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CHIP (carboxyl terminus of heat shock 70-interacting protein) has long been recognized as an active member of the cellular protein quality control system given the ability of CHIP to function as both a co-chaperone and ubiquitin ligase. We discovered a genetic disease, now known as spinocerebellar autosomal recessive 16 (SCAR16), resulting from a coding mutation that caused a loss of CHIP ubiquitin ligase function. The initial mutation describing SCAR16 was a missense mutation in the ubiquitin ligase domain of CHIP (p.T246M). Using multiple biophysical and cellular approaches, we demonstrated that T246M mutation results in structural disorganization and misfolding of the CHIP U-box domain, promoting oligomerization, and increased proteasome-dependent turnover. CHIP-T246M has no ligase activity, but maintains interactions with chaperones and chaperone-related functions. To establish preclinical models of SCAR16, we engineered T246M at the endogenous locus in both mice and rats. Animals homozygous for T246M had both cognitive and motor cerebellar dysfunction distinct from those observed in the CHIP null animal model, as well as deficits in learning and memory, reflective of the cognitive deficits reported in SCAR16 patients. We conclude that the T246M mutation is not equivalent to the total loss of CHIP, supporting the concept that disease-causing CHIP mutations have different biophysical and functional repercussions on CHIP function that may directly correlate to the spectrum of clinical phenotypes observed in SCAR16 patients. Our findings both further expand our basic understanding of CHIP biology and provide meaningful mechanistic insight underlying the molecular drivers of SCAR16 disease pathology, which may be used to inform the development of novel therapeutics for this devastating disease.
Histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) is the catalytic component of NCoR/SMRT corepressor complexes that mediate the actions of transcription factors implicated in the regulation of B-cell development and function. We crossed conditional knockout mice with knockin animals to delete in early progenitor B cells. The spleens of mice were virtually devoid of mature B cells, and B220CD43 B-cell progenitors accumulated within the bone marrow. Quantitative deep sequencing of the Ig heavy chain locus from B220CD43 populations identified a defect in recombination with a severe reduction in productive rearrangements, which directly corresponded to the loss of pre-B cells from bone marrow. For B cells that did show productive rearrangement, there was significant skewing toward the incorporation of proximal gene segments and a corresponding reduction in distal gene segment use. Although transcriptional effects within these loci were modest, progenitor cells displayed global changes in chromatin structure that likely hindered effective distal recombination. Reintroduction of wild-type Hdac3 restored normal B-cell development, whereas an Hdac3 point mutant lacking deacetylase activity failed to complement this defect. Thus, the deacetylase activity of Hdac3 is required for the generation of mature B cells.
Genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) of cancer are increasingly being used to assess putative driver mutations identified by large-scale sequencing of human cancer genomes. To accurately interpret experiments that introduce additional mutations, an understanding of the somatic genetic profile and evolution of GEMM tumors is necessary. Here, we performed whole-exome sequencing of tumors from three GEMMs of lung adenocarcinoma driven by mutant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), mutant Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (Kras), or overexpression of MYC proto-oncogene. Tumors from EGFR- and Kras-driven models exhibited, respectively, 0.02 and 0.07 nonsynonymous mutations per megabase, a dramatically lower average mutational frequency than observed in human lung adenocarcinomas. Tumors from models driven by strong cancer drivers (mutant EGFR and Kras) harbored few mutations in known cancer genes, whereas tumors driven by MYC, a weaker initiating oncogene in the murine lung, acquired recurrent clonal oncogenic Kras mutations. In addition, although EGFR- and Kras-driven models both exhibited recurrent whole-chromosome DNA copy number alterations, the specific chromosomes altered by gain or loss were different in each model. These data demonstrate that GEMM tumors exhibit relatively simple somatic genotypes compared with human cancers of a similar type, making these autochthonous model systems useful for additive engineering approaches to assess the potential of novel mutations on tumorigenesis, cancer progression, and drug sensitivity.
