bims-proteo Biomed News
on Proteostasis
Issue of 2024‒05‒19
33 papers selected by
Eric Chevet, INSERM

  1. Mol Cell. 2024 May 16. pii: S1097-2765(24)00329-0. [Epub ahead of print]84(10): 1948-1963.e11
      The yeast glucose-induced degradation-deficient (GID) E3 ubiquitin ligase forms a suite of complexes with interchangeable receptors that selectively recruit N-terminal degron motifs of metabolic enzyme substrates. The orthologous higher eukaryotic C-terminal to LisH (CTLH) E3 complex has been proposed to also recognize substrates through an alternative subunit, WDR26, which promotes the formation of supramolecular CTLH E3 assemblies. Here, we discover that human WDR26 binds the metabolic enzyme nicotinamide/nicotinic-acid-mononucleotide-adenylyltransferase 1 (NMNAT1) and mediates its CTLH E3-dependent ubiquitylation independently of canonical GID/CTLH E3-family substrate receptors. The CTLH subunit YPEL5 inhibits NMNAT1 ubiquitylation and cellular turnover by WDR26-CTLH E3, thereby affecting NMNAT1-mediated metabolic activation and cytotoxicity of the prodrug tiazofurin. Cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of NMNAT1- and YPEL5-bound WDR26-CTLH E3 complexes reveal an internal basic degron motif of NMNAT1 essential for targeting by WDR26-CTLH E3 and degron mimicry by YPEL5's N terminus antagonizing substrate binding. Thus, our data provide a mechanistic understanding of how YPEL5-WDR26-CTLH E3 acts as a modulator of NMNAT1-dependent metabolism.
    Keywords:  CTLH E3 ligase; NMNAT1; WDR26; YPEL5; degron mimicry; internal degron; metabolic enzyme; prodrug metabolism; ubiquitin proteasome system; ubiquitylation
  2. iScience. 2024 May 17. 27(5): 109802
      Targeted protein degradation (TPD) strategy harnesses the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) to degrade a protein of interest (POI) by bringing it into proximity with an E3 ubiquitin ligase. However, the limited availability of functional E3 ligases and the emergence of resistance through mutations in UPS components restrict this approach. Therefore, identifying alternative E3 ligases suitable for TPD is important to develop new degraders and overcome potential resistance mechanisms. Here, we use a protein-based degrader method, by fusing an anti-tag intracellular antibody to an E3 ligase, to screen E3 ligases enabling the degradation of a tagged POI. We identify SOCS7 E3 ligase as effective biodegrader, able to deplete its target in various cell lines regardless of the POI's subcellular localization. We show its utility by generating a SOCS7-based KRAS degrader that inhibits mutant KRAS pancreatic cancer cells' proliferation. These findings highlight SOCS7 versatility as valuable E3 ligase for generating potent degraders.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Cell biology; Molecular biology
  3. bioRxiv. 2024 May 05. pii: 2024.05.05.592590. [Epub ahead of print]
      PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeras (PROTACs) are small molecules that induce target protein degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome system. PROTACs recruit the target protein and E3 ligase; a critical first step is forming a ternary complex. However, while the formation a ternary complex is crucial, it may not always guarantee successful protein degradation. The dynamics of the PROTAC-induced degradation complex play a key role in ubiquitination and subsequent degradation. In this study, we computationally modelled protein complex structures and dynamics associated with a series of PROTACs featuring different linkers to investigate why these PROTACs, all of which formed ternary complexes with Cereblon (CRBN) E3 ligase and the target protein bromodomain-containing protein 4 (BRD4 BD1 ), exhibited varying degrees of degradation potency. We constructed the degradation machinery complexes with Culling-Ring Ligase 4A (CRL4A) E3 ligase scaffolds. Through atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, we illustrated how PROTAC-dependent protein dynamics facilitate the arrangement of surface lysine residues of BRD4 BD1 into the catalytic pocket of E2/ubiquitin for ubiquitination. Despite featuring identical warheads in this PROTAC series, the linkers were found to affect the residue-interaction networks, and thus governing the essential motions of the entire degradation machine for ubiquitination. These findings offer a dynamic perspective on ligand-induced protein degradation, providing insights to guide future PROTAC design endeavors.
  4. EMBO J. 2024 May 16.
      While the molecular mechanism of autophagy is well studied, the cargoes delivered by autophagy remain incompletely characterized. To examine the selectivity of autophagy cargo, we conducted proteomics on isolated yeast autophagic bodies, which are intermediate structures in the autophagy process. We identify a protein, Hab1, that is highly preferentially delivered to vacuoles. The N-terminal 42 amino acid region of Hab1 contains an amphipathic helix and an Atg8-family interacting motif, both of which are necessary and sufficient for the preferential delivery of Hab1 by autophagy. We find that fusion of this region with a cytosolic protein results in preferential delivery of this protein to the vacuole. Furthermore, attachment of this region to an organelle allows for autophagic delivery in a manner independent of canonical autophagy receptor or scaffold proteins. We propose a novel mode of selective autophagy in which a receptor, in this case Hab1, binds directly to forming isolation membranes during bulk autophagy.
