bims-ershed Biomed News
on ER Stress in Health and Diseases
Issue of 2021‒10‒24
nine papers selected by
Matías Eduardo González Quiroz
Worker’s Hospital

  1. Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2021 Oct 19. pii: gmab131. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cancer cells are often exposed to cell intrinsic stresses and environmental perturbations that may lead to accumulation of unfolded and/or misfolded proteins in the lumen of endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a cellular condition known as ER stress. In response to ER stress, the cells elicit an adaptive process called unfolded protein response (UPR) to cope with the stress, supporting cellular homeostasis and survival. The ER stress sensors inositol requiring protein 1α (IRE1α), eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha kinase 3 (EIF2AK3, also called PERK), and activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) constitute the three branches of UPR to resolve ER stress. IRE1α, PERK, and ATF6 play an important role in tumor cell growth and survival. They are also involved in chemotherapy resistance of cancers. These have generated widespread interest in targeting these UPR branches for cancer treatment. In this review, we provide an overview of the role of IRE1α, PERK, and ATF6 in cancer progression and drug resistance and we summarize the research advances in targeting these UPR branches to enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy of cancers.
    Keywords:  ER stress; cancer; chemotherapy; drug resistance; unfolded protein response
  2. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 ;12 749879
      β-cell ER stress plays an important role in β-cell dysfunction and death during the pathogenesis of diabetes. Proinsulin misfolding is regarded as one of the primary initiating factors of ER stress and unfolded protein response (UPR) activation in β-cells. Here, we found that the ER stress sensor inositol-requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α) was activated in the Akita mice, a mouse model of mutant insulin gene-induced diabetes of youth (MIDY), a monogenic diabetes. Normalization of IRE1α RNase hyperactivity by pharmacological inhibitors significantly ameliorated the hyperglycemic conditions and increased serum insulin levels in Akita mice. These benefits were accompanied by a concomitant protection of functional β-cell mass, as shown by the suppression of β-cell apoptosis, increase in mature insulin production and reduction of proinsulin level. At the molecular level, we observed that the expression of genes associated with β-cell identity and function was significantly up-regulated and ER stress and its associated inflammation and oxidative stress were suppressed in islets from Akita mice treated with IRE1α RNase inhibitors. This study provides the evidence of the in vivo efficacy of IRE1α RNase inhibitors in Akita mice, pointing to the possibility of targeting IRE1α RNase as a therapeutic direction for the treatment of diabetes.
    Keywords:  Beta cell failure; ER stress; Ire1alpha; Ire1alpha inhibition; beta cell protection; monogenic diabetes; proinsulin misfolding; unfolded protein response
  3. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 740653
      The endoplasmic reticulum quality control (ERQC) system, including endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD), the unfolded protein response (UPR), and autophagy, presides over cellular protein secretion and maintains proteostasis in mammalian cells. As part of the immune system, a variety of proteins are synthesized and assembled correctly for the development, activation, and differentiation of immune cells, such as dendritic cells (DCs), macrophages, myeloid-derived-suppressor cells (MDSCs), B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, and natural killer (NK) cells. In this review, we emphasize the role of the ERQC in these immune cells, and also discuss how the imbalance of ER homeostasis affects the immune response, thereby suggesting new therapeutic targets for immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  ERAD; ERQC; UPR; autophagy; immune cell
  4. Mol Biol (Mosk). 2021 Sep-Oct;55(4):55(4): 796-828
      Spatial organization of protein biosynthesis in the eukaryotic cell has been studied for more than fifty years, thus many facts have already been included in textbooks. According to the classical view, mRNA transcripts encoding secreted and transmembrane proteins are translated by ribosomes associated with endoplasmic reticulum membranes, while soluble cytoplasmic proteins are synthesized on free polysomes. However, in the last few years, new data has emerged, revealing selective translation of mRNA on mitochondria and plastids, in proximity to peroxisomes and endosomes, in various granules and at the cytoskeleton (actin network, vimentin intermediate filaments, microtubules and centrosomes). There are also long-standing debates about the possibility of protein synthesis in the nucleus. Localized translation can be determined by targeting signals in the synthesized protein, nucleotide sequences in the mRNA itself, or both. With RNA-binding proteins, many transcripts can be assembled into specific RNA condensates and form RNP particles, which may be transported by molecular motors to the sites of active translation, form granules and provoke liquid-liquid phase separation in the cytoplasm, both under normal conditions and during cell stress. The translation of some mRNAs occurs in specialized "translation factories," assemblysomes, transperons and other structures necessary for the correct folding of proteins, interaction with functional partners and formation of oligomeric complexes. Intracellular localization of mRNA has a significant impact on the efficiency of its translation and presumably determines its response to cellular stress. Compartmentalization of mRNAs and the translation machinery also plays an important role in viral infections. Many viruses provoke the formation of specific intracellular structures, virus factories, for the production of their proteins. Here we review the current concepts of the molecular mechanisms of transport, selective localization and local translation of cellular and viral mRNAs, their effects on protein targeting and topogenesis, and on the regulation of protein biosynthesis in different compartments of the eukaryotic cell. Special attention is paid to new systems biology approaches, providing new cues to the study of localized translation.
