Dpo4 and Dbh are from two closely related Sulfolobus species and are well studied archaeal homologues of pol IV, an error prone Y-family polymerase from Escherichia coli. Despite sharing 54% amino acid identity, these polymerases display distinct mutagenic and translesion specificities. Structurally, Dpo4 and Dbh adopt different conformations because of the difference in relative orientation of their N-terminal catalytic and C-terminal DNA binding domains. Using chimeric constructs of these two polymerases, we have previously demonstrated that the interdomain linker is a major determinant of polymerase conformation, base-substitution fidelity, and abasic-site translesion synthesis. Here we find that the interdomain linker also affects the single-base deletion frequency and the mispair extension efficiency of these polymerases. Exchanging just three amino acids in the linkers of Dbh and Dpo4 is sufficient to change the fidelity by up to 30-fold, predominantly by altering the rate of correct (but not incorrect) nucleotide incorporation. Additionally, from a 2.4 Å resolution crystal structure, we have found that the three linker amino acids from Dpo4 are sufficient to allow Dbh to adopt the standard conformation of Dpo4. Thus, a small region of the interdomain linker, located more than 11 Å away from the catalytic residues, determines the fidelity of these Y-family polymerases, by controlling the alignment of substrates at the active site.
The gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori is a major cause of acute chronic gastritis and the development of stomach and duodenal ulcers. Chronic infection furthermore predisposes to the development of gastric cancer. Crucial to H. pylori survival within the hostile environment of the digestive system are the adhesins SabA and BabA; these molecules belong to the same protein family and permit the bacteria to bind tightly to sugar moieties LewisB and sialyl-LewisX, respectively, on the surface of epithelial cells lining the stomach and duodenum. To date, no representative SabA/BabA structure has been determined, hampering the development of strategies to eliminate persistent H. pylori infections that fail to respond to conventional therapy. Here, using x-ray crystallography, we show that the soluble extracellular adhesin domain of SabA shares distant similarity to the tetratricopeptide repeat fold family. The molecule broadly resembles a golf putter in shape, with the head region featuring a large cavity surrounded by loops that vary in sequence between different H. pylori strains. The N-terminal and C-terminal helices protrude at right angles from the head domain and together form a shaft that connects to a predicted outer membrane protein-like β-barrel trans-membrane domain. Using surface plasmon resonance, we were able to detect binding of the SabA adhesin domain to sialyl-LewisX and LewisX but not to LewisA, LewisB, or LewisY. Substitution of the highly conserved glutamine residue 159 in the predicted ligand-binding pocket abrogates the binding of the SabA adhesin domain to sialyl-LewisX and LewisX. Taken together, these data suggest that the adhesin domain of SabA is sufficient in isolation for specific ligand binding.
Fut7 encodes an α1,3-fucosyltransferase critical for biosynthesis of glycan ligands for all three selectins. Consistent with this function, Fut7 expression is limited to hematopoietic cells and high endothelial cells which express selectin ligands. Mechanisms that govern Fut7 expression are poorly defined. To begin to understand the molecular genetic basis for transcriptional regulation of Fut7, a transgenic, gain-of-function, genetic complementation approach in mice was used to define the “functional boundaries” of the murine Fut7 locus, defined here as any uninterupted stretch of genomic DNA that contains all cis-acting genetic elements essential for accurate physiologic expression. A 12.7-kb contiguous genomic interval, which lies completely between the highly conserved flanking Npdc1 and Abca2 loci on chromosome 2 and which contains the complete transcriptional unit plus ∼7.4 kb upstream of the transcriptional start site and ∼2 kb downstream of the transcriptional termination and polyadenylation sites, was used as a transgene (Tg) on a Fut7 null background. Tg+ mice exhibited restoration of Fut7 gene expression and physiologic levels of selectin ligand expression and function on neutrophils, activated T cells, and high endothelial cells and corrected the functional defects in these cells found in Fut7 null mice without leading to detectable expression of Fut7 in normally non-expressing tissues. These results demonstrate that all genetic information essential for appropriate and selective expression of Fut7 in diverse cell types and in response to distinct developmental signals is contained within this comparatively small genetic region.
The Φ29 DNA polymerase (DNAP) is a processive B-family replicative DNAP. Fluctuations between the pre-translocation and post-translocation states can be quantified from ionic current traces, when individual Φ29 DNAP-DNA complexes are held atop a nanopore in an electric field. Based upon crystal structures of the Φ29 DNAP-DNA binary complex and the Φ29 DNAP-DNA-dNTP ternary complex, residues Tyr-226 and Tyr-390 in the polymerase active site were implicated in the structural basis of translocation. Here, we have examined the dynamics of translocation and substrate binding in complexes formed with the Y226F and Y390F mutants. The Y226F mutation diminished the forward and reverse rates of translocation, increased the affinity for dNTP in the post-translocation state by decreasing the dNTP dissociation rate, and increased the affinity for pyrophosphate in the pre-translocation state. The Y390F mutation significantly decreased the affinity for dNTP in the post-translocation state by decreasing the association rate ∼2-fold and increasing the dissociation rate ∼10-fold, implicating this as a mechanism by which this mutation impedes DNA synthesis. The Y390F dissociation rate increase is suppressed when complexes are examined in the presence of Mn2+ rather than Mg2+. The same effects of the Y226F or Y390F mutations were observed in the background of the D12A/D66A mutations, located in the exonuclease active site, ∼30 Å from the polymerase active site. Although translocation rates were unaffected in the D12A/D66A mutant, these exonuclease site mutations caused a decrease in the dNTP dissociation rate, suggesting that they perturb Φ29 DNAP interdomain architecture.
Cell transplantation is a potential therapeutic strategy for retinal degenerative diseases involving the loss of photoreceptors. However, it faces challenges to clinical translation due to safety concerns and a limited supply of cells. Human retinal progenitor cells (hRPCs) from fetal neural retina are expandable in vitro and maintain an undifferentiated state. This study aimed to investigate the therapeutic potential of hRPCs transplanted into a Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat model of retinal degeneration. At 12 weeks, optokinetic response showed that hRPC-grafted eyes had significantly superior visual acuity compared with vehicle-treated eyes. Histological evaluation of outer nuclear layer (ONL) characteristics such as ONL thickness, spread distance, and cell count demonstrated a significantly greater preservation of the ONL in hRPC-treated eyes compared with both vehicle-treated and control eyes. The transplanted hRPCs arrested visual decline over time in the RCS rat and rescued retinal morphology, demonstrating their potential as a therapy for retinal diseases. We suggest that the preservation of visual acuity was likely achieved through host photoreceptor rescue. We found that hRPC transplantation into the subretinal space of RCS rats was well tolerated, with no adverse effects such as tumor formation noted at 12 weeks after treatment.
Transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channels mediate a critical part of the receptor-evoked Ca2+ influx. TRPCs are gated open by the endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ sensor STIM1. Here we asked which stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) and TRPC domains mediate the interaction between them and how this interaction is used to open the channels. We report that the STIM1 Orai1-activating region domain of STIM1 interacts with the TRPC channel coiled coil domains (CCDs) and that this interaction is essential for opening the channels by STIM1. Thus, disruption of the N-terminal (NT) CCDs by triple mutations eliminated TRPC surface localization and reduced binding of STIM1 to TRPC1 and TRPC5 while increasing binding to TRPC3 and TRPC6. Single mutations in TRPC1 NT or C-terminal (CT) CCDs reduced interaction and activation of TRPC1 by STIM1. Remarkably, single mutations in the TRPC3 NT CCD enhanced interaction and regulation by STIM1. Disruption in the TRPC3 CT CCD eliminated regulation by STIM1 and the enhanced interaction caused by NT CCD mutations. The NT CCD mutations converted TRPC3 from a TRPC1-dependent to a TRPC1-independent, STIM1-regulated channel. TRPC1 reduced the FRET between BFP-TRPC3 and TRPC3-YFP and between CFP-TRPC3-YFP upon stimulation. Accordingly, knockdown of TRPC1 made TRPC3 STIM1-independent. STIM1 dependence of TRPC3 was reconstituted by the TRPC1 CT CCD alone. Knockout of Trpc1 and Trpc3 similarly inhibited Ca2+ influx, and inhibition of Trpc3 had no further effect on Ca2+ influx in Trpc1−/− cells. Cell stimulation enhanced the formation of Trpc1-Stim1-Trpc3 complexes. These findings support a model in which the TRPC3 NT and CT CCDs interact to shield the CT CCD from interaction with STIM1. The TRPC1 CT CCD dissociates this interaction to allow the STIM1 Orai1-activating region within STIM1 access to the TRPC3 CT CCD and regulation of TRPC3 by STIM1. These studies provide evidence that the TRPC channel CCDs participate in channel gating.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive inflammatory condition and a leading cause of death, with no available cure. We assessed the actions in pulmonary epithelial cells of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), a nuclear hormone receptor with anti-inflammatory effects, whose role in COPD is largely unknown. We found that PPARγ was down-regulated in lung tissue and epithelial cells of COPD patients, via both reduced expression and phosphorylation-mediated inhibition, whereas pro-inflammatory nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activity was increased. Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for COPD, and exposing airway epithelial cells to cigarette smoke extract (CSE) likewise down-regulated PPARγ and activated NF-κB. CSE also down-regulated and post-translationally inhibited the glucocorticoid receptor (GR-α) and histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2), a corepressor important for glucocorticoid action and whose down-regulation is thought to cause glucocorticoid insensitivity in COPD. Treating epithelial cells with synthetic (rosiglitazone) or endogenous (10-nitro-oleic acid) PPARγ agonists strongly up-regulated PPARγ expression and activity, suppressed CSE-induced production and secretion of inflammatory cytokines, and reversed its activation of NF-κB by inhibiting the IκB kinase pathway and by promoting direct inhibitory binding of PPARγ to NF-κB. In contrast, PPARγ knockdown via siRNA augmented CSE-induced chemokine release and decreases in HDAC activity, suggesting a potential anti-inflammatory role of endogenous PPARγ. The results imply that down-regulation of pulmonary epithelial PPARγ by cigarette smoke promotes inflammatory pathways and diminishes glucocorticoid responsiveness, thereby contributing to COPD pathogenesis, and further suggest that PPARγ agonists may be useful for COPD treatment.
Yuanhuacine (YHL-14), the major component of daphnane diterpene ester isolated from the flower buds of Daphne genkwa, has been reported to have activity against cell proliferation in various cancer cell lines. Nevertheless, the potential mechanism has not been explored yet. Here we demonstrate that YHL-14 inhibits bladder and colon cancer cell growth through up-regulation of p21 expression in an Sp1-dependent manner. We found that YHL-14 treatment resulted in up-regulation of p21 expression and a significant G2/M phase arrest in T24T and HCT116 cells without affecting p53 protein expression and activation. Further studies indicate that p21 induction by YHL-14 occurs at the transcriptional level via up-regulation of Sp1 protein expression. Moreover, our results show that p38 is essential for YHL-14-mediated Sp1 protein stabilization, G2/M growth arrest induction, and anchorage-independent growth inhibition of cancer cells. Taken together, our studies demonstrate a novel mechanism of YHL-14 against cancer cell growth in bladder and colon cancer cell lines, which provides valuable information for the design and synthesis of other new conformation-constrained derivatives on the basis of the structure of YHL-14 for cancer therapy.
Mutations of the PKD1 and PKD2 genes, encoding polycystin-1 (PC1) and polycystin-2 (PC2), respectively, lead to autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. Interestingly, up-regulation or down-regulation of PKD1 or PKD2 leads to polycystic kidney disease in animal models, but their interrelations are not completely understood. We show here that full-length PC1 that interacts with PC2 via a C-terminal coiled-coil domain regulates PC2 expression in vivo and in vitro by down-regulating PC2 expression in a dose-dependent manner. Expression of the pathogenic mutant R4227X, which lacks the C-terminal coiled-coil domain, failed to down-regulate PC2 expression, suggesting that PC1-PC2 interaction is necessary for PC2 regulation. The proteasome and autophagy are two pathways that control protein degradation. Proteins that are not degraded by proteasomes precipitate in the cytoplasm and are transported via histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) toward the aggresomes. We found that HDAC6 binds to PC2 and that expression of full-length PC1 accelerates the transport of the HDAC6-PC2 complex toward aggresomes, whereas expression of the R4227X mutant fails to do so. Aggresomes are engulfed by autophagosomes, which then fuse with the lysosome for degradation; this process is also known as autophagy. We have now shown that PC1 overexpression leads to increased degradation of PC2 via autophagy. Interestingly, PC1 does not activate autophagy generally. Thus, we have now uncovered a new pathway suggesting that when PC1 is expressed, PC2 that is not bound to PC1 is directed to aggresomes and subsequently degraded via autophagy, a control mechanism that may play a role in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease pathogenesis.
Somatic cells can be reprogrammed to neurons and various other cell types with retrovirus or lentivirus. The limitation of this technology is that these genome-integration viruses may increase the risk of gene mutation and cause insertional mutagenesis. We recently found that non-integration adenovirus carrying neuronal transcription factors can induce fibroblasts to neurons. However, the conversion efficiency by the adenovirus is lower than that of the retrovirus or lentivirus. Therefore, it is crucial to identify other factors or chemical compounds to obtain neurons with high efficiency. In this study we show that the combination of Rarg (retinoic acid receptor γ) and Nr5a2 (nuclear receptor subfamily 5, group A, member 2; also known as Lrh-1 (liver receptor homologue 1)) rapidly promote the iN cell maturation within 1 week and greatly facilitate the conversion with neuronal purities of ∼50% and yields of >130%. They also improve neuronal pattern formation, electrophysiological characteristics, and functional integration in vivo. Moreover, the chemical compound agonists to Rarg and Nr5a2 function effectively as well. This approach may be used for the generation and application of iN cells in regenerative medicine.
The apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase-activating recruitment domain (ASC) is an essential component of several inflammasomes, multiprotein complexes that regulate caspase-1 activation and inflammation. We report here an interaction between promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) and ASC. We observed enhanced formation of ASC dimers in PML-deficient macrophages. These macrophages also display enhanced levels of ASC in the cytosol. Furthermore, IL-1β production was markedly enhanced in these macrophages in response to both NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasome activation and following bone marrow-derived macrophage infection with herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) and Salmonella typhimurium. Collectively, our data indicate that PML limits ASC function, retaining ASC in the nucleus.
Bone mass is maintained by the balance between the activities of bone-forming osteoblasts and bone-resorbing osteoclasts. It is well known that adequate mechanical stress is essential for the maintenance of bone mass, whereas excess mechanical stress induces bone resorption. However, it has not been clarified how osteoblasts respond to different magnitudes of mechanical stress. Here we report that large-magnitude (12%) cyclic stretch induced Ca2+ influx, which activated reactive oxygen species generation in MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts. Reactive oxygen species then activated the ASK1-JNK/p38 pathways. The activated JNK led to transiently enhanced expression of FGF-inducible 14 (Fn14, a member of the TNF receptor superfamily) gene. Cells with enhanced expression of Fn14 subsequently acquired sensitivity to the ligand of Fn14, TNF-related weak inducer of apoptosis, and underwent apoptosis. On the other hand, the ASK1-p38 pathway induced expression of the monocyte chemoattractant protein 3 (MCP-3) gene, which promoted chemotaxis of preosteoclasts. In contrast, the ERK pathway was activated by small-magnitude stretching (1%) and induced expression of two osteogenic genes, collagen Ia (Col1a) and osteopontin (OPN). Moreover, activated JNK suppressed Col1a and OPN induction in large-magnitude mechanical stretch-loaded cells. The enhanced expression of Fn14 and MCP-3 by 12% stretch and the enhanced expression of Col1a and OPN by 1% stretch were also observed in mouse primary osteoblasts. These results suggest that differences in the response of osteoblasts to varying magnitudes of mechanical stress play a key role in switching the mode of bone metabolism between formation and resorption.
Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) are continuously exposed to shear stress (SS) generated by blood flow. Such stress plays a key role in regulation of various aspects of EC function including cell proliferation and motility as well as changes in cell morphology. Vascular endothelial-protein-tyrosine phosphatase (VE-PTP) is an R3-subtype PTP that possesses multiple fibronectin type III-like domains in its extracellular region and is expressed specifically in ECs. The role of VE-PTP in EC responses to SS has remained unknown, however. Here we show that VE-PTP is diffusely localized in ECs maintained under static culture conditions, whereas it undergoes rapid accumulation at the downstream edge of the cells relative to the direction of flow in response to SS. This redistribution of VE-PTP triggered by SS was found to require its extracellular and transmembrane regions and was promoted by integrin engagement of extracellular matrix ligands. Inhibition of actin polymerization or of Cdc42, Rab5, or Arf6 activities attenuated the SS-induced redistribution of VE-PTP. VE-PTP also underwent endocytosis in the static and SS conditions. SS induced the polarized distribution of internalized VE-PTP. Such an effect was promoted by integrin engagement of fibronectin but prevented by inhibition of Cdc42 activity or of actin polymerization. In addition, depletion of VE-PTP by RNA interference in human umbilical vein ECs blocked cell elongation in the direction of flow induced by SS. Our results suggest that the polarized redistribution of VE-PTP in response to SS plays an important role in the regulation of EC function by blood flow.
Degradation of the cartilage proteoglycan aggrecan is an early event in the development of osteoarthritis, and a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs-4 (ADAMTS-4) and ADAMTS-5 are considered to be the major aggrecan-degrading enzymes. We have recently found that ADAMTS-5 is rapidly endocytosed via low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) and degraded by chondrocytes. Here we report that this regulatory mechanism also applies to ADAMTS-4, although its rate of endocytosis is slower than that of ADAMTS-5. Domain deletion mutagenesis of ADAMTS-4 identified that the cysteine-rich and spacer domains are responsible for binding to LRP1, whereas the thrombospondin 1 and spacer domains are responsible in ADAMTS-5. The estimated t½ value of ADAMTS-4 endocytosis was about 220 min, whereas that of ADAMTS-5 was 100 min. The difference in half-lives between the two enzymes is explained by the 13-fold lower affinity of ADAMTS-4 for LRP1 compared with that of ADAMTS-5. Studies using soluble ligand binding clusters of LRP1 showed that ADAMTS-4 binds to clusters II and IV with similar KD,app values of 98 and 73 nm, respectively, whereas ADAMTS-5 binds to cluster II, III, and IV with KD,app values of 3.5, 41, and 9 nm, respectively. Thus, ADAMTS-5 competitively inhibits ADAMTS-4 endocytosis but not vice versa. This study highlights that the affinity between a ligand and LRP1 dictates the rate of internalization and suggests that LRP1 is a major traffic controller of the two aggrecanases, especially under inflammatory conditions, where the protein levels of ADAMTS-4 increase, but those of ADAMTS-5 do not.
The first extracellular loop (ECL1) of claudins forms paracellular pores in the tight junction that determine ion permselectivity. We aimed to map the pore-lining residues of claudin-2 by comprehensive cysteine-scanning mutagenesis of ECL1. We screened 45 cysteine mutations within the ECL1 by expression in polyclonal Madin-Darby canine kidney II Tet-Off cells and found nine mutants that displayed a significant decrease of conductance after treatment with the thiol-reactive reagent 2-(trimethylammonium)ethyl methanethiosulfonate, indicating the location of candidate pore-lining residues. Next, we stably expressed these candidates in monoclonal Madin-Darby canine kidney I Tet-Off cells and exposed them to thiol-reactive reagents. The maximum degree of inhibition of conductance, size selectivity of degree of inhibition, and size dependence of the kinetics of reaction were used to deduce the location of residues within the pore. Our data support the following sequence of pore-lining residues located from the narrowest to the widest part of the pore: Ser68, Ser47, Thr62/Ile66, Thr56, Thr32/Gly45, and Met52. The paracellular pore appears to primarily be lined by polar side chains, as expected for a predominantly aqueous environment. Furthermore, our results strongly suggest the existence of a continuous sequence of residues in the ECL1 centered around Asp65–Ser68 that form a major part of the lining of the pore.
Several cross-talk mechanisms between autophagy and apoptosis have been identified, in which certain co-regulators are shared, allowing the same protein to participate in these opposing processes. Our studies suggest that caspase-9 is a novel co-regulator of apoptosis and autophagy and that its caspase catalytic activity is dispensable for its autophagic role. We provide evidence that caspase-9 facilitates the early events leading to autophagosome formation; that it forms a complex with Atg7; that Atg7 is not a direct substrate for caspase-9 proteolytic activity; and that, depending on the cellular context, Atg7 represses the apoptotic capability of caspase-9, whereas the latter enhances the Atg7-mediated formation of light chain 3-II. The repression of caspase-9 apoptotic activity is mediated by its direct interaction with Atg7, and it is not related to the autophagic function of Atg7. We propose that the Atg7·caspase-9 complex performs a dual function of linking caspase-9 to the autophagic process while keeping in check its apoptotic activity.
The use of monoclonal antibodies to target functionally important cell-surface proteins on bone-resorbing osteoclasts represents a promising approach for treatment of cancer-associated bone loss and other skeletal pathologies. Previously, we identified Siglec-15, a little studied sialic acid-binding receptor, as a candidate target that is highly up-regulated during osteoclast differentiation induced by the cytokine receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL). In this report, we confirm that Siglec-15 is localized to the plasma membrane where it can be targeted by monoclonal antibodies to inhibit differentiation of functional osteoclasts in vitro. Furthermore, we found that treatment of mice with these antibodies led to a marked increase in bone mineral density, consistent with inhibition of osteoclast activity. Interestingly, osteoblast numbers were maintained despite the anti-resorptive activity. At the molecular level, Siglec-15 interacts with the adapter protein DAP12 and can induce Akt activation when clustered on the osteoclast cell surface, which likely represents its normal signaling function. Importantly, we discovered that monoclonal antibodies induce rapid internalization, lysosomal targeting, and degradation of Siglec-15 by inducing receptor dimerization. This study defines a key regulatory node that controls osteoclast differentiation and activity downstream of RANKL and supports further development of Siglec-15 antibodies as a novel class of bone loss therapeutics.
The p53 tumor suppressor gene encodes a homotetrameric transcription factor which is activated in response to a variety of cellular stressors, including DNA damage and oncogene activation. p53 mutations occur in >50% of human cancers. Although p53 has been shown to regulate Wnt signaling, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Here we show that silencing p53 in colon cancer cells led to increased expression of Aha1, a co-chaperone of Hsp90. Heat shock factor-1 was important for mediating the changes in Aha1 levels. Increased Aha1 levels were associated with enhanced interactions with Hsp90, resulting in increased Hsp90 ATPase activity. Moreover, increased Hsp90 ATPase activity resulted in increased phosphorylation of Akt and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β), leading to enhanced expression of Wnt target genes. Significantly, levels of Aha1, Hsp90 ATPase activity, Akt, and GSK3β phosphorylation and expression of Wnt target genes were increased in the colons of p53-null as compared with p53 wild type mice. Using p53 heterozygous mutant epithelial cells from Li-Fraumeni syndrome patients, we show that a monoallelic mutation of p53 was sufficient to activate the Aha1/Hsp90 ATPase axis leading to stimulation of Wnt signaling and increased expression of Wnt target genes. Pharmacologic intervention with CP-31398, a p53 rescue agent, inhibited recruitment of Aha1 to Hsp90 and suppressed Wnt-mediated gene expression in colon cancer cells. Taken together, this study provides new insights into the mechanism by which p53 regulates Wnt signaling and raises the intriguing possibility that p53 status may affect the efficacy of anticancer therapies targeting Hsp90 ATPase.
Coagulation factor XIII (FXIII) is a transglutaminase with a well defined role in the final stages of blood coagulation. Active FXIII (FXIIIa) catalyzes the formation of ϵ-(γ-glutamyl)lysine isopeptide bonds between specific Gln and Lys residues. The primary physiological outcome of this catalytic activity is stabilization of the fibrin clot during coagulation. The stabilization is achieved through the introduction of cross-links between fibrin monomers and through cross-linking of proteins with anti-fibrinolytic activity to fibrin. FXIIIa additionally cross-links several proteins with other functionalities to the clot. Cross-linking of proteins to the clot is generally believed to modify clot characteristics such as proteolytic susceptibility and hereby affect the outcome of tissue damage. In the present study, we use a proteomic approach in combination with transglutaminase-specific labeling to identify FXIIIa plasma protein substrates and their reactive residues. The results revealed a total of 147 FXIIIa substrates, of which 132 have not previously been described. We confirm that 48 of the FXIIIa substrates were indeed incorporated into the insoluble fibrin clot during the coagulation of plasma. The identified substrates are involved in, among other activities, complement activation, coagulation, inflammatory and immune responses, and extracellular matrix organization.
The production of hydrocarbons in nature has been documented for only a limited set of organisms, with many of the molecular components underpinning these processes only recently identified. There is an obvious scope for application of these catalysts and engineered variants thereof in the future production of biofuels. Here we present biochemical characterization and crystal structures of a cytochrome P450 fatty acid peroxygenase: the terminal alkene forming OleTJE (CYP152L1) from Jeotgalicoccus sp. 8456. OleTJE is stabilized at high ionic strength, but aggregation and precipitation of OleTJE in low salt buffer can be turned to advantage for purification, because resolubilized OleTJE is fully active and extensively dissociated from lipids. OleTJE binds avidly to a range of long chain fatty acids, and structures of both ligand-free and arachidic acid-bound OleTJE reveal that the P450 active site is preformed for fatty acid binding. OleTJE heme iron has an unusually positive redox potential (−103 mV versus normal hydrogen electrode), which is not significantly affected by substrate binding, despite extensive conversion of the heme iron to a high spin ferric state. Terminal alkenes are produced from a range of saturated fatty acids (C12–C20), and stopped-flow spectroscopy indicates a rapid reaction between peroxide and fatty acid-bound OleTJE (167 s−1 at 200 μm H2O2). Surprisingly, the active site is highly similar in structure to the related P450BSβ, which catalyzes hydroxylation of fatty acids as opposed to decarboxylation. Our data provide new insights into structural and mechanistic properties of a robust P450 with potential industrial applications.
Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a natural bioactive lipid that acts through six different G protein-coupled receptors (LPA1–6) with pleiotropic activities on multiple cell types. We have previously demonstrated that LPA is necessary for successful in vitro osteoclastogenesis of bone marrow cells. Bone cells controlling bone remodeling (i.e. osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and osteocytes) express LPA1, but delineating the role of this receptor in bone remodeling is still pending. Despite Lpar1−/− mice displaying a low bone mass phenotype, we demonstrated that bone marrow cell-induced osteoclastogenesis was reduced in Lpar1−/− mice but not in Lpar2−/− and Lpar3−/− animals. Expression of LPA1 was up-regulated during osteoclastogenesis, and LPA1 antagonists (Ki16425, Debio0719, and VPC12249) inhibited osteoclast differentiation. Blocking LPA1 activity with Ki16425 inhibited expression of nuclear factor of activated T-cell cytoplasmic 1 (NFATc1) and dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein and interfered with the fusion but not the proliferation of osteoclast precursors. Similar to wild type osteoclasts treated with Ki16425, mature Lpar1−/− osteoclasts had reduced podosome belt and sealing zone resulting in reduced mineralized matrix resorption. Additionally, LPA1 expression markedly increased in the bone of ovariectomized mice, which was blocked by bisphosphonate treatment. Conversely, systemic treatment with Debio0719 prevented ovariectomy-induced cancellous bone loss. Moreover, intravital multiphoton microscopy revealed that Debio0719 reduced the retention of CX3CR1-EGFP+ osteoclast precursors in bone by increasing their mobility in the bone marrow cavity. Overall, our results demonstrate that LPA1 is essential for in vitro and in vivo osteoclast activities. Therefore, LPA1 emerges as a new target for the treatment of diseases associated with excess bone loss.
The membrane-proximal external region (MPER) of gp41 harbors the epitope recognized by the broadly neutralizing anti-HIV 2F5 antibody, a research focus in HIV-1 vaccine development. In this work, we analyze the structure and immunogenic properties of MPERp, a peptide vaccine that includes the following: (i) the complete sequence protected from proteolysis by the 2F5 paratope; (ii) downstream residues postulated to establish weak contacts with the CDR-H3 loop of the antibody, which are believed to be crucial for neutralization; and (iii) an aromatic rich anchor to the membrane interface. MPERp structures solved in dodecylphosphocholine micelles and 25% 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-propanol (v/v) confirmed folding of the complete 2F5 epitope within continuous kinked helices. Infrared spectroscopy (IR) measurements demonstrated the retention of main helical conformations in immunogenic formulations based on alum, Freund's adjuvant, or two different types of liposomes. Binding to membrane-inserted MPERp, IR, molecular dynamics simulations, and characterization of the immune responses further suggested that packed helical bundles partially inserted into the lipid bilayer, rather than monomeric helices adsorbed to the membrane interface, could encompass effective MPER peptide vaccines. Together, our data constitute a proof-of-concept to support MPER-based peptides in combination with liposomes as stand-alone immunogens and suggest new approaches for structure-aided MPER vaccine development.
We provide evidence that type I IFN-induced STAT activation is diminished in cells with targeted disruption of the Rictor gene, whose protein product is a key element of mTOR complex 2. Our studies show that transient or stable knockdown of Rictor or Sin1 results in defects in activation of elements of the STAT pathway and reduced STAT-DNA binding complexes. This leads to decreased expression of several IFN-inducible genes that mediate important biological functions. Our studies also demonstrate that Rictor and Sin1 play essential roles in the generation of the suppressive effects of IFNα on malignant erythroid precursors from patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms. Altogether, these findings provide evidence for critical functions for Rictor/Sin1 complexes in type I IFN signaling and the generation of type I IFN antineoplastic responses.
Chemokines play important roles in the immune system, not only recruiting leukocytes to the site of infection and inflammation but also guiding cell homing and cell development. The soluble poxvirus-encoded protein viral CC chemokine inhibitor (vCCI), a CC chemokine inhibitor, can bind to human CC chemokines tightly to impair the host immune defense. This protein has no known homologs in eukaryotes and may represent a potent method to stop inflammation. Previously, our structure of the vCCI·MIP-1β (macrophage inflammatory protein-1β) complex indicated that vCCI uses negatively charged residues in β-sheet II to interact with positively charged residues in the MIP-1β N terminus, 20s region and 40s loop. However, the interactions between vCCI and other CC chemokines have not yet been fully explored. Here, we used NMR and fluorescence anisotropy to study the interaction between vCCI and eotaxin-1 (CCL11), a CC chemokine that is an important factor in the asthma response. NMR results reveal that the binding pattern is very similar to the vCCI·MIP-1β complex and suggest that electrostatic interactions provide a major contribution to binding. Fluorescence anisotropy results on variants of eotaxin-1 further confirm the critical roles of the charged residues in eotaxin-1. In addition, the binding affinity between vCCI and other wild type CC chemokines, MCP-1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1), MIP-1β, and RANTES (regulated on activation normal T cell expressed and secreted), were determined as 1.1, 1.2, and 0.22 nm, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first work quantitatively measuring the binding affinity between vCCI and multiple CC chemokines.
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are multifunctional growth factors that play crucial roles during embryonic development and cell fate determination. Nuclear transduction of BMP signals requires the receptor type Smad proteins, Smad1, Smad5, and Smad9. However, how these Smad proteins cooperate in vivo to regulate various developmental processes is largely unknown. In zebrafish, it was widely believed that the maternally expressed smad5 is essential for dorso-ventral (DV) patterning, and the zygotically transcribed smad1 is not required for normal DV axis establishment. In the present study, we have identified zygotically expressed smad9, which cooperates with smad1 downstream of smad5, to mediate zebrafish early DV patterning in a functional redundant manner. Although knockdown of smad1 or smad9 alone does not lead to visible dorsalization, double knockdown strongly dorsalizes zebrafish embryos, which cannot be efficiently rescued by smad5 overexpression, whereas the dorsalization induced by smad5 knockdown can be fully rescued by overexpression of smad1 or smad9. We have further revealed that the transcription initiations of smad1 and smad9 are repressed by each other, that they are direct transcriptional targets of Smad5, and that smad9, like smad1, is required for myelopoiesis. In conclusion, our study uncovers that smad1 and smad9 act redundantly to each other downstream of smad5 to mediate ventral specification and to regulate embryonic myelopoiesis.
The PSO4 core complex is composed of PSO4/PRP19/SNEV, CDC5L, PLRG1, and BCAS2/SPF27. Besides its well defined functions in pre-mRNA splicing, the PSO4 complex has been shown recently to participate in the DNA damage response. However, the specific role for the PSO4 complex in the DNA damage response pathways is still not clear. Here we show that both the BCAS2 and PSO4 subunits of the PSO4 complex directly interact and colocalize with replication protein A (RPA). Depletion of BCAS2 or PSO4 impairs the recruitment of ATR-interacting protein (ATRIP) to DNA damage sites and compromises CHK1 activation and RPA2 phosphorylation. Moreover, we demonstrate that both the RPA1-binding ability of BCAS2 and the E3 ligase activity of PSO4 are required for efficient accumulation of ATRIP at DNA damage sites and the subsequent CHK1 activation and RPA2 phosphorylation. Our results suggest that the PSO4 complex functionally interacts with RPA and plays an important role in the DNA damage response.
Disulfide-rich cyclic peptides have generated great interest in the development of peptide-based therapeutics due to their exceptional stability toward chemical, enzymatic, or thermal attack. In particular, they have been used as scaffolds onto which bioactive epitopes can be grafted to take advantage of the favorable biophysical properties of disulfide-rich cyclic peptides. To date, the most commonly used method for the head-to-tail cyclization of peptides has been native chemical ligation. In recent years, however, enzyme-mediated cyclization has become a promising new technology due to its efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness. Sortase A (SrtA) is a bacterial enzyme with transpeptidase activity. It recognizes a C-terminal penta-amino acid motif, LPXTG, and cleaves the amide bond between Thr and Gly to form a thioacyl-linked intermediate. This intermediate undergoes nucleophilic attack by an N-terminal poly-Gly sequence to form an amide bond between the Thr and N-terminal Gly. Here, we demonstrate that sortase A can successfully be used to cyclize a variety of small disulfide-rich peptides, including the cyclotide kalata B1, α-conotoxin Vc1.1, and sunflower trypsin inhibitor 1. These peptides range in size from 14 to 29 amino acids and contain three, two, or one disulfide bond, respectively, within their head-to-tail cyclic backbones. Our findings provide proof of concept for the potential broad applicability of enzymatic cyclization of disulfide-rich peptides with therapeutic potential.
The vaccinia viral protein A27 in mature viruses specifically interacts with heparan sulfate for cell surface attachment. In addition, A27 associates with the viral membrane protein A17 to anchor to the viral membrane; however, the specific interaction between A27 and A17 remains largely unclear. To uncover the active binding sites and the underlying binding mechanism, we expressed and purified the N-terminal (18–50 residues) and C-terminal (162–203 residues) fragments of A17, which are denoted A17-N and A17-C. Through surface plasmon resonance, the binding affinity of A27/A17-N (KA = 3.40 × 108 m−1) was determined to be approximately 3 orders of magnitude stronger than that of A27/A17-C (KA = 3.40 × 105 m−1), indicating that A27 prefers to interact with A17-N rather than A17-C. Despite the disordered nature of A17-N, the A27-A17 interaction is mediated by a specific and cooperative binding mechanism that includes two active binding sites, namely 32SFMPK36 (denoted as F1 binding) and 20LDKDLFTEEQ29 (F2). Further analysis showed that F1 has stronger binding affinity and is more resistant to acidic conditions than is F2. Furthermore, A27 mutant proteins that retained partial activity to interact with the F1 and F2 sites of the A17 protein were packaged into mature virus particles at a reduced level, demonstrating that the F1/F2 interaction plays a critical role in vivo. Using these results in combination with site-directed mutagenesis data, we established a computer model to explain the specific A27-A17 binding mechanism.
We studied the role of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) in the signaling that promotes atrial fibrosis. Left atrial myocardium of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) exhibited 4-fold increased hydroxyproline content compared with patients in sinus rhythm. Expression of MR was similar, as was 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-HSD2), which also increased. 11β-HSD2 converts cortisol to receptor-inactive metabolites allowing aldosterone occupancy of MR. 11β-HSD2 was up-regulated by arrhythmic pacing in cultured cardiomyocytes and in a mouse model of spontaneous AF (RacET). In cardiomyocytes, aldosterone induced connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) in the absence but not in the presence of cortisol. Hydroxyproline expression was increased in cardiac fibroblasts exposed to conditioned medium from aldosterone-treated cardiomyocytes but not from cardiomyocytes treated with both cortisol and aldosterone. Aldosterone increased connective tissue growth factor and hydroxyproline expression in cardiac fibroblasts, which were prevented by BR-4628, a dihydropyridine-derived selective MR antagonist, and by spironolactone. Aldosterone activated RhoA GTPase. Rho kinase inhibition by Y-27632 prevented CTGF and hydroxyproline, whereas the RhoA activator CN03 increased CTGF expression. Aldosterone and CTGF increased lysyl oxidase, and aldosterone enhanced miR-21 expression. MR antagonists reduced the aldosterone but not the CTGF effect. In conclusion, MR signaling promoted fibrotic remodeling. Increased expression of 11β-HSD2 during AF leads to up-regulation of collagen and pro-fibrotic mediators by aldosterone, specifically RhoA activity as well as CTGF, lysyl oxidase, and microRNA-21 expression. The MR antagonists BR-4628 and spironolactone prevent these alterations. MR inhibition may, therefore, represent a potential pharmacologic target for the prevention of fibrotic remodeling of the atrial myocardium.
Protein aggregation into intracellular inclusions is a key feature of many neurodegenerative disorders. A common theme has emerged that inappropriate self-aggregation of misfolded or mutant polypeptide sequences is detrimental to cell health. Yet protein quality control mechanisms may also deliberately cluster them together into distinct inclusion subtypes, including the insoluble protein deposit (IPOD) and the juxtanuclear quality control (JUNQ). Here we investigated how the intrinsic oligomeric state of three model systems of disease-relevant mutant protein and peptide sequences relates to the IPOD and JUNQ patterns of aggregation using sedimentation velocity analysis. Two of the models (polyalanine (37A) and superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mutants A4V and G85R) accumulated into the same JUNQ-like inclusion whereas the other, polyglutamine (72Q), formed spatially distinct IPOD-like inclusions. Using flow cytometry pulse shape analysis (PulSA) to separate cells with inclusions from those without revealed the SOD1 mutants and 37A to have abruptly altered oligomeric states with respect to the nonaggregating forms, regardless of whether cells had inclusions or not, whereas 72Q was almost exclusively monomeric until inclusions formed. We propose that mutations leading to JUNQ inclusions induce a constitutively “misfolded” state exposing hydrophobic side chains that attract and ultimately overextend protein quality capacity, which leads to aggregation into JUNQ inclusions. Poly(Q) is not misfolded in this same sense due to universal polar side chains, but is highly prone to forming amyloid fibrils that we propose invoke a different engagement mechanism with quality control.
Inhibitory GABAB receptors (GABABRs) can down-regulate most excitatory synapses in the CNS by reducing postsynaptic excitability. Functional GABABRs are heterodimers of GABAB1 and GABAB2 subunits and here we show that the trafficking and surface expression of GABABRs is differentially regulated by synaptic or pathophysiological activation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Activation of synaptic NMDARs using a chemLTP protocol increases GABABR recycling and surface expression. In contrast, excitotoxic global activation of synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDARs by bath application of NMDA causes the loss of surface GABABRs. Intriguingly, exposing neurons to extreme metabolic stress using oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD) increases GABAB1 but decreases GABAB2 surface expression. The increase in surface GABAB1 involves enhanced recycling and is blocked by the NMDAR antagonist AP5. The decrease in surface GABAB2 is also blocked by AP5 and by inhibiting degradation pathways. These results indicate that NMDAR activity is critical in GABABR trafficking and function and that the individual subunits can be separately controlled to regulate neuronal responsiveness and survival.
