bims-pideca Biomed News
on Class IA PI3K signalling in development and cancer
Issue of 2023‒01‒01
sixteen papers selected by
Ralitsa Radostinova Madsen
University College London Cancer Institute

  1. Bioessays. 2022 Dec 25. e2200196
      Phosphatidylinositol-3-kinases (PI3Ks) are lipid kinases that produce 3-phosphorylated derivatives of phosphatidylinositol upon activation by various cues. These 3-phosphorylated lipids bind to various protein effectors to control many cellular functions. Lipid phosphatases such as phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) terminate PI3K-derived signals and are critical to ensure appropriate signaling outcomes. Many lines of evidence indicate that PI3Ks and PTEN, as well as some specific lipid effectors are highly compartmentalized, either in plasma membrane nanodomains or in endosomal compartments. We examine the evidence for specific recruitment of PI3Ks, PTEN, and other related enzymes to membrane nanodomains and endocytic compartments. We then examine the hypothesis that scaffolding of the sources (PI3Ks), terminators (PTEN), and effectors of these lipid signals with a common plasma membrane nanodomain may achieve highly localized lipid signaling and ensure selective activation of specific effectors. This highlights the importance of spatial regulation of PI3K signaling in various physiological and disease contexts.
    Keywords:  PTEN; SHIP; cell signaling; clathrin; nanodomains; phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase; phosphoinositides
  2. Elife. 2022 Dec 28. pii: e81856. [Epub ahead of print]11
      CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) enables programmable, reversible, and titratable repression of gene expression (knockdown) in mammalian cells. Initial CRISPRi-mediated genetic screens have showcased the potential to address basic questions in cell biology, genetics, and biotechnology, but wider deployment of CRISPRi screening has been constrained by the large size of single guide RNA (sgRNA) libraries and challenges in generating cell models with consistent CRISPRi-mediated knockdown. Here, we present next-generation CRISPRi sgRNA libraries and effector expression constructs that enable strong and consistent knockdown across mammalian cell models. First, we combine empirical sgRNA selection with a dual-sgRNA library design to generate an ultra-compact (1-3 elements per gene), highly active CRISPRi sgRNA library. Next, we compare CRISPRi effectors to show that the recently published Zim3-dCas9 provides an excellent balance between strong on-target knockdown and minimal nonspecific effects on cell growth or the transcriptome. Finally, we engineer a suite of cell lines with stable expression of Zim3-dCas9 and robust on-target knockdown. Our results and publicly available reagents establish best practices for CRISPRi genetic screening.
    Keywords:  genetics; genomics; human
  3. Nat Immunol. 2022 Dec 29.
      Hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) by phospholipase C-γ (PLCγ1) represents a critical step in T cell antigen receptor (TCR) signaling and subsequent thymocyte and T cell responses. PIP2 replenishment following its depletion in the plasma membrane (PM) is dependent on delivery of its precursor phosphatidylinositol (PI) from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the PM. We show that a PI transfer protein (PITP), Nir3 (Pitpnm2), promotes PIP2 replenishment following TCR stimulation and is important for T cell development. In Nir3-/- T lineage cells, the PIP2 replenishment following TCR stimulation is slower. Nir3 deficiency attenuates calcium mobilization in double-positive (DP) thymocytes in response to weak TCR stimulation. This impaired TCR signaling leads to attenuated thymocyte development at TCRβ selection and positive selection as well as diminished mature T cell fitness in Nir3-/- mice. This study highlights the importance of PIP2 replenishment mediated by PITPs at ER-PM junctions during TCR signaling.