    Keywords:  assemblysomes; endoplasmic reticulum; localized translation; mRNA transport; mitochondria; nuclear translation; stress granules; translation factories; viral factories
  5. J Cancer. 2021 ;12(22): 6787-6795
      Digestive cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer mortality in the world. Despite a number of studies being conducted, the exact mechanism for treating digestive cancer has not yet been fully understood. To survive, digestive cancer cells are subjected to various internal and external adverse factors, such as hypoxia, nutritional deficiencies or drug toxicity, resulting in accumulation of misfolded and unfolded protein in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen further leading to ER stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR). During the last years, studies on the relationship between ER stress and microRNAs (miRNAs) has burst on the scene. miRNAs are non-coding RNAs with a length of 21~22nucleotides involved in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, which could be regarded as oncomiRs (tumor inducers) and tumor suppressors regulating cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and apoptosis by differently affecting the expression of genes related to cancer cell signaling. Therefore, investigating the interaction between ER stress and miRNAs is crucial for developing effective cancer treatment and prevention strategies. In this review, we mainly discuss miRNAs focusing on its regulation, role in ER stress induced apoptosis in Digestive cancer, expound the underlying mechanism, thus provides a theoretical foundation for finding new therapeutic targets of digestive cancer.
    Keywords:  ER stress; digestive cancers; miRNAs
  6. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 705484
      Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is an effective therapeutic procedure to treat hematological malignancies. However, the benefit of allo-HCT is limited by a major complication, chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). Since transmembrane and secretory proteins are generated and modified in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the ER stress response is of great importance to secretory cells including B cells. By using conditional knock-out (KO) of XBP-1, IRE-1α or both specifically on B cells, we demonstrated that the IRE-1α/XBP-1 pathway, one of the major ER stress response mediators, plays a critical role in B cell pathogenicity on the induction of cGVHD in murine models of allo-HCT. Endoribonuclease activity of IRE-1α activates XBP-1 signaling by converting unspliced XBP-1 (XBP-1u) mRNA into spliced XBP-1 (XBP-1s) mRNA but also cleaves other ER-associated mRNAs through regulated IRE-1α-dependent decay (RIDD). Further, ablation of XBP-1s production leads to unleashed activation of RIDD. Therefore, we hypothesized that RIDD plays an important role in B cells during cGVHD development. In this study, we found that the reduced pathogenicity of XBP-1 deficient B cells in cGVHD was reversed by RIDD restriction in IRE-1α kinase domain KO mice. Restraining RIDD activity per se in B cells resulted in an increased severity of cGVHD. Besides, inhibition of RIDD activity compromised B cell differentiation and led to dysregulated expression of MHC II and costimulatory molecules such as CD86, CD40, and ICOSL in B cells. Furthermore, restraining the RIDD activity without affecting XBP-1 splicing increased B cell ability to induce cGVHD after allo-HCT. These results suggest that RIDD is an important mediator for reducing cGVHD pathogenesis through targeting XBP-1s.
    Keywords:  ER stress; IRE-1α; RIDD; UPR; XBP-1; allo-HCT; chronic GVHD
  7. FASEB J. 2021 Nov;35(11): e21990
      Eukaryotic initiation factor 2A (eIF2A) is a 65 kDa protein that functions in minor initiation pathways, which affect the translation of only a subset of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNAs), such as internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-containing mRNAs and/or mRNAs harboring upstream near cognate/non-AUG start codons. These non-canonical initiation events are important for regulation of protein synthesis during cellular development and/or the integrated stress response. Selective eIF2A knockdown in cellular systems significantly inhibits translation of such mRNAs, which rely on alternative initiation mechanisms for their translation. However, there exists a gap in our understanding of how eIF2A functions in mammalian systems in vivo (on the organismal level) and ex vivo (in cells). Here, using an eIF2A-knockout (KO) mouse model, we present evidence implicating eIF2A in the biology of aging, metabolic syndrome and central tolerance. We discovered that eIF2A-KO mice have reduced life span and that eIF2A plays an important role in maintenance of lipid homeostasis, the control of glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and also reduces the abundance of B lymphocytes and dendritic cells in the thymic medulla of mice. We also show the eIF2A KO affects male and female mice differently, suggesting that eIF2A may affect sex-specific pathways. Interestingly, our experiments involving pharmacological induction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress with tunicamycin did not reveal any substantial difference between the response to ER stress in eIF2A-KO and wild-type mice. The identification of eIF2A function in the development of metabolic syndrome bears promise for the further identification of specific eIF2A targets responsible for these changes.
