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Journal of Biological Chemistry

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Inc.


ISSN: 0021-9258 (1067-8816, 1083-351X)
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology - Biochemistry - Molecular Biology - Cell Biology
APC costs unknown

Recent articles

1 show abstract
Gluconeogenesis (GNG) is de novo production of glucose from endogenous carbon sources. Although it is a commonly studied pathway, particularly in disease, there is a lack of consensus about substrate preference. Moreover, primary hepatocytes are the current gold standard for in vitro liver studies, but no direct comparison of substrate preference at physiological fasting concentrations has been performed. We show that mouse primary hepatocytes prefer glycerol to pyruvate/lactate in glucose production assays and 13C isotope tracing studies at the high concentrations commonly used in the literature, as well as at more relevant fasting, physiological concentrations. In addition, when glycerol, pyruvate/lactate, and glutamine are all present, glycerol is responsible for over 75% of all glucose carbons labeled. We also found that glycerol can induce a rate-limiting enzyme of GNG, glucose-6-phosphatase. Lastly, we suggest that glycerol is a better substrate than pyruvate to test in vivo production of glucose in fasting mice. In conclusion, glycerol is the major carbon source for GNG in vitro and in vivo and should be compared with other substrates when studying GNG in the context of metabolic disease states.
2 show abstract
Heterochromatin is a conserved feature of eukaryotic genomes and regulates various cellular processes, including gene silencing, chromosome segregation, and maintenance of genome stability. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, heterochromatin formation involves methylation of lysine 9 in histone H3 (H3K9), which recruits Swi6/HP1 proteins to heterochromatic loci. The Swi6/HP1–H3K9me3 chromatin complex lies at the center of heterochromatic macromolecular assemblies and mediates many functions of heterochromatin by recruiting a diverse set of regulators. However, additional factors may be required for proper heterochromatin organization, but they are not fully known. Here, using several molecular and biochemical approaches, we report that Vgl1, a member of a large family of multiple KH-domain proteins, collectively known as vigilins, is indispensable for the heterochromatin-mediated gene silencing in S. pombe. ChIP analysis revealed that Vgl1 binds to pericentromeric heterochromatin in an RNA-dependent manner and that Vgl1 deletion leads to loss of H3K9 methylation and Swi6 recruitment to centromeric and telomeric heterochromatic loci. Furthermore, we show that Vgl1 interacts with the H3K9 methyltransferase, Clr4, and that loss of Vgl1 impairs Clr4 recruitment to heterochromatic regions of the genome. These findings uncover a novel role for Vgl1 as a key regulator in heterochromatin-mediated gene silencing in S. pombe.
3 show abstract
Canonical Gremlin1 (GREM1) signaling involves binding to and sequestering bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) in the extracellular matrix, preventing the activation of cognate BMP receptor. Exquisite temporospatial control of the GREM1-BMP interaction is required during development, and perturbation of this balance leads to abnormal limb formation and defective kidney development. In addition to inhibition of BMP signaling, several other noncanonical signaling modalities of GREM1 have been postulated. Some literature reports have suggested that GREM1 can bind to and activate vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR2) in endothelial cells, human kidney epithelial cells, and others. These reports suggest that the GREM1 → VEGFR2 signaling can drive angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. We report here that, despite exhaustive attempts, we did not observe GREM1 activation of VEGFR2 in any of the cell lines reported by the above-mentioned studies. Incubation of endothelial colony–forming cells (ECFCs) or human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with recombinant VEGF triggered a robust increase in VEGFR2 tyrosine phosphorylation. In contrast, no VEGFR2 phosphorylation was detected when cells were incubated with recombinant GREM1 over a range of time points and concentrations. We also show that GREM1 does not interfere with VEGF-mediated VEGFR2 activation, suggesting that GREM1 does not bind with any great affinity to VEGFR2. Measurements of ECFC barrier integrity revealed that VEGF induces barrier function disruption, but recombinant human GREM1 had no effect in this assay. We believe that these results provide an important clarification of the potential interaction between GREM1 and VEGFR2 in mammalian cells.
4 show abstract
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) represent an important platform for the development of biotherapeutic products. Most mAbs are produced in mammalian cells, but several mAbs are made in Escherichia coli, including therapeutic fragments. The NISTmAb is a well-characterized reference material made widely available to facilitate the development of both originator biologics and biosimilars. Here, when expressing NISTmAb from codon-optimized constructs in E. coli (eNISTmAb), a truncated variant of its heavy chain was observed. N-terminal protein sequencing and mutagenesis analyses indicated that the truncation resulted from an internal translation initiation from a GTG codon (encoding Val) within eNISTmAb. Using computational and biochemical approaches, we demonstrate that this translation initiates from a weak Shine–Dalgarno sequence and is facilitated by a putative ribosomal protein S1-binding site. We also observed similar internal initiation in the mAb adalimumab (the amino acid sequence of the drug Humira) when expressed in E. coli. Of note, these internal initiation regions were likely an unintended result of the codon optimization for E. coli expression, and the amino acid pattern from which it is derived was identified as a Pro-Ser-X-X-X-Val motif. We discuss the implications of our findings for E. coli protein expression and codon optimization and outline possible strategies for reducing the likelihood of internal translation initiation and truncated product formation.
5 show abstract
Cardiac mitochondrial damage and subsequent inflammation are hallmarks of endotoxin-induced myocardial depression. Activation of the Parkin/PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) pathway has been shown to promote autophagy of damaged mitochondria (mitophagy) and to protect from endotoxin-induced cardiac dysfunction. Tumor susceptibility gene 101 (TSG101) is a key member of the endosomal recycling complexes required for transport, which may affect autophagic flux. In this study, we investigated whether TSG101 regulates mitophagy and influences the outcomes of endotoxin-induced myocardial dysfunction. TSG101 transgenic and knockdown mice underwent endotoxin/lipopolysaccharide treatment (10 μg/g) and were assessed for survival, cardiac function, systemic/local inflammation, and activity of mitophagy mediators in the heart. Upon endotoxin challenge and compared with WT mice, TSG101 transgenic mice exhibited increased survival, preserved cardiac contractile function, reduced inflammation, and enhanced mitophagy activation in the heart. By contrast, TSG101 knockdown mice displayed opposite phenotypes during endotoxemia. Mechanistically, both coimmunoprecipitation assays and coimmunofluorescence staining revealed that TSG101 directly binds to Parkin in the cytosol of myocytes and facilitates translocation of Parkin from the cytosol to the mitochondria. Our results indicate that TSG101 elevation could protect against endotoxin-triggered myocardial injury by promoting Parkin-induced mitophagy.
6 show abstract
Lipoxygenases are widespread enzymes found in virtually all eukaryotes, including fungi, and, more recently, in prokaryotes. These enzymes act on long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid substrates (C18 to C20), raising questions regarding how the substrate threads its way from solvent to the active site. Herein, we report a comparison of the temperature dependence of isotope effects on first- and second-order rate constants among single-site variants of the prototypic plant enzyme soybean lipoxygenase-1 substituted at amino acid residues inferred to impact substrate binding. We created 10 protein variants including four amino acid positions, Val-750, Ile-552, Ile-839, and Trp-500, located within a previously proposed substrate portal. The conversion of these bulky hydrophobic side chains to smaller side chains is concluded to increase the mobility of flanking helices, giving rise to increased off rates for substrate dissociation from the enzyme. In this manner, we identified a specific “binding network” that can regulate movement of the substrate from the solvent to the active site. Taken together with our previous findings on C–H and O2 activation of soybean lipoxygenase-1, these results support the emergence of multiple complementary networks within a single protein scaffold that modulate different steps along the enzymatic reaction coordinate.
