bims-unfpre Biomed News
on Unfolded protein response
Issue of 2021‒01‒24
twelve papers selected by
Susan Logue
University of Manitoba

  1. J Virol. 2021 Jan 20. pii: JVI.01990-20. [Epub ahead of print]
      The unfolded protein response (UPR) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) are two essential components of the quality control system for proteins in the secretory pathway. When unfolded proteins accumulate in the ER, UPR sensors such as IRE1 induce the expression of ERAD genes, thereby increasing protein export from the ER to the cytosol and subsequent degradation by the proteasome. Conversely, IRE1 itself is an ERAD substrate, indicating that the UPR and ERAD regulate each other. Viruses are intracellular parasites that exploit the host cell for their own benefit. Cytomegaloviruses selectively modulate the UPR to take advantage of beneficial and inhibit detrimental effects on viral replication. We have previously shown that murine and human cytomegaloviruses express homologous proteins (M50 and UL50, respectively) that dampen the UPR at late times post infection by inducing IRE1 degradation. However, the degradation mechanism has remained uncertain. Here we show that the cytomegalovirus M50 protein mediates IRE1 degradation by the proteasome. M50-dependent IRE1 degradation can be blocked by pharmacological inhibition of p97/VCP or by genetic ablation of SEL1L, both of which are components of the ERAD machinery. SEL1L acts as a cofactor of the E3 ubiquitin ligase HRD1, while p97/VCP is responsible for the extraction of ubiquitylated proteins from the ER to the cytosol. We further show that M50 facilitates the IRE1-SEL1L interaction by binding to both, IRE1 and SEL1L. These results indicate that the viral M50 protein dampens the UPR by tethering IRE1 to SEL1L, thereby promoting its degradation by the ERAD machinery.IMPORTANCE Viruses infect cells of their host and force them to produce virus progeny. This can impose stress on the host cell and activate counter-regulatory mechanisms. Protein overload in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) leads to ER stress and triggers the unfolded protein response, which in turn upregulates protein folding and increases the degradation of proteins in the ER. Previous work has shown that cytomegaloviruses interfere with the unfolded protein response by degrading the sensor molecule IRE1. Herein we demonstrate how the cytomegalovirus M50 protein exploits the ER-associated degradation machinery to dispose of IRE1. Degradation of IRE1 curbs the unfolded protein response and helps the virus to increase the synthesis of its own proteins and the production of virus progeny.
  2. J Biol Chem. 2020 Nov 22. pii: S0021-9258(20)00005-8. [Epub ahead of print]296 100019
      Missense mutations in ATP1A3, the α3 isoform of Na,K-ATPase, cause neurological phenotypes that differ greatly in symptoms and severity. A mechanistic basis for differences is lacking, but reduction of activity alone cannot explain them. Isogenic cell lines with endogenous α1 and inducible exogenous α3 were constructed to compare mutation properties. Na,K-ATPase is made in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but the glycan-free catalytic α subunit complexes with glycosylated β subunit in the ER to proceed through Golgi and post-Golgi trafficking. We previously observed classic evidence of protein misfolding in mutations with severe phenotypes: differences in ER retention of endogenous β1 subunit, impaired trafficking of α3, and cytopathology, suggesting that they misfold during biosynthesis. Here we tested two mutations associated with different phenotypes: D923N, which has a median age of onset of hypotonia or dystonia at 3 years, and L924P, with severe infantile epilepsy and profound impairment. Misfolding during biosynthesis in the ER activates the unfolded protein response, a multiarmed program that enhances protein folding capacity, and if that fails, triggers apoptosis. L924P showed more nascent protein retention in ER than D923N; more ER-associated degradation of α3 (ERAD); larger differences in Na,K-ATPase subunit distributions among subcellular fractions; and greater inactivation of eIF2α, a major defensive step of the unfolded protein response. In L924P there was also altered subcellular distribution of endogenous α1 subunit, analogous to a dominant negative effect. Both mutations showed pro-apoptotic sensitization by reduced phosphorylation of BAD. Encouragingly, however, 4-phenylbutyrate, a pharmacological corrector, reduced L924P ER retention, increased α3 expression, and restored morphology.