    Keywords:  ER stress; eukaryotic initiation factor 2A (eIF2A); life span; lipid homeostasis; metabolic syndrome
  8. J Invest Dermatol. 2021 Oct 19. pii: S0022-202X(21)02348-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Particulate matter (PM) is believed to be related to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The skin is also known to be affected by PM exposure as a result of skin barrier dysfunction, cutaneous inflammation, and apoptotic cell death. Epidemiological studies have suggested that PM is related to pigment spots. Recently, diesel exhaust particles are reported to cause a tanning response mediated by oxidative stress. However, the direct effects of PM on melanogenesis and related mechanisms have not yet been clarified. Our study showed that PM can increase melanin production in melanocyte, mouse and human skin models. RNA-sequencing analyses of melanocytes revealed that the expressions of unfolded protein response molecules were increased after PM exposure. In particular, IRE1α signaling pathway, which was consistently upregulated, was related to PM-triggered melanogenesis. Additionally, PM-induced melanogenesis was abrogated by an IRE1α inhibitor. Therefore, our findings corroborate previous findings in melanocytes, mouse, and human models and also illuminate the involvement of IRE1α pathway as a mechanism of PM-induced melanogenesis.
    Keywords:  ER stress; IRE1α; Particulate matter; melanogenesis; unfolded protein response
  9. Exp Neurol. 2021 Oct 19. pii: S0014-4886(21)00307-1. [Epub ahead of print] 113899
      BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) destroys white matter, and this destruction is aggravated by secondary neuroinflammatory reactions. Although white matter injury (WMI) is strongly correlated with poor neurological function, understanding of white matter integrity maintenance is limited, and no available therapies can effectively protect white matter. One candidate approach that may fulfill this goal is cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) agonist treatment. Here, we confirmed that a selective CB2 agonist, JWH133, protected white matter after TBI.METHODS: The motor evoked potentials (MEPs), open field test, and Morris water maze test were used to assess neurobehavioral outcomes. Brain tissue loss, WM damage, Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress), microglia responses were evaluated after TBI. The functional integrity of WM was measured by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Primary microglia and oligodendrocyte cocultures were used for additional mechanistic studies.
    RESULTS: JWH133 increased myelin basic protein (MBP) and neurofilament heavy chain (NF200) levels and anatomic preservation of myelinated axons revealed by DTI and TEM. JWH133 also increased the numbers of oligodendrocyte precursor cells and mature oligodendrocytes. Furthermore, JWH133 drove microglial polarization toward the protective M2 phenotype and modulated the redistribution of microglia in the striatum. Further investigation of the underlying mechanism revealed that JWH133 downregulated phosphorylation of the protein kinase R (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum (ER) kinase (PERK) signaling pathway and its downstream signals eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 α (eIF2α), activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and Growth arrest and DNA damage-inducible protein (GADD34); this downregulation was followed by p-Protein kinase B(p-Akt) upregulation. In primary cocultures of microglia and oligodendrocytes, JWH133 decreased phosphorylated PERK expression in microglia stimulated with tunicamycin and facilitated oligodendrocyte survival. These data reveal that JWH133 ultimately alleviates WMI and improves neurological behavior following TBI. However, these effects were prevented by SR144528, a selective CB2 antagonist.
    CONCLUSIONS: This work illustrates the PERK-mediated interaction between microglia and oligodendrocytes. In addition, the results are consistent with recent findings that microglial polarization switching accelerates WMI, highlighting a previously unexplored role for CB2 agonists. Thus, CB2 agonists are potential therapeutic agents for TBI and other neurological conditions involving white matter destruction.
    Keywords:  Cannabinoid receptor-2; Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress; Microglia/macrophage polarization; Oligodendrocytes; Traumatic brain injury; White matter injury