bims-pideca Biomed News
on Class IA PI3K signalling in development and cancer
Issue of 2022‒11‒27
seventeen papers selected by
Ralitsa Radostinova Madsen
University College London Cancer Institute

  1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Nov 29. 119(48): e2208947119
      The phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI-3K)/AKT cell survival pathway is an important pathway activated by EGFR signaling. Here we show, that in addition to previously described critical components of this pathway, i.e., the docking protein Gab1, the PI-3K/AKT pathway in epithelial cells is regulated by the exocyst complex, which is a vesicle tether that is essential for exocytosis. Using live-cell imaging, we demonstrate that PI(3,4,5)P3 levels fluctuate at the membrane on a minutes time scale and that these fluctuations are associated with local PI(3,4,5)P3 increases at sites where recycling vesicles undergo exocytic fusion. Supporting a role for exocytosis in PI(3,4,5)P3 generation, acute promotion of exocytosis by optogenetically driving exocyst-mediated vesicle tethering up-regulates PI(3,4,5)P3 production and AKT activation. Conversely, acute inhibition of exocytosis using Endosidin2, a small-molecule inhibitor of the exocyst subunit Exo70 (also designated EXOC7), or inhibition of exocyst function by siRNA-mediated knockdown of the exocyst subunit Sec15 (EXOC6), impairs PI(3,4,5)P3 production and AKT activation induced by EGF stimulation of epithelial cells. Moreover, prolonged inhibition of EGF signaling by EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors results in spontaneous reactivation of AKT without a concomitant relief of EGFR inhibition. However, this reactivation can be negated by acutely inhibiting the exocyst. These experiments demonstrate that exocyst-mediated exocytosis-by regulating PI(3,4,5)P3 levels at the plasma membrane-subserves activation of the PI-3K/AKT pathway by EGFR in epithelial cells.
    Keywords:  biochemistry; biological sciences; cell biology
  2. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Nov 15. pii: 5613. [Epub ahead of print]14(22):
      Phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-triphosphate (PIP3) is a lipidic second messenger present at very low concentrations in resting normal cells. PIP3 levels, though, increase quickly and transiently after growth factor addition, upon activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase). PIP3 is required for the activation of intracellular signaling pathways that induce cell proliferation, cell migration, and survival. Given the critical role of this second messenger for cellular responses, PIP3 levels must be tightly regulated. The lipid phosphatase PTEN (phosphatase and tensin-homolog in chromosome 10) is the phosphatase responsible for PIP3 dephosphorylation to PIP2. PTEN tumor suppressor is frequently inactivated in endometrium and prostate carcinomas, and also in glioblastoma, illustrating the contribution of elevated PIP3 levels for cancer development. PTEN biological activity can be modulated by heterozygous gene loss, gene mutation, and epigenetic or transcriptional alterations. In addition, PTEN can also be regulated by post-translational modifications. Acetylation, oxidation, phosphorylation, sumoylation, and ubiquitination can alter PTEN stability, cellular localization, or activity, highlighting the complexity of PTEN regulation. While current strategies to treat tumors exhibiting a deregulated PI3-kinase/PTEN axis have focused on PI3-kinase inhibition, a better understanding of PTEN post-translational modifications could provide new therapeutic strategies to restore PTEN action in PIP3-dependent tumors.