7 show abstract
Alginate is a polymer containing two uronic acid epimers, β-d-mannuronate (M) and α-l-guluronate (G), and is a major component of brown seaweed that is depolymerized by alginate lyases. These enzymes have diverse specificity, cleaving the chain with endo- or exotype activity and with differential selectivity for the sequence of M or G at the cleavage site. Dp0100 is a 201-kDa multimodular, broad-specificity endotype alginate lyase from the marine thermophile Defluviitalea phaphyphila, which uses brown algae as a carbon source, converting it to ethanol, and bioinformatics analysis suggested that its catalytic domain represents a new polysaccharide lyase family, PL39. The structure of the Dp0100 catalytic domain, determined at 2.07 Å resolution, revealed that it comprises three regions strongly resembling those of the exotype lyase families PL15 and PL17. The conservation of key catalytic histidine and tyrosine residues belonging to the latter suggests these enzymes share mechanistic similarities. A complex of Dp0100 with a pentasaccharide, M5, showed that the oligosaccharide is located in subsites −2, −1, +1, +2, and +3 in a long, deep canyon open at both ends, explaining the endotype activity of this lyase. This contrasted with the hindered binding sites of the exotype enzymes, which are blocked such that only one sugar moiety can be accommodated at the −1 position in the catalytic site. The biochemical and structural analyses of Dp0100, the first for this new class of endotype alginate lyases, have furthered our understanding of the structure–function and evolutionary relationships within this important class of enzymes.
8 show abstract
Previous work with the classic T4 endonuclease V digestion of DNA from irradiated Drosophila cells followed by Southern hybridization led to the conclusion that Drosophila lacks transcription-coupled repair (TCR). This conclusion was reinforced by the Drosophila Genome Project, which revealed that Drosophila lacks Cockayne syndrome WD repeat protein (CSA), CSB, or UV-stimulated scaffold protein A (UVSSA) homologs, whose orthologs are present in eukaryotes ranging from Arabidopsis to humans that carry out TCR. A recently developed in vivo excision assay and the excision repair-sequencing (XR-Seq) method have enabled genome-wide analysis of nucleotide excision repair in various organisms at single-nucleotide resolution and in a strand-specific manner. Using these methods, we have discovered that Drosophila S2 cells carry out robust TCR comparable with that observed in mammalian cells. Our findings provide critical new insights into the mechanisms of TCR among various different species.
9 show abstract
KXO1 (tirbanibulin or KX2–391) is as a non-ATP-competitive inhibitor of SRC proto-oncogene nonreceptor tyrosine kinase (SRC) and is being clinically investigated for the management of various cancers and actinic keratosis. Recently, KXO1 has also been shown to strongly inhibit tubulin. Interestingly, unlike conventional tubulin-targeting drugs, KXO1 has exhibited low toxicity in preclinical and clinical studies, but the reason for this remains elusive, as are the KXO1-binding site and other details of the interaction of KXO1 with tubulin. Here, cell-based experiments revealed that KXO1 induces tubulin depolymerization and G2/M phase cell cycle arrest at low nanomolar concentrations, similar to colchicine, used as a positive control. Results from biochemical experiments, including an N,N-ethylenebis(iodoacetamide) competition assay, disclosed that KXO1 binds to the colchicine-binding site on β-tubulin, further confirmed by the crystal structure of the tubulin–KXO1 complex at 2.5-Å resolution. A high-quality electron density map of the crystallographic data enabled us to unambiguously determine the position and orientation of KXO1 in the colchicine-binding site, revealing the detailed interactions between KXO1 and tubulin. We also found that KXO1 binds reversibly to purified tubulin, induces a totally reversible cellular effect (G2/M cell cycle arrest), and possesses no cellular toxicity 5 days after drug washout, explaining KXO1's low toxicity. In summary, we show that KXO1 binds to the colchicine-binding site of tubulin and resolved the crystal structure of the tubulin–KXO1 complex. Importantly, KXO1's reversible binding to tubulin explains its clinically low toxicity, an insight that could guide further clinical applications of KXO1.
10 show abstract
The pace of deorphanization of G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) has slowed, and new approaches are required. Small molecule targeting of orphan GPCRs can potentially be of clinical benefit even if the endogenous receptor ligand has not been identified. Many GPCRs lack common variants that lead to reproducible genome-wide disease associations, and rare-variant approaches have emerged as a viable alternative to identify disease associations for such genes. Therefore, our goal was to prioritize orphan GPCRs by determining their associations with human diseases in a large clinical population. We used sequence kernel association tests to assess the disease associations of 85 orphan or understudied GPCRs in an unselected cohort of 51,289 individuals. Using rare loss-of-function variants, missense variants predicted to be pathogenic or likely pathogenic, and a subset of rare synonymous variants that cause large changes in local codon bias as independent data sets, we found strong, phenome-wide disease associations shared by two or more variant categories for 39% of the GPCRs. To validate the bioinformatics and sequence kernel association test analyses, we functionally characterized rare missense and synonymous variants of GPR39, a family A GPCR, revealing altered expression or Zn2+-mediated signaling for members of both variant classes. These results support the utility of rare variant analyses for identifying disease associations for GPCRs that lack impactful common variants. We highlight the importance of rare synonymous variants in human physiology and argue for their routine inclusion in any comprehensive analysis of genomic variants as potential causes of disease.
11 show abstract
MicroRNA-150-5p (miR-150-5p) plays a complex role in normal early hematopoietic development and is also implicated in the development of various different leukemias. We have reported previously that, in myeloid and lymphoid malignancies associated with dysregulated fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) activities, miR-150-5p is down-regulated compared with healthy cells. Here, using murine cells, we found that this down-regulation is accompanied by CpG methylation of the miR-150-5p promoter region. Of note, analysis of human acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cohorts also revealed an inverse relationship between miR-150-5p expression and disease progression. We also found that the DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) enzyme is highly up-regulated in FGFR1-driven leukemias and lymphomas and that FGFR1 inhibition reduces DNMT1 expression. DNMT1 knockdown in stem cell leukemia/lymphoma (SCLL) cells increased miR-150-5p levels and reduced levels of the MYB proto-oncogene transcription factor, a key regulator of leukemogenesis. FGFR1 directly activates the MYC proto-oncogene basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, which, as we show here, binds and activates the DNMT1 promoter. MYC knockdown decreased DNMT1 expression, which, in turn, increased miR-150-5p expression. One of the known targets of miR-150-5p is MYB, and treatment of leukemic cells with the MYB inhibitor mebendazole dose-dependently increased apoptosis and reduced cell viability. Moreover, mebendazole treatment of murine xenografts models of FGFR1-driven leukemias enhanced survival. These findings provide evidence that MYC activates MYB by up-regulating DNMT1, which silences miR-150-5p and promotes SCLL progression. We propose that inclusion of mebendazole in a combination therapy with FGFR1 inhibitors may be a valuable option to manage SCLL.
