bims-proteo Biomed News
on Proteostasis
Issue of 2022‒10‒02
33 papers selected by
Eric Chevet

  1. J Biol Chem. 2022 Sep 23. pii: S0021-9258(22)00967-X. [Epub ahead of print] 102524
      Rad6, an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme conserved from yeast to humans, functions in transcription, genome maintenance, and proteostasis. The contributions of many conserved secondary structures of Rad6 and its human homologs UBE2A and UBE2B to their biological functions are not understood. A mutant RAD6 allele with a missense substitution at alanine-126 (A126) of helix-3 that causes defects in telomeric gene silencing, DNA repair, and protein degradation was reported over two decades ago. Here, using a combination of genetics, biochemical, biophysical, and computational approaches, we discovered that helix-3 A126 mutations compromise the ability of Rad6 to ubiquitinate target proteins without disrupting interactions with partner E3 ubiquitin-ligases that are required for their various biological functions in vivo. Explaining the defective in vitro or in vivo ubiquitination activities, molecular dynamics simulations and NMR showed that helix-3 A126 mutations cause local disorder of the catalytic pocket of Rad6 in addition to disorganizing the global structure of the protein to decrease its stability in vivo. We also show that helix-3 A126 mutations deform the structures of UBE2A and UBE2B, the human Rad6 homologs, and compromise the in vitro ubiquitination activity and folding of UBE2B. Providing insights into their ubiquitination defects, we determined helix-3 A126 mutations impair the initial ubiquitin charging and the final discharging steps during substrate ubiquitination by Rad6. In summary, our studies reveal that the conserved helix-3 is a crucial structural constituent that controls the organization of catalytic pockets, enzymatic activities, and biological functions of the Rad6-family E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes.
    Keywords:  E2 enzymes; NMR spectroscopy; Rad6; UBE2A; UBE2B; enzyme catalysis; enzyme structure; molecular dynamics simulations; ubiquitin
  2. mBio. 2022 Sep 26. e0188822
      The obligate intracellular protozoan pathogen Toxoplasma gondii infects a wide range of vertebrate hosts and frequently causes zoonotic infections in humans. Whereas infected immunocompetent individuals typically remain asymptomatic, toxoplasmosis in immunocompromised individuals can manifest as a severe, potentially lethal disease, and congenital Toxoplasma infections are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. The protective immune response of healthy individuals involves the production of lymphocyte-derived cytokines such as interferon gamma (IFN-γ), which elicits cell-autonomous immunity in host cells. IFN-γ-inducible antiparasitic defense programs comprise nutritional immunity, the production of noxious gases, and the ubiquitylation of the Toxoplasma-containing parasitophorous vacuole (PV). PV ubiquitylation prompts the recruitment of host defense proteins to the PV and the consequential execution of antimicrobial effector programs, which reduce parasitic burden. However, the ubiquitin E3 ligase orchestrating these events has remained unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the IFN-γ-inducible E3 ligase RNF213 translocates to Toxoplasma PVs and facilitates PV ubiquitylation in human cells. Toxoplasma PVs become decorated with linear and K63-linked ubiquitin and recruit ubiquitin adaptor proteins in a process that is RNF213 dependent but independent of the linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex (LUBAC). IFN-γ priming fails to restrict Toxoplasma growth in cells lacking RNF213 expression, thus identifying RNF213 as a potent executioner of ubiquitylation-driven antiparasitic host defense. IMPORTANCE Globally, approximately one out of three people become infected with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma. These infections are typically asymptomatic but can cause severe disease and mortality in immunocompromised individuals. Infections can also be passed on from mother to fetus during pregnancy, potentially causing miscarriage or stillbirth. Therefore, toxoplasmosis constitutes a substantial public health burden. A better understanding of mechanisms by which healthy individuals control Toxoplasma infections could provide roadmaps toward novel therapies for vulnerable groups. Our work reveals a fundamental mechanism controlling intracellular Toxoplasma infections. Cytokines produced during Toxoplasma infections instruct human cells to produce the enzyme RNF213. We find that RNF213 labels intracellular vacuoles containing Toxoplasma with the small protein ubiquitin, which functions as an "eat-me" signal, attracting antimicrobial defense programs to fight off infection. Our work therefore identified a novel antiparasitic protein orchestrating a central aspect of the human immune response to Toxoplasma.
