunity; however, mechanisms by which bacteria dysregulate host NF-κB signaling are unclear. In this study, we identify eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF3k, a non-essential member of the eIF3 translation initiation complex, as a suppressor of the NF-κB pathway. Mechanistically, we show that eIF3k expression induced by Vibrio harveyi enhances E3 ligase Nrdp1-mediated K27-linked ubiquitination of MyD88, an upstream regulator of NF-κB pathway activation. Furthermore, we show eIF3k acts as a bridge linking ubiquitin-tagged MyD88 and ATG5, an important mediator of autophagy. We demonstrate that the MyD88-eIF3k-ATG5 complex is transported to the autophagosome for degradation, and that innate immune signaling is subsequently terminated and does not attack invading V. harveyi. Therefore, our study identifies eIF3k as a specific inhibitor of the MyD88-dependent NF-κB pathway and suggests that eIF3k may act as a selective autophagic receptor that synergizes with ATG5 to promote the autophagic degradation of MyD88, which help V. harveyi to evade innate immunity. We conclude that V. harveyi can manipulate a host's autophagy process to evade immunity in fish, and also provide a new perspective on mammalian resistance to bacterial invasion.
    Keywords:  MyD88; Vibrio harveyi; autophagy; eIF3k; immune evasion
  24. Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 18. 13(1): 967
      Inhibition of the master growth regulator mTORC1 (mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1) slows ageing across phyla, in part by reducing protein synthesis. Various stresses globally suppress protein synthesis through the integrated stress response (ISR), resulting in preferential translation of the transcription factor ATF-4. Here we show in C. elegans that inhibition of translation or mTORC1 increases ATF-4 expression, and that ATF-4 mediates longevity under these conditions independently of ISR signalling. ATF-4 promotes longevity by activating canonical anti-ageing mechanisms, but also by elevating expression of the transsulfuration enzyme CTH-2 to increase hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production. This H2S boost increases protein persulfidation, a protective modification of redox-reactive cysteines. The ATF-4/CTH-2/H2S pathway also mediates longevity and increased stress resistance from mTORC1 suppression. Increasing H2S levels, or enhancing mechanisms that H2S influences through persulfidation, may represent promising strategies for mobilising therapeutic benefits of the ISR, translation suppression, or mTORC1 inhibition.
  25. Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2022 Feb 14. pii: S0959-440X(22)00006-9. [Epub ahead of print]73 102333
      The conjugation of a single ubiquitin or monoubiquitination acts as a versatile signal that can have both degradative and non-degradative functions. The latter is of particular interest as emerging evidence indicates that ubiquitin-driven alterations of the protein interaction landscape play a key role in multiple signaling pathways. Whereas early studies were focused on how monoubiquitination alters the interactions of proteins containing ubiquitin-binding domains, more recent reports demonstrate that ubiquitin conjugation can also affect the binding mode by changing the surface of the ubiquitinated substrate. Furthermore, monoubiquitination modulates the interactions with other macromolecules, such as DNA or lipids, underscoring the diverse role of monoubiquitination in cellular processes. In this review, we discussed how monoubiquitination achieves its function by modulating the interaction landscape.
  26. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2022 Feb 13. e13799
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an organelle responsible for the post-translational folding and modification of proteins. Under stress conditions, such as physical exercise, there is accumulation of misfolded proteins. The increased load of proteins in the ER results in ER stress, which activates the unfolded protein response (UPR). UPR is comprised of three parallel pathways, responsible for ensuring the quality of secreted proteins. Scientific studies show that resistance or endurance acute physical exercise can induce ER stress and activate the UPR pathways. On the other hand, regular moderate-intensity exercise can attenuate the responses of genes and proteins related to ER stress. However, these positive adaptations do not occur when exercise intensity and volume increase without adequate rest periods, which is observed in overtraining. The current review discusses the frontier-of-knowledge findings on the effects of different acute and chronic physical exercise protocols on skeletal muscle ER stress and its metabolic consequences.
