Yersinia adhesin A (YadA) belongs to a class of bacterial adhesins that form trimeric structures. Their mature form contains a passenger domain and a C-terminal β-domain that anchors the protein in the outer membrane (OM). Little is known about how precursors of such proteins cross the periplasm and assemble into the OM. In the present study we took advantage of the evolutionary conservation in the biogenesis of β-barrel proteins between bacteria and mitochondria. We previously observed that upon expression in yeast cells, bacterial β-barrel proteins including the transmembrane domain of YadA assemble into the mitochondrial OM. In the current study we found that when expressed in yeast cells both the monomeric and trimeric forms of full-length YadA were detected in mitochondria but only the trimeric species was fully integrated into the OM. The oligomeric form was exposed on the surface of the organelle in its native conformation and maintained its capacity to adhere to host cells. The co-expression of YadA with a mitochondria-targeted form of the bacterial periplasmic chaperone Skp, but not with SurA or SecB, resulted in enhanced levels of both forms of YadA. Taken together, these results indicate that the proper assembly of trimeric autotransporter can occur also in a system lacking the lipoproteins of the BAM machinery and is specifically enhanced by the chaperone Skp.
CO and NO are small toxic gaseous molecules that play pivotal roles in biology as gasotransmitters. During bacterial infection, NO, produced by the host via the inducible NO synthase, exerts critical antibacterial effects while CO, generated by heme oxygenases, enhances phagocytosis of macrophages. In Escherichia coli, other bacteria and fungi, the flavohemoglobin Hmp is the most important detoxification mechanism converting NO and O2 to the ion nitrate (NO3−). The protoheme of Hmp binds not only O2 and NO, but also CO so that this ligand is expected to be an inhibitor of NO detoxification in vivo and in vitro. CORM-3 (Ru(CO)3Cl(glycinate)) is a metal carbonyl compound extensively used and recently shown to have potent antibacterial properties. In this study, attenuation of the NO resistance of E. coli by CORM-3 is demonstrated in vivo. However, polarographic measurements showed that CO gas, but not CORM-3, produced inhibition of the NO detoxification activity of Hmp in vitro. Nevertheless, CO release from CORM-3 in the presence of soluble cellular compounds is demonstrated by formation of carboxy-Hmp. We show that the inability of CORM-3 to inhibit the activity of purified Hmp is due to slow release of CO in protein solutions alone i.e. when sodium dithionite, widely used in previous studies of CO release from CORM-3, is excluded. Finally, we measure intracellular CO released from CORM-3 by following the formation of carboxy-Hmp in respiring cells. CORM-3 is a tool to explore the concerted effects of CO and NO in vivo.
The molecular mechanism of transglutaminase II (TGaseII)-mediated allergic inflammation remains largely unknown. TGaseII, induced by antigen stimulation, showed an interaction and co-localization with FcϵRI. TGaseII was necessary for in vivo allergic inflammation, such as triphasic cutaneous reaction, passive cutaneous anaphylaxis, and passive systemic anaphylaxis. TGaseII was necessary for the enhanced metastatic potential of B16F1 melanoma cells by passive systemic anaphylaxis. TGaseII was shown to be a secreted protein. Recombinant TGaseII protein increased the histamine release and β-hexosaminidase activity, and enhanced the metastatic potential of B16F1 mouse melanoma cells. Recombinant TGaseII protein induced the activation of EGF receptor and an interaction between EGF receptor and FcϵRI. Recombinant TGaseII protein displayed angiogenic potential accompanied by allergic inflammation. R2 peptide, an inhibitor of TGaseII, exerted negative effects on in vitro and in vivo allergic inflammation by regulating the expression of TGaseII and FcϵRI signaling. MicroRNA (miR)-218 and miR-181a, decreased during allergic inflammation, were predicted as negative regulators of TGaseII by microRNA array and TargetScan analysis. miR-218 and miR-181a formed a negative feedback loop with TGaseII and regulated the in vitro and in vivo allergic inflammation. TGaseII was necessary for the interaction between mast cells and macrophages during allergic inflammation. Mast cells and macrophages, activated during allergic inflammation, were responsible for the enhanced metastatic potential of tumor cells that are accompanied by allergic inflammation. In conclusion, the TGaseII/miR-218/-181a feedback loop can be employed for the development of anti-allergy therapeutics.
Calcium-dependent activation of human TRESK (TWIK-related spinal cord K+ channel, K2P18.1) depends on direct targeting of calcineurin to the PQIIIS motif. In the present study we demonstrate that TRESK also contains another functionally relevant docking site for the phosphatase, the LQLP amino acid sequence. Combined mutations of the PQIIIS and LQLP motifs were required to eliminate the calcium-dependent regulation of the channel. In contrast to the alanine substitutions of PQIIIS, the mutation of LQLP to AQAP alone did not significantly change the amplitude of TRESK activation evoked by the substantial elevation of cytoplasmic calcium concentration. However, the AQAP mutation slowed down the response to high calcium. In addition, modest elevation of [Ca2+], which effectively regulated the wild type channel, failed to activate TRESK-AQAP. This indicates that the AQAP mutation diminished the sensitivity of TRESK to calcium. Even if PQIIIS was replaced by the PVIVIT sequence of high calcineurin binding affinity, the effect of the AQAP mutation was clearly detected in this TRESK-PVIVIT context. Substitution of the LQLP region with the corresponding fragment of NFAT transcription factor, perfectly matching the previously described LXVP calcineurin-binding consensus sequence, increased the calcium-sensitivity of TRESK-PVIVIT. Thus the enhancement of the affinity of TRESK for calcineurin by the incorporation of PVIVIT could not compensate for or prevent the effects of LQLP sequence modifications, suggesting that the two calcineurin-binding regions play distinct roles in the regulation. Our results indicate that the LQLP site is a fundamental determinant of the calcium-sensitivity of human TRESK.
Parkinson disease (PD) is a complex neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Multiple genes have been associated with PD, including Parkin and PINK1. Recent studies have established that the Parkin and PINK1 proteins function in a common mitochondrial quality control pathway, whereby disruption of the mitochondrial membrane potential leads to PINK1 stabilization at the mitochondrial outer surface. PINK1 accumulation leads to Parkin recruitment from the cytosol, which in turn promotes the degradation of the damaged mitochondria by autophagy (mitophagy). Most studies characterizing PINK1/Parkin mitophagy have relied on high concentrations of chemical uncouplers to trigger mitochondrial depolarization, a stimulus that has been difficult to adapt to neuronal systems and one unlikely to faithfully model the mitochondrial damage that occurs in PD. Here, we report that the short mitochondrial isoform of ARF (smARF), previously identified as an alternate translation product of the tumor suppressor p19ARF, depolarizes mitochondria and promotes mitophagy in a Parkin/PINK1-dependent manner, both in cell lines and in neurons. The work positions smARF upstream of PINK1 and Parkin and demonstrates that mitophagy can be triggered by intrinsic signaling cascades.
The ability of an RNA virus to exist as a population of genetically distinct variants permits the virus to overcome events during infections that would otherwise limit virus multiplication or drive the population to extinction. Viral genetic diversity is created by the ribonucleotide misincorporation frequency of the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). We have identified a poliovirus (PV) RdRp derivative (H273R) possessing a mutator phenotype. GMP misincorporation efficiency for H273R RdRp in vitro was increased by 2–3-fold that manifested in a 2–3-fold increase in the diversity of the H273R PV population in cells. Circular sequencing analysis indicated that some mutations were RdRp-independent. Consistent with the population genetics theory, H273R PV was driven to extinction more easily than WT in cell culture. Furthermore, we observed a substantial reduction in H273R PV virulence, measured as the ability to cause paralysis in the cPVR mouse model. Reduced virulence correlated with the inability of H273R PV to sustain replication in tissues/organs in which WT persists. Despite the attenuated phenotype, H273R PV was capable of replicating in mice to levels sufficient to induce a protective immune response, even when the infecting dose used was insufficient to elicit any visual signs of infection. We conclude that optimal RdRp fidelity is a virulence determinant that can be targeted for viral attenuation or antiviral therapies, and we suggest that the RdRp may not be the only source of mutations in a RNA virus genome.
All peripheral membrane proteins must negotiate unique constraints intrinsic to the biological interface of lipid bilayers and the cytosol. Phospholipase C-β (PLC-β) isozymes hydrolyze the membrane lipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) to propagate diverse intracellular responses that underlie the physiological action of many hormones, neurotransmitters, and growth factors. PLC-β isozymes are autoinhibited, and several proteins, including Gαq, Gβγ, and Rac1, directly engage distinct regions of these phospholipases to release autoinhibition. To understand this process, we used a novel, soluble analog of PIP2 that increases in fluorescence upon cleavage to monitor phospholipase activity in real time in the absence of membranes or detergents. High concentrations of Gαq or Gβ1γ2 did not activate purified PLC-β3 under these conditions despite their robust capacity to activate PLC-β3 at membranes. In addition, mutants of PLC-β3 with crippled autoinhibition dramatically accelerated the hydrolysis of PIP2 in membranes without an equivalent acceleration in the hydrolysis of the soluble analog. Our results illustrate that membranes are integral for the activation of PLC-β isozymes by diverse modulators, and we propose a model describing membrane-mediated allosterism within PLC-β isozymes.
