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A B-Z ȷunction induced by an A … A mismatch in GAC repeats in the gene for cartilage oligomeric matrix protein promotes binding with the hZ{alpha}ADAR1 protein [Computational Biology]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

GAC repeat expansion from five to seven in the exonic region of the gene for cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) leads to pseudoachondroplasia, a skeletal abnormality. However, the molecular mechanism by which GAC expansions in the COMP gene lead to skeletal dysplasias is poorly understood. Here we used molecular dynamics simulations, which indicate that an A … A mismatch in a d(GAC)6·d(GAC)6 duplex induces negative supercoiling, leading to a local B-to-Z DNA transition. This transition facilitates the binding of d(GAC)7·d(GAC)7 with the Zα-binding domain of human adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 1 (ADAR1, hZαADAR1), as confirmed by CD, NMR, and microscale thermophoresis studies. The CD results indicated that hZαADAR1 recognizes the zigzag backbone of d(GAC)7·d(GAC)7 at the B–Z junction and subsequently converts it into Z-DNA via the so-called passive mechanism. Molecular dynamics simulations carried out for the modeled hZαADAR1–d(GAC)6.d(GAC)6 complex confirmed the retention of previously reported important interactions between the two molecules. These findings suggest that hZαADAR1 binding with the GAC hairpin stem in COMP can lead to a non-genetic, RNA editing–mediated substitution in COMP that may then play a crucial role in the development of pseudoachondroplasia.



Prion protein is required for tumor necrosis factor {alpha} (TNF{alpha})-triggered nuclear factor {kappa}B (NF-{kappa}B) signaling and cytokine production [Signal Transduction]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

The expression of normal cellular prion protein (PrP) is required for the pathogenesis of prion diseases. However, the physiological functions of PrP remain ambiguous. Here, we identified PrP as being critical for tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α-triggered signaling in a human melanoma cell line, M2, and a pancreatic ductal cell adenocarcinoma cell line, BxPC-3. In M2 cells, TNFα up-regulates the expression of p-IκB-kinase α/β (p-IKKα/β), p-p65, and p-JNK, but down-regulates the IκBα protein, all of which are downstream signaling intermediates in the TNF receptor signaling cascade. When PRNP is deleted in M2 cells, the effects of TNFα are no longer detectable. More importantly, p-p65 and p-JNK responses are restored when PRNP is reintroduced into the PRNP null cells. TNFα also activates NF-κB and increases TNFα production in wild-type M2 cells, but not in PrP-null M2 cells. Similar results are obtained in the BxPC-3 cells. Moreover, TNFα activation of NF-κB requires ubiquitination of receptor-interacting serine/threonine kinase 1 (RIP1) and TNF receptor–associated factor 2 (TRAF2). TNFα treatment increases the binding between PrP and the deubiquitinase tumor suppressor cylindromatosis (CYLD), in these treated cells, binding of CYLD to RIP1 and TRAF2 is reduced. We conclude that PrP traps CYLD, preventing it from binding and deubiquitinating RIP1 and TRAF2. Our findings reveal that PrP enhances the responses to TNFα, promoting proinflammatory cytokine production, which may contribute to inflammation and tumorigenesis.



Human copper transporter ATP7B (Wilson disease protein) forms stable dimers in vitro and in cells [Membrane Biology]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

ATP7B is a copper-transporting P1B-type ATPase (Cu-ATPase) with an essential role in human physiology. Mutations in ATP7B cause the potentially fatal Wilson disease, and changes in ATP7B expression are observed in several cancers. Despite its physiologic importance, the biochemical information about ATP7B remains limited because of a complex multidomain organization of the protein. By analogy with the better characterized prokaryotic Cu-ATPases, ATP7B is assumed to be a single-chain monomer. We show that in eukaryotic cells, human ATP7B forms dimers that can be purified following solubilization. Deletion of the four N-terminal metal-binding domains, characteristic for human ATP7B, does not disrupt dimerization, i.e. the dimer interface is formed by the domains that are conserved among Cu-ATPases. Unlike the full-length ATP7B, which is targeted to the trans-Golgi network, 1–4ΔMBD-7B is targeted primarily to vesicles. This result and the analysis of differentially tagged ATP7B variants indicate that the dimeric structure is retained during ATP7B trafficking between the intracellular compartments. Purified dimeric species of 1–4ΔMBD-7B were characterized by a negative stain electron microscopy in the presence of ADP/MgCl2. Single-particle analysis yielded a low-resolution 3D model that provides the first insight into an overall architecture of a human Cu-ATPase, positions of the main domains, and a dimer interface.



Discovery of leucokinin-like neuropeptides that modulate a specific parameter of feeding motor programs in the molluscan model, Aplysia [Protein Synthesis and Degradation]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

A better understanding of neuromodulation in a behavioral system requires identification of active modulatory transmitters. Here, we used identifiable neurons in a neurobiological model system, the mollusc Aplysia, to study neuropeptides, a diverse class of neuromodulators. We took advantage of two types of feeding neurons, B48 and B1/B2, in the Aplysia buccal ganglion that might contain different neuropeptides. We performed a representational difference analysis (RDA) by subtraction of mRNAs in B48 versus mRNAs in B1/B2. The RDA identified an unusually long (2025 amino acids) peptide precursor encoding Aplysia leucokinin-like peptides (ALKs; e.g. ALK-1 and ALK-2). Northern blot analysis revealed that, compared with other ganglia (e.g. the pedal-pleural ganglion), ALK mRNA is predominantly present in the buccal ganglion, which controls feeding behavior. We then used in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry to localize ALKs to specific neurons, including B48. MALDI-TOF MS on single buccal neurons revealed expression of 40 ALK precursor–derived peptides. Among these, ALK-1 and ALK-2 are active in the feeding network; they shortened the radula protraction phase of feeding motor programs triggered by a command-like neuron. We also found that this effect may be mediated by the ALK-stimulated enhancement of activity of an interneuron, which has previously been shown to terminate protraction. We conclude that our multipronged approach is effective for determining the structure and defining the diverse functions of leucokinin-like peptides. Notably, the ALK precursor is the first verified nonarthropod precursor for leucokinin-like peptides with a novel, marked modulatory effect on a specific parameter (protraction duration) of feeding motor programs.



Mutagenic potential of nitrogen mustard-induced formamidopyrimidine DNA adduct: Contribution of the non-canonical {alpha}-anomer [Cell Biology]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Nitrogen mustards (NMs) are DNA-alkylating compounds that represent the earliest anticancer drugs. However, clinical use of NMs is limited because of their own mutagenic properties. The mechanisms of NM-induced mutagenesis remain unclear. The major product of DNA alkylation by NMs is a cationic NM-N7-dG adduct that can yield the imidazole ring-fragmented lesion, N5-NM-substituted formamidopyrimidine (NM-Fapy-dG). Characterization of this adduct is complicated because it adopts different conformations, including both a canonical β- and an unnatural α-anomeric configuration. Although formation of NM-Fapy-dG in cellular DNA has been demonstrated, its potential role in NM-induced mutagenesis is unknown. Here, we created site-specifically modified single-stranded vectors for replication in primate (COS7) or Escherichia coli cells. In COS7 cells, NM-Fapy-dG caused targeted mutations, predominantly G → T transversions, with overall frequencies of ∼11–12%. These frequencies were ∼2-fold higher than that induced by 8-oxo-dG adduct. Replication in E. coli was essentially error-free. To elucidate the mechanisms of bypass of NM-Fapy-dG, we performed replication assays in vitro with a high-fidelity DNA polymerase, Saccharomyces cerevisiae polymerase (pol) δ. It was found that pol δ could catalyze high-fidelity synthesis past NM-Fapy-dG, but only on a template subpopulation, presumably containing the β-anomeric adduct. Consistent with the low mutagenic potential of the β-anomer in vitro, the mutation frequency was significantly reduced when conditions for vector preparation were modified to favor this configuration. Collectively, these data implicate the α-anomer as a major contributor to NM-Fapy-dG-induced mutagenesis in primate cells.



Transient alkalinization of the leaf apoplast stiffens the cell wall during onset of chloride salinity in corn leaves [Protein Synthesis and Degradation]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

During chloride salinity, the pH of the leaf apoplast (pHapo) transiently alkalizes. There is an ongoing debate about the physiological relevance of these stress-induced pHapo changes. Using proteomic analyses of expanding leaves of corn (Zea mays L.), we show that this transition in pHapo conveys functionality by (i) adjusting protein abundances and (ii) affecting the rheological properties of the cell wall. pHapo was monitored in planta via microscopy-based ratio imaging, and the leaf-proteomic response to the transient leaf apoplastic alkalinization was analyzed via ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–MS. This analysis identified 1459 proteins, of which 44 exhibited increased abundance specifically through the chloride-induced transient rise in pHapo. These elevated protein abundances did not directly arise from high tissue concentrations of Cl− or Na+ but were due to changes in the pHapo. Most of these proteins functioned in growth-relevant processes and in the synthesis of cell wall–building components such as arabinose. Measurements with a linear-variable differential transducer revealed that the transient alkalinization rigidified (i.e. stiffened) the cell wall during the onset of chloride salinity. A decrease in t-coumaric and t-ferulic acids indicates that the wall stiffening arises from cross-linkage to cell wall polymers. We conclude that the pH of the apoplast represents a dynamic factor that is mechanistically coupled to cellular responses to chloride stress. By hardening the wall, the increased pH abrogates wall loosening required for cell expansion and growth. We conclude that the transient alkalinization of the leaf apoplast is related to salinity-induced growth reduction.



How activating mutations affect MEK1 regulation and function [Developmental Biology]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

The MEK1 kinase directly phosphorylates ERK2, after the activation loop of MEK1 is itself phosphorylated by Raf. Studies over the past decade have revealed a large number of disease-related mutations in the MEK1 gene that lead to tumorigenesis and abnormal development. Several of these mutations result in MEK1 constitutive activity, but how they affect MEK1 regulation and function remains largely unknown. Here, we address these questions focusing on two pathogenic variants of the Phe-53 residue, which maps to the well-characterized negative regulatory region of MEK1. We found that these variants are phosphorylated by Raf faster than the wild-type enzyme, and this phosphorylation further increases their enzymatic activity. However, the maximal activities of fully phosphorylated wild-type and mutant enzymes are indistinguishable. On the basis of available structural information, we propose that the activating substitutions destabilize the inactive conformation of MEK1, resulting in its constitutive activity and making it more prone to Raf-mediated phosphorylation. Experiments in zebrafish revealed that the effects of activating variants on embryonic development reflect the joint control of the negative regulatory region and activating phosphorylation. Our results underscore the complexity of the effects of activating mutations on signaling systems, even at the level of a single protein.



DNA-binding affinity and transcriptional activity of the RelA homodimer of nuclear factor {kappa}B are not correlated [Gene Regulation]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

The nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) transcription factor family regulates genes involved in cell proliferation and inflammation. The promoters of these genes often contain NF-κB-binding sites (κB sites) arranged in tandem. How NF-κB activates transcription through these multiple sites is incompletely understood. We report here an X-ray crystal structure of homodimers comprising the RelA DNA-binding domain containing the Rel homology region (RHR) in NF-κB bound to an E-selectin promoter fragment with tandem κB sites. This structure revealed that two dimers bind asymmetrically to the symmetrically arranged κB sites at which multiple cognate contacts between one dimer to the corresponding DNA are broken. Because simultaneous RelA-RHR dimer binding to tandem sites in solution was anti-cooperative, we inferred that asymmetric RelA-RHR binding with fewer contacts likely indicates a dissociative binding mode. We found that both κB sites are essential for reporter gene activation by full-length RelA homodimer, suggesting that dimers facilitate DNA binding to each other even though their stable co-occupation is not promoted. Promoter variants with altered spacing and orientation of tandem κB sites displayed unexpected reporter activities that were not explained by the solution-binding pattern of RelA-RHR. Remarkably, full-length RelA bound all DNAs with a weaker affinity and specificity. Moreover, the transactivation domain played a negative role in DNA binding. These observations suggest that other nuclear factors influence full-length RelA binding to DNA by neutralizing the transactivation domain negative effect. We propose that DNA binding by NF-κB dimers is highly complex and modulated by facilitated association–dissociation processes.



Sulfur denitrosylation by an engineered Trx-like DsbG enzyme identifies nucleophilic cysteine hydrogen bonds as key functional determinant. [Additions and Corrections]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

VOLUME 291 (2016) PAGES 15020–15028Table 2 was inadvertently omitted in the version of this article that was published on July 15, 2016. This error has now been corrected.jbc;292/46/18831/T2T1T2Table 2X-ray data collection, processing, and refinement statisticsDsbGCGPCDsbGCGPC-T200MData collection    BeamlineProxima IProxima I    Wavelength (Å)0.980110.98011    Space groupC2C2    Unit cella = 116.65, b = 57.03, and c = 85.55 Å; β = 95.14 and α = γ = 90°a = 116.92, b = 57.22, and c =86.04; β = 94.75 and α = γ = 90°    Resolution limits (Å)a46.12–1.70 (1.80–1.70)46.44–1.96 (2.00–1.96)    Total no. of reflections201,432 (26,100)150,037 (8488)    No. of unique reflections61,470 (9506)40,644 (2344)    Completeness99.5 (98.2)99.4 (99.9)    Rmerge0.051 (0.425)0.063 (0.442)    〈I/σ(I)〉16.73 (2.80)15.58 (3.53)    Rcrystb16.8219.16    Rfreec19.2324.08Ramachandran profile    Most favored (%)98.2598.57    Additionally allowed (%)1.000.71    Disallowed (%)0.750.72R.m.s. deviations    Bond lengths (Å)0.0070.007    Bond angles0.972°0.900°    PDB entry5G1L5G1Ka Data in brackets are for the highest resolution shell.b Rcryst = S||Fobs| − |Fcalc||/S|/Fobs|, Fobs and Fcalc are observed and calculated structure factor amplitudes.c Rfree as for Rcryst using a random subset of the data excluded from the refinement.



Structural analyses of the MazEF4 toxin-antitoxin pair in Mycobacterium tuberculosis provide evidence for a unique extracellular death factor [Molecular Biophysics]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

The bacterial toxin-antitoxin MazEF system in the tuberculosis (TB)-causing bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis is activated under unfavorable conditions, including starvation, antibiotic exposure, and oxidative stress. This system contains the ribonucleolytic enzyme MazF and has emerged as a promising drug target for TB treatments targeting the latent stage of M. tuberculosis infection and reportedly mediates a cell death process via a peptide called extracellular death factor (EDF). Although it is well established that the increase in EDF-mediated toxicity of MazF drives a cell-killing phenomenon, the molecular details are poorly understood. Moreover, the divergence in sequences among reported EDFs suggests that each bacterial species has a unique EDF. To address these open questions, we report here the structures of MazF4 and MazEF4 complexes from M. tuberculosis, representing the first MazEF structures from this organism. We found that MazF4 possesses a negatively charged MazE4-binding pocket in contrast to the positively charged MazE-binding pockets in homologous MazEF complex structures from other bacteria. Moreover, using NMR spectroscopy and biochemical assays, we unraveled the molecular interactions of MazF4 with its RNA substrate and with a new EDF homolog originating from M. tuberculosis. The EDF homolog discovered here possesses a positively charged residue at the C terminus, making this EDF distinct from previously reported EDFs. Overall, our results suggest that M. tuberculosis evolved a unique MazF and EDF and that the distinctive EDF sequence could serve as a starting point for designing new anti-tuberculosis drugs. We therefore conclude that this study might contribute to the development of a new line of anti-tuberculosis agents.



Pleiotrophin, a multifunctional cytokine and growth factor, induces leukocyte responses through the integrin Mac-1 [Protein Structure and Folding]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Pleiotrophin (PTN) is a multifunctional, cationic, glycosaminoglycan-binding cytokine and growth factor involved in numerous physiological and pathological processes, including tissue repair and inflammation-related diseases. PTN has been shown to promote leukocyte responses by inducing their migration and expression of inflammatory cytokines. However, the mechanisms through which PTN mediates these responses remain unclear. Here, we identified the integrin Mac-1 (αMβ2, CD11b/CD18) as the receptor mediating macrophage adhesion and migration to PTN. We also found that expression of Mac-1 on the surface of human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells induced their adhesion and migration to PTN. Accordingly, PTN promoted Mac-1–dependent cell spreading and initiated intracellular signaling manifested in phosphorylation of Erk1/2. While binding to PTN, Mac-1 on Mac-1–expressing HEK293 cells appears to cooperate with cell-surface proteoglycans because both anti-Mac-1 function-blocking mAb and heparin were required to block adhesion. Moreover, biolayer interferometry and NMR indicated a direct interaction between the αMI domain, the major ligand-binding region of Mac-1, and PTN. Using peptide libraries, we found that in PTN the αMI domain bound sequences enriched in basic and hydrophobic residues, indicating that PTN conforms to the general principle of ligand-recognition specificity of the αMI domain toward cationic proteins/peptides. Finally, using recombinant PTN-derived fragments, we show that PTN contains two distinct Mac-1–binding sites in each of its constitutive domains. Collectively, these results identify PTN as a ligand for the integrin Mac-1 on the surface of leukocytes and suggest that this interaction may play a role in inflammatory responses.