    Keywords:  endoplasmic reticulum stress; exercise; inflammation; skeletal muscle
  27. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2428 41-62
      Protein synthesis is a highly regulated essential process. As such, it is subjected to substantial regulation in response to stress. One hallmark of the Integrated Stress Response (ISR) is the immediate shutdown of most translation through phosphorylation of the alpha subunit of translation initiation factor eIF2 and activation of eIF4E binding proteins. While these posttranslational modifications largely inhibit cap-dependent translation, many mRNA resist this inhibition by alternative translation mechanisms involving cis-regulatory sequences and structures in 5' transcript leaders, including upstream Open Reading Frames (uORFs), Internal Ribosome Entry Sites (IRESes), and Cap-Independent Translation Elements (CITEs). Studies of uORF and IRES activity are often performed on a gene-by-gene basis; however, high-throughput methods have recently emerged. Here, we describe a protocol for Polysome Library Sequencing (PoLib-Seq; Fig. 1), a multiplexed assay of reporter gene translation that can be used during the ISR. A designer library of reporter RNAs are transfected into tissue-culture cells, and their translation is assayed via sucrose gradient fractionation followed by high-throughput sequencing. As an example, we include PoLib-seq results simultaneously assaying translation of wildtype and uORF mutant human ATF4 reporter RNAs, recapitulating the known function of uORF1 in resisting translational inhibition during the ISR.
    Keywords:  Massively parallel reporter assay; Polysome gradient fractionation; mRNA translation; uORFs
  28. Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 17. 13(1): 912
      To program intercellular communication for biomedicine, it is crucial to regulate the secretion and surface display of signaling proteins. If such regulations are at the protein level, there are additional advantages, including compact delivery and direct interactions with endogenous signaling pathways. Here we create a modular, generalizable design called Retained Endoplasmic Cleavable Secretion (RELEASE), with engineered proteins retained in the endoplasmic reticulum and displayed/secreted in response to specific proteases. The design allows functional regulation of multiple synthetic and natural proteins by synthetic protease circuits to realize diverse signal processing capabilities, including logic operation and threshold tuning. By linking RELEASE to additional sensing and processing circuits, we can achieve elevated protein secretion in response to "undruggable" oncogene KRAS mutants. RELEASE should enable the local, programmable delivery of intercellular cues for a broad variety of fields such as neurobiology, cancer immunotherapy and cell transplantation.
  29. Mol Cell. 2022 Feb 14. pii: S1097-2765(22)00084-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      During the translation surveillance mechanism known as ribosome-associated quality control, the ASC-1 complex (ASCC) disassembles ribosomes stalled on the mRNA. Here, we show that there are two distinct classes of stalled ribosome. Ribosomes stalled by translation elongation inhibitors or methylated mRNA are short lived in human cells because they are split by the ASCC. In contrast, although ultraviolet light and 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide induce ribosome stalling by damaging mRNA, and the ASCC is recruited to these stalled ribosomes, we found that they are refractory to the ASCC. Consequently, unresolved UV- and 4NQO-stalled ribosomes persist in human cells. We show that ribosome stalling activates cell-cycle arrest, partly through ZAK-p38MAPK signaling, and that this cell-cycle delay is prolonged when the ASCC cannot resolve stalled ribosomes. Thus, we propose that the sensitivity of stalled ribosomes to the ASCC influences the kinetics of stall resolution, which in turn controls the adaptive stress response.
    Keywords:  ASC-1 complex; RNA damage; RNA-binding protein; cell-cycle arrest; ribosome stalling; ribosome-associated quality control; ultraviolet light
  30. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2022 Feb 14. 10(1): 22
      The most common inherited cause of two genetically and clinico-pathologically overlapping neurodegenerative diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), is the presence of expanded GGGGCC intronic hexanucleotide repeats in the C9orf72 gene. Aside from haploinsufficiency and toxic RNA foci, another non-exclusive disease mechanism is the non-canonical translation of the repeat RNA into five different dipeptide repeat proteins (DPRs), which form neuronal inclusions in affected patient brains. While evidence from cellular and animal models supports a toxic gain-of-function of pathologic poly-GA, poly-GR, and poly-PR aggregates in promoting deposition of TDP-43 pathology and neurodegeneration in affected brain areas, the relative contribution of DPRs to the disease process in c9FTD/ALS patients remains unclear. Here we have used the proximity-dependent biotin identification (BioID) proximity proteomics approach to investigate the formation and collective composition of DPR aggregates using cellular models. While interactomes of arginine rich poly-GR and poly-PR aggregates overlapped and were enriched for nucleolar and ribosomal proteins, poly-GA aggregates demonstrated a distinct association with proteasomal components, molecular chaperones (HSPA1A/HSP70, HSPA8/HSC70, VCP/p97), co-chaperones (BAG3, DNAJA1A) and other factors that regulate protein folding and degradation (SQSTM1/p62, CALR, CHIP/STUB1). Experiments in cellular models of poly-GA pathology show that molecular chaperones and co-chaperones are sequestered to the periphery of dense cytoplasmic aggregates, causing depletion from their typical cellular localization. Their involvement in the pathologic process is confirmed in autopsy brain tissue, where HSPA8, BAG3, VCP, and its adapter protein UBXN6 show a close association with poly-GA aggregates in the frontal cortex, temporal cortex, and hippocampus of c9FTLD and c9ALS cases. The association of heat shock proteins and co-chaperones with poly-GA led us to investigate their potential role in reducing its aggregation. We identified HSP40 co-chaperones of the DNAJB family as potent modifiers that increased the solubility of poly-GA, highlighting a possible novel therapeutic avenue and a central role of molecular chaperones in the pathogenesis of human C9orf72-linked diseases.
