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With age, long-lived proteins in the human body deteriorate, which can have consequences both for aging and disease. The aging process is often associated with the formation of covalently crosslinked proteins. Currently our knowledge of the mechanism of formation of these crosslinks is limited. In this study, proteomics was used to characterize sites of covalent protein-protein crosslinking and identify a novel mechanism of protein-protein crosslinking in the adult human lens. In this mechanism, Lys residues are crosslinked to C-terminal Asp residues that are formed by non-enzymatic protein truncation. Ten different crosslinks were identified in major lens proteins such as αA-crystallin, αB-crystallin and AQP0. Crosslinking in AQP0 increased significantly with age and also increased significantly in cataract lenses compared with normal lenses. Using model peptides, a mechanism of formation of the Lys-Asp crosslink was elucidated. The mechanism involves spontaneous peptide cleavage on the C-terminal side of Asp residues which can take place in the pH range 5-7.4. Cleavage appears to involve attack by the side chain carboxyl group on the adjacent peptide bond, resulting in the formation of a C-terminal Asp anhydride. This anhydride intermediate can then either react with water to form Asp, or with a nucleophile, such as a free amine group to form a crosslink. If an ε-amino group of Lys or an N-terminal amine group attacks the anhydride, a covalent protein-protein crosslink will be formed. This bi-phasic mechanism represents the first report to link two spontaneous events: protein cleavage and crosslinking that are characteristic of long-lived proteins.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
The complexity of modern in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods in oncology has dramatically changed in the last 10 years. The field has long since moved passed its (unparalleled) ability to form images with exquisite soft-tissue contrast and morphology, allowing for the enhanced identification of primary tumors and metastatic disease. Currently, it is not uncommon to acquire images related to blood flow, cellularity, and macromolecular content in the clinical setting. The acquisition of images related to metabolism, hypoxia, pH, and tissue stiffness are also becoming common. All of these techniques have had some component of their invention, development, refinement, validation, and initial applications in the preclinical setting using in vivo animal models of cancer. In this review, we discuss the genesis of quantitative MRI methods that have been successfully translated from preclinical research and developed into clinical applications. These include methods that interrogate perfusion, diffusion, pH, hypoxia, macromolecular content, and tissue mechanical properties for improving detection, staging, and response monitoring of cancer. For each of these techniques, we summarize the 1) underlying biological mechanism(s); 2) preclinical applications; 3) available repeatability and reproducibility data; 4) clinical applications; and 5) limitations of the technique. We conclude with a discussion of lessons learned from translating MRI methods from the preclinical to clinical setting, and a presentation of four fundamental problems in cancer imaging that, if solved, would result in a profound improvement in the lives of oncology patients. Level of Evidence: 5 Technical Efficacy: Stage 3 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2019;50:1377-1392.
© 2019 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
VacA is a secreted pore-forming toxin that induces cell vacuolation and contributes to the pathogenesis of gastric cancer and peptic ulcer disease. We observed that purified VacA has relatively little effect on the viability of AGS gastric epithelial cells, but the presence of exogenous weak bases such as ammonium chloride (NHCl) enhances the susceptibility of these cells to VacA-induced vacuolation and cell death. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that NHCl augments VacA toxicity by altering the intracellular trafficking of VacA or inhibiting intracellular VacA degradation. We observed VacA colocalization with LAMP1- and LC3-positive vesicles in both the presence and absence of NHCl, indicating that NHCl does not alter VacA trafficking to lysosomes or autophagosomes. Conversely, we found that supplemental NHCl significantly increases the intracellular stability of VacA. By conducting experiments using chemical inhibitors, stable ATG5 knockdown cell lines, and ATG16L1 knockout cells (generated using CRISPR/Cas9), we show that VacA degradation is independent of autophagy and proteasome activity but dependent on lysosomal acidification. We conclude that weak bases like ammonia, potentially generated during infection by urease and other enzymes, enhance VacA toxicity by inhibiting toxin degradation.
Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology.