Plasma membrane phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate and 4,5-bisphosphate determine the distribution and function of K-Ras4B but not H-Ras proteins [Signal Transduction]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Plasma membrane (PM) localization of Ras proteins is crucial for transmitting signals upon mitogen stimulation. Post-translational lipid modification of Ras proteins plays an important role in their recruitment to the PM. Electrostatic interactions between negatively charged PM phospholipids and basic amino acids found in K-Ras4B (K-Ras) but not in H-Ras are important for permanent K-Ras localization to the PM. Here, we investigated how acute depletion of negatively charged PM polyphosphoinositides (PPIns) from the PM alters the intracellular distribution and activity of K- and H-Ras proteins. PPIns depletion from the PM was achieved either by agonist-induced activation of phospholipase C β or with a rapamycin-inducible system in which various phosphatidylinositol phosphatases were recruited to the PM. Redistribution of the two Ras proteins was monitored with confocal microscopy or with a recently developed bioluminescence resonance energy transfer-based approach involving fusion of the Ras C-terminal targeting sequences or the entire Ras proteins to Venus fluorescent protein. We found that PM PPIns depletion caused rapid translocation of K-Ras but not H-Ras from the PM to the Golgi. PM depletion of either phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PtdIns4P) or PtdIns(4,5)P2 but not PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 was sufficient to evoke K-Ras translocation. This effect was diminished by deltarasin, an inhibitor of the Ras–phosphodiesterase interaction, or by simultaneous depletion of the Golgi PtdIns4P. The PPIns depletion decreased incorporation of [3H]leucine in K-Ras–expressing cells, suggesting that Golgi-localized K-Ras is not as signaling-competent as its PM-bound form. We conclude that PPIns in the PM are important regulators of K-Ras–mediated signals.



Lysine trimethylation regulates 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein proteostasis during endoplasmic reticulum stress [Genomics and Proteomics]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

The up-regulation of chaperones such as the 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78, also referred to as BiP or HSPA5) is part of the adaptive cellular response to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. GRP78 is widely used as a marker of the unfolded protein response, associated with sustained ER stress. Here we report the discovery of a proteostatic mechanism involving GRP78 trimethylation in the context of ER stress. Using mass spectrometry–based proteomics, we identified two GRP78 fractions, one homeostatic and one induced by ER stress. ER stress leads to de novo biosynthesis of non-trimethylated GRP78, whereas homeostatic, METTL21A-dependent lysine 585–trimethylated GRP78 is reduced. This proteostatic mechanism, dependent on the posttranslational modification of GRP78, allows cells to differentially regulate specific protein abundance during cellular stress.



Histone arginine demethylase JMJD6 is linked to stress granule assembly through demethylation of the stress granule-nucleating protein G3BP1 [Signal Transduction]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Stress granules (SG) are membrane-less organelles that are condensates of stalled translation initiation complexes and mRNAs. SG formation is a cytoprotective response to environmental stress and results from protein interactions involving regions of low amino acid complexity and poorly defined post-translational modifications of SG components. Many RNA-binding proteins are methylated, and we previously demonstrated that the potent SG–nucleating protein G3BP1 is methylated by protein arginine methyltransferase 1 and 5 (PRMT1 and PRMT5). G3BP1 methylation represses SG formation and is reversible. Here we functionally link JMJD6 (Jumonji C domain-containing protein 6) to G3BP1 demethylation. Our findings reveal that JMJD6 is a novel SG component that interacts with G3BP1 complexes, and its expression reduces G3BP1 monomethylation and asymmetric dimethylation at three Arg residues. Knockdown of JMJD6 repressed SG formation and G3BP1 demethylation, but SG formation and G3BP1 demethylation were rescued with catalytically active but not mutant JMJD6. These results suggest that JMJD6 functions directly or indirectly as an arginine demethylase of G3BP1 that promotes SG formation.



O2 sensing-associated glycosylation exposes the F-box-combining site of the Dictyostelium Skp1 subunit in E3 ubiquitin ligases [Molecular Biophysics]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Skp1 is a conserved protein linking cullin-1 to F-box proteins in SCF (Skp1/Cullin-1/F-box protein) E3 ubiquitin ligases, which modify protein substrates with polyubiquitin chains that typically target them for 26S proteasome-mediated degradation. In Dictyostelium (a social amoeba), Toxoplasma gondii (the agent for human toxoplasmosis), and other protists, Skp1 is regulated by a unique pentasaccharide attached to hydroxylated Pro-143 within its C-terminal F-box–binding domain. Prolyl hydroxylation of Skp1 contributes to O2-dependent Dictyostelium development, but full glycosylation at that position is required for optimal O2 sensing. Previous studies have shown that the glycan promotes organization of the F-box–binding region in Skp1 and aids in Skp1's association with F-box proteins. Here, NMR and MS approaches were used to determine the glycan structure, and then a combination of NMR and molecular dynamics simulations were employed to characterize the impact of the glycan on the conformation and motions of the intrinsically flexible F-box–binding domain of Skp1. Molecular dynamics trajectories of glycosylated Skp1 whose calculated monosaccharide relaxation kinetics and rotational correlation times agreed with the NMR data indicated that the glycan interacts with the loop connecting two α-helices of the F-box–combining site. In these trajectories, the helices separated from one another to create a more accessible and dynamic F-box interface. These results offer an unprecedented view of how a glycan modification influences a disordered region of a full-length protein. The increased sampling of an open Skp1 conformation can explain how glycosylation enhances interactions with F-box proteins in cells.



Mutant cycle analysis identifies a ligand interaction site in an odorant receptor of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae [Protein Structure and Folding]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Lack of information about the structure of insect odorant receptors (ORs) hinders the development of more effective repellants to control disease-transmitting insects. Mutagenesis and functional analyses using agonists to map the odorant-binding sites of these receptors have been limited because mutations distant from an agonist-binding site can alter agonist sensitivity. Here we use mutant cycle analysis, an approach for exploring the energetics of protein–protein or protein–ligand interactions, with inhibitors, to identify a component of the odorant-binding site of an OR from the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae. The closely related odorant-specificity subunits Agam/Or15 and Agam/Or13 were each co-expressed with Agam/Orco (odorant receptor co-receptor subunit) in Xenopus oocytes and assayed by two-electrode voltage clamp electrophysiology. We identified (−)-fenchone as a competitive inhibitor with different potencies at the two receptors and used this difference to screen a panel of 37 Agam/Or15 mutants, surveying all positions that differ between Agam/Or15 and Agam/Or13 in the transmembrane and extracellular regions, identifying position 195 as a determinant of (−)-fenchone sensitivity. Inhibition by (−)-fenchone and six structurally related inhibitors of Agam/Or15 receptors containing each of four different hydrophobic residues at position 195 served as input data for mutant cycle analysis. Several mutant cycles, calculated from the inhibition of two receptors by each of two ligands, yielded coupling energies of ≥1 kcal/mol, indicating a close, physical interaction between the ligand and residue 195 of Agam/Or15. This approach should be useful in further expanding our knowledge of odorant-binding site structures in ORs of disease vector insects.



ZNF143 protein is an important regulator of the myeloid transcription factor C/EBP{alpha} [Gene Regulation]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

The transcription factor C/EBPα is essential for myeloid differentiation and is frequently dysregulated in acute myeloid leukemia. Although studied extensively, the precise regulation of its gene by upstream factors has remained largely elusive. Here, we investigated its transcriptional activation during myeloid differentiation. We identified an evolutionarily conserved octameric sequence, CCCAGCAG, ∼100 bases upstream of the CEBPA transcription start site, and demonstrated through mutational analysis that this sequence is crucial for C/EBPα expression. This sequence is present in the genes encoding C/EBPα in humans, rodents, chickens, and frogs and is also present in the promoters of other C/EBP family members. We identified that ZNF143, the human homolog of the Xenopus transcriptional activator STAF, specifically binds to this 8-bp sequence to activate C/EBPα expression in myeloid cells through a mechanism that is distinct from that observed in liver cells and adipocytes. Altogether, our data suggest that ZNF143 plays an important role in the expression of C/EBPα in myeloid cells.



Characterization of enhancers and the role of the transcription factor KLF7 in regulating corneal epithelial differentiation [Developmental Biology]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

During tissue development, transcription factors bind regulatory DNA regions called enhancers, often located at great distances from the genes they regulate, to control gene expression. The enhancer landscape during embryonic stem cell differentiation has been well characterized. By contrast, little is known about the shared and unique enhancer regulatory mechanisms in different ectodermally derived epithelial cells. Here we use ChIP sequencing (ChIP-seq) to identify domains enriched for the histone marks histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation, histone H3 lysine 4 monomethylation, and histone H3 lysine 27 acetylation (H3K4me3, H3K4me1, and H3K27ac) and define, for the first time, the super enhancers and typical enhancers active in primary human corneal epithelial cells. We show that regulatory regions are often shared between cell types of the ectodermal lineage and that corneal epithelial super enhancers are already marked as potential regulatory domains in embryonic stem cells. Kruppel-like factor (KLF) motifs were enriched in corneal epithelial enhancers, consistent with the important roles of KLF4 and KLF5 in promoting corneal epithelial differentiation. We now show that the Kruppel family member KLF7 promotes the corneal progenitor cell state; on many genes, KLF7 antagonized the corneal differentiation–promoting KLF4. Furthermore, we found that two SNPs linked previously to corneal diseases, astigmatism, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome fall within corneal epithelial enhancers and alter their activity by disrupting transcription factor motifs that overlap these SNPs. Taken together, our work defines regulatory enhancers in corneal epithelial cells, highlights global gene-regulatory relationships shared among different epithelial cells, identifies a role for KLF7 as a KLF4 antagonist in corneal epithelial cell differentiation, and explains how two SNPs may contribute to corneal diseases.



Fluorescence lifetime analyses reveal how the high light-responsive protein LHCSR3 transforms PSII light-harvesting complexes into an energy-dissipative state [Bioenergetics]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

In green algae, light-harvesting complex stress-related 3 (LHCSR3) is responsible for the pH-dependent dissipation of absorbed light energy, a function vital for survival under high-light conditions. LHCSR3 binds the photosystem II and light-harvesting complex II (PSII–LHCII) supercomplex and transforms it into an energy-dissipative form under acidic conditions, but the molecular mechanism remains unclear. Here we show that in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, LHCSR3 modulates the excitation energy flow and dissipates the excitation energy within the light-harvesting complexes of the PSII supercomplex. Using fluorescence decay–associated spectra analysis, we found that, when the PSII supercomplex is associated with LHCSR3 under high-light conditions, excitation energy transfer from light-harvesting complexes to chlorophyll-binding protein CP43 is selectively inhibited compared with that to CP47, preventing excess excitation energy from overloading the reaction center. By analyzing femtosecond up-conversion fluorescence kinetics, we further found that pH- and LHCSR3-dependent quenching of the PSII—LHCII–LHCSR3 supercomplex is accompanied by a fluorescence emission centered at 684 nm, with a decay time constant of 18.6 ps, which is equivalent to the rise time constant of the lutein radical cation generated within a chlorophyll–lutein heterodimer. These results suggest a mechanism in which LHCSR3 transforms the PSII supercomplex into an energy-dissipative state and provide critical insight into the molecular events and characteristics in LHCSR3-dependent energy quenching.



Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) regulates cytoglobin expression and activation of human hepatic stellate cells via JNK signaling [Signal Transduction]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Cytoglobin (CYGB) belongs to the mammalian globin family and is exclusively expressed in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in the liver. In addition to its gas-binding ability, CYGB is relevant to hepatic inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer because of its anti-oxidative properties; however, the regulation of CYGB gene expression remains unknown. Here, we sought to identify factors that induce CYGB expression in HSCs and to clarify the molecular mechanism involved. We used the human HSC cell line HHSteC and primary human HSCs isolated from intact human liver tissues. In HHSteC cells, treatment with a culture supplement solution that included fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) increased CYGB expression with concomitant and time-dependent α-smooth muscle actin (αSMA) down-regulation. We found that FGF2 is a key factor in inducing the alteration in both CYGB and αSMA expression in HHSteCs and primary HSCs and that FGF2 triggered the rapid phosphorylation of both c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and c-JUN. Both the JNK inhibitor PS600125 and transfection of c-JUN–targeting siRNA abrogated FGF2-mediated CYGB induction, and conversely, c-JUN overexpression induced CYGB and reduced αSMA expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses revealed that upon FGF2 stimulation, phospho-c-JUN bound to its consensus motif (5′-TGA(C/G)TCA), located −218 to −222 bases from the transcription initiation site in the CYGB promoter. Of note, in bile duct–ligated mice, FGF2 administration ameliorated liver fibrosis and significantly reduced HSC activation. In conclusion, FGF2 triggers CYGB gene expression and deactivation of myofibroblastic human HSCs, indicating that FGF2 has therapeutic potential for managing liver fibrosis.



Ligand-dependent corepressor (LCoR) represses the transcription factor C/EBP{beta} during early adipocyte differentiation [Gene Regulation]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Nuclear receptors (NRs) regulate gene transcription by recruiting coregulators, involved in chromatin remodeling and assembly of the basal transcription machinery. The NR-associated protein ligand-dependent corepressor (LCoR) has previously been shown to suppress hepatic lipogenesis by decreasing the binding of steroid receptor coactivators to thyroid hormone receptor. However, the role of LCoR in adipogenesis has not been established. Here, we show that LCoR expression is reduced in the early stage of adipogenesis in vitro. LCoR overexpression inhibited 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation, whereas LCoR knockdown promoted it. Using an unbiased affinity purification approach, we identified CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ), a key transcriptional regulator in early adipogenesis, and corepressor C-terminal binding proteins as potential components of an LCoR-containing complex in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. We found that LCoR directly interacts with C/EBPβ through its C-terminal helix-turn-helix domain, required for LCoR's inhibitory effects on adipogenesis. LCoR overexpression also inhibited C/EBPβ transcriptional activity, leading to inhibition of mitotic clonal expansion and transcriptional repression of C/EBPα and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ2 (PPARγ2). However, LCoR overexpression did not affect the recruitment of C/EBPβ to the promoters of C/EBPα and PPARγ2 in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Of note, restoration of PPARγ2 or C/EBPα expression attenuated the inhibitory effect of LCoR on adipogenesis. Mechanistically, LCoR suppressed C/EBPβ-mediated transcription by recruiting C-terminal binding proteins to the C/EBPα and PPARγ2 promoters and by modulating histone modifications. Taken together, our results indicate that LCoR negatively regulates early adipogenesis by repressing C/EBPβ transcriptional activity and add LCoR to the growing list of transcriptional corepressors of adipogenesis.



Thioredoxin-1 maintains mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) function during oxidative stress in cardiomyocytes [Signal Transduction]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Thioredoxin 1 (Trx1) is a 12-kDa oxidoreductase that catalyzes thiol-disulfide exchange reactions to reduce proteins with disulfide bonds. As such, Trx1 helps protect the heart against stresses, such as ischemia and pressure overload. Mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine/threonine kinase that regulates cell growth, metabolism, and survival. We have shown previously that mTOR activity is increased in response to myocardial ischemia–reperfusion injury. However, whether Trx1 interacts with mTOR to preserve heart function remains unknown. Using a substrate-trapping mutant of Trx1 (Trx1C35S), we show here that mTOR is a direct interacting partner of Trx1 in the heart. In response to H2O2 treatment in cardiomyocytes, mTOR exhibited a high molecular weight shift in non-reducing SDS-PAGE in a 2-mercaptoethanol-sensitive manner, suggesting that mTOR is oxidized and forms disulfide bonds with itself or other proteins. The mTOR oxidation was accompanied by reduced phosphorylation of endogenous substrates, such as S6 kinase (S6K) and 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) in cardiomyocytes. Immune complex kinase assays disclosed that H2O2 treatment diminished mTOR kinase activity, indicating that mTOR is inhibited by oxidation. Of note, Trx1 overexpression attenuated both H2O2-mediated mTOR oxidation and inhibition, whereas Trx1 knockdown increased mTOR oxidation and inhibition. Moreover, Trx1 normalized H2O2-induced down-regulation of metabolic genes and stimulation of cell death, and an mTOR inhibitor abolished Trx1-mediated rescue of gene expression. H2O2-induced oxidation and inhibition of mTOR were attenuated when Cys-1483 of mTOR was mutated to phenylalanine. These results suggest that Trx1 protects cardiomyocytes against stress by reducing mTOR at Cys-1483, thereby preserving the activity of mTOR and inhibiting cell death.



Bacterial DnaB helicase interacts with the excluded strand to regulate unwinding [Molecular Biophysics]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Replicative hexameric helicases are thought to unwind duplex DNA by steric exclusion (SE) where one DNA strand is encircled by the hexamer and the other is excluded from the central channel. However, interactions with the excluded strand on the exterior surface of hexameric helicases have also been shown to be important for DNA unwinding, giving rise to the steric exclusion and wrapping (SEW) model. For example, the archaeal Sulfolobus solfataricus minichromosome maintenance (SsoMCM) helicase has been shown to unwind DNA via a SEW mode to enhance unwinding efficiency. Using single-molecule FRET, we now show that the analogous Escherichia coli (Ec) DnaB helicase also interacts specifically with the excluded DNA strand during unwinding. Mutation of several conserved and positively charged residues on the exterior surface of EcDnaB resulted in increased interaction dynamics and states compared with wild type. Surprisingly, these mutations also increased the DNA unwinding rate, suggesting that electrostatic contacts with the excluded strand act as a regulator for unwinding activity. In support of this, experiments neutralizing the charge of the excluded strand with a morpholino substrate instead of DNA also dramatically increased the unwinding rate. Of note, although the stability of the excluded strand was nearly identical for EcDnaB and SsoMCM, these enzymes are from different superfamilies and unwind DNA with opposite polarities. These results support the SEW model of unwinding for EcDnaB that expands on the existing SE model of hexameric helicase unwinding to include contributions from the excluded strand to regulate the DNA unwinding rate.



Role of the endothelial caveolae microdomain in shear stress-mediated coronary vasorelaxation [Molecular Biophysics]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

In this study, we determined the role of caveolae and the ionic mechanisms that mediate shear stress–mediated vasodilation (SSD). We found that both TRPV4 and SK channels are targeted to caveolae in freshly isolated bovine coronary endothelial cells (BCECs) and that TRPV4 and KCa2.3 (SK3) channels are co-immunoprecipitated by anti-caveolin-1 antibodies. Acute exposure of BCECs seeded in a capillary tube to 10 dynes/cm2 of shear stress (SS) resulted in activation of TRPV4 and SK currents. However, after incubation with HC067047 (TRPV4 inhibitor), SK currents could no longer be activated by SS, suggesting SK channel activation by SS was mediated through TRPV4. SK currents in BCECs were also activated by isoproterenol or by GSK1016790A (TRPV4 activator). In addition, preincubation of isolated coronary arterioles with apamin (SK inhibitor) resulted in a significant diminution of SSD whereas preincubation with HC067047 produced vasoconstriction by SS. Exposure of BCECs to SS (15 dynes/cm2 16 h) enhanced the production of nitric oxide and prostacyclin (PGI2) and facilitated the translocation of TRPV4 to the caveolae. Inhibition of TRPV4 abolished the SS-mediated intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) increase in BCECs. These results indicate a dynamic interaction in the vascular endothelium among caveolae TRPV4 and SK3 channels. This caveolae–TRPV4–SK3 channel complex underlies the molecular and ionic mechanisms that modulate SSD in the coronary circulation.



