bims-ginsta Biomed News
on Genome instability
Issue of 2023‒09‒17
thirteen papers selected by
Jinrong Hu, National University of Singapore

  1. EMBO Rep. 2023 Sep 11. e56530
      After fertilization, remodeling of the oocyte and sperm genomes is essential to convert these highly differentiated and transcriptionally quiescent cells into early cleavage-stage blastomeres that are transcriptionally active and totipotent. This developmental transition is accompanied by cell cycle adaptation, such as lengthening or shortening of the gap phases G1 and G2. However, regulation of these cell cycle changes is poorly understood, especially in mammals. Checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) is a protein kinase that regulates cell cycle progression in somatic cells. Here, we show that CHK1 regulates cell cycle progression in early mouse embryos by restraining CDK1 kinase activity due to CDC25A phosphatase degradation. CHK1 kinase also ensures the long G2 phase needed for genome activation and reprogramming gene expression in two-cell stage mouse embryos. Finally, Chk1 depletion leads to DNA damage and chromosome segregation errors that result in aneuploidy and infertility.
    Keywords:  CDC25A phosphatase; CDK1 kinase; CHK1 kinase; cell cycle regulation; early mouse embryos
  2. Curr Biol. 2023 Sep 08. pii: S0960-9822(23)01126-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Apical extracellular matrix (aECM) constitutes the interface between every tissue and the outside world. It is patterned into diverse tissue-specific structures through unknown mechanisms. Here, we show that a male-specific genetic switch in a single C. elegans glial cell patterns the overlying aECM from a solid sheet to an ∼200 nm pore, thus allowing a male sensory neuron to access the environment. Using cell-specific genetic sex reversal, we find that this switch reflects an inherent sex difference in the glial cell that is independent of the sex identity of the surrounding neurons. Through candidate and unbiased genetic screens, we find that this glial sex difference is controlled by factors shared with neurons (mab-3, lep-2, and lep-5) as well as previously unidentified regulators whose effects may be glia specific (nfya-1, bed-3, and jmjd-3.1). The switch results in male-specific glial expression of a secreted Hedgehog-related protein, GRL-18, that we discover localizes to transient nanoscale rings at sites where aECM pores will form. Using electron microscopy, we find that blocking male-specific gene expression in glia prevents pore formation, whereas forcing male-specific glial gene expression induces an ectopic pore. Thus, a switch in gene expression in a single cell is necessary and sufficient to pattern aECM into a specific structure. Our results highlight that aECM is not a simple homogeneous meshwork, but instead is composed of discrete local features that reflect the identity of the underlying cells.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; aECM; cuticle; extracellular matrix; glia; sex differences
  3. Nat Commun. 2023 Sep 13. 14(1): 5652
      The Aurora family of kinases orchestrates chromosome segregation and cytokinesis during cell division, with precise spatiotemporal regulation of its catalytic activities by distinct protein scaffolds. Plasmodium spp., the causative agents of malaria, are unicellular eukaryotes with three unique and highly divergent aurora-related kinases (ARK1-3) that are essential for asexual cellular proliferation but lack most canonical scaffolds/activators. Here we investigate the role of ARK2 during sexual proliferation of the rodent malaria Plasmodium berghei, using a combination of super-resolution microscopy, mass spectrometry, and live-cell fluorescence imaging. We find that ARK2 is primarily located at spindle microtubules in the vicinity of kinetochores during both mitosis and meiosis. Interactomic and co-localisation studies reveal several putative ARK2-associated interactors including the microtubule-interacting protein EB1, together with MISFIT and Myosin-K, but no conserved eukaryotic scaffold proteins. Gene function studies indicate that ARK2 and EB1 are complementary in driving endomitotic division and thereby parasite transmission through the mosquito. This discovery underlines the flexibility of molecular networks to rewire and drive unconventional mechanisms of chromosome segregation in the malaria parasite.
