ER-associated degradation (ERAD) removes defective and mis-folded proteins
from the eukaryotic secretory pathway, but mutations in the ER lumenal Hsp70,
BiP/Kar2p, compromise ERAD efficiency in yeast. Because attenuation of ERAD
activates the UPR, we screened for kar2 mutants in which the unfolded
protein response (UPR) was induced in order to better define how BiP
facilitates ERAD. Among the kar2 mutants isolated we identified the
ERAD-specific kar2-1 allele (Brodsky et al. J. Biol. Chem.
274, 3453–3460). The kar2-1 mutation resides in the
peptide-binding domain of BiP and decreases BiP's affinity for a peptide
substrate. Peptide-stimulated ATPase activity was also reduced, suggesting
that the interdomain coupling in Kar2-1p is partially compromised. In
contrast, Hsp40 cochaperone-activation of Kar2-1p's ATPase activity was
unaffected. Consistent with UPR induction in kar2-1 yeast, an ERAD
substrate aggregated in microsomes prepared from this strain but not from
wild-type yeast. Overexpression of wild-type BiP increased substrate
solubility in microsomes obtained from the mutant, but the ERAD defect was
exacerbated, suggesting that simply retaining ERAD substrates in a soluble,
retro-translocation-competent conformation is insufficient to support
polypeptide transit to the cytoplasm.
Yeast cells lacking a functional p24 complex accumulate a subset of
secretory proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and increase the
extracellular secretion of HDEL-containing ER residents such as
Kar2p/BiP. We report that a loss of p24 function causes activation of
the unfolded protein response (UPR) and leads to increased
KAR2 expression. The HDEL receptor (Erd2p) is functional
and traffics in p24 deletion strains as in wild-type strains, however
the capacity of the retrieval pathway is exceeded. Other conditions
that activate the UPR and elevate KAR2 expression also
lead to extracellular secretion of Kar2p. Using an in vitro assay that
reconstitutes budding from the ER, we detect elevated levels of Kar2p
in ER-derived vesicles from p24 deletion strains and from
wild-type strains with an activated UPR. Silencing the UPR by
IRE1 deletion diminished Kar2p secretion under these
conditions. We suggest that activation of the UPR plays a major role in
extracellular secretion of Kar2p.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) unfolded protein response (UPR) is correlated with changes in unfolded secretory levels. A novel fluorescence biosensor now reports changes in the unfolded protein burden. This reporter reveals a form of ER stress—inositol withdrawal—that stimulates the UPR without changes in unfolded protein levels.
Accumulation of misfolded secretory proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) activates the unfolded protein response (UPR) stress pathway. To enhance secretory protein folding and promote adaptation to stress, the UPR upregulates ER chaperone levels, including BiP. Here we describe chromosomal tagging of KAR2, the yeast homologue of BiP, with superfolder green fluorescent protein (sfGFP) to create a multifunctional endogenous reporter of the ER folding environment. Changes in Kar2p-sfGFP fluorescence levels directly correlate with UPR activity and represent a robust reporter for high-throughput analysis. A novel second feature of this reporter is that photobleaching microscopy (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching) of Kar2p-sfGFP mobility reports on the levels of unfolded secretory proteins in individual cells, independent of UPR status. Kar2p-sfGFP mobility decreases upon treatment with tunicamycin or dithiothreitol, consistent with increased levels of unfolded proteins and the incorporation of Kar2p-sfGFP into slower-diffusing complexes. During adaptation, we observe a significant lag between down-regulation of the UPR and resolution of the unfolded protein burden. Finally, we find that Kar2p-sfGFP mobility significantly increases upon inositol withdrawal, which also activates the UPR, apparently independent of unfolded protein levels. Thus Kar2p mobility represents a powerful new tool capable of distinguishing between the different mechanisms leading to UPR activation in living cells.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a central hub where secreted or membrane-bound proteins are maturated and folded properly in eukaryotes. Maintenance of ER homeostasis is particularly important for human fungal pathogens, such as Cryptococcus neoformans, which encounter a plethora of host-mediated stresses during infection. Our previous study demonstrated that the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway, composed of the evolutionarily conserved Ire1 kinase and the unique Hxl1 transcription factor, has pleiotropic roles in ER stress response, thermotolerance, antifungal drug resistance, and virulence in C. neoformans. Here, we functionally characterized an ER-resident molecular chaperone, Kar2/BiP, in C. neoformans. Conditional expression of KAR2 by the copper-regulated promoter revealed that Kar2 is essential for the viability of C. neoformans. Constitutive expression of KAR2 by the strong histone H3 promoter partially restores resistance to ER stress, cell wall stress, thermotolerance, and genotoxic stress in ire1Δ and hxl1Δ mutants, suggesting that Kar2 mainly functions downstream of the UPR pathway. Furthermore, Kar2 appears to control azole resistance in C. neoformans downstream of the UPR pathway without regulation of ERG11 or ERG3. Interestingly, we discovered that azole treatment is sensed as ER-stress and subsequently activates the Ire1-dependent Hxl1 splicing event and induction of KAR2 by the UPR pathway. In contrast, the constitutive expression of Kar2 is not sufficient to restore the Ire1-mediated regulation of capsule production in C. neoformans UPR mutants. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that Kar2 is not only essential for vegetative growth but also required for response and adaptation to the environmental stresses and antifungal drugs downstream of the UPR pathway in C. neoformans.