    Keywords:   Saccharomyces cerevisiae ; Atg8; Autophagy; Hab1; Selective Autophagy
  5. Biochimie. 2024 May 11. pii: S0300-9084(24)00106-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      The unfolded protein response (UPR) is a cellular stress response that is activated when misfolded proteins accumulate in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Regulation of the UPR response must be adapted to the needs of the cell as prolonged UPR responses can result in disrupted cellular function and tissue damage. Previously, we discovered that the enzyme FicD (also known as Fic or HYPE) through its AMPylation and deAMPylation activity can modulate the UPR response via post-translational modification of BiP. FicD AMPylates BiP during homeostasis and deAMPylates BiP during stress. We hypothesized that FicD regulation of the UPR will play a role in mitigating the deleterious effects of UPR activation in tissues with frequent physiological stress. Here, we explore the role of FicD in the murine liver. As seen in our pancreatic studies, livers lacking FicD exhibit enhanced UPR signaling in response to short term physiologic fasting and feeding stress. However, in contrast to studies on the pancreas, livers, as a more regenerative tissue, remained remarkably resilient in the absence of FicD. The livers of FicD-/- did not show marked changes in UPR signaling or damage after either chronic high fat diet (HFD) feeding or acute pathological UPR induction. Intriguingly, FicD-/- mice showed changes in UPR induction and weight loss patterns following repeated pathological UPR induction. These findings indicate that FicD regulates UPR responses during mild physiological stress and in adaptation to repeated stresses, but there are tissue specific differences in the requirement for FicD regulation.
    Keywords:  AMPylation; endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress); liver metabolism; mouse; unfolded protein response (UPR)
  6. Mol Cell. 2024 May 16. pii: S1097-2765(24)00391-5. [Epub ahead of print]84(10): 1821-1823
      In this issue, Ji et al.1 show how a multipass membrane protein that initially inserts into the endoplasmic reticulum in a mostly inverted topology is post-translationally dislocated, re-inserted, and folded with the help of ATP13A1, a P-type ATPase.
  7. Neoplasia. 2024 May 16. pii: S1476-5586(24)00045-9. [Epub ahead of print]53 101003
      Dynamic changes in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) morphology are central to maintaining cellular homeostasis. Microtubules (MT) facilitate the continuous remodeling of the ER network into sheets and tubules by coordinating with many ER-shaping protein complexes, although how this process is controlled by extracellular signals remains unknown. Here we report that TAK1, a kinase responsive to various growth factors and cytokines including TGF-β and TNF-α, triggers ER tubulation by activating αTAT1, an MT-acetylating enzyme that enhances ER-sliding. We show that this TAK1/αTAT1-dependent ER remodeling promotes cell survival by actively downregulating BOK, an ER membrane-associated proapoptotic effector. While BOK is normally protected from degradation when complexed with IP3R, it is rapidly degraded upon their dissociation during the ER sheets-to-tubules conversion. These findings demonstrate a distinct mechanism of ligand-induced ER remodeling and suggest that the TAK1/αTAT1 pathway may be a key target in ER stress and dysfunction.
    Keywords:  Alpha TAT1; BOK; Endoplasmic reticulum; Microtubules; TAK1; TGF-beta
  8. J Cell Sci. 2024 May 17. pii: jcs.262096. [Epub ahead of print]
      Nesprin proteins, which are components of the LINC complex, are located within the nuclear envelope and play prominent roles in nuclear architecture. For example, LINC complex proteins interact with both chromatin and the cytoskeleton. Here we report that the Drosophila Nesprin MSP300 has an additional function in autophagy within larval body wall muscles. RNAi-mediated MSP300 knockdown in larval body wall muscles resulted in defects in the contractile apparatus, muscle degeneration, and defective autophagy. In particular, MSP300 knockdown caused accumulation of cytoplasmic aggregates that contained poly-ubiquitinated cargo, as well as the autophagy receptor ref(2)P/p62/SQSTM and Atg8a. Furthermore, MSP300 knockdown larvae expressing an mCh-GFP-tagged Atg8a transgene exhibited aberrant persistence of the GFP signal within these aggregates, indicating failure of autophagosome maturation. These autophagy deficits were similar to those exhibited by loss of the ER fusion protein Atlastin (Atl), raising the possibility that Atl and MSP300 might function in the same pathway. In support of this possibility, we found that a GFP-tagged MSP300 protein trap exhibit extensive localization to the ER. Alteration of ER-directed MSP300 might abrogate important cytoskeletal contacts necessary for autophagosome completion.