Recently, we demonstrated that FAM20B is a kinase that phosphorylates the xylose (Xyl) residue in the glycosaminoglycan-protein linkage region of proteoglycans. The phosphorylation of Xyl residues by FAM20B enhances the formation of the linkage region. Rapid dephosphorylation is probably induced just after synthesis of the linker and just before polymerization initiates. Indeed, in vitro chondroitin or heparan sulfate polymerization does not occur when the Xyl residue of the tetrasaccharide linkage region is phosphorylated. However, the enzyme responsible for the dephosphorylation of Xyl remains unknown. Here, we identified a novel protein that dephosphorylates the Xyl residue and designated it 2-phosphoxylose phosphatase. The phosphatase efficiently removed the phosphate from the phosphorylated trisaccharide, Galβ1–3Galβ1–4Xyl(2-O-phosphate), but not from phosphorylated tetrasaccharide, GlcUAβ1–3Galβ1–3Galβ1–4Xyl(2-O-phosphate). Additionally, RNA interference-mediated inhibition of 2-phosphoxylose phosphatase resulted in increased amounts of GlcNAcα1–4GlcUAβ1–3Galβ1–3Galβ1–4Xyl(2-O-phosphate), Galβ1–3Galβ1–4Xyl(2-O-phosphate), and Galβ1–4Xyl(2-O-phosphate) in the cells. Gel filtration analysis of the glycosaminoglycan chains synthesized in the knockdown cells revealed that these cells produced decreased amounts of glycosaminoglycan chains and that the chains had similar lengths to those in the mock-transfected cells. Transcripts encoding this phosphatase were ubiquitously, but differentially, expressed in human tissues. Moreover, the phosphatase localized to the Golgi and interacted with the glucuronyltransferase-I involved in the completion of the glycosaminoglycan-protein linkage region. Based on these findings, we conclude that transient phosphorylation of the Xyl residue in the glycosaminoglycan-protein linkage region controls the formation of glycosaminoglycan chains of proteoglycans.
Huntington disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disease caused by a CAG expansion in the HTT gene. Using yeast two-hybrid methods, we identified a large set of proteins that interact with huntingtin (HTT)-interacting proteins. This network, composed of HTT-interacting proteins (HIPs) and proteins interacting with these primary nodes, contains 3235 interactions among 2141 highly interconnected proteins. Analysis of functional annotations of these proteins indicates that primary and secondary HIPs are enriched in pathways implicated in HD, including mammalian target of rapamycin, Rho GTPase signaling, and oxidative stress response. To validate roles for HIPs in mutant HTT toxicity, we show that the Rho GTPase signaling components, BAIAP2, EZR, PIK3R1, PAK2, and RAC1, are modifiers of mutant HTT toxicity. We also demonstrate that Htt co-localizes with BAIAP2 in filopodia and that mutant HTT interferes with filopodial dynamics. These data indicate that HTT is involved directly in membrane dynamics, cell attachment, and motility. Furthermore, they implicate dysregulation in these pathways as pathological mechanisms in HD.
♦ See referenced article, J. Biol. Chem. 2014, 289, 6709–6726
Huntington disease (HD) is a neurological disorder that is fatal. The gene has a CAG expansion, which leads to misfolding of the corresponding protein, huntingtin. In this Paper of the Week, a team led by Sean D. Mooney and Robert E. Hughes at The Buck Institute for Research on Aging in California established an interaction network for huntingtin. The network has huntingtin-interacting proteins (HIPs) and proteins that interact with HIPs, creating a network of 2,141 highly interconnected proteins that have over 3,200 interactions among themselves. The investigators found that proteins involved in mTOR, Rho GTPase, and oxidative stress response pathways were particularly conspicuous in the network. They also demonstrated that through the Rho GTPase pathway, mutant huntingtin interfered with filopodial dynamics. The authors say that their data suggest that huntingtin “is involved directly in membrane dynamics, cell attachment, and motility.” They add that the network could be used as a resource to identify targets to treat HD.
The huntingtin interaction network has primary and secondary interacting proteins.
Staphylococcus aureus causes life-threatening disease in humans. The S. aureus surface protein iron-regulated surface determinant H (IsdH) binds to mammalian hemoglobin (Hb) and extracts heme as a source of iron, which is an essential nutrient for the bacteria. However, the process of heme transfer from Hb is poorly understood. We have determined the structure of IsdH bound to human Hb by x-ray crystallography at 4.2 Å resolution, revealing the structural basis for heme transfer. One IsdH molecule is bound to each α and β Hb subunit, suggesting that the receptor acquires iron from both chains by a similar mechanism. Remarkably, two near iron transporter (NEAT) domains in IsdH perform very different functions. An N-terminal NEAT domain binds α/β globin through a site distant from the globin heme pocket and, via an intervening structural domain, positions the C-terminal heme-binding NEAT domain perfectly for heme transfer. These data, together with a 2.3 Å resolution crystal structure of the isolated N-terminal domain bound to Hb and small-angle x-ray scattering of free IsdH, reveal how multiple domains of IsdH cooperate to strip heme from Hb. Many bacterial pathogens obtain iron from human hemoglobin using proteins that contain multiple NEAT domains and other domains whose functions are poorly understood. Our results suggest that, rather than acting as isolated units, NEAT domains may be integrated into higher order architectures that employ multiple interaction interfaces to efficiently extract heme from host proteins.
♦ See referenced article, J. Biol. Chem. 2014, 289, 6728–6738
Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive pathogen. Since antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacterium cause hospital- and community-acquired infections, researchers want to better understand how S. aureus functions so that they can design more effective drugs. In this Paper of the Week, David A. Gell at the University of Tasmania in Australia and colleagues studied the structure of the bacterial surface protein IsdH. It binds to mammalian hemoglobin (Hb) to extract heme as an iron source. The investigators found that one IsdH molecule binds to each α and β Hb subunit, suggesting that the protein gets iron from both chains by a similar mechanism. IsdH has two NEAT (near iron transporter) domains that have different functions. The N-terminal domain binds α/β globin and positions the C-terminal NEAT domain for heme transfer. “Many bacterial pathogens obtain iron from human hemoglobin using proteins that contain multiple NEAT domains and other domains whose functions are poorly understood,” say the authors. “Our results suggest that, rather than acting as isolated units, NEAT domains may be integrated into higher order architectures that employ multiple interaction interfaces to efficiently extract heme from host proteins.”
Model of heme extraction from human Hb by the S. aureus Hb receptors IsdB and IsdH.
Ribosomes are large and highly charged macromolecular complexes consisting of RNA and proteins. Here, we address the electrostatic and nonpolar properties of ribosomal proteins that are important for ribosome assembly and interaction with other cellular components and may influence protein folding on the ribosome. We examined 50 S ribosomal subunits from 10 species and found a clear distinction between the net charge of ribosomal proteins from halophilic and non-halophilic organisms. We found that ∼67% ribosomal proteins from halophiles are negatively charged, whereas only up to ∼15% of ribosomal proteins from non-halophiles share this property. Conversely, hydrophobicity tends to be lower for ribosomal proteins from halophiles than for the corresponding proteins from non-halophiles. Importantly, the surface electrostatic potential of ribosomal proteins from all organisms, especially halophiles, has distinct positive and negative regions across all the examined species. Positively and negatively charged residues of ribosomal proteins tend to be clustered in buried and solvent-exposed regions, respectively. Hence, the majority of ribosomal proteins is characterized by a significant degree of intramolecular charge segregation, regardless of the organism of origin. This key property enables the ribosome to accommodate proteins within its complex scaffold regardless of their overall net charge.
Mannose in N-glycans is derived from glucose through phosphomannose isomerase (MPI, Fru-6-P ↔ Man-6-P) whose deficiency causes a congenital disorder of glycosylation (CDG)-Ib (MPI-CDG). Mannose supplements improve patients' symptoms because exogenous mannose can also directly contribute to N-glycan synthesis through Man-6-P. However, the quantitative contributions of these and other potential pathways to glycosylation are still unknown. We developed a sensitive GC-MS-based method using [1,2-13C]glucose and [4-13C]mannose to measure their contribution to N-glycans synthesized under physiological conditions (5 mm glucose and 50 μm mannose). Mannose directly provides ∼10–45% of the mannose found in N-glycans, showing up to a 100-fold preference for mannose over exogenous glucose based on their exogenous concentrations. Normal human fibroblasts normally derive 25–30% of their mannose directly from exogenous mannose, whereas MPI-deficient CDG fibroblasts with reduced glucose flux secure 80% of their mannose directly. Thus, both MPI activity and exogenous mannose concentration determine the metabolic flux into the N-glycosylation pathway. Using various stable isotopes, we found that gluconeogenesis, glycogen, and mannose salvaged from glycoprotein degradation do not contribute mannose to N-glycans in fibroblasts under physiological conditions. This quantitative assessment of mannose contribution and its metabolic fate provides information that can help bolster therapeutic strategies for treating glycosylation disorders with exogenous mannose.
♦ See referenced article, J. Biol. Chem. 2014, 289, 6751–6761
Mannose is an essential sugar in N-linked oligosaccharides. The sugar is made by phosphomannose isomerase from glucose. Deficiencies in the enzyme lead to a congenital glycosylation disorder. Mannose can also enter the body through supplements, which has been a treatment approach for the glycosylation disorder. In this Paper of the Week, Hudson H. Freeze at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in California and colleagues describe a method based on gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to quantitatively measure the amount of mannose derived in cells from the phosphomannose isomerase and other potential pathways. They established that normal human fibroblasts got 25–30% of their mannose from exogenous mannose; fibroblasts lacking phosphomannose isomerase got 80% of their mannose directly from exogenous supplements. This finding suggests that the enzyme activity and the concentration of external mannose both influence metabolic flux of the N-glycosylation pathway. The authors say, “This quantitative assessment of mannose contribution and its metabolic fate provides information that can help bolster therapeutic strategies for treating glycosylation disorders with exogenous mannose.”
Mannose and glucose metabolic pathway.
The amyloid precursor protein (APP) is a widely expressed type I transmembrane (TM) glycoprotein present at the neuronal synapse. The proteolytic cleavage by γ-secretase of its C-terminal fragment produces amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides of different lengths, the deposition of which is an early indicator of Alzheimer disease. At present, there is no consensus on the conformation of the APP-TM domain at the biological membrane. Although structures have been determined by NMR in detergent micelles, their conformation is markedly different. Here we show by using molecular simulations that the APP-TM region systematically prefers a straight α-helical conformation once embedded in a membrane bilayer. However, APP-TM is highly flexible, and its secondary structure is strongly influenced by the surrounding lipid environment, as when enclosed in detergent micelles. This behavior is confirmed when analyzing in silico the atomistic APP-TM population observed by residual dipolar couplings and double electron-electron resonance spectroscopy. These structural and dynamic features are critical in the proteolytic processing of APP by the γ-secretase enzyme, as suggested by a series of Gly700 mutants. Affecting the hydration and flexibility of APP-TM, these mutants invariantly show an increase in the production of Aβ38 compared with Aβ40 peptides, which is reminiscent of the effect of γ-secretase modulators inhibitors.
Colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) is known to promote osteoclast progenitor survival, but its roles in osteoclast differentiation and mature osteoclast function are less well understood. In a microarray screen, Jun dimerization protein 2 (JDP2) was identified as significantly induced by CSF1. Recent reports indicate that JDP2 is required for normal osteoclastogenesis and skeletal metabolism. Because there are no reports on the transcriptional regulation of this gene, the DNA sequence from −2612 to +682 bp (relative to the transcription start site) of the JDP2 gene was cloned, and promoter activity was analyzed. The T box-binding element (TBE) between −191 and −141 bp was identified as the cis-element responsible for CSF1-dependent JDP2 expression. Using degenerate PCR, Tbx3 was identified as the major isoform binding the TBE. Overexpression of Tbx3 induced JDP2 promoter activity, whereas suppressing Tbx3 expression substantially attenuated CSF1-induced transcription. Suppressing Tbx3 in osteoclast precursors reduced JDP2 expression and significantly impaired RANKL/CSF1-induced osteoclastogenesis. A MEK1/2-specific inhibitor was found to block CSF1-induced JDP2 expression. Consistent with these data, JDP2−/− mice were found to have increased bone mass. In summary, CSF1 up-regulates JDP2 expression by inducing Tbx3 binding to the JDP2 promoter. The downstream signaling cascade from activated c-Fms involves the MEK1/2-ERK1/2 pathway. Tbx3 plays an important role in osteoclastogenesis at least in part by regulating CSF1-dependent expression of JDP2.
We previously reported an altered hyaluronan (HA) metabolism in idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) lung tissue and cultured smooth muscle cells. Hyaluronan was present in the smooth muscle cell layer surrounding the pulmonary vasculature and in plexigenic lesions. Additionally, cultured pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells produced spontaneous HA “cable” structures, without additional stimuli, that were leukocyte-adhesive. We now present evidence that the HA that accumulates in IPAH plexigenic lesions is a pathological form of HA in which heavy chains (HCs) from the serum-derived proteoglycan inter-α-inhibitor are covalently attached to the HA backbone to form a pathological HC-HA complex. CD45-positive leukocytes were identified within these HC-HA matrices. Elevated mRNA levels of the enzyme that transfers HCs to HA, known as tumor necrosis factor-stimulated gene 6, were detected in IPAH lung tissue.