  4. J Proteome Res. 2022 Dec 28.
      The availability of proteomics datasets in the public domain, and in the PRIDE database, in particular, has increased dramatically in recent years. This unprecedented large-scale availability of data provides an opportunity for combined analyses of datasets to get organism-wide protein abundance data in a consistent manner. We have reanalyzed 24 public proteomics datasets from healthy human individuals to assess baseline protein abundance in 31 organs. We defined tissue as a distinct functional or structural region within an organ. Overall, the aggregated dataset contains 67 healthy tissues, corresponding to 3,119 mass spectrometry runs covering 498 samples from 489 individuals. We compared protein abundances between different organs and studied the distribution of proteins across these organs. We also compared the results with data generated in analogous studies. Additionally, we performed gene ontology and pathway-enrichment analyses to identify organ-specific enriched biological processes and pathways. As a key point, we have integrated the protein abundance results into the resource Expression Atlas, where they can be accessed and visualized either individually or together with gene expression data coming from transcriptomics datasets. We believe this is a good mechanism to make proteomics data more accessible for life scientists.
    Keywords:  human proteome; mass spectrometry; public data re-use; quantitative proteomics
  5. J Biol Chem. 2022 Dec 26. pii: S0021-9258(22)01281-9. [Epub ahead of print] 102838
      The tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, otherwise known as the Krebs cycle, is a central metabolic pathway that performs the essential function of oxidizing nutrients to support cellular bioenergetics. More recently, it has become evident that TCA cycle behavior is dynamic and products of the TCA cycle can be co-opted in cancer and other pathologic states. In this review, we revisit the TCA cycle, including its potential origins and the history of its discovery. We provide a detailed accounting of the requirements for sustained TCA cycle function and the critical regulatory nodes that can stimulate or constrain TCA cycle activity. We also discuss recent advances in our understanding of the flexibility of TCA cycle wiring and the increasingly appreciated heterogeneity in TCA cycle activity exhibited by mammalian cells. Deeper insight into how the TCA cycle can be differentially regulated and, consequently, configured in different contexts will shed light on how this pathway is primed to meet the requirements of distinct mammalian cell states.
  6. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Jan 03. 120(1): e2214874120
      Adequate mass and function of adipose tissues (ATs) play essential roles in preventing metabolic perturbations. The pathological reduction of ATs in lipodystrophy leads to an array of metabolic diseases. Understanding the underlying mechanisms may benefit the development of effective therapies. Several cellular processes, including autophagy and vesicle trafficking, function collectively to maintain AT homeostasis. Here, we investigated the impact of adipocyte-specific deletion of the lipid kinase phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit type 3 (PIK3C3) on AT homeostasis and systemic metabolism in mice. We report that PIK3C3 functions in all ATs and that its absence disturbs adipocyte autophagy and hinders adipocyte differentiation, survival, and function with differential effects on brown and white ATs. These abnormalities cause loss of white ATs, whitening followed by loss of brown ATs, and impaired "browning" of white ATs. Consequently, mice exhibit compromised thermogenic capacity and develop dyslipidemia, hepatic steatosis, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. While these effects of PIK3C3 largely contrast previous findings with the autophagy-related (ATG) protein ATG7 in adipocytes, mice with a combined deficiency in both factors reveal a dominant role of the PIK3C3-deficient phenotype. We have also found that dietary lipid excess exacerbates AT pathologies caused by PIK3C3 deficiency. Surprisingly, glucose tolerance is spared in adipocyte-specific PIK3C3-deficient mice, a phenotype that is more evident during dietary lipid excess. These findings reveal a crucial yet complex role for PIK3C3 in ATs, with potential therapeutic implications.