Intramolecular autoinhibition of checkpoint kinase 1 is mediated by conserved basic motifs of the C-terminal kinase-associated 1 domain [Molecular Bases of Disease]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Precise control of the cell cycle allows for timely repair of genetic material prior to replication. One factor intimately involved in this process is checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1), a DNA damage repair inducing Ser/Thr protein kinase that contains an N-terminal kinase domain and a C-terminal regulatory region consisting of a ∼100-residue linker followed by a putative kinase-associated 1 (KA1) domain. We report the crystal structure of the human Chk1 KA1 domain, demonstrating striking structural homology with other sequentially diverse KA1 domains. Separately purified Chk1 kinase and KA1 domains are intimately associated in solution, which results in inhibition of Chk1 kinase activity. Using truncation mutants and site-directed mutagenesis, we define the inhibitory face of the KA1 domain as a series of basic residues residing on two conserved regions of the primary structure. These findings point to KA1-mediated intramolecular autoinhibition as a key regulatory mechanism of human Chk1, and provide new therapeutic possibilities with which to attack this validated oncology target with small molecules.



The actin-related p41ARC subunit contributes to p21-activated kinase-1 (PAK1)-mediated glucose uptake into skeletal muscle cells [Signal Transduction]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Defects in translocation of the glucose transporter GLUT4 are associated with peripheral insulin resistance, preclinical diabetes, and progression to type 2 diabetes. GLUT4 recruitment to the plasma membrane of skeletal muscle cells requires F-actin remodeling. Insulin signaling in muscle requires p21-activated kinase-1 (PAK1), whose downstream signaling triggers actin remodeling, which promotes GLUT4 vesicle translocation and glucose uptake into skeletal muscle cells. Actin remodeling is a cyclic process, and although PAK1 is known to initiate changes to the cortical actin-binding protein cofilin to stimulate the depolymerizing arm of the cycle, how PAK1 might trigger the polymerizing arm of the cycle remains unresolved. Toward this, we investigated whether PAK1 contributes to the mechanisms involving the actin-binding and -polymerizing proteins neural Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP), cortactin, and ARP2/3 subunits. We found that the actin-polymerizing ARP2/3 subunit p41ARC is a PAK1 substrate in skeletal muscle cells. Moreover, co-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that insulin stimulates p41ARC phosphorylation and increases its association with N-WASP coordinately with the associations of N-WASP with cortactin and actin. Importantly, all of these associations were ablated by the PAK inhibitor IPA3, suggesting that PAK1 activation lies upstream of these actin-polymerizing complexes. Using the N-WASP inhibitor wiskostatin, we further demonstrated that N-WASP is required for localized F-actin polymerization, GLUT4 vesicle translocation, and glucose uptake. These results expand the model of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells by implicating p41ARC as a new component of the insulin-signaling cascade and connecting PAK1 signaling to N-WASP-cortactin–mediated actin polymerization and GLUT4 vesicle translocation.



A unique cysteine-rich zinc finger domain present in a majority of class II ribonucleotide reductases mediates catalytic turnover [Enzymology]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Ribonucleotide reductases (RNRs) catalyze the reduction of ribonucleotides to the corresponding deoxyribonucleotides, used in DNA synthesis and repair. Two different mechanisms help deliver the required electrons to the RNR active site. Formate can be used as reductant directly in the active site, or glutaredoxins or thioredoxins reduce a C-terminal cysteine pair, which then delivers the electrons to the active site. Here, we characterized a novel cysteine-rich C-terminal domain (CRD), which is present in most class II RNRs found in microbes. The NrdJd-type RNR from the bacterium Stackebrandtia nassauensis was used as a model enzyme. We show that the CRD is involved in both higher oligomeric state formation and electron transfer to the active site. The CRD-dependent formation of high oligomers, such as tetramers and hexamers, was induced by addition of dATP or dGTP, but not of dTTP or dCTP. The electron transfer was mediated by an array of six cysteine residues at the very C-terminal end, which also coordinated a zinc atom. The electron transfer can also occur between subunits, depending on the enzyme's oligomeric state. An investigation of the native reductant of the system revealed no interaction with glutaredoxins or thioredoxins, indicating that this class II RNR uses a different electron source. Our results indicate that the CRD has a crucial role in catalytic turnover and a potentially new terminal reduction mechanism and suggest that the CRD is important for the activities of many class II RNRs.



Preferential association with ClC-3 permits sorting of ClC-4 into endosomal compartments [Molecular Biophysics]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

ClC-4 is an intracellular Cl−/H+ exchanger that is highly expressed in the brain and whose dysfunction has been linked to intellectual disability and epilepsy. Here we studied the subcellular localization of human ClC-4 in heterologous expression systems. ClC-4 is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) upon overexpression in HEK293T cells. Co-expression with distinct ClC-3 splice variants targets ClC-4 to late endosome/lysosomes (ClC-3a and ClC-3b) or recycling endosome (ClC-3c). When expressed in cultured astrocytes, ClC-4 sorted to endocytic compartments in WT cells but was retained in the ER in Clcn3−/− cells. To understand the virtual absence of ER-localized ClC-4 in WT astrocytes, we performed association studies by high-resolution clear native gel electrophoresis. Although other CLC channels and transporters form stable dimers, ClC-4 was mostly observed as monomer, with ClC-3–ClC-4 heterodimers being more stable than ClC-4 homodimers. We conclude that unique oligomerization properties of ClC-4 permit regulated targeting of ClC-4 to various endosomal compartment systems via expression of different ClC-3 splice variants.



Dopamine transporter phosphorylation site threonine 53 is stimulated by amphetamines and regulates dopamine transport, efflux, and cocaine analog binding [Neurobiology]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

The dopamine transporter (DAT) controls the spatial and temporal dynamics of dopamine neurotransmission through reuptake of extracellular transmitter and is a target for addictive compounds such as cocaine, amphetamine (AMPH), and methamphetamine (METH). Reuptake is regulated by kinase pathways and drug exposure, allowing for fine-tuning of clearance in response to specific conditions, and here we examine the impact of transporter ligands on DAT residue Thr-53, a proline-directed phosphorylation site previously implicated in AMPH-stimulated efflux mechanisms. Our findings show that Thr-53 phosphorylation is stimulated in a transporter-dependent manner by AMPH and METH in model cells and rat striatal synaptosomes, and in striatum of rats given subcutaneous injection of METH. Rotating disc electrode voltammetry revealed that initial rates of uptake and AMPH-induced efflux were elevated in phosphorylation-null T53A DAT relative to WT and charge-substituted T53D DATs, consistent with functions related to charge or polarity. These effects occurred without alterations of surface transporter levels, and mutants also showed reduced cocaine analog binding affinity that was not rescued by Zn2+. Together these findings support a role for Thr-53 phosphorylation in regulation of transporter kinetic properties that could impact DAT responses to amphetamines and cocaine.



Asparagine and glutamine ladders promote cross-species prion conversion [Neurobiology]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Prion transmission between species is governed in part by primary sequence similarity between the infectious prion aggregate, PrPSc, and the cellular prion protein of the host, PrPC. A puzzling feature of prion formation is that certain PrPC sequences, such as that of bank vole, can be converted by a remarkably broad array of different mammalian prions, whereas others, such as rabbit, show robust resistance to cross-species prion conversion. To examine the structural determinants that confer susceptibility or resistance to prion conversion, we systematically tested over 40 PrPC variants of susceptible and resistant PrPC sequences in a prion conversion assay. Five key residue positions markedly impacted prion conversion, four of which were in steric zipper segments where side chains from amino acids tightly interdigitate in a dry interface. Strikingly, all five residue substitutions modulating prion conversion involved the gain or loss of an asparagine or glutamine residue. For two of the four positions, Asn and Gln residues were not interchangeable, revealing a strict requirement for either an Asn or Gln residue. Bank voles have a high number of Asn and Gln residues and a high Asn:Gln ratio. These findings suggest that a high number of Asn and Gln residues at specific positions may stabilize β-sheets and lower the energy barrier for cross-species prion transmission, potentially because of hydrogen bond networks from side chain amides forming extended Asn/Gln ladders. These data also suggest that multiple PrPC segments containing Asn/Gln residues may act in concert along a replicative interface to promote prion conversion.



The phospholipase PNPLA7 functions as a lysophosphatidylcholine hydrolase and interacts with lipid droplets through its catalytic domain [Enzymology]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Mammalian patatin-like phospholipase domain–containing proteins (PNPLAs) are lipid-metabolizing enzymes with essential roles in energy metabolism, skin barrier development, and brain function. A detailed annotation of enzymatic activities and structure–function relationships remains an important prerequisite to understand PNPLA functions in (patho-)physiology, for example, in disorders such as neutral lipid storage disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and neurodegenerative syndromes. In this study, we characterized the structural features controlling the subcellular localization and enzymatic activity of PNPLA7, a poorly annotated phospholipase linked to insulin signaling and energy metabolism. We show that PNPLA7 is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) transmembrane protein that specifically promotes hydrolysis of lysophosphatidylcholine in mammalian cells. We found that transmembrane and regulatory domains in the PNPLA7 N-terminal region cooperate to regulate ER targeting but are dispensable for substrate hydrolysis. Enzymatic activity is instead mediated by the C-terminal domain, which maintains full catalytic competence even in the absence of N-terminal regions. Upon elevated fatty acid flux, the catalytic domain targets cellular lipid droplets and promotes interactions of PNPLA7 with these organelles in response to increased cAMP levels. We conclude that PNPLA7 acts as an ER-anchored lysophosphatidylcholine hydrolase that is composed of specific functional domains mediating catalytic activity, subcellular positioning, and interactions with cellular organelles. Our study provides critical structural insights into an evolutionarily conserved class of phospholipid-metabolizing enzymes.



High-resolution structure of a lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase from Hypocrea jecorina reveals a predicted linker as an integral part of the catalytic domain [Molecular Biophysics]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

For decades, the enzymes of the fungus Hypocrea jecorina have served as a model system for the breakdown of cellulose. Three-dimensional structures for almost all H. jecorina cellulose-degrading enzymes are available, except for HjLPMO9A, belonging to the AA9 family of lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs). These enzymes enhance the hydrolytic activity of cellulases and are essential for cost-efficient conversion of lignocellulosic biomass. Here, using structural and spectroscopic analyses, we found that native HjLPMO9A contains a catalytic domain and a family-1 carbohydrate-binding module (CBM1) connected via a linker sequence. A C terminally truncated variant of HjLPMO9A containing 21 residues of the predicted linker was expressed at levels sufficient for analysis. Here, using structural, spectroscopic, and biochemical analyses, we found that this truncated variant exhibited reduced binding to and activity on cellulose compared with the full-length enzyme. Importantly, a 0.95-Å resolution X-ray structure of truncated HjLPMO9A revealed that the linker forms an integral part of the catalytic domain structure, covering a hydrophobic patch on the catalytic AA9 module. We noted that the oxidized catalytic center contains a Cu(II) coordinated by two His ligands, one of which has a His-brace in which the His-1 terminal amine group also coordinates to a copper. The final equatorial position of the Cu(II) is occupied by a water-derived ligand. The spectroscopic characteristics of the truncated variant were not measurably different from those of full-length HjLPMO9A, indicating that the presence of the CBM1 module increases the affinity of HjLPMO9A for cellulose binding, but does not affect the active site.



Intrinsically disordered sequences enable modulation of protein phase separation through distributed tyrosine motifs [Cell Biology]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) is thought to contribute to the establishment of many biomolecular condensates, eukaryotic cell structures that concentrate diverse macromolecules but lack a bounding membrane. RNA granules control RNA metabolism and comprise a large class of condensates that are enriched in RNA-binding proteins and RNA molecules. Many RNA granule proteins are composed of both modular domains and intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) having low amino acid sequence complexity. Phase separation of these molecules likely plays an important role in the generation and stability of RNA granules. To understand how folded domains and IDRs can cooperate to modulate LLPS, we generated a series of engineered proteins. These were based on fusions of an IDR derived from the RNA granule protein FUS (fused in sarcoma) to a multivalent poly-Src homology 3 (SH3) domain protein that phase-separates when mixed with a poly-proline–rich-motif (polyPRM) ligand. We found that the wild-type IDR promotes LLPS of the polySH3–polyPRM system, decreasing the phase separation threshold concentration by 8-fold. Systematic mutation of tyrosine residues in Gly/Ser-Tyr-Gly/Ser motifs of the IDR reduced this effect, depending on the number but not on the position of these substitutions. Mutating all tyrosines to non-aromatic residues or phosphorylating the IDR raised the phase separation threshold above that of the unmodified polySH3–polyPRM pair. These results show that low-complexity IDRs can modulate LLPS both positively and negatively, depending on the degree of aromaticity and phosphorylation status. Our findings provide plausible mechanisms by which these sequences could alter RNA granule properties on evolutionary and cellular timescales.



The ATAD2 bromodomain binds different acetylation marks on the histone H4 in similar fuzzy complexes. [Additions and Corrections]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

VOLUME 292 (2017) PAGES 16734–16745Fig. 6 and supplemental Fig. S12 were inadvertently duplicated. The correct Fig. 6 is shown here. This error does not affect the results or conclusions of this work.jbc;292/46/19121/FU1F1FU1



Chemical reprogramming of mouse embryonic and adult fibroblast into endoderm lineage [Developmental Biology]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

We report here an approach to redirecting somatic cell fate under chemically defined conditions without transcription factors. We start by converting mouse embryonic fibroblasts to epithelial-like cells with chemicals and growth factors. Subsequent cell fate mapping reveals a robust induction of SOX17 in the resulting epithelial-like cells that can be further reprogrammed to endodermal progenitor cells. Interestingly, these cells can self-renew in vitro and further differentiate into albumin-producing hepatocytes that can rescue mice from acute liver injury. Our results demonstrate a rational approach to convert mouse embryonic fibroblasts to hepatocytes and suggest that this mechanism-driven approach may be generalized for other cells.



An intermediate cell state allows rerouting of cell fate [Developmental Biology]

2017-11-17T00:06:22-08:00

Somatic cell reprogramming into pluripotent stem cells using transcriptional factors or chemical compounds has been shown to include an intermediate cell state with epithelial features. Two recent papers show that this intermediate state can be redirected to create other differentiated cell types—specifically hepatocytes and neurons—using chemical cocktails. These results shed new light on a critical intermediate in cell fate conversion with mechanistic and practical implications.



Mfd translocase is necessary and sufficient for transcription-coupled repair in Escherichia coli [Computational Biology]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

Nucleotide excision repair in Escherichia coli is stimulated by transcription, specifically in the transcribed strand. Previously, it was shown that this transcription-coupled repair (TCR) is mediated by the Mfd translocase. Recently, it was proposed that in fact the majority of TCR in E. coli is catalyzed by a second pathway (“backtracking-mediated TCR”) that is dependent on the UvrD helicase and the guanosine pentaphosphate (ppGpp) alarmone/stringent response regulator. Recently, we reported that as measured by the excision repair–sequencing (XR-seq), UvrD plays no role in TCR genome-wide. Here, we tested the role of ppGpp and UvrD in TCR genome-wide and in the lacZ operon using the XR-seq method, which directly measures repair. We found that the mfd mutation abolishes TCR genome-wide and in the lacZ operon. In contrast, the relA−spoT− mutant deficient in ppGpp synthesis carries out normal TCR. We conclude that UvrD and ppGpp play no role in TCR in E. coli.



Interaction between the AAA+ ATPase p97 and its cofactor ataxin3 in health and disease: Nucleotide-induced conformational changes regulate cofactor binding [Protein Structure and Folding]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

p97 is an essential ATPase associated with various cellular activities (AAA+) that functions as a segregase in diverse cellular processes, including the maintenance of proteostasis. p97 interacts with different cofactors that target it to distinct pathways; an important example is the deubiquitinase ataxin3, which collaborates with p97 in endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation. However, the molecular details of this interaction have been unclear. Here, we characterized the binding of ataxin3 to p97, showing that ataxin3 binds with low-micromolar affinity to both wild-type p97 and mutants linked to degenerative disorders known as multisystem proteinopathy 1 (MSP1); we further showed that the stoichiometry of binding is one ataxin3 molecule per p97 hexamer. We mapped the binding determinants on each protein, demonstrating that ataxin3's p97/VCP-binding motif interacts with the inter-lobe cleft in the N-domain of p97. We also probed the nucleotide dependence of this interaction, confirming that ataxin3 and p97 associate in the presence of ATP and in the absence of nucleotide, but not in the presence of ADP. Our experiments suggest that an ADP-driven downward movement of the p97 N-terminal domain dislodges ataxin3 by inducing a steric clash between the D1-domain and ataxin3's C terminus. In contrast, MSP1 mutants of p97 bind ataxin3 irrespective of their nucleotide state, indicating a failure by these mutants to translate ADP binding into a movement of the N-terminal domain. Our model provides a mechanistic explanation for how nucleotides regulate the p97–ataxin3 interaction and why atypical cofactor binding is observed with MSP1 mutants.