12 show abstract
The nuclear factor (erythroid 2)-like (NRF) transcription factors are a subset of cap'n'collar transcriptional regulators. They consist of three members, NRF1, NRF2, and NRF3, that regulate the expression of genes containing antioxidant-response elements (AREs) in their promoter regions. Although all NRF members regulate ARE-containing genes, each is associated with distinct roles. A comprehensive study of differential and overlapping DNA-binding and transcriptional activities of the NRFs has not yet been conducted. Here, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-exo sequencing, an approach that combines ChIP with exonuclease treatment to pinpoint regulatory elements in DNA with high precision, in conjunction with RNA-sequencing to define the transcriptional targets of each NRF member. Our approach, done in three U2OS cell lines, identified 31 genes that were regulated by all three NRF members, 27 that were regulated similarly by all three, and four genes that were differentially regulated by at least one NRF member. We also found genes that were up- or down-regulated by only one NRF member, with 84, 84, and 22 genes that were regulated by NRF1, NRF2, and NRF3, respectively. Analysis of the ARE motifs identified in ChIP peaks revealed that NRF2 prefers binding to AREs flanked by GC-rich regions and that NRF1 prefers AT-rich flanking regions. Thus, sequence preference, likely in combination with upstream signaling events, determines NRF member activation under specific cellular contexts. Our analysis provides a comprehensive description of differential and overlapping gene regulation by the transcriptional regulators NRF1, NRF2, and NRF3.
13 show abstract
Several antidepressant drugs activate tropomyosin-related kinase B (TRKB) receptor, but it remains unclear whether these compounds employ a common mechanism for TRKB activation. Here, using MS, we found that a single intraperitoneal injection of fluoxetine disrupts the interaction of several proteins with TRKB in the hippocampus of mice. These proteins included members of adaptor protein complex-2 (AP-2) involved in vesicular endocytosis. The interaction of TRKB with the cargo-docking μ subunit of the AP-2 complex (AP2M) was confirmed to be disrupted by both acute and repeated fluoxetine treatments. Of note, fluoxetine disrupted the coupling between full-length TRKB and AP2M, but not the interaction between AP2M and the TRKB C-terminal region, indicating that the fluoxetine-binding site in TRKB lies outside the TRKB:AP2M interface. ELISA experiments revealed that in addition to fluoxetine, other chemically diverse antidepressants, such as imipramine, rolipram, phenelzine, ketamine, and its metabolite 2R,6R-hydroxynorketamine, also decreased the interaction between TRKB and AP2M in vitro. Silencing the expression of AP2M in a TRKB-expressing mouse fibroblast cell line (MG87.TRKB) increased cell-surface expression of TRKB and facilitated its activation by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), observed as levels of phosphorylated TRKB. Moreover, animals haploinsufficient for the Ap2m1 gene displayed increased levels of active TRKB, along with enhanced cell-surface expression of the receptor in cultured hippocampal neurons. Taken together, our results suggest that disruption of the TRKB:AP2M interaction is a common mechanism underlying TRKB activation by several chemically diverse antidepressants.
14 show abstract
The integration of multiple perspectives in both the arts and natural sciences is tremendously powerful and arguably necessary for capturing relevant features of complex phenomena. Individual methods and models comprise abstractions from and idealizations of nature, and only the integration of multiple models, methods, and representations provides a means to reach more accurate results than relying on any single approach. In my Mildred Cohn Award Lecture at the 2019 ASBMB meeting, I illustrated the power of such multidisciplinary work by highlighting the successful integration of data and multiple views afforded by NMR spectroscopy, cryo-electron microscopy, cryo-electron tomography, X-ray crystallography, computation, and functional assays made possible through collaborative efforts by members of the Pittsburgh Center for HIV Protein Interactions. This approach permitted us to generate the first all-atom model of a native HIV-1 capsid core.
15 show abstract
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that has emerged as a threat to global health. The family of adenosine deaminases acting on dsRNA (ADARs) are human host factors important for the genetic diversity and evolution of ZIKV. Here, we further investigated the role of ADAR1 in ZIKV replication by utilizing CRISPR/Cas9-based gene editing and RNAi-based gene knockdown techniques. Both ADAR1 knockout and knockdown significantly reduced ZIKV RNA synthesis, protein levels, and viral titers in several human cell lines. Trans-complementation with the full-length ADAR1 form p150 or the shorter form p110 lacking the Zα domain restored viral replication levels suppressed by the ADAR1 knockout. Moreover, we observed that the nuclear p110 form was redistributed to the cytoplasm in response to ZIKV infection. ADAR1 was not involved in viral entry but promoted viral protein translation by impairing ZIKV-induced activation of protein kinase regulated by dsRNA (PKR). Of note, the RNA-editing activity of ADAR1 was not required to promote ZIKV replication. We also found that the proviral role of ADAR1 was partially mediated through its ability to suppress IFN production and PKR activation. Our work identifies ADAR1 as a proviral factor involved in ZIKV replication, suggesting that ADAR1 could be a potential antiviral target.
16 show abstract
Chromatin remodelers use helicase-like ATPase domains to reorganize histone–DNA contacts within the nucleosome. Like other remodelers, the chromodomain helicase DNA-binding protein 1 (Chd1) remodeler repositions nucleosomes by altering DNA topology at its internal binding site on the nucleosome, coupling different degrees of DNA twist and DNA movement to distinct nucleotide-bound states of the ATPase motor. In this work, we used a competition assay to study how variations in the bound nucleotide, Chd1, and the nucleosome substrate affect stability of Chd1–nucleosome complexes. We found that Chd1–nucleosome complexes formed in nucleotide-free or ADP conditions were relatively unstable and dissociated within 30 s, whereas those with the nonhydrolyzable ATP analog AMP-PNP had a mean lifetime of 4.8 ± 0.7 min. Chd1–nucleosome complexes were remarkably stable with ADP·BeF3− and the transition state analogs ADP·AlFX and ADP·MgFX, being resistant to competitor nucleosome over a 24-h period. For the tight ADP·BeF3−–stabilized complex, Mg2+ was a critical component that did not freely exchange, and formation of these long-lived complexes had a slow, concentration-dependent step. The ADP·BeF3−–stabilized complex did not require the Chd1 DNA-binding domain nor the histone H4 tail and appeared relatively insensitive to sequence differences on either side of the Widom 601 sequence. Interestingly, the complex remained stable in ADP·BeF3− even when nucleosomes contained single-stranded gaps that disrupted most DNA contacts with the guide strand. This finding suggests that binding via the tracking strand alone is sufficient for stabilizing the complex in a hydrolysis-competent state.
17 show abstract
GNA13, the α subunit of a heterotrimeric G protein, mediates signaling through G-protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs). GNA13 is up-regulated in many solid tumors, including prostate cancer, where it contributes to tumor initiation, drug resistance, and metastasis. To better understand how GNA13 contributes to tumorigenesis and tumor progression, we compared the entire transcriptome of PC3 prostate cancer cells with those cells in which GNA13 expression had been silenced. This analysis revealed that GNA13 levels affected multiple CXC-family chemokines. Further investigation in three different prostate cancer cell lines singled out pro-tumorigenic CXC motif chemokine ligand 5 (CXCL5) as a target of GNA13 signaling. Elevation of GNA13 levels consistently induced CXCL5 RNA and protein expression in all three cell lines. Analysis of the CXCL5 promoter revealed that the −505/+62 region was both highly active and influenced by GNA13, and a single NF-κB site within this region of the promoter was critical for GNA13-dependent promoter activity. ChIP experiments revealed that, upon induction of GNA13 expression, occupancy at the CXCL5 promoter was significantly enriched for the p65 component of NF-κB. GNA13 knockdown suppressed both p65 phosphorylation and the activity of a specific NF-κB reporter, and p65 silencing impaired the GNA13-enhanced expression of CXCL5. Finally, blockade of Rho GTPase activity eliminated the impact of GNA13 on NF-κB transcriptional activity and CXCL5 expression. Together, these findings suggest that GNA13 drives CXCL5 expression by transactivating NF-κB in a Rho-dependent manner in prostate cancer cells.