    Keywords:  LUBAC; RNF213; TAX1BP1; Toxoplasma; cell-autonomous immunity; interferons; linear ubiquitin; mysterin; parasitology; parasitophorous vacuole; ubiquitination; xenophagy
  3. Dev Cell. 2022 Sep 22. pii: S1534-5807(22)00634-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      To promote infections, pathogens exploit host cell machineries such as structural elements of the plasma membrane. Studying these interactions and identifying molecular players are ideal for gaining insights into the fundamental biology of the host cell. Here, we used the anthrax toxin to screen a library of 1,500 regulatory, cell-surface, and membrane trafficking genes for their involvement in the intoxication process. We found that endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-Golgi-localized proteins TMED2 and TMED10 are required for toxin oligomerization at the plasma membrane of human cells, an essential step dependent on localization to cholesterol-rich lipid nanodomains. Biochemical, morphological, and mechanistic analyses showed that TMED2 and TMED10 are essential components of a supercomplex that operates the exchange of both cholesterol and ceramides at ER-Golgi membrane contact sites. Overall, this study of anthrax intoxication led to the discovery that lipid compositional remodeling at ER-Golgi interfaces fully controls the formation of functional membrane nanodomains at the cell surface.
    Keywords:  OSBP; TMED10; TMED2; VAPA; anthrax toxin; membrane contact sites; nanodomains; p24 family
  4. Cell. 2022 Sep 21. pii: S0092-8674(22)01120-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) convert the stochastic choice of one of >1,000 olfactory receptor (OR) genes into precise and stereotyped axon targeting of OR-specific glomeruli in the olfactory bulb. Here, we show that the PERK arm of the unfolded protein response (UPR) regulates both the glomerular coalescence of like axons and the specificity of their projections. Subtle differences in OR protein sequences lead to distinct patterns of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress during OSN development, converting OR identity into distinct gene expression signatures. We identify the transcription factor Ddit3 as a key effector of PERK signaling that maps OR-dependent ER stress patterns to the transcriptional regulation of axon guidance and cell-adhesion genes, instructing targeting precision. Our results extend the known functions of the UPR from a quality-control pathway that protects cells from misfolded proteins to a sensor of cellular identity that interprets physiological states to direct axon wiring.
    Keywords:  Ddit3; PERK; axon guidance; axon targeting; cell adhesion; extracellular barcodes; olfactory receptors; stochastic gene choice; transcriptional networks; unfolded protein response
  5. EMBO Rep. 2022 Sep 30. e54569
      Tripartite motif protein (TRIM) 50 is a new member of the tripartite motif family, and its biological function and the molecular mechanism it is involved in remain largely unknown. The NOD-like receptor family protein (NLRP)3 inflammasome is actively involved in a wide array of biological processes while mechanisms of its regulation remain to be fully clarified. Here, we demonstrate the role of TRIM50 in NLRP3 inflammasome activation. In contrast to the conventional E3 ligase functions of TRIM proteins, TRIM50 mediates direct oligomerization of NLRP3, thereby suppressing its ubiquitination and promoting inflammasome activation. Mechanistically, TRIM50 directly interacts with NLRP3 through its RING domain and induces NLRP3 oligomerization via its coiled-coil domain. Finally, we show that TRIM50 promotes NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated diseases in mice. We thus reveal a novel regulatory mechanism of NLRP3 via TRIM50 and suggest that modulating TRIM50 might represent a therapeutic strategy for NLRP3-dependent pathologies.
    Keywords:  NLRP3 inflammasome; TRIM50; inflammation; oligomerization; ubiquitination
  6. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2022 Sep 27. 79(10): 530
      The endoplasmic reticulum exit of some polytopic plasma membrane proteins (PMPs) is controlled by arginin-based retention motifs. PRAF2, a gatekeeper which recognizes these motifs, was shown to retain the GABAB-receptor GB1 subunit in the ER. We report that PRAF2 can interact on a stoichiometric basis with both wild type and mutant F508del Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR), preventing the access of newly synthesized cargo to ER exit sites. Because of its lower abundance, compared to wild-type CFTR, CFTR-F508del recruitment into COPII vesicles is suppressed by the ER-resident PRAF2. We also demonstrate that some pharmacological chaperones that efficiently rescue CFTR-F508del loss of function in CF patients target CFTR-F508del retention by PRAF2 operating with various mechanisms. Our findings open new therapeutic perspectives for diseases caused by the impaired cell surface trafficking of mutant PMPs, which contain RXR-based retention motifs that might be recognized by PRAF2.
    Keywords:  Arginin-based retention motif; BRET; CFTR; Corrector; ERES; Gatekeeper; Protein export; Sec 24; Sec 31
  7. Cell Rep. 2022 Sep 27. pii: S2211-1247(22)01269-4. [Epub ahead of print]40(13): 111428
      Proteasome machinery is a major proteostasis control system in human cells, actively compensated upon its inhibition. To understand this compensation, we compared global protein landscapes upon the proteasome inhibition with carfilzomib, in normal fibroblasts, cells of multiple myeloma, and cancers of lung, colon, and pancreas. Molecular chaperones, autophagy, and endocytosis-related proteins are the most prominent vulnerabilities in combination with carfilzomib, while targeting of the HSP70 family chaperones HSPA1A/B most specifically sensitizes cancer cells to the proteasome inhibition. This suggests a central role of HSP70 in the suppression of the proteasome downregulation, allowing to identify pathways impinging on HSP70 upon the proteasome inhibition. HSPA1A/B indeed controls proteasome-inhibition-induced autophagy, unfolded protein response, and endocytic flux, and directly chaperones the proteasome machinery. However, it does not control the NRF1/2-driven proteasome subunit transcriptional bounce-back. Consequently, targeting of NRF1 proves effective in decreasing the viability of cancer cells with the inhibited proteasome and HSP70.
