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The complex formed by two members of the S100 calcium-binding protein family, S100A8/A9, exerts apoptosis-inducing activity in various cells of different origins. Here, we present evidence that the underlying molecular mechanisms involve both programmed cell death I (PCD I, apoptosis) and PCD II (autophagy)-like death. Treatment of cells with S100A8/A9 caused the increase of Beclin-1 expression as well as Atg12-Atg5 formation. S100A8/A9-induced cell death was partially inhibited by the specific PI3-kinase class III inhibitor, 3-methyladenine (3-MA), and by the vacuole H(+)-ATPase inhibitor, bafilomycin-A1 (Baf-A1). S100A8/A9 provoked the translocation of BNIP3, a BH3 only pro-apoptotic Bcl2 family member, to mitochondria. Consistent with this finding, DeltaTM-BNIP3 overexpression partially inhibited S100A8/A9-induced cell death, decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and partially protected against the decrease in mitochondrial transmembrane potential in S100A8/A9-treated cells. In addition, either DeltaTM-BNIP3 overexpression or N-acetyl-L-cysteine co-treatment decreased lysosomal activation in cells treated with S100A8/A9. Our data indicate that S100A8/A9-promoted cell death occurs through the cross-talk of mitochondria and lysosomes via ROS and the process involves BNIP3.
Ku70 is a protein that finds itself at the heart of several important cellular processes. It is essential to the non-homologous end joining pathway as a part of the DNA-end binding complex, required for proper maintenance of telomeres and contributes to DNA damage recognition and regulation of apoptosis. Forces that regulate Ku70 are therefore likely to have large consequences on the physiologic state of the cell. We report here that transient expression of the small protein SUMO resulted in a dramatic increase in the abundance of Ku70. Surprisingly, the direct SUMOylation of Ku70 does not appear to be required for this effect. Rather, Ku70 appears to be stabilized through indirect effects on the rate of degradation. The same outcome was obtained by raising the expression of enzymes that promote SUMOylation. It is likely that many other proteins will be similarly regulated, providing a general control of cellular state.
Human small ubiquitin-like modifier (sumo) proteins include sumo-1 and the less studied, nearly identical sumo-2 and sumo-3 proteins. Whereas the structurally related ubiquitin molecule targets proteins for degradation, sumo provides a distinct, yet poorly understood regulatory signal. Protein sumoylation is sensitive to diverse cellular stresses, yet the targets of sumoylation in stress are unknown. We studied protein sumoylation in HEK293 cells exposed to hydrogen peroxide, alkylating agents, and the lipid oxidation-derived electrophile 4-hydroxynonenal, which is an ubiquitous product of lipid oxidation associated with oxidative stress. Confocal immunofluorescence microscopy indicated that in unstressed cells sumo-1 targeted nuclear proteins, whereas sumo-2/3 targeted proteins in both nuclei and cytoplasm. Western blot analyses revealed changes in sumo-1 and sumo-2/3 targeting patterns with stress. We used immunoaffinity chromatography to harvest sumo-associated proteins from HA-sumo-1- and HA-sumo-3-expressing HEK293 cells both before and after treatment with 4-hydroxynonenal. Multidimensional liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analyses identified 54 HA-sumo-1-associated proteins and 38 HA-sumo-3-associated proteins. Major protein targets included RNA binding and processing proteins, transcription factors, metabolic enzymes, and cytoskeletal regulators. Treatment with 4-hydroxynonenal caused a near-complete redistribution of sumo-1 and sumo-3 to different protein targets, which included chaperones, antioxidant, and DNA damage signaling proteins. A 10-15% overlap of sumo-1 and sumo-3 targets before and after stress suggests that sumo proteins target distinct protein groups. The results suggest that reactive electrophiles not only directly modify proteins but also lead to indirect changes in endogenous protein modifications that regulate protein functions.
CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-beta (C/EBP beta) activator isoforms, C/EBP beta-1 and C/EBP beta-2, differ by only 23 amino acids in the human; however, evidence is accumulating that these transcription factors are functionally distinct. Here we demonstrate that C/EBP beta-1, but not C/EBP beta-2, is conjugated to the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) family members, SUMO-2 and SUMO-3 despite the fact that the SUMO target consensus is present in both isoforms of this transcription factor. This conjugation is dependent on the integrity of the extreme N terminus of C/EBP beta-1 and requires lysine 173 in the human protein. Furthermore, mutation of this lysine relieves the repression of the cyclin D1 promoter by C/EBP beta-1 without altering the subnuclear localization of C/EBP beta-1. The sumoylation of C/EBP beta-1 is likely to be important in the functional differences observed between C/EBP beta-1 and C/EBP beta-2.