18 show abstract
A myriad of protein partners modulate the activity of the human DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A), whose interactions with these other proteins are frequently altered during oncogenesis. We show here that the tumor suppressor p53 decreases DNMT3A activity by forming a heterotetramer complex with DNMT3A. Mutational and modeling experiments suggested that p53 interacts with the same region in DNMT3A as does the structurally characterized DNMT3L. We observed that the p53-mediated repression of DNMT3A activity is blocked by amino acid substitutions within this interface, but surprisingly, also by a distal DNMT3A residue, R882H. DNMT3A R882H occurs frequently in various cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia, and our results suggest that the effects of R882H and other DNMT3A mutations may go beyond changes in DNMT3A methylation activity. To further understand the dynamics of how protein-protein interactions modulate DNMT3A activity, we determined that p53 has a greater affinity for DNMT3A than for DNMT3L and that p53 readily displaces DNMT3L from the DNMT3A:DNMT3L heterotetramer. Interestingly, this occurred even when the preformed DNMT3A:DNMT3L complex was actively methylating DNA. The frequently identified p53 substitutions (R248W and R273H), whereas able to regulate DNMT3A function when forming the DNMT3A:p53 heterotetramer, no longer displaced DNMT3L from the DNMT3A:DNMT3L heterotetramer. The results of our work highlight the complex interplay between DNMT3A, p53, and DNMT3L and how these interactions are further modulated by clinically derived mutations in each of the interacting partners.
19 show abstract
Single-cell RNA-Seq (scRNA-Seq) has led to an unprecedented understanding of gene expression and regulation in individual cells. Many scRNA-Seq approaches rely upon the template switching property of Moloney murine leukemia virus (MMLV)-type reverse transcriptases. Template switching is believed to happen in a sequential process involving nontemplated addition of three protruding nucleotides (+CCC) to the 3′-end of the nascent cDNA, which can then anneal to the matching rGrGrG 3′-end of the template-switching oligo (TSO), allowing the reverse transcriptase (RT) to switch templates and continue copying the TSO sequence. In this study, we present a detailed analysis of template switching biases with respect to the RNA template, specifically of the role of the sequence and nature of its 5′-end (capped versus noncapped) in these biases. Our findings confirmed that the presence of a 5′-m7G cap enhances template switching efficiency. We also profiled the composition of the nontemplated addition in the absence of TSO and observed that the 5′-end of RNA template influences the terminal transferase activity of the RT. Furthermore, we found that designing new TSOs that pair with the most common nontemplated additions did little to improve template switching efficiency. Our results provide evidence suggesting that, in contrast to the current understanding of the template switching process, nontemplated addition and template switching are concurrent and competing processes.
20 show abstract
Fibrillins serve as scaffolds for the assembly of elastic fibers that contribute to the maintenance of tissue homeostasis and regulate growth factor signaling in the extracellular space. Fibrillin-1 is a modular glycoprotein that includes 7 latent transforming growth factor β (TGFβ)-binding protein-like (TB) domains and mediates cell adhesion through integrin binding to the RGD motif in its 4th TB domain. A subset of missense mutations within TB4 cause stiff skin syndrome (SSS), a rare autosomal dominant form of scleroderma. The fibrotic phenotype is thought to be regulated by changes in the ability of fibrillin-1 to mediate integrin binding. We characterized the ability of each RGD-binding integrin to mediate cell adhesion to fibrillin-1 or a disease-causing variant. Our data show that 7 of the 8 RGD-binding integrins can mediate adhesion to fibrillin-1. A single amino acid substitution responsible for SSS (W1570C) markedly inhibited adhesion mediated by integrins α5β1, αvβ5, and αvβ6, partially inhibited adhesion mediated by αvβ1, and did not inhibit adhesion mediated by α8β1 or αIIbβ3. Adhesion mediated by integrin αvβ3 depended on the cell surface expression level. In the SSS mutant background, the presence of a cysteine residue in place of highly conserved tryptophan 1570 alters the conformation of the region containing the exposed RGD sequence within the same domain to differentially affect fibrillin's interactions with distinct RGD-binding integrins.
21 show abstract
The evolutionarily conserved TOR complex 1 (TORC1) activates cell growth and proliferation in response to nutritional signals. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, TORC1 is essential for vegetative growth, and its activity is regulated in response to nitrogen quantity and quality. Yet, how TORC1 senses nitrogen is poorly understood. Rapamycin, a specific TOR inhibitor, inhibits growth in S. pombe only under conditions in which the activity of TORC1 is compromised. In a genetic screen for rapamycin-sensitive mutations, we isolated caa1-1, a loss-of-function mutation of the cytosolic form of aspartate aminotransferase (Caa1). We demonstrate that loss of caa1+ partially mimics loss of TORC1 activity and that Caa1 is required for full TORC1 activity. Disruption of caa1+ resulted in aspartate auxotrophy, a finding that prompted us to assess the role of aspartate in TORC1 activation. We found that the amino acids glutamine, asparagine, arginine, aspartate, and serine activate TORC1 most efficiently following nitrogen starvation. The glutamine synthetase inhibitor l-methionine sulfoximine abolished the ability of asparagine, arginine, aspartate, or serine, but not that of glutamine, to induce TORC1 activity, consistent with a central role for glutamine in activating TORC1. Neither addition of aspartate nor addition of glutamine restored TORC1 activity in caa1-deleted cells or in cells carrying a Caa1 variant with a catalytic site substitution, suggesting that the catalytic activity of Caa1 is required for TORC1 activation. Taken together, our results reveal the contribution of the key metabolic enzyme Caa1 to TORC1 activity in S. pombe.
22 show abstract
The PAH1-encoded phosphatidate phosphatase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae plays a major role in triacylglycerol synthesis and the control of phospholipid synthesis. For its catalytic function on the nuclear/endoplasmic reticulum membrane, Pah1 translocates to the membrane through its phosphorylation/dephosphorylation. Pah1 phosphorylation on multiple serine/threonine residues is complex and catalyzed by diverse protein kinases. In this work, we demonstrate that Pah1 is phosphorylated by the YCK1-encoded casein kinase I (CKI), regulating Pah1 catalytic activity and phosphorylation. Phosphoamino acid analysis coupled with phosphopeptide mapping of the CKI-phosphorylated Pah1 indicated that it is phosphorylated mainly on multiple serine residues. Using site-directed mutagenesis and phosphorylation analysis of Pah1, we identified eight serine residues (i.e. Ser-114, Ser-475, Ser-511, Ser-602, Ser-677, Ser-705, Ser-748, and Ser-774) as the target sites of CKI. Of these residues, Ser-475 and Ser-511 were specific for CKI, whereas the others were shared by casein kinase II (Ser-705), Cdc28–cyclin B (Ser-602), Pho85–Pho80 (Ser-114, Ser-602, and Ser-748), protein kinase A (Ser-667 and Ser-774), and protein kinase C (Ser-677). CKI-mediated phosphorylation of Pah1 stimulated both its phosphatidate phosphatase activity and its subsequent phosphorylation by casein kinase II. However, the CKI-mediated phosphorylation of Pah1 strongly inhibited its subsequent phosphorylation by Pho85–Pho80, protein kinase A, and protein kinase C. In a reciprocal analysis, Pah1 phosphorylation by Pho85–Pho80 inhibited subsequent phosphorylation by CKI. CKI-mediated Pah1 phosphorylation was also inhibited by a peptide containing the Pah1 residues 506–517, including the kinase-specific Ser-511 residue. These findings advance our understanding of how Pah1 catalytic activity and phosphorylation are regulated by multiple protein kinases.