    Keywords:  Aggregate; Autophagy; Endoplasmic reticulum; Poly Ubiquitin
  9. Autophagy. 2024 May 14. 1-2
      The destination of a damaged lysosome is either being repaired if the damage is small or degraded through a lysosome-specific macroautophagy/autophagy pathway named lysophagy when the damage is too extensive to repair. Even though previous studies report lumenal glycan exposure during lysosome damage as a signal to trigger lysophagy, it is possibly beneficial for cells to initiate lysophagy earlier than membrane rupture. In a recently published article, Gahlot et al. determined that SPART/SPG20 senses lipid-packing defects and recruits and activates the ubiquitin ligase ITCH, which labels damaged lysosomes with ubiquitin chains to initiate lysophagy.
    Keywords:  ESCRT; lipid-packing defect; lysophagy; lysosome damage; ubiquitination
  10. J Mol Biol. 2024 May 15. pii: S0022-2836(24)00210-9. [Epub ahead of print] 168615
      Eukaryotic cells are equipped with an intricate proteostasis network (PN), comprising nearly 3000 components dedicated to preserving proteome integrity and sustaining protein homeostasis. This protective system is particularly important under conditions of external and intrinsic cell stress, where inherently dynamic proteins may unfold and lose functionality. A decline in proteostasis capacity is associated with the aging process, resulting in a reduced folding efficiency of newly synthesized proteins and a deficit in the cellular capacity to degrade misfolded proteins. A critical consequence of PN insufficiency is the accumulation of cytotoxic protein aggregates that underlie various age-related neurodegenerative conditions and other pathologies. By interfering with specific proteostasis components, toxic aggregates place an excessive burden on the PN's ability to maintain proteome integrity. This initiates a feed-forward loop, wherein the generation of misfolded and aggregated proteins ultimately leads to proteostasis collapse and cellular demise.
    Keywords:  neurodegenerative disease; protein aggregation; protein folding; proteostasis
  11. Nat Commun. 2024 May 15. 15(1): 4114
      Cellular sensitivity to ferroptosis is primarily regulated by mechanisms mediating lipid hydroperoxide detoxification. We show that inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1α), an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) resident protein critical for the unfolded protein response (UPR), also determines cellular sensitivity to ferroptosis. Cancer and normal cells depleted of IRE1α gain resistance to ferroptosis, while enhanced IRE1α expression promotes sensitivity to ferroptosis. Mechanistically, IRE1α's endoribonuclease activity cleaves and down-regulates the mRNA of key glutathione biosynthesis regulators glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit (GCLC) and solute carrier family 7 member 11 (SLC7A11). This activity of IRE1α is independent of its role in regulating the UPR and is evolutionarily conserved. Genetic deficiency and pharmacological inhibition of IRE1α have similar effects in inhibiting ferroptosis and reducing renal ischemia-reperfusion injury in mice. Our findings reveal a previously unidentified role of IRE1α to regulate ferroptosis and suggests inhibition of IRE1α as a promising therapeutic strategy to mitigate ferroptosis-associated pathological conditions.
  12. Mol Cell. 2024 May 16. pii: S1097-2765(24)00383-6. [Epub ahead of print]84(10): 1980-1994.e8
      Aggregation of proteins containing expanded polyglutamine (polyQ) repeats is the cytopathologic hallmark of a group of dominantly inherited neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington's disease (HD). Huntingtin (Htt), the disease protein of HD, forms amyloid-like fibrils by liquid-to-solid phase transition. Macroautophagy has been proposed to clear polyQ aggregates, but the efficiency of aggrephagy is limited. Here, we used cryo-electron tomography to visualize the interactions of autophagosomes with polyQ aggregates in cultured cells in situ. We found that an amorphous aggregate phase exists next to the radially organized polyQ fibrils. Autophagosomes preferentially engulfed this amorphous material, mediated by interactions between the autophagy receptor p62/SQSTM1 and the non-fibrillar aggregate surface. In contrast, amyloid fibrils excluded p62 and evaded clearance, resulting in trapping of autophagic structures. These results suggest that the limited efficiency of autophagy in clearing polyQ aggregates is due to the inability of autophagosomes to interact productively with the non-deformable, fibrillar disease aggregates.