    Keywords:  PIK3C3/VPS34; adipocyte; autophagy; lipodystrophy; metabolic disease
  7. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Jan 03. 120(1): e2212330120
      Target of Rapamycin Complex I (TORC1) is a central regulator of metabolism in eukaryotes that responds to a wide array of negative and positive inputs. The GTPase-activating protein toward Rags (GATOR) signaling pathway acts upstream of TORC1 and is comprised of two subcomplexes. The trimeric GATOR1 complex inhibits TORC1 activity in response to amino acid limitation by serving as a GTPase-activating protein (GAP) for the TORC1 activator RagA/B, a component of the lysosomally located Rag GTPase. The multi-protein GATOR2 complex inhibits the activity of GATOR1 and thus promotes TORC1 activation. Here we report that Wdr59, originally assigned to the GATOR2 complex based on studies performed in tissue culture cells, unexpectedly has a dual function in TORC1 regulation in Drosophila. We find that in the ovary and the eye imaginal disc brain complex, Wdr59 inhibits TORC1 activity by opposing the GATOR2-dependent inhibition of GATOR1. Conversely, in the Drosophila fat body, Wdr59 promotes the accumulation of the GATOR2 component Mio and is required for TORC1 activation. Similarly, in mammalian HeLa cells, Wdr59 prevents the proteolytic destruction of GATOR2 proteins Mio and Wdr24. Consistent with the reduced levels of the TORC1-activating GATOR2 complex, Wdr59KOs HeLa cells have reduced TORC1 activity which is restored along with GATOR2 protein levels upon proteasome inhibition. Taken together, our data support the model that the Wdr59 component of the GATOR2 complex functions to promote or inhibit TORC1 activity depending on cellular context.
    Keywords:  Drosophila; GATOR1; GATOR2; TORC1; Wdr59
  8. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Jan 03. 120(1): e2216109120
      Regulatory networks as large and complex as those implicated in cell-fate choice are expected to exhibit intricate, very high-dimensional dynamics. Cell-fate choice, however, is a macroscopically simple process. Additionally, regulatory network models are almost always incomplete and/or inexact, and do not incorporate all the regulators and interactions that may be involved in cell-fate regulation. In spite of these issues, regulatory network models have proven to be incredibly effective tools for understanding cell-fate choice across contexts and for making useful predictions. Here, we show that minimal frustration-a feature of biological networks across contexts but not of random networks-can compel simple, low-dimensional steady-state behavior even in large and complex networks. Moreover, the steady-state behavior of minimally frustrated networks can be recapitulated by simpler networks such as those lacking many of the nodes and edges and those that treat multiple regulators as one. The present study provides a theoretical explanation for the success of network models in biology and for the challenges in network inference.
    Keywords:  cell-fate choice; frustration; gene regulatory networks; network inference; sloppiness
  9. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Jan 03. 120(1): e2120582120
      Unraveling cell-cell interaction is fundamental to understanding many biological processes. To date, genetic tools for labeling neighboring cells in mammals are not available. Here, we developed a labeling strategy based on the Cre-induced intercellular labeling protein (CILP). Cre-expressing donor cells release a lipid-soluble and membrane-permeable fluorescent protein that is then taken up by recipient cells, enabling fluorescent labeling of neighboring cells. Using CILP, we specifically labeled endothelial cells surrounding a special population of hepatocytes in adult mice and revealed their distinct gene signatures. Our results highlight the potential of CILP as a platform to reveal cell-cell interactions and communications in vivo.
    Keywords:  genetic tool; intercellular interactions; liver zonation; membrane-permeable protein; niche
  10. Front Pharmacol. 2022 ;13 1018798
      Germline deletion of certain genes causes embryonic lethality, therefore, understanding the effect of deletion of such genes on mammalian pathophysiology remains challenging. Tamoxifen (TAM)-inducible Cre recombinase is widely used for tissue-specific and temporal induction of gene deletion in mice. However, the tamoxifen treatment regimen for the generation of whole-body deletion of a gene is not yet fully standardized for the majority of organs/tissues. Accordingly, we employed GtROSA26 (R26) promoter-regulated Cre and a reporter gene expression strategy. GtROSA26 (R26) is an ubiquitous promoter and mice carrying the R26Cre-ERT2 transgene express Cre-ERT2 in all the cells. Similarly, mice carrying the R26mTOM-mEGFP transgene express mTOM (membrane-targeted tdTomato), in the absence of Cre or mEGFP (membrane-targeted enhanced green fluorescent protein), in the presence of Cre, in all the cells. The progeny carrying one allele of both transgenes were subjected to different TAM regimens, i.e., IP injections (4 injections; 1.35 mg/injection), diet (400 mg TAM-citrate/kg food), or diet (400 mg TAM-citrate/kg food) combined with either TAM-oral gavage (4 gavages; 1.35 mg/gavage) or TAM IP injections (4 injections; 1.35 mg/injection) for 2-weeks beginning at postnatal day (PND) 21 and the extent of Cre recombination in different tissues was determined at PND35. Tamoxifen administration resulted in a transient loss of body weight in all the treatment regimens with a relatively slower rate of weight gain in the TAM-diet plus TAM-oral gavage group compared to other groups. While the efficiency of Cre recombination, as determined by the expression of mEGFP protein, was variable among tissues, major tissues such as the liver, heart, lungs, spleen, and thymus-showed almost complete recombination. No recombination was evident in any of the tissues examined from the control mice. In general, the efficiency of Cre recombination was better with a combined regimen of TAM-diet with either TAM-injections or TAM-oral gavage compared to TAM-diet alone or TAM-injections alone. Our results demonstrate that a combination of TAM-diet with either TAM-injections or TAM-oral gavage can be employed for the efficient deletion of a gene in the whole body. Our findings will provide technical expertise to the researchers employing TAM-inducible Cre for the deletion of floxed genes in varied tissues.