    Keywords:  PTEN; phosphorylation; post-translational modification; sumoylation; ubiquitination
  3. J Mol Endocrinol. 2022 Nov 01. pii: JME-21-0285. [Epub ahead of print]
      Finnish-specific gene variant p.P50T/AKT2 (MAF=1.1%), is associated with insulin resistance and increased predisposition to type 2 diabetes. Here, we have investigated in vitro the impact of the gene variant on glucose metabolism and intracellular signalling in human primary skeletal muscle cells, that were established from 14 male p.P50T/AKT2 variant carriers and 14 controls. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and glucose incorporation into glycogen were detected with 2-[1,2-3H]-deoxy-D-glucose and D-[14C]-glucose, respectively, and the rate of glycolysis was measured with a Seahorse XFe96 analyzer. Insulin signalling was investigated with western blotting. Binding of variant and control AKT2-PH domains to phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate ((PI(3,4,5)P3)) was assayed using PIP Strips™ Membranes. Tyrosine (PTK) and serine-threonine (STK) kinase assay was performed using the PamGene® kinome profiling system. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis in myotubes in vitro were not significantly affected by the genotype. However, insulin-stimulated glycolytic rate was impaired in variant myotubes. Western blot analysis showed that insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of Akt-Thr308, AS160-Thr642 and GSK3β-Ser9 was reduced in variant myotubes compared to controls. Binding of variant AKT2-PH domain to PI(3,4,5)P3 was reduced as compared to control protein. PamGene® kinome profiling revealed multiple differentially phosphorylated kinase substrates, e.g. calmodulin, between the genotypes. Further in silico upstream kinase analysis predicted a large-scale impairment in activities of kinases participating for example in intracellular signal transduction, protein translation and cell cycle events. In conclusion, myotubes from p.P50T/AKT2 variant carriers show multiple signalling alterations which may contribute to predisposition to insulin resistance and T2D in the carriers of this signalling variant.
  4. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2022 Nov 21.
      Although several KRasG12C inhibitors have displayed promising efficacy in clinical settings, acquired resistance developed rapidly and circumvented the activity of KRasG12C inhibitors. To explore the mechanism rendering acquired resistance to KRasG12C inhibitors, we established a series of KRASG12C-mutant cells with acquired resistance to AMG510. We found that differential activation of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) especially EGFR or IGF1R rendered resistance to AMG510 in different cellular contexts by maintaining the activation of MAPK and PI3K signaling. Simultaneous inhibition of EGFR and IGF1R restored sensitivity to AMG510 in resistant cells. PI3K integrates signals from multiple RTKs and the level of phosphorylated AKT was revealed to negatively correlate with the anti-proliferative activity of AMG510 in KRASG12C-mutant cells. Concurrently treatment of a novel PI3Kα inhibitor CYH33 with AMG510 exhibited a synergistic effect against parental and resistant KRASG12C-mutant cells in vitro and in vivo, which was accompanied with concomitant inhibition of AKT and MAPK signaling. Taken together, these findings revealed the potential mechanism rendering acquired resistance to KRasG12C inhibitors and provided a mechanistic rationale to combine PI3Kα inhibitors with KRasG12C inhibitors for therapy of KRASG12C-mutant cancers in future clinical trials.
    Keywords:  AMG510; KRasG12C; PI3K; combination therapy; drug resistance
  5. Sci Adv. 2022 Nov 25. 8(47): eabq8109
      Neuronal connectivity and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity are fundamental properties that support brain function and cognitive performance. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) intracellular signaling controls multiple mechanisms mediating neuronal growth, synaptic structure, and plasticity. However, it is still unclear how these pleiotropic functions are integrated at molecular and cellular levels. To address this issue, we used neuron-specific virally delivered Cre expression to delete either p110α or p110β (the two major catalytic isoforms of type I PI3K) from the hippocampus of adult mice. We found that dendritic and postsynaptic structures are almost exclusively supported by p110α activity, whereas p110β controls neurotransmitter release and metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent long-term depression at the presynaptic terminal. In addition to these separate functions, p110α and p110β jointly contribute to N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor-dependent postsynaptic long-term potentiation. This molecular and functional specialization is reflected in different proteomes controlled by each isoform and in distinct behavioral alterations for learning/memory and sociability in mice lacking p110α or p110β.
