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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.
Infection with Helicobacter pylori is one of the strongest risk factors for development of gastric cancer. Although these bacteria infect approximately half of the world's population, only a small fraction of infected individuals develops gastric malignancies. Interactions between host and bacterial virulence factors are complex and interrelated, making it difficult to elucidate specific processes associated with H. pylori-induced tumorigenesis. In this study, we found that H. pylori inhibits p14ARF tumor suppressor by inducing its degradation. This effect was found to be strain-specific. Downregulation of p14ARF induced by H. pylori leads to inhibition of autophagy in a p53-independent manner in infected cells. We identified TRIP12 protein as E3 ubiquitin ligase that is upregulated by H. pylori, inducing ubiquitination and subsequent degradation of p14ARF protein. Using isogenic H. pylori mutants, we found that induction of TRIP12 is mediated by bacterial virulence factor CagA. Increased expression of TRIP12 protein was found in infected gastric epithelial cells in vitro and human gastric mucosa of H. pylori-infected individuals. In conclusion, our data demonstrate a new mechanism of ARF inhibition that may affect host-bacteria interactions and facilitate tumorigenic transformation in the stomach.
In this issue of Molecular Cell, Benvegnù et al. (2017) report an unexpected phenomenon by which the E3 ligase mahogunin ring finger-1 (MGRN1) translocates to the nucleus in an age-dependent manner, revealing an intriguing mechanism that allows for an adaptive neuronal response to proteotoxic stress, often seen with aging.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Upon Notch pathway activation, the receptor is cleaved to release the Notch intracellular domain (NICD), which translocates to the nucleus to activate gene transcription. Using Xenopus egg extracts, we have identified a Notch1-specific destruction signal (N1-Box). We show that mutations in the N1-Box inhibit NICD1 degradation and that the N1-Box is transferable for the promotion of degradation of heterologous proteins in Xenopus egg extracts and in cultured human cells. Mutation of the N1-Box enhances Notch1 activity in cultured human cells and zebrafish embryos. Human cancer mutations within the N1-Box enhance Notch1 signaling in transgenic zebrafish, highlighting the physiological relevance of this destruction signal. We find that binding of the Notch nuclear factor, CSL, to the N1-Box blocks NICD1 turnover. Our studies reveal a mechanism by which degradation of NICD1 is regulated by the N1-Box to minimize stochastic flux and to establish a threshold for Notch1 pathway activation.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Chemotherapy is the primary established systemic treatment for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in both the early and advanced-stages of the disease. The lack of targeted therapies and the poor prognosis of patients with TNBC have fostered a major effort to discover actionable molecular targets to treat patients with these tumours. Massively parallel sequencing and other 'omics' technologies have revealed an unexpected level of heterogeneity of TNBCs and have led to the identification of potentially actionable molecular features in some TNBCs, such as germline BRCA1/2 mutations or 'BRCAness', the presence of the androgen receptor, and several rare genomic alterations. Whether these alterations are molecular 'drivers', however, has not been clearly established. A subgroup of TNBCs shows a high degree of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes that also correlates with a lower risk of disease relapse and a higher likelihood of benefit from chemotherapy. Proof-of-principle studies with immune-checkpoint inhibitors in advanced-stage TNBC have yielded promising results, indicating the potential benefit of immunotherapy for patients with TNBC. In this Review, we discuss the most relevant molecular findings in TNBC from the past decade and the most promising therapeutic opportunities derived from these data.
Ubiquitin, and components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system, feature extensively in the regulation of gene transcription. Although there are many examples of how ubiquitin controls the activity of transcriptional regulators and coregulators, there are few examples of core components of the transcriptional machinery that are directly controlled by ubiquitin-dependent processes. The budding yeast protein Asr1 is the prototypical member of the RPC (RING, PHD, CBD) family of ubiquitin-ligases, characterized by the presence of amino-terminal RING (really interesting new gene) and PHD (plant homeo domain) fingers and a carboxyl-terminal domain that directly binds the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (pol II), Rpb1, in response to phosphorylation events tied to the initiation of transcription. Asr1-mediated oligo-ubiquitylation of pol II leads to ejection of two core subunits of the enzyme and is associated with inhibition of polymerase function. Here, we present evidence that Asr1-mediated ubiquitylation of pol II is required for silencing of subtelomeric gene transcription. We show that Asr1 associates with telomere-proximal chromatin and that disruption of the ubiquitin-ligase activity of Asr1--or mutation of ubiquitylation sites within Rpb1--induces transcription of silenced gene sequences. In addition, we report that Asr1 associates with the Ubp3 deubiquitylase and that Asr1 and Ubp3 play antagonistic roles in setting transcription levels from silenced genes. We suggest that control of pol II by nonproteolytic ubiquitylation provides a mechanism to enforce silencing by transient and reversible inhibition of pol II activity at subtelomeric chromatin.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, and its prevalence is growing. Current therapies for DR address only the later stages of the disease, are invasive, and have limited effectiveness. Retinal pericyte death is an early pathologic feature of DR. Although it has been observed in diabetic patients and in animal models of DR, the cause of pericyte death remains unknown. A novel pro-apoptotic pathway initiated by the interaction between glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and the E3 ubiquitin ligase, seven in absentia homolog 1 (Siah1), was recently identified in ocular tissues. In this article we examined the involvement of the GAPDH/Siah1 interaction in human retinal pericyte (hRP) apoptosis. HRP were cultured in 5 mm normal glucose, 25 mm l- or d-glucose for 48 h (osmotic control and high glucose treatments, respectively). Siah1 siRNA was used to down-regulate Siah1 expression. TAT-FLAG GAPDH and/or Siah1-directed peptides were used to block GAPDH and Siah1 interaction. Co-immunoprecipitation assays were conducted to analyze the effect of high glucose on the association of GAPDH and Siah1. Apoptosis was measured by Annexin V staining and caspase-3 enzymatic activity assay. High glucose increased Siah1 total protein levels, induced the association between GAPDH and Siah1, and led to GAPDH nuclear translocation. Our findings demonstrate that dissociation of the GAPDH/Siah1 pro-apoptotic complex can block high glucose-induced pericyte apoptosis, widely considered a hallmark feature of DR. Thus, the work presented in this article can provide a foundation to identify novel targets for early treatment of DR.
© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a number of neurological problems, including developmental delay, movement disorders, and epilepsy. AS results from the loss of UBE3A (an imprinted gene) expressed from the maternal chromosome in neurons. Given the ubiquitous expression of Ube3a and the devastating nature of AS, the role of environmental and maternal effects has been largely ignored. Severe ataxia, anxiety-like behaviors and learning deficits are well-documented in patients and AS mice. More recently, clinical imaging studies of AS patients suggest myelination may be delayed or reduced. Utilizing a mouse model of AS, we found disrupted expression of cortical myelin proteins, the magnitude of which is influenced by maternal status, in that the aberrant myelination in the AS pups of AS affected mothers were more pronounced than those seen in AS pups raised by unaffected (Ube3a (m+/p-)) Carrier mothers. Furthermore, feeding the breeding mothers a higher fat (11% vs 5%) diet normalizes these myelin defects. These effects are not limited to myelin proteins. Since AS mice have abnormal stress responses, including altered glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression, we measured GR expression in pups from Carrier and affected AS mothers. AS pups had higher GR expression than their WT littermates. However, we also found an effect of maternal status, with reduced GR levels in pups from affected mothers compared to genotypically identical pups raised by unaffected Carrier mothers. Taken together, our findings suggest that the phenotypes observed in AS mice may be modulated by factors independent of Ube3a genotype.
Published by Elsevier B.V.
The E3 ubiquitin ligase CHIP is involved in protein triage, serving as a co-chaperone for refolding as well as catalyzing ubiquitination of substrates. CHIP functions with both the stress induced Hsp70 and constitutive Hsc70 chaperones, and also plays a role in maintaining their balance in the cell. When the chaperones carry no client proteins, CHIP catalyzes their polyubiquitination and subsequent proteasomal degradation. Although Hsp70 and Hsc70 are highly homologous in sequence and similar in structure, CHIP mediated ubiquitination promotes degradation of Hsp70 with a higher efficiency than for Hsc70. Here we report a detailed and systematic investigation to characterize if there are significant differences in the CHIP in vitro ubiquitination of human Hsp70 and Hsc70. Proteomic analysis by mass spectrometry revealed that only 12 of 39 detectable lysine residues were ubiquitinated by UbcH5a in Hsp70 and only 16 of 45 in Hsc70. The only conserved lysine identified as ubiquitinated in one but not the other heat shock protein was K159 in Hsc70. Ubiquitination assays with K-R ubiquitin mutants showed that multiple Ub chain types are formed and that the distribution is different for Hsp70 versus Hsc70. CHIP ubiquitination with the E2 enzyme Ube2W is predominantly directed to the N-terminal amine of the substrate; however, some internal lysine modifications were also detected. Together, our results provide a detailed view of the differences in CHIP ubiquitination of these two very similar proteins, and show a clear example where substantial differences in ubiquitination can be generated by a single E3 ligase in response to not only different E2 enzymes but subtle differences in the substrate.
Angelman Syndrome (AS) is a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by developmental delay, speech impairment, movement disorder, sleep disorders and refractory epilepsy. AS is caused by loss of the Ube3a protein encoded for by the imprinted Ube3a gene. Ube3a is expressed nearly exclusively from the maternal chromosome in mature neurons. While imprinting in neurons of the brain has been well described, the imprinting and expression of Ube3a in other neural tissues remains relatively unexplored. Moreover, given the overwhelming deficits in brain function in AS patients, the possibility of disrupted Ube3a expression in the infratentorial nervous system and its consequent disability have been largely ignored. We evaluated the imprinting status of Ube3a in the spinal cord and sciatic nerve and show that it is also imprinted in these neural tissues. Furthermore, a growing body of clinical and radiological evidence has suggested that myelin dysfunction may contribute to morbidity in many neurodevelopmental syndromes. However, findings regarding Ube3a expression in non-neuronal cells of the brain have varied. Utilizing enriched primary cultures of oligodendrocytes and astrocytes, we show that Ube3a is expressed, but not imprinted in these cell types. Unlike many other neurodevelopmental disorders, AS symptoms do not become apparent until roughly 6 to 12 months of age. To determine the temporal expression pattern and silencing, we analyzed Ube3a expression in AS mice at several time points. We confirm relaxed imprinting of Ube3a in neurons of the postnatal developing cortex, but not in structures in which neurogenesis and migration are more complete. This furthers the hypothesis that the apparently normal window of development in AS patients is supported by an incompletely silenced paternal allele in developing neurons, resulting in a relative preservation of Ube3a expression during this crucial epoch of early development.