    Keywords:  aggrephagy; amyloid fibril; autophagy; cryo-electron microscopy; cryo-electron tomography; neurodegeneration; p62/SQSTM1/sequestosome 1; phase separation; polyglutamine/polyQ expansion; protein aggregation
  13. bioRxiv. 2024 Apr 29. pii: 2024.04.26.591394. [Epub ahead of print]
      Eukaryotic ribosome assembly is an intricate process that involves four ribosomal RNAs, 80 ribosomal proteins, and over 200 biogenesis factors that take part in numerous interdependent steps. This complexity creates a large genetic space in which pathogenic mutations can occur. Dead-end ribosome intermediates that result from biogenesis errors are rapidly degraded, affirming the existence of quality control pathway(s) that monitor ribosome assembly. However, the factors that differentiate between on-path and dead-end intermediates are unknown. We engineered a system to perturb ribosome assembly in human cells and discovered that faulty ribosomes are degraded via the ubiquitin proteasome system. We identified ZNF574 as a key component of a novel quality control pathway, which we term the Ribosome Assembly Surveillance Pathway (RASP). Loss of ZNF574 results in the accumulation of faulty biogenesis intermediates that interfere with global ribosome production, further emphasizing the role of RASP in protein homeostasis and cellular health.
  14. ArXiv. 2024 May 02. pii: arXiv:2405.01664v1. [Epub ahead of print]
      The eukaryotic protein synthesis process entails intricate stages governed by diverse mechanisms to tightly regulate translation. Translational regulation during stress is pivotal for maintaining cellular homeostasis, ensuring the accurate expression of essential proteins crucial for survival. This selective translational control mechanism is integral to cellular adaptation and resilience under adverse conditions. This review manuscript explores various mechanisms involved in selective translational regulation, focusing on mRNA-specific and global regulatory processes. Key aspects of translational control include translation initiation, which is often a rate-limiting step, and involves the formation of the eIF4F complex and recruitment of mRNA to ribosomes. Regulation of translation initiation factors, such as eIF4E, eIF4E2, and eIF2, through phosphorylation and interactions with binding proteins, modulates translation efficiency under stress conditions. This review also highlights the control of translation initiation through factors like the eIF4F complex and the ternary complex and also underscores the importance of eIF2{\alpha} phosphorylation in stress granule formation and cellular stress responses. Additionally, the impact of amino acid deprivation, mTOR signaling, and ribosome biogenesis on translation regulation and cellular adaptation to stress is also discussed. Understanding the intricate mechanisms of translational regulation during stress provides insights into cellular adaptation mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets for various diseases, offering valuable avenues for addressing conditions associated with dysregulated protein synthesis.
  15. Nat Cell Biol. 2024 May 13.
      Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by expansion of a CAG trinucleotide repeat in the Huntingtin (HTT) gene, encoding a homopolymeric polyglutamine (polyQ) tract. Although mutant HTT (mHTT) protein is known to aggregate, the links between aggregation and neurotoxicity remain unclear. Here we show that both translation and aggregation of wild-type HTT and mHTT are regulated by a stress-responsive upstream open reading frame and that polyQ expansions cause abortive translation termination and release of truncated, aggregation-prone mHTT fragments. Notably, we find that mHTT depletes translation elongation factor eIF5A in brains of symptomatic HD mice and cultured HD cells, leading to pervasive ribosome pausing and collisions. Loss of eIF5A disrupts homeostatic controls and impairs recovery from acute stress. Importantly, drugs that inhibit translation initiation reduce premature termination and mitigate this escalating cascade of ribotoxic stress and dysfunction in HD.
  16. Nat Commun. 2024 May 13. 15(1): 4026
      Unstable proteins are prone to form non-native interactions with other proteins and thereby may become toxic. To mitigate this, destabilized proteins are targeted by the protein quality control network. Here we present systematic studies of the cytosolic aspartoacylase, ASPA, where variants are linked to Canavan disease, a lethal neurological disorder. We determine the abundance of 6152 of the 6260 ( ~ 98%) possible single amino acid substitutions and nonsense ASPA variants in human cells. Most low abundance variants are degraded through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and become toxic upon prolonged expression. The data correlates with predicted changes in thermodynamic stability, evolutionary conservation, and separate disease-linked variants from benign variants. Mapping of degradation signals (degrons) shows that these are often buried and the C-terminal region functions as a degron. The data can be used to interpret Canavan disease variants and provide insight into the relationship between protein stability, degradation and cell fitness.
  17. Nature. 2024 May 15.
      Plant pattern-recognition receptors perceive microorganism-associated molecular patterns to activate immune signalling1,2. Activation of the pattern-recognition receptor kinase CERK1 is essential for immunity, but tight inhibition of receptor kinases in the absence of pathogen is crucial to prevent autoimmunity3,4. Here we find that the U-box ubiquitin E3 ligase OsCIE1 acts as a molecular brake to inhibit OsCERK1 in rice. During homeostasis, OsCIE1 ubiquitinates OsCERK1, reducing its kinase activity. In the presence of the microorganism-associated molecular pattern chitin, active OsCERK1 phosphorylates OsCIE1 and blocks its E3 ligase activity, thus releasing the brake and promoting immunity. Phosphorylation of a serine within the U-box of OsCIE1 prevents its interaction with E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes and serves as a phosphorylation switch. This phosphorylation site is conserved in E3 ligases from plants to animals. Our work identifies a ligand-released brake that enables dynamic immune regulation.