    Keywords:  4-phenylbutyrate (4PBA); N-linked glycosylation; Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase; endoplasmic reticulum associated protein degradation (ERAD); endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress); eukaryotic initiation factor 2alpha (eIF2 α); genetic disease; protein misfolding; subcellular fractionation; unfolded protein response (UPR)
  3. Metabolites. 2021 Jan 14. pii: E52. [Epub ahead of print]11(1):
      Biological membranes are not only essential barriers that separate cellular and subcellular structures, but also perform other critical functions such as the initiation and propagation of intra- and intercellular signals. Each membrane-delineated organelle has a tightly regulated and custom-made membrane lipid composition that is critical for its normal function. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) consists of a dynamic membrane network that is required for the synthesis and modification of proteins and lipids. The accumulation of unfolded proteins in the ER lumen activates an adaptive stress response known as the unfolded protein response (UPR-ER). Interestingly, recent findings show that lipid perturbation is also a direct activator of the UPR-ER, independent of protein misfolding. Here, we review proteostasis-independent UPR-ER activation in the genetically tractable model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. We review the current knowledge on the membrane lipid composition of the ER, its impact on organelle function and UPR-ER activation, and its potential role in human metabolic diseases. Further, we summarize the bi-directional interplay between lipid metabolism and the UPR-ER. We discuss recent progress identifying the different respective mechanisms by which disturbed proteostasis and lipid bilayer stress activate the UPR-ER. Finally, we consider how genetic and metabolic disturbances may disrupt ER homeostasis and activate the UPR and discuss how using -omics-type analyses will lead to more comprehensive insights into these processes.
    Keywords:  endoplasmic reticulum; lipid bilayer stress; lipidomics; phosphatidylcholine; unfolded protein response; unsaturated fatty acid
  4. J Biol Chem. 2021 Jan 15. pii: S0021-9258(21)00063-6. [Epub ahead of print] 100295
      Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) is an ER-stress regulated protein exhibiting cytoprotective properties through a poorly understood mechanism in various in vitro and in vivo models of neuronal and non-neuronal damage. Although initially characterized as a secreted neurotrophic factor for midbrain dopamine neurons, MANF has recently gained more interest for its intracellular role in regulating the ER homeostasis, including serving as a cofactor of the chaperone GRP78. We aimed for a better understanding of the neuroprotective mechanisms of MANF. Here we show for the first time that MANF promotes the survival of ER-stressed neurons in vitro as a general unfolded protein response (UPR) regulator, affecting several UPR pathways simultaneously. Interestingly, MANF does not affect naïve neurons. We hypothesize that MANF regulates UPR signaling towards a mode more compatible with neuronal survival. Screening of MANF interacting proteins from two mammalian cell lines revealed a conserved interactome of 15 proteins including several ER chaperones such as GRP78, GRP170, PDIA1 and PDIA6. Further characterization confirmed previously published finding that MANF is a cofactor of GRP78 interacting with its nucleotide binding domain. Using microscale thermophoresis and NMR spectroscopy, we discovered that MANF is an ATP binding protein and that ATP blocks the MANF-GRP78 interaction. Interestingly, functional analysis of the antiapoptotic properties of MANF mutants in cultured neurons revealed divergent roles of MANF as a GRP78 cofactor and as an antiapoptotic regulator of UPR. We conclude that the co-factor type interaction with GRP78 is dispensable for the survival-promoting activity of MANF in neurons.