ETOC: A procedure to uncouple the highly conserved target gene Kar2/BiP from UPR regulation is used to show that the primary function of its induction is to mediate the disposal of misfolded proteins that would otherwise be toxic.
The unfolded protein response (UPR) monitors and maintains protein homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In budding yeast, the UPR is a transcriptional regulatory pathway that is quiescent under normal conditions. Under conditions of acute ER stress, activation of UPR targets is essential for cell viability. How individual target genes contribute to stress tolerance is unclear. Uncovering these roles is hampered because most targets also play important functions in the absence of stress. To differentiate stress-specific roles from everyday functions, a single target gene was uncoupled from UPR control by eliminating its UPR-specific regulatory element. Through this approach, the UPR remains intact, aside from its inability to induce the designated target. Applying the strategy to the major ER chaperone Kar2p/BiP revealed the physiological function of increasing its cellular concentration. Despite hundreds of target genes under UPR control, we show that activation of KAR2 is indispensable to alleviate some forms of ER stress. Specifically, activation is essential to dispose misfolded proteins that are otherwise toxic. Surprisingly, induced BiP/Kar2p molecules are dedicated to alleviating stress. The inability to induce KAR2 under stress had no effect on its known housekeeping functions.
KAR2 encodes the yeast homologue of mammalian BiP, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) resident member of the HSP70 family. Kar2p has been shown to be required for the translocation of proteins across the ER membrane as well as nuclear fusion. Sec63, an ER integral membrane protein that shares homology with the Escherichia coli DnaJ protein, is also required for translocation. In this paper we describe several specific genetic interactions between these two proteins, Kar2p and Sec63p. First, temperature-sensitive mutations in KAR2 and SEC63 form synthetic lethal combinations. Second, dominant mutations in KAR2 are allele-specific suppressors for the temperature-sensitive growth and translocation defect of sec63-1. Third, the sec63-1, unlike other translocation defective mutations, results in the induction of KAR2 mRNA levels. Taken together, these genetic interactions suggest that Kar2p and Sec63p interact in vivo in a manner similar to that of the E. coli HSP70, DnaK, and DnaJ. We propose that the interaction between these two proteins is critical to their function in protein translocation.
BiP/GRP78 is an essential member of the HSP70 family that resides in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum. In yeast, BiP/GRP78 is encoded by the KAR2 gene. A temperature sensitive mutation was isolated in KAR2 and found to cause a rapid block in protein secretion. Secretory precursors of a number of proteins (invertase, carboxypeptidase Y, alpha-factor, and BiP) accumulated that were characteristic of a block in translocation into the lumen of the ER. Protease protection experiments confirmed that the precursors accumulated on the cytoplasmic side of the ER membrane. Moreover, depletion of wild-type KAR2 protein also resulted in a block in translocation of secretory proteins. These results implicate BiP/GRP78 function in the continued translocation of proteins into the lumen of the ER.