    Keywords:  CP: Cancer; HSP70; NFR2; NRF1; autophagy; cancer; carfilzomib; endocytosis; proteasome; proteomics; unfolded protein response
  8. STAR Protoc. 2022 Sep 30. pii: S2666-1667(22)00619-0. [Epub ahead of print]3(4): 101739
      eIF5-mimic protein (5MP) controls translation through binding to the ribosomal pre-initiation complex (PIC) and alters non-AUG translation rates for cancer oncogenes and repeat-expansions in neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we describe a semi-quantitative protocol for detecting 5MP-associated proteins in cultured human and fly cells. We detail one-step anti-FLAG affinity purification and whole-lane mass spectrometry analysis of samples resolved by SDS-PAGE. This protocol allows for quantitative evaluation of the effect of 5MP mutations on its molecular interactions, to elucidate translational control by 5MP. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Singh et al. (2021).
    Keywords:  Bioinformatics; Biotechnology and bioengineering; Cell culture; Mass spectrometry; Protein biochemistry; Protein expression and purification
  9. Dev Biol. 2022 Sep 27. pii: S0012-1606(22)00180-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      The IRE1α-XBP1s signaling branch of the unfolded protein response is a well-characterized survival pathway that allows cells to adapt to and resolve endoplasmic reticulum stress. Recent data has broadened our understanding of IRE1α-XBP1s signaling beyond a stress response and revealed a physiological mechanism required for the differentiation and maturation of a wide variety of cell types. Here we provide evidence that the IRE1α-XBP1s signaling pathway is required for the proliferation and maturation of basal keratinocytes in the mouse tongue and esophageal epithelium. Mice with conditional targeted deletion of either Ire1α or Xbp1 in keratin 14 expressing basal keratinocytes displayed severe thinning of the lingual and esophageal mucosa that rendered them unable to eat. In IRE1α null epithelium harvested at an earlier timepoint, genes regulating cell proliferation, cell-cell adhesion, and keratinization were significantly downregulated; indirect immunofluorescence revealed fewer proliferating basal keratinocytes, downregulation of E-cadherin, and thinning of the loricrin-positive granular and cornified layers. The number of Tp63-positive basal keratinocytes was reduced in the absence of IRE1α, and expression of the Wnt pathway transcription factor LEF1, which is required for the proliferation of lingual transit amplifying cells, was also significantly downregulated at the transcript and protein level. Together these results reveal an essential role for IRE1α-XBP1s in the maintenance of the stratified squamous epithelial tissue of the tongue and esophagus.
    Keywords:  Differentiation; Endoplasmic reticulum stress; Keratinocytes; Stratified squamous epithelium; Unfolded protein response; Wnt pathway
  10. Cell Death Differ. 2022 Sep 28.
      Intrinsic apoptosis is principally governed by the BCL-2 family of proteins, but some non-BCL-2 proteins are also critical to control this process. To identify novel apoptosis regulators, we performed a genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 library screen, and it identified the mitochondrial E3 ubiquitin ligase MARCHF5/MITOL/RNF153 as an important regulator of BAK apoptotic function. Deleting MARCHF5 in diverse cell lines dependent on BAK conferred profound resistance to BH3-mimetic drugs. The loss of MARCHF5 or its E3 ubiquitin ligase activity surprisingly drove BAK to adopt an activated conformation, with resistance to BH3-mimetics afforded by the formation of inhibitory complexes with pro-survival proteins MCL-1 and BCL-XL. Importantly, these changes to BAK conformation and pro-survival association occurred independently of BH3-only proteins and influence on pro-survival proteins. This study identifies a new mechanism by which MARCHF5 regulates apoptotic cell death by restraining BAK activating conformation change and provides new insight into how cancer cells respond to BH3-mimetic drugs. These data also highlight the emerging role of ubiquitin signalling in apoptosis that may be exploited therapeutically.
  11. Aging Cell. 2022 Sep 27. e13725
      Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolism is a central hub for energy production and regulation of numerous physiological processes. Controversially, both increased and decreased levels of BCAAs are associated with longevity. Using genetics and multi-omics analyses in Caenorhabditis elegans, we identified adaptive regulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) in response to defective BCAA catabolic reactions after the initial transamination step. Worms with impaired BCAA metabolism show a slower turnover of a GFP-based proteasome substrate, which is suppressed by loss-of-function of the first BCAA catabolic enzyme, the branched-chain aminotransferase BCAT-1. The exogenous supply of BCAA-derived carboxylic acids, which are known to accumulate in the body fluid of patients with BCAA metabolic disorders, is sufficient to regulate the UPS. The link between BCAA intermediates and UPS function presented here sheds light on the unexplained role of BCAAs in the aging process and opens future possibilities for therapeutic interventions.