  4. J Cell Biol. 2023 Dec 04. pii: e202301092. [Epub ahead of print]222(12):
      Centriole duplication is a high-fidelity process driven by Polo-like kinase 4 (Plk4) and a few conserved initiators. Dissecting how Plk4 and its receptors organize within centrosomes is critical to understand the centriole duplication process and biochemical and architectural differences between centrosomes of different species. Here, at nanoscale resolution, we dissect centrosomal localization of Plk4 in G1 and S phase in its catalytically active and inhibited state during centriole duplication and amplification. We build a precise distribution map of Plk4 and its receptor Cep152, as well as Cep44, Cep192, and Cep152-anchoring factors Cep57 and Cep63. We find that Cep57, Cep63, Cep44, and Cep192 localize in ninefold symmetry. However, during centriole maturation, Cep152, which we suggest is the major Plk4 receptor, develops a more complex pattern. We propose that the molecular arrangement of Cep152 creates flexibility for Plk4 and procentriole placement during centriole initiation. As a result, procentrioles form at variable positions in relation to the mother centriole microtubule triplets.
  5. Nat Commun. 2023 Sep 12. 14(1): 5623
      Vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin is a well-recognized endothelial cell marker. One of its interacting partners, the TGF-β receptor Alk1, is essential in endothelial cells for adult skin vasculature remodeling during hair homeostasis. Using single-cell transcriptomics, lineage tracing and gene targeting in mice, we characterize the cellular and molecular dynamics of skin VE-cadherin+ cells during hair homeostasis. We describe dynamic changes of VE-cadherin+ endothelial cells specific to blood and lymphatic vessels and uncover an atypical VE-cadherin+ cell population. The latter is not a predicted adult endovascular progenitor, but rather a non-endothelial mesenchymal perineurial cell type, which forms nerve encapsulating tubular structures that undergo remodeling during hair homeostasis. Alk1 acts in the VE-cadherin+ perineurial cells to maintain proper homeostatic nerve branching by enforcing basement membrane and extracellular matrix molecular signatures. Our work implicates the VE-cadherin/Alk1 duo, classically known as endothelial-vascular specific, in perineurial-nerve homeostasis. This has broad implications in vascular and nerve disease.
  6. J Cell Biol. 2023 Nov 06. pii: e202302112. [Epub ahead of print]222(11):
      Exocrine cells utilize large secretory vesicles (LSVs) up to 10 μm in diameter. LSVs fuse with the apical surface, often recruiting actomyosin to extrude their content through dynamic fusion pores. The molecular mechanism regulating pore dynamics remains largely uncharacterized. We observe that the fusion pores of LSVs in the Drosophila larval salivary glands expand, stabilize, and constrict. Arp2/3 is essential for pore expansion and stabilization, while myosin II is essential for pore constriction. We identify several Bin-Amphiphysin-Rvs (BAR) homology domain proteins that regulate fusion pore expansion and stabilization. We show that the I-BAR protein Missing-in-Metastasis (MIM) localizes to the fusion site and is essential for pore expansion and stabilization. The MIM I-BAR domain is essential but not sufficient for localization and function. We conclude that MIM acts in concert with actin, myosin II, and additional BAR-domain proteins to control fusion pore dynamics, mediating a distinct mode of exocytosis, which facilitates actomyosin-dependent content release that maintains apical membrane homeostasis during secretion.
  7. Dev Cell. 2023 Sep 09. pii: S1534-5807(23)00436-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) signaling dynamics elicit distinct cellular responses in a variety of contexts. The early zebrafish embryo is an ideal model to explore the role of Erk signaling dynamics in vivo, as a gradient of activated diphosphorylated Erk (P-Erk) is induced by fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) signaling at the blastula margin. Here, we describe an improved Erk-specific biosensor, which we term modified Erk kinase translocation reporter (modErk-KTR). We demonstrate the utility of this biosensor in vitro and in developing zebrafish and Drosophila embryos. Moreover, we show that Fgf/Erk signaling is dynamic and coupled to tissue growth during both early zebrafish and Drosophila development. Erk activity is rapidly extinguished just prior to mitosis, which we refer to as mitotic erasure, inducing periods of inactivity, thus providing a source of heterogeneity in an asynchronously dividing tissue. Our modified reporter and transgenic lines represent an important resource for interrogating the role of Erk signaling dynamics in vivo.