Eukaryotic cells respond to accumulation of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by activating the unfolded protein response (UPR), a signal transduction pathway that communicates between the ER and the nucleus. In yeast, a large set of UPR target genes has been experimentally determined, but the previously characterized unfolded protein response element (UPRE), an upstream activating sequence (UAS) found in the promoter of the UPR target gene KAR2, cannot account for the transcriptional regulation of most genes in this set. To address this puzzle, we analyzed the promoters of UPR target genes computationally, identifying as candidate UASs short sequences that are statistically overrepresented. We tested the most promising of these candidate UASs for biological activity, and identified two novel UPREs, which are necessary and sufficient for UPR activation of promoters. A genetic screen for activators of the novel motifs revealed that the transcription factor Gcn4p plays an essential and previously unrecognized role in the UPR: Gcn4p and its activator Gcn2p are required for induction of a majority of UPR target genes during ER stress. Both Hac1p and Gcn4p bind target gene promoters to stimulate transcriptional induction. Regulation of Gcn4p levels in response to changing physiological conditions may function as an additional means to modulate the UPR. The discovery of a role for Gcn4p in the yeast UPR reveals an additional level of complexity and demonstrates a surprising conservation of the signaling circuit between yeast and metazoan cells.
The yeast unfolded protein response activates a large set of target genes, but a characterized element found in the promoter of one target, KAR2, cannot account for most targets. Using computational and experimental methods, the authors identify additional elements, as well a role for GCN4p in the response
Computational modeling and experimentation in the unfolded protein response reveals a role for the ER-resident chaperone protein BiP in fine-tuning the system's response dynamics.
The unfolded protein response (UPR) is an intracellular signaling pathway that counteracts variable stresses that impair protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). As such, the UPR is thought to be a homeostat that finely tunes ER protein folding capacity and ER abundance according to need. The mechanism by which the ER stress sensor Ire1 is activated by unfolded proteins and the role that the ER chaperone protein BiP plays in Ire1 regulation have remained unclear. Here we show that the UPR matches its output to the magnitude of the stress by regulating the duration of Ire1 signaling. BiP binding to Ire1 serves to desensitize Ire1 to low levels of stress and promotes its deactivation when favorable folding conditions are restored to the ER. We propose that, mechanistically, BiP achieves these functions by sequestering inactive Ire1 molecules, thereby providing a barrier to oligomerization and activation, and a stabilizing interaction that facilitates de-oligomerization and deactivation. Thus BiP binding to or release from Ire1 is not instrumental for switching the UPR on and off as previously posed. By contrast, BiP provides a buffer for inactive Ire1 molecules that ensures an appropriate response to restore protein folding homeostasis to the ER by modulating the sensitivity and dynamics of Ire1 activity.
Secreted and membrane-spanning proteins constitute one of every three proteins produced by a eukaryotic cell. Many of these proteins initially fold and assemble in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). A variety of physiological and environmental conditions can increase the demands on the ER, overwhelming the ER protein folding machinery. To restore homeostasis in response to ER stress, cells activate an intracellular signaling pathway called the unfolded protein response (UPR) that adjusts the folding capacity of the ER according to need. Its failure impairs cell viability and has been implicated in numerous disease states. In this study, we quantitatively interrogate the homeostatic capacity of the UPR. We arrive at a mechanistic model for how the ER stress sensor Ire1 cooperates with its binding partner BiP, a highly redundant ER chaperone, to fine-tune UPR activity. Moving between a predictive computational model and experiments, we show that BiP release from Ire1 is not the switch that activates Ire1; rather, BiP modulates Ire1 activation and deactivation dynamics. BiP binding to Ire1 and its dissociation in an ER stress-dependent manner buffers the system against mild stresses. Furthermore, BiP binding accelerates Ire1 deactivation when stress is removed. We conclude that BiP binding to Ire1 serves to fine-tune the dynamic behavior of the UPR by modulating its sensitivity and shutoff kinetics. This function of the interaction between Ire1 and BiP may be a general paradigm for other systems in which oligomer formation and disassembly must be finely regulated.
KAR5 is required for membrane fusion during karyogamy, the process of nuclear fusion during yeast mating. To investigate the molecular mechanism of nuclear fusion, we cloned and characterized the KAR5 gene and its product. KAR5 is a nonessential gene, and deletion mutations produce a bilateral defect in the homotypic fusion of yeast nuclei. KAR5 encodes a novel protein that shares similarity with a protein in Schizosaccharomyces pombe that may play a similar role in nuclear fusion. Kar5p is induced as part of the pheromone response pathway, suggesting that this protein uniquely plays a specific role during mating in nuclear membrane fusion. Kar5p is a membrane protein with its soluble domain entirely contained within the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum. In pheromone-treated cells, Kar5p was localized to the vicinity of the spindle pole body, the initial site of fusion between haploid nuclei during karyogamy. We propose that Kar5p is required for the completion of nuclear membrane fusion and may play a role in the organization of the membrane fusion complex.