Oxicams are widely used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but little is known about the molecular basis of the interaction with their target enzymes, the cyclooxygenases (COX). Isoxicam is a nonselective inhibitor of COX-1 and COX-2 whereas meloxicam displays some selectivity for COX-2. Here we report crystal complexes of COX-2 with isoxicam and meloxicam at 2.0 and 2.45 angstroms, respectively, and a crystal complex of COX-1 with meloxicam at 2.4 angstroms. These structures reveal that the oxicams bind to the active site of COX-2 using a binding pose not seen with other NSAIDs through two highly coordinated water molecules. The 4-hydroxyl group on the thiazine ring partners with Ser-530 via hydrogen bonding, and the heteroatom of the carboxamide ring of the oxicam scaffold interacts with Tyr-385 and Ser-530 through a highly coordinated water molecule. The nitrogen atom of the thiazine and the oxygen atom of the carboxamide bind to Arg-120 and Tyr-355 via another highly ordered water molecule. The rotation of Leu-531 in the structure opens a novel binding pocket, which is not utilized for the binding of other NSAIDs. In addition, a detailed study of meloxicam·COX-2 interactions revealed that mutation of Val-434 to Ile significantly reduces inhibition by meloxicam due to subtle changes around Phe-518, giving rise to the preferential inhibition of COX-2 over COX-1.
Toxoplasma gondii is a highly prevalent obligate intracellular parasite of the phylum Apicomplexa, which also includes other parasites of clinical and/or veterinary importance, such as Plasmodium, Cryptosporidium, and Eimeria. Acute infection by Toxoplasma is hallmarked by rapid proliferation in its host cells and requires a significant synthesis of parasite membranes. Phosphatidylethanolamine (PtdEtn) is the second major phospholipid class in T. gondii. Here, we reveal that PtdEtn is produced in the parasite mitochondrion and parasitophorous vacuole by decarboxylation of phosphatidylserine (PtdSer) and in the endoplasmic reticulum by fusion of CDP-ethanolamine and diacylglycerol. PtdEtn in the mitochondrion is synthesized by a phosphatidylserine decarboxylase (TgPSD1mt) of the type I class. TgPSD1mt harbors a targeting peptide at its N terminus that is required for the mitochondrial localization but not for the catalytic activity. Ablation of TgPSD1mt expression caused up to 45% growth impairment in the parasite mutant. The PtdEtn content of the mutant was unaffected, however, suggesting the presence of compensatory mechanisms. Indeed, metabolic labeling revealed an increased usage of ethanolamine for PtdEtn synthesis by the mutant. Likewise, depletion of nutrients exacerbated the growth defect (∼56%), which was partially restored by ethanolamine. Besides, the survival and residual growth of the TgPSD1mt mutant in the nutrient-depleted medium also indicated additional routes of PtdEtn biogenesis, such as acquisition of host-derived lipid. Collectively, the work demonstrates a metabolic cooperativity between the parasite organelles, which ensures a sustained lipid synthesis, survival and growth of T. gondii in varying nutritional milieus.
EmrE, a small multidrug resistance transporter, serves as an ideal model to study coupling between multidrug recognition and protein function. EmrE has a single small binding pocket that must accommodate the full range of diverse substrates recognized by this transporter. We have studied a series of tetrahedral compounds, as well as several planar substrates, to examine multidrug recognition and transport by EmrE. Here we show that even within this limited series, the rate of interconversion between the inward- and outward-facing states of EmrE varies over 3 orders of magnitude. Thus, the identity of the bound substrate controls the rate of this critical step in the transport process. The binding affinity also varies over a similar range and is correlated with substrate hydrophobicity within the tetrahedral substrate series. Substrate identity influences both the ground-state and transition-state energies for the conformational exchange process, highlighting the coupling between substrate binding and transport required for alternating access antiport.
VOLUME 288 (2013) PAGES 8531–8543
The revised Fig. 1A correctly shows CID44216842 as a 3-methoxyphenyl analog and not a 4-methoxyphenyl analog as originally published. The correction does not impact the interpretations or conclusions of the article.
VOLUME 285 (2010) PAGES 16632–16642
In the original version of this manuscript, we inadvertently included the incorrect blot for HSP90, a control for equal protein loading, in supplemental Fig. S3. The HSP90 signal shown in supplemental Fig. S3 was taken from the blot shown in Fig. 3B. In both of these experiments, primary antibodies against caspase-8 and HSP90 were used concurrently, so signals for both caspase-8 and the loading control HSP90 are visible on each blot. Below is the corrected version of Fig. S3 with the correct location of the HSP90 loading control shown. These changes do not affect the interpretation or conclusions of this work.
The three deleted in liver cancer genes (DLC1–3) encode Rho-specific GTPase-activating proteins (RhoGAPs). Their expression is frequently silenced in a variety of cancers. The RhoGAP activity, which is required for full DLC-dependent tumor suppressor activity, can be inhibited by the Src homology 3 (SH3) domain of a Ras-specific GAP (p120RasGAP). Here, we comprehensively investigated the molecular mechanism underlying cross-talk between two distinct regulators of small GTP-binding proteins using structural and biochemical methods. We demonstrate that only the SH3 domain of p120 selectively inhibits the RhoGAP activity of all three DLC isoforms as compared with a large set of other representative SH3 or RhoGAP proteins. Structural and mutational analyses provide new insights into a putative interaction mode of the p120 SH3 domain with the DLC1 RhoGAP domain that is atypical and does not follow the classical PXXP-directed interaction. Hence, p120 associates with the DLC1 RhoGAP domain by targeting the catalytic arginine finger and thus by competitively and very potently inhibiting RhoGAP activity. The novel findings of this study shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying the DLC inhibitory effects of p120 and suggest a functional cross-talk between Ras and Rho proteins at the level of regulatory proteins.
HP1Hsα-containing heterochromatin is located near centric regions of chromosomes and regulates DNA-mediated processes such as DNA repair and transcription. The higher-order structure of heterochromatin contributes to this regulation, yet the structure of heterochromatin is not well understood. We took a multidisciplinary approach to determine how HP1Hsα-nucleosome interactions contribute to the structure of heterochromatin. We show that HP1Hsα preferentially binds histone H3K9Me3-containing nucleosomal arrays in favor of non-methylated nucleosomal arrays and that nonspecific DNA interactions and pre-existing chromatin compaction promote binding. The chromo and chromo shadow domains of HP1Hsα play an essential role in HP1Hsα-nucleosome interactions, whereas the hinge region appears to have a less significant role. Electron microscopy of HP1Hsα-associated nucleosomal arrays showed that HP1Hsα caused nucleosome associations within an array, facilitating chromatin condensation. Differential sedimentation of HP1Hsα-associated nucleosomal arrays showed that HP1Hsα promotes interactions between arrays. These strand-to-strand interactions are supported by in vivo studies where tethering the Drosophila homologue HP1a to specific sites promotes interactions with distant chromosomal sites. Our findings demonstrate that HP1Hsα-nucleosome interactions cause chromatin condensation, a process that regulates many chromosome events.
Ras family small GTPases localize at the plasma membrane, where they can activate oncogenic signaling pathways. Understanding the mechanisms that promote membrane localization of GTPases will aid development of new therapies to inhibit oncogenic signaling. We previously reported that SmgGDS splice variants promote prenylation and trafficking of GTPases containing a C-terminal polybasic region and demonstrated that SmgGDS-607 interacts with nonprenylated GTPases, whereas SmgGDS-558 interacts with prenylated GTPases in cells. The mechanism that SmgGDS-607 and SmgGDS-558 use to differentiate between prenylated and nonprenylated GTPases has not been characterized. Here, we provide evidence that SmgGDS-607 associates with GTPases through recognition of the last amino acid in the CAAX motif. We show that SmgGDS-607 forms more stable complexes in cells with nonprenylated GTPases that will become geranylgeranylated than with nonprenylated GTPases that will become farnesylated. These binding relationships similarly occur with nonprenylated SAAX mutants. Intriguingly, farnesyltransferase inhibitors increase the binding of WT K-Ras to SmgGDS-607, indicating that the pharmacological shunting of K-Ras into the geranylgeranylation pathway promotes K-Ras association with SmgGDS-607. Using recombinant proteins and prenylated peptides corresponding to the C-terminal sequences of K-Ras and Rap1B, we found that both SmgGDS-607 and SmgGDS-558 directly bind the GTPase C-terminal region, but the specificity of the SmgGDS splice variants for prenylated versus nonprenylated GTPases is diminished in vitro. Finally, we present structural homology models and data from functional prediction software to define both similar and unique features of SmgGDS-607 when compared with SmgGDS-558.
5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) generated by ten-eleven translocation 1–3 (TET1–3) enzymes is an epigenetic mark present in many tissues with different degrees of abundance. IL-1β and TNF-α are the two major cytokines present in arthritic joints that modulate the expression of many genes associated with cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis. In the present study, we investigated the global 5-hmC content, the effects of IL-1β and TNF-α on 5-hmC content, and the expression and activity of TETs and isocitrate dehydrogenases in primary human chondrocytes. The global 5-hmC content was found to be ∼0.1% of the total genome. There was a significant decrease in the levels of 5-hmC and the TET enzyme activity upon treatment of chondrocytes with IL-1β alone or in combination with TNF-α. We observed a dramatic (10–20-fold) decrease in the levels of TET1 mRNA expression and a small increase (2–3-fold) in TET3 expression in chondrocytes stimulated with IL-1β and TNF-α. IL-1β and TNF-α significantly suppressed the activity and expression of IDHs, which correlated with the reduced α-ketoglutarate levels. Whole genome profiling showed an erasure effect of IL-1β and TNF-α, resulting in a significant decrease in hydroxymethylation in a myriad of genes including many genes that are important in chondrocyte physiology. Our data demonstrate that DNA hydroxymethylation is modulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines via suppression of the cytosine hydroxymethylation machinery. These data point to new mechanisms of epigenetic control of gene expression by pro-inflammatory cytokines in human chondrocytes.
TRF1, a telomere-binding protein, is important for telomere protection and homeostasis. PinX1 interacts with TRF1, but the physiological consequences of their interaction in telomere protection are not yet understood. Here we investigated PinX1 function on TRF1 stability in HeLa cells. PinX1 overexpression stabilized TRF1, but PinX1 depletion by siRNA led to TRF1 degradation, TRF1 ubiquitination, and less TRF1 telomere association. The depletion also induced DNA damage responses at telomeres and chromosome instability. These telomere dysfunctional phenotypes were in fact due to TRF1 deficiency. We also report that hTERT, a catalytic component of telomerase, plays dual roles in the TRF1 steady state pathway. PinX1-mediated TRF1 stability was not observed in hTERT-negative immortal cells, but was pronounced when hTERT was ectopically expressed in the cells, suggesting that hTERT may be needed in the PinX1-mediated TRF1 stability pathway. Interestingly, the knockdown of both PinX1 and hTERT in HeLa cells stabilized TRF1, suppressed DNA damage response activation, and restored chromosome stability. In summary, our findings suggested that PinX1 may maintain telomere integrity by regulating TRF1 stability and that hTERT may act as both a positive and a negative regulator of TRF1 homeostasis in a PinX1-dependent manner.
WNT1-inducible-signaling pathway protein 2 (WISP2) is primarily expressed in mesenchymal stem cells, fibroblasts, and adipogenic precursor cells. It is both a secreted and cytosolic protein, the latter regulating precursor cell adipogenic commitment and PPARγ induction by BMP4. To examine the effect of the secreted protein, we expressed a full-length and a truncated, non-secreted WISP2 in NIH3T3 fibroblasts. Secreted, but not truncated WISP2 activated the canonical WNT pathway with increased β-catenin levels, its nuclear targeting phosphorylation, and LRP5/6 phosphorylation. It also inhibited Pparg activation and the effect of secreted WISP2 was reversed by the WNT antagonist DICKKOPF-1. Differentiated 3T3-L1 adipose cells were also target cells where extracellular WISP2 activated the canonical WNT pathway, inhibited Pparg and associated adipose genes and, similar to WNT3a, promoted partial dedifferentiation of the cells and the induction of a myofibroblast phenotype with activation of markers of fibrosis. Thus, WISP2 exerts dual actions in mesenchymal precursor cells; secreted WISP2 activates canonical WNT and maintains the cells in an undifferentiated state, whereas cytosolic WISP2 regulates adipogenic commitment.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are ligand-dependent transcription factors regulating lipid and glucose metabolism. Ongoing drug discovery programs aim to develop dual PPARα/γ agonists devoid of the side effects of the marketed antidiabetic agents thiazolidinediones and the dual agonists glitazars. Recently, we described a new dual PPARα/γ ligand, LT175, with a partial agonist profile against PPARγ and interacting with a newly identified region of the PPARγ-ligand binding domain (1). Here we show that LT175 differentially activated PPARγ target genes involved in fatty acid esterification and storage in 3T3-L1-derived adipocytes. This resulted in a less severe lipid accumulation compared with that triggered by rosiglitazone, suggesting that LT175 may have a lower adipogenic activity. Consistent with this hypothesis, in vivo administration of LT175 to mice fed a high-fat diet decreased body weight, adipocyte size, and white adipose tissue mass, as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging. Furthermore, LT175 significantly reduced plasma glucose, insulin, non-esterified fatty acids, triglycerides, and cholesterol and increased circulating adiponectin and fibroblast growth factor 21 levels. Oral glucose and insulin tolerance tests showed that the compound improves glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. Moreover, we demonstrate that the peculiar interaction of LT175 with PPARγ affected the recruitment of the coregulators cyclic-AMP response element-binding protein-binding protein and nuclear corepressor 1 (NCoR1), fundamentals for the PPARγ-mediated adipogenic program. In conclusion, our results describe a new PPAR ligand, modulating lipid and glucose metabolism with reduced adipogenic activity, that may be used as a model for a series of novel molecules with an improved pharmacological profile for the treatment of dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes.