    Keywords:  C9orf72; Heat shock proteins; Poly-GA; Proximity proteomics
  31. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2022 Feb 15. 79(2): 133
      BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Sec62 is a membrane protein of the endoplasmic reticulum that facilitates protein transport. Its role in cancer is increasingly recognised, but remains largely unknown. We investigated the functional role of Sec62 in gastric cancer (GC) and its underlying mechanism.METHODS: Bioinformatics, tissue microarray, immunohistochemistry (IHC), western blotting (WB), quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and immunofluorescence were used to examine the expression of target genes. Transwell, scratch healing assays, and xenograft models were used to evaluate cell migration and invasion. Transmission electron microscopy and mRFP-GFP-LC3 double-labeled adenoviruses were used to monitor autophagy. Co-immunoprecipitation (CO-IP) was performed to evaluate the binding activity between the proteins.
    RESULTS: Sec62 expression was upregulated in GC, and Sec62 upregulation was an independent predictor of poor prognosis. Sec62 overexpression promoted GC cell migration and invasion both in vitro and in vivo. Sec62 promoted migration and invasion by affecting TIMP-1 and MMP2/9 balance. Moreover, Sec62 could activate autophagy by upregulating PERK/ATF4 expression and binding to LC3II with concomitant FIP200/Beclin-1/Atg5 activation. Furthermore, autophagy blockage impaired the promotive effects of Sec62 on GC cell migration and invasion, whereas autophagy activation rescued the inhibitory effect of Sec62 knockdown on GC metastasis. Notably, Sec62 inhibition combined with autophagy blockage exerted a synergetic anti-metastatic effect in vitro and in vivo.
    CONCLUSION: Sec62 promotes GC metastasis by activating autophagy and subsequently regulating TIMP-1 and MMP2/9 balance. The activation of autophagy by Sec62 may involve the unfolded protein response (UPR)-related PERK/ATF4 pathway and binding of LC3II during UPR recovery involving FIP200/Beclin-1/Atg5 upregulation. Specifically, the dual inhibition of Sec62 and autophagy may provide a promising therapeutic strategy for GC metastasis.
    Keywords:  EMT; ER stress; ER-phagy; Protein translocation machinery; Unfolded protein response (UPR)
  32. Mol Metab. 2022 Feb 09. pii: S2212-8778(22)00023-0. [Epub ahead of print] 101454
      OBJECTIVE: Metabolic syndrome, obesity and steatosis are characterized by a range of dysregulations including defects in ubiquitin ligase tagging proteins for degradation. The identification of novel hepatic genes associated with fatty liver disease and metabolic dysregulation may be relevant to unravel new mechanisms involved in liver disease progression.METHODS: Through integrative analysis of liver transcriptomic and metabolomic obtained from obese subjects with steatosis, we identified itchy E ubiquitin protein ligase (ITCH) as a gene downregulated in human hepatic tissue in relation to steatosis grade. Wild type or ITCH knockout mouse models of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and obesity-related hepatocellular carcinoma were analysed to dissect the causal role of ITCH in steatosis.
