bims-unfpre Biomed News
on Unfolded protein response
Issue of 2021‒08‒29
five papers selected by
Susan Logue
University of Manitoba

  1. Cell Death Differ. 2021 Aug 27.
      Mounting evidence indicates that immunogenic therapies engaging the unfolded protein response (UPR) following endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress favor proficient cancer cell-immune interactions, by stimulating the release of immunomodulatory/proinflammatory factors by stressed or dying cancer cells. UPR-driven transcription of proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines exert beneficial or detrimental effects on tumor growth and antitumor immunity, but the cell-autonomous machinery governing the cancer cell inflammatory output in response to immunogenic therapies remains poorly defined. Here, we profiled the transcriptome of cancer cells responding to immunogenic or weakly immunogenic treatments. Bioinformatics-driven pathway analysis indicated that immunogenic treatments instigated a NF-κB/AP-1-inflammatory stress response, which dissociated from both cell death and UPR. This stress-induced inflammation was specifically abolished by the IRE1α-kinase inhibitor KIRA6. Supernatants from immunogenic chemotherapy and KIRA6 co-treated cancer cells were deprived of proinflammatory/chemoattractant factors and failed to mobilize neutrophils and induce dendritic cell maturation. Furthermore, KIRA6 significantly reduced the in vivo vaccination potential of dying cancer cells responding to immunogenic chemotherapy. Mechanistically, we found that the anti-inflammatory effect of KIRA6 was still effective in IRE1α-deficient cells, indicating a hitherto unknown off-target effector of this IRE1α-kinase inhibitor. Generation of a KIRA6-clickable photoaffinity probe, mass spectrometry, and co-immunoprecipitation analysis identified cytosolic HSP60 as a KIRA6 off-target in the IKK-driven NF-κB pathway. In sum, our study unravels that HSP60 is a KIRA6-inhibitable upstream regulator of the NF-κB/AP-1-inflammatory stress responses evoked by immunogenic treatments. It also urges caution when interpreting the anti-inflammatory action of IRE1α chemical inhibitors.
  2. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Aug 24. 12(9): 805
      Denervation of skeletal muscles results in a rapid and programmed loss of muscle size and performance, termed muscle atrophy, which leads to a poor prognosis of clinical nerve repair. Previous researches considered this process a result of multiple factors, such as protein homeostasis disorder, mitochondrial dysfunction, endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS), and apoptosis, while their intrinsic association remains to be explored. In this study, Sestrin2 (SESN2), a stress-inducible protein, was shown to act as a key protective signal involved in the crosstalk therein. SESN2 expression was induced in the gastrocnemius two weeks post denervation, which was accompanied by ERS, mitochondrial dysfunction, and apoptosis. Knockdown of SESN2 aggravated this situation and resulted in severer atrophy. Similar results were also found in rotenone-treated C2C12 cells. Furthermore, SESN2 was demonstrated to be induced by an ERS-activated transcription factor CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein beta (C/EBPβ). Once induced, SESN2 halted protein synthesis by inhibiting the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), thereby attenuating ERS. Moreover, increased SESN2 activated the specific autophagic machinery and facilitated the aggregation of sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1, p62) on the mitochondrial surface, which promoted the clearance of damaged mitochondria through mitophagy. Collectively, the SESN2-mediated unfolded protein response (UPR) and mitophagy play a critical role in protecting against denervated muscle atrophy, which may provide novel insights into the mechanism of skeletal muscle atrophy following denervation.
  3. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 12. pii: 8674. [Epub ahead of print]22(16):
      Pathological insults usually disturb the folding capacity of cellular proteins and lead to the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which leads to so-called "ER stress". Increasing evidence indicates that ER stress acts as a trigger factor for the development and progression of many kidney diseases. The unfolded protein responses (UPRs), a set of molecular signals that resume proteostasis under ER stress, are thought to restore the adaptive process in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and renal fibrosis. Furthermore, the idea of targeting UPRs for CKD treatment has been well discussed in the past decade. This review summarizes the up-to-date literature regarding studies on the relationship between the UPRs, systemic fibrosis, and renal diseases. We also address the potential therapeutic possibilities of renal diseases based on the modulation of UPRs and ER proteostasis. Finally, we list some of the current UPR modulators and their therapeutic potentials.