Bacterial alginate lyases, which are members of several polysaccharide lyase (PL) families, have important biological roles and biotechnological applications. The mechanisms for maturation, substrate recognition, and catalysis of PL18 alginate lyases are still largely unknown. A PL18 alginate lyase, aly-SJ02, from Pseudoalteromonas sp. 0524 displays a β-jelly roll scaffold. Structural and biochemical analyses indicated that the N-terminal extension in the aly-SJ02 precursor may act as an intramolecular chaperone to mediate the correct folding of the catalytic domain. Molecular dynamics simulations and mutational assays suggested that the lid loops over the aly-SJ02 active center serve as a gate for substrate entry. Molecular docking and site-directed mutations revealed that certain conserved residues at the active center, especially those at subsites +1 and +2, are crucial for substrate recognition. Tyr353 may function as both a catalytic base and acid. Based on our results, a model for the catalysis of aly-SJ02 in alginate depolymerization is proposed. Moreover, although bacterial alginate lyases from families PL5, 7, 15, and 18 adopt distinct scaffolds, they share the same conformation of catalytic residues, reflecting their convergent evolution. Our results provide the foremost insight into the mechanisms of maturation, substrate recognition, and catalysis of a PL18 alginate lyase.
Ectoine and its derivative 5-hydroxyectoine are compatible solutes that are widely synthesized by bacteria to cope physiologically with osmotic stress. They also serve as chemical chaperones and maintain the functionality of macromolecules. 5-Hydroxyectoine is produced from ectoine through a stereo-specific hydroxylation, an enzymatic reaction catalyzed by the ectoine hydroxylase (EctD). The EctD protein is a member of the non-heme-containing iron(II) and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase superfamily and is evolutionarily well conserved. We studied the ectoine hydroxylase from the cold-adapted marine ultra-microbacterium Sphingopyxis alaskensis (Sa) and found that the purified SaEctD protein is a homodimer in solution. We determined the SaEctD crystal structure in its apo-form, complexed with the iron catalyst, and in a form that contained iron, the co-substrate 2-oxoglutarate, and the reaction product of EctD, 5-hydroxyectoine. The iron and 2-oxoglutarate ligands are bound within the EctD active site in a fashion similar to that found in other members of the dioxygenase superfamily. 5-Hydroxyectoine, however, is coordinated by EctD in manner different from that found in high affinity solute receptor proteins operating in conjunction with microbial import systems for ectoines. Our crystallographic analysis provides a detailed view into the active site of the ectoine hydroxylase and exposes an intricate network of interactions between the enzyme and its ligands that collectively ensure the hydroxylation of the ectoine substrate in a position- and stereo-specific manner.
A central goal of enzymology is to understand the physicochemical mechanisms that enable proteins to catalyze complex chemical reactions with high efficiency. Recent methodological advances enable the contribution of protein dynamics to enzyme efficiency to be explored more deeply. Here, we utilize enzymological and biophysical studies, including NMR measurements of conformational dynamics, to develop a quantitative mechanistic scheme for the DNA repair enzyme AlkB. Like other iron/2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases, AlkB employs a two-step mechanism in which oxidation of 2-oxoglutarate generates a highly reactive enzyme-bound oxyferryl intermediate that, in the case of AlkB, slowly hydroxylates an alkylated nucleobase. Our results demonstrate that a microsecond-to-millisecond time scale conformational transition facilitates the proper sequential order of substrate binding to AlkB. Mutations altering the dynamics of this transition allow generation of the oxyferryl intermediate but promote its premature quenching by solvent, which uncouples 2-oxoglutarate turnover from nucleobase oxidation. Therefore, efficient catalysis by AlkB depends upon the dynamics of a specific conformational transition, establishing another paradigm for the control of enzyme function by protein dynamics.
The Dnmt3a DNA methyltransferase has been shown to bind cooperatively to DNA and to form large multimeric protein/DNA fibers. However, it has also been reported to methylate DNA in a processive manner, a property that is incompatible with protein/DNA fiber formation. We show here that the DNA methylation rate of Dnmt3a increases more than linearly with increasing enzyme concentration on a long DNA substrate, but not on a short 30-mer oligonucleotide substrate. We also show that addition of a catalytically inactive Dnmt3a mutant, which carries an amino acid exchange in the catalytic center, increases the DNA methylation rate by wild type Dnmt3a on the long substrate but not on the short one. In agreement with this finding, preincubation experiments indicate that stable protein/DNA fibers are formed on the long, but not on the short substrate. In addition, methylation experiments with substrates containing one or two CpG sites did not provide evidence for a processive mechanism over a wide range of enzyme concentrations. These data clearly indicate that Dnmt3a binds to DNA in a cooperative reaction and that the formation of stable protein/DNA fibers increases the DNA methylation rate. Fiber formation occurs at low μm concentrations of Dnmt3a, which are in the range of Dnmt3a concentrations in the nucleus of embryonic stem cells. Understanding the mechanism of Dnmt3a is of vital importance because Dnmt3a is a hotspot of somatic cancer mutations one of which has been implicated in changing Dnmt3a processivity.
In this study, we found that the full-length CYP2C8 (WT CYP2C8) and N-terminal truncated splice variant 3 (∼44-kDa mass) are localized in mitochondria in addition to the endoplasmic reticulum. Analysis of human livers showed that the mitochondrial levels of these two forms varied markedly. Molecular modeling based on the x-ray crystal structure coordinates of CYP2D6 and CYP2C8 showed that despite lacking the N-terminal 102 residues variant 3 possessed nearly complete substrate binding and heme binding pockets. Stable expression of cDNAs in HepG2 cells showed that the WT protein is mostly targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum and at low levels to mitochondria, whereas variant 3 is primarily targeted to mitochondria and at low levels to the endoplasmic reticulum. Enzyme reconstitution experiments showed that both microsomal and mitochondrial WT CYP2C8 efficiently catalyzed paclitaxel 6-hydroxylation. However, mitochondrial variant 3 was unable to catalyze this reaction possibly because of its inability to stabilize the large 854-Da substrate. Conversely, mitochondrial variant 3 catalyzed the metabolism of arachidonic acid into 8,9-, 11,12-, and 14,15-epoxyeicosatrienoic acids and 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid when reconstituted with adrenodoxin and adrenodoxin reductase. HepG2 cells stably expressing variant 3 generated higher levels of reactive oxygen species and showed a higher level of mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction. This study suggests that mitochondrially targeted variant 3 CYP2C8 may contribute to oxidative stress in various tissues.
d-Serine, an endogenous co-agonist for the glycine site of the synaptic NMDA glutamate receptor, regulates synaptic plasticity and is implicated in schizophrenia. Serine racemase (SR) is the enzyme that converts l-serine to d-serine. In this study, we demonstrate that SR interacts with the synaptic proteins, postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95) and stargazin, forming a ternary complex. SR binds to the PDZ3 domain of PSD-95 through the PDZ domain ligand at its C terminus. SR also binds to the C terminus of stargazin, which facilitates the cell membrane localization of SR and inhibits its activity. AMPA receptor activation internalizes SR and disrupts its interaction with stargazin, therefore derepressing SR activity, leading to more d-serine production and potentially facilitating NMDA receptor activation. These interactions regulate the enzymatic activity as well as the intracellular localization of SR, potentially coupling the activities of NMDA and AMPA receptors. This shuttling of a neurotransmitter synthesizing enzyme between two receptors appears to be a novel mode of synaptic regulation.
Folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism is a metabolic network of interconnected pathways that is required for the de novo synthesis of three of the four DNA bases and the remethylation of homocysteine to methionine. Previous studies have indicated that the thymidylate synthesis and homocysteine remethylation pathways compete for a limiting pool of methylenetetrahydrofolate cofactors and that thymidylate biosynthesis is preserved in folate deficiency at the expense of homocysteine remethylation, but the mechanisms are unknown. Recently, it was shown that thymidylate synthesis occurs in the nucleus, whereas homocysteine remethylation occurs in the cytosol. In this study we demonstrate that methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase 1 (MTHFD1), an enzyme that generates methylenetetrahydrofolate from formate, ATP, and NADPH, functions in the nucleus to support de novo thymidylate biosynthesis. MTHFD1 translocates to the nucleus in S-phase MCF-7 and HeLa cells. During folate deficiency mouse liver MTHFD1 levels are enriched in the nucleus >2-fold at the expense of levels in the cytosol. Furthermore, nuclear folate levels are resistant to folate depletion when total cellular folate levels are reduced by >50% in mouse liver. The enrichment of folate cofactors and MTHFD1 protein in the nucleus during folate deficiency in mouse liver and human cell lines accounts for previous metabolic studies that indicated 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate is preferentially directed toward de novo thymidylate biosynthesis at the expense of homocysteine remethylation during folate deficiency.
