bims-unfpre Biomed News
on Unfolded protein response
Issue of 2020‒12‒20
thirteen papers selected by
Susan Logue
University of Manitoba

  1. Nat Commun. 2020 12 14. 11(1): 6387
      Inositol-Requiring Enzyme 1 (IRE1) is an essential component of the Unfolded Protein Response. IRE1 spans the endoplasmic reticulum membrane, comprising a sensory lumenal domain, and tandem kinase and endoribonuclease (RNase) cytoplasmic domains. Excess unfolded proteins in the ER lumen induce dimerization and oligomerization of IRE1, triggering kinase trans-autophosphorylation and RNase activation. Known ATP-competitive small-molecule IRE1 kinase inhibitors either allosterically disrupt or stabilize the active dimeric unit, accordingly inhibiting or stimulating RNase activity. Previous allosteric RNase activators display poor selectivity and/or weak cellular activity. In this study, we describe a class of ATP-competitive RNase activators possessing high selectivity and strong cellular activity. This class of activators binds IRE1 in the kinase front pocket, leading to a distinct conformation of the activation loop. Our findings reveal exquisitely precise interdomain regulation within IRE1, advancing the mechanistic understanding of this important enzyme and its investigation as a potential small-molecule therapeutic target.
  2. ACS Med Chem Lett. 2020 Dec 10. 11(12): 2389-2396
      Amino-quinazoline BRaf kinase inhibitor 2 was identified from a library screen as a modest inhibitor of the unfolded protein response (UPR) regulating potential anticancer target IRE1α. A combination of crystallographic and conformational considerations were used to guide structure-based attenuation of BRaf activity and optimization of IRE1α potency. Quinazoline 6-position modifications were found to provide up to 100-fold improvement in IRE1α cellular potency but were ineffective at reducing BRaf activity. A salt bridge contact with Glu651 in IRE1α was then targeted to build in selectivity over BRaf which instead possesses a histidine in this position (His539). Torsional angle analysis revealed that the quinazoline hinge binder core was ill-suited to accommodate the required conformation to effectively reach Glu651, prompting a change to the thienopyrimidine hinge binder. Resulting analogues such as 25 demonstrated good IRE1α cellular potency and imparted more than 1000-fold decrease in BRaf activity.
  3. Front Immunol. 2020 ;11 543022
      The intestinal tract encompasses the largest mucosal surface fortified with a fine layer of intestinal epithelial cells along with highly sophisticated network of the lamina propria immune cells that are indispensable to sustain gut homeostasis. However, it can be challenging to uphold homeostasis when these cells in the intestine are perpetually exposed to insults of both endogenous and exogenous origin. The complex networking and dynamic microenvironment in the intestine demand highly functional cells ultimately burdening the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) leading to ER stress. Unresolved ER stress is one of the primary contributors to the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Studies also suggest that ER stress can be the primary cause of inflammation and/or the consequence of inflammation. Therefore, understanding the patterns of expression of ER stress regulators and deciphering the intricate interplay between ER stress and inflammatory pathways in intestinal epithelial cells in association with lamina propria immune cells contribute toward the development of novel therapies to tackle IBD. This review provides imperative insights into the molecular markers involved in the pathogenesis of IBD by potentiating ER stress and inflammation and briefly describes the potential pharmacological intervention strategies to mitigate ER stress and IBD. In addition, genetic mutations in the biomarkers contributing to abnormalities in the ER stress signaling pathways further emphasizes the relevance of biomarkers in potential treatment for IBD.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; endoplasmic reticulum stress; inflammation; intestinal epithelial cells; unfolded protein response
  4. Sci Rep. 2020 Dec 14. 10(1): 21626
      MZB1 is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident protein that plays an important role in the humoral immune response by enhancing the interaction of the μ immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy chain with the chaperone GRP94 and by augmenting the secretion of IgM. Here, we show that MZB1 is also expressed in plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). Mzb1-/- pDCs have a defect in the secretion of interferon (IFN) α upon Toll-like receptor (TLR) 9 stimulation and a reduced ability to enhance B cell differentiation towards plasma cells. Mzb1-/- pDCs do not properly expand the ER upon TLR9 stimulation, which may be accounted for by an impaired activation of ATF6, a regulator of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Pharmacological inhibition of ATF6 cleavage in stimulated wild type pDCs mimics the diminished IFNα secretion by Mzb1-/- pDCs. Thus, MZB1 enables pDCs to secrete high amounts of IFNα by mitigating ER stress via the ATF6-mediated UPR.