Cluster of differentiation 166 (CD166 or Alcam) is a cell surface molecule that can be greatly induced in liver cancer cells after serum deprivation, suggesting its role in influencing cell survival. However, whether and how CD166 acts as an anti-apoptotic regulator needs to be further investigated. Here, we report that gene silencing of CD166 promoted apoptosis via down-regulation of Bcl-2 in liver cancer cells. PI3K/AKT signaling was found to up-regulate CD166 expression independently of transcription. We also revealed that CD166 promoted both AKT expression and activity, thus providing a novel positive regulatory feedback between PI3K/AKT signaling and CD166. Moreover, Yes-associated protein (YAP) was identified as a CD166 downstream effecter, which can partly rescue CD166 knockdown-induced apoptosis and reduced in vivo cancer cell growth. Mechanically, CD166 modulated YAP expression and activity through at least two different ways, transcriptional regulation of YAP through cAMP-response element-binding protein and post-transcriptional control of YAP stability through inhibition to AMOT130. We also showed that CD9 enhanced CD166-mediated regulation of YAP via a mechanism involving facilitating CD166-CD166 homophilic interaction. Tissue microarray analysis revealed that CD166 and YAP were up-regulated and closely correlated in liver cancer samples, demonstrating the importance of their relationship. Taken together, this work summarizes a novel link between CD166 and YAP, explores the interplay among related important signaling pathways, and may lead to more effective therapeutic strategies for liver cancer.
The human oncogene SCL/TAL1 interrupting locus (Stil) is highly conserved in vertebrate species. Previously, we identified a homolog of the Stil gene in zebrafish mutant (night blindness b, nbb), which showed neural defects in the retina (e.g. dopaminergic cell degeneration and/or lack of regeneration). In this research, we examined the roles of Stil in cell proliferation after degeneration in adult zebrafish retinas. We demonstrated that knockdown of Stil gene expression or inhibition of Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling transduction decreases the rate of cell proliferation. In contrast, activation of Shh signal transduction promotes cell proliferation. In nbb+/− retinas, inhibition of SUFU (a repressor in the Shh pathway) rescues the defects in cell proliferation due to down-regulation of Stil gene expression. The latter data suggest that Stil play a role in cell proliferation through the Shh signal transduction pathway.
The seemly paradoxical Gq agonist-stimulated phosphoinositide production has long been known, but the underlying mechanism and its physiological significance are not known. In this study, we studied cardiac phosphoinositide levels in both cells and whole animals under the stimulation of norepinephrine (NE), angiotensin II (Ang II), and other physiologically relevant interventions. The results demonstrated that activation of membrane receptors related to NE or Ang II caused an initial increase and a later fall in phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) levels in the primary cultured cardiomyocytes from adult rats. The possible mechanism underlying this increase in PIP2 was found to be through an enhanced activity of phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase IIIβ, which was mediated by an up-regulated interaction between phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase IIIβ and PKC; the increased activity of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase γ was also involved for NE-induced increase of PIP2. When the systolic functions of the NE/Ang II-treated cells were measured, a maintained or failed contractility was found to be correlated with a rise or fall in corresponding PIP2 levels. In two animal models of cardiac hypertrophy, PIP2 levels were significantly reduced in hypertrophic hearts induced by isoprenaline but not in those induced by swimming exercise. This study describes a novel mechanism for phosphoinositide metabolism and modulation of cardiac function.
The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) initiates receptor signaling and early actin dynamics during viral entry. This process is required for viral infection of primary targets such as resting CD4 T cells. WAVE2 is a component of a multiprotein complex linking receptor signaling to dynamic remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. WAVE2 directly activates Arp2/3, leading to actin nucleation and filament branching. Although several bacterial and viral pathogens target Arp2/3 for intracellular mobility, it remains unknown whether HIV-1 actively modulates the Arp2/3 complex through virus-mediated receptor signal transduction. Here we report that HIV-1 triggers WAVE2 phosphorylation at serine 351 through gp120 binding to the chemokine coreceptor CXCR4 or CCR5 during entry. This phosphorylation event involves both Gαi-dependent and -independent pathways, and is conserved both in X4 and R5 viral infection of resting CD4 T cells and primary macrophages. We further demonstrate that inhibition of WAVE2-mediated Arp2/3 activity through stable shRNA knockdown of Arp3 dramatically diminished HIV-1 infection of CD4 T cells, preventing viral nuclear migration. Inhibition of Arp2/3 through a specific inhibitor, CK548, also drastically inhibited HIV-1 nuclear migration and infection of CD4 T cells. Our results suggest that Arp2/3 and the upstream regulator, WAVE2, are essential co-factors hijacked by HIV for intracellular migration, and may serve as novel targets to prevent HIV transmission.
Nuclear reprogramming of somatic cells can be induced by oocyte factors. Despite numerous attempts, the factors responsible for successful nuclear reprogramming remain elusive. In the present study, we found that porcine oocytes with the first polar body collected at 42 h of in vitro maturation had a stronger ability to support early development of cloned embryos than porcine oocytes with the first polar body collected at 33 h of in vitro maturation. To explore the key reprogramming factors responsible for the difference, we compared proteome signatures of the two groups of oocytes. 18 differentially expressed proteins between these two groups of oocytes were discovered by mass spectrometry (MS). Among these proteins, we especially focused on vimentin (VIM). A certain amount of VIM protein was stored in oocytes and accumulated during oocyte maturation, and maternal VIM was specifically incorporated into transferred somatic nuclei during nuclear reprogramming. When maternal VIM function was inhibited by anti-VIM antibody, the rate of cloned embryos developing to blastocysts was significantly lower than that of IgG antibody-injected embryos and non-injected embryos (12.24 versus 22.57 and 21.10%; p < 0.05), but the development of in vitro fertilization and parthenogenetic activation embryos was not affected. Furthermore, we found that DNA double strand breaks dramatically increased and that the p53 pathway was activated in cloned embryos when VIM function was inhibited. This study demonstrates that maternal VIM, as a genomic protector, is crucial for nuclear reprogramming in porcine cloned embryos.
CD226, an activating receptor that interacts with the ligands CD155 and CD112, activates natural killer (NK) cells via its immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activatory motif (ITAM). There are two extracellular domains of CD226; however, the comparative functional relevance of these domains remains unknown. In this study, two different deletion mutants, rCD226-ECD1 (the first extracellular domain) and rCD226-ECD (full extracellular domains), were recombinantly expressed. We observed that rCD226-ECD1, similar to rCD226-ECD, specifically bound to ligand-positive cell lines and that this interaction could be competitively blocked by an anti-CD226 mAb. In addition, rCD226-ECD1 was able to block the binding of CD112 mAb to tumor cells in a competitive binding assay. Importantly, based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR), we determined that rCD226-ECD1, similar to rCD226-ECD, directly bound to its ligand CD155 on a protein chip. Functionally, NK cell cytotoxicity against K562 or HeLa cells was blocked by rCD226-ECD1 by reducing the expression of CD69 and granzyme B, indicating the critical role of ECD1 in NK cell activation. We also examined the role of rCD226-ECD1 in effector/target interactions by using rCD226-ECD to block these interactions. Using flow cytometry, we found that the number of conjugates between IL-2-dependent NKL cells and HeLa cells was reduced and observed that the formation of immune synapses was also decreased under confocal microscopy. In addition, we prepared two anti-rCD226-ECD1 agonistic antibodies, 2E6 and 3B9. Both 2E6 and 3B9 antibodies could induce the phosphorylation of ERK in NK-92 cells. Taken together, our results show that CD226 functions via its first extracellular domain.
The universal second messenger cyclic di-GMP (cdG) is involved in the regulation of a diverse range of cellular processes in bacteria. The intracellular concentration of the dinucleotide is determined by the opposing actions of diguanylate cyclases and cdG-specific phosphodiesterases (PDEs). Whereas most PDEs have accessory domains that are involved in the regulation of their activity, the regulatory mechanism of this class of enzymes has remained unclear. Here, we use biophysical and functional analyses to show that the isolated EAL domain of a PDE from Escherichia coli (YahA) is in a fast thermodynamic monomer-dimer equilibrium, and that the domain is active only in its dimeric state. Furthermore, our data indicate thermodynamic coupling between substrate binding and EAL dimerization with the dimerization affinity being increased about 100-fold upon substrate binding. Crystal structures of the YahA-EAL domain determined under various conditions (apo, Mg2+, cdG·Ca2+ complex) confirm structural coupling between the dimer interface and the catalytic center. The built-in regulatory properties of the EAL domain probably facilitate its modular, functional combination with the diverse repertoire of accessory domains.
Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) binds guanylyl cyclase-A/natriuretic peptide receptor-A (GC-A/NPRA) and produces the intracellular second messenger, cGMP, which regulates cardiovascular homeostasis. We sought to determine the function of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in regulating Npr1 (coding for GC-A/NPRA) gene transcription, using primary mouse mesangial cells treated with class-specific HDAC inhibitors (HDACi). Trichostatin A, a pan inhibitor, and mocetinostat (MGCD0103), a class I HDAC inhibitor, significantly enhanced Npr1 promoter activity (by 8- and 10-fold, respectively), mRNA levels (4- and 5.3-fold, respectively), and NPRA protein (2.7- and 3.5-fold, respectively). However, MC1568 (class II HDAC inhibitor) had no discernible effect. Overexpression of HDAC1 and HDAC2 significantly attenuated Npr1 promoter activity, whereas HDAC3 and HDAC8 had no effect. HDACi-treated cultured cells in vitro and intact animals in vivo showed significantly reduced binding of HDAC1 and -2 and increased accumulation of acetylated H3-K9/14 and H4-K12 at the Npr1 promoter. Deletional analyses of the Npr1 promoter along with ectopic overexpression and inhibition of Sp1 confirmed that HDACi-induced Npr1 gene transcription is accomplished by Sp1 activation. Furthermore, HDACi attenuated the interaction of Sp1 with HDAC1/2 and promoted Sp1 association with p300 and p300/cAMP-binding protein-associated factor; it also promoted the recruitment of p300 and p300/cAMP-binding protein-associated factor to the Npr1 promoter. Our results demonstrate that trichostatin A and MGCD0103 enhanced Npr1 gene expression through inhibition of HDAC1/2 and increased both acetylation of histones (H3-K9/14, H4-K12) and Sp1 by p300, and their recruitment to Npr1 promoter. Our findings define a novel epigenetic regulatory mechanism that governs Npr1 gene transcription.
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genome instability syndrome characterized by bone marrow failure and cellular hypersensitivity to DNA cross-linking agents. In response to DNA damage, the FA pathway is activated through the cooperation of 16 FA proteins. A central player in the pathway is a multisubunit E3 ubiquitin ligase complex or the FA core complex, which monoubiquitinates its substrates FANCD2 and FANCI. FANCE, a subunit of the FA core complex, plays an essential role by promoting the integrity of the complex and by directly recognizing FANCD2. To delineate its role in substrate ubiquitination from the core complex assembly, we analyzed a series of mutations within FANCE. We report that a phenylalanine located at the highly conserved extreme C terminus, referred to as Phe-522, is a critical residue for mediating the monoubiquitination of the FANCD2-FANCI complex. Using the FANCE mutant that specifically disrupts the FANCE-FANCD2 interaction as a tool, we found that the interaction-deficient mutant conferred cellular sensitivity in reconstituted FANCE-deficient cells to a similar degree as FANCE null cells, suggesting the significance of the FANCE-FANCD2 interaction in promoting cisplatin resistance. Intriguingly, ectopic expression of the FANCE C terminus fragment alone in FA normal cells disrupts DNA repair, consolidating the importance of the FANCE-FANCD2 interaction in the DNA cross-link repair.
Bacterially derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulates naive B lymphocytes to differentiate into immunoglobulin (Ig)-secreting plasma cells. Differentiation of B lymphocytes is characterized by a proliferative phase followed by expansion of the intracellular membrane secretory network to support Ig production. A key question in lymphocyte biology is how naive B cells reprogram metabolism to support de novo lipogenesis necessary for proliferation and expansion of the endomembrane network in response to LPS. We report that extracellularly acquired glucose is metabolized, in part, to support de novo lipogenesis in response to LPS stimulation of splenic B lymphocytes. LPS stimulation leads to increased levels of endogenous ATP-citrate lyase (ACLY), and this is accompanied by increased ACLY enzymatic activity. ACLY produces cytosolic acetyl-CoA from mitochondrially derived citrate. Inhibition of ACLY activity in LPS-stimulated B cells with the selective inhibitor 2-hydroxy-N-arylbenzenesulfonamide (compound-9; C-9) blocks glucose incorporation into de novo lipid biosynthesis, including cholesterol, free fatty acids, and neutral and acidic phospholipids. Moreover, inhibition of ACLY activity in splenic B cells results in inhibition of proliferation and defective endomembrane expansion and reduced expression of CD138 and Blimp-1, markers for plasma-like B cell differentiation. ACLY activity is also required for LPS-induced IgM production in CH12 B lymphoma cells. These data demonstrate that ACLY mediates glucose-dependent de novo lipogenesis in response to LPS signaling and identify a role for ACLY in several phenotypic changes that define plasma cell differentiation.