The RIPK2 kinase transduces signaling downstream of the intracellular peptidoglycan sensors NOD1 and NOD2 to promote a productive inflammatory response. However, excessive NOD2 signaling has been associated with numerous diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), sarcoidosis and inflammatory arthritis, making pharmacologic inhibition of RIPK2 an appealing strategy. In this work, we report the generation, identification, and evaluation of novel RIPK2 specific inhibitors. These compounds potently inhibit the RIPK2 tyrosine kinase activity in in vitro biochemical assays and cellular assays, as well as effectively reduce RIPK2-mediated effects in an in vivo peritonitis model. In conjunction with the development of these inhibitors, we have also defined a panel of genes whose expression is regulated by RIPK2 kinase activity. Such RIPK2 activation markers may serve as a useful tool for predicting settings likely to benefit from RIPK2 inhibition. Using these markers and the FDA-approved RIPK2 inhibitor Gefitinib, we show that pharmacologic RIPK2 inhibition drastically improves disease in a spontaneous model of Crohn Disease-like ileitis. Furthermore, using novel RIPK2-specific inhibitors, we show that cellular recruitment is inhibited in an in vivo peritonitis model. Altogether, the data presented in this work provides a strong rationale for further development and optimization of RIPK2-targeted pharmaceuticals and diagnostics.
Derangements in metabolism and related signaling pathways characterize the failing heart. One such signal, O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc), is an essential post-translational modification regulated by two enzymes, O-GlcNAc transferase and O-GlcNAcase (OGA), which modulate the function of many nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. We recently reported reduced OGA expression in the failing heart, which is consistent with the pro-adaptive role of increased O-GlcNAcylation during heart failure; however, molecular mechanisms regulating these enzymes during heart failure remain unknown. Using miRNA microarray analysis, we observed acute and chronic changes in expression of several miRNAs. Here, we focused on miR-539 because it was predicted to target OGA mRNA. Indeed, co-transfection of the OGA-3′UTR containing reporter plasmid and miR-539 overexpression plasmid significantly reduced reporter activity. Overexpression of miR-539 in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes significantly suppressed OGA expression and consequently increased O-GlcNAcylation; conversely, the miR-539 inhibitor rescued OGA protein expression and restored O-GlcNAcylation. In conclusion, this work identifies the first target of miR-539 in the heart and the first miRNA that regulates OGA. Manipulation of miR-539 may represent a novel therapeutic target in the treatment of heart failure and other metabolic diseases.
The disaccharide N,N′-di-N-acetyllactose diamine (LacdiNAc, GalNAcβ1–4GlcNAcβ) is found in a limited number of extracellular matrix glycoproteins and neuropeptide hormones indicating a protein-specific transfer of GalNAc by the glycosyltransferases β4GalNAc-T3/T4. Whereas previous studies have revealed evidence for peptide determinants as controlling elements in LacdiNAc biosynthesis, we report here on an entirely independent conformational control of GalNAc transfer by single TFF (Trefoil factor) domains as high stringency determinants. Human TFF2 was recombinantly expressed in HEK-293 cells as a wild type full-length probe (TFF2-Fl, containing TFF domains P1 and P2), as single P1 or P2 domain probes, as a series of Cys/Gly mutant forms with aberrant domain structures, and as a double point-mutated probe (T68Q/F59Q) lacking aromatic residues within a hydrophobic patch. The N-glycosylation probes were analyzed by mass spectrometry for their glycoprofiles. In agreement with natural gastric TFF2, the recombinant full-length and single domain probes expressed nearly exclusively fucosylated LacdiNAc on bi-antennary complex-type chains indicating that a single TFF domain was sufficient to induce transfer of this modification. Contrasting to this, the Cys/Gly mutants showed strongly reduced LacdiNAc levels and instead preponderant LacNAc expression. The probe with point mutations of two highly conserved aromatic residues in loop 3 (T68Q/F59Q) revealed that these are essential determinant components, as the probe lacked LacdiNAc expression. The structural features of the LacdiNAc-inducing determinant on human TFF2 are discussed on the basis of crystal structures of porcine TFF2, and a series of extracellular matrix-related LacdiNAc-positive glycoproteins detected as novel candidate proteins in the secretome of HEK-293 cells.
Regulation of rDNA transcription is central to cell growth and proliferation. PHF2 and PHF8 belong to a subfamily of histone demethylases that also possess a PHD domain-dependent di-/trimethylated histone 3 lysine 4 (H3K4me2/3) binding activity and are known to be enriched in the nucleolus. In this study, we show that, unlike PHF8 that activates rDNA transcription, PHF2 inhibits rDNA transcription. Depletion of PHF2 by RNA interference increases and overexpression of PHF2 decreases rDNA transcription, respectively, whereas simultaneous depletion of PHF8 and PHF2 restores the level of rDNA transcription. The inhibition of rDNA transcription by PHF2 depends on its H3K4me2/3 binding activity that is also required for PHF2 association with the promoter of rDNA genes but not its demethylase activity. We provide evidence that PHF2 is likely to repress rDNA transcription by competing with PHF8 for binding of rDNA promoter and by recruiting H3K9me2/3 methyltransferase SUV39H1. We also provide evidence that, whereas PHF8 promotes, PHF2 represses the transcriptional activity of RARα, Oct4, and KLF4 and a few PHF8 target genes tested. Taken together, our study demonstrates a repressive role for PHF2 in transcription by RNA polymerase I and II.
Carbon metabolism and virulence determinant production are often linked in pathogenic bacteria, and several regulatory elements have been reported to mediate this linkage in Staphylococcus aureus. Previously, we described a novel protein, catabolite control protein E (CcpE) that functions as a regulator of the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Here we demonstrate that CcpE also regulates virulence determinant biosynthesis and pathogenesis. Specifically, deletion of ccpE in S. aureus strain Newman revealed that CcpE affects transcription of virulence factors such as capA, the first gene in the capsule biosynthetic operon; hla, encoding α-toxin; and psmα, encoding the phenol-soluble modulin cluster α. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that CcpE binds to the hla promoter. Mice challenged with S. aureus strain Newman or its isogenic ΔccpE derivative revealed increased disease severity in the ΔccpE mutant using two animal models; an acute lung infection model and a skin infection model. Complementation of the mutant with the ccpE wild-type allele restored all phenotypes, demonstrating that CcpE is negative regulator of virulence in S. aureus.
The dopamine transporter (DAT) functions as a key regulator of dopaminergic neurotransmission via re-uptake of synaptic dopamine (DA). Cocaine binding to DAT blocks this activity and elevates extracellular DA, leading to psychomotor stimulation and addiction, but the mechanisms by which cocaine interacts with DAT and inhibits transport remain incompletely understood. Here, we addressed these questions using computational and biochemical methodologies to localize the binding and adduction sites of the photoactivatable irreversible cocaine analog 3β-(p-chlorophenyl)tropane-2β-carboxylic acid, 4′-azido-3′-iodophenylethyl ester ([125I]RTI 82). Comparative modeling and small molecule docking indicated that the tropane pharmacophore of RTI 82 was positioned in the central DA active site with an orientation that juxtaposed the aryliodoazide group for cross-linking to rat DAT Phe-319. This prediction was verified by focused methionine substitution of residues flanking this site followed by cyanogen bromide mapping of the [125I]RTI 82-labeled mutants and by the substituted cysteine accessibility method protection analyses. These findings provide positive functional evidence linking tropane pharmacophore interaction with the core substrate-binding site and support a competitive mechanism for transport inhibition. This synergistic application of computational and biochemical methodologies overcomes many uncertainties inherent in other approaches and furnishes a schematic framework for elucidating the ligand-protein interactions of other classes of DA transport inhibitors.
The plant hormone jasmonate (JA) controls diverse aspects of plant immunity, growth, and development. The amplitude and duration of JA responses are controlled in large part by the intracellular level of jasmonoyl-l-isoleucine (JA-Ile). In contrast to detailed knowledge of the JA-Ile biosynthetic pathway, little is known about enzymes involved in JA-Ile metabolism and turnover. Cytochromes P450 (CYP) 94B3 and 94C1 were recently shown to sequentially oxidize JA-Ile to hydroxy (12OH-JA-Ile) and dicarboxy (12COOH-JA-Ile) derivatives. Here, we report that a third member (CYP94B1) of the CYP94 family also participates in oxidative turnover of JA-Ile in Arabidopsis. In vitro studies showed that recombinant CYP94B1 converts JA-Ile to 12OH-JA-Ile and lesser amounts of 12COOH-JA-Ile. Consistent with this finding, metabolic and physiological characterization of CYP94B1 loss-of-function and overexpressing plants demonstrated that CYP94B1 and CYP94B3 coordinately govern the majority (>95%) of 12-hydroxylation of JA-Ile in wounded leaves. Analysis of CYP94-promoter-GUS reporter lines indicated that CYP94B1 and CYP94B3 serve unique and overlapping spatio-temporal roles in JA-Ile homeostasis. Subcellular localization studies showed that CYP94s involved in conversion of JA-Ile to 12COOH-JA-Ile reside on endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In vitro studies further showed that 12COOH-JA-Ile, unlike JA-Ile, fails to promote assembly of COI1-JAZ co-receptor complexes. The double loss-of-function mutant of CYP94B3 and ILL6, a JA-Ile amidohydrolase, displayed a JA profile consistent with the collaborative action of the oxidative and the hydrolytic pathways in JA-Ile turnover. Collectively, our results provide an integrated view of how multiple ER-localized CYP94 and JA amidohydrolase enzymes attenuate JA signaling during stress responses.
Mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) integrates multiple extracellular and intracellular signals to regulate cell growth and survival. Hyperactivation of mTOR has been observed in various cancers. Regulation of mTOR activity is thus of importance in physiological processes and tumor development. Here, we present pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) as a novel regulator of mTORC1 signaling. mTORC1 activity was augmented with PDK4 overexpression and reduced by PDK4 suppression in various cell lines. Furthermore, PDK4 bound to cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) and prevented its degradation. The enhanced CREB consequently transactivated the expression of Ras homolog enriched in brain (RHEB), a direct key activator of mTORC1, independent of AMP-activated protein kinase or tuberous sclerosis complex protein 2. PDK4 potentiated the mTORC1 effectors hypoxia-inducible factor 1α and pyruvate kinase isozymes M2 and promoted aerobic glycolysis (Warburg effect). Knockdown of PDK4 suppressed the tumor development of cancer cells with activated mTORC1. The abundance of PDK4 dictated the responsiveness of cells to the mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin. Combinatory suppression of mTOR and PDK4 exerted synergistic inhibition on cancer cell proliferation. Therefore, PDK4 promotes tumorigenesis through activation of the CREB-RHEB-mTORC1 signaling cascade.
♦ See referenced article, J. Biol. Chem. 2014, 289, 29739–29749
Mechanistic target of rapamycin, better known as mTOR, is a kinase that controls cell growth, proliferation, and survival by integrating various extracellular and intracellular signals. mTOR signaling is often up-regulated in various types of cancer. In this Paper of the Week, a team led by Hongbing Zhang at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences demonstrated that an enzyme involved in metabolism, pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4), regulates signaling carried out by the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1). The investigators used several cell lines to show that mTORC1 activity increases in the presence of PDK4 and decreases upon suppression of PDK4. The investigators also showed that PDK4 could promote aerobic glycolysis (also called the Warburg effect), a hallmark of cancer, and via regulation of mTORC1, modulate effectors of mTORC1. “The abundance of PDK4 dictated the responsiveness of cells to the mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin,” say the authors. “Combinatory suppression of mTOR and PDK4 exerted synergistic inhibition on cancer cell proliferation.” The authors concluded that PDK4 promoted tumorigenesis by activating one of the signaling pathways of mTORC1.
Schematic illustration of the PDK4-mTORC1 signaling cascade that involves cAMP response element-binding protein and a key activator of mTORC1, Ras homolog enriched in brain (RHEB). PDK4 binds to CREB and prevents its degradation.
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress activates the adaptive unfolded protein response (UPR) and represents a critical mechanism that underlies metabolic dysfunctions. Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), a hormone that is predominantly secreted by the liver, exerts a broad range of effects upon the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids. Although increased circulating levels of FGF21 have been documented in animal models and human subjects with obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the functional interconnections between metabolic ER stress and FGF21 are incompletely understood. Here, we report that increased ER stress along with the simultaneous elevation of FGF21 expression were associated with the occurrence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease both in diet-induced obese mice and human patients. Intraperitoneal administration of the ER stressor tunicamycin in mice resulted in hepatic steatosis, accompanied by activation of the three canonical UPR branches and increased the expression of FGF21. Furthermore, the IRE1α-XBP1 pathway of the UPR could directly activate the transcriptional expression of Fgf21. Administration of recombinant FGF21 in mice alleviated tunicamycin-induced liver steatosis, in parallel with reduced eIF2α-ATF4-CHOP signaling. Taken together, these results suggest that FGF21 is an integral physiological component of the cellular UPR program, which exerts beneficial feedback effects upon lipid metabolism through counteracting ER stress.
♦ See referenced article, J. Biol. Chem. 2014, 289, 29751–29765
Proteins get synthesized and matured in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). When the protein synthesis and folding processes go awry, the ER activates the adaptive unfolded protein response (UPR). A number of metabolic disorders, including obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), have been linked to mistakes in UPR, but the details are not clear. In this Paper of the Week, a team led by Wei-ping Jia at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital and Yong Liu at the Chinese Academy of Sciences showed that stress on the ER leads to increased expression levels of a key liver hormone called the fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21). FGF21 influences carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Using data collected from mouse models as well as human patients, the investigators demonstrated that the expression of FGF21 was elevated by one of the three main branches of UPR, the IRE1α-XBP1 pathway. FGF21 alleviated the symptoms of NAFLD by affecting lipid metabolism. The authors say, “Taken together, these results suggest that FGF21 is an integral physiological component of the cellular UPR program, which exerts beneficial feedback effects upon lipid metabolism through counteracting ER stress.”
Schematic model to show that FGF21, controlled by transcription factors XBP1s and ATF4, suppresses the eIF2α-ATF4-CHOP pathway to alleviate ER stress-induced NAFLD.
Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) degeneration underpins diseases triggered by disparate genetic lesions, noxious insults, or both. The pleiotropic Ranbp2 controls the expression of intrinsic and extrinsic pathological stressors impinging on cellular viability. However, the physiological targets and mechanisms controlled by Ranbp2 in tissue homeostasis, such as RPE, are ill defined. We show that mice, RPE-cre::Ranbp2−/−, with selective Ranbp2 ablation in RPE develop pigmentary changes, syncytia, hypoplasia, age-dependent centrifugal and non-apoptotic degeneration of the RPE, and secondary leakage of choriocapillaris. These manifestations are accompanied by the development of F-actin clouds, metalloproteinase-11 activation, deregulation of expression or subcellular localization of critical RPE proteins, atrophic cell extrusions into the subretinal space, and compensatory proliferation of peripheral RPE. To gain mechanistic insights into what Ranbp2 activities are vital to the RPE, we performed genetic complementation analyses of transgenic lines of bacterial artificial chromosomes of Ranbp2 harboring loss of function of selective Ranbp2 domains expressed in a Ranbp2−/− background. Among the transgenic lines produced, only TgRBD2/3*-HA::RPE-cre::Ranbp2−/−-expressing mutations, which selectively impair binding of RBD2/3 (Ran-binding domains 2 and 3) of Ranbp2 to Ran-GTP, recapitulate RPE degeneration, as observed with RPE-cre::Ranbp2−/−. By contrast, TgRBD2/3*-HA expression rescues the degeneration of cone photoreceptors lacking Ranbp2. The RPE of RPE-cre::Ranbp2−/− and TgRBD2/3*-HA::RPE-cre::Ranbp2−/− share proteostatic deregulation of Ran GTPase, serotransferrin, and γ-tubulin and suppression of light-evoked electrophysiological responses. These studies unravel selective roles of Ranbp2 and its RBD2 and RBD3 in RPE survival and functions. We posit that the control of Ran GTPase by Ranbp2 emerges as a novel therapeutic target in diseases promoting RPE degeneration.
Antithrombin III (ATIII) is a key antiproteinase involved in blood coagulation. Previous investigations have shown that ATIII is degraded by Staphylococcus aureus V8 protease, leading to release of heparin binding fragments derived from its D helix. As heparin binding and antimicrobial activity of peptides frequently overlap, we here set out to explore possible antibacterial effects of intact and degraded ATIII. In contrast to intact ATIII, the results showed that extensive degradation of the molecule yielded fragments with antimicrobial activity. Correspondingly, the heparin-binding, helix d-derived, peptide FFFAKLNCRLYRKANKSSKLV (FFF21) of human ATIII, was found to be antimicrobial against particularly the Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy studies demonstrated that FFF21 binds to and permeabilizes bacterial membranes. Analogously, FFF21 was found to induce membrane leakage of model anionic liposomes. In vivo, FFF21 significantly reduced P. aeruginosa infection in mice. Additionally, FFF21 displayed anti-endotoxic effects in vitro. Taken together, our results suggest novel roles for ATIII-derived peptide fragments in host defense.
Chromosome 1p36 deletion syndrome is one of the most common terminal deletions observed in humans and is related to congenital heart disease (CHD). However, the 1p36 genes that contribute to heart disease have not been clearly delineated. Human CASZ1 gene localizes to 1p36 and encodes a zinc finger transcription factor. Casz1 is required for Xenopus heart ventral midline progenitor cell differentiation. Whether Casz1 plays a role during mammalian heart development is unknown. Our aim is to determine 1p36 gene CASZ1 function at regulating heart development in mammals. We generated a Casz1 knock-out mouse using Casz1-trapped embryonic stem cells. Casz1 deletion in mice resulted in abnormal heart development including hypoplasia of myocardium, ventricular septal defect, and disorganized morphology. Hypoplasia of myocardium was caused by decreased cardiomyocyte proliferation. Comparative genome-wide RNA transcriptome analysis of Casz1 depleted embryonic hearts identifies abnormal expression of genes that are critical for muscular system development and function, such as muscle contraction genes TNNI2, TNNT1, and CKM; contractile fiber gene ACTA1; and cardiac arrhythmia associated ion channel coding genes ABCC9 and CACNA1D. The transcriptional regulation of some of these genes by Casz1 was also found in cellular models. Our results showed that loss of Casz1 during mouse development led to heart defect including cardiac noncompaction and ventricular septal defect, which phenocopies 1p36 deletion syndrome related CHD. This suggests that CASZ1 is a novel 1p36 CHD gene and that the abnormal expression of cardiac morphogenesis and contraction genes induced by loss of Casz1 contributes to the heart defect.
