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Long-lived proteins (LLPs) are present in numerous tissues within the human body. With age, they deteriorate, often leading to the formation of irreversible modifications such as peptide bond cleavage and covalent cross-linking. Currently understanding of the mechanism of formation of these cross-links is limited. As part of an ongoing study, proteomics was used to characterise sites of novel covalent cross-linking in the human lens. In this process, Lys residues were found cross-linked to C-terminal aspartates that had been present in the original protein as Asn residues. Cross-links were identified in major lens proteins such as αA-crystallin, αB-crystallin and aquaporin 0. Quantification of the level of an AQP0/AQP0 cross-linked peptide showed increased cross-linking with age and in cataract lenses. Using model peptides, a mechanism of cross-link formation was elucidated that involves spontaneous peptide bond cleavage on the C-terminal side of Asn residues resulting in the formation of a C-terminal succinimide. This succinimide does not form cross-links, but can hydrolyse to a mixture of C-terminal Asn and C-terminal Asp amide peptides. The C-terminal Asp amide is unstable at neutral pH and decomposes to a succinic anhydride. If the side chain of Lys attacks the anhydride, a covalent cross-link will be formed. This multi-step mechanism represents a link between two spontaneous events: peptide bond cleavage at Asn and covalent cross-linking. Since Asn deamidation and cleavage are abundant age-related modifications in LLPs, this finding suggests that such susceptible Asn residues should also be considered as potential sites for spontaneous covalent cross-linking.
© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.
Lysophospholipids (LysoPLs) are bioactive lipid species involved in cellular signaling processes and the regulation of cell membrane structure. LysoPLs are metabolized through the action of lysophospholipases, including lysophospholipase A1 (LYPLA1) and lysophospholipase A2 (LYPLA2). A new X-ray crystal structure of LYPLA2 compared with a previously published structure of LYPLA1 demonstrated near-identical folding of the two enzymes; however, LYPLA1 and LYPLA2 have displayed distinct substrate specificities in recombinant enzyme assays. To determine how these in vitro substrate preferences translate into a relevant cellular setting and better understand the enzymes' role in LysoPL metabolism, CRISPR-Cas9 technology was utilized to generate stable KOs of and/or in Neuro2a cells. Using these cellular models in combination with a targeted lipidomics approach, LysoPL levels were quantified and compared between cell lines to determine the effect of losing lysophospholipase activity on lipid metabolism. This work suggests that LYPLA1 and LYPLA2 are each able to account for the loss of the other to maintain lipid homeostasis in cells; however, when both are deleted, LysoPL levels are dramatically increased, causing phenotypic and morphological changes to the cells.
Copyright © 2019 Wepy et al.
Standard harvest and preparation of human saphenous vein (HSV) for autologous coronary and peripheral arterial bypass procedures is associated with injury and increased oxidative stress that negatively affect graft performance. In this study we investigated the global metabolomic profiles of HSV before (unprepared; UP) and after standard vein graft preparation (AP). AP-HSV showed impaired vasomotor function that was associated with increased oxidative stress, phospholipid hydrolysis and energy depletion that are characteristic of mechanical and chemical injury. A porcine model (PSV) was utilized to validate these metabolomic changes in HSV and to determine the efficacy of an improved preparation technique (OP) using pressure-regulated distension, a non-toxic vein marker, and graft storage in buffered PlasmaLyte solution in limiting metabolic decompensation due to graft preparation. Deficits in vasomotor function and metabolic signature observed in AP-PSV could be largely mitigated with the OP procedure. These findings suggest that simple strategies aimed at reducing injury during graft harvest and preparation represents a straightforward and viable strategy to preserve conduit function and possibly improve graft patency.
SIGNIFICANCE - Pyridine dinucleotides, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), were discovered more than 100 years ago as necessary cofactors for fermentation in yeast extracts. Since that time, these molecules have been recognized as fundamental players in a variety of cellular processes, including energy metabolism, redox homeostasis, cellular signaling, and gene transcription, among many others. Given their critical role as mediators of cellular responses to metabolic perturbations, it is unsurprising that dysregulation of NAD and NADP metabolism has been associated with the pathobiology of many chronic human diseases. Recent Advances: A biochemistry renaissance in biomedical research, with its increasing focus on the metabolic pathobiology of human disease, has reignited interest in pyridine dinucleotides, which has led to new insights into the cell biology of NAD(P) metabolism, including its cellular pharmacokinetics, biosynthesis, subcellular localization, and regulation. This review highlights these advances to illustrate the importance of NAD(P) metabolism in the molecular pathogenesis of disease.