    Keywords:  Drosophila; Erk; Fgf signaling; kinase translocation reporter; mitosis; zebrafish
  8. Circ Res. 2023 Sep 12.
      BACKGROUND: Epigenetic regulation of vascular remodeling in pulmonary hypertension (PH) is poorly understood. Transcription regulating, histone acetylation code alters chromatin accessibility to promote transcriptional activation. Our goal was to identify upstream mechanisms that disrupt epigenetic equilibrium in PH.METHODS: Human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs), human idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (iPAH):human PASMCs, iPAH lung tissue, failed donor lung tissue, human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells, iPAH:PASMC and non-iPAH:PASMC RNA-seq databases, NanoString nCounter, and cleavage under targets and release using nuclease were utilized to investigate histone acetylation, hyperacetylation targets, protein and gene expression, sphingolipid activation, cell proliferation, and gene target identification. SPHK2 (sphingosine kinase 2) knockout was compared with control C57BL/6NJ mice after 3 weeks of hypoxia and assessed for indices of PH.
    RESULTS: We identified that Human PASMCs are vulnerable to the transcription-promoting epigenetic mediator histone acetylation resulting in alterations in transcription machinery and confirmed its pathological existence in PH:PASMC cells. We report that SPHK2 is elevated as much as 20-fold in iPAH lung tissue and is elevated in iPAH:PASMC cells. During PH pathogenesis, nuclear SPHK2 activates nuclear bioactive lipid S1P (sphingosine 1-phosphate) catalyzing enzyme and mediates transcription regulating histone H3K9 acetylation (acetyl histone H3 lysine 9 [Ac-H3K9]) through EMAP (endothelial monocyte activating polypeptide) II. In iPAH lungs, we identified a 4-fold elevation of the reversible epigenetic transcription modulator Ac-H3K9:H3 ratio. Loss of SPHK2 inhibited hypoxic-induced PH and Ac-H3K9 in mice. We discovered that pulmonary vascular endothelial cells are a priming factor of the EMAP II/SPHK2/S1P axis that alters the acetylome with a specificity for PASMC, through hyperacetylation of histone H3K9. Using cleavage under targets and release using nuclease, we further show that EMAP II-mediated SPHK2 has the potential to modify the local transcription machinery of pluripotency factor KLF4 (Krüppel-like factor 4) by hyperacetylating KLF4 Cis-regulatory elements while deletion and targeted inhibition of SPHK2 rescues transcription altering Ac-H3K9.
    CONCLUSIONS: SPHK2 expression and its activation of the reversible histone H3K9 acetylation in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell represent new therapeutic targets that could mitigate PH vascular remodeling.
    Keywords:  chromatin; endothelial cell; goal; mice; pulmonary artery
  9. J Cell Biol. 2023 11 06. pii: e202212101. [Epub ahead of print]222(11):
      Cells migrate collectively through confined environments during development and cancer metastasis. The nucleus, a stiff organelle, impedes single cells from squeezing into narrow channels within artificial environments. However, how nuclei affect collective migration into compact tissues is unknown. Here, we use border cells in the fly ovary to study nuclear dynamics in collective, confined in vivo migration. Border cells delaminate from the follicular epithelium and squeeze into tiny spaces between cells called nurse cells. The lead cell nucleus transiently deforms within the lead cell protrusion, which then widens. The nuclei of follower cells deform less. Depletion of the Drosophila B-type lamin, Lam, compromises nuclear integrity, hinders expansion of leading protrusions, and impedes border cell movement. In wildtype, cortical myosin II accumulates behind the nucleus and pushes it into the protrusion, whereas in Lam-depleted cells, myosin accumulates but does not move the nucleus. These data suggest that the nucleus stabilizes lead cell protrusions, helping to wedge open spaces between nurse cells.
  10. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2023 Sep 11.