  6. Elife. 2022 Nov 22. pii: e81286. [Epub ahead of print]11
      The insulin receptor (IR) and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) control metabolic homeostasis and cell growth and proliferation. The IR and IGF1R form similar disulfide bonds linked homodimers in the apo-state; however, their ligand binding properties and the structures in the active state differ substantially. It has been proposed that the disulfide-linked C-terminal segment of α-chain (αCTs) of the IR and IGF1R control the cooperativity of ligand binding and regulate the receptor activation. Nevertheless, the molecular basis for the roles of disulfide-linked αCTs in IR and IGF1R activation are still unclear. Here, we report the cryo-EM structures of full-length mouse IGF1R/IGF1 and IR/insulin complexes with modified αCTs that have increased flexibility. Unlike the Γ-shaped asymmetric IGF1R dimer with a single IGF1 bound, the IGF1R with the enhanced flexibility of αCTs can form a T-shaped symmetric dimer with two IGF1s bound. Meanwhile, the IR with non-covalently linked αCTs predominantly adopts an asymmetric conformation with four insulins bound, which is distinct from the T-shaped symmetric IR. Using cell-based experiments, we further showed that both IGF1R and IR with the modified αCTs cannot activate the downstream signaling potently. Collectively, our studies demonstrate that the certain structural rigidity of disulfide-linked αCTs is critical for optimal IR and IGF1R signaling activation.
    Keywords:  cell biology; human; molecular biophysics; mouse; structural biology
  7. Cell Rep. 2022 Nov 22. pii: S2211-1247(22)01578-9. [Epub ahead of print]41(8): 111704
      MYC is dysregulated in >50% of cancers, but direct targeting of MYC has been clinically unsuccessful. Targeting downstream MYC effector pathways represents an attractive alternative. MYC regulates alternative mRNA splicing, but the mechanistic links between MYC and the splicing machinery in cancer remain underexplored. Here, we identify a network of co-expressed splicing factors (SF-modules) in MYC-active breast tumors. Of these, one is a pan-cancer SF-module correlating with MYC activity across 33 tumor types. In mammary cell models, MYC activation leads to co-upregulation of pan-cancer module SFs and to changes in >4,000 splicing events. In breast cancer organoids, co-overexpression of the pan-cancer SF-module induces MYC-regulated splicing events and increases organoid size and invasiveness, while knockdown decreases organoid size. Finally, we uncover a MYC-activity pan-cancer splicing signature correlating with survival across tumor types. Our findings provide insight into the mechanisms of MYC-regulated splicing and for the development of therapeutics for MYC-driven tumors.
    Keywords:  CP: Cancer; MYC; RNA splicing; SR proteins; alternative splicing; breast cancer; cancer; co-expression analysis; co-expression modules; oncogenes; organoids; pan-cancer; splicing factors
  8. Nat Commun. 2022 Nov 24. 13(1): 7238
      Machine learning and in particular deep learning (DL) are increasingly important in mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics. Recent DL models can predict the retention time, ion mobility and fragment intensities of a peptide just from the amino acid sequence with good accuracy. However, DL is a very rapidly developing field with new neural network architectures frequently appearing, which are challenging to incorporate for proteomics researchers. Here we introduce AlphaPeptDeep, a modular Python framework built on the PyTorch DL library that learns and predicts the properties of peptides ( ). It features a model shop that enables non-specialists to create models in just a few lines of code. AlphaPeptDeep represents post-translational modifications in a generic manner, even if only the chemical composition is known. Extensive use of transfer learning obviates the need for large data sets to refine models for particular experimental conditions. The AlphaPeptDeep models for predicting retention time, collisional cross sections and fragment intensities are at least on par with existing tools. Additional sequence-based properties can also be predicted by AlphaPeptDeep, as demonstrated with a HLA peptide prediction model to improve HLA peptide identification for data-independent acquisition ( ).