YFR041C/ERJ5 was identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a gene regulated by the unfolded protein response pathway (UPR). The open reading frame of the gene has a J domain characteristic of the DnaJ chaperone family of proteins that regulate the activity of Hsp70 chaperones. We determined the expression and topology of Erj5p, a type I membrane protein with a J domain in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that colocalizes with Kar2p, the major Hsp70 in the yeast ER. We identified synthetic interactions of Δerj5 with mutations in genes involved in protein folding in the ER (kar2-159, Δscj1Δjem1) and in the induction of the unfolded protein response (Δire1). Loss of Erj5p in yeast cells with impaired ER protein folding capacity increased sensitivity to agents that cause ER stress. We identified the ERJ5 mRNA and confirmed that agents that promote accumulation of misfolded proteins in the ER regulate its abundance. We found that loss of the non-essential ERJ5 gene leads to a constitutively induced UPR, indicating that ERJ5 is required for maintenance of an optimal folding environment in the yeast ER.
DnaJ; chaperones; protein folding; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; endoplasmic reticulum; unfolded protein response
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of eukaryotic cells contains an abundant 78,000-Da protein (BiP) that is involved in the translocation, folding, and assembly of secretory and transmembrane proteins. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as in mammalian cells, BiP mRNA is synthesized at a high basal rate and is further induced by the presence of increased amounts of unfolded proteins in the ER. However, unlike mammalian BiP, yeast BiP is also induced severalfold by heat shock, albeit in a transient fashion. To identify the regulatory sequences that respond to these stimuli in the yeast KAR2 gene that encodes BiP, we have cloned a 1.3-kb segment of DNA from the region upstream of the sequences coding for BiP and fused it to a reporter gene, the Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase gene. Analysis of a series of progressive 5' truncations as well as internal deletions of the upstream sequence showed that the information required for accurate transcriptional regulation of the KAR2 gene in S. cerevisiae is contained within a approximately 230-bp XhoI-DraI fragment (nucleotides -245 to -9) and that this fragment contains at least two cis-acting elements, one (heat shock element [HSE]) responding to heat shock and the other (unfolded protein response element [UPR]) responding to the presence of unfolded proteins in the ER. The HSE and UPR elements are functionally independent of each other but work additively for maximum induction of the yeast KAR2 gene. Lying between these two elements is a GC-rich region that is similar in sequence to the consensus element for binding of the mammalian transcription factor Sp1 and that is involved in the basal expression of the KAR2 gene. Finally, we provide evidence suggesting that yeast cells monitor the concentration of free BiP in the ER and adjust the level of transcription of the KAR2 gene accordingly; this effect is mediated via the UPR element in the KAR2 promoter.
We described earlier a novel mode of regulation of Hsp104, a cytosolic chaperone directly involved in the refolding of heat-denatured proteins, and designated it delayed upregulation, or DUR. When Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells grown at the physiological temperature of 24°C, preconditioned at 37°C, and treated briefly at 50°C were shifted back to 24°C, Hsp104 expression was strongly induced after 2.5 h of recovery and returned back to normal after 5 h. Here we show that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperones BiP/Kar2p and Lhs1p and the mitochondrial chaperone Hsp78 were also upregulated at the physiological temperature during recovery from thermal insult. The heat shock element (HSE) in the KAR2 promoter was found to be sufficient to drive DUR. The unfolded protein element could also evoke DUR, albeit weakly, in the absence of a functional HSE. BiP/Kar2p functions in ER translocation and assists protein folding. Here we found that the synthesis of new BiP/Kar2p molecules was negligible for more than an hour after the shift of the cells from 50°C to 24°C. Concomitantly, ER translocation was blocked, suggesting that preexisting BiP/Kar2p molecules or other necessary proteins were not functioning. Translocation resumed concomitantly with enhanced synthesis of BiP/Kar2p after 3 h of recovery, after which ER exit and protein secretion also resumed. For a unicellular organism like S. cerevisiae, conformational repair of denatured proteins is the sole survival strategy. Chaperones that refold proteins in the cytosol, ER, and mitochondria of S. cerevisiae appear to be subject to DUR to ensure survival after thermal insults.
