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Mutations that induce loss of function (LOF) or dysfunction of the human KCNQ1 channel are responsible for susceptibility to a life-threatening heart rhythm disorder, the congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS). Hundreds of mutations have been identified, but the molecular mechanisms responsible for impaired function are poorly understood. We investigated the impact of 51 KCNQ1 variants with mutations located within the voltage sensor domain (VSD), with an emphasis on elucidating effects on cell surface expression, protein folding, and structure. For each variant, the efficiency of trafficking to the plasma membrane, the impact of proteasome inhibition, and protein stability were assayed. The results of these experiments combined with channel functional data provided the basis for classifying each mutation into one of six mechanistic categories, highlighting heterogeneity in the mechanisms resulting in channel dysfunction or LOF. More than half of the KCNQ1 LOF mutations examined were seen to destabilize the structure of the VSD, generally accompanied by mistrafficking and degradation by the proteasome, an observation that underscores the growing appreciation that mutation-induced destabilization of membrane proteins may be a common human disease mechanism. Finally, we observed that five of the folding-defective LQTS mutant sites are located in the VSD S0 helix, where they interact with a number of other LOF mutation sites in other segments of the VSD. These observations reveal a critical role for the S0 helix as a central scaffold to help organize and stabilize the KCNQ1 VSD and, most likely, the corresponding domain of many other ion channels.
Regulated protein destruction by the proteasome is crucial for the maintenance of normal cellular homeostasis. Much of our understanding of proteasome function stems from the use of drugs that inhibit its activity. Curiously, despite the importance of proteasomal proteolysis, previous studies have found that proliferation of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is relatively resistant to the effects of proteasome inhibitors such as MG132, even in the presence of mutations that increase inhibitor levels in cells. We reasoned that part of the resistance of S. cerevisiae to proteasome inhibitors stems from the fact that most proteasome inhibitors preferentially target the chymotryptic activity of the proteasome, and that the caspase-like and tryptic sites within the 20S core could compensate for proteasome function under these conditions. To test this hypothesis, we generated a strain of yeast in which the gene encoding the drug efflux pump Pdr5 is deleted, and the tryptic and caspase-like proteasome activities are inactivated by mutation. We find that this strain has dramatically increased sensitivity to the proteasome inhibitor MG132. Under these conditions, treatment of yeast with MG132 blocks progression through the cell cycle, increases the accumulation of polyubiquitylated proteins and decreases the ability to induce transcription of certain genes. These results highlight the contribution of the caspase-like and tryptic activities of the proteasome to its function, and provide a strategy to potently block proteasomal proteolysis in yeast that has practical applications.
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
PURPOSE - To investigate how hydrostatic pressure influences regulation of interleukin (IL)-6 by retinal glia and whether this regulation is associated with the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway (UPP) and activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor (NF)kappaB.
METHODS - Astrocytes and microglia isolated from rat retina were maintained in vitro, and the IL-6 concentration in the media at ambient and elevated pressure were compared, with and without the proteasome inhibitor MG132 (10 microM). Immunocytochemistry was used to correlate translocation of NFkappaB with pressure.
RESULTS - Exposure to elevated pressure for 24 hours maximally altered the concentration of media IL-6 of glia cultures, where IL-6 concentrations decreased in astrocyte cultures and increased in microglia cultures. These pressure-induced changes in IL-6 were largely insensitive to MG132 in astrocytes, but were largely MG132-sensitive in microglia. Like IL-6 regulation, pressure-induced activation of NFkappaB also differed between the two glial cell types, where nuclear localization of NFkappaB was transient in astrocytes, but sustained in microglia. Elevated pressure also increased MG132-sensitive expression of IL-6 mRNA by microglia.
CONCLUSIONS - Though pressure-induced regulation of IL-6 by astrocytes is preceded by NFkappaB translocation, it is not altered by MG132 and therefore is not likely to be regulated by NFkappaB or the UPP. In contrast, pressure-induced regulation of IL-6 protein and mRNA by microglia is preceded by NFkappaB translocation and is sensitive to MG132. Together with precedence in the literature, these data suggest that pressure-induced activation of the UPP leads to transcription of IL-6 driven by NFkappaB.
Ku70 plays an important role in DNA damage repair and prevention of cell death. Previously, we reported that apoptosis caused a decrease in cellular Ku70 levels. In this study, we analyzed the mechanism of how Ku70 levels decrease during drug-induced apoptosis. In HeLa cells, staurosporin (STS) caused a decrease in Ku70 levels without significantly affecting Ku70 mRNA levels. We found that Ku70 protein was highly ubiquitinated in various cell types, such as HeLa, HEK293T, Dami (a megakaryocytic cell line), endothelial, and rat kidney cells. An increase in ubiquitinated Ku70 protein was observed in apoptotic cells, and proteasome inhibitors attenuated the decrease in Ku70 levels in apoptotic cells. These results suggest that the ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway plays a role in decreasing Ku70 levels in apoptotic cells. Ku70 forms a heterodimer with Ku80, which is required for the DNA repair activity of Ku proteins. We also found that Ku80 levels decreased in apoptotic cells and that Ku80 is a target of ubiquitin. Ubiquitinated Ku70 was not found in the Ku70-Ku80 heterodimer, suggesting that modification by ubiquitin inhibits Ku heterodimer formation. We propose that the ubiquitin-dependent modification of Ku70 plays an important role in the control of cellular levels of Ku70.