Mutual synergy between catalase and peroxidase activities of the bifunctional enzyme KatG is facilitated by electron hole-hopping within the enzyme [Protein Structure and Folding]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

KatG is a bifunctional, heme-dependent enzyme in the front-line defense of numerous bacterial and fungal pathogens against H2O2-induced oxidative damage from host immune responses. Contrary to the expectation that catalase and peroxidase activities should be mutually antagonistic, peroxidatic electron donors (PxEDs) enhance KatG catalase activity. Here, we establish the mechanism of synergistic cooperation between these activities. We show that at low pH values KatG can fully convert H2O2 to O2 and H2O only if a PxED is present in the reaction mixture. Stopped-flow spectroscopy results indicated rapid initial rates of H2O2 disproportionation slowing concomitantly with the accumulation of ferryl-like heme states. These states very slowly returned to resting (i.e. ferric) enzyme, indicating that they represented catalase-inactive intermediates. We also show that an active-site tryptophan, Trp-321, participates in off-pathway electron transfer. A W321F variant in which the proximal tryptophan was replaced with a non-oxidizable phenylalanine exhibited higher catalase activity and less accumulation of off-pathway heme intermediates. Finally, rapid freeze-quench EPR experiments indicated that both WT and W321F KatG produce the same methionine–tyrosine–tryptophan (MYW) cofactor radical intermediate at the earliest reaction time points and that Trp-321 is the preferred site of off-catalase protein oxidation in the native enzyme. Of note, PxEDs did not affect the formation of the MYW cofactor radical but could reduce non-productive protein-based radical species that accumulate during reaction with H2O2. Our results suggest that catalase-inactive intermediates accumulate because of off-mechanism oxidation, primarily of Trp-321, and PxEDs stimulate KatG catalase activity by preventing the accumulation of inactive intermediates.



Myristoylation of Src kinase mediates Src-induced and high-fat diet-accelerated prostate tumor progression in mice [Molecular Bases of Disease]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

Exogenous fatty acids provide substrates for energy production and biogenesis of the cytoplasmic membrane, but they also enhance cellular signaling during cancer cell proliferation. However, it remains controversial whether dietary fatty acids are correlated with tumor progression. In this study, we demonstrate that increased Src kinase activity is associated with high-fat diet–accelerated progression of prostate tumors and that Src kinases mediate this pathological process. Moreover, in the in vivo prostate regeneration assay, host SCID mice carrying Src(Y529F)-transduced regeneration tissues were fed a low-fat diet or a high-fat diet and treated with vehicle or dasatinib. The high-fat diet not only accelerated Src-induced prostate tumorigenesis in mice but also compromised the inhibitory effect of the anticancer drug dasatinib on Src kinase oncogenic potential in vivo. We further show that myristoylation of Src kinase is essential to facilitate Src-induced and high-fat diet–accelerated tumor progression. Mechanistically, metabolism of exogenous myristic acid increased the biosynthesis of myristoyl CoA and myristoylated Src and promoted Src kinase–mediated oncogenic signaling in human cells. Of the fatty acids tested, only exogenous myristic acid contributed to increased intracellular myristoyl CoA levels. Our results suggest that targeting Src kinase myristoylation, which is required for Src kinase association at the cellular membrane, blocks dietary fat–accelerated tumorigenesis in vivo. Our findings uncover the molecular basis of how the metabolism of myristic acid stimulates high-fat diet–mediated prostate tumor progression.



Understanding DNA replication by the bacteriophage T4 replisome [DNA and Chromosomes]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

The T4 replisome has provided a unique opportunity to investigate the intricacies of DNA replication. We present a comprehensive review of this system focusing on the following: its 8-protein composition, their individual and synergistic activities, and assembly in vitro and in vivo into a replisome capable of coordinated leading/lagging strand DNA synthesis. We conclude with a brief comparison with other replisomes with emphasis on how coordinated DNA replication is achieved.



Loss of cardiac carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 results in rapamycin-resistant, acetylation-independent hypertrophy [Metabolism]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

Cardiac hypertrophy is closely linked to impaired fatty acid oxidation, but the molecular basis of this link is unclear. Here, we investigated the loss of an obligate enzyme in mitochondrial long-chain fatty acid oxidation, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 (CPT2), on muscle and heart structure, function, and molecular signatures in a muscle- and heart-specific CPT2-deficient mouse (Cpt2M−/−) model. CPT2 loss in heart and muscle reduced complete oxidation of long-chain fatty acids by 87 and 69%, respectively, without altering body weight, energy expenditure, respiratory quotient, or adiposity. Cpt2M−/− mice developed cardiac hypertrophy and systolic dysfunction, evidenced by a 5-fold greater heart mass, 60–90% reduction in blood ejection fraction relative to control mice, and eventual lethality in the absence of cardiac fibrosis. The hypertrophy-inducing mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway was activated in Cpt2M−/− hearts; however, daily rapamycin exposure failed to attenuate hypertrophy in Cpt2M−/− mice. Lysine acetylation was reduced by ∼50% in Cpt2M−/− hearts, but trichostatin A, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that improves cardiac remodeling, failed to attenuate Cpt2M−/− hypertrophy. Strikingly, a ketogenic diet increased lysine acetylation in Cpt2M−/− hearts 2.3-fold compared with littermate control mice fed a ketogenic diet, yet it did not improve cardiac hypertrophy. Together, these results suggest that a shift away from mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation initiates deleterious hypertrophic cardiac remodeling independent of fibrosis. The data also indicate that CPT2-deficient hearts are impervious to hypertrophy attenuators, that mitochondrial metabolism regulates cardiac acetylation, and that signals derived from alterations in mitochondrial metabolism are the key mediators of cardiac hypertrophic growth.



Dynamic regulation of Cdr1 kinase localization and phosphorylation during osmotic stress [Signal Transduction]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

Environmental conditions modulate cell cycle progression in many cell types. A key component of the eukaryotic cell cycle is the protein kinase Wee1, which inhibits the cyclin-dependent kinase Cdk1 in yeast through human cells. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the protein kinase Cdr1 is a mitotic inducer that promotes mitotic entry by phosphorylating and inhibiting Wee1. Cdr1 and Wee1 both localize to punctate structures, termed nodes, on the medial cortex, but it has been unknown whether node localization can be altered by physiological signals. Here we investigated how environmental conditions regulate Cdr1 signaling for cell division. Osmotic stress induced hyperphosphorylation of the mitotic inducer Cdr1 for several hours, and cells delayed division for the same time period. This stress-induced hyperphosphorylation required both Cdr1 autophosphorylation and the stress-activated protein kinase Sty1. During osmotic stress, Cdr1 exited cortical nodes and localized in the cytoplasm. Using a series of truncation mutants, we mapped a C-terminal domain that is necessary and sufficient for Cdr1 node localization and found that Sty1 directly phosphorylates this domain in vitro. Sty1 was not required for Cdr1 exit from nodes, indicating the existence of additional regulatory signals. Both Cdr1 phosphorylation and node localization returned to basal levels when cells adapted to osmotic conditions and resumed cell cycle progression. In summary, we identified a mechanism that prevents Cdr1 colocalization with its inhibitory target Wee1 during osmotic stress. Dynamic regulation of protein localization to cortical nodes might represent a strategy to modulate entry into mitosis under differing environmental conditions.



Endonucleolytic cleavage in the expansion segment 7 of 25S rRNA is an early marker of low-level oxidative stress in yeast [Cell Biology]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

The ability to detect and respond to oxidative stress is crucial to the survival of living organisms. In cells, sensing of increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) activates many defensive mechanisms that limit or repair damage to cell components. The ROS-signaling responses necessary for cell survival under oxidative stress conditions remain incompletely understood, especially for the translational machinery. Here, we found that drug treatments or a genetic deficiency in the thioredoxin system that increase levels of endogenous hydrogen peroxide in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae promote site-specific endonucleolytic cleavage in 25S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) adjacent to the c loop of the expansion segment 7 (ES7), a putative regulatory region located on the surface of the 60S ribosomal subunit. Our data also show that ES7c is cleaved at early stages of the gene expression program that enables cells to successfully counteract oxidative stress and is not a prerequisite or consequence of apoptosis. Moreover, the 60S subunits containing ES7c-cleaved rRNA cofractionate with intact subunits in sucrose gradients and repopulate polysomes after a short starvation-induced translational block, indicating their active role in translation. These results demonstrate that ES7c cleavage in rRNA is an early and sensitive marker of increased ROS levels in yeast cells and suggest that changes in ribosomes may be involved in the adaptive response to oxidative stress.



Defining a mechanistic link between pigment epithelium-derived factor, docosahexaenoic acid, and corneal nerve regeneration [Cell Biology]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

The cornea is densely innervated to sustain the integrity of the ocular surface. Corneal nerve damage produced by aging, diabetes, refractive surgeries, and viral or bacterial infections impairs tear production, the blinking reflex, and epithelial wound healing, resulting in loss of transparency and vision. A combination of the known neuroprotective molecule, pigment epithelium–derived factor (PEDF) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), has been shown to stimulate corneal nerve regeneration, but the mechanisms involved are unclear. Here, we sought to define the molecular events of this effect in an in vivo mouse injury model. We first confirmed that PEDF + DHA increased nerve regeneration in the mouse cornea. Treatment with PEDF activates the phospholipase A2 activity of the PEDF-receptor (PEDF-R) leading to the release of DHA; this free DHA led to enhanced docosanoid synthesis and induction of bdnf, ngf, and the axon growth promoter semaphorin 7a (sema7a), and as a consequence, their products appeared in the mouse tears. Surprisingly, corneal injury and treatment with PEDF + DHA induced transcription of neuropeptide y (npy), small proline-rich protein 1a (sprr1a), and vasoactive intestinal peptide (vip) in the trigeminal ganglia (TG). The PEDF-R inhibitor, atglistatin, blocked all of these changes in the cornea and TG. In conclusion, we uncovered here an active cornea–TG axis, driven by PEDF-R activation, that fosters axon outgrowth in the cornea.



Human Rab small GTPase- and class V myosin-mediated membrane tethering in a chemically defined reconstitution system [Cell Biology]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

Membrane tethering is a fundamental process essential for the compartmental specificity of intracellular membrane trafficking in eukaryotic cells. Rab-family small GTPases and specific sets of Rab-interacting effector proteins, including coiled-coil tethering proteins and multisubunit tethering complexes, are reported to be responsible for membrane tethering. However, whether and how these key components directly and specifically tether subcellular membranes remains enigmatic. Using chemically defined proteoliposomal systems reconstituted with purified human Rab proteins and synthetic liposomal membranes to study the molecular basis of membrane tethering, we established here that Rab-family GTPases have a highly conserved function to directly mediate membrane tethering, even in the absence of any types of Rab effectors such as the so-called tethering proteins. Moreover, we demonstrate that membrane tethering mediated by endosomal Rab11a is drastically and selectively stimulated by its cognate Rab effectors, class V myosins (Myo5A and Myo5B), in a GTP-dependent manner. Of note, Myo5A and Myo5B exclusively recognized and cooperated with the membrane-anchored form of their cognate Rab11a to support membrane tethering mediated by trans-Rab assemblies on opposing membranes. Our findings support the novel concept that Rab-family proteins provide a bona fide membrane tether to physically and specifically link two distinct lipid bilayers of subcellular membranes. They further indicate that Rab-interacting effector proteins, including class V myosins, can regulate these Rab-mediated membrane-tethering reactions.



Early emergence of negative regulation of the tyrosine kinase Src by the C-terminal Src kinase [Signal Transduction]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

Stringent regulation of tyrosine kinase activity is essential for normal cellular function. In humans, the tyrosine kinase Src is inhibited via phosphorylation of its C-terminal tail by another kinase, C-terminal Src kinase (Csk). Although Src and Csk orthologs are present across holozoan organisms, including animals and protists, the Csk–Src negative regulatory mechanism appears to have evolved gradually. For example, in choanoflagellates, Src and Csk are both active, but the negative regulatory mechanism is reportedly absent. In filastereans, a protist clade closely related to choanoflagellates, Src is active, but Csk is apparently inactive. In this study, we use a combination of bioinformatics, in vitro kinase assays, and yeast-based growth assays to characterize holozoan Src and Csk orthologs. We show that, despite appreciable differences in domain architecture, Csk from Corallochytrium limacisporum, a highly diverged holozoan marine protist, is active and can inhibit Src. However, in comparison with other Csk orthologs, Corallochytrium Csk displays broad substrate specificity and inhibits Src in an activity-independent manner. Furthermore, in contrast to previous studies, we show that Csk from the filasterean Capsaspora owczarzaki is active and that the Csk–Src negative regulatory mechanism is present in Csk and Src proteins from C. owczarzaki and the choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis. Our results suggest that negative regulation of Src by Csk is more ancient than previously thought and that it might be conserved across all holozoan species.



Antitumor immunity is defective in T cell-specific microRNA-155-deficient mice and is rescued by immune checkpoint blockade [Immunology]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

MicroRNA-155 (miR-155) regulates antitumor immune responses. However, its specific functions within distinct immune cell types have not been delineated in conditional KO mouse models. In this study, we investigated the role of miR-155 specifically within T cells during the immune response to syngeneic tumors. We found that miR-155 expression within T cells is required to limit syngeneic tumor growth and promote IFNγ production by T cells within the tumor microenvironment. Consequently, we found that miR-155 expression by T cells is necessary for proper tumor-associated macrophage expression of IFNγ-inducible genes. We also found that immune checkpoint–blocking (ICB) antibodies against programmed cell death protein 1/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte–associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) restored antitumor immunity in miR-155 T cell–conditional KO mice. We noted that these ICB antibodies rescued the levels of IFNγ-expressing T cells, expression of multiple activation and effector genes expressed by tumor-infiltrating CD8+ and CD4+ T cells, and tumor-associated macrophage activation. Moreover, the ICB approach partially restored expression of several derepressed miR-155 targets in tumor-infiltrating, miR-155–deficient CD8+ T cells, suggesting that miR-155 and ICB regulate overlapping pathways to promote antitumor immunity. Taken together, our findings highlight the multifaceted role of miR-155 in T cells, in which it promotes antitumor immunity. These results suggest that the augmentation of miR-155 expression could be used to improve anticancer immunotherapies.



Passive DNA demethylation preferentially up-regulates pluripotency-related genes and facilitates the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells [Cell Biology]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

A high proliferation rate has been observed to facilitate somatic cell reprogramming, but the pathways that connect proliferation and reprogramming have not been reported. DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) methylates hemimethylated CpG sites produced during S phase and maintains stable inheritance of DNA methylation. Impairing this process results in passive DNA demethylation. In this study, we show that the cell proliferation rate positively correlated with the expression of Dnmt1 in G1 phase. In addition, as determined by whole-genome bisulfate sequencing and high-performance liquid chromatography, global DNA methylation of mouse embryonic fibroblasts was significantly higher in G1 phase than in G2/M phase. Thus, we suspected that high cellular proliferation requires more Dnmt1 expression in G1 phase to prevent passive DNA demethylation. The methylation differences of individual CpG sites between G1 and G2/M phase were related to the methylation status and the positions of their surrounding CpG sites. In addition, larger methylation differences were observed on the promoters of pluripotency-related genes; for example, Oct4, Nanog, Sox2, Esrrb, Cdh1, and Epcam. When such methylation differences or passive DNA demethylation accumulated with Dnmt1 suppression and proliferation acceleration, DNA methylation on pluripotency-related genes was decreased, and their expression was up-regulated, which subsequently promoted pluripotency and mesenchymal–epithelial transition, a necessary step for reprogramming. We infer that high cellular proliferation rates promote generation of induced pluripotent stem cells at least partially by inducing passive DNA demethylation and up-regulating pluripotency-related genes. Therefore, these results uncover a connection between cell reprogramming and DNA methylation.



Glucose availability controls adipogenesis in mouse 3T3-L1 adipocytes via up-regulation of nicotinamide metabolism [Cell Biology]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

Expansion of adipose tissue in response to a positive energy balance underlies obesity and occurs through both hypertrophy of existing cells and increased differentiation of adipocyte precursors (hyperplasia). To better understand the nutrient signals that promote adipocyte differentiation, we investigated the role of glucose availability in regulating adipocyte differentiation and maturation. 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were grown and differentiated in medium containing a standard differentiation hormone mixture and either 4 or 25 mm glucose. Adipocyte maturation at day 9 post-differentiation was determined by key adipocyte markers, including glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) and adiponectin expression and Oil Red O staining of neutral lipids. We found that adipocyte differentiation and maturation required a pulse of 25 mm glucose only during the first 3 days of differentiation. Importantly, fatty acids were unable to substitute for the 25 mm glucose pulse during this period. The 25 mm glucose pulse increased adiponectin and GLUT4 expression and accumulation of neutral lipids via distinct mechanisms. Adiponectin expression and other early markers of differentiation required an increase in the intracellular pool of total NAD/P. In contrast, GLUT4 protein expression was only partially restored by increased NAD/P levels. Furthermore, GLUT4 mRNA expression was mediated by glucose-dependent activation of GLUT4 gene transcription through the cis-acting GLUT4–liver X receptor element (LXRE) promoter element. In summary, this study supports the conclusion that high glucose promotes adipocyte differentiation via distinct metabolic pathways and independently of fatty acids. This may partly explain the mechanism underlying adipocyte hyperplasia that occurs much later than adipocyte hypertrophy in the development of obesity.



Surfactant protein A down-regulates epidermal growth factor receptor by mechanisms different from those of surfactant protein D [Cell Biology]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

We recently reported that the lectin surfactant protein D (SP-D) suppresses epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling by interfering with ligand binding to EGFR through an interaction between the carbohydrate-recognition domain (CRD) of SP-D and N-glycans of EGFR. Here, we report that surfactant protein A (SP-A) also suppresses EGF signaling in A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cells and in CHOK1 cells stably expressing human EGFR and that SP-A inhibits the proliferation and motility of the A549 cells. Results with 125I-EGF indicated that SP-A interferes with EGF binding to EGFR, and a ligand blot analysis suggested that SP-A binds EGFR in A549 cells. We also found that SP-A directly binds the recombinant extracellular domain of EGFR (soluble EGFR or sEGFR), and this binding, unlike that of SP-D, was not blocked by EDTA, excess mannose, or peptide:N-glycosidase F treatment. We prepared a collagenase-resistant fragment (CRF) of SP-A, consisting of CRD plus the neck domain of SP-A, and observed that CRF directly binds sEGFR but does not suppress EGF-induced phosphorylation of EGFR in or proliferation of A549 cells. These results indicated that SP-A binds EGFR and down-regulates EGF signaling by inhibiting ligand binding to EGFR as well as SP-D. However, unlike for SP-D, SP-A lectin activity and EGFR N-glycans were not involved in the interaction between SP-A and EGFR. Furthermore, our results suggested that oligomerization of SP-A is necessary to suppress the effects of SP-A on EGF signaling.