  18. J Cell Sci. 2024 May 01. pii: jcs259775. [Epub ahead of print]137(9):
      Peroxisomes are highly plastic organelles that are involved in several metabolic processes, including fatty acid oxidation, ether lipid synthesis and redox homeostasis. Their abundance and activity are dynamically regulated in response to nutrient availability and cellular stress. Damaged or superfluous peroxisomes are removed mainly by pexophagy, the selective autophagy of peroxisomes induced by ubiquitylation of peroxisomal membrane proteins or ubiquitin-independent processes. Dysregulated pexophagy impairs peroxisome homeostasis and has been linked to the development of various human diseases. Despite many recent insights into mammalian pexophagy, our understanding of this process is still limited compared to our understanding of pexophagy in yeast. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and the accompanying poster, we summarize current knowledge on the control of mammalian pexophagy and highlight which aspects require further attention. We also discuss the role of ubiquitylation in pexophagy and describe the ubiquitin machinery involved in regulating signals for the recruitment of phagophores to peroxisomes.
    Keywords:  Peroxisome; Pexophagy; Selective autophagy; Ubiquitylation
  19. DNA Repair (Amst). 2024 May 09. pii: S1568-7864(24)00067-3. [Epub ahead of print]139 103691
      The ATP-dependent molecular chaperone Cdc48 (in yeast) and its human counterpart p97 (also known as VCP), are essential for a variety of cellular processes, including the removal of DNA-protein crosslinks (DPCs) from the DNA. Growing evidence demonstrates in the last years that Cdc48/p97 is pivotal in targeting ubiquitinated and SUMOylated substrates on chromatin, thereby supporting the DNA damage response. Along with its cofactors, notably Ufd1-Npl4, Cdc48/p97 has emerged as a central player in the unfolding and processing of DPCs. This review introduces the detailed structure, mechanism and cellular functions of Cdc48/p97 with an emphasis on the current knowledge of DNA-protein crosslink repair pathways across several organisms. The review concludes by discussing the potential therapeutic relevance of targeting p97 in DPC repair.
    Keywords:  Cdc48/p97; Cofactors; DNA repair; DNA-protein crosslink; Ubiquitin; Unfolding
  20. Nat Commun. 2024 May 14. 15(1): 4065
      Proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) represent a new therapeutic modality involving selectively directing disease-causing proteins for degradation through proteolytic systems. Our ability to exploit targeted protein degradation (TPD) for antibiotic development remains nascent due to our limited understanding of which bacterial proteins are amenable to a TPD strategy. Here, we use a genetic system to model chemically-induced proximity and degradation to screen essential proteins in Mycobacterium smegmatis (Msm), a model for the human pathogen M. tuberculosis (Mtb). By integrating experimental screening of 72 protein candidates and machine learning, we find that drug-induced proximity to the bacterial ClpC1P1P2 proteolytic complex leads to the degradation of many endogenous proteins, especially those with disordered termini. Additionally, TPD of essential Msm proteins inhibits bacterial growth and potentiates the effects of existing antimicrobial compounds. Together, our results provide biological principles to select and evaluate attractive targets for future Mtb PROTAC development, as both standalone antibiotics and potentiators of existing antibiotic efficacy.
  21. Nat Commun. 2024 May 17. 15(1): 4209
      Exon junction complexes are deposited at exon-exon junctions during splicing. They are primarily known to activate non-sense mediated degradation of transcripts harbouring premature stop codons before the last intron. According to a popular model, exon-junction complexes accompany mRNAs to the cytoplasm where the first translating ribosome pushes them out. However, they are also removed by uncharacterized, translation-independent mechanisms. Little is known about kinetic and transcript specificity of these processes. Here we tag core subunits of exon-junction complexes with complementary split nanoluciferase fragments to obtain sensitive and quantitative assays for complex formation. Unexpectedly, exon-junction complexes form large stable mRNPs containing stalled ribosomes. Complex assembly and disassembly rates are determined after an arrest in transcription and/or translation. 85% of newly deposited exon-junction complexes are disassembled by a translation-dependent mechanism. However as this process is much faster than the translation-independent one, only 30% of the exon-junction complexes present in cells at steady state require translation for disassembly. Deep RNA sequencing shows a bias of exon-junction complex bound transcripts towards microtubule and centrosome coding ones and demonstrate that the lifetimes of exon-junction complexes are transcript-specific. This study provides a dynamic vision of exon-junction complexes and uncovers their unexpected stable association with ribosomes.