Estrogen receptor alpha (ER alpha) degradation is regulated by ubiquitination, but the signaling pathways that modulate ER alpha turnover are unknown. We found that extracellular signal-regulated kinase 7 (ERK7) preferentially enhances the destruction of ER alpha but not the related androgen receptor. Loss of ERK7 was correlated with breast cancer progression, and all ER alpha-positive breast tumors had decreased ERK7 expression compared to that found in normal breast tissue. In human breast cells, a dominant-negative ERK7 mutant decreased the rate of endogenous ER alpha degradation >4-fold in the presence of hormone and potentiated estrogen responsiveness. ERK7 targets the ER alpha ligand-binding domain for destruction by enhancing its ubiquitination. Thus, ERK7 is a novel regulator of estrogen responsiveness through its control of ER alpha turnover.
BACKGROUND - Recent studies suggest that interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) stimulates the production of the acute phase protein complement component C3 in human intestinal epithelial cells. The transcription factor NF-kappaB activates different genes involved in the response to cytokines. It is not known if IL-1beta-induced C3 production in the enterocyte is regulated by NF-kappaB.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Cultured Caco-2 cells, a human intestinal epithelial cell line, were treated with one of the NF-kappaB inhibitors, tosyl-lys-chloromethylketone (TLCK), genistein, or pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), or with N-acetyl-leu-leu-norleucinal (LLnL), a proteasome inhibitor known to block the degradation of Ikappabeta, the cytosolic inhibitor of NF-kappaB. Following this treatment, the Caco-2 cells were stimulated with IL-1beta, and C3 levels in the culture medium were measured after 24 h by ELISA. C3 mRNA levels were determined after 4 h by Northern blot analysis. In other experiments, Caco-2 cells were transfected with a mutant IkappaBalpha in which serines 32 and 36 were substituted by alanine. This mutation prevents IkBalpha phosphorylation and subsequent NF-kappaB nuclear translocation. After transfection, the cells were stimulated with IL-1beta, and C3 levels in the culture medium were measured after 24 h. Cytosolic IkappaBalpha was determined by Western blot analysis.
RESULTS - TLCK, genistein, and LLnL each inhibited IL-1beta-induced C3 production in a dose-dependent fashion. These responses were associated with decreased C3 mRNA levels. In contrast, PDTC did not influence C3 production or C3 mRNA in the Caco-2 cells. Transfection of the Caco-2 cells with the Ser 32/36 mutant IkBalpha resulted in maintained IkappaBalpha levels and decreased IL-beta-induced C3 production.
CONCLUSIONS - IL-1beta-stimulated C3 production in the enterocyte may be regulated by NF-kappaB.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.
Mannan, a ligand for the mannose/N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) receptor, induces suppression of oxygen consumption and increases glucose production in the perfused rat liver, and repeated infusion of mannan causes desensitization of the responses. In this study, we examined whether activation of Kupffer cells by endotoxin and phorbol ester alters the glycogenolytic responses to mannan. Infusion of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 10 micrograms/ ml) in the perfusate failed to inhibit the responses to mannan. Intravenous administration of LPS (1 mg/kg) 6 and 24 h before perfusion did not desensitize the responses to mannan, suggesting that the responses through mannose/GlcNAc receptors in the liver are retained even after activation of Kupffer cells by LPS. In contrast, prior infusion of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA, 100 nM) in vitro abolished the glycogenolytic responses to subsequently infused mannan, but not that to norepinephrine (100 nM), while prior infusions of 4-alpha-phorbol 12,13-didecanoate (100 nM), A23187 (50 nM), or forskolin (1 microM) had no effect on the mannan-induced responses. H-7, an inhibitor of protein kinase C, reduced the glycogenolytic responses to mannan, while it failed to restore the desensitization. These results suggest that protein kinase C may be involved in the process of glycogenolysis by mannan, but is unlikely to be involved in the homologous desensitization of the responses.
Transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta), a recently discovered polypeptide, modulates growth of normal and neoplastic cells. Since little is known concerning in vivo disposition of TGF beta, we performed studies to examine the hepatic processing of biologically active 125I-TGF beta in the rat. After intravenous injection, 125I-TGF beta disappeared from the plasma with an initial t1/2 of 2.2 min; partial hepatectomy delayed the plasma disappearance of 125I-TGF beta by 80%. 60 min after intrafemoral injection, 63% of the recovered label was present in liver and/or bile; by 90 min, most of the label removed by the liver (83%) had been slowly excreted into bile. Nearly all the label in bile (96%) was soluble in trichloracetic acid and not immunoprecipitable by specific antiserum. Colchicine and vinblastine inhibited cumulative biliary excretion of label by 28 and 37%, respectively; chloroquine and leupeptin each increased the amount of label in bile that was precipitable by trichloracetic acid and that coeluted with authentic 125I-TGF beta on molecular sieve chromatography. There was efficient first-pass hepatic extraction of 125I-TGF beta (36%) in the isolated perfused rat liver, which was inhibited by unlabeled TGF beta (but not by epidermal growth factor, EGF) and by lectins in a dose-dependent manner; prolonged fasting also decreased clearance (26%). After fractionation of liver by differential or isopycnic centrifugation, radiolabel codistributed with marker enzymes for lysosomes. The results indicate rapid, extensive, inhibitable, and organ-selective extraction of TGF beta by the liver. After extraction, TGF beta undergoes efficient transhepatic transport, extensive intracellular metabolism, and slow but complete biliary excretion of its metabolites. Liver fractionation studies and pharmacologic manipulations suggest that these processes are associated with organelles that include microtubules and lysosomes. The data suggest that the liver is a major target tissue or site of metabolism for biologically active TGF beta.