CRITICAL ISSUES - Perturbations of NAD(H) and NADP(H) are a prominent feature of human disease; however, fundamental questions regarding the regulation of the absolute levels of these cofactors and the key determinants of their redox ratios remain. Moreover, an integrated topological model of NAD(P) biology that combines the metabolic and other roles remains elusive.
FUTURE DIRECTIONS - As the complex regulatory network of NAD(P) metabolism becomes illuminated, sophisticated new approaches to manipulating these pathways in specific organs, cells, or organelles will be developed to target the underlying pathogenic mechanisms of disease, opening doors for the next generation of redox-based, metabolism-targeted therapies. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 28, 180-212.
Food intake induces synthesis of -acylphosphatidylethanolamines (NAPEs) in the intestinal tract. While NAPEs exert leptin-like (leptogenic) effects, including reduced weight gain and food intake, the mechanisms by which NAPEs induce these leptogenic effects remain unclear. One key question is whether intestinal NAPEs act directly on cognate receptors or first require conversion to -acylethanolamides (NAEs) by NAPE-hydrolyzing phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD). Previous studies using mice were equivocal because intraperitoneal injection of NAPEs led to nonspecific aversive effects. To avoid the aversive effects of injection, we delivered NAPEs and NAEs intestinally using gut bacteria synthesizing these compounds. Unlike in wild-type mice, increasing intestinal levels of NAPE using NAPE-synthesizing bacteria in mice failed to reduce food intake and weight gain or alter gene expression. In contrast, increasing intestinal NAE levels in mice using NAE-synthesizing bacteria induced all of these effects. These NAE-synthesizing bacteria also markedly increased NAE levels and decreased inflammatory gene expression in omental adipose tissue. These results demonstrate that intestinal NAPEs require conversion to NAEs by the action of NAPE-PLD to exert their various leptogenic effects, so that the reduced intestinal NAPE-PLD activity found in obese subjects may directly contribute to excess food intake and obesity.
Copyright © 2017 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Post-translational modifications (PTMs) affect protein function, localization, and stability, yet very little is known about the ratios of these modifications. Here, we describe a novel method to quantitate and assess the relative stoichiometry of Lys and Arg modifications (QuARKMod) in complex biological settings. We demonstrate the versatility of this platform in monitoring recombinant protein modification of peptide substrates, PTMs of individual histones, and the relative abundance of these PTMs as a function of subcellular location. Lastly, we describe a product ion scanning technique that offers the potential to discover unexpected and possibly novel Lys and Arg modifications. In summary, this approach yields accurate quantitation and discovery of protein PTMs in complex biological systems without the requirement of high mass accuracy instrumentation.
UNLABELLED - Bacterial interspecies interactions play clinically important roles in shaping microbial community composition. We observed that Corynebacterium spp. are overrepresented in children free of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), a common pediatric nasal colonizer and an important infectious agent. Corynebacterium accolens, a benign lipid-requiring species, inhibits pneumococcal growth during in vitro cocultivation on medium supplemented with human skin surface triacylglycerols (TAGs) that are likely present in the nostrils. This inhibition depends on LipS1, a TAG lipase necessary for C. accolens growth on TAGs such as triolein. We determined that C. accolens hydrolysis of triolein releases oleic acid, which inhibits pneumococcus, as do other free fatty acids (FFAs) that might be released by LipS1 from human skin surface TAGs. Our results support a model in which C. accolens hydrolyzes skin surface TAGS in vivo releasing antipneumococcal FFAs. These data indicate that C. accolens may play a beneficial role in sculpting the human microbiome.