    Keywords:  ATP; GRP78; Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF); apoptosis; dopamine neurons; endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress); neuronal cell death; neuroprotection; protein-protein interaction; unfolded protein response (UPR)
  5. J Biol Chem. 2020 Dec 04. pii: S0021-9258(17)50489-5. [Epub ahead of print]295(49): 16743-16753
      Mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with a variety of human diseases including neurodegeneration, diabetes, nonalcohol fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and cancer, but its underlying causes are incompletely understood. Using the human hepatic cell line HepG2 as a model, we show here that endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD), an ER protein quality control process, is critically required for mitochondrial function in mammalian cells. Pharmacological inhibition or genetic ablation of key proteins involved in ERAD increased cell death under both basal conditions and in response to proinflammatory cytokines, a situation frequently found in NAFLD. Decreased viability of ERAD-deficient HepG2 cells was traced to impaired mitochondrial functions including reduced ATP production, enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, and increased mitochondrial outer membrane permeability. Transcriptome profiling revealed widespread down-regulation of genes underpinning mitochondrial functions, and up-regulation of genes associated with tumor growth and aggression. These results highlight a critical role for ERAD in maintaining mitochondrial functional and structural integrity and raise the possibility of improving cellular and organismal mitochondrial function via enhancing cellular ERAD capacity.
    Keywords:  ERAD; ROS; SEL1L; calcium; cell death; cytochrome c; endoplasmic reticulum; endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress); endoplasmic reticulum-associated protein degradation (ERAD); hepatocyte death; liver; mitochondria; mitochondrial disease; mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT)
  6. J Lipid Res. 2020 Dec;pii: S0022-2275(20)60027-X. [Epub ahead of print]61(12): 1675-1686
      HMG-CoA reductase (Hmgcr) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the mevalonate pathway and is inhibited by statins. In addition to cholesterol, Hmgcr activity is also required for synthesizing nonsterol isoprenoids, such as dolichol, ubiquinone, and farnesylated and geranylgeranylated proteins. Here, we investigated the effects of Hmgcr inhibition on nonsterol isoprenoids in the liver. We have generated new genetic models to acutely delete genes in the mevalonate pathway in the liver using AAV-mediated delivery of Cre-recombinase (AAV-Cre) or CRISPR/Cas9 (AAV-CRISPR). The genetic deletion of Hmgcr by AAV-Cre resulted in extensive hepatocyte apoptosis and compensatory liver regeneration. At the biochemical level, we observed decreased levels of sterols and depletion of the nonsterol isoprenoids, dolichol and ubiquinone. At the cellular level, Hmgcr-null hepatocytes showed ER stress and impaired N-glycosylation. We further hypothesized that the depletion of dolichol, essential for N-glycosylation, could be responsible for ER stress. Using AAV-CRISPR, we somatically disrupted dehydrodolichyl diphosphate synthase subunit (Dhdds), encoding a branch point enzyme required for dolichol biosynthesis. Dhdds-null livers showed ER stress and impaired N-glycosylation, along with apoptosis and regeneration. Finally, the combined deletion of Hmgcr and Dhdds synergistically exacerbated hepatocyte ER stress. Our data show a critical role for mevalonate-derived dolichol in the liver and suggest that dolichol depletion is at least partially responsible for ER stress and apoptosis upon potent Hmgcr inhibition.
    Keywords:  3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A; adeno-associated virus; animal models; cholesterol synthesis and regulation; clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9; dehydrodolichyl diphosphate synthase subunit; dolichol; endoplasmic reticulum; liver
  7. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Jan 21. 12(1): 110
      Obesity-related kidney diseases are becoming serious health problems worldwide, yet the mechanism by which obesity causes kidney injury is not fully understood. The purpose of current study was to investigate the role of Mas receptor in lipid-induced kidney injury. In mice fed with high-fat diet (HFD), the protein abundance of markers of autophagy, endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress) and apoptosis was dramatically increased in the kidney cortex, which was markedly prevented by Mas deletion (Mas-/-) or Mas receptor antagonist A779. Palmitic acid (PA) induced persistently increased autophagy, ER stress, and apoptosis as well as mitochondrial injuries in primary cultured proximal tubular cells from wild type, but not from Mas-/- mice. In human proximal tubular HK2 cells, PA-induced autophagy and ER stress was aggravated by Mas agonists Ang (1-7) or AVE0991, but attenuated by A779 or Mas knockdown. Stimulation of Mas resulted in elevated intracellular calcium levels [Ca2+]i in HK2 cells treated with PA, whereas inhibition or knockdown of Mas decreased [Ca2+]i. Mitochondrial outer membrane located voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC1) was markedly upregulated in HK2 cells treated with PA, which was associated with impaired mitochondrial morphology and depolarization. These were enhanced by AVE0991 and suppressed by A779 or Mas knockdown. Mas knockdown in HK2 cells prevented impaired interactions among VDAC1, autophagy adaptor P62, and ubiquitin, induced by PA, leading to a potential ubiquitination of VDAC1. In conclusion, Mas receptor-mediated lipid-induced impaired autophagy and ER stress in the kidney, likely contributing to tubular injuries in obesity-related kidney diseases.