23 show abstract
Mutations in the gene encoding the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) disrupt epithelial secretion and cause cystic fibrosis (CF). Available CFTR modulators provide only modest clinical benefits, so alternative therapeutic targets are being explored. The anion-conducting transporter solute carrier family 26 member 9 (SLC26A9) is a promising candidate, but its functional expression is drastically reduced in cells that express the most common CF-associated CFTR variant, F508del–CFTR, through mechanisms that remain incompletely understood. Here, we examined the metabolic stability and location of SLC26A9 and its relationship to CFTR. Compared with SLC26A9 levels in BHK cells expressing SLC26A9 alone or with WT–CFTR, co-expression of SLC26A9 with F508del–CFTR reduced total and plasma membrane levels of SLC26A9. Proteasome inhibitors increased SLC26A9 immunofluorescence in primary human bronchial epithelial cells (pHBEs) homozygous for F508del–CFTR but not in non-CF pHBEs, suggesting that F508del–CFTR enhances proteasomal SLC26A9 degradation. Apical SLC26A9 expression increased when F508del–CFTR trafficking was partially corrected by low temperature or with the CFTR modulator VX-809. The immature glycoforms of SLC26A9 and CFTR co-immunoprecipitated, consistent with their interaction in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Transfection with increasing amounts of WT–CFTR cDNA progressively increased SLC26A9 levels in F508del–CFTR-expressing cells, suggesting that WT–CFTR competes with F508del–CFTR for SLC26A9 binding. Immunofluorescence staining of endogenous SLC26A9 and transfection of a 3HA-tagged construct into well-differentiated cells revealed that SLC26A9 is mostly present at tight junctions. We conclude that SLC26A9 interacts with CFTR in both the ER and Golgi and that its interaction with F508del–CFTR increases proteasomal SLC26A9 degradation.
24 show abstract
Oxidative modification of Cys residues by NO results in S-nitrosylation, a ubiquitous post-translational modification and a primary mediator of redox-based cellular signaling. Steady-state levels of S-nitrosylated proteins are largely determined by denitrosylase enzymes that couple NAD(P)H oxidation with reduction of S-nitrosothiols, including protein and low-molecular-weight (LMW) S-nitrosothiols (S-nitroso-GSH (GSNO) and S-nitroso-CoA (SNO-CoA)). SNO-CoA reductases require NADPH, whereas enzymatic reduction of GSNO can involve either NADH or NADPH. Notably, GSNO reductase (GSNOR, Adh5) accounts for most NADH-dependent GSNOR activity, whereas NADPH-dependent GSNOR activity is largely unaccounted for (CBR1 mediates a minor portion). Here, we de novo purified NADPH-coupled GSNOR activity from mammalian tissues and identified aldo-keto reductase family 1 member A1 (AKR1A1), the archetypal mammalian SNO-CoA reductase, as a primary mediator of NADPH-coupled GSNOR activity in these tissues. Kinetic analyses suggested an AKR1A1 substrate preference of SNO-CoA> GSNO. AKR1A1 deletion from murine tissues dramatically lowered NADPH-dependent GSNOR activity. Conversely, GSNOR-deficient mice had increased AKR1A1 activity, revealing potential cross-talk among GSNO-dependent denitrosylases. Molecular modeling and mutagenesis of AKR1A1 identified Arg-312 as a key residue mediating the specific interaction with GSNO; in contrast, substitution of the SNO-CoA–binding residue Lys-127 minimally affected the GSNO-reducing activity of AKR1A1. Together, these findings indicate that AKR1A1 is a multi-LMW-SNO reductase that can distinguish between and metabolize the two major LMW-SNO signaling molecules GSNO and SNO-CoA, allowing for wide-ranging control of protein S-nitrosylation under both physiological and pathological conditions.
25 show abstract
During mammalian palatogenesis, cranial neural crest-derived mesenchymal cells undergo osteogenic differentiation and form the hard palate, which is divided into palatine process of the maxilla and the palatine. However, it remains unknown whether these bony structures originate from the same cell lineage and how the hard palate is patterned at the molecular level. Using mice, here we report that deficiency in Shox2 (short stature homeobox 2), a transcriptional regulator whose expression is restricted to the anterior palatal mesenchyme, leads to a defective palatine process of the maxilla but does not affect the palatine. Shox2 overexpression in palatal mesenchyme resulted in a hyperplastic palatine process of the maxilla and a hypoplastic palatine. RNA sequencing and assay for transposase-accessible chromatin-sequencing analyses revealed that Shox2 controls the expression of pattern specification and skeletogenic genes associated with accessible chromatin in the anterior palate. This highlighted a lineage-autonomous function of Shox2 in patterning and osteogenesis of the hard palate. H3K27ac ChIP-Seq and transient transgenic enhancer assays revealed that Shox2 binds distal-acting cis-regulatory elements in an anterior palate–specific manner. Our results suggest that the palatine process of the maxilla and palatine arise from different cell lineages and differ in ossification mechanisms. Shox2 evidently controls osteogenesis of a cell lineage and contributes to the palatine process of the maxilla by interacting with distal cis-regulatory elements to regulate skeletogenic gene expression and to pattern the hard palate. Genome-wide Shox2 occupancy in the developing palate may provide a marker for identifying active anterior palate–specific gene enhancers.
26 show abstract
Despite a lack of mutations, accumulating evidence supports an important role for the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in ovarian tumorigenesis. However, the molecular mechanism that contributes to the aberrant activation of the Wnt signaling cascade in ovarian cancer has not been fully elucidated. Here, we found that protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type R (PTPRR) suppressed the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in ovarian cancer. We performed an shRNA-based biochemical screen, which identified PTPRR as being responsible for tyrosine dephosphorylation of β-catenin on Tyr-142, a key site controlling the transcriptional activity of β-catenin. Of note, PTPRR was down-regulated in ovarian cancers, and ectopic PTPRR re-expression delayed ovarian cancer cell growth both in vitro and in vivo. Using a proximity-based tagging system and RNA-Seq analysis, we identified a signaling nexus that includes PTPRR, α-catenin, β-catenin, E-cadherin, and AT-rich interaction domain 3C (ARID3C) in ovarian cancer. Immunohistochemistry staining of human samples further suggested that PTPRR expression is inversely correlated with disease prognosis. Collectively, our findings indicate that PTPRR functions as a tumor suppressor in ovarian cancer by dephosphorylating and inactivating β-catenin. These results suggest that PTPRR expression might have utility as a prognostic marker for predicting overall survival.