The Drosophila and plant (maize) functional counterparts of the abundant vertebrate chromosomal protein HMGB1 (HMG-D and ZmHMGB1, respectively) differ from HMGB1 in having a single HMG box, as well as basic and acidic flanking regions that vary greatly in length and charge. We show that despite these variations, HMG-D and ZmHMGB1 exist in dynamic assemblies in which the basic HMG boxes and linkers associate with their intrinsically disordered, predominantly acidic, tails in a manner analogous to that observed previously for HMGB1. The DNA-binding surfaces of the boxes and linkers are occluded in “auto-inhibited” forms of the protein, which are in equilibrium with transient, more open structures that are “binding-competent.” This strongly suggests that the mechanism of auto-inhibition may be a general one. HMG-D and ZmHMGB1 differ from HMGB1 in having phosphorylation sites in their tail and linker regions. In both cases, in vitro phosphorylation of serine residues within the acidic tail stabilizes the assembled form, suggesting another level of regulation for interaction with DNA, chromatin, and other proteins that is not possible for the uniformly acidic (hence unphosphorylatable) tail of HMGB1.
Increased concentrations of extracellular solutes affect cell function and fate by stimulating cellular responses, such as evoking MAPK cascades, altering cell cycle progression, and causing apoptosis. Our study results here demonstrate that hyperosmotic stress induced H2AX phosphorylation (γH2AX) by an unrevealed kinase cascade involving polo-like kinase 3 (Plk3) in human corneal epithelial (HCE) cells. We found that hyperosmotic stress induced DNA-double strand breaks and increased γH2AX in HCE cells. Phosphorylation of H2AX at serine 139 was catalyzed by hyperosmotic stress-induced activation of Plk3. Plk3 directly interacted with H2AX and was colocalized with γH2AX in the nuclei of hyperosmotic stress-induced cells. Suppression of Plk3 activity by overexpression of a kinase-silencing mutant or by knocking down Plk3 mRNA effectively reduced γH2AX in hyperosmotic stress-induced cells. This was consistent with results that show γH2AX was markedly suppressed in the Plk3−/− knock-out mouse corneal epithelial layer in response to hyperosmotic stimulation. The effect of hyperosmotic stress-activated Plk3 and increased γH2AX in cell cycle progression showed an accumulation of G2/M phase, altered population in G1 and S phases, and increased apoptosis. Our results for the first time reveal that hyperosmotic stress-activated Plk3 elicited γH2AX. This Plk3-mediated activation of γH2AX subsequently regulates the cell cycle progression and cell fate.
Heme oxygenase (HO) catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the O2-dependent degradation of heme to biliverdin, CO, and iron with electrons delivered from NADPH via cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR). Biliverdin reductase (BVR) then catalyzes conversion of biliverdin to bilirubin. We describe mutagenesis combined with kinetic, spectroscopic (fluorescence and NMR), surface plasmon resonance, cross-linking, gel filtration, and analytical ultracentrifugation studies aimed at evaluating interactions of HO-2 with CPR and BVR. Based on these results, we propose a model in which HO-2 and CPR form a dynamic ensemble of complex(es) that precede formation of the productive electron transfer complex. The 1H-15N TROSY NMR spectrum of HO-2 reveals specific residues, including Leu-201, near the heme face of HO-2 that are affected by the addition of CPR, implicating these residues at the HO/CPR interface. Alanine substitutions at HO-2 residues Leu-201 and Lys-169 cause a respective 3- and 22-fold increase in Km values for CPR, consistent with a role for these residues in CPR binding. Sedimentation velocity experiments confirm the transient nature of the HO-2·CPR complex (Kd = 15.1 μm). Our results also indicate that HO-2 and BVR form a very weak complex that is only captured by cross-linking. For example, under conditions where CPR affects the 1H-15N TROSY NMR spectrum of HO-2, BVR has no effect. Fluorescence quenching experiments also suggest that BVR binds HO-2 weakly, if at all, and that the previously reported high affinity of BVR for HO is artifactual, resulting from the effects of free heme (dissociated from HO) on BVR fluorescence.
Herein are reported unique properties of the human 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase multienzyme complex (OGDHc), a rate-limiting enzyme in the Krebs (citric acid) cycle. (a) Functionally competent 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase (E1o-h) and dihydrolipoyl succinyltransferase components have been expressed according to kinetic and spectroscopic evidence. (b) A stable free radical, consistent with the C2-(C2α-hydroxy)-γ-carboxypropylidene thiamin diphosphate (ThDP) cation radical was detected by electron spin resonance upon reaction of the E1o-h with 2-oxoglutarate (OG) by itself or when assembled from individual components into OGDHc. (c) An unusual stability of the E1o-h-bound C2-(2α-hydroxy)-γ-carboxypropylidene thiamin diphosphate (the “ThDP-enamine”/C2α-carbanion, the first postdecarboxylation intermediate) was observed, probably stabilized by the 5-carboxyl group of OG, not reported before. (d) The reaction of OG with the E1o-h gave rise to superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide (reactive oxygen species (ROS)). (e) The relatively stable enzyme-bound enamine is the likely substrate for oxidation by O2, leading to the superoxide anion radical (in d) and the radical (in b). (f) The specific activity assessed for ROS formation compared with the NADH (overall complex) activity, as well as the fraction of radical intermediate occupying active centers of E1o-h are consistent with each other and indicate that radical/ROS formation is an “off-pathway” side reaction comprising less than 1% of the “on-pathway” reactivity. However, the nearly ubiquitous presence of OGDHc in human tissues, including the brain, makes these findings of considerable importance in human metabolism and perhaps disease.
MEDI4893 is a neutralizing human monoclonal antibody that targets α-toxin (AT) and is currently undergoing evaluation in the field of Staphylococcus aureus-mediated diseases. We have solved the crystal structure of MEDI4893 Fab bound to monomeric AT at a resolution of 2.56 Å and further characterized its epitope using various engineered AT variants. We have found that MEDI4893 recognizes a novel epitope in the so-called “rim” domain of AT and exerts its neutralizing effect through a dual mechanism. In particular, MEDI4893 not only sterically blocks binding of AT to its cell receptor but also prevents it from adopting a lytic heptameric trans-membrane conformation.
Diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1) catalyzes the final step in triglyceride synthesis, the conversion of diacylglycerol (DAG) to triglyceride. Dgat1−/− mice exhibit a number of beneficial metabolic effects including reduced obesity and improved insulin sensitivity and no known cardiac dysfunction. In contrast, failing human hearts have severely reduced DGAT1 expression associated with accumulation of DAGs and ceramides. To test whether DGAT1 loss alone affects heart function, we created cardiomyocyte-specific DGAT1 knock-out (hDgat1−/−) mice. hDgat1−/− mouse hearts had 95% increased DAG and 85% increased ceramides compared with floxed controls. 50% of these mice died by 9 months of age. The heart failure marker brain natriuretic peptide increased 5-fold in hDgat1−/− hearts, and fractional shortening (FS) was reduced. This was associated with increased expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α and cluster of differentiation 36. We crossed hDgat1−/− mice with previously described enterocyte-specific Dgat1 knock-out mice (hiDgat1−/−). This corrected the early mortality, improved FS, and reduced cardiac ceramide and DAG content. Treatment of hDgat1−/− mice with the glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist exenatide also improved FS and reduced heart DAG and ceramide content. Increased fatty acid uptake into hDgat1−/− hearts was normalized by exenatide. Reduced activation of protein kinase Cα (PKCα), which is increased by DAG and ceramides, paralleled the reductions in these lipids. Our mouse studies show that loss of DGAT1 reproduces the lipid abnormalities seen in severe human heart failure.
Identification of genes specifically expressed in stem/progenitor cells is an important issue in developmental and stem cell biology. Genome-wide gene expression analyses in liver cells performed in this study have revealed a strong expression of X-linked genes that include members of the brain-expressed X-linked (Bex) gene family in stem/progenitor cells. Bex family genes are expressed abundantly in the neural cells and have been suggested to play important roles in the development of nervous tissues. However, the physiological role of its individual members and the precise expression pattern outside the nervous system remain largely unknown. Here, we focused on Bex2 and examined its role and expression pattern by generating knock-in mice; the enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) was inserted into the Bex2 locus. Bex2-deficient mice were viable and fertile under laboratory growth conditions showing no obvious phenotypic abnormalities. Through an immunohistochemical analysis and flow cytometry-based approach, we observed unique EGFP reporter expression patterns in endocrine and stem/progenitor cells of the liver, pyloric stomach, and hematopoietic system. Although Bex2 seems to play redundant roles in vivo, these results suggest the significance and potential applications of Bex2 in studies of endocrine and stem/progenitor cells.