  9. Nat Biotechnol. 2022 Nov 24.
      Programmable genome integration of large, diverse DNA cargo without DNA repair of exposed DNA double-strand breaks remains an unsolved challenge in genome editing. We present programmable addition via site-specific targeting elements (PASTE), which uses a CRISPR-Cas9 nickase fused to both a reverse transcriptase and serine integrase for targeted genomic recruitment and integration of desired payloads. We demonstrate integration of sequences as large as ~36 kilobases at multiple genomic loci across three human cell lines, primary T cells and non-dividing primary human hepatocytes. To augment PASTE, we discovered 25,614 serine integrases and cognate attachment sites from metagenomes and engineered orthologs with higher activity and shorter recognition sequences for efficient programmable integration. PASTE has editing efficiencies similar to or exceeding those of homology-directed repair and non-homologous end joining-based methods, with activity in non-dividing cells and in vivo with fewer detectable off-target events. PASTE expands the capabilities of genome editing by allowing large, multiplexed gene insertion without reliance on DNA repair pathways.
  10. Nat Commun. 2022 Nov 24. 13(1): 7226
      Protein phosphorylation is a ubiquitous post-translational modification used to regulate cellular processes and proteome architecture by modulating protein-protein interactions. The identification of phosphorylation events through proteomic surveillance has dramatically outpaced our capacity for functional assignment using traditional strategies, which often require knowledge of the upstream kinase a priori. The development of phospho-amino-acid-specific orthogonal translation systems, evolutionarily divergent aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase and tRNA pairs that enable co-translational insertion of a phospho-amino acids, has rapidly improved our ability to assess the physiological function of phosphorylation by providing kinase-independent methods of phosphoprotein production. Despite this utility, broad deployment has been hindered by technical limitations and an inability to reconstruct complex phopho-regulatory networks. Here, we address these challenges by optimizing genetically encoded phosphothreonine translation to characterize phospho-dependent kinase activation mechanisms and, subsequently, develop a multi-level protein interaction platform to directly assess the overlap of kinase and phospho-binding protein substrate networks with phosphosite-level resolution.
  11. J Virol. 2022 Nov 23. e0145322
      Phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K) signaling regulates many cellular processes, including cell survival, differentiation, proliferation, cytoskeleton reorganization, and apoptosis. The actin cytoskeleton regulated by PI3K signaling plays an important role in plasma membrane rearrangement. Currently, it is known that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection requires PI3K signaling. However, the regulatory pattern or corresponding molecular mechanism of PI3K signaling on cell-to-cell fusion during syncytium formation remains unclear. This study synthesized a novel PI3K inhibitor PIK-24 designed with PI3K as a target and used it as a molecular probe to investigate the involvement of PI3K signaling in syncytium formation during RSV infection. The results of the antiviral mechanism revealed that syncytium formation required PI3K signaling to activate RHO family GTPases Cdc42, to upregulate the inactive form of cofilin, and to increase the amount of F-actin in cells, thereby causing actin cytoskeleton reorganization and membrane fusion between adjacent cells. PIK-24 treatment significantly abolished the generation of these events by blocking the activation of PI3K signaling. Moreover, PIK-24 had an obvious binding activity with the p85α regulatory subunit of PI3K. The anti-RSV effect similar to PIK-24 was obtained after knockdown of p85α in vitro or knockout of p85α in vivo, suggesting that PIK-24 inhibited RSV infection by targeting PI3K p85α. Most importantly, PIK-24 exerted a potent anti-RSV activity, and its antiviral effect was stronger than that of the classic PI3K inhibitor LY294002, PI-103, and broad-spectrum antiviral drug ribavirin. Thus, PIK-24 has the potential to be developed into a novel anti-RSV agent targeting cellular PI3K signaling. IMPORTANCE PI3K protein has many functions and regulates various cellular processes. As an important regulatory subunit of PI3K, p85α can regulate the activity of PI3K signaling. Therefore, it serves as the key target for virus infection. Indeed, p85α-regulated PI3K signaling facilitates various intracellular plasma membrane rearrangement events by modulating the actin cytoskeleton, which may be critical for RSV-induced syncytium formation. In this study, we show that a novel PI3K inhibitor inhibits RSV-induced PI3K signaling activation and actin cytoskeleton reorganization by targeting the p85α protein, thereby inhibiting syncytium formation and exerting a potent antiviral effect. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one of the most common respiratory pathogens, causing enormous morbidity, mortality, and economic burden. Currently, no effective antiviral drugs or vaccines exist for RSV infection. This study contributes to understanding the molecular mechanism by which PI3K signaling regulates syncytium formation and provides a leading compound for anti-RSV infection drug development.