  5. Plants (Basel). 2020 Dec 14. pii: E1771. [Epub ahead of print]9(12):
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the largest continuous membrane-bound cellular organelle and plays a central role in the biosynthesis of lipids and proteins and their distribution to other organelles. Autophagy is a conserved process that is required for recycling unwanted cellular components. Recent studies have implicated the ER as a membrane source for the formation of autophagosomes, vesicles that transport material to the vacuole during autophagy. When unfolded proteins accumulate in the ER and/or the ER lipid bilayer is disrupted, a condition known as ER stress results. During ER stress, ER membranes can also be engulfed through autophagy in a process termed ER-phagy. An interplay between ER stress responses and autophagy thus maintains the functions of the ER to allow cellular survival. In this review, we discuss recent progress in understanding ER-phagy in plants, including identification of regulatory factors and selective autophagy receptors. We also identify key unanswered questions in plant ER-phagy for future study.
    Keywords:  ER stress; ER-phagy; autophagy; endoplasmic reticulum; unfolded protein response
  6. FASEB Bioadv. 2020 Dec;2(12): 695-704
      Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) is a stress-responsive gene that is highly induced in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a salient feature of NASH, yet it is unknown whether ER stress contributes to hepatic PAI-1 induction in this disorder. Therefore, we aimed to (a) establish the role of ER stress in the regulation of hepatic Pai-1 expression, and (b) determine whether induction of Pai-1 in murine NASH is driven by ER stress. Hepatic Pai-1 expression was measured in C57BL/6 J mice and human HepG2 cells subjected to acute or prolonged pharmacologic ER stress. We found that hepatic Pai-1 expression was acutely suppressed in murine liver in response to severe ER stress followed by marked induction during the recovery phase of the ER stress response. Hepatic Pai-1 expression was induced in response to prolonged low-grade ER stress in mice. Induction of PAI-1 by ER stress in HepG2 cells was prevented by pharmacologic inhibition of MEK1/ERK signaling or by siRNA-mediated knockdown of XBP1, mediators of the recovery response to ER stress. Inhibiting ER stress with 4-phenylbutyric acid prevented hepatic Pai-1 induction in mice with diet-induced steatohepatitis. We conclude that hepatic Pai-1 is induced by ER stress via a pathway involving XBP1 and MEK1/ERK signaling, and induction of hepatic Pai-1 in murine NASH is mediated by ER stress. These data implicate ER stress as a novel mechanistic link between Pai-1 induction and NASH.
    Keywords:  X‐box binding protein 1; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; unfolded protein response
  7. PLoS Genet. 2020 Dec 18. 16(12): e1009234
      Cells use a variety of mechanisms to maintain optimal mitochondrial function including the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt). The UPRmt mitigates mitochondrial dysfunction by differentially regulating mitoprotective gene expression through the transcription factor ATFS-1. Since UPRmt activation is commensurate with organismal benefits such as extended lifespan and host protection during infection, we sought to identify pathways that promote its stimulation. Using unbiased forward genetics screening, we isolated novel mutant alleles that could activate the UPRmt. Interestingly, we identified one reduction of function mutant allele (osa3) in the mitochondrial ribosomal gene mrpl-2 that activated the UPRmt in a diet-dependent manner. We find that mrpl-2(osa3) mutants lived longer and survived better during pathogen infection depending on the diet they were fed. A diet containing low levels of vitamin B12 could activate the UPRmt in mrpl-2(osa3) animals. Also, we find that the vitamin B12-dependent enzyme methionine synthase intersects with mrpl-2(osa3) to activate the UPRmt and confer animal lifespan extension at the level of ATFS-1. Thus, we present a novel gene-diet pairing that promotes animal longevity that is mediated by the UPRmt.
  8. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 ;8 593659
      Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) plays a vital and pathogenic role in the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Phosphorylation of PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) induced by ERS depresses the interaction between actin-binding protein filamin-A (FLNA) and PERK, which promotes F-actin accumulation and reduces ER-plasma membrane (PM) communication. Echinacoside (ECH), a pharmacologically active component purified from Cistanche tubulosa, exhibits multiple neuroprotective activities, but the effects of ECH on ERS and F-actin remodeling remain elusive. Here, we found ECH could inhibit the phosphorylation of PERK. Firstly ECH can promote PERK-FLNA combination and modulate F-actin remodeling. Secondly, ECH dramatically decreased cerebral Aβ production and accumulation by inhibiting the translation of BACE1, and significantly ameliorated memory impairment in 2 × Tg-AD mice. Furthermore, ECH exhibited high affinity to either mouse PERK or human PERK. These findings provide novel insights into the neuroprotective actions of ECH against AD, indicating that ECH is a potential therapeutic agent for halting and preventing the progression of AD.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; PERK; amyloid β; eIF2α; echinacoside; endoplasmic reticulum stress; f-actin; filamin-A
  9. Cell Death Differ. 2020 Dec 17.
      Mitochondria-ER contact sites (MERCS) are known to underpin many important cellular homoeostatic functions, including mitochondrial quality control, lipid metabolism, calcium homoeostasis, the unfolded protein response and ER stress. These functions are known to be dysregulated in neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD) and amyloid lateral sclerosis (ALS), and the number of disease-related proteins and genes being associated with MERCS is increasing. However, many details regarding MERCS and their role in neurodegenerative diseases remain unknown. In this review, we aim to summarise the current knowledge regarding the structure and function of MERCS, and to update the field on current research in PD, AD and ALS. Furthermore, we will evaluate high-throughput screening techniques, including RNAi vs CRISPR/Cas9, pooled vs arrayed formats and how these could be combined with current techniques to visualise MERCS. We will consider the advantages and disadvantages of each technique and how it can be utilised to uncover novel protein pathways involved in MERCS dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases.