The membrane-proximal external region (MPER) of the human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein subunit gp41 is targeted by potent broadly neutralizing antibodies 2F5, 4E10, and 10E8. These antibodies recognize linear epitopes and have been suggested to target the fusion intermediate conformation of gp41 that bridges viral and cellular membranes. Anti-MPER antibodies exert different degrees of membrane interaction, which is considered to be the limiting factor for the generation of such antibodies by immunization. Here we characterize a fusion intermediate conformation of gp41 (gp41int-Cys) and show that it folds into an elongated ∼12-nm-long extended structure based on small angle x-ray scattering data. Gp41int-Cys was covalently linked to liposomes via its C-terminal cysteine and used as immunogen. The gp41int-Cys proteoliposomes were administered alone or in prime-boost regimen with trimeric envelope gp140CA018 in guinea pigs and elicited high anti-gp41 IgG titers. The sera interacted with a peptide spanning the MPER region, demonstrated competition with broadly neutralizing antibodies 2F5 and 4E10, and exerted modest lipid binding, indicating the presence of MPER-specific antibodies. Although the neutralization potency generated solely by gp140CA018 was higher than that induced by gp41int-Cys, the majority of animals immunized with gp41int-Cys proteoliposomes induced modest breadth and potency in neutralizing tier 1 pseudoviruses and replication-competent simian/human immunodeficiency viruses in the TZM-bl assay as well as responses against tier 2 HIV-1 in the A3R5 neutralization assay. Our data thus demonstrate that liposomal gp41 MPER formulation can induce neutralization activity, and the strategy serves to improve breadth and potency of such antibodies by improved vaccination protocols.
In the purple phototrophic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides, many protein complexes congregate within the membrane to form operational photosynthetic units consisting of arrays of light-harvesting LH2 complexes and monomeric and dimeric reaction center (RC)-light-harvesting 1 (LH1)-PufX “core” complexes. Each half of a dimer complex consists of a RC surrounded by 14 LH1 αβ subunits, with two bacteriochlorophylls (Bchls) sandwiched between each αβ pair of transmembrane helices. We used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to investigate the assembly of single molecules of the RC-LH1-PufX complex using membranes prepared from LH2-minus mutants. When the RC and PufX components were also absent, AFM revealed a series of LH1 variants where the repeating α1β1(Bchl)2 units had formed rings of variable size, ellipses, and spirals and also arcs that could be assembly products. The spiral complexes occur when the LH1 ring has failed to close, and short arcs are suggestive of prematurely terminated LH1 complex assembly. In the absence of RCs, we occasionally observed captive proteins enclosed by the LH1 ring. When production of LH1 units was restricted by lowering the relative levels of the cognate pufBA transcript, we imaged a mixture of complete RC-LH1 core complexes, empty LH1 rings, and isolated RCs, leading us to conclude that once a RC associates with the first α1β1(Bchl)2 subunit, cooperative associations between subsequent subunits and the RC tend to drive LH1 ring assembly to completion.
Dysregulation of lipid homeostasis is a common feature of several major human diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, because of the complex nature of lipid metabolism, the regulatory mechanisms remain poorly defined at the molecular level. As the key transcriptional activators of lipogenic genes, such as fatty acid synthase (FAS), sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) play a pivotal role in stimulating lipid biosynthesis. Several studies have shown that SREBPs are regulated by the NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase SIRT1, which forms a complex with the lysine-specific histone demethylase LSD1. Here, we show that LSD1 plays a role in regulating SREBP1-mediated gene expression. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that LSD1 is required for SREBP1-dependent activation of the FAS promoter in mammalian cells. LSD1 knockdown decreases SREBP-1a at the transcription level. Although LSD1 affects nuclear SREBP-1 abundance indirectly through SIRT1, it is also required for SREBP1 binding to the FAS promoter. As a result, LSD1 knockdown decreases triglyceride levels in hepatocytes. Taken together, these results show that LSD1 plays a role in regulating lipogenic gene expression, suggesting LSD1 as a potential target for treating dysregulation of lipid metabolism.
Recepteur d'origine nantais (RON) receptor tyrosine kinase and its ligand, serum macrophage-stimulating protein (MSP), play important roles in inflammation, cell growth, migration, and epithelial to mesenchymal transition during tumor development. The binding of mature MSPαβ (disulfide-linked α- and β-chains) to RON ectodomain modulates receptor dimerization, followed by autophosphorylation of tyrosines in the cytoplasmic receptor kinase domains. Receptor recognition is mediated by binding of MSP β-chain (MSPβ) to the RON Sema. Here we report the structure of RON Sema-PSI-IPT1 (SPI1) domains in complex with MSPβ at 3.0 Å resolution. The MSPβ serine protease-like β-barrel uses the degenerate serine protease active site to recognize blades 2, 3, and 4 of the β-propeller fold of RON Sema. Despite the sequence homology between RON and MET receptor tyrosine kinase and between MSP and hepatocyte growth factor, it is well established that there is no cross-reactivity between the two receptor-ligand systems. Comparison of the structure of RON SPI1 in complex with MSPβ and that of MET receptor tyrosine kinase Sema-PSI in complex with hepatocyte growth factor β-chain reveals the receptor-ligand selectivity determinants. Analytical ultracentrifugation studies of the SPI1-MSPβ interaction confirm the formation of a 1:1 complex. SPI1 and MSPαβ also associate primarily as a 1:1 complex with a binding affinity similar to that of SPI1-MSPβ. In addition, the SPI1-MSPαβ ultracentrifuge studies reveal a low abundance 2:2 complex with ∼10-fold lower binding affinity compared with the 1:1 species. These results support the hypothesis that the α-chain of MSPαβ mediates RON dimerization.
To define the upstream and downstream signaling specificities of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR), we have examined the ability of representative mGluR of group I, II, and III to be activated by endogenous amino acids and catalyze activation of G proteins coupled to phospholipase C (PLC), or activation of Gi/o proteins coupled to the ion channel TRPC4β. Fluorescence-based assays have allowed us to observe interactions not previously reported or clearly identified. We have found that the specificity for endogenous amino acids is remarkably stringent. Even at millimolar levels, structurally similar compounds do not elicit significant activation. As reported previously, the clear exception is l-serine-O-phosphate (l-SOP), which strongly activates group III mGluR, especially mGluR4,-6,-8 but not group I or II mGluR. Whereas l-SOP cannot activate mGluR1 or mGluR2, it acts as a weak antagonist for mGluR1 and a potent antagonist for mGluR2, suggesting that co-recognition of l-glutamate and l-SOP arose early in evolution, and was followed later by divergence of group I and group II mGluR versus group III in l-SOP responses. mGluR7 has low affinity and efficacy for activation by both l-glutamate and l-SOP. Molecular docking studies suggested that residue 74 corresponding to lysine in mGluR4 and asparagine in mGluR7 might play a key role, and, indeed, mutagenesis experiments demonstrated that mutating this residue to lysine in mGluR7 enhances the potency of l-SOP. Experiments with pertussis toxin and dominant-negative Gαi/o proteins revealed that mGluR1 couples strongly to TRPC4β through Gαi/o, in addition to coupling to PLC through Gαq/11.
Mitochondrial DNA deletions are prominent in human genetic disorders, cancer, and aging. It is thought that stalling of the mitochondrial replication machinery during DNA synthesis is a prominent source of mitochondrial genome instability; however, the precise molecular determinants of defective mitochondrial replication are not well understood. In this work, we performed a computational analysis of the human mitochondrial genome using the “Pattern Finder” G-quadruplex (G4) predictor algorithm to assess whether G4-forming sequences reside in close proximity (within 20 base pairs) to known mitochondrial DNA deletion breakpoints. We then used this information to map G4P sequences with deletions characteristic of representative mitochondrial genetic disorders and also those identified in various cancers and aging. Circular dichroism and UV spectral analysis demonstrated that mitochondrial G-rich sequences near deletion breakpoints prevalent in human disease form G-quadruplex DNA structures. A biochemical analysis of purified recombinant human Twinkle protein (gene product of c10orf2) showed that the mitochondrial replicative helicase inefficiently unwinds well characterized intermolecular and intramolecular G-quadruplex DNA substrates, as well as a unimolecular G4 substrate derived from a mitochondrial sequence that nests a deletion breakpoint described in human renal cell carcinoma. Although G4 has been implicated in the initiation of mitochondrial DNA replication, our current findings suggest that mitochondrial G-quadruplexes are also likely to be a source of instability for the mitochondrial genome by perturbing the normal progression of the mitochondrial replication machinery, including DNA unwinding by Twinkle helicase.
Disabling cellular defense mechanisms is essential for induction of apoptosis. We have previously shown that cytokine-mediated activation of the MAP3K MLK3 stabilizes TRB3 protein levels to inhibit AKT and compromise beta cell survival. Here, we show that genetic deletion of TRB3 results in basal activation of AKT, preserves mitochondrial integrity, and confers resistance against cytokine-induced pancreatic beta cell death. Mechanistically, we find that TRB3 stabilizes MLK3, most likely by suppressing AKT-directed phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and proteasomal degradation of MLK3. Accordingly, TRB3−/− islets show a decrease in both the amplitude and duration of cytokine-stimulated MLK3 induction and JNK activation. It is well known that JNK signaling is facilitated by a feed forward loop of sequential kinase phosphorylation and is reinforced by a mutual stabilization of the module components. The failure of TRB3−/− islets to mount an optimal JNK activation response, coupled with the ability of TRB3 to engage and maintain steady state levels of MLK3, recasts TRB3 as an integral functional component of the JNK module in pancreatic beta cells.