Although transiently associated with numerous newly synthesized proteins, BiP has not been shown to be an essential component directly linked to the folding and oligomerization of newly synthesized proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. To determine whether it is needed as a molecular chaperone, we analyzed the maturation of an endogenous yeast glycoprotein, carboxypeptidase Y (CPY) in several yeast strains with temperature-sensitive mutations in BiP. These kar2 mutant strains have previously been found to be defective in translocation at the nonpermissive temperature (Vogel, J. P., L. M. Misra, and M. D. Rose, 1990. J. Cell Biol, 110:1885-1895). To circumvent the translocation block, we used DTT at permissive temperature to delay folding and intracellular transport. We then followed the maturation of the ER- retained CPY after shifting to the nonpermissive temperature and dilution of the DTT. Without the functional chaperone, CPY aggregated, failed to be oxidized, and remained in the ER. In contrast to wild-type cells, in which BiP binding was transient with no more than 10-15% of labeled CPY associated at any time, 30-100% of the CPY remained associated with BiP in the mutant strains. In a heterozygous diploid strain, CPY matured and exited the ER normally. Taken together, the results provide clear evidence that BiP plays a critical role as a molecular chaperone in CPY folding.
During mating of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, two
nuclei fuse to produce a single diploid nucleus. Two genes,
KAR7 and KAR8, were previously identified
by mutations that cause defects in nuclear membrane fusion.
KAR7 is allelic to SEC71, a gene involved
in protein translocation into the endoplasmic reticulum. Two other
translocation mutants, sec63-1 and
sec72Δ, also exhibited moderate karyogamy defects.
Membranes from kar7/sec71Δ and
sec72Δ, but not sec63-1, exhibited
reduced membrane fusion in vitro, but only at elevated temperatures.
Genetic interactions between kar7 and
kar5 mutations were suggestive of protein–protein
interactions. Moreover, in sec71 mutants, Kar5p was
absent from the SPB and was not detected by Western blot or
immunoprecipitation of pulse-labeled protein. KAR8 is
allelic to JEMI, encoding an endoplasmic
reticulum resident DnaJ protein required for nuclear fusion.
Overexpression of KAR8/JEM1 (but not
SEC63) strongly suppressed the mating defect of
kar2-1, suggesting that Kar2p interacts with Kar8/Jem1p
for nuclear fusion. Electron microscopy analysis of kar8
mutant zygotes revealed a nuclear fusion defect different from
kar2, kar5, and kar7/sec71
mutants. Analysis of double mutants suggested that Kar5p acts before
Kar8/Jem1p. We propose the existence of a nuclear envelope fusion
chaperone complex in which Kar2p, Kar5p, and Kar8/Jem1p are key
components and Sec71p and Sec72p play auxiliary roles.
Eukaryotic cells contain multiple Hsp70 proteins and DnaJ homologues. The partnership between a given Hsp70 and its interacting DnaJ could, in principle, be determined by their cellular colocalization or by specific protein-protein interactions. The yeast SCJ1 gene encodes one of several homologues of the bacterial chaperone DnaJ. We show that Scj1p is located in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where it can function with Kar2p (the ER-lumenal BiP/Hsp70 of yeast). The region common to all DnaJ homologues (termed the J domain) from Scj1p can be swapped for a similar region in Sec63p, which is known to interact with Kar2p in the ER lumen, to form a functional transmembrane protein component of the secretory machinery. Thus, Kar2p can interact with two different DnaJ proteins. On the other hand, J domains from two other non-ER DnaJs, Sis1p and Mdj1p, do not function when swapped into Sec63p. However, only three amino acid changes in the Sis1p J domain render the Sec63 fusion protein fully functional in the ER lumen. These results indicate that the choice of an Hsp70 partner by a given DnaJ homologue is specified by the J domain.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone BiP (immunoglobulin binding protein) plays a major role in the control of the unfolded protein response. We have previously shown that BiP levels are dramatically increased during human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection, where BiP performs unique roles in viral assembly and egress. We show that BiP mRNA levels increase during infection due to activation of the BiP promoter by the major immediate-early (MIE) proteins. The BiP promoter, like other ER stress-activated promoters, contains endoplasmic reticulum stress elements (ERSEs), which are activated by unfolded protein response (UPR)-induced transcription factors. However, these elements are not needed for MIE protein-mediated transcriptional activation; thus, a virus-specific transcriptional activation mechanism is used. Transcriptional activation results in only a 3- to 4-fold increase in BiP mRNA, suggesting that additional mechanisms for BiP production are utilized. The BiP mRNA contains an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) which increases the level of BiP mRNA translation. We show that utilization of the BiP IRES is dramatically increased in HCMV-infected cells. Utilization of the BiP IRES can be activated by the La autoantigen, also called Sjögren's syndrome antigen B (SSB). We show that SSB/La levels are significantly increased during HCMV infection, and SSB/La depletion causes the loss of BiP IRES utilization and lowers endogenous BiP levels in infected cells. Our data show that BiP levels increase in HCMV-infected cells through the combination of increased BiP gene transcription mediated by the MIE proteins and increased BiP mRNA translation due to SSB/La-induced utilization of the BiP IRES.