      Coincident transcription and DNA replication causes replication stress and genome instability. Rapidly dividing mouse pluripotent stem cells are highly transcriptionally active and experience elevated replication stress, yet paradoxically maintain genome integrity. Here, we study FOXD3, a transcriptional repressor enriched in pluripotent stem cells, and show that its repression of transcription upon S phase entry is critical to minimizing replication stress and preserving genome integrity. Acutely deleting Foxd3 leads to immediate replication stress, G2/M phase arrest, genome instability and p53-dependent apoptosis. FOXD3 binds near highly transcribed genes during S phase entry, and its loss increases the expression of these genes. Transient inhibition of RNA polymerase II in S phase reduces observed replication stress and cell cycle defects. Loss of FOXD3-interacting histone deacetylases induces replication stress, while transient inhibition of histone acetylation opposes it. These results show how a transcriptional repressor can play a central role in maintaining genome integrity through the transient inhibition of transcription during S phase, enabling faithful DNA replication.
  11. Nat Cell Biol. 2023 Sep 14.
      Germline commitment following primordial germ cell (PGC) specification during early human development establishes an epigenetic programme and competence for gametogenesis. Here we follow the progression of nascent PGC-like cells derived from human embryonic stem cells in vitro. We show that switching from BMP signalling for PGC specification to Activin A and retinoic acid resulted in DMRT1 and CDH5 expression, the indicators of migratory PGCs in vivo. Moreover, the induction of DMRT1 and SOX17 in PGC-like cells promoted epigenetic resetting with striking global enrichment of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine and locus-specific loss of 5-methylcytosine at DMRT1 binding sites and the expression of DAZL representing DNA methylation-sensitive genes, a hallmark of the germline commitment programme. We provide insight into the unique role of DMRT1 in germline development for advances in human germ cell biology and in vitro gametogenesis.
  12. Cell. 2023 Sep 07. pii: S0092-8674(23)00909-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Endometrial decidualization connecting embryo implantation and placentation is transient but essential for successful pregnancy, which, however, is not systematically investigated. Here, we use a scStereo-seq technology to spatially visualize and define the dynamic functional decidual hubs assembled by distinct immune, endothelial, trophoblast, and decidual stromal cells (DSCs) in early pregnant mice. We unravel the DSC transdifferentiation trajectory and surprisingly discover a dual-featured type of immune-featured DSCs (iDSCs). We find that immature DSCs attract immune cells and induce decidual angiogenesis at the mesenchymal-epithelial transition hub during decidualization initiation. iDSCs enable immune cell recruitment and suppression, govern vascularization, and promote cytolysis at immune cell assembling and vascular hubs, respectively, to establish decidual homeostasis at a later stage. Interestingly, dysfunctional and spatially disordered iDSCs cause abnormal accumulation of immune cells in the vascular hub, which disrupts decidual hub specification and eventually leads to pregnancy complications in DBA/2-mated CBA/J mice.
    Keywords:  decidual stromal cells; decidualization; functional decidual hubs; immune cell recruitment; pregnancy; recurrent spontaneous abortion; spatial transcriptomics; vascularization
  13. Science. 2023 Sep 15. 381(6663): 1182-1189
      Lysosomes critically rely on bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate (BMP) to stimulate lipid catabolism, cholesterol homeostasis, and lysosomal function. Alterations in BMP levels in monogenic and complex neurodegeneration suggest an essential function in human health. However, the site and mechanism responsible for BMP synthesis have been subject to debate for decades. Here, we report that the Batten disease gene product CLN5 is the elusive BMP synthase (BMPS). BMPS-deficient cells exhibited a massive accumulation of the BMP synthesis precursor lysophosphatidylglycerol (LPG), depletion of BMP species, and dysfunctional lipid metabolism. Mechanistically, we found that BMPS mediated synthesis through an energy-independent base exchange reaction between two LPG molecules with increased activity on BMP-laden vesicles. Our study elucidates BMP biosynthesis and reveals an anabolic function of late endosomes/lysosomes.