27 show abstract
Endoplasmic reticulum protein of 29 kDa (ERp29) is a thioredoxin-homologous endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein that regulates the biogenesis of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) and the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC). ERp29 may promote ENaC cleavage and increased open probability by directing ENaC to the Golgi via coat complex II (COP II) during biogenesis. We hypothesized that ERp29's C-terminal KEEL ER retention motif, a KDEL variant that is associated with less robust ER retention, strongly influences its regulation of ENaC biogenesis. As predicted by our previous work, depletion of Sec24D, the cargo recognition component of COP II that we previously demonstrated to interact with ENaC, decreases ENaC functional expression without altering β-ENaC expression at the apical surface. We then tested the influence of KDEL ERp29, which should be more readily retrieved from the proximal Golgi by the KDEL receptor (KDEL-R), and a KEEL-deleted mutant (ΔKEEL ERp29), which should not interact with the KDEL-R. ENaC functional expression was decreased by ΔKEEL ERp29 overexpression, whereas KDEL ERp29 overexpression did not significantly alter ENaC functional expression. Again, β-ENaC expression at the apical surface was unaltered by either of these manipulations. Finally, we tested whether the KDEL-R itself has a role in ENaC forward trafficking and found that KDEL-R depletion decreases ENaC functional expression, again without altering β-ENaC expression at the apical surface. These results support the hypothesis that the KDEL-R plays a role in the biogenesis of ENaC and in its exit from the ER through its association with COP II. The cleavage of the extracellular loops of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) α and γ subunits increases the channel's open probability and function. During ENaC biogenesis, such cleavage is regulated by the novel 29-kDa chaperone of the ER, ERp29. Our data here are consistent with the hypothesis that ERp29 must interact with the KDEL receptor to exert its regulation of ENaC biogenesis. The classically described role of the KDEL receptor is to retrieve ER-retained species from the proximal Golgi and return them to the ER via coat complex I machinery. In contrast, our data suggest a novel and important role for the KDEL receptor in the biogenesis and forward trafficking of ENaC.
28 show abstract
Breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) is a member of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter proteins whose primary function is to efflux substrates bound to the plasma membrane. Impaired intestinal barrier functions play a major role in chronic low-grade inflammation (CLGI)–associated obesity, but the regulation of BCRP during obesity and its role in maintaining the intestinal barrier function during CLGI-associated obesity are unknown. In the present study, using several approaches, including efflux assays, immunoprecipitation, immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, paracellular permeability assay, FACS, cytokine assay, and immunofluorescence microscopy, we report that obese individuals have compromised intestinal BCRP functions and that diet-induced obese mice recapitulate these outcomes. We demonstrate that the compromised BCRP functions during obesity are because of loss of Janus kinase 3 (JAK3)–mediated tyrosine phosphorylation of BCRP. Our results indicate that JAK3-mediated phosphorylation of BCRP promotes its interactions with membrane-localized β-catenin essential not only for BCRP expression and surface localization, but also for the maintenance of BCRP-mediated intestinal drug efflux and barrier functions. We observed that reduced intestinal JAK3 expression during human obesity or JAK3 knockout in mouse or siRNA-mediated β-catenin knockdown in human intestinal epithelial cells all result in significant loss of intestinal BCRP expression and compromised colonic drug efflux and barrier functions. Our results uncover a mechanism of BCRP-mediated intestinal drug efflux and barrier functions and establish a role for BCRP in preventing CLGI-associated obesity both in humans and in mice.
29 show abstract
Tk-hefu is an artificial peptide designed based on the α-hairpinin scaffold, which selectively blocks voltage-gated potassium channels Kv1.3. Here we present its spatial structure resolved by NMR spectroscopy and analyze its interaction with channels using computer modeling. We apply protein surface topography to suggest mutations and increase Tk-hefu affinity to the Kv1.3 channel isoform. We redesign the functional surface of Tk-hefu to better match the respective surface of the channel pore vestibule. The resulting peptide Tk-hefu-2 retains Kv1.3 selectivity and displays ∼15 times greater activity compared with Tk-hefu. We verify the mode of Tk-hefu-2 binding to the channel outer vestibule experimentally by site-directed mutagenesis. We argue that scaffold engineering aided by protein surface topography represents a reliable tool for design and optimization of specific ion channel ligands.
30 show abstract
Precise modification and processing of rRNAs are required for the production of ribosomes and accurate translation of proteins. Small nucleolar ribonucleoproteins (snoRNPs) guide the folding, modification, and processing of rRNAs and are thus critical for all eukaryotic cells. Bcd1, an essential zinc finger HIT protein functionally conserved in eukaryotes, has been implicated as an early regulator for biogenesis of box C/D snoRNPs and controls steady-state levels of box C/D snoRNAs through an unknown mechanism. Using a combination of genetic and biochemical approaches, here we found a conserved N-terminal motif in Bcd1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is required for interactions with box C/D snoRNAs and the core snoRNP protein, Snu13. We show that both the Bcd1–snoRNA and Bcd1–Snu13 interactions are critical for snoRNP assembly and ribosome biogenesis. Our results provide mechanistic insight into Bcd1 interactions that likely control the early steps of snoRNP maturation and contribute to the essential role of this protein in maintaining the steady-state levels of snoRNAs in the cell.
31 show abstract
A heterobimetallic Mn/Fe cofactor is present in the R2 subunit of class Ic ribonucleotide reductases (R2c) and in R2-like ligand-binding oxidases (R2lox). Although the protein-derived metal ligands are the same in both groups of proteins, the connectivity of the two metal ions and the chemistry each cofactor performs are different: in R2c, a one-electron oxidant, the Mn/Fe dimer is linked by two oxygen bridges (μ-oxo/μ-hydroxo), whereas in R2lox, a two-electron oxidant, it is linked by a single oxygen bridge (μ-hydroxo) and a fatty acid ligand. Here, we identified a second coordination sphere residue that directs the divergent reactivity of the protein scaffold. We found that the residue that directly precedes the N-terminal carboxylate metal ligand is conserved as a glycine within the R2lox group but not in R2c. Substitution of the glycine with leucine converted the resting-state R2lox cofactor to an R2c-like cofactor, a μ-oxo/μ-hydroxo–bridged MnIII/FeIII dimer. This species has recently been observed as an intermediate of the oxygen activation reaction in WT R2lox, indicating that it is physiologically relevant. Cofactor maturation in R2c and R2lox therefore follows the same pathway, with structural and functional divergence of the two cofactor forms following oxygen activation. We also show that the leucine-substituted variant no longer functions as a two-electron oxidant. Our results reveal that the residue preceding the N-terminal metal ligand directs the cofactor's reactivity toward one- or two-electron redox chemistry, presumably by setting the protonation state of the bridging oxygens and thereby perturbing the redox potential of the Mn ion.
32 show abstract
5-Formylcytosine (5fC) is an endogenous epigenetic DNA mark introduced via enzymatic oxidation of 5-methyl-dC in DNA. We and others recently reported that 5fC can form reversible DNA–protein conjugates with histone proteins, likely contributing to regulation of nucleosomal organization and gene expression. The protein component of DNA–protein cross-links can be proteolytically degraded, resulting in smaller DNA–peptide cross-links. Unlike full-size DNA–protein cross-links that completely block replication and transcription, DNA–peptide cross-links can be bypassed by DNA and RNA polymerases and can potentially be repaired via the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. In the present work, we constructed plasmid molecules containing reductively stabilized, site-specific 5fC–polypeptide lesions and employed a quantitative MS-based assay to assess their effects on transcription in cells. Our results revealed that the presence of DNA–peptide cross-link significantly inhibits transcription in human HEK293T cells but does not induce transcription errors. Furthermore, transcription efficiency was similar in WT and NER-deficient human cell lines, suggesting that the 5fC–polypeptide lesion is a weak substrate for NER. This finding was confirmed by in vitro NER assays in cell-free extracts from human HeLa cells, suggesting that another mechanism is required for 5fC–polypeptide lesion removal. In summary, our findings indicate that 5fC-mediated DNA–peptide cross-links dramatically reduce transcription efficiency, are poor NER substrates, and do not cause transcription errors.