    RESULTS: We show that ITCH regulation of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) degradation enzymes is impaired in obese women with grade 3 compared with grade 0 steatosis and that ITCH acts as a gatekeeper whose loss results in elevation of circulating BCAAs associated with hepatic steatosis. When ITCH expression was specifically restored in the liver of ITCH knockout mice, ACADSB mRNA and protein are restored and BCAA levels are normalised both in liver and plasma.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our data support a novel functional role for ITCH in the hepatic regulation of BCAA metabolism and suggest that targeting ITCH in a liver-specific manner might help to delay the progression of metabolic hepatic diseases and insulin resistance.
    Keywords:  BCAA; Metabolomics; NAFLD; Transcriptomics
  33. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Feb 22. pii: e2115624119. [Epub ahead of print]119(8):
      Cancer metabolism, including in mitochondria, is a disease hallmark and therapeutic target, but its regulation is poorly understood. Here, we show that many human tumors have heterogeneous and often reduced levels of Mic60, or Mitofilin, an essential scaffold of mitochondrial structure. Despite a catastrophic collapse of mitochondrial integrity, loss of bioenergetics, and oxidative damage, tumors with Mic60 depletion slow down cell proliferation, evade cell death, and activate a nuclear gene expression program of innate immunity and cytokine/chemokine signaling. In turn, this induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), activates tumor cell movements through exaggerated mitochondrial dynamics, and promotes metastatic dissemination in vivo. In a small-molecule drug screen, compensatory activation of stress response (GCN2) and survival (Akt) signaling maintains the viability of Mic60-low tumors and provides a selective therapeutic vulnerability. These data demonstrate that acutely damaged, "ghost" mitochondria drive tumor progression and expose an actionable therapeutic target in metastasis-prone cancers.
    Keywords:  cell motility; metastasis; mitochondria
  34. EMBO Mol Med. 2022 Feb 16. e14901
      Autoinflammatory diseases are a heterogenous group of disorders defined by fever and systemic inflammation suggesting involvement of genes regulating innate immune responses. Patients with homozygous loss-of-function variants in the OTU-deubiquitinase OTULIN suffer from neonatal-onset OTULIN-related autoinflammatory syndrome (ORAS) characterized by fever, panniculitis, diarrhea, and arthritis. Here, we describe an atypical form of ORAS with distinct clinical manifestation of the disease caused by two new compound heterozygous variants (c.258G>A (p.M86I)/c.500G>C (p.W167S)) in the OTULIN gene in a 7-year-old affected by a life-threatening autoinflammatory episode with sterile abscess formation. On the molecular level, we find binding of OTULIN to linear ubiquitin to be compromised by both variants; however, protein stability and catalytic activity is most affected by OTULIN variant p.W167S. These molecular changes together lead to increased levels of linear ubiquitin linkages in patient-derived cells triggering the disease. Our data indicate that the spectrum of ORAS patients is more diverse than previously thought and, thus, supposedly asymptomatic individuals might also be affected. Based on our results, we propose to subdivide the ORAS into classical and atypical entities.
    Keywords:  LUBAC; ORAS; OTULIN; autoinflammation; linear ubiquitin
  35. JCI Insight. 2022 Feb 15. pii: e157203. [Epub ahead of print]
      Kawasaki disease (KD) is the leading cause of non-congenital heart disease in children. Studies in mice and humans propound the NLRP3-IL-1β pathway as the principal driver of KD pathophysiology. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress can activate the NLRP3 inflammasome, but the potential implication of ER stress in KD pathophysiology has not been investigated. We used human patient data and the Lactobacillus casei cell wall extract (LCWE) murine model of KD vasculitis to characterize the impact of ER stress on the development of cardiovascular lesions. KD patient transcriptomics and single-cell RNA sequencing of the abdominal aorta from LCWE-injected mice revealed changes in the expression of ER stress genes. Alleviating ER stress genetically, by conditional deletion of Inositol Requiring Enzyme-1 (IRE1) in myeloid cells, or pharmacologically, by inhibition of IRE1 endoribonuclease (RNase) activity, led to significant reduction of LCWE-induced cardiovascular lesion formation as well as reduced caspase-1 activity and IL-1β secretion. These results demonstrate the causal relationship of ER stress to KD pathogenesis, and highlight IRE1 RNase activity as a potential new therapeutic target.