Limited proteolysis as a tool to probe the tertiary conformation of dysferlin and structural consequences of patient missense variant L344P [Molecular Biophysics]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

Dysferlin is a large transmembrane protein that plays a key role in cell membrane repair and underlies a recessive form of inherited muscular dystrophy. Dysferlinopathy is characterized by absence or marked reduction of dysferlin protein with 43% of reported pathogenic variants being missense variants that span the length of the dysferlin protein. The unique structure of dysferlin, with seven tandem C2 domains separated by linkers, suggests dysferlin may dynamically associate with phospholipid membranes in response to Ca2+ signaling. However, the overall conformation of the dysferlin protein is uncharacterized. To dissect the structural architecture of dysferlin, we have applied the method of limited proteolysis, which allows nonspecific digestion of unfolded peptides by trypsin. Using five antibodies spanning the dysferlin protein, we identified a highly reproducible jigsaw map of dysferlin fragments protected from digestion. Our data infer a modular architecture of four tertiary domains: 1) C2A, which is readily removed as a solo domain; 2) midregion C2B-C2C-Fer-DysF, commonly excised as an intact module, with subdigestion to different fragments suggesting several dynamic folding options; 3) C-terminal four-C2 domain module; and 4) calpain-cleaved mini-dysferlinC72, which is particularly resistant to proteolysis. Importantly, we reveal a patient missense variant, L344P, that largely escapes proteasomal surveillance and shows subtle but clear changes in tertiary conformation. Accompanying evidence from immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry using antibodies with conformationally sensitive epitopes supports proteolysis data. Collectively, we provide insight into the structural topology of dysferlin and show how a single missense mutation within dysferlin can exert local changes in tertiary conformation.



Casein kinase 2-mediated phosphorylation of Brahma-related gene 1 controls myoblast proliferation and contributes to SWI/SNF complex composition [DNA and Chromosomes]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

Transcriptional regulation is modulated in part by chromatin-remodeling enzymes that control gene accessibility by altering chromatin compaction or nucleosome positioning. Brahma-related gene 1 (Brg1), a catalytic subunit of the mammalian SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling enzymes, is required for both myoblast proliferation and differentiation, and the control of Brg1 phosphorylation by calcineurin, PKCβ1, and p38 regulates the transition to differentiation. However, we hypothesized that Brg1 activity might be regulated by additional kinases. Here, we report that Brg1 is also a target of casein kinase 2 (CK2), a serine/threonine kinase, in proliferating myoblasts. We found that CK2 interacts with Brg1, and mutation of putative phosphorylation sites to non-phosphorylatable (Ser to Ala, SA) or phosphomimetic residues (Ser to Glu, SE) reduced Brg1 phosphorylation by CK2. Although BRG1-deleted myoblasts that ectopically express the SA-Brg1 mutant proliferated similarly to the parental cells or cells ectopically expressing wild-type (WT) Brg1, ectopic expression of the SE-Brg1 mutant reduced proliferation and increased cell death, similar to observations from cells lacking Brg1. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of CK2 increased myoblast proliferation. Furthermore, the Pax7 promoter, which controls expression of a key transcription factor required for myoblast proliferation, was in an inaccessible chromatin state in the SE-Brg1 mutant, suggesting that hyperphosphorylated Brg1 cannot remodel chromatin. WT-, SA-, and SE-Brg1 exhibited distinct differences in interacting with and affecting expression of the SWI/SNF subunits Baf155 and Baf170 and displayed differential sub-nuclear localization. Our results indicate that CK2-mediated phosphorylation of Brg1 regulates myoblast proliferation and provides insight into one mechanism by which composition of the mammalian SWI/SNF enzyme complex is regulated.



Specific electrostatic interactions between charged amino acid residues regulate binding of von Willebrand factor to blood platelets [Molecular Biophysics]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

The plasma protein von Willebrand factor (VWF) is essential for hemostasis initiation at sites of vascular injury. The platelet-binding A1 domain of VWF is connected to the VWF N-terminally located D′D3 domain through a relatively unstructured amino acid sequence, called here the N-terminal linker. This region has previously been shown to inhibit the binding of VWF to the platelet surface receptor glycoprotein Ibα (GpIbα). However, the molecular mechanism underlying the inhibitory function of the N-terminal linker has not been elucidated. Here, we show that an aspartate at position 1261 is the most critical residue of the N-terminal linker for inhibiting binding of the VWF A1 domain to GpIbα on platelets in blood flow. Through a combination of molecular dynamics simulations, mutagenesis, and A1–GpIbα binding experiments, we identified a network of salt bridges between Asp1261 and the rest of A1 that lock the N-terminal linker in place such that it reduces binding to GpIbα. Mutations aimed at disrupting any of these salt bridges activated binding unless the mutated residue also formed a salt bridge with GpIbα, in which case the mutations inhibited the binding. These results show that interactions between charged amino acid residues are important both to directly stabilize the A1–GpIbα complex and to indirectly destabilize the complex through the N-terminal linker.



Structural basis for clonal diversity of the human T-cell response to a dominant influenza virus epitope [Protein Structure and Folding]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

Influenza A virus (IAV) causes an acute infection in humans that is normally eliminated by CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Individuals expressing the MHC class I molecule HLA-A2 produce cytotoxic T lymphocytes bearing T-cell receptors (TCRs) that recognize the immunodominant IAV epitope GILGFVFTL (GIL). Most GIL-specific TCRs utilize α/β chain pairs encoded by the TRAV27/TRBV19 gene combination to recognize this relatively featureless peptide epitope (canonical TCRs). However, ∼40% of GIL-specific TCRs express a wide variety of other TRAV/TRBV combinations (non-canonical TCRs). To investigate the structural underpinnings of this remarkable diversity, we determined the crystal structure of a non-canonical GIL-specific TCR (F50) expressing the TRAV13-1/TRBV27 gene combination bound to GIL–HLA-A2 to 1.7 Å resolution. Comparison of the F50–GIL–HLA-A2 complex with the previously published complex formed by a canonical TCR (JM22) revealed that F50 and JM22 engage GIL–HLA-A2 in markedly different orientations. These orientations are distinguished by crossing angles of TCR to peptide–MHC of 29° for F50 versus 69° for JM22 and by a focus by F50 on the C terminus rather than the center of the MHC α1 helix for JM22. In addition, F50, unlike JM22, uses a tryptophan instead of an arginine to fill a critical notch between GIL and the HLA-A2 α2 helix. The F50–GIL–HLA-A2 complex shows that there are multiple structurally distinct solutions to recognizing an identical peptide–MHC ligand with sufficient affinity to elicit a broad anti-IAV response that protects against viral escape and T-cell clonal loss.



The stress-regulatory transcription factors Msn2 and Msn4 regulate fatty acid oxidation in budding yeast [Gene Regulation]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

The transcription factors Msn2 and Msn4 (multicopy suppressor of SNF1 mutation proteins 2 and 4) bind the stress-response element in gene promoters in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, the roles of Msn2/4 in primary metabolic pathways such as fatty acid β-oxidation are unclear. Here, in silico analysis revealed that the promoters of most genes involved in the biogenesis, function, and regulation of the peroxisome contain Msn2/4-binding sites. We also found that transcript levels of MSN2/MSN4 are increased in glucose-depletion conditions and that during growth in nonpreferred carbon sources, Msn2 is constantly localized to the nucleus in wild-type cells. Of note, the double mutant msn2Δmsn4Δ exhibited a severe growth defect when grown with oleic acid as the sole carbon source and had reduced transcript levels of major β-oxidation genes. ChIP indicated that Msn2 has increased occupancy on the promoters of β-oxidation genes in glucose-depleted conditions, and in vivo reporter gene analysis indicated reduced expression of these genes in msn2Δmsn4Δ cells. Moreover, mobility shift assays revealed that Msn4 binds β-oxidation gene promoters. Immunofluorescence microscopy with anti-peroxisome membrane protein antibodies disclosed that the msn2Δmsn4Δ strain had fewer peroxisomes than the wild type, and lipid analysis indicated that the msn2Δmsn4Δ strain had increased triacylglycerol and steryl ester levels. Collectively, our data suggest that Msn2/Msn4 transcription factors activate expression of the genes involved in fatty acid oxidation. Because glucose sensing, signaling, and fatty acid β-oxidation pathways are evolutionarily conserved throughout eukaryotes, the msn2Δmsn4Δ strain could therefore be a good model system for further study of these critical processes.



Characterization of a cytoplasmic glucosyltransferase that extends the core trisaccharide of the Toxoplasma Skp1 E3 ubiquitin ligase subunit [Microbiology]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

Skp1 is a subunit of the SCF (Skp1/Cullin 1/F-box protein) class of E3 ubiquitin ligases that are important for eukaryotic protein degradation. Unlike its animal counterparts, Skp1 from Toxoplasma gondii is hydroxylated by an O2-dependent prolyl-4-hydroxylase (PhyA), and the resulting hydroxyproline can subsequently be modified by a five-sugar chain. A similar modification is found in the social amoeba Dictyostelium, where it regulates SCF assembly and O2-dependent development. Homologous glycosyltransferases assemble a similar core trisaccharide in both organisms, and a bifunctional α-galactosyltransferase from CAZy family GT77 mediates the addition of the final two sugars in Dictyostelium, generating Galα1, 3Galα1,3Fucα1,2Galβ1,3GlcNAcα1-. Here, we found that Toxoplasma utilizes a cytoplasmic glycosyltransferase from an ancient clade of CAZy family GT32 to catalyze transfer of the fourth sugar. Catalytically active Glt1 was required for the addition of the terminal disaccharide in cells, and cytosolic extracts catalyzed transfer of [3H]glucose from UDP-[3H]glucose to the trisaccharide form of Skp1 in a glt1-dependent fashion. Recombinant Glt1 catalyzed the same reaction, confirming that it directly mediates Skp1 glucosylation, and NMR demonstrated formation of a Glcα1,3Fuc linkage. Recombinant Glt1 strongly preferred the full core trisaccharide attached to Skp1 and labeled only Skp1 in glt1Δ extracts, suggesting specificity for Skp1. glt1-knock-out parasites exhibited a growth defect not rescued by catalytically inactive Glt1, indicating that the glycan acts in concert with the first enzyme in the pathway, PhyA, in cells. A genomic bioinformatics survey suggested that Glt1 belongs to the ancestral Skp1 glycosylation pathway in protists and evolved separately from related Golgi-resident GT32 glycosyltransferases.



The periplasmic transaminase PtaA of Pseudomonas fluorescens converts the glutamic acid residue at the pyoverdine fluorophore to {alpha}-ketoglutaric acid [Microbiology]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

The periplasmic conversion of ferribactin to pyoverdine is essential for siderophore biogenesis in fluorescent pseudomonads, such as pathogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa or plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas fluorescens. The non-ribosomal peptide ferribactin undergoes cyclizations and oxidations that result in the fluorophore, and a strictly conserved fluorophore-bound glutamic acid residue is converted to a range of variants, including succinamide, succinic acid, and α-ketoglutaric acid residues. We recently discovered that the pyridoxal phosphate-containing enzyme PvdN is responsible for the generation of the succinamide, which can be hydrolyzed to succinic acid. Based on this, a distinct unknown enzyme was postulated to be responsible for the conversion of the glutamic acid to α-ketoglutaric acid. Here we report the identification and characterization of this enzyme in P. fluorescens strain A506. In silico analyses indicated a periplasmic transaminase in fluorescent pseudomonads and other proteobacteria that we termed PtaA for “periplasmic transaminase A.” An in-frame-deleted ptaA mutant selectively lacked the α-ketoglutaric acid form of pyoverdine, and recombinant PtaA complemented this phenotype. The ptaA/pvdN double mutant produced exclusively the glutamic acid form of pyoverdine. PtaA is homodimeric and contains a pyridoxal phosphate cofactor. Mutation of the active-site lysine abolished PtaA activity and affected folding as well as Tat-dependent transport of the enzyme. In pseudomonads, the occurrence of ptaA correlates with the occurrence of α-ketoglutaric acid forms of pyoverdines. As this enzyme is not restricted to pyoverdine-producing bacteria, its catalysis of periplasmic transaminations is most likely a general tool for specific biosynthetic pathways.



Peptides derived from evolutionarily conserved domains in Beclin-1 and Beclin-2 enhance the entry of lentiviral vectors into human cells [Methods and Resources]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

Autophagy-related proteins such as Beclin-1 are involved in an array of complex processes, including antiviral responses, and may also modulate the efficiency of gene therapy viral vectors. The Tat-Beclin-1 (TB1) peptide has been reported as an autophagy-inducing factor inhibiting the replication of pathogens such as HIV, type 1 (HIV-1). However, autophagy-related proteins are also essential for the early steps of HIV-1 infection. Therefore, we examined the effects of the Beclin-1 evolutionarily conserved domain in TB1 on viral transduction and autophagy in single-round HIV infection or with nonreplicative HIV-1–derived lentiviral vectors. TB1 enhanced transduction with various pseudotypes but without inducing the autophagy process. TB1 augmented the transduction of human CD34+ hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells while maintaining their capacity to engraft in vivo into humanized mice. TB1 was as effective as other transduction additives and functioned by enhancing the adhesion and fusion of viral particles with target cells but not their aggregation. We also found that the N-terminal L1 loop was critical for TB1 transduction–enhancing activity. Interestingly, the Tat-Beclin-2 (TB2) peptide, derived from the human Beclin-2 protein, was even more potent than TB1 in promoting viral transduction and infection. Taken together, our findings suggest that the TB1 and TB2 peptides enhance the viral entry step. Tat-Beclin peptides therefore represent a new family of viral transduction enhancers for potential use in gene therapy.



Translesion synthesis DNA polymerases promote error-free replication through the minor-groove DNA adduct 3-deaza-3-methyladenine [DNA and Chromosomes]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

N3-Methyladenine (3-MeA) is formed in DNA by reaction with S-adenosylmethionine, the reactive methyl donor, and by reaction with alkylating agents. 3-MeA protrudes into the DNA minor groove and strongly blocks synthesis by replicative DNA polymerases (Pols). However, the mechanisms for replicating through this lesion in human cells remain unidentified. Here we analyzed the roles of translesion synthesis (TLS) Pols in the replication of 3-MeA-damaged DNA in human cells. Because 3-MeA has a short half-life in vitro, we used the stable 3-deaza analog, 3-deaza-3-methyladenine (3-dMeA), which blocks the DNA minor groove similarly to 3-MeA. We found that replication through the 3-dMeA adduct is mediated via three different pathways, dependent upon Polι/Polκ, Polθ, and Polζ. As inferred from biochemical studies, in the Polι/Polκ pathway, Polι inserts a nucleotide (nt) opposite 3-dMeA and Polκ extends synthesis from the inserted nt. In the Polθ pathway, Polθ carries out both the insertion and extension steps of TLS opposite 3-dMeA, and in the Polζ pathway, Polζ extends synthesis following nt insertion by an as yet unidentified Pol. Steady-state kinetic analyses indicated that Polι and Polθ insert the correct nt T opposite 3-dMeA with a much reduced catalytic efficiency and that both Pols exhibit a high propensity for inserting a wrong nt opposite this adduct. However, despite their low fidelity of synthesis opposite 3-dMeA, TLS opposite this lesion replicates DNA in a highly error-free manner in human cells. We discuss the implications of these observations for TLS mechanisms in human cells.



IRAK4 kinase activity controls Toll-like receptor-induced inflammation through the transcription factor IRF5 in primary human monocytes [Immunology]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

Interleukin-1 receptor–associated kinase 4 (IRAK4) plays a critical role in innate immune signaling by Toll-like receptors (TLRs), and loss of IRAK4 activity in mice and humans increases susceptibility to bacterial infections and causes defects in TLR and IL1 ligand sensing. However, the mechanism by which IRAK4 activity regulates the production of downstream inflammatory cytokines is unclear. Using transcriptomic and biochemical analyses of human monocytes treated with a highly potent and selective inhibitor of IRAK4, we show that IRAK4 kinase activity controls the activation of interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5), a transcription factor implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple autoimmune diseases. Following TLR7/8 stimulation by its agonist R848, chemical inhibition of IRAK4 abolished IRF5 translocation to the nucleus and thus prevented IRF5 binding to and activation of the promoters of inflammatory cytokines in human monocytes. We also found that IKKβ, an upstream IRF5 activator, is phosphorylated in response to the agonist-induced TLR signaling. Of note, IRAK4 inhibition blocked IKKβ phosphorylation but did not block the nuclear translocation of NFκB, which was surprising, given the canonical role of IKKβ in phosphorylating IκB to allow NFκB activation. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of either IKKβ or the serine/threonine protein kinase TAK1 in monocytes blocked TLR-induced cytokine production and IRF5 translocation to the nucleus, but not nuclear translocation of NFκB. Taken together, our data suggest a mechanism by which IRAK4 activity regulates TAK1 and IKKβ activation, leading to the nuclear translocation of IRF5 and induction of inflammatory cytokines in human monocytes.