There is a compelling and growing need to accurately predict the impact of amino acid mutations on protein stability for problems in personalized medicine and other applications. Here the ability of 10 computational tools to accurately predict mutation-induced perturbation of folding stability (ΔΔG) for membrane proteins of known structure was assessed. All methods for predicting ΔΔG values performed significantly worse when applied to membrane proteins than when applied to soluble proteins, yielding estimated concordance, Pearson, and Spearman correlation coefficients of <0.4 for membrane proteins. Rosetta and PROVEAN showed a modest ability to classify mutations as destabilizing (ΔΔG < -0.5 kcal/mol), with a 7 in 10 chance of correctly discriminating a randomly chosen destabilizing variant from a randomly chosen stabilizing variant. However, even this performance is significantly worse than for soluble proteins. This study highlights the need for further development of reliable and reproducible methods for predicting thermodynamic folding stability in membrane proteins.
PURPOSE - To test the efficacy of systemic gene delivery of a mutant form of erythropoietin (EPO-R76E) that has attenuated erythropoietic activity, in a mouse model of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa.
METHODS - Ten-day old mice carrying one copy of human rhodopsin with the P23H mutation and both copies of wild-type mouse rhodopsin (hP23H RHO+/-,mRHO+/+) were injected into the quadriceps with recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) carrying either enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) or EpoR76E. Visual function (electroretinogram) and retina structure (optical coherence tomography, histology, and immunohistochemistry) were assessed at 7 and 12 months of age.
RESULTS - The outer nuclear layer thickness decreased over time at a slower rate in rAAV.EpoR76E treated as compared to the rAAV.eGFP injected mice. There was a statistically significant preservation of the electroretinogram at 7, but not 12 months of age.
CONCLUSIONS - Systemic EPO-R76E slows death of the photoreceptors and vision loss in hP23H RHO+/-,mRHO+/+ mice. Treatment with EPO-R76E may widen the therapeutic window for retinal degeneration patients by increasing the number of viable cells. Future studies might investigate if co-treatment with EPO-R76E and gene replacement therapy is more effective than gene replacement therapy alone.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a lethal late onset motor neuron disease with underlying cellular defects in RNA metabolism. In prior studies, two deleterious heterozygous mutations in the gene encoding human (h)Gle1 were identified in ALS patients. hGle1 is an mRNA processing modulator that requires inositol hexakisphosphate (IP) binding for function. Interestingly, one hGLE1 mutation (c.1965-2A>C) results in a novel 88 amino acid C-terminal insertion, generating an altered protein. Like hGle1A, at steady state, the altered protein termed hGle1-IVS14-2A>C is absent from the nuclear envelope rim and localizes to the cytoplasm. hGle1A performs essential cytoplasmic functions in translation and stress granule regulation. Therefore, we speculated that the ALS disease pathology results from altered cellular pools of hGle1 and increased cytoplasmic hGle1 activity. GFP-hGle1-IVS14-2A>C localized to stress granules comparably to GFP-hGle1A, and rescued stress granule defects following siRNA-mediated hGle1 depletion. As described for hGle1A, overexpression of the hGle1-IVS14-2A>C protein also induced formation of larger SGs. Interestingly, hGle1A and the disease associated hGle1-IVS14-2A>C overexpression induced the formation of distinct cytoplasmic protein aggregates that appear similar to those found in neurodegenerative diseases. Strikingly, the ALS-linked hGle1-IVS14-2A>C protein also rescued mRNA export defects upon depletion of endogenous hGle1, acting in a potentially novel bi-functional manner. We conclude that the ALS-linked hGle1-c.1965-2A>C mutation generates a protein isoform capable of both hGle1A- and hGle1B-ascribed functions, and thereby uncoupled from normal mechanisms of hGle1 regulation.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