Protein misfolding, accumulation and aggregation characterize many aging related diseases. Protein aggregates do not accumulate in unstressed cells largely because of the existence of competent cellular “quality control” machinery. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a major part of this quality control system. Accumulation of misfolded proteins in the ER causes ER stress and activates a signaling pathway called the unfolded protein response (UPR). The UPR limits protein load, by up-regulating ER chaperones such as BiP/GRP78 and by attenuating protein translation through eIF2α phosphorylation. Acute sleep deprivation (6 hours) in young mice leads to induction of the UPR with up-regulation of BiP/GRP78 and attenuation of protein translation. We demonstrate here that aging impairs this adaptive response to sleep deprivation. Aged mice do not display an increase in BiP expression with acute sleep deprivation. In addition, there is decreased basal expression of BiP/GRP78 in aged mice. There is a decline in eIF2α phosphorylation in aged mouse cerebral cortex that is associated with higher levels of GADD34 and pro-apoptotic proteins like CHOP and activated caspase-12 suggesting that young animals possess an efficient ER adaptive response that declines with aging.
Sleep deprivation; aging; ER stress; UPR; apoptotic signaling
Like many asymmetrically dividing cells, budding yeast segregates mitotic spindle poles nonrandomly between mother and daughter cells. During metaphase, the spindle positioning protein Kar9 accumulates asymmetrically, localizing specifically to astral microtubules emanating from the old spindle pole body (SPB) and driving its segregation to the bud. Here, we show that the SPB component Nud1/centriolin acts through the mitotic exit network (MEN) to specify asymmetric SPB inheritance. In the absence of MEN signaling, Kar9 asymmetry is unstable and its preference for the old SPB is disrupted. Consistent with this, phosphorylation of Kar9 by the MEN kinases Dbf2 and Dbf20 is not required to break Kar9 symmetry but is instead required to maintain stable association of Kar9 with the old SPB throughout metaphase. We propose that MEN signaling links Kar9 regulation to SPB identity through biasing and stabilizing the age-insensitive, cyclin-B-dependent mechanism of symmetry breaking.
Since the secretory pathway is essential for Candida albicans to transition from a commensal organism to a pathogen, an understanding of how this pathway functions may be beneficial for identifying novel drug targets to prevent candidiasis. We have cloned the C. albicans KAR2 gene, which performs many roles during the translocation of proteins into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) during the first committed step of the secretory pathway in many eukaryotes. Our results show that C. albicans KAR2 is essential, and that the encoded protein rescues a temperature-sensitive growth defect found in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain harboring a mutant form of the Kar2 protein. Additionally, S. cerevisiae containing CaKAR2 as the sole copy of this essential gene are viable, and ER microsomes prepared from this strain exhibit wild-type levels of post-translational translocation during in vitro translocation assays. Finally, ER microsomes isolated from a C. albicans strain expressing reduced amounts of KAR2 mRNA are defective for in vitro translocation of a secreted substrate protein, establishing a new method to study ER translocation in this organism. Together, these results suggest that C. albicans Kar2p functions during the translocation of proteins into the ER during the first step of the secretory pathway.