Shedding of membrane-associated LDL receptor-related protein-1 from microglia amplifies and sustains neuroinflammation [Neurobiology]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

In the CNS, microglia are activated in response to injury or infection and in neurodegenerative diseases. The endocytic and cell signaling receptor, LDL receptor-related protein-1 (LRP1), is reported to suppress innate immunity in macrophages and oppose microglial activation. The goal of this study was to identify novel mechanisms by which LRP1 may regulate microglial activation. Using primary cultures of microglia isolated from mouse brains, we demonstrated that LRP1 gene silencing increases expression of proinflammatory mediators; however, the observed response was modest. By contrast, the LRP1 ligand, receptor-associated protein (RAP), robustly activated microglia, and its activity was attenuated in LRP1-deficient cells. An important element of the mechanism by which RAP activated microglia was its ability to cause LRP1 shedding from the plasma membrane. This process eliminated cellular LRP1, which is anti-inflammatory, and generated a soluble product, shed LRP1 (sLRP1), which is potently proinflammatory. Purified sLRP1 induced expression of multiple proinflammatory cytokines and the mRNA encoding inducible nitric-oxide synthase in both LRP1-expressing and -deficient microglia. LPS also stimulated LRP1 shedding, as did the heat-shock protein and LRP1 ligand, calreticulin. Other LRP1 ligands, including α2-macroglobulin and tissue-type plasminogen activator, failed to cause LRP1 shedding. Treatment of microglia with a metalloproteinase inhibitor inhibited LRP1 shedding and significantly attenuated RAP-induced cytokine expression. RAP and sLRP1 both caused neuroinflammation in vivo when administered by stereotaxic injection into mouse spinal cords. Collectively, these results suggest that LRP1 shedding from microglia may amplify and sustain neuroinflammation in response to proinflammatory stimuli.



Interaction between repressor Opi1p and ER membrane protein Scs2p facilitates transit of phosphatidic acid from the ER to mitochondria and is essential for INO1 gene expression in the presence of choline [Gene Regulation]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the Opi1p repressor controls the expression of INO1 via the Opi1p/Ino2p–Ino4p regulatory circuit. Inositol depletion favors Opi1p interaction with both Scs2p and phosphatidic acid at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane. Inositol supplementation, however, favors the translocation of Opi1p from the ER into the nucleus, where it interacts with the Ino2p–Ino4p complex, attenuating transcription of INO1. A strain devoid of Scs2p (scs2Δ) and a mutant, OPI1FFAT, lacking the ability to interact with Scs2p were utilized to examine the specific role(s) of the Opi1p–Scs2p interaction in the regulation of INO1 expression and overall lipid metabolism. Loss of the Opi1p–Scs2p interaction reduced INO1 expression and conferred inositol auxotrophy. Moreover, inositol depletion in strains lacking this interaction resulted in Opi1p being localized to sites of lipid droplet formation, coincident with increased synthesis of triacylglycerol. Supplementation of choline to inositol-depleted growth medium led to decreased TAG synthesis in all three strains. However, in strains lacking the Opi1p–Scs2p interaction, Opi1p remained in the nucleus, preventing expression of INO1. These data support the conclusion that a specific pool of phosphatidic acid, associated with lipid droplet formation in the perinuclear ER, is responsible for the initial rapid exit of Opi1p from the nucleus to the ER and is required for INO1 expression in the presence of choline. Moreover, the mitochondria-specific phospholipid, cardiolipin, was significantly reduced in both strains compromised for Opi1p–Scs2p interaction, indicating that this interaction is required for the transfer of phosphatidic acid from the ER to the mitochondria for cardiolipin synthesis.



Orchestrating phospholipid biosynthesis: Phosphatidic acid conducts and Opi1p performs [Gene Regulation]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

Phosphatidic acid (PA) and the conserved integral ER membrane protein Scs2p regulate localization of the transcriptional repressor Opi1p, which controls expression of phospholipid biosynthesis genes, but the mechanisms conducting Opi1p localization are not fully understood. A new study suggests the existence of a distinct pool of PA in the ER that is required for regulation of Opi1p localization and thus phospholipid metabolism in yeast.



Structure and functional analysis of LptC, a conserved membrane protein involved in the lipopolysaccharide export pathway in Escherichia coli. [Additions and Corrections]

2017-11-10T00:06:08-08:00

VOLUME 285 (2010) PAGES 33529–33539The authors recently became aware that Fig. 6 contained a duplication of the protein blots shown in the lower frames of panels of Fig. 6, B and C. This inadvertent error was made when the final figure was assembled for publication; the lower frame in C in the published paper is incorrect. Upon becoming aware of this error, we returned to the original unedited data files from these experiments in order to replace the incorrect frame with the correct image. This correction has no effect on the results and the conclusions drawn. We apologize to the community for any confusion this may have caused.jbc;292/45/18731/FU1F1FU1



The lipopolysaccharide transport (Lpt) machinery: A nonconventional transporter for lipopolysaccharide assembly at the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria [Membrane Biology]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

The outer membrane (OM) of Gram-negative is a unique lipid bilayer containing LPS in its outer leaflet. Because of the presence of amphipathic LPS molecules, the OM behaves as an effective permeability barrier that makes Gram-negative bacteria inherently resistant to many antibiotics. This review focuses on LPS biogenesis and discusses recent advances that have contributed to our understanding of how this complex molecule is transported across the cellular envelope and is assembled at the OM outer leaflet. Clearly, this knowledge represents an important platform for the development of novel therapeutic options to manage Gram-negative infections.



Neuroligin 4 regulates synaptic growth via the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction [Neurobiology]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

The neuroligin (Nlg) family of neural cell adhesion molecules is thought to be required for synapse formation and development and has been linked to the development of autism spectrum disorders in humans. In Drosophila melanogaster, mutations in the neuroligin 1–3 genes have been reported to induce synapse developmental defects at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), but the role of neuroligin 4 (dnlg4) in synapse development has not been determined. Here, we report that the Drosophila neuroligin 4 (DNlg4) is different from DNlg1–3 in that it presynaptically regulates NMJ synapse development. Loss of dnlg4 results in reduced growth of NMJs with fewer synaptic boutons. The morphological defects caused by dnlg4 mutant are associated with a corresponding decrease in synaptic transmission efficacy. All of these defects could only be rescued when DNlg4 was expressed in the presynapse of NMJs. To understand the basis of DNlg4 function, we looked for genetic interactions and found connections with the components of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway. Immunostaining and Western blot analyses demonstrated that the regulation of NMJ growth by DNlg4 was due to the positive modulation of BMP signaling by DNlg4. Specifically, BMP type I receptor thickvein (Tkv) abundance was reduced in dnlg4 mutants, and immunoprecipitation assays showed that DNlg4 and Tkv physically interacted in vivo. Our study demonstrates that DNlg4 presynaptically regulates neuromuscular synaptic growth via the BMP signaling pathway by modulating Tkv.



In silico modeling of the cryptic E2~ubiquitin-binding site of E6-associated protein (E6AP)/UBE3A reveals the mechanism of polyubiquitin chain assembly [Protein Synthesis and Degradation]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

To understand the mechanism for assembly of Lys48-linked polyubiquitin degradation signals, we previously demonstrated that the E6AP/UBE3A ligase harbors two functionally distinct E2∼ubiquitin–binding sites: a high-affinity Site 1 required for E6AP Cys820∼ubiquitin thioester formation and a canonical Site 2 responsible for subsequent chain elongation. Ordered binding to Sites 1 and 2 is here revealed by observation of UbcH7∼ubiquitin–dependent substrate inhibition of chain formation at micromolar concentrations. To understand substrate inhibition, we exploited the PatchDock algorithm to model in silico UbcH7∼ubiquitin bound to Site 1, validated by chain assembly kinetics of selected point mutants. The predicted structure buries an extensive solvent-excluded surface bringing the UbcH7∼ubiquitin thioester bond within 6 Å of the Cys820 nucleophile. Modeling onto the active E6AP trimer suggests that substrate inhibition arises from steric hindrance between Sites 1 and 2 of adjacent subunits. Confirmation that Sites 1 and 2 function in trans was demonstrated by examining the effect of E6APC820A on wild-type activity and single-turnover pulse-chase kinetics. A cyclic proximal indexation model proposes that Sites 1 and 2 function in tandem to assemble thioester-linked polyubiquitin chains from the proximal end attached to Cys820 before stochastic en bloc transfer to the target protein. Non-reducing SDS-PAGE confirms assembly of the predicted Cys820-linked 125I-polyubiquitin thioester intermediate. Other studies suggest that Glu550 serves as a general base to generate the Cys820 thiolate within the low dielectric binding interface and Arg506 functions to orient Glu550 and to stabilize the incipient anionic transition state during thioester exchange.



NMR reveals the intrinsically disordered domain 2 of NS5A protein as an allosteric regulator of the hepatitis C virus RNA polymerase NS5B [Molecular Biophysics]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Non-structural protein 5B (NS5B) is the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase that catalyzes replication of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA genome and therefore is central for its life cycle. NS5B interacts with the intrinsically disordered domain 2 of NS5A (NS5A-D2), another essential multifunctional HCV protein that is required for RNA replication. As a result, these two proteins represent important targets for anti-HCV chemotherapies. Despite this importance and the existence of NS5B crystal structures, our understanding of the conformational and dynamic behavior of NS5B in solution and its relationship with NS5A-D2 remains incomplete. To address these points, we report the first detailed NMR spectroscopic study of HCV NS5B lacking its membrane anchor (NS5BΔ21). Analysis of constructs with selective isotope labeling of the δ1 methyl groups of isoleucine side chains demonstrates that, in solution, NS5BΔ21 is highly dynamic but predominantly adopts a closed conformation. The addition of NS5A-D2 leads to spectral changes indicative of binding to both allosteric thumb sites I and II of NS5BΔ21 and induces long-range perturbations that affect the RNA-binding properties of the polymerase. We compared these modifications with the short- and long-range effects triggered in NS5BΔ21 upon binding of filibuvir, an allosteric inhibitor. We demonstrate that filibuvir-bound NS5BΔ21 is strongly impaired in the binding of both NS5A-D2 and RNA. NS5A-D2 induces conformational and functional perturbations in NS5B similar to those triggered by filibuvir. Thus, our work highlights NS5A-D2 as an allosteric regulator of the HCV polymerase and provides new insight into the dynamics of NS5B in solution.



Human DNA polymerase {eta} accommodates RNA for strand extension [Enzymology]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Ribonucleotides are the natural analogs of deoxyribonucleotides, which can be misinserted by DNA polymerases, leading to the most abundant DNA lesions in genomes. During replication, DNA polymerases tolerate patches of ribonucleotides on the parental strands to different extents. The majority of human DNA polymerases have been reported to misinsert ribonucleotides into genomes. However, only PrimPol, DNA polymerase α, telomerase, and the mitochondrial human DNA polymerase (hpol) γ have been shown to tolerate an entire RNA strand. Y-family hpol η is known for translesion synthesis opposite the UV-induced DNA lesion cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer and was recently found to incorporate ribonucleotides into DNA. Here, we report that hpol η is able to bind DNA/DNA, RNA/DNA, and DNA/RNA duplexes with similar affinities. In addition, hpol η, as well as another Y-family DNA polymerase, hpol κ, accommodates RNA as one of the two strands during primer extension, mainly by inserting dNMPs opposite unmodified templates or DNA lesions, such as 8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine or cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer, even in the presence of an equal amount of the DNA/DNA substrate. The discovery of this RNA-accommodating ability of hpol η redefines the traditional concept of human DNA polymerases and indicates potential new functions of hpol η in vivo.



Dynamin-dependent amino acid endocytosis activates mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) [Signal Transduction]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is a master regulator of protein synthesis and potential target for modifying cellular metabolism in various conditions, including cancer and aging. mTORC1 activity is tightly regulated by the availability of extracellular amino acids, and previous studies have revealed that amino acids in the extracellular fluid are transported to the lysosomal lumen. There, amino acids induce recruitment of cytoplasmic mTORC1 to the lysosome by the Rag GTPases, followed by mTORC1 activation by the small GTPase Ras homolog enriched in brain (Rheb). However, how the extracellular amino acids reach the lysosomal lumen and activate mTORC1 remains unclear. Here, we show that amino acid uptake by dynamin-dependent endocytosis plays a critical role in mTORC1 activation. We found that mTORC1 is inactivated when endocytosis is inhibited by overexpression of a dominant-negative form of dynamin 2 or by pharmacological inhibition of dynamin or clathrin. Consistently, the recruitment of mTORC1 to the lysosome was suppressed by the dynamin inhibition. The activity and lysosomal recruitment of mTORC1 were rescued by increasing intracellular amino acids via cycloheximide exposure or by Rag overexpression, indicating that amino acid deprivation is the main cause of mTORC1 inactivation via the dynamin inhibition. We further show that endocytosis inhibition does not induce autophagy even though mTORC1 inactivation is known to strongly induce autophagy. These findings open new perspectives for the use of endocytosis inhibitors as potential agents that can effectively inhibit nutrient utilization and shut down the upstream signals that activate mTORC1.



Up-regulation of autophagy-related gene 5 (ATG5) protects dopaminergic neurons in a zebrafish model of Parkinson's disease [Neurobiology]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most epidemic neurodegenerative diseases and is characterized by movement disorders arising from loss of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons. Recently, the relationship between PD and autophagy has received considerable attention, but information about the mechanisms involved is lacking. Here, we report that autophagy-related gene 5 (ATG5) is potentially important in protecting dopaminergic neurons in a 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced PD model in zebrafish. Using analyses of zebrafish swimming behavior, in situ hybridization, immunofluorescence, and expressions of genes and proteins related to PD and autophagy, we found that the ATG5 expression level was decreased and autophagy flux was blocked in this model. The ATG5 down-regulation led to the upgrade of PD-associated proteins, such as β-synuclein, Parkin, and PINK1, aggravation of MPTP-induced PD-mimicking pathological locomotor behavior, DA neuron loss labeled by tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) or dopamine transporter (DAT), and blocked autophagy flux in the zebrafish model. ATG5 overexpression alleviated or reversed these PD pathological features, rescued DA neuron cells as indicated by elevated TH/DAT levels, and restored autophagy flux. The role of ATG5 in protecting DA neurons was confirmed by expression of the human atg5 gene in the zebrafish model. Our findings reveal that ATG5 has a role in neuroprotection, and up-regulation of ATG5 may serve as a goal in the development of drugs for PD prevention and management.



Regulation of mitochondrial protein import by the nucleotide exchange factors GrpEL1 and GrpEL2 in human cells [Protein Structure and Folding]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Mitochondria are organelles indispensable for maintenance of cellular energy homeostasis. Most mitochondrial proteins are nuclearly encoded and are imported into the matrix compartment where they are properly folded. This process is facilitated by the mitochondrial heat shock protein 70 (mtHsp70), a chaperone contributing to mitochondrial protein quality control. The affinity of mtHsp70 for its protein clients and its chaperone function are regulated by binding of ATP/ADP to mtHsp70's nucleotide-binding domain. Nucleotide exchange factors (NEFs) play a crucial role in exchanging ADP for ATP at mtHsp70's nucleotide-binding domain, thereby modulating mtHsp70's chaperone activity. A single NEF, Mge1, regulates mtHsp70's chaperone activity in lower eukaryotes, but the mammalian orthologs are unknown. Here, we report that two putative NEF orthologs, GrpE-like 1 (GrpEL1) and GrpEL2, modulate mtHsp70's function in human cells. We found that both GrpEL1 and GrpEL2 associate with mtHsp70 as a hetero-oligomeric subcomplex and regulate mtHsp70 function. The formation of this subcomplex was critical for conferring stability to the NEFs, helped fine-tune mitochondrial protein quality control, and regulated crucial mtHsp70 functions, such as import of preproteins and biogenesis of Fe–S clusters. Our results also suggested that GrpEL2 has evolved as a possible stress resistance protein in higher vertebrates to maintain chaperone activity under stress conditions. In conclusion, our findings support the idea that GrpEL1 has a role as a stress modulator in mammalian cells and highlight that multiple NEFs are involved in controlling protein quality in mammalian mitochondria.



Glycoprotein A repetitions predominant (GARP) positively regulates transforming growth factor (TGF) {beta}3 and is essential for mouse palatogenesis [Cell Biology]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Glycoprotein A repetitions predominant (GARP) (encoded by the Lrrc32 gene) plays important roles in cell-surface docking and activation of TGFβ. However, GARP's role in organ development in mammalian systems is unclear. To determine the function of GARP in vivo, we generated a GARP KO mouse model. Unexpectedly, the GARP KO mice died within 24 h after birth and exhibited defective palatogenesis without apparent abnormalities in other major organs. Furthermore, we observed decreased apoptosis and SMAD2 phosphorylation in the medial edge epithelial cells of the palatal shelf of GARP KO embryos at embryonic day 14.5 (E14.5), indicating a defect in the TGFβ signaling pathway in the GARP-null developing palates. Of note, the failure to develop the secondary palate and concurrent reduction of SMAD phosphorylation without other defects in GARP KO mice phenocopied TGFβ3 KO mice, although GARP has not been suggested previously to interact with TGFβ3. We found that GARP and TGFβ3 co-localize in medial edge epithelial cells at E14.5. In vitro studies confirmed that GARP and TGFβ3 directly interact and that GARP is indispensable for the surface expression of membrane-associated latent TGFβ3. Our findings indicate that GARP is essential for normal morphogenesis of the palate and demonstrate that GARP plays a crucial role in regulating TGFβ3 signaling during embryogenesis. In conclusion, we have uncovered a novel function of GARP in positively regulating TGFβ3 activation and function.



Inflammatory responses induce an identity crisis of alveolar macrophages, leading to pulmonary alveolar proteinosis [Molecular Bases of Disease]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) is a severe respiratory disease characterized by dyspnea caused by accumulation of surfactant protein. Dysfunction of alveolar macrophages (AMs), which regulate the homeostasis of surfactant protein, leads to the development of PAP; for example, in mice lacking BTB and CNC homology 2 (Bach2). However, how Bach2 helps prevent PAP is unknown, and the cell-specific effects of Bach2 are undefined. Using mice lacking Bach2 in specific cell types, we found that the PAP phenotype of Bach2-deficient mice is due to Bach2 deficiency in more than two types of immune cells. Depletion of hyperactivated T cells in Bach2-deficient mice restored normal function of AMs and ameliorated PAP. We also found that, in Bach2-deficient mice, hyperactivated T cells induced gene expression patterns that are specific to other tissue-resident macrophages and dendritic cells. Moreover, Bach2-deficient AMs exhibited a reduction in cell cycle progression. IFN-γ released from T cells induced Bach2 expression in AMs, in which Bach2 then bound to regulatory regions of inflammation-associated genes in myeloid cells. Of note, in AMs, Bach2 restricted aberrant responses to excessive T cell-induced inflammation, whereas, in T cells, Bach2 puts a brake on T cell activation. Moreover, Bach2 stimulated the expression of multiple histone genes in AMs, suggesting a role of Bach2 in proper histone expression. We conclude that Bach2 is critical for the maintenance of AM identity and self-renewal in inflammatory environments. Treatments targeting T cells may offer new therapeutic strategies for managing secondary PAP.