    Keywords:   Caenorhabditis elegans ; aging; branched-chain amino acid; branched-chain aminotransferase; metabolism; proteasome; proteostasis; ubiquitin
  12. EMBO Rep. 2022 Sep 26. e54603
      Aberrant activation of inflammation signaling triggered by tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interleukin-1 (IL-1), and interleukin-17 (IL-17) is associated with immunopathology. Here, we identify neural precursor cells expressed developmentally down-regulated gene 4-like (NEDD4L), a HECT type E3 ligase, as a common negative regulator of signaling induced by TNF-α, IL-1, and IL-17. NEDD4L modulates the degradation of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 2 (MEKK2) via constitutively and directly binding to MEKK2 and promotes its poly-ubiquitination. In interleukin-17 receptor (IL-17R) signaling, Nedd4l knockdown or deficiency enhances IL-17-induced p38 and NF-κB activation and the production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in a MEKK2-dependent manner. We further show that IL-17-induced MEKK2 Ser520 phosphorylation is required not only for downstream p38 and NF-κB activation but also for NEDD4L-mediated MEKK2 degradation and the subsequent shutdown of IL-17R signaling. Importantly, Nedd4l-deficient mice show increased susceptibility to IL-17-induced inflammation and aggravated symptoms of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in IL-17R signaling-dependent manner. These data suggest that NEDD4L acts as an inhibitor of IL-17R signaling, which ameliorates the pathogenesis of IL-17-mediated autoimmune diseases.
    Keywords:  IL-17R signaling; MEKK2; NEDD4L; inflammation; ubiquitination
  13. Autophagy. 2022 Sep 28.
      Mitochondria rely on efficient protein import across their membranes for optimal function. We have shown that numerous mitochondrial stressors all converge on a common pathway disrupting this import efficiency. We identified a novel pathway involving NLRX1 and RRBP1 that responds to this import stress, resulting in LC3 lipidation, mitochondrial targeting and ultimate degradation. Furthermore, we demonstrated the relevance of this mitophagy axis in murine skeletal muscle following acute exercise. We propose that mitochondrial protein import stress is an underlying, common trigger for mitophagy, offering a novel avenue for therapeutic exploration and mechanistic insight.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; NLR; exercise; import; mitochondria; mitophagy; proteostasis
  14. J Am Chem Soc. 2022 Sep 28.
      Targeted protein degradation induced by heterobifunctional compounds and molecular glues presents an exciting avenue for chemical probe and drug discovery. To date, small-molecule ligands have been discovered for only a limited number of E3 ligases, which is an important limiting factor for realizing the full potential of targeted protein degradation. We report herein the discovery by chemical proteomics of azetidine acrylamides that stereoselectively and site-specifically react with a cysteine (C1113) in the E3 ligase substrate receptor DCAF1. We demonstrate that the azetidine acrylamide ligands for DCAF1 can be developed into electrophilic proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) that mediated targeted protein degradation in human cells. We show that this process is stereoselective and does not occur in cells expressing a C1113A mutant of DCAF1. Mechanistic studies indicate that only low fractional engagement of DCAF1 is required to support protein degradation by electrophilic PROTACs. These findings, taken together, demonstrate how the chemical proteomic analysis of stereochemically defined electrophilic compound sets can uncover ligandable sites on E3 ligases that support targeted protein degradation.
  15. J Cell Biol. 2022 Nov 07. pii: e202207091. [Epub ahead of print]221(11):
      We report that lysosomal damage is a hitherto unknown inducer of stress granule (SG) formation and that the process termed membrane atg8ylation coordinates SG formation with mTOR inactivation during lysosomal stress. SGs were induced by lysosome-damaging agents including SARS-CoV-2ORF3a, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and proteopathic tau. During damage, mammalian ATG8s directly interacted with the core SG proteins NUFIP2 and G3BP1. Atg8ylation was needed for their recruitment to damaged lysosomes independently of SG condensates whereupon NUFIP2 contributed to mTOR inactivation via the Ragulator-RagA/B complex. Thus, cells employ membrane atg8ylation to control and coordinate SG and mTOR responses to lysosomal damage.