    Keywords:  Cell stress; Immunology; Mouse models; Vascular Biology; Vasculitis
  36. J Cell Biol. 2022 Apr 04. pii: e202107148. [Epub ahead of print]221(4):
      The lysosome is the major catabolic organelle in the cell that has been established as a key metabolic signaling center. Mutations in many lysosomal proteins have catastrophic effects and cause neurodegeneration, cancer, and age-related diseases. The vacuole is the lysosomal analog of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that harbors many evolutionary conserved proteins. Proteins reach vacuoles via the Vps10-dependent endosomal vacuolar protein sorting pathway, via the alkaline phosphatase (ALP or AP-3) pathway, and via the cytosol-to-vacuole transport (CVT) pathway. A systematic understanding of the cargo spectrum of each pathway is completely lacking. Here, we use quantitative proteomics of purified vacuoles to generate the yeast lysosomal biogenesis map. This dataset harbors information on the cargo-receptor relationship of almost all vacuolar proteins. We map binding motifs of Vps10 and the AP-3 complex and identify a novel cargo of the CVT pathway under nutrient-rich conditions. Our data show how organelle purification and quantitative proteomics can uncover fundamental insights into organelle biogenesis.
  37. Aging Cell. 2022 Feb 15. e13559
      Aging is a risk factor for neurodegenerative disease, but precise mechanisms that influence this relationship are still under investigation. Work in Drosophila melanogaster identified the microRNA miR-34 as a modifier of aging and neurodegeneration in the brain. MiR-34 mutants present aspects of early aging, including reduced lifespan, neurodegeneration, and a buildup of the repressive histone mark H3K27me3. To better understand how miR-34 regulated pathways contribute to age-associated phenotypes in the brain, here we transcriptionally profiled the miR-34 mutant brain. This identified that genes associated with translation are dysregulated in the miR-34 mutant. The brains of these animals show increased translation activity, accumulation of protein aggregation markers, and altered autophagy activity. To determine if altered H3K27me3 was responsible for this proteostasis dysregulation, we studied the effects of increased H3K27me3 by mutating the histone demethylase Utx. Reduced Utx activity enhanced neurodegeneration and mimicked the protein accumulation seen in miR-34 mutant brains. However, unlike the miR-34 mutant, Utx mutant brains did not show similar altered autophagy or translation activity, suggesting that additional miR-34-targeted pathways are involved. Transcriptional analysis of predicted miR-34 targets identified Lst8, a subunit of Tor Complex 1 (TORC1), as a potential target. We confirmed that miR-34 regulates the 3' UTR of Lst8 and identified several additional predicted miR-34 targets that may be critical for maintaining proteostasis and brain health. Together, these results present novel understanding of the brain and the role of the conserved miRNA miR-34 in impacting proteostasis in the brain with age.
    Keywords:   miR-34 ; aging; autophagy; neurodegeneration; proteostasis; translation
  38. Autophagy. 2022 Feb 15. 1-3
      Several cytotoxic agents used in cancer therapy cause DNA damage and replication stress. Understanding the metabolic determinants of the cell response to replication stress-inducing agents could have relevant implications for cancer treatment. In a recent study, we showed that cell survival during replication stress is influenced by the availability of amino acids, as well as by TORC1 and Gcn2-mediated amino acid sensing pathways. Amino acid starvation, or TORC1 inhibition, sensitizes cells to replication stress conditions, whereas Gcn2 ablation promotes cell survival by stimulating protein synthesis. The Vps34-Vps15-Vps30/Atg6/BECN1-Vps38/UVRAG phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PtdIns3P) complex at the endosomes sets the balance between survival and death signals during replication stress and amino acid starvation. The Vps34-Vps15-Vps30/Atg6/BECN1-Vps38/UVRAG axis promotes the degradation of amino acid transporters, thus sensitizing cells to amino acid starvation, while Vps34-Vps15-Vps30/Atg6/BECN1-Vps38/UVRAG inactivation promotes cell survival by enabling synthesis of stress response proteins mediating survival under replication stress conditions. Our study unravels an autophagy-independent mechanism through which Vps34-Vps30/Atg6/BECN1 promotes lethal events during replication stress.