The Escherichia coli chaperonin GroEL is a double-ring chaperone that assists protein folding with the aid of GroES and ATP. Asp-398 in GroEL is known as one of the critical residues on ATP hydrolysis because GroEL(D398A) mutant is deficient in ATP hydrolysis (<2% of the wild type) but not in ATP binding. In the archaeal Group II chaperonin, another aspartate residue, Asp-52 in the corresponding E. coli GroEL, in addition to Asp-398 is also important for ATP hydrolysis. We investigated the role of Asp-52 in GroEL and found that ATPase activity of GroEL(D52A) and GroEL(D52A/D398A) mutants was ∼20% and <0.01% of wild-type GroEL, respectively, indicating that Asp-52 in E. coli GroEL is also involved in the ATP hydrolysis. GroEL(D52A/D398A) formed a symmetric football-shaped GroEL-GroES complex in the presence of ATP, again confirming the importance of the symmetric complex during the GroEL ATPase cycle. Notably, the symmetric complex of GroEL(D52A/D398A) was extremely stable, with a half-time of ∼150 h (∼6 days), providing a good model to characterize the football-shaped complex.
In photosynthetic organisms, thioredoxin-dependent redox regulation is a well established mechanism involved in the control of a large number of cellular processes, including the Calvin-Benson cycle. Indeed, 4 of 11 enzymes of this cycle are activated in the light through dithiol/disulfide interchanges controlled by chloroplastic thioredoxin. Recently, several proteomics-based approaches suggested that not only four but all enzymes of the Calvin-Benson cycle may withstand redox regulation. Here, we characterized the redox features of the Calvin-Benson enzyme phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK1) from the eukaryotic green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and we show that C. reinhardtii PGK1 (CrPGK1) activity is inhibited by the formation of a single regulatory disulfide bond with a low midpoint redox potential (−335 mV at pH 7.9). CrPGK1 oxidation was found to affect the turnover number without altering the affinity for substrates, whereas the enzyme activation appeared to be specifically controlled by f-type thioredoxin. Using a combination of site-directed mutagenesis, thiol titration, mass spectrometry analyses, and three-dimensional modeling, the regulatory disulfide bond was shown to involve the not strictly conserved Cys227 and Cys361. Based on molecular mechanics calculation, the formation of the disulfide is proposed to impose structural constraints in the C-terminal domain of the enzyme that may lower its catalytic efficiency. It is therefore concluded that CrPGK1 might constitute an additional light-modulated Calvin-Benson cycle enzyme with a low activity in the dark and a TRX-dependent activation in the light. These results are also discussed from an evolutionary point of view.
The universally conserved kinase-associated endopeptidase 1 (Kae1) protein family has established roles in N6-threonylcarbamoyl adenosine tRNA modification, transcriptional regulation, and telomere homeostasis. These functions are performed in complex with a conserved core of protein binding partners. Herein we describe the localization, essentiality, and protein-protein interactions for Kae1 in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. We found that the parasite expresses one Kae1 protein in the cytoplasm and a second protein in the apicoplast, a chloroplast remnant organelle involved in fatty acid, heme, and isoprenoid biosynthesis. To analyze the protein interaction networks for both Kae1 pathways, we developed a new proteomic cross-validation approach. This strategy compares immunoprecipitation-MS data sets across different cellular compartments to enrich for biologically relevant protein interactions. Our results show that cytoplasmic Kae1 forms a complex with Bud32 and Cgi121 as in other organisms, whereas apicoplast Kae1 makes novel interactions with multiple proteins in the apicoplast. Quantitative RT-PCR and immunoprecipitation studies indicate that apicoplast Kae1 and its partners interact specifically with the apicoplast ribosomes and with proteins involved in ribosome function. Together, these data indicate an expanded, apicoplast-specific role for Kae1 in the parasite.
Protein kinase A (PKA) holoenzyme consists of two catalytic (C) subunits and a regulatory (R) subunit dimer (R2C2). The kinase is activated by the binding of cAMPs to the two cyclic nucleotide binding domains (CBDs), A and B, on each R-subunit. Despite extensive study, details of the allosteric mechanisms underlying the cooperativity of holoenzyme activation remain unclear. Several Markov state models of PKA-RIα were developed to test competing theories of activation for the R2C2 complex. We found that CBD-B plays an essential role in R-C interaction and promotes the release of the first C-subunit prior to the binding to CBD-A. This favors a conformational selection mechanism for release of the first C-subunit of PKA. However, the release of the second C-subunit requires all four cAMP sites to be occupied. These analyses elucidate R-C heterodimer interactions in the cooperative activation of PKA and cAMP binding and represent a new mechanistic model of R2C2 PKA-RIα activation.
Previous studies indicate that both Dectin-3 (also called MCL or Clec4d) and Mincle (also called Clec4e), two C-type lectin receptors, can recognize trehalose 6,6′-dimycolate (TDM), a cell wall component from mycobacteria, and induce potent innate immune responses. Interestingly, stimulation of Dectin-3 by TDM can also induce Mincle expression, which may enhance the host innate immune system to sense Mycobacterium infection. However, the mechanism by which Dectin-3 induces Mincle expression is not fully defined. Here, we show that TDM-induced Mincle expression is dependent on Dectin-3-mediated NF-κB, but not nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT), activation, and Dectin-3 induces NF-κB activation through the CARD9-BCL10-MALT1 complex. We found that bone marrow-derived macrophages from Dectin-3-deficient mice were severely defective in the induction of Mincle expression in response to TDM stimulation. This defect is correlated with the failure of TDM-induced NF-κB activation in Dectin-3-deficient bone marrow-derived macrophages. Consistently, inhibition of NF-κB, but not NFAT, impaired TDM-induced Mincle expression, whereas NF-κB, but not NFAT, binds to the Mincle promoter. Dectin-3-mediated NF-κB activation is dependent on the CARD9-Bcl10-MALT1 complex. Finally, mice deficient for Dectin-3 or CARD9 produced much less proinflammatory cytokines and keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH)-specific antibodies after immunization with an adjuvant containing TDM. Overall, this study provides the mechanism by which Dectin-3 induces Mincle expression in response to Mycobacterium infection, which will have significant impact to improve adjuvant and design vaccine for antimicrobial infection.
The acid β-glucosidase (glucocerbrosidase (GCase)) binding sequence to LIMP-2 (lysosomal integral membrane protein 2), the receptor for intracellular GCase trafficking to the lysosome, has been identified. Heterologous expression of deletion constructs, the available GCase crystal structures, and binding and co-localization of identified peptides or mutant GCases were used to identify and characterize a highly conserved 11-amino acid sequence, DSPIIVDITKD, within human GCase. The binding to LIMP-2 is not dependent upon a single amino acid, but the interactions of GCase with LIMP-2 are heavily influenced by Asp399 and the di-isoleucines, Ile402 and Ile403. A single alanine substitution at any of these decreases GCase binding to LIMP-2 and alters its pH-dependent binding as well as diminishing the trafficking of GCase to the lysosome and significantly increasing GCase secretion. Enterovirus 71 also binds to LIMP-2 (also known as SCARB2) on the external surface of the plasma membrane. However, the LIMP-2/SCARB2 binding sequences for enterovirus 71 and GCase are not similar, indicating that LIMP-2/SCARB2 may have multiple or overlapping binding sites with differing specificities. These findings have therapeutic implications for the production of GCase and the distribution of this enzyme that is delivered to various organs.
Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is a member of nuclear receptor superfamily and responsible for the detoxification of xenobiotics. Our previously study demonstrated that PXR is expressed in endothelial cells (ECs) and acts as a master regulator of detoxification genes to protect ECs against xenobiotics. Vascular endothelial cells are key sentinel cells to sense the pathogens and xenobiotics. In this study, we examined the potential function of PXR in the regulation of innate immunity in vasculatures. Treatments with PXR agonists or overexpression of a constitutively active PXR in cultured ECs increased gene expression of the key pattern recognition receptors, including Toll-like receptors (TLR-2, -4, -9) and NOD-like receptors (NOD-1 and -2 and NLRP3). In particular, PXR agonism triggered the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome and the ensuing cleavage and maturation of caspase-1 and interleukin-1β (IL-1β). Conversely, selective antagonism or gene silencing of PXR abrogated NLRP3 inflammasome activation. In addition, we identified NLRP3 as a transcriptional target of PXR by using the promoter-reporter and ChIP assays. In summary, our findings revealed a novel regulatory mechanism of innate immune by PXR, which may act as a master transcription factor controlling the convergence between the detoxification of xenobiotics and the innate immunity against them.
IL-6 mediated activation of Stat3 is a major signaling pathway in the process of breast cancer metastasis. One important mechanism by which the IL-6/Stat3 pathway promotes metastasis is through transcriptional regulation of the actin-bundling protein fascin. In this study, we further analyzed the transcriptional regulation of the fascin gene promoter. We show that in addition to IL-6, TNF-α increases Stat3 and NFκB binding to the fascin promoter to induce its expression. We also show that NFκB is required for Stat3 recruitment to the fascin promoter in response to IL-6. Furthermore, Stat3 and NFκB form a protein complex in response to cytokine stimulation. Finally, we demonstrate that an overlapping STAT/NFκB site in a highly conserved 160-bp region of the fascin promoter is sufficient and necessary to induce transcription in response to IL-6 and TNF-α.