  22. Cell Rep. 2024 May 16. pii: S2211-1247(24)00564-3. [Epub ahead of print]43(5): 114236
      The tumor microenvironment (TME) presents cells with challenges such as variable pH, hypoxia, and free radicals, triggering stress responses that affect cancer progression. In this study, we examine the stress response landscape in four carcinomas-breast, pancreas, ovary, and prostate-across five pathways: heat shock, oxidative stress, hypoxia, DNA damage, and unfolded protein stress. Using a combination of experimental and computational methods, we create an atlas of stress responses across various types of carcinomas. We find that stress responses vary within the TME and are especially active near cancer cells. Focusing on the non-immune stroma we find, across tumor types, that NRF2 and the oxidative stress response are distinctly activated in immune-regulatory cancer-associated fibroblasts and in a unique subset of cancer-associated pericytes. Our study thus provides an interactome of stress responses in cancer, offering ways to intersect survival pathways within the tumor, and advance cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  CP: Cancer; NRF2; cancer; cancer-associated fibroblasts; fibroblasts; oxidative stress; pericytes; scRNA-seq; stress responses; stroma; tumor microenvrionemnt
  23. PLoS Comput Biol. 2024 May 16. 20(5): e1012059
      The eukaryotic mRNA life cycle includes transcription, nuclear mRNA export and degradation. To quantify all these processes simultaneously, we perform thiol-linked alkylation after metabolic labeling of RNA with 4-thiouridine (4sU), followed by sequencing of RNA (SLAM-seq) in the nuclear and cytosolic compartments of human cancer cells. We develop a model that reliably quantifies mRNA-specific synthesis, nuclear export, and nuclear and cytosolic degradation rates on a genome-wide scale. We find that nuclear degradation of polyadenylated mRNA is negligible and nuclear mRNA export is slow, while cytosolic mRNA degradation is comparatively fast. Consequently, an mRNA molecule generally spends most of its life in the nucleus. We also observe large differences in the nuclear export rates of different 3'UTR transcript isoforms. Furthermore, we identify genes whose expression is abruptly induced upon metabolic labeling. These transcripts are exported substantially faster than average mRNAs, suggesting the existence of alternative export pathways. Our results highlight nuclear mRNA export as a limiting factor in mRNA metabolism and gene regulation.
  24. Aging Cell. 2024 May 16. e14165
      Impaired mitochondrial function is a hallmark of aging and a major contributor to neurodegenerative diseases. We have shown that disrupted mitochondrial dynamics typically found in aging alters the fate of neural stem cells (NSCs) leading to impairments in learning and memory. At present, little is known regarding the mechanisms by which neural stem and progenitor cells survive and adapt to mitochondrial dysfunction. Using Opa1-inducible knockout as a model of aging and neurodegeneration, we identify a decline in neurogenesis due to impaired stem cell activation and progenitor proliferation, which can be rescued by the mitigation of oxidative stress through hypoxia. Through sc-RNA-seq, we identify the ATF4 pathway as a critical mechanism underlying cellular adaptation to metabolic stress. ATF4 knockdown in Opa1-deficient NSCs accelerates cell death, while the increased expression of ATF4 enhances proliferation and survival. Using a Slc7a11 mutant, an ATF4 target, we show that ATF4-mediated glutathione production plays a critical role in maintaining NSC survival and function under stress conditions. Together, we show that the activation of the integrated stress response (ISR) pathway enables NSCs to adapt to metabolic stress due to mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic stress and may serve as a therapeutic target to enhance NSC survival and function in aging and neurodegeneration.
    Keywords:  Hypoxia; Opa1; adult neurogenesis; intergrated stress response; metabolic adaptation; mitochondrial dynamics; neurodegeneration
  25. bioRxiv. 2024 May 05. pii: 2023.04.22.537920. [Epub ahead of print]
      Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are released by many cell types including neurons, carrying cargoes involved in signaling and disease. It is unclear whether EVs promote intercellular signaling or serve primarily to dispose of unwanted materials. We show that loss of multivesicular endosome-generating ESCRT (endosomal sorting complex required for transport) machinery disrupts release of EV cargoes from Drosophila motor neurons. Surprisingly, ESCRT depletion does not affect the signaling activities of the EV cargo Synaptotagmin-4 (Syt4) and disrupts only some signaling activities of the EV cargo Evenness Interrupted (Evi). Thus, these cargoes may not require intercellular transfer via EVs, and instead may be conventionally secreted or function cell autonomously in the neuron. We find that EVs are phagocytosed by glia and muscles, and that ESCRT disruption causes compensatory autophagy in presynaptic neurons, suggesting that EVs are one of several redundant mechanisms to remove cargoes from synapses. Our results suggest that synaptic EV release serves primarily as a proteostatic mechanism for certain cargoes.