  10. Cell Death Dis. 2020 Dec 14. 11(12): 1069
      Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disorder and frequently exacerbates in postmenopausal women. In NAFLD, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) plays an important role in lipid metabolism, in which salubrinal is a selective inhibitor of eIF2α de-phosphorylation in response to ER stress. To determine the potential mechanism of obesity-induced NAFLD, we employed salubrinal and evaluated the effect of ER stress and autophagy on lipid metabolism. Ninety-five female C57BL/6 mice were randomly divided into five groups: standard chow diet, high-fat (HF) diet, HF with salubrinal, HF with ovariectomy, and HF with ovariectomy and salubrinal. All mice except for SC were given HF diet. After the 8-week obesity induction, salubrinal was subcutaneously injected for the next 8 weeks. The expression of ER stress and autophagy markers was evaluated in vivo and in vitro. Compared to the normal mice, the serum lipid level and adipose tissue were increased in obese mice, while salubrinal attenuated obesity by blocking lipid disorder. Also, the histological severity of hepatic steatosis and fibrosis in the liver and lipidosis was suppressed in response to salubrinal. Furthermore, salubrinal inhibited ER stress by increasing the expression of p-eIF2α and ATF4 with a decrease in the level of CHOP. It promoted autophagy by increasing LC3II/I and inhibiting p62. Correlation analysis indicated that lipogenesis in the development of NAFLD was associated with ER stress. Collectively, we demonstrated that eIF2α played a key role in obesity-induced NAFLD, and salubrinal alleviated hepatic steatosis and lipid metabolism by altering ER stress and autophagy through eIF2α signaling.
  11. FASEB J. 2021 Jan;35(1): e21218
      Growth differentiating factor-15 (GDF15) is an emerging target for the treatment of obesity and metabolic disease partly due to its ability to suppress food intake. GDF15 expression and secretion are thought to be regulated by a cellular integrated stress response, which involves endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. AMPK is another cellular stress sensor, but the relationship between AMPK, ER stress, and GDF15 has not been assessed in vivo. Wildtype (WT), AMPK β1 deficient (AMPKβ1-/- ), and CHOP-/- mice were treated with three distinct AMPK activators; AICAR, which is converted to ZMP mimicking the effects of AMP on the AMPKγ isoform, R419, which indirectly activates AMPK through inhibition of mitochondrial respiration, or A769662, a direct AMPK activator which binds the AMPKβ1 isoform ADaM site causing allosteric activation. Following treatments, liver Gdf15, markers of ER-stress, AMPK activity, adenine nucleotides, circulating GDF15, and food intake were assessed. AICAR and R419 caused ER and energetic stress, increased GDF15 expression and secretion, and suppressed food intake. Direct activation of AMPK β1 containing complexes by A769662 increased hepatic Gdf15 expression, circulating GDF15, and suppressed food intake, independent of ER stress. The effects of AICAR, R419, and A769662 on GDF15 were attenuated in AMPKβ1-/- mice. AICAR and A769662 increased GDF15 to a similar extent in WT and CHOP-/- mice. Herein, we provide evidence that AMPK plays a role in mediating the induction of GDF15 under conditions of energetic stress in mouse liver in vivo.
    Keywords:  AMPK; CHOP; ER stress; GDF15; energetic stress; liver
  12. Cell Death Dis. 2020 Dec 12. 11(12): 1061
      Although the survival rate of patients with cancer have increased due to the use of current chemotherapeutic agents, adverse effects of cancer therapy remain a concern. The reversal of drug resistance, reduction in harmful side effects and accelerated increase in efficiency have often been addressed in the development of combination therapeutics. Tazemetostat (EPZ-6438), a histone methyltransferase EZH2 selective inhibitor, was approved by the FDA for the treatment of advanced epithelioid sarcoma. However, the effect of tazemetostat on colorectal cancer (CRC) and 5-FU sensitivity remains unclear. In this study, the enhancement of tazemetostat on 5-FU sensitivity was examined in CRC cells. Our findings demonstrated that tazemetostat combined with 5-FU exhibits synergistic antitumor function in vitro and in vivo in CRC cells. In addition, tazemetostat promotes PUMA induction through the ROS/ER stress/CHOP axis. PUMA depletion attenuates the antitumor effect of the combination therapy. Therefore, tazemetostat may be a novel treatment to improve the sensitivity of tumors to 5-FU in CRC therapy. In conclusion, the combination of 5-FU and tazemetostat shows high therapeutic possibility with reduced unfavorable effects.