    Keywords:  Amino acids; Atg6; DNA damage; Gcn2; TORC1; autophagy; endosomal trafficking; phosphatidylinositol-3 phosphate; replication stress
  39. Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 16. 13(1): 904
      Targeted protein degradation allows targeting undruggable proteins for therapeutic applications as well as eliminating proteins of interest for research purposes. While several degraders that harness the proteasome or the lysosome have been developed, a technology that simultaneously degrades targets and accelerates cellular autophagic flux is still missing. In this study, we develop a general chemical tool and platform technology termed AUTOphagy-TArgeting Chimera (AUTOTAC), which employs bifunctional molecules composed of target-binding ligands linked to autophagy-targeting ligands. AUTOTACs bind the ZZ domain of the otherwise dormant autophagy receptor p62/Sequestosome-1/SQSTM1, which is activated into oligomeric bodies in complex with targets for their sequestration and degradation. We use AUTOTACs to degrade various oncoproteins and degradation-resistant aggregates in neurodegeneration at nanomolar DC50 values in vitro and in vivo. AUTOTAC provides a platform for selective proteolysis in basic research and drug development.
  40. J Cell Biol. 2022 Mar 07. pii: e202106014. [Epub ahead of print]221(3):
      Chemotactic migration is a fundamental cellular behavior relying on the coordinated flux of lipids and cargo proteins toward the leading edge. We found here that the core autophagy protein ATG9A plays a critical role in the chemotactic migration of several human cell lines, including highly invasive glioma cells. Depletion of ATG9A protein altered the formation of large and persistent filamentous actin (F-actin)-rich lamellipodia that normally drive directional migration. Using live-cell TIRF microscopy, we demonstrated that ATG9A-positive vesicles are targeted toward the migration front of polarized cells, where their exocytosis correlates with protrusive activity. Finally, we found that ATG9A was critical for efficient delivery of β1 integrin to the leading edge and normal adhesion dynamics. Collectively, our data uncover a new function for ATG9A protein and indicate that ATG9A-positive vesicles are mobilized during chemotactic stimulation to facilitate expansion of the lamellipodium and its anchorage to the extracellular matrix.
  41. EMBO Rep. 2022 Feb 14. e52904
      Calreticulin (CALR) is recurrently mutated in myelofibrosis via a frameshift that removes an endoplasmic reticulum retention signal, creating a neoepitope potentially targetable by immunotherapeutic approaches. We developed a specific rat monoclonal IgG2α antibody, 4D7, directed against the common sequence encoded by both insertion and deletion mutations. 4D7 selectively bound to cells co-expressing mutant CALR and thrombopoietin receptor (TpoR) and blocked JAK-STAT signalling, TPO-independent proliferation and megakaryocyte differentiation of mutant CALR myelofibrosis progenitors by disrupting the binding of CALR dimers to TpoR. Importantly, 4D7 inhibited proliferation of patient samples with both insertion and deletion CALR mutations but not JAK2 V617F and prolonged survival in xenografted bone marrow models of mutant CALR-dependent myeloproliferation. Together, our data demonstrate a novel therapeutic approach to target a problematic disease driven by a recurrent somatic mutation that would normally be considered undruggable.
    Keywords:  calreticulin; monoclonal antibody; myelofibrosis; myeloproliferative neoplasm; stem cell progenitor
  42. Cancer Lett. 2022 Feb 12. pii: S0304-3835(22)00045-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Whether tumor suppressor candidate 2 (TUSC2) plays an important role in glioblastoma (GBM) progression is largely unknown. Whether TUSC2 undergoes polyubiquitination is unknown. Herein, we report that TUSC2 protein expression is reduced/lost in GBM compared to normal brain due to protein destabilization; TUSC2 mRNA is equally expressed in both tissues. NEDD4 E3 ubiquitin ligase polyubiquitinates TUSC2 at residue K71, and the TUSC2-K71R mutant is resistant to NEDD4-mediated proteasomal degradation. Analysis of GBM specimens showed NEDD4 protein is highly expressed in GBM and the level is inversely correlated with TUSC2 protein levels. Furthermore, TUSC2 restoration induces apoptosis and inhibits patient-derived glioma stem cells (PD-GSCs) in vitro and in vivo. Conversely, TUSC2-knockout promotes PD-GSCs in vitro and in vivo. RNA-Seq analysis and subsequent validations showed GBM cells with TUSC2- knockout expressed increased Bcl-xL and were more resistant to apoptosis induced by a Bcl-xL-specific BH3 mimetic. A TUSC2- knockout gene signature created from the RNA-seq data predicts poor patient survival. Together, these findings establish that NEDD4-mediated polyubiquitination is a novel mechanism for TUSC2 degradation in GBM and that TUSC2 loss promotes GBM progression in part through Bcl-xL upregulation.