    Keywords:  Cre recombinase; Cre-ERT2; inducible gene deletion; reporter mice; tamoxifen
  11. Diabetes. 2022 Dec 29. pii: db220590. [Epub ahead of print]
      Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and impaired glycaemic control are closely linked, however, the pathophysiological mechanisms underpinning this bidirectional relationship remain unresolved. The high secretory capacity of the liver and impairments in protein secretion in NAFLD suggest that endocrine changes in the liver are likely to contribute to glycaemic defects. We identify hexosaminidase A (HEXA) as a NAFLD-induced hepatokine in both mice and humans. HEXA regulates sphingolipid metabolism, converting GM2 to GM3 gangliosides; sphingolipids that are primarily localized to cell surface lipid rafts. Using recombinant murine HEXA protein, an enzymatically inactive HEXA(R178H) mutant, or adeno-associated viral vectors to induce hepatocyte-specific overexpression of HEXA, we show that HEXA improves blood glucose control by increasing skeletal muscle glucose uptake in mouse models of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, with these effects being dependent on HEXA's enzymatic action. Mechanistically, HEXA remodels muscle lipid raft ganglioside composition, thereby increasing insulin-like growth factor 1 signalling and glucose transporter 4 localization to the cell surface. Disrupting lipid rafts reverses these HEXA-mediated effects. Together, this study identifies a novel pathway for inter-tissue communication between liver and skeletal muscle in the regulation of systemic glycaemic control.
  12. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Dec 27. 13(12): 1075
      Nutrient-limiting conditions are common during cancer development. The coordination of cellular glucose levels and cell survival is a fundamental question in cell biology and has not been completely understood. 4EBP1 is known as a translational repressor to regulate cell proliferation and survival by controlling translation initiation, however, whether 4EBP1 could participate in tumor survival by other mechanism except for translational repression function, especially under glucose starvation conditions remains unknown. Here, we found that protein levels of 4EBP1 was up-regulated in the central region of the tumor which always suffered nutrient deprivation compared with the peripheral region. We further discovered that 4EBP1 was dephosphorylated by PTPMT1 under glucose starvation conditions, which prevented 4EBP1 from being targeted for ubiquitin-mediated proteasomal degradation by HERC5. After that, 4EBP1 translocated to cytoplasm and interacted with STAT3 by competing with JAK and ERK, leading to the inactivation of STAT3 in the cytoplasm, resulting in apoptosis under glucose withdrawal conditions. Moreover, 4EBP1 knockdown increased the tumor volume and weight in xenograft models by inhibiting apoptosis in the central region of tumor. These findings highlight a novel mechanism for 4EBP1 as a new cellular glucose sensor in regulating cancer cell death under glucose deprivation conditions, which was different from its classical function as a translational repressor.