IMPORTANCE - Little is known about how harmless Corynebacterium species that colonize the human nose and skin might impact pathogen colonization and proliferation at these sites. We show that Corynebacterium accolens, a common benign nasal bacterium, modifies its local habitat in vitro as it inhibits growth of Streptococcus pneumoniae by releasing antibacterial free fatty acids from host skin surface triacylglycerols. We further identify the primary C. accolens lipase required for this activity. We postulate a model in which higher numbers of C. accolens cells deter/limit S. pneumoniae nostril colonization, which might partly explain why children without S. pneumoniae colonization have higher levels of nasal Corynebacterium. This work narrows the gap between descriptive studies and the needed in-depth understanding of the molecular mechanisms of microbe-microbe interactions that help shape the human microbiome. It also lays the foundation for future in vivo studies to determine whether habitat modification by C. accolens could be promoted to control pathogen colonization.
Copyright © 2016 Bomar et al.
Hydrolytically degrading nano-polyplexes (HDG-NPs) that reverse charge through conversion of tertiary amines to carboxylic acids were investigated to improve intracellular un-packaging of siRNA and target gene silencing compared to a non-degradable analog (non-HDG-NPs). Both NP types comprised reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) synthesized diblock copolymers of a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) corona-forming block and a cationic block for nucleic acid packaging that incorporated butyl methacrylate (BMA) and either dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA, non-HDG-NPs) or dimethylaminoethyl acrylate (DMAEA, HDG-NPs). HDG-NPs decreased significantly in size and released significantly more siRNA (∼40%) than non-HDG-NPs after 24 h in aqueous solution. While both HDG-NPs and non-HDG-NPs had comparable uptake and cytotoxicity up to 150 nM siRNA doses, HDG-NPs achieved significantly higher target gene silencing of the model gene luciferase in vitro. High resolution FRET confocal microscopy was used to monitor the intracellular un-packaging of siRNA. Non-HDG-NPs had significantly higher FRET efficiency than HDG-NPs, indicating that siRNA delivered from HDG-NPs was more fully un-packaged and therefore had improved intracellular bioavailability.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI IMS) is a powerful molecular mapping technology that offers unbiased visualization of the spatial arrangement of biomolecules in tissue. Although there has been a significant increase in the number of applications employing this technology, the extracellular matrix (ECM) has received little attention, likely because ECM proteins are mostly large, insoluble and heavily cross-linked. We have developed a new sample preparation approach to enable MALDI IMS analysis of ECM proteins in tissue. Prior to freezing and sectioning, intact tissues are decellularized by incubation in sodium dodecyl sulfate. Decellularization removes the highly abundant, soluble species that dominate a MALDI IMS spectrum while preserving the structural integrity of the ECM. In situ tryptic hydrolysis and imaging of tryptic peptides are then carried out to accommodate the large sizes of ECM proteins. This new approach allows the use of MALDI IMS for identification of spatially specific changes in ECM protein expression and modification in tissue.
Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) is a central integrator in the brain of endocrine and behavioral stress responses, whereas activation of the endocannabinoid CB1 receptor suppresses these responses. Although these systems regulate overlapping functions, few studies have investigated whether these systems interact. Here we demonstrate a novel mechanism of CRH-induced anxiety that relies on modulation of endocannabinoids. Specifically, we found that CRH, through activation of the CRH receptor type 1 (CRHR1), evokes a rapid induction of the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which causes a reduction in the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA), within the amygdala. Similarly, the ability of acute stress to modulate amygdala FAAH and AEA in both rats and mice is also mediated through CRHR1 activation. This interaction occurs specifically in amygdala pyramidal neurons and represents a novel mechanism of endocannabinoid-CRH interactions in regulating amygdala output. Functionally, we found that CRH signaling in the amygdala promotes an anxious phenotype that is prevented by FAAH inhibition. Together, this work suggests that rapid reductions in amygdala AEA signaling following stress may prime the amygdala and facilitate the generation of downstream stress-linked behaviors. Given that endocannabinoid signaling is thought to exert "tonic" regulation on stress and anxiety responses, these data suggest that CRH signaling coordinates a disruption of tonic AEA activity to promote a state of anxiety, which in turn may represent an endogenous mechanism by which stress enhances anxiety. These data suggest that FAAH inhibitors may represent a novel class of anxiolytics that specifically target stress-induced anxiety.
Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/353879-14$15.00/0.