    Keywords:  PI3K signaling; actin cytoskeleton reorganization; membrane fusion; p85α; respiratory syncytial virus; syncytium formation
  12. Dev Cell. 2022 Nov 21. pii: S1534-5807(22)00763-8. [Epub ahead of print]57(22): 2550-2565.e5
      Acinar cells are the principal secretory units of multiple exocrine organs. A single-cell, layered, lumenized acinus forms from a large cohort of epithelial progenitors that must initiate and coordinate three cellular programs of acinar specification, namely, lineage progression, secretion, and polarization. Despite this well-known outcome, the mechanism(s) that regulate these complex programs are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that neuronal-epithelial cross-talk drives acinar specification through neuregulin (NRG1)-ERBB3-mTORC2 signaling. Using single-cell and global RNA sequencing of developing murine salivary glands, we identified NRG1-ERBB3 to precisely overlap with acinar specification during gland development. Genetic deletion of Erbb3 prevented cell lineage progression and the establishment of lumenized, secretory acini. Conversely, NRG1 treatment of isolated epithelia was sufficient to recapitulate the development of secretory acini. Mechanistically, we found that NRG1-ERBB3 regulates each developmental program through an mTORC2 signaling pathway. Thus, we reveal that a neuronal-epithelial (NRG1/ERBB3/mTORC2) mechanism orchestrates the creation of functional acini.
    Keywords:  ERBB3; acinus; mTOR; neuregulin; neuronal-epithelial communication; organogenesis; secretory; specification
  13. Sci Adv. 2022 Nov 25. 8(47): eabn0238
      Cancers are often defined by the dysregulation of specific transcriptional programs; however, the importance of global transcriptional changes is less understood. Hypertranscription is the genome-wide increase in RNA output. Hypertranscription's prevalence, underlying drivers, and prognostic significance are undefined in primary human cancer. This is due, in part, to limitations of expression profiling methods, which assume equal RNA output between samples. Here, we developed a computational method to directly measure hypertranscription in 7494 human tumors, spanning 31 cancer types. Hypertranscription is ubiquitous across cancer, especially in aggressive disease. It defines patient subgroups with worse survival, even within well-established subtypes. Our data suggest that loss of transcriptional suppression underpins the hypertranscriptional phenotype. Single-cell analysis reveals hypertranscriptional clones, which dominate transcript production regardless of their size. Last, patients with hypertranscribed mutations have improved response to immune checkpoint therapy. Our results provide fundamental insights into gene dysregulation across human cancers and may prove useful in identifying patients who would benefit from novel therapies.
  14. Cell. 2022 Nov 23. pii: S0092-8674(22)01374-5. [Epub ahead of print]185(24): 4604-4620.e32
      Natural and induced somatic mutations that accumulate in the genome during development record the phylogenetic relationships of cells; whether these lineage barcodes capture the complex dynamics of progenitor states remains unclear. We introduce quantitative fate mapping, an approach to reconstruct the hierarchy, commitment times, population sizes, and commitment biases of intermediate progenitor states during development based on a time-scaled phylogeny of their descendants. To reconstruct time-scaled phylogenies from lineage barcodes, we introduce Phylotime, a scalable maximum likelihood clustering approach based on a general barcoding mutagenesis model. We validate these approaches using realistic in silico and in vitro barcoding experiments. We further establish criteria for the number of cells that must be analyzed for robust quantitative fate mapping and a progenitor state coverage statistic to assess the robustness. This work demonstrates how lineage barcodes, natural or synthetic, enable analyzing progenitor fate and dynamics long after embryonic development in any organism.