    Keywords:  Glioblastoma; Glioma stem cells; NEDD4; TUSC2; Tumor suppressor
  43. J Proteome Res. 2022 Feb 14.
      Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis of secreted proteins has contributed to our understanding of human disease and physiology but is limited by its need for accurate protein database annotation. Common assumptions used in proteomics of perfect protease specificity are inaccurate for secreted proteins, which are cleaved by numerous endogenous proteases. Here, we describe the generation of an optimized protein database that divides proteins into their individual biological chains and peptides to allow fast identification of semi-tryptic peptides from secreted proteins using fully tryptic searches. We applied this biologically annotated database to previously published human plasma proteome data sets containing either DIA or DDA data, using Spectronaut, DIA-NN, MaxDIA, and MaxQuant. Using our annotated database, we greatly reduced search times while achieving similar protein and peptide identifications compared to that obtained from standard approaches using semi-tryptic searches. Furthermore, our database enables the identification of biologically relevant semi-tryptic peptides using data analysis packages that are not capable of semi-tryptic searches. Together, these findings demonstrate that our annotated database is more capable than currently available databases for secreted protein analysis and is particularly useful for large-scale plasma proteome analysis.
    Keywords:  cleavage sites; database; hormone; mass spectrometry (MS); plasma; propeptide; protease; secreted proteins
  44. Nat Chem Biol. 2022 Feb 17.
      Disaggregation of amyloid fibrils is a fundamental biological process required for amyloid propagation. However, due to the lack of experimental systems, the molecular mechanism of how amyloid is disaggregated by cellular factors remains poorly understood. Here, we established a robust in vitro reconstituted system of yeast prion propagation and found that heat-shock protein 104 (Hsp104), Ssa1 and Sis1 chaperones are essential for efficient disaggregation of Sup35 amyloid. Real-time imaging of single-molecule fluorescence coupled with the reconstitution system revealed that amyloid disaggregation is achieved by ordered, timely binding of the chaperones to amyloid. Remarkably, we uncovered two distinct prion strain conformation-dependent modes of disaggregation, fragmentation and dissolution. We characterized distinct chaperone dynamics in each mode and found that transient, repeated binding of Hsp104 to the same site of amyloid results in fragmentation. These findings provide a physical foundation for otherwise puzzling in vivo observations and for therapeutic development for amyloid-associated neurodegenerative diseases.
  45. Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Feb 14. pii: clincanres.0344.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      PURPOSE: Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive disease with an overall five-year survival rate of <10%. Treatment for SCLC with cisplatin/etoposide chemotherapy (C/E) +/- radiotherapy (RT) has changed modestly over several decades. The ubiquitin-proteasome system is an underexplored therapeutic target for SCLC. We preclinically evaluated TAK-243, a first-in-class small molecule E1 inhibitor against UBA1.MATERIALS AND METHODS: We assessed TAK-243 in 26 SCLC cell-lines as monotherapy and combined with C/E, the PARP-inhibitor, olaparib, and with radiation (RT) using cell viability assays. We interrogated TAK-243 response with gene expression to identify candidate biomarkers. We evaluated TAK-243 alone and in combination with olaparib or RT with SCLC patient-derived xenografts (PDX).
    RESULTS: Most SCLC cell-lines were sensitive to TAK-243 monotherapy (EC50 median 15.8nM, range 10.2nM - 367.3nM). TAK-243 sensitivity was associated with gene-sets involving the cell cycle, DNA and chromatin organization, and DNA damage repair, while resistance associated with cellular respiration, translation, and neurodevelopment. These associations were also observed in SCLC PDXs. TAK-243 synergized with C/E and olaparib in vitro across sensitive and resistant SCLC cell-lines. Considerable TAK-243-olaparib synergy was observed in an SCLC PDX resistant to both drugs individually. TAK-243 radiosensitization was also observed in an SCLC PDX.
    CONCLUSIONS: TAK-243 displays efficacy in SCLC preclinical models. Enrichment of gene-sets is associated with TAK-243 sensitivity and resistance. TAK-243 exhibits synergy when combined with genotoxic therapies in cell-lines and PDXs. TAK-243 is a potential therapeutic strategy to improve SCLC patient outcomes, both as a single agent and in combination with existing therapies.