  13. Nat Commun. 2022 Dec 29. 13(1): 7975
      Prime editors (PEs) are powerful tools that widen the possibilities for sequence modifications during genome editing. Although methods based on the analysis of Cas9 nuclease or nickase activity have been used to predict genome-wide off-target activities of PEs, no tool that directly uses PEs for this purpose has been reported yet. In this study, we present a cell-based assay, named TAgmentation of Prime Editor sequencing (TAPE-seq), that provides genome-wide off-target candidates for PEs. TAPE-seq analyses are successfully performed using many different versions of PEs. The TAPE-seq predictions are compared with results from two other off-site prediction methods, Cas9 nuclease-based GUIDE-seq and Cas9 nickase-based Digenome-seq (nDigenome-seq). TAPE-seq shows a lower miss rate, and a higher area under the receiver operating characteristic curve compared to the other methods. TAPE-seq also identified valid off-target sites that were missed by the other methods.
  14. Cancer Discov. 2022 Dec 28. pii: CD-22-1230. [Epub ahead of print]
      Systematic identification of signaling pathways required for the fitness of cancer cells will facilitate the development of new cancer therapies. We used gene essentiality measurements in 1,086 cancer cell lines to identify selective co-essentiality modules and found that a ubiquitin ligase complex composed of UBA6, BIRC6, KCMF1 and UBR4, which is required for the survival of a subset of epithelial tumors that exhibit a high degree of aneuploidy. Suppressing BIRC6 in cell lines that are dependent on this complex led to a substantial reduction in cell fitness in vitro and potent tumor regression in vivo. Mechanistically, BIRC6 suppression resulted in selective activation of the integrated stress response (ISR) by stabilization of the heme-regulated inhibitor (HRI), a direct ubiquitination target of the UBA6/BIRC6/KCMF1/UBR4 complex. These observations uncover a novel ubiquitination cascade that regulates ISR and highlight the potential of ISR activation as a new therapeutic strategy.
  15. Nat Chem Biol. 2023 Jan;19(1): 55-63
      Engineered destruction of target proteins by recruitment to the cell's degradation machinery has emerged as a promising strategy in drug discovery. The majority of molecules that facilitate targeted degradation do so via a select number of ubiquitin ligases, restricting this therapeutic approach to tissue types that express the requisite ligase. Here, we describe a new strategy of targeted protein degradation through direct substrate recruitment to the 26S proteasome. The proteolytic complex is essential and abundantly expressed in all cells; however, proteasomal ligands remain scarce. We identify potent peptidic macrocycles that bind directly to the 26S proteasome subunit PSMD2, with a 2.5-Å-resolution cryo-electron microscopy complex structure revealing a binding site near the 26S pore. Conjugation of this macrocycle to a potent BRD4 ligand enabled generation of chimeric molecules that effectively degrade BRD4 in cells, thus demonstrating that degradation via direct proteasomal recruitment is a viable strategy for targeted protein degradation.
  16. J Vis Exp. 2022 Dec 09.
      Single-cell proteomics analysis requires sensitive, quantitatively accurate, widely accessible, and robust methods. To meet these requirements, the Single-Cell ProtEomics (SCoPE2) protocol was developed as a second-generation method for quantifying hundreds to thousands of proteins from limited samples, down to the level of a single cell. Experiments using this method have achieved quantifying over 3,000 proteins across 1,500 single mammalian cells (500-1,000 proteins per cell) in 10 days of mass spectrometer instrument time. SCoPE2 leverages a freeze-heat cycle for cell lysis, obviating the need for clean-up of single cells and consequently reducing sample losses, while expediting sample preparation and simplifying its automation. Additionally, the method uses an isobaric carrier, which aids protein identification and reduces sample losses. This video protocol provides detailed guidance to enable the adoption of automated single-cell protein analysis using only equipment and reagents that are widely accessible. We demonstrate critical steps in the procedure of preparing single cells for proteomic analysis, from harvesting up to injection to liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis. Additionally, viewers are guided through the principles of experimental design with the isobaric carrier, quality control for both isobaric carrier and single-cell preparations, and representative results with a discussion of limitations of the approach.