    Keywords:  endoplasmic reticulum stress; fibrosis; kidney; proteostasis; unfolded protein responses
  4. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Aug 19. pii: 4173. [Epub ahead of print]13(16):
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most common malignancy of the pancreas, shows a dismal and grim overall prognosis and survival rate, which have remained virtually unchanged for over half a century. PDAC is the most lethal of all cancers, with the highest mortality-to-incidence ratio. PDAC responds poorly to current therapies and remains an incurable malignancy. Therefore, novel therapeutic targets and drugs are urgently needed for pancreatic cancer treatment. Selective induction of apoptosis in cancer cells is an appealing approach in cancer therapy. Apoptotic cell death is highly regulated by different signaling routes that involve a variety of subcellular organelles. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress acts as a double-edged sword at the interface of cell survival and death. Pancreatic cells exhibit high hormone and enzyme secretory functions, and thereby show a highly developed ER. Thus, pancreatic cancer cells display a prominent ER. Solid tumors have to cope with adverse situations in which hypoxia, lack of certain nutrients, and the action of certain antitumor agents lead to a complex interplay and crosstalk between ER stress and autophagy-the latter acting as an adaptive survival response. ER stress also mediates cell death induced by a number of anticancer drugs and experimental conditions, highlighting the pivotal role of ER stress in modulating cell fate. The alkylphospholipid analog prototype edelfosine is selectively taken up by tumor cells, accumulates in the ER of a number of human solid tumor cells-including pancreatic cancer cells-and promotes apoptosis through a persistent ER-stress-mediated mechanism both in vitro and in vivo. Here, we discuss and propose that direct ER targeting may be a promising approach in the therapy of pancreatic cancer, opening up a new avenue for the treatment of this currently incurable and deadly cancer. Furthermore, because autophagy acts as a cytoprotective response to ER stress, potentiation of the triggering of a persistent ER response by combination therapy, together with the use of autophagy blockers, could improve the current gloomy expectations for finding a cure for this type of cancer.
    Keywords:  alkylphospholipid analog; cancer therapy; edelfosine; endoplasmic reticulum stress; endoplasmic reticulum targeting; pancreatic cancer
  5. Diabetologia. 2021 Aug 27.
      AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: We studied the effects of heterozygous human INS gene mutations on insulin secretion, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and other mechanisms in both MIN6 and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC)-derived beta-like cells, as well as the effects of prolonged overexpression of mutant human INS in MIN6 cells.METHODS: We modelled the structure of mutant C109Y and G32V proinsulin computationally to examine the in silico effects. We then overexpressed either wild-type (WT), mutant (C109Y or G32V), or both WT and mutant human preproinsulin in MIN6 cells, both transiently and stably over several weeks. We measured the levels of human and rodent insulin secreted, and examined the transcript and protein levels of several ER stress and apoptotic markers. We also reprogrammed human donor fibroblasts heterozygous for the C109Y mutation into hiPSCs and differentiated these into pancreatic beta-like cells, which were subjected to single-cell RNA-sequencing and transcript and protein analyses for ER stress and apoptotic markers.
    RESULTS: The computational modelling studies, and short-term and long-term expression studies in beta cells, revealed the presence of ER stress, organelle changes and insulin processing defects, resulting in a decreased amount of insulin secreted but not the ability to secrete insulin. By 9 weeks of expression of mutant human INS, dominant-negative effects of mutant INS were evident and beta cell insulin secretory capacity declined. INS+/C109Y patient-derived beta-like cells and single-cell RNA-sequencing analyses then revealed compensatory upregulation in genes involved in insulin secretion, processing and inflammatory response.
    CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: The results provide deeper insights into the mechanisms of beta cell failure during INS mutation-mediated diabetes disease progression. Decreasing spliced X-box binding protein 1 (sXBP1) or inflammatory response could be avenues to restore the function of the remaining WT INS allele.
    Keywords:  Beta cell; ER stress; Insulin; Insulin secretion; Mutation; Pancreas; Stem cells; iPS cells