Annexin proteins function as Ca-dependent regulators of membrane trafficking and repair that may also modulate membrane curvature. Here, using high-resolution confocal imaging, we report that the intestine-specific annexin A13 (ANX A13) localizes to the tips of intestinal microvilli and determined the crystal structure of the ANX A13a isoform to 2.6 Å resolution. The structure revealed that the N terminus exhibits an alternative fold that converts the first two helices and the associated helix-loop-helix motif into a continuous α-helix, as stabilized by a domain-swapped dimer. We also found that the dimer is present in solution and partially occludes the membrane-binding surfaces of annexin, suggesting that dimerization may function as a means for regulating membrane binding. Accordingly, as revealed by binding and cellular localization assays, ANX A13a variants that favor a monomeric state exhibited increased membrane association relative to variants that favor the dimeric form. Together, our findings support a mechanism for how the association of the ANX A13a isoform with the membrane is regulated.
© 2019 McCulloch et al.
Dengue virus (DENV) particles are released from cells in different maturation states. Fully immature DENV (immDENV) is generally non-infectious, but can become infectious when complexed with anti-precursor membrane (prM) protein antibodies. It is unknown how anti-prM antibody-coated particles can undergo membrane fusion since the prM caps the envelope (E) protein fusion loop. Here, we determined cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) maps of the immDENV:anti-prM complex at different pH values, mimicking the extracellular (pH 8.0) or endosomal (pH 5.0) environments. At pH 5.0, there are two structural classes with fewer antibodies bound than at pH 8.0. These classes may represent different maturation states. Molecular simulations, together with the measured high-affinity pr:antibody interaction (versus the weak pr:E interaction) and also the low pH cryo-EM structures, suggest how antibody:pr complex can dislodge from the E protein at low pH. This exposes the E protein fusion loop enhancing virus interaction with endosomes.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is a highly aggressive malignancy that is characterized by resistance to chemotherapy and a poor clinical outcome. The overexpression of the receptor tyrosine kinase AXL is frequently associated with unfavorable prognosis in EAC. Although it is well documented that AXL mediates cancer cell invasion as a downstream effector of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, the precise molecular mechanism underlying this process is not completely understood. Herein, we demonstrate for the first time that AXL mediates cell invasion through the regulation of lysosomes peripheral distribution and cathepsin B secretion in EAC cell lines. Furthermore, we show that AXL-dependent peripheral distribution of lysosomes and cell invasion are mediated by extracellular acidification, which is potentiated by AXL-induced secretion of lactate through AKT-NF-κB-dependent MCT-1 regulation. Our novel mechanistic findings support future clinical studies to evaluate the therapeutic potential of the AXL inhibitor R428 (BGB324) in highly invasive EAC.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
KEY POINTS - The ClC-3 2Cl /1H exchanger modulates endosome pH and Cl concentration. We investigated the relationships between ClC-3-mediated ion transport (steady-state transport current, I ), gating charge (Q) and cytoplasmic alkalization. ClC-3 transport is functionally unidirectional. ClC-5 and ClC-3 display indistinguishable exchange ratios, but ClC-3 cycling is less "efficient", as reflected by a large Q/I . An M531A mutation predicted to increase water-wire stability and cytoplasmic proton supply improves efficiency. Protonation (pH 5.0) of the outer glutamate gate (Glu ; E224) reduces Q, inhibits transport, and weakens coupling. Removal of the central tyrosine anion gate (Y572S) greatly increases uncoupled anion current. Tyrosine -OH removal (Y572F) alters anion selectivity and impairs coupling. E224 and Y572 act as anion barriers, and contribute to gating. The Y572 side chain and -OH regulate Q movement kinetics and voltage dependence. E224 and Y572 interact to create a "closed" inner gate conformation that maintains coupling during cycling.