Identification of a 35S U4/U6.U5 tri-small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (tri-snRNP) complex intermediate in spliceosome assembly [RNA]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

The de novo assembly and post-splicing reassembly of the U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP remain to be investigated. We report here that ZIP, a protein containing a CCCH-type zinc finger and a G-patch domain, as characterized by us previously, regulates pre-mRNA splicing independent of RNA binding. We found that ZIP physically associates with the U4/U6.U5 tri-small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (tri-snRNP). Remarkably, the ZIP-containing tri-snRNP, which has a sedimentation coefficient of ∼35S, is a tri-snRNP that has not been described previously. We also found that the 35S tri-snRNP contains hPrp24, indicative of a state in which the U4/U6 di-snRNP is integrating with the U5 snRNP. We found that the 35S tri-snRNP is enriched in the Cajal body, indicating that it is an assembly intermediate during 25S tri-snRNP maturation. We showed that the 35S tri-snRNP also contains hPrp43, in which ATPase/RNA helicase activities are stimulated by ZIP. Our study identified, for the first time, a tri-snRNP intermediate, shedding new light on the de novo assembly and recycling of the U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP.



Lysine acetylation stoichiometry and proteomics analyses reveal pathways regulated by sirtuin 1 in human cells [Genomics and Proteomics]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Lysine acetylation is a widespread posttranslational modification affecting many biological pathways. Recent studies indicate that acetylated lysine residues mainly exhibit low acetylation occupancy, but challenges in sample preparation and analysis make it difficult to confidently assign these numbers, limiting understanding of their biological significance. Here, we tested three common sample preparation methods to determine their suitability for assessing acetylation stoichiometry in three human cell lines, identifying the acetylation occupancy in more than 1,300 proteins from each cell line. The stoichiometric analysis in combination with quantitative proteomics also enabled us to explore their functional roles. We found that higher abundance of the deacetylase sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) correlated with lower acetylation occupancy and lower levels of ribosomal proteins, including those involved in ribosome biogenesis and rRNA processing. Treatment with the SIRT1 inhibitor EX-527 confirmed SIRT1's role in the regulation of pre-rRNA synthesis and processing. Specifically, proteins involved in pre-rRNA transcription, including subunits of the polymerase I and SL1 complexes and the RNA polymerase I-specific transcription initiation factor RRN3, were up-regulated after SIRT1 inhibition. Moreover, many protein effectors and regulators of pre-rRNA processing needed for rRNA maturation were also up-regulated after EX-527 treatment with the outcome that pre-rRNA and 28S rRNA levels also increased. More generally, we found that SIRT1 inhibition down-regulates metabolic pathways, including glycolysis and pyruvate metabolism. Together, these results provide the largest data set thus far of lysine acetylation stoichiometry (available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD005903) and set the stage for further biological investigations of this central posttranslational modification.



Transcriptional fidelities of human mitochondrial POLRMT, yeast mitochondrial Rpo41, and phage T7 single-subunit RNA polymerases [RNA]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Single-subunit RNA polymerases (RNAPs) are present in phage T7 and in mitochondria of all eukaryotes. This RNAP class plays important roles in biotechnology and cellular energy production, but we know little about its fidelity and error rates. Herein, we report the error rates of three single-subunit RNAPs measured from the catalytic efficiencies of correct and all possible incorrect nucleotides. The average error rates of T7 RNAP (2 × 10−6), yeast mitochondrial Rpo41 (6 × 10−6), and human mitochondrial POLRMT (RNA polymerase mitochondrial) (2 × 10−5) indicate high accuracy/fidelity of RNA synthesis resembling those of replicative DNA polymerases. All three RNAPs exhibit a distinctly high propensity for GTP misincorporation opposite dT, predicting frequent A→G errors in RNA with rates of ∼10−4. The A→C, G→A, A→U, C→U, G→U, U→C, and U→G errors mostly due to pyrimidine–purine mismatches were relatively frequent (10−5–10−6), whereas C→G, U→A, G→C, and C→A errors from purine–purine and pyrimidine–pyrimidine mismatches were rare (10−7–10−10). POLRMT also shows a high C→A error rate on 8-oxo-dG templates (∼10−4). Strikingly, POLRMT shows a high mutagenic bypass rate, which is exacerbated by TEFM (transcription elongation factor mitochondrial). The lifetime of POLRMT on terminally mismatched elongation substrate is increased in the presence of TEFM, which allows POLRMT to efficiently bypass the error and continue with transcription. This investigation of nucleotide selectivity on normal and oxidatively damaged DNA by three single-subunit RNAPs provides the basic information to understand the error rates in mitochondria and, in the case of T7 RNAP, to assess the quality of in vitro transcribed RNAs.



Dynamic nuclear polarization facilitates monitoring of pyruvate metabolism in Trypanosoma brucei [Methods and Resources]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Dynamic nuclear polarization provides sensitivity improvements that make NMR a viable method for following metabolic conversions in real time. There are now many in vivo applications to animal systems and even to diagnosis of human disease. However, application to microbial systems is rare. Here we demonstrate its application to the pathogenic protozoan, Trypanosoma brucei, using hyperpolarized 13C1 pyruvate as a substrate and compare the parasite metabolism with that of commonly cultured mammalian cell lines, HEK-293 and Hep-G2. Metabolic differences between insect and bloodstream forms of T. brucei were also investigated. Significant differences are noted with respect to lactate, alanine, and CO2 production. Conversion of pyruvate to CO2 in the T. brucei bloodstream form provides new support for the presence of an active pyruvate dehydrogenase in this stage.



The metal chaperone Atox1 regulates the activity of the human copper transporter ATP7B by modulating domain dynamics [Enzymology]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

The human transporter ATP7B delivers copper to the biosynthetic pathways and maintains copper homeostasis in the liver. Mutations in ATP7B cause the potentially fatal hepatoneurological disorder Wilson disease. The activity and intracellular localization of ATP7B are regulated by copper, but the molecular mechanism of this regulation is largely unknown. We show that the copper chaperone Atox1, which delivers copper to ATP7B, and the group of the first three metal-binding domains (MBD1–3) are central to the activity regulation of ATP7B. Atox1–Cu binding to ATP7B changes domain dynamics and interactions within the MBD1–3 group and activates ATP hydrolysis. To understand the mechanism linking Atox1–MBD interactions and enzyme activity, we have determined the MBD1–3 conformational space using small angle X-ray scattering and identified changes in MBD dynamics caused by apo–Atox1 and Atox1–Cu by solution NMR. The results show that copper transfer from Atox1 decreases domain interactions within the MBD1–3 group and increases the mobility of the individual domains. The N-terminal segment of MBD1–3 was found to interact with the nucleotide-binding domain of ATP7B, thus physically coupling the domains involved in copper binding and those involved in ATP hydrolysis. Taken together, the data suggest a regulatory mechanism in which Atox1-mediated copper transfer activates ATP7B by releasing inhibitory constraints through increased freedom of MBD1–3 motions.



Estrogen receptor {beta}-dependent Notch1 activation protects vascular endothelium against tumor necrosis factor {alpha} (TNF{alpha})-induced apoptosis [Molecular Bases of Disease]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Unlike age-matched men, premenopausal women benefit from cardiovascular protection. Estrogens protect against apoptosis of endothelial cells (ECs), one of the hallmarks of endothelial dysfunction leading to cardiovascular disorders, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. The inflammatory cytokine TNFα causes EC apoptosis while dysregulating the Notch pathway, a major contributor to EC survival. We have previously reported that 17β-estradiol (E2) treatment activates Notch signaling in ECs. Here, we sought to assess whether in TNFα-induced inflammation Notch is involved in E2-mediated protection of the endothelium. We treated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with E2, TNFα, or both and found that E2 counteracts TNFα-induced apoptosis. When Notch1 was inhibited, this E2-mediated protection was not observed, whereas ectopic overexpression of Notch1 diminished TNFα-induced apoptosis. Moreover, TNFα reduced the levels of active Notch1 protein, which were partially restored by E2 treatment. Moreover, siRNA-mediated knockdown of estrogen receptor β (ERβ), but not ERα, abolished the effect of E2 on apoptosis. Additionally, the E2-mediated regulation of the levels of active Notch1 was abrogated after silencing ERβ. In summary, our results indicate that E2 requires active Notch1 through a mechanism involving ERβ to protect the endothelium in TNFα-induced inflammation. These findings could be relevant for assessing the efficacy and applicability of menopausal hormone treatment, because they may indicate that in women with impaired Notch signaling, hormone therapy might not effectively protect the endothelium.



Structural features of human inositol phosphate multikinase rationalize its inositol phosphate kinase and phosphoinositide 3-kinase activities [Signal Transduction]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Human inositol phosphate multikinase (HsIPMK) critically contributes to intracellular signaling through its inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (Ins(1,4,5)P3) 3-kinase and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P2) 3-kinase activities. This catalytic profile is not conserved; orthologs from Arabidopsis thaliana and Saccharomyces cerevisiae are predominantly Ins(1,4,5)P3 6-kinases, and the plant enzyme cannot phosphorylate PtdIns(4,5)P2. Therefore, crystallographic analysis of the yeast and plant enzymes, without bound inositol phosphates, do not structurally rationalize HsIPMK activities. Here, we present 1.6-Å resolution crystal structures of HsIPMK in complex with either Ins(1,4,5)P3 or PtdIns(4,5)P2. The Ins(1,4,5)P3 headgroup of PtdIns(4,5)P2 binds in precisely the same orientation as free Ins(1,4,5)P3 itself, indicative of evolutionary optimization of 3-kinase activities against both substrates. We report on nucleotide binding between the separate N- and C-lobes of HsIPMK. The N-lobe exhibits a remarkable degree of conservation with protein kinase A (root mean square deviation = 1.8 Å), indicating common ancestry. We also describe structural features unique to HsIPMK. First, we observed a constrained, horseshoe-shaped substrate pocket, formed from an α-helix, a 310 helix, and a recently evolved tri-proline loop. We further found HsIPMK activities rely on a preponderance of Gln residues, in contrast to the larger Lys and Arg residues in yeast and plant orthologs. These conclusions are supported by analyzing 14 single-site HsIPMK mutants, some of which differentially affect 3-kinase and 6-kinase activities. Overall, we structurally rationalize phosphorylation of Ins(1,4,5)P3 and PtdIns(4,5)P2 by HsIPMK.



The NQO1 bioactivatable drug, {beta}-lapachone, alters the redox state of NQO1+ pancreatic cancer cells, causing perturbation in central carbon metabolism [Methods and Resources]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Many cancer treatments, such as those for managing recalcitrant tumors like pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, cause off-target toxicities in normal, healthy tissue, highlighting the need for more tumor-selective chemotherapies. β-Lapachone is bioactivated by NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1). This enzyme exhibits elevated expression in most solid cancers and therefore is a potential cancer-specific target. β-Lapachone's therapeutic efficacy partially stems from the drug's induction of a futile NQO1-mediated redox cycle that causes high levels of superoxide and then peroxide formation, which damages DNA and causes hyperactivation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, resulting in extensive NAD+/ATP depletion. However, the effects of this drug on energy metabolism due to NAD+ depletion were never described. The futile redox cycle rapidly consumes O2, rendering standard assays of Krebs cycle turnover unusable. In this study, a multimodal analysis, including metabolic imaging using hyperpolarized pyruvate, points to reduced oxidative flux due to NAD+ depletion after β-lapachone treatment of NQO1+ human pancreatic cancer cells. NAD+-sensitive pathways, such as glycolysis, flux through lactate dehydrogenase, and the citric acid cycle (as inferred by flux through pyruvate dehydrogenase), were down-regulated by β-lapachone treatment. Changes in flux through these pathways should generate biomarkers useful for in vivo dose responses of β-lapachone treatment in humans, avoiding toxic side effects. Targeting the enzymes in these pathways for therapeutic treatment may have the potential to synergize with β-lapachone treatment, creating unique NQO1-selective combinatorial therapies for specific cancers. These findings warrant future studies of intermediary metabolism in patients treated with β-lapachone.



The serine protease homolog CLIPA14 modulates the intensity of the immune response in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae [Immunology]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Clip domain serine protease homologs (SPHs) are positive and negative regulators of Anopheles gambiae immune responses mediated by the complement-like protein TEP1 against Plasmodium malaria parasites and other microbial infections. We have previously reported that the SPH CLIPA2 is a negative regulator of the TEP1-mediated response by showing that CLIPA2 knockdown (kd) enhances mosquito resistance to infections with fungi, bacteria, and Plasmodium parasites. Here, we identify another SPH, CLIPA14, as a novel regulator of mosquito immunity. We found that CLIPA14 is a hemolymph protein that is rapidly cleaved following a systemic infection. CLIPA14 kd mosquitoes elicited a potent melanization response against Plasmodium berghei ookinetes and exhibited significantly increased resistance to Plasmodium infections as well as to systemic and oral bacterial infections. The activity of the enzyme phenoloxidase, which initiates melanin biosynthesis, dramatically increased in the hemolymph of CLIPA14 kd mosquitoes in response to systemic bacterial infections. Ookinete melanization and hemolymph phenoloxidase activity were further increased after cosilencing CLIPA14 and CLIPA2, suggesting that these two SPHs act in concert to control the melanization response. Interestingly, CLIPA14 RNAi phenotypes and its infection-induced cleavage were abolished in a TEP1 loss-of-function background. Our results suggest that a complex network of SPHs functions downstream of TEP1 to regulate the melanization reaction.



Nuclear insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor phosphorylates proliferating cell nuclear antigen and rescues stalled replication forks after DNA damage [Cell Biology]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

We have previously shown that the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) translocates to the cell nucleus, where it binds to enhancer-like regions and increases gene transcription. Further studies have demonstrated that nuclear IGF-1R (nIGF-1R) physically and functionally interacts with some nuclear proteins, i.e. the lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1 (Lef1), histone H3, and Brahma-related gene-1 proteins. In this study, we identified the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) as a nIGF-1R-binding partner. PCNA is a pivotal component of the replication fork machinery and a main regulator of the DNA damage tolerance (DDT) pathway. We found that IGF-1R interacts with and phosphorylates PCNA in human embryonic stem cells and other cell lines. In vitro MS analysis of PCNA co-incubated with the IGF-1R kinase indicated tyrosine residues 60, 133, and 250 in PCNA as IGF-1R targets, and PCNA phosphorylation was followed by mono- and polyubiquitination. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments suggested that these ubiquitination events may be mediated by DDT-dependent E2/E3 ligases (e.g. RAD18 and SHPRH/HLTF). Absence of IGF-1R or mutation of Tyr-60, Tyr-133, or Tyr-250 in PCNA abrogated its ubiquitination. Unlike in cells expressing IGF-1R, externally induced DNA damage in IGF-1R-negative cells caused G1 cell cycle arrest and S phase fork stalling. Taken together, our results suggest a role of IGF-1R in DDT.



Phosphoproteomics reveals that glycogen synthase kinase-3 phosphorylates multiple splicing factors and is associated with alternative splicing [Signal Transduction]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) is a constitutively active, ubiquitously expressed protein kinase that regulates multiple signaling pathways. In vitro kinase assays and genetic and pharmacological manipulations of GSK-3 have identified more than 100 putative GSK-3 substrates in diverse cell types. Many more have been predicted on the basis of a recurrent GSK-3 consensus motif ((pS/pT)XXX(S/T)), but this prediction has not been tested by analyzing the GSK-3 phosphoproteome. Using stable isotope labeling of amino acids in culture (SILAC) and MS techniques to analyze the repertoire of GSK-3–dependent phosphorylation in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs), we found that ∼2.4% of (pS/pT)XXX(S/T) sites are phosphorylated in a GSK-3–dependent manner. A comparison of WT and Gsk3a;Gsk3b knock-out (Gsk3 DKO) ESCs revealed prominent GSK-3–dependent phosphorylation of multiple splicing factors and regulators of RNA biosynthesis as well as proteins that regulate transcription, translation, and cell division. Gsk3 DKO reduced phosphorylation of the splicing factors RBM8A, SRSF9, and PSF as well as the nucleolar proteins NPM1 and PHF6, and recombinant GSK-3β phosphorylated these proteins in vitro. RNA-Seq of WT and Gsk3 DKO ESCs identified ∼190 genes that are alternatively spliced in a GSK-3–dependent manner, supporting a broad role for GSK-3 in regulating alternative splicing. The MS data also identified posttranscriptional regulation of protein abundance by GSK-3, with ∼47 proteins (1.4%) whose levels increased and ∼78 (2.4%) whose levels decreased in the absence of GSK-3. This study provides the first unbiased analysis of the GSK-3 phosphoproteome and strong evidence that GSK-3 broadly regulates alternative splicing.



Phosphoproteomics links glycogen synthase kinase-3 to RNA splicing [Signal Transduction]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Protein kinases play essential biological roles by phosphorylating a diverse range of signaling molecules, but deciphering their direct physiological targets remains a challenge. A new study by Shinde et al. uses phosphoproteomics to identify glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) substrates in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs), providing a broad profile of GSK-3 activity and defining a new role for this central kinase in regulating RNA splicing.