  8. Nat Commun. 2021 01 20. 12(1): 479
      As organisms develop, individual cells generate mitochondria to fulfill physiological requirements. However, it remains unknown how mitochondrial network expansion is scaled to cell growth. The mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) is a signaling pathway mediated by the transcription factor ATFS-1 which harbors a mitochondrial targeting sequence (MTS). Here, using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans we demonstrate that ATFS-1 mediates an adaptable mitochondrial network expansion program that is active throughout normal development. Mitochondrial network expansion requires the relatively inefficient MTS in ATFS-1, which allows the transcription factor to be responsive to parameters that impact protein import capacity of the mitochondrial network. Increasing the strength of the ATFS-1 MTS impairs UPRmt activity by increasing accumulation within mitochondria. Manipulations of TORC1 activity increase or decrease ATFS-1 activity in a manner that correlates with protein synthesis. Lastly, expression of mitochondrial-targeted GFP is sufficient to expand the muscle cell mitochondrial network in an ATFS-1-dependent manner. We propose that mitochondrial network expansion during development is an emergent property of the synthesis of highly expressed mitochondrial proteins that exclude ATFS-1 from mitochondrial import, causing UPRmt activation.
  9. J Clin Invest. 2021 Jan 19. pii: 143645. [Epub ahead of print]
      Renal fibrosis, a common pathological manifestation of virtually all types of chronic kidney diseases (CKD), often results in diffuse kidney scarring and predisposes to end-stage renal disease. Currently, there is no effective therapy against renal fibrosis. Recently, our laboratory identified an ER-resident protein, thioredoxin domain containing 5 (TXNDC5), as a critical mediator of cardiac fibrosis. Transcriptome analyses of renal biopsy specimens from CKD patients revealed marked TXNDC5 upregulation in fibrotic kidneys, suggesting a potential role of TXNDC5 in renal fibrosis. Employing multiple fluorescent reporter mouse lines, we showed that TXNDC5 was specifically upregulated in collagen-secreting fibroblasts in fibrotic mouse kidneys. In addition, we showed that TXNDC5 was required for TGFβ1-induced fibrogenic responses in human kidney fibroblasts (HKF), whereas TXNDC5 over-expression was sufficient to promote HKF activation, proliferation and collagen production. Mechanistically, we showed that TXNDC5, transcriptionally controlled by ATF6-dependent ER stress pathway, mediates its pro-fibrogenic effects by enforcing TGFβ signaling activity through post-translational stabilization and upregulation of type I TGFβ receptor in kidney fibroblasts. Using a tamoxifen-inducible, fibroblast-specific Txndc5 knockout mouse line, we demonstrated that deletion of Txndc5 in kidney fibroblasts mitigated the progression of established kidney fibrosis, suggesting the therapeutic potential of TXNDC5 targeting for renal fibrosis and CKD. .