ABSTRACT - We utilized plasma membrane-localized ClC-3 to investigate relationships between steady-state transport current (I ), gating charge (Q) movement, and cytoplasmic alkalization rate. ClC-3 exhibited lower transport efficiency than ClC-5, as reflected by a larger Q/I ratio, but an indistinguishable Cl /H coupling ratio. External SCN reduced H transport rate and uncoupled anion/H exchange by 80-90%. Removal of the external gating glutamate ("Glu ") (E224A mutation) reduced Q and abolished H transport. We hypothesized that Methionine 531 (M531) impedes "water wire" H transfer from the cytoplasm to E224. Accordingly, an M531A mutation decreased the Q/I ratio by 50% and enhanced H transport. External protons (pH 5.0) inhibited I and markedly reduced Q while shifting the Q-voltage (V) relationship positively. The Cl /H coupling ratio at pH 5.0 was significantly increased, consistent with externally protonated Glu adopting an outward/open position. Internal "anion gate" removal (Y572S) dramatically increased I and impaired coupling, without slowing H transport rate. Loss of both gates (Y572S/E224A) resulted in a large "open pore" conductance. Y572F (removing only the phenolic hydroxide) and Y572S shortened Q duration similarly, resulting in faster Q kinetics at all voltages. These data reveal a complex relationship between Q and ion transport. Q/I must be assessed together with coupling ratio to properly interpret efficiency. Coupling and transport rate are influenced by the anion, internal proton supply and external protons. Y572 regulates H coupling as well as anion selectivity, and interacts directly with E224. Disruption of this "closed gate" conformation by internal protons may represent a critical step in the ClC-3 transport cycle.
© 2018 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2018 The Physiological Society.
Hyperkalemia in association with metabolic acidosis that are out of proportion to changes in glomerular filtration rate defines type 4 renal tubular acidosis (RTA), the most common RTA observed, but the molecular mechanisms underlying the associated metabolic acidosis are incompletely understood. We sought to determine whether hyperkalemia directly causes metabolic acidosis and, if so, the mechanisms through which this occurs. We studied a genetic model of hyperkalemia that results from early distal convoluted tubule (DCT)-specific overexpression of constitutively active Ste20/SPS1-related proline-alanine-rich kinase (DCT-CA-SPAK). DCT-CA-SPAK mice developed hyperkalemia in association with metabolic acidosis and suppressed ammonia excretion; however, titratable acid excretion and urine pH were unchanged compared with those in wild-type mice. Abnormal ammonia excretion in DCT-CA-SPAK mice associated with decreased proximal tubule expression of the ammonia-generating enzymes phosphate-dependent glutaminase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and overexpression of the ammonia-recycling enzyme glutamine synthetase. These mice also had decreased expression of the ammonia transporter family member Rhcg and decreased apical polarization of H-ATPase in the inner stripe of the outer medullary collecting duct. Correcting the hyperkalemia by treatment with hydrochlorothiazide corrected the metabolic acidosis, increased ammonia excretion, and normalized ammoniagenic enzyme and Rhcg expression in DCT-CA-SPAK mice. In wild-type mice, induction of hyperkalemia by administration of the epithelial sodium channel blocker benzamil caused hyperkalemia and suppressed ammonia excretion. Hyperkalemia decreases proximal tubule ammonia generation and collecting duct ammonia transport, leading to impaired ammonia excretion that causes metabolic acidosis.
Copyright © 2018 by the American Society of Nephrology.
We have previously reported that the dispersion of spin-lattice relaxation rates in the rotating frame (R ) of tissue water protons at high field can be dominated by chemical exchange contributions. Ischemia in brain causes changes in tissue pH, which in turn may affect proton exchange rates. Amide proton transfer (APT, a form of chemical exchange saturation transfer) has been shown to be sensitive to chemical exchange rates and able to detect pH changes non-invasively following ischemic stroke. However, the specificity of APT to pH changes is decreased because of the influence of several other factors that affect magnetization transfer. R is less influenced by such confounding factors and thus may be more specific for detecting variations in pH. Here, we applied a spin-locking sequence to detect ischemic stroke in animal models. Although R images acquired with a single spin-locking amplitude (ω ) have previously been used to assess stroke, here we use ΔR , which is the difference in R values acquired with two different locking fields to emphasize selectively the contribution of chemical exchange effects. Numerical simulations with different exchange rates and measurements of tissue homogenates with different pH were performed to evaluate the specificity of ΔR to detect tissue acidosis. Spin-lock and APT data were acquired on five rat brains after ischemic strokes induced via middle cerebral artery occlusions. Correlations between these data were analyzed at different time points after the onset of stroke. The results show that ΔR (but not R acquired with a single ω ) was significantly correlated with APT metrics consistent with ΔR varying with pH.
Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.