To investigate a potential mechanism underlying trigeminal nerve injury-induced orofacial hypersensitivity, we used a rat model of chronic constriction injury to the infraorbital nerve (CCI-ION) to study whether CCI-ION caused calcium channel α2δ1 (Cavα2δ1) protein dysregulation in trigeminal ganglia and associated spinal subnucleus caudalis and C1/C2 cervical dorsal spinal cord (Vc/C2). Furthermore, we studied whether this neuroplasticity contributed to spinal neuron sensitization and neuropathic pain states. CCI-ION caused orofacial hypersensitivity that correlated with Cavα2δ1 up-regulation in trigeminal ganglion neurons and Vc/C2. Blocking Cavα2δ1 with gabapentin, a ligand for the Cavα2δ1 proteins, or Cavα2δ1 antisense oligodeoxynucleotides led to a reversal of orofacial hypersensitivity, supporting an important role of Cavα2δ1 in orofacial pain processing. Importantly, increased Cavα2δ1 in Vc/C2 superficial dorsal horn was associated with increased excitatory synaptogenesis and increased frequency, but not the amplitude, of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents in dorsal horn neurons that could be blocked by gabapentin. Thus, CCI-ION-induced Cavα2δ1 up-regulation may contribute to orofacial neuropathic pain states through abnormal excitatory synapse formation and enhanced presynaptic excitatory neurotransmitter release in Vc/C2.
The amyloid precursor protein (APP) is an integral membrane glycoprotein whose cleavage products, particularly amyloid-β, accumulate in Alzheimer disease (AD). APP is present at synapses and is thought to play a role in both the formation and plasticity of these critical neuronal structures. Despite the central role suggested for APP in AD pathogenesis, the mechanisms regulating APP in neurons and its processing into cleavage products remain incompletely understood. F-box only protein 2 (Fbxo2), a neuron-enriched ubiquitin ligase substrate adaptor that preferentially binds high-mannose glycans on glycoproteins, was previously implicated in APP processing by facilitating the degradation of the APP-cleaving β-secretase, β-site APP-cleaving enzyme. Here, we sought to determine whether Fbxo2 plays a similar role for other glycoproteins in the amyloid processing pathway. We present in vitro and in vivo evidence that APP is itself a substrate for Fbxo2. APP levels were decreased in the presence of Fbxo2 in non-neuronal cells, and increased in both cultured hippocampal neurons and brain tissue from Fbxo2 knock-out mice. The processing of APP into its cleavage products was also increased in hippocampi and cultured hippocampal neurons lacking Fbxo2. In hippocampal slices, this increase in cleavage products was accompanied by a significant reduction in APP at the cell surface. Taken together, these results suggest that Fbxo2 regulates APP levels and processing in the brain and may play a role in modulating AD pathogenesis.
Oxidation of DNA is a frequent and constantly occurring event. One of the best characterized oxidative DNA lesions is 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-oxo-G). It instructs most DNA polymerases to preferentially insert an adenine (A) opposite 8-oxo-G instead of the appropriate cytosine (C) thus showing miscoding potential. The MutY DNA glycosylase homologue (MutYH) recognizes A:8-oxo-G mispairs and removes the mispaired A giving way to the canonical base excision repair that ultimately restores undamaged guanine (G). Here we characterize for the first time in detail a posttranslational modification of the human MutYH DNA glycosylase. We show that MutYH is ubiquitinated in vitro and in vivo by the E3 ligase Mule between amino acids 475 and 535. Mutation of five lysine residues in this region significantly stabilizes MutYH, suggesting that these are the target sites for ubiquitination. The endogenous MutYH protein levels depend on the amount of expressed Mule. Furthermore, MutYH and Mule physically interact. We found that a ubiquitination-deficient MutYH mutant shows enhanced binding to chromatin. The mutation frequency of the ovarian cancer cell line A2780, analyzed at the HPRT locus can be increased upon oxidative stress and depends on the MutYH levels that are regulated by Mule. This reflects the importance of tightly regulated MutYH levels in the cell. In summary our data show that ubiquitination is an important regulatory mechanism for the essential MutYH DNA glycosylase in human cells.
B cell leukemia 3 (Bcl-3) is an essential negative regulator of NF-κB during Toll-like receptor and TNF receptor signaling. Bcl-3 also interacts with a number of transcriptional regulators, including homodimers of the NF-κB p50 subunit. Deletion of Bcl-3 results in increased NF-κB p50 ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation and increased inflammatory gene expression. We employed immobilized peptide array technology to define a region of p50 required for the formation of a Bcl-3·p50 homodimer immunosuppressor complex. Our data demonstrate that amino acids 359–361 and 363 of p50 are critical for interaction with Bcl-3 and essential for Bcl-3-mediated inhibition of inflammatory gene expression. Bcl-3 is unable to interact with p50 when these amino acids are mutated, rendering it incapable of inhibiting the transcriptional activity of NF-κB. Bcl-3 interaction-defective p50 is hyperubiquitinated and has a significantly reduced half-life relative to wild-type p50. Nfkb1−/− cells reconstituted with mutated p50 precursor p105 are hyperresponsive to TNFα stimulation relative to wild-type p105, as measured by inflammatory gene expression. Mutant p105 recapitulates a Bcl3−/− phenotype. This study demonstrates that interaction with p50 is necessary and sufficient for the anti-inflammatory properties of Bcl-3 and further highlights the importance of p50 homodimer stability in the control of NF-κB target gene expression.
We have explored the mechanisms of polyubiquitin chain assembly with reconstituted ubiquitination of IκBα and β-catenin by the Skp1-cullin 1-βTrCP F-box protein (SCFβTrCP) E3 ubiquitin (Ub) ligase complex. Competition experiments revealed that SCFβTrCP formed a complex with IκBα and that the Nedd8 modified E3-substrate platform engaged in dynamic interactions with the Cdc34 E2 Ub conjugating enzyme for chain elongation. Using “elongation intermediates” containing β-catenin linked with Ub chains of defined length, it was observed that a Lys-48-Ub chain of a length greater than four, but not its Lys-63 linkage counterparts, slowed the rate of additional Ub conjugation. Thus, the Ub chain length and linkage impact kinetic rates of chain elongation. Given that Lys-48-tetra-Ub is packed into compact conformations due to extensive intrachain interactions between Ub subunits, this topology may limit the accessibility of SCFβTrCP/Cdc34 to the distal Ub Lys-48 and result in slowed elongation.
TLR4 signaling induces down-regulation of the bone morphogenic protein (BMP) and activin membrane-bound inhibitor (BAMBI), which enhances TGF-β signaling during hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation. We investigated the mechanism by which TLR4 signaling down-regulates BAMBI expression in HSCs and found that TLR4- and TNF-α-mediated BAMBI down-regulation is dependent on regulation of BAMBI promoter activity through the interaction with NF-κBp50 and HDAC1 in HSCs. Bambi was predominantly expressed in HSCs, at high levels in quiescent HSCs but at low levels in in vivo-activated and LPS-stimulated HSCs. In human HSCs, BAMBI expression was down-regulated in response to LPS and TNF-α. A BAMBI reporter assay demonstrated that the regulatory element to repress BAMBI transcription is located between 3384 and 1560 bp upstream from the transcription start site. LPS stimulation down-regulated BAMBI expression in cells with NF-κBp65 knockdown. However, it failed to down-regulate BAMBI in cells with inactivation of NF-κB or NF-κBp50 silencing, indicating that NF-κBp50 is a factor for BAMBI down-regulation. ChIP analysis revealed that LPS and TNF-α induced binding of the NF-κBp50/p50 homodimer to the BAMBI promoter region. We also found that HDAC1 is bound to this region as part of the NF-κBp50-HDAC1 complex, repressing transcriptional activity of the BAMBI promoter. Finally, we confirmed that LPS does not repress BAMBI reporter activity using a BAMBI reporter construct with a mutation at 3166 bp upstream of the coding region. In summary, our study demonstrates that LPS- and TNF-α-induced NF-κBp50-HDAC1 interaction represses BAMBI transcriptional activity, which contributes to TLR4-mediated enhancement of TGF-β signaling in HSCs during liver fibrosis.
Histone acetyltransferase mortality factor 4-like 1 (MORF4L1) is a relatively new histone acetyltransferase component that exists as a homodimer to exert its epigenetic function. The mechanism of MORF4L1 self-assembly is unknown. Here we report that Lys-148 deacetylation is indispensable for facilitating MORF4L1 self-assembly into a homodimeric unit. Among a stretch of ∼10 amino acids in the NH2 terminus between the chromodomain and MORF4-related gene (MRG) domain within MORF4L1, Lys-148 is normally acetylated. Substitution of Lys-148 with arginine augments MORF4L1 self-assembly. However, acetylation mimics of MORF4L1, including K148L and K148Q, abolished its self-assembly of the histone acetyltransferase component. HDAC2, a deacetylase, interacts with and keeps MORF4L1 in a deacetylation status at Lys148 that triggers MORF4L1 self-assembly. Knockdown of HDAC2 reduces MORF4L1 self-assembly. HDAC2-dependent deacetylation of MORF4L1 enhances MORF4L1 homodimerization, thus facilitating the functionality of complex formation to repress cell proliferation.
A pivotal step in canonical Wnt signaling is Wnt-induced β-catenin stabilization. In the absence of Wnt, β-catenin is targeted for β-transducin repeats-containing proteins (β-TrCP)-mediated degradation due to phosphorylation by glycogen synthase kinase 3 (Gsk3). How canonical Wnt signaling regulates Gsk3 to inhibit β-catenin proteolysis remains largely elusive. This study reveals novel key molecular events in Wnt signaling: induction of Gsk3β ubiquitination and Gsk3β-β-TrCP binding. We found that Wnt stimulation induced prolonged monoubiquitination of Gsk3β and Gsk3β-β-TrCP interaction. Monoubiquitination did not cause Gsk3β degradation nor affects its enzymatic activity. Rather, increased monoubiquitination of Gsk3β/Gsk3β-β-TrCP association suppressed β-catenin recruitment of β-TrCP, leading to long-term inhibition of β-catenin ubiquitination and degradation.
Small molecule inhibitors of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)/PCNA interacting protein box (PIP-Box) interactions, including T2 amino alcohol (T2AA), inhibit translesion DNA synthesis. The crystal structure of PCNA in complex with T2AA revealed that T2AA bound to the surface adjacent to the subunit interface of the homotrimer of PCNA in addition to the PIP-box binding cavity. Because this site is close to Lys-164, which is monoubiquitinated by RAD18, we postulated that T2AA would affect monoubiquitinated PCNA interactions. Binding of monoubiquitinated PCNA and a purified pol η fragment containing the UBZ and PIP-box was inhibited by T2AA in vitro. T2AA decreased PCNA/pol η and PCNA/REV1 chromatin colocalization but did not inhibit PCNA monoubiquitination, suggesting that T2AA hinders interactions of pol η and REV1 with monoubiquitinated PCNA. Interstrand DNA cross-links (ICLs) are repaired by mechanisms using translesion DNA synthesis that is regulated by monoubiquitinated PCNA. T2AA significantly delayed reactivation of a reporter plasmid containing an ICL. Neutral comet analysis of cells receiving T2AA in addition to cisplatin revealed that T2AA significantly enhanced formation of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) by cisplatin. T2AA promoted colocalized foci formation of phospho-ATM and 53BP1 and up-regulated phospho-BRCA1 in cisplatin-treated cells, suggesting that T2AA increases DSBs. When cells were treated by cisplatin and T2AA, their clonogenic survival was significantly less than that of those treated by cisplatin only. These findings show that the inhibitors of monoubiquitinated PCNA chemosensitize cells by inhibiting repair of ICLs and DSBs.
Human TDP-43 represents the main component of neuronal inclusions found in patients with neurodegenerative diseases, especially frontotemporal lobar degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that the TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) Drosophila ortholog (TBPH) can biochemically and functionally overlap the properties of the human factor. The recent direct implication of the human heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) A2B1 and A1, known TDP-43 partners, in the pathogenesis of multisystem proteinopathy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis supports the hypothesis that the physical and functional interplay between TDP-43 and hnRNP A/B orthologs might play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. To test this hypothesis and further validate the fly system as a useful model to study this type of diseases, we have now characterized human TDP-43 and Drosophila TBPH similarity in terms of protein-protein interaction pathways. In this work we show that TDP-43 and TBPH share the ability to associate in vitro with Hrp38/Hrb98DE/CG9983, the fruit fly ortholog of the human hnRNP A1/A2 factors. Interestingly, the protein regions of TDP-43 and Hrp38 responsible for reciprocal interactions are conserved through evolution. Functionally, experiments in HeLa cells demonstrate that TDP-43 is necessary for the inhibitory activity of Hrp38 on splicing. Finally, Drosophila in vivo studies show that Hrp38 deficiency produces locomotive defects and life span shortening in TDP-43 with and without animals. These results suggest that hnRNP protein levels can play a modulatory role on TDP-43 functions.
The lethal toxin (LeTx) of Bacillus anthracis plays a central role in the pathogenesis of anthrax-associated shock. Platelet-activating factor (PAF) is a potent lipid mediator that has been implicated in endotoxin-associated shock. In this study, we examined the contribution of PAF to the manifestations of lethal toxin challenge in WT mice. LeTx challenge resulted in transient increase in serum PAF levels and a concurrent decrease in PAF acetylhydrolase activity. Inhibition of PAF activity using PAF antagonists or toxin challenge of PAF receptor negative mice reversed or ameliorated many of the pathologic features of LeTx-induced damage, including changes in vascular permeability, hepatic necrosis, and cellular apoptosis. In contrast, PAF inhibition had minimal effects on cytokine levels. Findings from these studies support the continued study of PAF antagonists as potential adjunctive agents in the treatment of anthrax-associated shock.