  26. Commun Med (Lond). 2024 May 16. 4(1): 87
      BACKGROUND: Proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) are being developed for therapeutic use. However, they have poor pharmacokinetic profiles and their tissue distribution kinetics are not known.METHODS: A typical von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor (VHL)-PROTAC 14C-A947 (BRM degrader)-was synthesized and its tissue distribution kinetics was studied by quantitative whole-body autoradiography (QWBA) and tissue excision in rats following IV dosing. Bile duct-cannulated (BDC) rats allowed the elucidation of in vivo clearance pathways. Distribution kinetics was evaluated in the tissues and tumors of mice to support PK-PD correlation. In vitro studies enabled the evaluation of cell uptake mechanisms and cell retention properties.
    RESULTS: Here, we show that A947 quickly distributes into rat tissues after IV dosing, where it accumulates and is retained in tissues such as the lung and liver although it undergoes fast clearance from circulation. Similar uptake/retention kinetics enable tumor growth inhibition over 2-3 weeks in a lung cancer model. A947 quickly excretes in the bile of rats. Solute carrier (SLC) transporters are involved in hepatocyte uptake of PROTACs. Sustained BRM protein degradation is seen after extensive washout that supports prolonged cell retention of A947 in NCI-H1944 cells. A947 tissue exposure and pharmacodynamics are inversely correlated in tumors.
    CONCLUSIONS: Plasma sampling for VHL-PROTAC does not represent the tissue concentrations necessary for efficacy. Understanding of tissue uptake and retention could enable less frequent IV administration to be used for therapeutic dosing.
  27. Immunity. 2024 May 08. pii: S1074-7613(24)00220-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Several interleukin-1 (IL-1) family members, including IL-1β and IL-18, require processing by inflammasome-associated caspases to unleash their activities. Here, we unveil, by cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM), two major conformations of the complex between caspase-1 and pro-IL-18. One conformation is similar to the complex of caspase-4 and pro-IL-18, with interactions at both the active site and an exosite (closed conformation), and the other only contains interactions at the active site (open conformation). Thus, pro-IL-18 recruitment and processing by caspase-1 is less dependent on the exosite than the active site, unlike caspase-4. Structure determination by nuclear magnetic resonance uncovers a compact fold of apo pro-IL-18, which is similar to caspase-1-bound pro-IL-18 but distinct from cleaved IL-18. Binding sites for IL-18 receptor and IL-18 binding protein are only formed upon conformational changes after pro-IL-18 cleavage. These studies show how pro-IL-18 is selected as a caspase-1 substrate, and why cleavage is necessary for its inflammatory activity.
    Keywords:  IL-18; NMR; caspase-1; conformational change; cryo-EM; cytokine cleavage; inflammatory activity; pro-IL-18
  28. Nucleic Acids Res. 2024 May 16. pii: gkae380. [Epub ahead of print]
      Kinase-targeted inhibitors hold promise for new therapeutic options, with multi-target inhibitors offering the potential for broader efficacy while minimizing polypharmacology risks. However, comprehensive experimental profiling of kinome-wide activity is expensive, and existing computational approaches often lack scalability or accuracy for understudied kinases. We introduce KinomeMETA, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered web platform that significantly expands the predictive range with scalability for predicting the polypharmacological effects of small molecules across the kinome. By leveraging a novel meta-learning algorithm, KinomeMETA efficiently utilizes sparse activity data, enabling rapid generalization to new kinase tasks even with limited information. This significantly expands the repertoire of accurately predictable kinases to 661 wild-type and clinically-relevant mutant kinases, far exceeding existing methods. Additionally, KinomeMETA empowers users to customize models with their proprietary data for specific research needs. Case studies demonstrate its ability to discover new active compounds by quickly adapting to small dataset. Overall, KinomeMETA offers enhanced kinome virtual profiling capabilities and is positioned as a powerful tool for developing new kinase inhibitors and advancing kinase research. The KinomeMETA server is freely accessible without registration at
  29. Cell Rep. 2024 May 16. pii: S2211-1247(24)00562-X. [Epub ahead of print]43(5): 114234
      Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors (PARPis) not only suppress PARP1 catalytic activity but also prolong its association to damaged chromatin. Here, through live-cell imaging, we quantify the alterations in PARP1 dynamics and activity elicited by seven PARPis over a wide range of concentrations to deliver a unified mechanism of PARPi-induced PARP1 chromatin retention. We find that gross PARP1 retention at DNA damage sites is jointly governed by catalytic inhibition and allosteric trapping, albeit in a strictly independent manner-catalytic inhibition causes multiple unproductive binding-dissociation cycles of PARP1, while allosteric trapping prolongs the lesion-bound state of PARP1 to greatly increase overall retention. Importantly, stronger PARP1 retention produces greater temporal shifts in downstream DNA repair events and superior cytotoxicity, highlighting PARP1 retention, a complex but precisely quantifiable characteristic of PARPis, as a valuable biomarker for PARPi efficacy. Our approach can be promptly repurposed for interrogating the properties of DNA-repair-targeting compounds beyond PARPis.