33 show abstract
Rational design–guided improvement of protein thermostability typically requires identification of residues or regions contributing to instability and introduction of mutations into these residues or regions. One popular method, B-FIT, utilizes B-factors to identify unstable residues or regions and combines them with other strategies, such as directed evolution. Here, we performed structure-based engineering to improve the thermostability of the subtilisin E-S7 (SES7) peptidase. The B-value of each residue was redefined in a normalized B-factor calculation, which was implemented with a refined bioinformatics analysis strategy to identify the critical area (loop 158–162) related to flexibility and to screen for suitable thermostable motif sequences in the Protein Data Bank that can act as transplant loops. In total, we analyzed 445 structures and identified 29 thermostable motifs as candidates. Using these motifs as a starting point, we performed iterative homologous modeling to obtain a desirable chimera loop and introduced five different mutations into this loop to construct thermostable SES7 proteins. Differential scanning fluorimetry revealed increases of 7.3 °C in the melting temperature of an SES7 variant designated M5 compared with the WT. The X-ray crystallographic structure of this variant was resolved at 1.96 Å resolution. The crystal structure disclosed that M5 forms more hydrogen bonds than the WT protein, consistent with design and molecular dynamics simulation results. In summary, the modified B-FIT strategy reported here has yielded a subtilisin variant with improved thermostability and promising industrial applications, supporting the notion that this modified method is a powerful tool for protein engineering.
34 show abstract
Although adipogenesis is mainly controlled by a small number of master transcription factors, including CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein family members and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), other transcription factors also are involved in this process. Thyroid cancer cells expressing a paired box 8 (PAX8)–PPARγ fusion oncogene trans-differentiate into adipocyte-like cells in the presence of the PPARγ ligand pioglitazone, but this trans-differentiation is inhibited by the transcription factor NK2 homeobox 1 (NKX2-1). Here, we tested whether NKX family members may play a role also in normal adipogenesis. Using quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR), we examined the expression of all 14 NKX family members during 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation. We found that most NKX members, including NKX2-1, are expressed at very low levels throughout differentiation. However, mRNA and protein expression of a related family member, NKX1-2, was induced during adipocyte differentiation. NKX1-2 also was up-regulated in cultured murine ear mesenchymal stem cells (EMSCs) during adipogenesis. Importantly, shRNA-mediated NKX1-2 knockdown in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes or EMSCs almost completely blocked adipocyte differentiation. Furthermore, NKX1-2 overexpression promoted differentiation of the ST2 bone marrow–derived mesenchymal precursor cell line into adipocytes. Additional findings suggested that NKX1-2 promotes adipogenesis by inhibiting expression of the antiadipogenic protein COUP transcription factor II. Bone marrow mesenchymal precursor cells can differentiate into adipocytes or osteoblasts, and we found that NKX1-2 both promotes ST2 cell adipogenesis and inhibits their osteoblastogenic differentiation. These results support a role for NKX1-2 in promoting adipogenesis and possibly in regulating the balance between adipocyte and osteoblast differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal precursor cells.
35 show abstract
Many retinal diseases are associated with pathological cell swelling, but the underlying etiology remains to be established. A key component of the volume-sensitive machinery, the transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) ion channel, may represent a sensor and transducer of cell swelling, but the molecular link between the swelling and TRPV4 activation is unresolved. Here, our results from experiments using electrophysiology, cell volumetric measurements, and fluorescence imaging conducted in murine retinal cells and Xenopus oocytes indicated that cell swelling in the physiological range activated TRPV4 in Müller glia and Xenopus oocytes, but required phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity exclusively in Müller cells. Volume-dependent TRPV4 gating was independent of cytoskeletal rearrangements and phosphorylation. Our findings also revealed that TRPV4-mediated transduction of volume changes is dependent by its N terminus, more specifically by its distal-most part. We conclude that the volume sensitivity and function of TRPV4 in situ depend critically on its functional and cell type–specific interactions.
36 show abstract
Fungi of the genus Trichoderma are a rich source of enzymes, such as cellulases and hemicellulases, that can degrade lignocellulosic biomass and are therefore of interest for biotechnological approaches seeking to optimize biofuel production. The essential transcription factor ACE3 is involved in cellulase production in Trichoderma reesei; however, the mechanism by which ACE3 regulates cellulase activities is unknown. Here, we discovered that the nominal ace3 sequence in the T. reesei genome available through the Joint Genome Institute is erroneously annotated. Moreover, we identified the complete ace3 sequence, the ACE3 Zn(II)2Cys6 domain, and the ACE3 DNA-binding sites containing a 5′-CGGAN(T/A)3-3′ consensus. We found that in addition to its essential role in cellulase production, ace3 is required for lactose assimilation and metabolism in T. reesei. Transcriptional profiling with RNA-Seq revealed that ace3 deletion down-regulates not only the bulk of the major cellulase, hemicellulase, and related transcription factor genes, but also reduces the expression of lactose metabolism–related genes. Additionally, we demonstrate that ACE3 binds the promoters of many cellulase genes, the cellulose response transporter gene crt1, and transcription factor–encoding genes, including xyr1. We also observed that XYR1 dimerizes to facilitate cellulase production and that ACE3 interacts with XYR1. Together, these findings uncover how two essential transcriptional activators mediate cellulase gene expression in T. reesei. On the basis of these observations, we propose a model of how the interactions between ACE3, Crt1, and XYR1 control cellulase expression and lactose metabolism in T. reesei.
37 show abstract
Soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) is the main receptor for nitric oxide (NO) and a central component of the NO-cGMP pathway, critical to cardiovascular function. NO binding to the N-terminal sensor domain in sGC enhances the cyclase activity of the C-terminal catalytic domain. Our understanding of the structural elements regulating this signaling cascade is limited, hindering structure-based drug design efforts that target sGC to improve the management of cardiovascular diseases. Conformational changes are thought to propagate the NO-binding signal throughout the entire sGC heterodimer, via its coiled-coil domain, to reorient the catalytic domain into an active conformation. To identify the structural elements involved in this signal transduction cascade, here we optimized a cGMP-based luciferase assay that reports on heterologous sGC activity in Escherichia coli and identified several mutations that activate sGC. These mutations resided in the dorsal flaps, dimer interface, and GTP-binding regions of the catalytic domain. Combinations of mutations from these different elements synergized, resulting in even greater activity and indicating a complex cross-talk among these regions. Molecular dynamics simulations further revealed conformational changes underlying the functional impact of these mutations. We propose that the interfacial residues play a central role in the sGC activation mechanism by coupling the coiled-coil domain to the active site via a series of hot spots. Our results provide new mechanistic insights not only into the molecular pathway for sGC activation but also for other members of the larger nucleotidyl cyclase family.