  16. Nat Commun. 2022 Sep 28. 13(1): 5703
      RNA polymerase II (Pol II) apparatuses are compartmentalized into transcriptional clusters. Whether protein factors control these clusters remains unknown. In this study, we find that the ATPase-associated with diverse cellular activities (AAA + ) ATPase RUVBL2 co-occupies promoters with Pol II and various transcription factors. RUVBL2 interacts with unphosphorylated Pol II in chromatin to promote RPB1 carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) clustering and transcription initiation. Rapid depletion of RUVBL2 leads to a decrease in the number of Pol II clusters and inhibits nascent RNA synthesis, and tethering RUVBL2 to an active promoter enhances Pol II clustering at the promoter. We also identify target genes that are directly linked to the RUVBL2-Pol II axis. Many of these genes are hallmarks of cancers and encode proteins with diverse cellular functions. Our results demonstrate an emerging activity for RUVBL2 in regulating Pol II cluster formation in the nucleus.
  17. Nat Rev Urol. 2022 Sep 27.
      In order to proliferate in unfavourable conditions, cancer cells can take advantage of the naturally occurring endoplasmic reticulum-associated unfolded protein response (UPR) via three highly conserved signalling arms: IRE1α, PERK and ATF6. All three arms of the UPR have key roles in every step of tumour progression: from cancer initiation to tumour growth, invasion, metastasis and resistance to therapy. At present, no cure for metastatic prostate cancer exists, as targeting the androgen receptor eventually results in treatment resistance. New research has uncovered an important role for the UPR in prostate cancer tumorigenesis and crosstalk between the UPR and androgen receptor signalling pathways. With an improved understanding of the mechanisms by which cancer cells exploit the endoplasmic reticulum stress response, targetable points of vulnerability can be uncovered.
  18. Cancer Lett. 2022 Sep 23. pii: S0304-3835(22)00413-X. [Epub ahead of print] 215926
      The molecular mechanisms driving metastatic progression in breast cancer patients remain poorly understood. Here, we identified N4BP3 as a new regulator in promoting breast cancer metastasis. N4BP3 is enriched in breast tumor tissue and negatively correlates with clinical outcomes in breast cancer patients. The results show that N4BP3 plays a crucial role in regulating breast cancer cell invasion in vitro, and N4BP3 depletion suppresses metastases formation in vivo. N4BP3 alters the expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers and specifically targets E-cadherin in breast cancer cells. Intriguingly, we identified a novel E3 ligase NEDD4 for E-cadherin, and further revealed that N4BP3 promotes breast cancer metastasis via NEDD4-mediated E-cadherin ubiquitination and degradation. Together, this study uncovers an unprecedented role for N4BP3 in breast cancer metastasis and elucidates the underlying molecular mechanisms.
    Keywords:  Breast cancer; E-cadherin; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; N4BP3; NEDD4
  19. J Cell Biol. 2022 Nov 07. pii: e202106123. [Epub ahead of print]221(11):
      FGF2 is a cell survival factor involved in tumor-induced angiogenesis that is secreted through an unconventional secretory pathway based upon direct protein translocation across the plasma membrane. Here, we demonstrate that both PI(4,5)P2-dependent FGF2 recruitment at the inner plasma membrane leaflet and FGF2 membrane translocation into the extracellular space are positively modulated by cholesterol in living cells. We further revealed cholesterol to enhance FGF2 binding to PI(4,5)P2-containing lipid bilayers. Based on extensive atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and membrane tension experiments, we proposed cholesterol to modulate FGF2 binding to PI(4,5)P2 by (i) increasing head group visibility of PI(4,5)P2 on the membrane surface, (ii) increasing avidity by cholesterol-induced clustering of PI(4,5)P2 molecules triggering FGF2 oligomerization, and (iii) increasing membrane tension facilitating the formation of lipidic membrane pores. Our findings have general implications for phosphoinositide-dependent protein recruitment to membranes and explain the highly selective targeting of FGF2 toward the plasma membrane, the subcellular site of FGF2 membrane translocation during unconventional secretion of FGF2.
  20. Nature. 2022 Sep 28.
      Translation is the fundamental process of protein synthesis and is catalysed by the ribosome in all living cells1. Here we use advances in cryo-electron tomography and sub-tomogram analysis2,3 to visualize the structural dynamics of translation inside the bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae. To interpret the functional states in detail, we first obtain a high-resolution in-cell average map of all translating ribosomes and build an atomic model for the M. pneumoniae ribosome that reveals distinct extensions of ribosomal proteins. Classification then resolves 13 ribosome states that differ in their conformation and composition. These recapitulate major states that were previously resolved in vitro, and reflect intermediates during active translation. On the basis of these states, we animate translation elongation inside native cells and show how antibiotics reshape the cellular translation landscapes. During translation elongation, ribosomes often assemble in defined three-dimensional arrangements to form polysomes4. By mapping the intracellular organization of translating ribosomes, we show that their association into polysomes involves a local coordination mechanism that is mediated by the ribosomal protein L9. We propose that an extended conformation of L9 within polysomes mitigates collisions to facilitate translation fidelity. Our work thus demonstrates the feasibility of visualizing molecular processes at atomic detail inside cells.