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Fibrosis; Nephrology; Protein misfolding
  10. J Biol Chem. 2020 Nov 24. pii: S0021-9258(20)00085-X. [Epub ahead of print]296 100095
      DNA damage triggers the cellular adaptive response to arrest proliferation and repair DNA damage; when damage is too severe to be repaired, apoptosis is initiated to prevent the spread of genomic insults. However, how cells endure DNA damage to maintain cell function remains largely unexplored. By using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model, we report that DNA damage elicits cell maintenance programs, including the unfolded protein response of the endoplasmic reticulum (UPRER). Mechanistically, sublethal DNA damage unexpectedly suppresses apoptotic genes in C. elegans, which in turn increases the activity of the inositol-requiring enzyme 1/X-box binding protein 1 (IRE-1/XBP-1) branch of the UPRER by elevating unsaturated phosphatidylcholine. In addition, UPRER activation requires silencing of the lipid regulator skinhead-1 (SKN-1). DNA damage suppresses SKN-1 activity to increase unsaturated phosphatidylcholine and activate UPRER. These findings reveal the UPRER activation as an organismal adaptive response that is important to maintain cell function during DNA damage.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; DNA damage response; ER stress response; SKN-1; apoptotic genes; fatty acid; phosphatidylcholine
  11. J Clin Invest. 2021 Jan 21. pii: 141171. [Epub ahead of print]
      Medulloblastoma is an aggressive pediatric brain tumor that can be driven by misactivation of the Hedgehog (HH) pathway. CDK6 is a critical effector of oncogenic Hedgehog signaling, but attempts to target the Hedgehog pathway in medulloblastoma have been encumbered by resistance to single-agent molecular therapy. We identified resistance mechanisms to CDK6 inhibition in HH-associated medulloblastoma by performing orthogonal CRISPR and CRISPR interference screens in medulloblastoma cells treated with a CDK4/6 inhibitor, and RNA-sequencing of a mouse model of HH-associated medulloblastoma with genetic deletion of Cdk6. Our concordant in vitro and in vivo data revealed decreased ribosomal protein expression underlies resistance to CDK6 inhibition in HH-associated medulloblastoma, leading to endoplasmic reticular (ER) stress and activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). These pathways increased the activity of enzymes producing Smoothened-activating sterol lipids that sustained oncogenic HH signaling in medulloblastoma despite cell cycle attenuation. Consistently, we demonstrated concurrent genetic deletion or pharmacological inhibition of CDK6 and HSD11ß2, an enzyme producing Smoothened-activating lipids, additively blocked cancer growth in multiple mouse genetic models of HH-associated medulloblastoma. Our data reveal a resistance pathway to CDK4/6 inhibition and a combination therapy to treat the most common malignant brain tumor in children that we believe are novel.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Metabolism; Oncology
  12. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2021 Jan 15. pii: S0006-291X(20)32294-4. [Epub ahead of print]541 8-14
      Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) are characterized by their pluripotent differentiation and self-renewal capability and have been widely applied in regenerative medicine, gene therapy, and tissue repair. However, inflammatory response after BMMSCs transplantation was found to impair the osteogenic differentiation of BMMSCs. Thus, understanding the mechanisms underlying inflammation response will benefit the clinical use of BMMSCs. In this study, using a cell model of TNF-α-induced inflammatory response, we found that TNF-α treatment greatly elevated intracellular oxidative stress and induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress by elevating the expression levels of ER sensors, such as PERK, ATF6 and IRE1A. Oxidative stress and ER stress formed a feedback loop to mediate TNF-α-induced inflammation response in BMMSCs. Moreover, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signal pathway that coupled to the ER stress was significantly activated by increasing its phosphorylation upon TNF-α treatment. Importantly, pharmacological inhibition of ER stress effectively eliminated the phosphorylation of JNK and attenuated the TNF-α-induced inflammation response. In conclusion, our results indicated that TNF-α induced oxidative and ER stress, thereby leading to JNK activation, and generating inflammation response in BMMSCs. This pathway underlying TNF-α-induced inflammation response may provide new strategies to improve BMMSCs osteogenesis and other inflammation-associated bone diseases.
    Keywords:  BMMSCs; ER stress; Inflammation response; JNK pathway; Oxidative stress