With a combined carrier frequency of 1:200, heteroplasmic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations cause human disease in ∼1:5000 of the population. Rapid shifts in the level of heteroplasmy seen within a single generation contribute to the wide range in the severity of clinical phenotypes seen in families transmitting mtDNA disease, consistent with a genetic bottleneck during transmission. Although preliminary evidence from human pedigrees points towards a random drift process underlying the shifting heteroplasmy, some reports describe differences in segregation pattern between different mtDNA mutations. However, based on limited observations and with no direct comparisons, it is not clear whether these observations simply reflect pedigree ascertainment and publication bias. To address this issue, we studied 577 mother-child pairs transmitting the m.11778G>A, m.3460G>A, m.8344A>G, m.8993T>G/C and m.3243A>G mtDNA mutations. Our analysis controlled for inter-assay differences, inter-laboratory variation and ascertainment bias. We found no evidence of selection during transmission but show that different mtDNA mutations segregate at different rates in human pedigrees. m.8993T>G/C segregated significantly faster than m.11778G>A, m.8344A>G and m.3243A>G, consistent with a tighter mtDNA genetic bottleneck in m.8993T>G/C pedigrees. Our observations support the existence of different genetic bottlenecks primarily determined by the underlying mtDNA mutation, explaining the different inheritance patterns observed in human pedigrees transmitting pathogenic mtDNA mutations.
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.
Extensive genomic characterization of human cancers presents the problem of inference from genomic abnormalities to cancer phenotypes. To address this problem, we analysed proteomes of colon and rectal tumours characterized previously by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and perform integrated proteogenomic analyses. Somatic variants displayed reduced protein abundance compared to germline variants. Messenger RNA transcript abundance did not reliably predict protein abundance differences between tumours. Proteomics identified five proteomic subtypes in the TCGA cohort, two of which overlapped with the TCGA 'microsatellite instability/CpG island methylation phenotype' transcriptomic subtype, but had distinct mutation, methylation and protein expression patterns associated with different clinical outcomes. Although copy number alterations showed strong cis- and trans-effects on mRNA abundance, relatively few of these extend to the protein level. Thus, proteomics data enabled prioritization of candidate driver genes. The chromosome 20q amplicon was associated with the largest global changes at both mRNA and protein levels; proteomics data highlighted potential 20q candidates, including HNF4A (hepatocyte nuclear factor 4, alpha), TOMM34 (translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane 34) and SRC (SRC proto-oncogene, non-receptor tyrosine kinase). Integrated proteogenomic analysis provides functional context to interpret genomic abnormalities and affords a new paradigm for understanding cancer biology.
OBJECTIVE - New in vivo mutations in G protein-coupled receptors open opportunities for insights into the mechanism of receptor activation. Here we describe the molecular mechanism of constitutive TSH receptor (TSHR) activation in an Austrian family with three generations of familial nonautoimmune hyperthyroidism.
PATIENTS - The index patient was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism during her first pregnancy. Her first two children were diagnosed with hyperthyroidism at the age of 11 and 10 years, respectively. TSH suppression was also observed in the third child at the age of 8 years, who has normal free T4 levels until now. TSH suppression in infancy was observed in the fourth child. The mother of the index patient was diagnosed with toxic multinodular goiter at the age of 36 years.
METHODS - DNA was extracted from blood samples from the index patient, her mother, and her four children. Screening for TSHR mutations was performed by high-resolution melting assays and subsequent sequencing. Elucidation of the underlying mechanism of TSHR activation was carried out by generation and structural analysis of TSHR transmembrane homology models and verification of model predictions by functional characterization of receptor mutations.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS - A newly discovered TSHR mutation L665F in transmembrane helix 7 of the receptor was detected in six members of this family. Functional characterization of L665F revealed constitutive activation for the Gs pathway and thus represents the molecular cause for hyperthyroidism in this family. The constitutive activation is possibly linked to a steric clash introduced by the L665F mutation between transmembrane helices 1 and 7.