  21. Nat Commun. 2022 Sep 29. 13(1): 5726
      Membrane-less organelles are condensates formed by phase separation whose functions often remain enigmatic. Upon oxidative stress, PML scaffolds Nuclear Bodies (NBs) to regulate senescence or metabolic adaptation. PML NBs recruit many partner proteins, but the actual biochemical mechanism underlying their pleiotropic functions remains elusive. Similarly, PML role in embryonic stem cell (ESC) and retro-element biology is unsettled. Here we demonstrate that PML is essential for oxidative stress-driven partner SUMO2/3 conjugation in mouse ESCs (mESCs) or leukemia, a process often followed by their poly-ubiquitination and degradation. Functionally, PML is required for stress responses in mESCs. Differential proteomics unravel the KAP1 complex as a PML NB-dependent SUMO2-target in arsenic-treated APL mice or mESCs. PML-driven KAP1 sumoylation enables activation of this key epigenetic repressor implicated in retro-element silencing. Accordingly, Pml-/- mESCs re-express transposable elements and display 2-Cell-Like features, the latter enforced by PML-controlled SUMO2-conjugation of DPPA2. Thus, PML orchestrates mESC state by coordinating SUMO2-conjugation of different transcriptional regulators, raising new hypotheses about PML roles in cancer.
  22. Sci Adv. 2022 Sep 30. 8(39): eabq4736
      The accurate expression of postsynaptic AMPA receptors (AMPARs) is critical for information processing in the brain, and ubiquitination is a key regulator for this biological process. However, the roles of E3 ubiquitin ligases in the regulation of AMPARs are poorly understood. Here, we find that RNF220 directly interacts with AMPARs to meditate their polyubiquitination, and RNF220 knockout specifically increases AMPAR protein levels, thereby enhancing basal synaptic activity while impairing synaptic plasticity. Moreover, depending on its E3 ubiquitin ligase activity, RNF220 represses AMPAR-mediated excitatory synaptic responses and their neuronal surface expression. Furthermore, learning and memory are altered in forebrain RNF220-deficient mice. In addition, two neuropathology-related RNF220 variants fail to repress excitatory synaptic activity because of the incapability to regulate AMPAR ubiquitination due to their attenuated interaction. Together, we identify RNF220 as an E3 ubiquitin ligase for AMPARs and establish its substantial role in excitatory synaptic transmission and brain function.
  23. Genes Dev. 2022 Sep 27.
      The polycomb complex component Bmi1 promotes the maintenance of stem cells in multiple postnatal tissues, partly by negatively regulating the expression of p16Ink4a and p19Arf, tumor suppressors associated with cellular senescence. However, deficiency for p16Ink4a and p19Arf only partially rescues the function of Bmi1-deficient stem cells. We conditionally deleted Bmi1 from adult hematopoietic cells and found that this slowly depleted hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Rather than inducing senescence, Bmi1 deficiency increased HSC division. The increased cell division was caused partly by increased Aristaless-related homeobox (ARX) transcription factor expression, which also increased ribosomal RNA expression. However, ARX deficiency did not rescue HSC depletion. Bmi1 deficiency also increased protein synthesis, protein aggregation, and protein ubiquitylation independent of its effects on cell division and p16Ink4a, p19Arf, and ARX expression. Bmi1 thus promotes HSC quiescence by negatively regulating ARX expression and promotes proteostasis by suppressing protein synthesis. This highlights a new connection between the regulation of stem cell maintenance and proteostasis.
    Keywords:  polycomb; self-renewal; senescence; tissue regeneration; tumor suppressor
  24. Cell Rep. 2022 Sep 27. pii: S2211-1247(22)01263-3. [Epub ahead of print]40(13): 111422
      Hepatic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a hallmark of obesity-induced liver steatosis and contributes to the progress of steatosis and insulin resistance in liver. However, its influence on adipose function is still unclear. Here, we identify a hepatic ER stress-induced activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4)-cold-inducible RNA-binding protein (CIRP)-angiopoietin-related protein3 (ANGPTL3) cascade critical for the regulation of adipose browning. We find that obesity increases CIRP expression in liver through ER stress-induced ATF4. CIRP in turn binds to the 3' UTR and increases mRNA stability of ANGPTL3. ANGPTL3 secreted from liver suppresses uncoupling protein 1 expression through integrin αvβ3 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase in adipose tissue. While hepatic expression of either ATF4, CIRP, or ANGPTL3 suppresses adipose browning, knockdown of CIRP and ANGPTL3 in liver or administration of integrin αvβ3 inhibitor cilengitide increases adipose browning process. Taken together, we identify a communication mechanism to link hepatic ER stress and adipose browning that may imply a reciprocal regulation of obesity and liver steatosis.