We previously reported that phosphorylation of myosin II-interacting guanine nucleotide exchange factor (MyoGEF) by polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) promotes the localization of MyoGEF to the central spindle and increases MyoGEF activity toward RhoA during mitosis. In this study we report that aurora B-mediated phosphorylation of MyoGEF at Thr-544 creates a docking site for Plk1, leading to the localization and activation of MyoGEF at the central spindle. In vitro kinase assays show that aurora B can phosphorylate MyoGEF. T544A mutation drastically decreases aurora B-mediated phosphorylation of MyoGEF in vitro and in transfected HeLa cells. Coimmunoprecipitation and in vitro pulldown assays reveal that phosphorylation of MyoGEF at Thr-544 enhances the binding of Plk1 to MyoGEF. Immunofluorescence analysis shows that aurora B colocalizes with MyoGEF at the central spindle and midbody during cytokinesis. Suppression of aurora B activity by an aurora B inhibitor disrupts the localization of MyoGEF to the central spindle. In addition, T544A mutation interferes with the localization of MyoGEF to the cleavage furrow and decreases MyoGEF activity toward RhoA during mitosis. Taken together, our results suggest that aurora B coordinates with Plk1 to regulate MyoGEF activation and localization, thus contributing to the regulation of cytokinesis.
The tetraspanins (TSPs) are a family of integral membrane proteins that are ubiquitously expressed at the surface of eukaryotic cells. TSPs mediate a range of processes at the surface of the plasma membrane by providing a scaffold for the assembly of protein complexes known as tetraspanin-enriched microdomains (TEMs). We report here the structure of the surface-exposed EC2 domain from Sm-TSP-2, a TSP from Schistosoma mansoni and one of the better prospects for the development of a vaccine against schistosomiasis. This is the first solution structure of this domain, and our investigations of its interactions with lipid micelles provide a general model for interactions between TSPs, membranes, and other proteins. Using chemical cross-linking, eight potential protein constituents of Sm-TSP-2-mediated TEMs were also identified. These include proteins important for membrane maintenance and repair, providing further evidence for the functional role of Sm-TSP-2- and Sm-TSP-2-mediated TEMs. The identification of calpain, Sm29, and fructose-bisphosphate aldolase, themselves potential vaccine antigens, suggests that the Sm-TSP-2-mediated TEMs could be disrupted via multiple targets. The identification of further Sm-TSP-2-mediated TEM proteins increases the available candidates for multiplex vaccines and/or novel drugs targeting TEMs in the schistosome tegument.
The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated (CRISPR-Cas) system is a prokaryotic defense mechanism against foreign genetic elements. A plethora of CRISPR-Cas versions exist, with more than 40 different Cas protein families and several different molecular approaches to fight the invading DNA. One of the key players in the system is the CRISPR-derived RNA (crRNA), which directs the invader-degrading Cas protein complex to the invader. The CRISPR-Cas types I and III use the Cas6 protein to generate mature crRNAs. Here, we show that the Cas6 protein is necessary for crRNA production but that additional Cas proteins that form a CRISPR-associated complex for antiviral defense (Cascade)-like complex are needed for crRNA stability in the CRISPR-Cas type I-B system in Haloferax volcanii in vivo. Deletion of the cas6 gene results in the loss of mature crRNAs and interference. However, cells that have the complete cas gene cluster (cas1–8b) removed and are transformed with the cas6 gene are not able to produce and stably maintain mature crRNAs. crRNA production and stability is rescued only if cas5, -6, and -7 are present. Mutational analysis of the cas6 gene reveals three amino acids (His-41, Gly-256, and Gly-258) that are essential for pre-crRNA cleavage, whereas the mutation of two amino acids (Ser-115 and Ser-224) leads to an increase of crRNA amounts. This is the first systematic in vivo analysis of Cas6 protein variants. In addition, we show that the H. volcanii I-B system contains a Cascade-like complex with a Cas7, Cas5, and Cas6 core that protects the crRNA.
Glycans occupy the critical cell surface interface between hematopoietic cells and their marrow niches. Typically, glycosyltransferases reside within the intracellular secretory apparatus, and each cell autonomously generates its own cell surface glycans. In this study, we report an alternate pathway to generate cell surface glycans where remotely produced glycosyltransferases remodel surfaces of target cells and for which endogenous expression of the cognate enzymes is not required. Our data show that extracellular ST6Gal-1 sialyltransferase, originating mostly from the liver and released into circulation, targets marrow hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) and mediates the formation of cell surface α2,6-linked sialic acids on HSPCs as assessed by binding to the specific lectins Sambucus nigra agglutinin and Polysporus squamosus lectin and confirmed by mass spectrometry. Marrow HSPCs, operationally defined as the Lin−c-Kit+ and Lin−Sca-1+c-Kit+ populations, express negligible endogenous ST6Gal-1. Animals with reduced circulatory ST6Gal-1 have marrow Lin−Sca-1+c-Kit+ cells with reduced S. nigra agglutinin reactivity. Bone marrow chimeras demonstrated that α2,6-sialylation of HSPCs is profoundly dependent on circulatory ST6Gal-1 status of the recipients and independent of the ability of HSPCs to express endogenous ST6Gal-1. Biologically, HSPC abundance in the marrow is inversely related to circulatory ST6Gal-1 status, and this relationship is recapitulated in the bone marrow chimeras. We propose that remotely produced, rather than the endogenously expressed, ST6Gal-1 is the principal modifier of HSPC glycans for α2,6-sialic acids. In so doing, liver-produced ST6Gal-1 may be a potent systemic regulator of hematopoiesis.
SecA is an ATP-dependent molecular motor pumping secretory and outer membrane proteins across the cytoplasmic membrane in bacteria. SecA associates with the protein-conducting channel, the heterotrimeric SecYEG complex, in a so-called posttranslational manner. A recent study further showed binding of a monomeric state of SecA to the ribosome. However, the true oligomeric state of SecA remains controversial because SecA can also form functional dimers, and high-resolution crystal structures exist for both the monomer and the dimer. Here we present the cryo-electron microscopy structures of Escherichia coli SecA bound to the ribosome. We show that not only a monomeric SecA binds to the ribosome but also that two copies of SecA can be observed that form an elongated dimer. Two copies of SecA completely surround the tunnel exit, providing a unique environment to the nascent polypeptides emerging from the ribosome. We identified the N-terminal helix of SecA required for a stable association with the ribosome. The structures indicate a possible function of the dimeric form of SecA at the ribosome.
Specific, high affinity protein-protein interactions lie at the heart of many essential biological processes, including the recognition of an apparently limitless range of foreign proteins by natural antibodies, which has been exploited to develop therapeutic antibodies. To mediate biological processes, high affinity protein complexes need to form on appropriate, relatively rapid timescales, which presents a challenge for the productive engagement of complexes with large and complex contact surfaces (∼600–1800 Å2). We have obtained comprehensive backbone NMR assignments for two distinct, high affinity antibody fragments (single chain variable and antigen-binding (Fab) fragments), which recognize the structurally diverse cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β, β-sheet) and interleukin-6 (IL-6, α-helical). NMR studies have revealed that the hearts of the antigen binding sites in both free anti-IL-1β Fab and anti-IL-6 single chain variable exist in multiple conformations, which interconvert on a timescale comparable with the rates of antibody-antigen complex formation. In addition, we have identified a conserved antigen binding-induced change in the orientation of the two variable domains. The observed conformational heterogeneity and slow dynamics at protein antigen binding sites appears to be a conserved feature of many high affinity protein-protein interfaces structurally characterized by NMR, suggesting an essential role in protein complex formation. We propose that this behavior may reflect a soft capture, protein-protein docking mechanism, facilitating formation of high affinity protein complexes on a timescale consistent with biological processes.
Gallin is a 41-residue protein, first identified as a minor component of hen egg white and found to be antimicrobial against Escherichia coli. Gallin may participate in the protection of the embryo during its development in the egg. Its sequence is related to antimicrobial β-defensin peptides.
In the present study, gallin was chemically synthesized 1) to further investigate its antimicrobial spectrum and 2) to solve its three-dimensional NMR structure and thus gain insight into structure-function relationships, a prerequisite to understanding its mode(s) of action. Antibacterial assays confirmed that gallin was active against Escherichia coli, but no additional antibacterial activity was observed against the other Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria tested. The three-dimensional structure of gallin, which is the first ovodefensin structure to have been solved to date, displays a new five-stranded arrangement. The gallin three-dimensional fold contains the three-stranded antiparallel β-sheet and the disulfide bridge array typical of vertebrate β-defensins. Gallin can therefore be unambiguously classified as a β-defensin. However, an additional short two-stranded β-sheet reveals that gallin and presumably the other ovodefensins form a new structural subfamily of β-defensins. Moreover, gallin and the other ovodefensins calculated by homology modeling exhibit atypical hydrophobic surface properties, compared with the already known vertebrate β-defensins. These specific structural features of gallin might be related to its restricted activity against E. coli and/or to other yet unknown functions. This work provides initial understanding of a critical sequence-structure-function relationship for the ovodefensin family.
We explored the role played by plasma membrane calcium ATPase-4 (PMCA4) and its alternative splice variants in the cell cycle of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). A novel variant (PMCA4e) was discovered. Quantitative real-time-PCR-quantified PMCA4 splice variant proportions differed in specific organs. The PMCA4a:4b ratio in uninjured carotid arteries (∼1:1) was significantly reduced by wire denudation injury (to ∼1:3) by modulation of alternative splicing, as confirmed by novel antibodies against PMCA4a/e and PMCA4b. Laser capture microdissection localized this shift to the media and adventitia. Primary carotid VSMC from PMCA4 knock-out (P4KO) mice showed impaired [3H]thymidine incorporation and G1 phase arrest as compared with wild type (P4WT). Electroporation of expression constructs encoding PMCA4a, PMCA4b, and a PMCA4b mutant lacking PDZ binding rescued this phenotype of P4KO cells, whereas a mutant with only 10% of normal Ca2+ efflux activity could not. Microarray of early G1-synchronized VSMC showed 39-fold higher Rgs16 (NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T-cells) target; MAPK inhibitor) and 69-fold higher Decorin (G1 arrest marker) expression in P4KO versus P4WT. Validation by Western blot also revealed decreased levels of Cyclin D1 and NFATc3 in P4KO. Microarrays of P4KO VSMC rescued by PMCA4a or PMCA4b expression showed reversal of perturbed Rgs16, Decorin, and NFATc3 expression levels. However, PMCA4a rescue caused a 44-fold reduction in AP-2β, a known anti-proliferative transcription factor, whereas PMCA4b rescue resulted in a 50-fold reduction in p15 (Cyclin D1/Cdk4 inhibitor). We conclude that Ca2+ efflux activity of PMCA4 underlies G1 progression in VSMC and that PMCA4a and PMCA4b differentially regulate specific downstream mediators.
Amino acid uptake in yeast cells is mediated by about 16 plasma membrane permeases, most of which belong to the amino acid-polyamine-organocation (APC) transporter family. These proteins display various substrate specificity ranges. For instance, the general amino acid permease Gap1 transports all amino acids, whereas Can1 and Lyp1 catalyze specific uptake of arginine and lysine, respectively. Although Can1 and Lyp1 have different narrow substrate specificities, they are close homologs. Here we investigated the molecular rules determining the substrate specificity of the H+-driven arginine-specific permease Can1. Using a Can1-Lyp1 sequence alignment as a guideline and a three-dimensional Can1 structural model based on the crystal structure of the bacterial APC family arginine/agmatine antiporter, we introduced amino acid substitutions liable to alter Can1 substrate specificity. We show that the single substitution T456S results in a Can1 variant transporting lysine in addition to arginine and that the combined substitutions T456S and S176N convert Can1 to a Lyp1-like permease. Replacement of a highly conserved glutamate in the Can1 binding site leads to variants (E184Q and E184A) incapable of any amino acid transport, pointing to a potential role for this glutamate in H+ coupling. Measurements of the kinetic parameters of arginine and lysine uptake by the wild-type and mutant Can1 permeases, together with docking calculations for each amino acid in their binding site, suggest a model in which residues at positions 176 and 456 confer substrate selectivity at the ligand-binding stage and/or in the course of conformational changes required for transport.
Sensing and signaling the presence of extracellular glucose is crucial for the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae because of its fermentative metabolism, characterized by high glucose flux through glycolysis. The yeast senses glucose through the cell surface glucose sensors Rgt2 and Snf3, which serve as glucose receptors that generate the signal for induction of genes involved in glucose uptake and metabolism. Rgt2 and Snf3 detect high and low glucose concentrations, respectively, perhaps because of their different affinities for glucose. Here, we provide evidence that cell surface levels of glucose sensors are regulated by ubiquitination and degradation. The glucose sensors are removed from the plasma membrane through endocytosis and targeted to the vacuole for degradation upon glucose depletion. The turnover of the glucose sensors is inhibited in endocytosis defective mutants, and the sensor proteins with a mutation at their putative ubiquitin-acceptor lysine residues are resistant to degradation. Of note, the low affinity glucose sensor Rgt2 remains stable only in high glucose grown cells, and the high affinity glucose sensor Snf3 is stable only in cells grown in low glucose. In addition, constitutively active, signaling forms of glucose sensors do not undergo endocytosis, whereas signaling defective sensors are constitutively targeted for degradation, suggesting that the stability of the glucose sensors may be associated with their ability to sense glucose. Therefore, our findings demonstrate that the amount of glucose available dictates the cell surface levels of the glucose sensors and that the regulation of glucose sensors by glucose concentration may enable yeast cells to maintain glucose sensing activity at the cell surface over a wide range of glucose concentrations.