Direct observation of conformational population shifts in crystalline human hemoglobin [Molecular Biophysics]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Although X-ray crystallography is the most commonly used technique for studying the molecular structure of proteins, it is not generally able to monitor the dynamic changes or global domain motions that often underlie allostery. These motions often prevent crystal growth or reduce crystal order. We have recently discovered a crystal form of human hemoglobin that contains three protein molecules allowed to express a full range of quaternary structures, whereas maintaining strong X-ray diffraction. Here we use this crystal form to investigate the effects of two allosteric effectors, phosphate and bezafibrate, by tracking the structures and functions of the three hemoglobin molecules following the addition of each effector. The X-ray analysis shows that the addition of either phosphate or bezafibrate not only induces conformational changes in a direction from a relaxed-state to a tense-state, but also within relaxed-state populations. The microspectrophotometric O2 equilibrium measurements on the crystals demonstrate that the binding of each effector energetically stabilizes the lowest affinity conformer more strongly than the intermediate affinity one, thereby reducing the O2 affinity of tense-state populations, and that the addition of bezafibrate causes an ∼5-fold decrease in the O2 affinity of relaxed-state populations. These results show that the allosteric pathway of hemoglobin involves shifts of populations rather than a unidirectional conversion of one quaternary structure to another, and that minor conformers of hemoglobin may have a disproportionate effect on the overall O2 affinity.



A mutant of the Buthus martensii Karsch antitumor-analgesic peptide exhibits reduced inhibition to hNav1.4 and hNav1.5 channels while retaining analgesic activity [Neurobiology]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Scorpion toxins can kill other animals by inducing paralysis and arrhythmia, which limits the potential applications of these agents in the clinical management of diseases. Antitumor-analgesic peptide (AGAP), purified from Buthus martensii Karsch, has been proved to possess analgesic and antitumor activities. Trp38, a conserved aromatic residue of AGAP, might play an important role in mediating AGAP activities according to the sequence and homology-modeling analyses. Therefore, an AGAP mutant, W38G, was generated, and effects of both AGAP and the mutant W38G were examined by whole-cell patch clamp techniques on the sodium channels hNav1.4 and hNav1.5, which were closely associated with the biotoxicity of skeletal and cardiac muscles, respectively. The data showed that both W38G and AGAP inhibited the peak currents of hNav1.4 and hNav1.5; however, W38G induced a much weaker inhibition of both channels than AGAP. Accordingly, W38G exhibited much less toxic effect on both skeletal and cardiac muscles than AGAP in vivo. The analgesic activity of W38G and AGAP were verified in vivo as well, and W38G retained analgesic activity similar to AGAP. Inhibition to both Nav1.7 and Nav1.8 was involved in the analgesic mechanism of AGAP and W38G. These findings indicated that Trp38 was a key amino acid involved in the biotoxicity of AGAP, and the AGAP mutant W38G might be a safer alternative for clinical application because it retains the analgesic efficacy with less toxicity to skeletal and cardiac muscles.



Structural and functional insights into the interaction between the Cas family scaffolding protein p130Cas and the focal adhesion-associated protein paxillin [Protein Structure and Folding]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

The Cas family scaffolding protein p130Cas is a Src substrate localized in focal adhesions (FAs) and functions in integrin signaling to promote cell motility, invasion, proliferation, and survival. p130Cas targeting to FAs is essential for its tyrosine phosphorylation and downstream signaling. Although the N-terminal SH3 domain is important for p130Cas localization, it has also been reported that the C-terminal region is involved in p130Cas FA targeting. The C-terminal region of p130Cas or Cas family homology domain (CCHD) has been reported to adopt a structure similar to that of the focal adhesion kinase C-terminal focal adhesion-targeting domain. The mechanism by which the CCHD promotes FA targeting of p130Cas, however, remains unclear. In this study, using a calorimetry approach, we identified the first LD motif (LD1) of the FA-associated protein paxillin as the binding partner of the p130Cas CCHD (in a 1:1 stoichiometry with a Kd ∼4.2 μm) and elucidated the structure of the p130Cas CCHD in complex with the paxillin LD1 motif by X-ray crystallography. Of note, a comparison of the CCHD/LD1 complex with a previously solved structure of CCHD in complex with the SH2-containing protein NSP3 revealed that LD1 had almost identical positioning of key hydrophobic and acidic residues relative to NSP3. Because paxillin is one of the key scaffold molecules in FAs, we propose that the interaction between the p130Cas CCHD and the LD1 motif of paxillin plays an important role in p130Cas FA targeting.



The bacterial meta-cleavage hydrolase LigY belongs to the amidohydrolase superfamily, not to the {alpha}/{beta}-hydrolase superfamily [Microbiology]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Strain SYK-6 of the bacterium Sphingobium sp. catabolizes lignin-derived biphenyl via a meta-cleavage pathway. In this pathway, LigY is proposed to catalyze the hydrolysis of the meta-cleavage product (MCP) 4,11-dicarboxy-8-hydroxy-9-methoxy-2-hydroxy-6-oxo-6-phenyl-hexa-2,4-dienoate. Here, we validated this reaction by identifying 5-carboxyvanillate and 4-carboxy-2-hydroxypenta-2,4-dienoate as the products and determined the kcat and kcat/Km values as 9.3 ± 0.6 s−1 and 2.5 ± 0.2 × 107 m−1 s−1, respectively. Sequence analyses and a 1.9 Å resolution crystal structure established that LigY belongs to the amidohydrolase superfamily, unlike previously characterized MCP hydrolases, which are serine-dependent enzymes of the α/β-hydrolase superfamily. The active-site architecture of LigY resembled that of α-amino-β-carboxymuconic-ϵ-semialdehyde decarboxylase, a class III amidohydrolase, with a single zinc ion coordinated by His-6, His-8, His-179, and Glu-282. Interestingly, we found that LigY lacks the acidic residue proposed to activate water for hydrolysis in other class III amidohydrolases. Moreover, substitution of His-223, a conserved residue proposed to activate water in other amidohydrolases, reduced the kcat to a much lesser extent than what has been reported for other amidohydrolases, suggesting that His-223 has a different role in LigY. Substitution of Arg-72, Tyr-190, Arg-234, or Glu-282 reduced LigY activity over 100-fold. On the basis of these results, we propose a catalytic mechanism involving substrate tautomerization, substrate-assisted activation of water for hydrolysis, and formation o[...]



Zinc oxide nanoparticles provide anti-cholera activity by disrupting the interaction of cholera toxin with the human GM1 receptor [Molecular Bases of Disease]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Vibrio cholerae causes cholera and is the leading cause of diarrhea in developing countries, highlighting the need for the development of new treatment strategies to combat this disease agent. While exploring the possibility of using zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) in cholera treatment, we previously found that ZnO NPs reduce fluid accumulation in mouse ileum induced by the cholera toxin (CT) protein. To uncover the mechanism of action of ZnO NPs on CT activity, here we used classical (O395) and El Tor (C6706) V. cholerae biotypes in growth and biochemical assays. We found that a ZnO NP concentration of 10 μg/ml did not affect the growth rates of these two strains, nor did we observe that ZnO NPs reduce the expression levels of CT mRNA and protein. It was observed that ZnO NPs form a complex with CT, appear to disrupt the CT secondary structure, and block its interaction with the GM1 ganglioside receptor in the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane in intestinal (HT-29) cells and thereby reduce CT uptake into the cells. In the range of 2.5–10 μg/ml, ZnO NPs exhibited no cytotoxicity on kidney (HEK293) and HT-29 cells. We conclude that ZnO NPs prevent the first step in the translocation of cholera toxin into intestinal epithelial cells without exerting measurable toxic effects on HEK293 and HT-29 cells.



Neutrophil microparticle production and inflammasome activation by hyperglycemia due to cytoskeletal instability [Cell Biology]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Microparticles are lipid bilayer–enclosed vesicles produced by cells under oxidative stress. MP production is elevated in patients with diabetes, but the underlying cellular mechanisms are poorly understood. We hypothesized that raising glucose above the physiological level of 5.5 mm would stimulate leukocytes to produce MPs and activate the nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich repeat pyrin domain–containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome. We found that when incubated in buffer with up to 20 mm glucose, human and murine neutrophils, but not monocytes, generate progressively more MPs with high interleukin (IL)-1β content. Enhanced MP production required generation of reactive chemical species by mitochondria, NADPH oxidase, and type 2 nitric-oxide synthase (NOS-2) and resulted in S-nitrosylation of actin. Depleting cells of capon (C-terminal PDZ ligand of neuronal nitric-oxide synthase protein), apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing C-terminal caspase recruitment domain (ASC), or pro-IL-1β prevented the hyperglycemia-induced enhancement of reactive species production, MP generation, and IL-1β synthesis. Additional components required for these responses included inositol 1,3,5-triphosphate receptors, PKC, and enhancement of filamentous-actin turnover. Numerous proteins become localized to short filamentous actin in response to S-nitrosylation, including vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein, focal adhesion kinase, the membrane phospholipid translocation enzymes flippase and floppase, capon, NLRP3, and ASC. We conclude that an interdependent ox[...]



Mechanisms of recognition of amyloid-{beta} (A{beta}) monomer, oligomer, and fibril by homologous antibodies [Computational Biology]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Alzheimer's disease is one of the most devastating neurodegenerative diseases without effective therapies. Immunotherapy is a promising approach, but amyloid antibody structural information is limited. Here we simulate the recognition of monomeric, oligomeric, and fibril amyloid-β (Aβ) by three homologous antibodies (solanezumab, crenezumab, and their chimera, CreneFab). Solanezumab only binds the monomer, whereas crenezumab and CreneFab can recognize different oligomerization states; however, the structural basis for this observation is not understood. We successfully identified stable complexes of crenezumab with Aβ pentamer (oligomer model) and 16-mer (fibril model). It is noteworthy that solanezumab targets Aβ residues 16–26 preferentially in the monomeric state; conversely, crenezumab consistently targets residues 13–16 in different oligomeric states. Unlike the buried monomeric peptide in solanezumab's complementarity-determining region, crenezumab binds the oligomer's lateral and edge residues. Surprisingly, crenezumab's complementarity-determining region loops can effectively bind the Aβ fibril lateral surface around the same 13–16 region. The constant domain influences antigen recognition through entropy redistribution. Different constant domain residues in solanezumab/crenezumab/chimera influence the binding of Aβ aggregates. Collectively, we provide molecular insight into the recognition mechanisms facilitating antibody design.



Apolipoprotein L1 confers pH-switchable ion permeability to phospholipid vesicles [Molecular Bases of Disease]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Apolipoprotein L1 (ApoL1) is a human serum protein conferring resistance to African trypanosomes, and certain ApoL1 variants increase susceptibility to some progressive kidney diseases. ApoL1 has been hypothesized to function like a pore-forming colicin and has been reported to have permeability effects on both intracellular and plasma membranes. Here, to gain insight into how ApoL1 may function in vivo, we used vesicle-based ion permeability, direct membrane association, and intrinsic fluorescence to study the activities of purified recombinant ApoL1. We found that ApoL1 confers chloride-selective permeability to preformed phospholipid vesicles and that this selectivity is strongly pH-sensitive, with maximal activity at pH 5 and little activity above pH 7. When ApoL1 and lipid were allowed to interact at low pH and were then brought to neutral pH, chloride permeability was suppressed, and potassium permeability was activated. Both chloride and potassium permeability linearly correlated with the mass of ApoL1 in the reaction mixture, and both exhibited lipid selectivity, requiring the presence of negatively charged lipids for activity. Potassium, but not chloride, permease activity required the presence of calcium ions in both the association and activation steps. Direct assessment of ApoL1–lipid associations confirmed that ApoL1 stably associates with phospholipid vesicles, requiring low pH and the presence of negatively charged phospholipids for maximal binding. Intrinsic fluorescence of ApoL1 suppor[...]



Matriptase-2 suppresses hepcidin expression by cleaving multiple components of the hepcidin induction pathway [Metabolism]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Systemic iron homeostasis is maintained by regulation of iron absorption in the duodenum, iron recycling from erythrocytes, and iron mobilization from the liver and is controlled by the hepatic hormone hepcidin. Hepcidin expression is induced via the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway that preferentially uses two type I (ALK2 and ALK3) and two type II (ActRIIA and BMPR2) BMP receptors. Hemojuvelin (HJV), HFE, and transferrin receptor-2 (TfR2) facilitate this process presumably by forming a plasma membrane complex with BMP receptors. Matriptase-2 (MT2) is a protease and key suppressor of hepatic hepcidin expression and cleaves HJV. Previous studies have therefore suggested that MT2 exerts its inhibitory effect by inactivating HJV. Here, we report that MT2 suppresses hepcidin expression independently of HJV. In Hjv−/− mice, increased expression of exogenous MT2 in the liver significantly reduced hepcidin expression similarly as observed in wild-type mice. Exogenous MT2 could fully correct abnormally high hepcidin expression and iron deficiency in MT2−/− mice. In contrast to MT2, increased Hjv expression caused no significant changes in wild-type mice, suggesting that Hjv is not a limiting factor for hepcidin expression. Further studies revealed that MT2 cleaves ALK2, ALK3, ActRIIA, Bmpr2, Hfe, and, to a lesser extent, Hjv and Tfr2. MT2-mediated Tfr2 cleavage was also observed in HepG2 cells endogenously expressing MT2 and TfR2. Moreover, iron-loaded trans[...]



Kinetic signatures of myosin-5B, the motor involved in microvillus inclusion disease [Protein Structure and Folding]

2017-11-03T00:06:00-07:00

Myosin-5B is a ubiquitous molecular motor that transports cargo vesicles of the endomembrane system in intracellular recycling pathways. Myosin-5B malfunction causes the congenital enteropathy microvillus inclusion disease, underlining its importance in cellular homeostasis. Here we describe the interaction of myosin-5B with F-actin, nucleotides, and the pyrazolopyrimidine compound myoVin-1. We show that single-headed myosin-5B is an intermediate duty ratio motor with a kinetic ATPase cycle that is rate-limited by the release of phosphate. The presence of a second head generates strain and gating in the myosin-5B dimer that alters the kinetic signature by reducing the actin-activated ADP release rate to become rate-limiting. This kinetic transition into a high-duty ratio motor is a prerequisite for the proposed transport function of myosin-5B in cellular recycling pathways. Moreover, we show that the small molecule compound myoVin-1 inhibits the enzymatic and functional activity of myosin-5B in vitro. Partial inhibition of the actin-activated steady-state ATPase activity and sliding velocity suggests that caution should be used when probing the effect of myoVin-1 on myosin-5–dependent transport processes in cells.



{beta}-Catenin directs the transformation of testis Sertoli cells to ovarian granulosa-like cells by inducing Foxl2 expression [Gene Regulation]

2017-10-27T00:06:05-07:00

Sertoli and granulosa cells are two major types of somatic cells in male and female gonads, respectively. Previous studies have shown that Sertoli and granulosa cells are derived from common progenitor cells and that differentiation of these two cell types is regulated by sex differentiation genes. The signaling pathway including the adhesion and transcription factor Ctnnb1 (cadherin-associated protein, β1, also known as β-catenin) regulates differentiation of granulosa cells in the absence of the transcription factor Sry, and overactivation of β-catenin in the presence of Sry leads to granulosa prior to sex determination. Surprisingly, our previous study found that β-catenin overactivation in Sertoli cells after sex determination can also cause disruption of the testicular cord and aberrant testis development. However, the underlying molecular mechanism was unclear. In this study, we found that constitutive activation of Ctnnb1 in Sertoli cells led to ectopic expression of the granulosa cell-specific marker FOXL2 in testes. Co-staining experiments revealed that FOXL2-positive cells were derived from Sertoli cells, and Sertoli cells were transformed into granulosa-like cells after Ctnnb1 overactivation. Further studies demonstrated that CTNNB1 induced Foxl2 expression by directly binding to transcription factor Tcf/Lef-binding sites in the FOXL2 promoter region. We also found that direct overexpression of Foxl2 decrease[...]



Molecular and functional characterization of the endothelial ATP-sensitive potassium channel [Molecular Bases of Disease]

2017-10-27T00:06:05-07:00

ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels are widely expressed in the cardiovascular system, where they regulate a range of biological activities by linking cellular metabolism with membrane excitability. KATP channels in vascular smooth muscle have a well-defined role in regulating vascular tone. KATP channels are also thought to be expressed in vascular endothelial cells, but their presence and function in this context are less clear. As a result, we aimed to investigate the molecular composition and physiological role of endothelial KATP channels. We first generated mice with an endothelial specific deletion of the channel subunit Kir6.1 (eKO) using cre-loxP technology. Data from qRT-PCR, patch clamp, ex vivo coronary perfusion Langendorff heart experiments, and endothelial cell Ca2+ imaging comparing eKO and wild-type mice show that Kir6.1-containing KATP channels are indeed present in vascular endothelium. An increase in intracellular [Ca2+], which is central to changes in endothelial function such as mediator release, at least partly contributes to the endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation induced by the KATP channel opener pinacidil. The absence of Kir6.1 did not elevate basal coronary perfusion pressure in eKO mice. However, vasorelaxation was impaired during hypoxia in the coronary circulation, and this resulted in greater cardiac injury during ischemia–reperfusion. The response to adenos[...]



Isoform-selective inhibitor of histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) limits pancreatic islet infiltration and protects female nonobese diabetic mice from diabetes [Immunology]

2017-10-27T00:06:05-07:00

Preservation of insulin-secreting β-cells is an important goal for therapies aimed at restoring normoglycemia in patients with diabetes. One approach, the inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs), has been reported to suppress pancreatic islet inflammation and β-cell apoptosis in vitro. In this report, we demonstrate the efficacy of HDAC inhibitors (HDACi) in vivo. We show that daily administration of BRD3308, an isoform-selective HDAC3 inhibitor, for 2 weeks to female nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice, beginning at 3 weeks of age, followed by twice-weekly injections until age 25 weeks, protects the animals from diabetes. The preservation of β-cells was because of a significant decrease in islet infiltration of mononuclear cells. Moreover, the BRD3308 treatment increased basal insulin secretion from islets cultured in vitro. All metabolic tissues tested in vehicle- or BRD3308-treated groups showed virtually no sign of immune cell infiltration, except minimal infiltration in white adipose tissue in animals treated with the highest BRD3308 dose (10 mg/kg), providing additional evidence of protection from immune attack in the treated groups. Furthermore, pancreata from animals treated with 10 mg/kg BRD3308 exhibited significantly decreased numbers of apoptotic β-cells compared with those treated with vehicle or low-dose BRD3308. Finally, animals treated with 1 or 10 mg/kg[...]