    Keywords:  ANGPTL3; ATF4; CIRP; CP: Metabolism; adipose browning; hepatic ER stress
  25. Neoplasia. 2022 Nov;pii: S1476-5586(22)00063-X. [Epub ahead of print]33 100837
      KRAS is the most commonly mutated oncogene in human cancers with limited therapeutic options, thus there is a critical need to identify novel targets and inhibiting agents. The 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein GRP78, which is upregulated in KRAS cancers, is an essential chaperone and the master regulator of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Following up on our recent discoveries that GRP78 haploinsufficiency suppresses both KRASG12D-driven pancreatic and lung tumorigenesis, we seek to determine the underlying mechanisms. Here, we report that knockdown of GRP78 via siRNA reduced oncogenic KRAS protein level in human lung, colon, and pancreatic cancer cells bearing various KRAS mutations. This effect was at the post-transcriptional level and is independent of proteasomal degradation or autophagy. Moreover, targeting GRP78 via small molecule inhibitors such as HA15 and YUM70 with anti-cancer activities while sparing normal cells significantly suppressed oncogenic KRAS expression in vitro and in vivo, associating with onset of apoptosis and loss of viability in cancer cells bearing various KRAS mutations. Collectively, our studies reveal that GRP78 is a previously unidentified regulator of oncogenic KRAS expression, and, as such, augments the other anti-cancer activities of GRP78 small molecule inhibitors to potentially achieve general, long-term suppression of mutant KRAS-driven tumorigenesis.
    Keywords:  Colon cancer; GRP78; KRAS; Lung cancer; Pancreatic cancer; Small molecule inhibitors
  26. J Mol Biol. 2022 Sep 24. pii: S0022-2836(22)00461-2. [Epub ahead of print] 167841
      Apg2, one of the three cytosolic Hsp110 chaperones in humans, supports reactivation of unordered and ordered protein aggregates by Hsc70 (HspA8). Together with DnaJB1, Apg2 serves to nucleate Hsc70 molecules into sites where productive entropic pulling forces can be developed. During aggregate reactivation, Apg2 performs as a specialized nucleotide exchange factor, but the origin of its specialization is poorly defined. Here we report on the role of the distinctive C-terminal extension present in Apg2 and other metazoan homologs. We found that the first part of this Apg2 subdomain with propensity to adopt α-helical structure interacts with the nucleotide binding domain of Hsc70 in a nucleotide-dependent manner, contributing significantly to the stability of the Hsc70:Apg2 complex. Moreover, the second intrinsically disordered segment of Apg2 C-terminal extension plays an important role as a downregulator of nucleotide exchange. An NMR analysis showed that the interaction with Hsc70 nucleotide binding domain modifies the chemical environment of residues located in important functional sites such as the interface between lobe I and II and the nucleotide binding site. Our data indicate that Apg2 C-terminal extension is a fine-tuner of human Hsc70 activity that optimizes the substrate remodeling ability of the chaperone system.
    Keywords:  Apg2; Hsc70; chaperone complex; chaperone regulation; protein aggregation; protein folding
  27. Methods Mol Biol. 2023 ;2559 137-149
      Ubiquitin, a 76-amino acid protein which could covalently bind to a target protein, is catalyzed by an enzymatic cascade comprising of ATP-dependent ubiquitin-activating enzyme E1, ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2, and ubiquitin-protein ligase E3. Histidine (His) pull-down and immunoprecipitation (IP) assays are frequently adopted to detect FOXP3 ubiquitination, which is one of the most important posttranslational modifications and may induce signal transduction or 26S proteasome-dependent degradation of FOXP3 in various immune milieus.
    Keywords:  Covalent bond; Pull-down assay; Ubiquitination
  28. PLoS Genet. 2022 Sep 27. 18(9): e1010430
      Partial loss-of-function mutations in glycosylation pathways underlie a set of rare diseases called Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDGs). In particular, DPAGT1-CDG is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the first step in N-glycosylation, DPAGT1, and this disorder currently lacks effective therapies. To identify potential therapeutic targets for DPAGT1-CDG, we performed CRISPR knockout screens in Drosophila cells for genes associated with better survival and glycoprotein levels under DPAGT1 inhibition. We identified hundreds of candidate genes that may be of therapeutic benefit. Intriguingly, inhibition of the mannosyltransferase Dpm1, or its downstream glycosylation pathways, could rescue two in vivo models of DPAGT1 inhibition and ER stress, even though impairment of these pathways alone usually causes CDGs. While both in vivo models ostensibly cause cellular stress (through DPAGT1 inhibition or a misfolded protein), we found a novel difference in fructose metabolism that may indicate glycolysis as a modulator of DPAGT1-CDG. Our results provide new therapeutic targets for DPAGT1-CDG, include the unique finding of Dpm1-related pathways rescuing DPAGT1 inhibition, and reveal a novel interaction between fructose metabolism and ER stress.