38 show abstract
Tissue colonization (homing) by blood-borne cells critically hinges on the ability of the cells to adhere to vascular endothelium with sufficient strength to overcome prevailing hemodynamic shear stress. These adhesive interactions are most effectively engendered via binding of the endothelial lectin E-selectin (CD62E) to its cognate ligand, sialyl Lewis-X (sLeX), displayed on circulating cells. Although chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapy holds promise for treatment of various hematologic and non-hematologic malignancies, there is essentially no information regarding the efficiency of CAR T-cell homing. Accordingly, we performed integrated biochemical studies and adhesion assays to examine the capacity of human CAR T-cells to engage E-selectin. Our data indicate that CAR T-cells do not express sLeX and do not bind E-selectin. However, enforced sLeX display can be achieved on human CAR T-cells by surface fucosylation, with resultant robust E-selectin binding under hemodynamic shear. Importantly, following intravascular administration into mice, fucosylated human CAR-T cells infiltrate marrow with 10-fold higher efficiency than do unfucosylated cells. Collectively, these findings indicate that custom installation of sLeX programs tissue colonization of vascularly administered human CAR T-cells, offering a readily translatable strategy to augment tissue delivery, thereby lowering the pertinent cell dosing and attendant cell production burden, for CAR T-cell immunotherapy applications.
39 show abstract
A highly specialized cytoskeletal protein, keratin 75 (K75), expressed primarily in hair follicles, nail beds, and lingual papillae, was recently discovered in dental enamel, the most highly mineralized hard tissue in the human body. Among many questions this discovery poses, the fundamental question regarding the trafficking and secretion of this protein, which lacks a signal peptide, is of an utmost importance. Here, we present evidence that K75 is expressed during the secretory stage of enamel formation and is present in the forming enamel matrix. We further show that K75 is secreted together with major enamel matrix proteins amelogenin and ameloblastin, and it was detected in Golgi and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)–Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC) but not in rough ER (rER). Inhibition of ER–Golgi transport by brefeldin A did not affect the association of K75 with Golgi, whereas ameloblastin accumulated in rER, and its transport from rER into Golgi was disrupted. Together, these results indicate that K75, a cytosolic protein lacking a signal sequence, is secreted into the forming enamel matrix utilizing portions of the conventional ER–Golgi secretory pathway. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study providing insights into mechanisms of keratin secretion.
40 show abstract
tau is a microtubule (MT)-associated protein that promotes tubulin assembly and stabilizes MTs by binding longitudinally along the MT surface. tau can aberrantly aggregate into pathological inclusions that define Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementias, and other tauopathies. A spectrum of missense mutations in the tau-encoding gene microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) can cause frontotemporal dementias. tau aggregation is postulated to spread by a prion-like mechanism. Using a cell-based inclusion seeding assay, we recently reported that only a few tau variants are intrinsically prone to this type of aggregation. Here, we extended these studies to additional tau mutants and investigated their MT binding properties in mammalian cell-based assays. A limited number of tau variants exhibited modest aggregation propensity in vivo, but most tau mutants did not aggregate. Reduced MT binding appeared to be the most common dysfunction for the majority of tau variants due to missense mutations, implying that MT-targeting therapies could potentially be effective in the management of tauopathies.
41 show abstract
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is the central regulator of adipogenesis, and its dysregulation is linked to obesity and metabolic diseases. Identification of the factors that regulate PPARγ expression and activity is therefore crucial for combating obesity. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor with a known role in xenobiotic detoxification. Recent studies have suggested that AhR also plays essential roles in energy metabolism. However, the detailed mechanisms remain unclear. We previously reported that experiments with adipocyte-specific Cullin 4b (Cul4b)-knockout mice showed that CUL4B suppresses adipogenesis by targeting PPARγ. Here, using immunoprecipitation, ubiquitination, real-time PCR, and GST-pulldown assays, we report that AhR functions as the substrate receptor in CUL4B-RING E3 ubiquitin ligase (CRL4B) complex and is required for recruiting PPARγ. AhR overexpression reduced PPARγ stability and suppressed adipocyte differentiation, and AhR knockdown stimulated adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells. Furthermore, we found that two lysine sites on residues 268 and 293 in PPARγ are targeted for CRL4B-mediated ubiquitination, indicating cross-talk between acetylation and ubiquitination. Our findings establish a critical role of AhR in regulating PPARγ stability and suggest that the AhR–PPARγ interaction may represent a potential therapeutic target for managing metabolic diseases arising from PPARγ dysfunction.
42 show abstract
VOLUME 294 (2019) PAGES 12567–12578There was an error in the affiliations. The correct affiliation for “‡” is the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, 9 Blegdamsvej, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.
43 show abstract
VOLUME 294 (2019) PAGES 15408–15417There was an error in the affiliations. The correct affiliation for “‡‡” is Department of Ophthalmology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Hainan Medical University, Haikou 570102, China.
44 show abstract
VOLUME 278 (2003) PAGES 39461–39469This article has been withdrawn by the authors (M. Chawla Sarkar, J. A. Bauer, J. A. Lupica, A. Almasan, J. A. DiDonato, and D. J. Lindner) on request by the Journal. B. H. Morrison, Z. Tang, R. K. Oates, and E. C. Borden could not be contacted. The Journal raised questions regarding inappropriate image manipulation in Figs. 4 (A and B) and 5B. Sixteen years after the publication, the withdrawing authors were not able to locate all of the original data but were able to locate some replicates of experiments performed at the time of the original work, which the withdrawing authors state support the conclusions of the paper. The withdrawing authors' offer to replace the images in question with alternative blots performed at the same time was declined by the Journal. The withdrawing authors state that the results of this paper are confirmed by the results of complementary experiments presented in the article and that the principal observations of this paper were further confirmed in the publications of other laboratories: 1) Huerta-Yepez, S. et al. (2004) Oncogene 23, 4993–5003; 2) Huerta-Yepez, S. et al. (2009) Nitric Oxide 20, 39–52; 3) Stupina, T. et al. (2018) Sci. Pharm. 86, E46; 4) Omar, H. A. et al. (2014) Basic Clin. Pharmacol. Toxicol. 114, 464–471. The withdrawing authors stand by the conclusions of the paper.
45 show abstract
Healthy cells are expert recyclers, rapidly breaking down worn-out or surplus macromolecules and reusing their building blocks. Several pathways, such as the proteasomal degradation route for protein breakdown, specifically pick out damaged or expendable molecules.These selective degradation pathways usually operate in cells that have ready access to nutrients. But when cells encounter severe crises such as nutrient shortages, they activate an emergency recycling mechanism. In these cells, a bulk degradation pathway indiscriminately breaks down macromolecules and entire cytoplasmic organelles and ribosomes.This process is commonly referred to as autophagy (Greek for “self-eating”) or sometimes as macroautophagy because other more specialized forms of autophagy are more restricted and selective (1, 2). It can be thought of as the rough equivalent of a wood chipper that shreds chairs, tables, and credenzas wholesale for use in plywood or as fireplace fuel.Autophagy also represents an important quality-control mechanism that eliminates long-lived proteins and damaged organelles in some cells, such as neurons (2), whose total destruction by processes such as apoptosis would harm the organism.Defects in autophagy have been linked to human disorders, such as neurodegenerative diseases and cancer (1, 2), highlighting that this recycling mechanism is essential for keeping cells healthy and alive. However, how a cell's nutrient status is communicated to the autophagy machinery was unknown for quite some time.In a 1998 landmark paper published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and now recognized as a Classic here, Takeshi Noda and Yoshinori Ohsumi (Fig. 1) at the National Institute for Basic Biology in Japan...

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