    Keywords:  ICE-FASE; Phylotime; clonal dynamics; coalescent theory; homing CRISPR MARC1 barcoding; phylogenetic inference; progenitor field dynamics; single cell ineage tracing; somatic mutations; time-scaled cell phylogeny
  15. J Cell Biol. 2023 Feb 06. pii: e202204099. [Epub ahead of print]222(2):
      The lipid phosphatidyl-D-myo-inositol-4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] is a master regulator of plasma membrane (PM) function. Its effector proteins regulate transport, signaling, and cytoskeletal processes that define PM structure and function. How a single type of lipid regulates so many parallel processes is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that spatially separate PI(4,5)P2 pools associate with different PM complexes. The mobility of PI(4,5)P2 was measured using biosensors by single-particle tracking. We found that PM lipids including PI(4,5)P2 diffuse rapidly (∼0.3 µm2/s) with Brownian motion, although they spend one third of their time diffusing more slowly. Surprisingly, areas of the PM occupied by PI(4,5)P2-dependent complexes did not slow PI(4,5)P2 lateral mobility. Only the spectrin and septin cytoskeletons showed reduced PI(4,5)P2 diffusion. We conclude that even structures with high densities of PI(4,5)P2 effector proteins, such as clathrin-coated pits and focal adhesions, do not corral unbound PI(4,5)P2, questioning a role for spatially segregated PI(4,5)P2 pools in organizing and regulating PM functions.
  16. Curr Protoc. 2022 Nov;2(11): e590
      Human pluripotent stem cells hold tremendous potential for both basic biology and cell-based therapies for a wide variety of diseases. The ability to manipulate the genome of these cells using the CRISPR/Cas9 technology has expanded this potential by providing a valuable tool to engineer or correct disease-associated mutations. Because of the high efficiency with which CRISPR/Cas9 creates targeted double-strand breaks, a major challenge has been the introduction of precise genetic modifications on one allele without indel formation on the non-targeted allele. To overcome this obstacle, we describe use of two oligonucleotide repair templates: one expressing the sequence change and the other maintaining the normal sequence. In addition, we have streamlined both the transfection and screening methodologies to make the protocols efficient, with small numbers of cells and a limited amount of labor-intensive clone passaging. This article provides a technically simple approach for generating valuable tools to model human disease in stem cells. © 2022 Wiley Periodicals LLC. Basic Protocol 1: Application and optimization of CRISPR-based genome editing in human pluripotent stem cells Basic Protocol 2: Genetic modification of human pluripotent stem cells using a double-oligonucleotide CRISPR/Cas9 recombination system.
    Keywords:  CRISPR/Cas9; genome editing; heterozygous editing; homology-directed repair; human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs); transfection
  17. Dev Cell. 2022 Nov 21. pii: S1534-5807(22)00760-2. [Epub ahead of print]57(22): 2584-2598.e11
      Autophagy is an essential catabolic process that promotes the clearance of surplus or damaged intracellular components. Loss of autophagy in age-related human pathologies contributes to tissue degeneration through a poorly understood mechanism. Here, we identify an evolutionarily conserved role of autophagy from yeast to humans in the preservation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) levels, which are critical for cell survival. In respiring mouse fibroblasts with autophagy deficiency, loss of mitochondrial quality control was found to trigger hyperactivation of stress responses mediated by NADases of PARP and Sirtuin families. Uncontrolled depletion of the NAD(H) pool by these enzymes ultimately contributed to mitochondrial membrane depolarization and cell death. Pharmacological and genetic interventions targeting several key elements of this cascade improved the survival of autophagy-deficient yeast, mouse fibroblasts, and human neurons. Our study provides a mechanistic link between autophagy and NAD metabolism and identifies targets for interventions in human diseases associated with autophagic, lysosomal, and mitochondrial dysfunction.
    Keywords:  DNA damage; NAD; PARP; Sirtuins; ageing; autophagy; metabolism; mitochondria; mitophagy