  29. Nat Chem Biol. 2022 Sep 26.
      Chemically inducible systems represent valuable synthetic biology tools that enable the external control of biological processes. However, their translation to therapeutic applications has been limited because of unfavorable ligand characteristics or the immunogenicity of xenogeneic protein domains. To address these issues, we present a strategy for engineering inducible split protein regulators (INSPIRE) in which ligand-binding proteins of human origin are split into two fragments that reassemble in the presence of a cognate physiological ligand or clinically approved drug. We show that the INSPIRE platform can be used for dynamic, orthogonal and multiplex control of gene expression in mammalian cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate the functionality of a glucocorticoid-responsive INSPIRE platform in vivo and apply it for perturbing an endogenous regulatory network. INSPIRE presents a generalizable approach toward designing small-molecule responsive systems that can be implemented for the construction of new sensors, regulatory networks and therapeutic applications.
  30. Sci Adv. 2022 Sep 30. 8(39): eabq5575
      The connections between metabolic state and therapy resistance in multiple myeloma (MM) are poorly understood. We previously reported that electron transport chain (ETC) suppression promotes sensitivity to the BCL-2 antagonist venetoclax. Here, we show that ETC suppression promotes resistance to proteasome inhibitors (PIs). Interrogation of ETC-suppressed MM reveals integrated stress response-dependent suppression of protein translation and ubiquitination, leading to PI resistance. ETC and protein translation gene expression signatures from the CoMMpass trial are down-regulated in patients with poor outcome and relapse, corroborating our in vitro findings. ETC-suppressed MM exhibits up-regulation of the cystine-glutamate antiporter SLC7A11, and analysis of patient single-cell RNA-seq shows that clusters with low ETC gene expression correlate with higher SLC7A11 expression. Furthermore, erastin or venetoclax treatment diminishes mitochondrial stress-induced PI resistance. In sum, our work demonstrates that mitochondrial stress promotes PI resistance and underscores the need for implementing combinatorial regimens in MM cognizant of mitochondrial metabolic state.
  31. Sci Adv. 2022 Sep 30. 8(39): eabo1123
      Disrupted circadian rhythmicity is a prominent feature of modern society and has been designated as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization. However, the biological mechanisms that connect circadian disruption and cancer risk remain largely undefined. We demonstrate that exposure to chronic circadian disruption [chronic jetlag (CJL)] increases tumor burden in a mouse model of KRAS-driven lung cancer. Molecular characterization of tumors and tumor-bearing lung tissues revealed that CJL enhances the expression of heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) target genes. Consistently, exposure to CJL disrupted the highly rhythmic nuclear trafficking of HSF1 in the lung, resulting in an enhanced accumulation of HSF1 in the nucleus. HSF1 has been shown to promote tumorigenesis in other systems, and we find that pharmacological or genetic inhibition of HSF1 reduces the growth of KRAS-mutant human lung cancer cells. These findings implicate HSF1 as a molecular link between circadian disruption and enhanced tumorigenesis.
  32. Methods Mol Biol. 2023 ;2554 69-89
      Metabolite-protein interactions regulate diverse cellular processes, prompting the development of methods to investigate the metabolite-protein interactome at a global scale. One such method is our previously developed structural proteomics approach, limited proteolysis-mass spectrometry (LiP-MS), which detects proteome-wide metabolite-protein and drug-protein interactions in native bacterial, yeast, and mammalian systems, and allows identification of binding sites without chemical modification. Here we describe a detailed experimental and analytical workflow for conducting a LiP-MS experiment to detect small molecule-protein interactions, either in a single-dose (LiP-SMap) or a multiple-dose (LiP-Quant) format. LiP-Quant analysis combines the peptide-level resolution of LiP-MS with a machine learning-based framework to prioritize true protein targets of a small molecule of interest. We provide an updated R script for LiP-Quant analysis via a GitHub repository accessible at .
    Keywords:  LiP–Quant; LiP–SMap; Limited proteolysis; Machine learning; Mass spectrometry; Metabolite; Protein interactions; Proteomics; Structural proteomics
  33. Science. 2022 Sep 30. 377(6614): eabn7065
      Because nonopioid analgesics are much sought after, we computationally docked more than 301 million virtual molecules against a validated pain target, the α2A-adrenergic receptor (α2AAR), seeking new α2AAR agonists chemotypes that lack the sedation conferred by known α2AAR drugs, such as dexmedetomidine. We identified 17 ligands with potencies as low as 12 nanomolar, many with partial agonism and preferential Gi and Go signaling. Experimental structures of α2AAR complexed with two of these agonists confirmed the docking predictions and templated further optimization. Several compounds, including the initial docking hit '9087 [mean effective concentration (EC50) of 52 nanomolar] and two analogs, '7075 and PS75 (EC50 4.1 and 4.8 nanomolar), exerted on-target analgesic activity in multiple in vivo pain models without sedation. These newly discovered agonists are interesting as therapeutic leads that lack the liabilities of opioids and the sedation of dexmedetomidine.