Many bacteria exist in a state of feast or famine where high nutrient availability leads to periods of growth followed by nutrient scarcity and growth stagnation. To adapt to the constantly changing nutrient flux, metabolite acquisition systems must be able to function over a broad range. This, however, creates difficulties as nutrient concentrations vary over many orders of magnitude, requiring metabolite acquisition systems to simultaneously balance ligand specificity and the dynamic range in which a response to a metabolite is elicited. Here we present how a gene duplication of a periplasmic binding protein in a mannose ATP-binding cassette transport system potentially resolves this dilemma through gene functionalization. Determination of ligand binding affinities and specificities of the gene duplicates with fluorescence and circular dichroism demonstrates that although the binding specificity is maintained the Kd values for the same ligand differ over three orders of magnitude. These results suggest that this metabolite acquisition system can transport ligand at both low and high environmental concentrations while preventing saturation with related and less preferentially metabolized compounds. The x-ray crystal structures of the β-mannose-bound proteins help clarify the structural basis of gene functionalization and reveal that affinity and specificity are potentially encoded in different regions of the binding site. These studies suggest a possible functional role and adaptive advantage for the presence of two periplasmic-binding proteins in ATP-binding cassette transport systems and a way bacteria can adapt to varying nutrient flux through functionalization of gene duplicates.
Diseases caused by many Gram-negative bacterial pathogens depend on the activities of bacterial effector proteins that are delivered into eukaryotic cells via specialized secretion systems. Effector protein function largely depends on specific subcellular targeting and specific interactions with cellular ligands. PDZ domains are common domains that serve to provide specificity in protein-protein interactions in eukaryotic systems. We show that putative PDZ-binding motifs are significantly enriched among effector proteins delivered into mammalian cells by certain bacterial pathogens. We use PDZ domain microarrays to identify candidate interaction partners of the Shigella flexneri effector proteins OspE1 and OspE2, which contain putative PDZ-binding motifs. We demonstrate in vitro and in cells that OspE proteins interact with PDLIM7, a member of the PDLIM family of proteins, which contain a PDZ domain and one or more LIM domains, protein interaction domains that participate in a wide variety of functions, including activation of isoforms of protein kinase C (PKC). We demonstrate that activation of PKC during S. flexneri infection is attenuated in the absence of PDLIM7 or OspE proteins and that the OspE PDZ-binding motif is required for wild-type levels of PKC activation. These results are consistent with a model in which binding of OspE to PDLIM7 during infection regulates the activity of PKC isoforms that bind to the PDLIM7 LIM domain.
Despite our increasing knowledge of the specific pathogenicity factors in bacteria, the contribution of metabolic processes to virulence is largely unknown. Here, we elucidate a tight connection between pathogenicity and core metabolism in the enteric pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis by integrated transcriptome and [13C]fluxome analysis of the wild type and virulence-regulator mutants. During aerobic growth on glucose, Y. pseudotuberculosis reveals an unusual flux distribution with a high level of secreted pyruvate. The absence of the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulators RovA, CsrA, and Crp strongly perturbs the fluxes of carbon core metabolism at the level of pyruvate metabolism and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, and these perturbations are accompanied by transcriptional changes in the corresponding enzymes. Knock-outs of regulators of this metabolic branch point and of its central enzyme, pyruvate kinase (ΔpykF), result in mutants with significantly reduced virulence in an oral mouse infection model. In summary, our work identifies the pyruvate-TCA cycle node as a focal point for controlling the host colonization and virulence of Yersinia.
Coordinated control of the growth cone cytoskeleton underlies axon extension and guidance. Members of the collapsin response mediator protein (CRMP) family of cytosolic phosphoproteins regulate the microtubule and actin cytoskeleton, but their roles in regulating growth cone dynamics remain largely unexplored. Here, we examine how CRMP4 regulates the growth cone cytoskeleton. Hippocampal neurons from CRMP4−/− mice exhibited a selective decrease in axon extension and reduced growth cone area, whereas overexpression of CRMP4 enhanced the formation and length of growth cone filopodia. Biochemically, CRMP4 can impact both microtubule assembly and F-actin bundling in vitro. Through a structure function analysis of CRMP4, we found that the effects of CRMP4 on axon growth and growth cone morphology were dependent on microtubule assembly, whereas filopodial extension relied on actin bundling. Intriguingly, anterograde movement of EB3 comets, which track microtubule protrusion, slowed significantly in neurons derived from CRMP4−/− mice, and rescue of microtubule dynamics required CRMP4 activity toward both the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton. Together, this study identified a dual role for CRMP4 in regulating the actin and microtubule growth cone cytoskeleton.
Membrane attachment via a C-terminal glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor is critical for conversion of PrPC into pathogenic PrPSc. Therefore the effects of the anchor on PrP structure and function need to be deciphered. Three PrP variants, including full-length PrP (residues 23–231, FL_PrP), N-terminally truncated PrP (residues 90–231, T_PrP), and PrP missing its central hydrophobic region (Δ105–125, ΔCR_PrP), were equipped with a C-terminal membrane anchor via a semisynthesis strategy. Analyses of the interactions of lipidated PrPs with phospholipid membranes demonstrated that C-terminal membrane attachment induces a different binding mode of PrP to membranes, distinct from that of non-lipidated PrPs, and influences the biochemical and conformational properties of PrPs. Additionally, fluorescence-based assays indicated pore formation by lipidated ΔCR_PrP, a variant that is known to be highly neurotoxic in transgenic mice. This finding was supported by using patch clamp electrophysiological measurements of cultured cells. These results provide new evidence for the role of the membrane anchor in PrP-lipid interactions, highlighting the importance of the N-terminal and the central hydrophobic domain in these interactions.
The Escherichia coli pyruvate dehydrogenase multienzyme complex contains multiple copies of three enzymatic components, E1p, E2p, and E3, that sequentially carry out distinct steps in the overall reaction converting pyruvate to acetyl-CoA. Efficient functioning requires the enzymatic components to assemble into a large complex, the integrity of which is maintained by tethering of the displaced, peripheral E1p and E3 components to the E2p core through non-covalent binding. We here report the crystal structure of a subcomplex between E1p and an E2p didomain containing a hybrid lipoyl domain along with the peripheral subunit-binding domain responsible for tethering to the core. In the structure, a region at the N terminus of each subunit in the E1p homodimer previously unseen due to crystallographic disorder was observed, revealing a new folding motif involved in E1p-E2p didomain interactions, and an additional, unexpected, flexibility was discovered in the E1p-E2p didomain subcomplex, both of which probably have consequences in the overall multienzyme complex assembly. This represents the first structure of an E1p-E2p didomain subcomplex involving a homodimeric E1p, and the results may be applicable to a large range of complexes with homodimeric E1 components. Results of HD exchange mass spectrometric experiments using the intact, wild type 3-lipoyl E2p and E1p are consistent with the crystallographic data obtained from the E1p-E2p didomain subcomplex as well as with other biochemical and NMR data reported from our groups, confirming that our findings are applicable to the entire E1p-E2p assembly.
Abnormalities in hepatic lipid metabolism and insulin action are believed to play a critical role in the etiology of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Monoacylglycerol acyltransferase (MGAT) enzymes convert monoacylglycerol to diacylglycerol, which is the penultimate step in one pathway for triacylglycerol synthesis. Hepatic expression of Mogat1, which encodes an MGAT enzyme, is increased in the livers of mice with hepatic steatosis, and knocking down Mogat1 improves glucose metabolism and hepatic insulin signaling, but whether increased MGAT activity plays a role in the etiology of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is unclear. To examine this issue, mice were placed on a diet containing high levels of trans fatty acids, fructose, and cholesterol (HTF-C diet) or a low fat control diet for 4 weeks. Mice were injected with antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) to knockdown Mogat1 or a scrambled ASO control for 12 weeks while remaining on diet. The HTF-C diet caused glucose intolerance, hepatic steatosis, and induced hepatic gene expression markers of inflammation, macrophage infiltration, and stellate cell activation. Mogat1 ASO treatment, which suppressed Mogat1 expression in liver and adipose tissue, attenuated weight gain, improved glucose tolerance, improved hepatic insulin signaling, and decreased hepatic triacylglycerol content compared with control ASO-treated mice on HTF-C chow. However, Mogat1 ASO treatment did not reduce hepatic diacylglycerol, cholesterol, or free fatty acid content; improve histologic measures of liver injury; or reduce expression of markers of stellate cell activation, liver inflammation, and injury. In conclusion, inhibition of hepatic Mogat1 in HTF-C diet-fed mice improves hepatic metabolic abnormalities without attenuating liver inflammation and injury.
VOLUME 287 (2012) PAGES 17006–17015
The bar graph in Fig. 6D that was meant to represent VSV replication in mouse peritoneal macrophages transfected with control siRNA (siNc) or Smurf1 siRNA (siSmurf1) was incorrect. The correct graph is shown below. This correction does not affect the interpretation of the results or the conclusions.