    Keywords:  CP: Cancer; CP: Molecular biology; FRAP; PARP inhibitors; PARP1; PARP1 inhibition; PARP1 retention; PARP1 trapping; cancer; laser micro-irradiation; live-cell imaging; mathematical modeling
  30. J Cell Biol. 2024 Jul 01. pii: e202310134. [Epub ahead of print]223(7):
      Bacteria, omnipresent in our environment and coexisting within our body, exert dual beneficial and pathogenic influences. These microorganisms engage in intricate interactions with the human body, impacting both human health and disease. Simultaneously, certain organelles within our cells share an evolutionary relationship with bacteria, particularly mitochondria, best known for their energy production role and their dynamic interaction with each other and other organelles. In recent years, communication between bacteria and mitochondria has emerged as a new mechanism for regulating the host's physiology and pathology. In this review, we delve into the dynamic communications between bacteria and host mitochondria, shedding light on their collaborative regulation of host immune response, metabolism, aging, and longevity. Additionally, we discuss bacterial interactions with other organelles, including chloroplasts, lysosomes, and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER).
  31. bioRxiv. 2024 May 05. pii: 2024.05.04.592550. [Epub ahead of print]
      Small molecules promoting protein-protein interactions produce a range of therapeutic outcomes. Molecular glue degraders exemplify this concept due to their compact drug-like structures and ability to engage targets without reliance on existing cognate ligands. While Cereblon molecular glue degraders containing glutarimide scaffolds have been approved for treatment of multiple myeloma and acute myeloid leukemia, the design of new therapeutically relevant monovalent degraders remains challenging. We report here an approach to glutarimide-containing molecular glue synthesis using multicomponent reactions as a central modular core-forming step. Screening the resulting library identified HRZ-01 derivatives that target casein kinase 1 alpha (CK1α) and Wee-like protein kinase (WEE1). Further medicinal chemistry efforts led to identification of selective monovalent WEE1 degraders that provide a potential starting point for the eventual development of a selective chemical degrader probe. The structure of the hit WEE1 degrader complex with CRBN-DDB1 and WEE1 provides a model of the protein-protein interface and a rationale for the observed kinase selectivity. Our findings suggest that modular synthetic routes combined with in-depth structural characterization give access to selective molecular glue degraders and expansion of the CRBN-degradable proteome.
  32. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2024 May 21. 121(21): e2319060121
      Multicellular organisms are composed of many tissue types that have distinct morphologies and functions, which are largely driven by specialized proteomes and interactomes. To define the proteome and interactome of a specific type of tissue in an intact animal, we developed a localized proteomics approach called Methionine Analog-based Cell-Specific Proteomics and Interactomics (MACSPI). This method uses the tissue-specific expression of an engineered methionyl-tRNA synthetase to label proteins with a bifunctional amino acid 2-amino-5-diazirinylnonynoic acid in selected cells. We applied MACSPI in Caenorhabditis elegans, a model multicellular organism, to selectively label, capture, and profile the proteomes of the body wall muscle and the nervous system, which led to the identification of tissue-specific proteins. Using the photo-cross-linker, we successfully profiled HSP90 interactors in muscles and neurons and identified tissue-specific interactors and stress-related interactors. Our study demonstrates that MACSPI can be used to profile tissue-specific proteomes and interactomes in intact multicellular organisms.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; chemical biology; interactomics; protein interaction networks; tissue differentiation
  33. EMBO Mol Med. 2024 May 15.
      Necroptosis is a lytic form of regulated cell death reported to contribute to inflammatory diseases of the gut, skin and lung, as well as ischemic-reperfusion injuries of the kidney, heart and brain. However, precise identification of the cells and tissues that undergo necroptotic cell death in vivo has proven challenging in the absence of robust protocols for immunohistochemical detection. Here, we provide automated immunohistochemistry protocols to detect core necroptosis regulators - Caspase-8, RIPK1, RIPK3 and MLKL - in formalin-fixed mouse and human tissues. We observed surprising heterogeneity in protein expression within tissues, whereby short-lived immune barrier cells were replete with necroptotic effectors, whereas long-lived cells lacked RIPK3 or MLKL expression. Local changes in the expression of necroptotic effectors occurred in response to insults such as inflammation, dysbiosis or immune challenge, consistent with necroptosis being dysregulated in disease contexts. These methods will facilitate the precise localisation and evaluation of necroptotic signaling in vivo.
    Keywords:  IBD; Immunohistochemistry; MLKL; Necroptosis; RIPK3