KAR2; Secretory pathway; Candida albicans; ER translocation; Translocation assay
Kainate receptors (KARs) play fundamentally important roles in controlling synaptic function and regulating neuronal excitability. Postsynaptic KARs contribute to excitatory neurotransmission but the molecular mechanisms underlying their activity-dependent surface expression are not well understood. Strong activation of KARs in cultured hippocampal neurons leads to the downregulation of postsynaptic KARs via endocytosis and degradation. In contrast, low-level activation augments postsynaptic KAR surface expression. Here, we show that this increase in KARs is due to enhanced recycling via the recruitment of Rab11-dependent, transferrin-positive endosomes into spines. Dominant-negative Rab11 or the recycling inhibitor primaquine prevents the kainate-evoked increase in surface KARs. Moreover, we show that the increase in surface expression is mediated via a metabotropic KAR signalling pathway, which is blocked by the protein kinase C inhibitor chelerythrine, the calcium chelator BAPTA and the G-protein inhibitor pertussis toxin. Thus, we report a previously uncharacterized positive feedback system that increases postsynaptic KARs in response to low- or moderate-level agonist activation and can provide additional flexibility to synaptic regulation.
G-protein-coupled receptors; glutamate receptor; kainate receptor; neuron; neuronal transmission; receptor recycling; synapse
Heterologous protein expression can easily overwhelm a cell's capacity to properly fold protein, initiating the unfolded protein response (UPR), and resulting in a loss of protein expression. In the current model of the unfolded protein response, the chaperone BiP modulates the activation of the UPR due to its interactions with the signaling protein Ire1p and newly synthesized proteins. In this research, 4−4−20 scFv variants were generated by rational design to alter BiP binding to newly synthesized scFv proteins or via directed evolution aimed at improved secretion. Interestingly, the predicted BiP binding ability did not correlate significantly with the unfolded protein response. However, pulse-chase analysis of scFv fate revealed that mutants with a decreased ER residence time were more highly secreted, indicating that improved protein folding was more likely the cause for improved secretion. In fact, decreased secretion correlated with increased binding by BiP, as determined by co-immune precipitation studies. This suggests that the algorithm is not useful for in vivo prediction of variants, and that in vivo screens are more effective for finding variants with improved properties.
In mammalian cells, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress has recently been shown to induce autophagy and the induction requires the unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling pathways. However, little is known whether autophagy regulates UPR pathways and how specific UPR targets might control autophagy. Here, we demonstrated that whereas ER stress-induced autophagy was suppressed by PI3KC3 inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA), wortmannin and knockdown of Beclin1 using siRNA, only 3-MA suppressed UPR activation. We discovered that the UPR regulator and ER chaperone GRP78/BiP is required for stress-induced autophagy. In cells where GRP78 expression was knockdown by siRNA, despite spontaneous activation of UPR pathways and LC3 conversion, autophagosome formation induced by ER stress as well as by nutrition starvation was inhibited. GRP78 knockdown did not disrupt PI3KC3-Beclin1 association. However, electron microscopic analysis of the intracellular organelle structure reveals that the ER, a putative membrane source for generating autophagosomal double membrane, was massively expanded and disorganized in cells where GRP78 was knockdown. ER expansion is known to be dependent on the UPR transcription factor XBP-1. Simultaneous knockdown of GRP78 and XBP-1 recovered normal levels of stress-induced autophagosome formation. Thus, these studies uncover 3-MA as an inhibitor of UPR activation and establish GRP78 as a novel obligatory component of autophagy in mammalian cells.
autophagy; GRP78; unfolded protein response
Beside their analgesic properties, opiates exert beneficial effects on the intestinal wound healing response. In this study, we investigated the role of μ-opioid receptor (MOR) signaling on the unfolded protein response (UPR) using a novel zebrafish model of NSAID-induced intestinal injury. The NSAID glafenine was administered to zebrafish larvae at 5 days post-fertilization (dpf) for up to 24 hours in the presence or absence of the MOR-specific agonist DALDA. By analysis with histology, transmission electron microscopy and vital dye staining, glafenine-treated zebrafish showed evidence of endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial stress, with disrupted intestinal architecture and halted cell stress responses, alongside accumulation of apoptotic intestinal epithelial cells in the lumen. Although the early UPR marker BiP was induced with glafenine-induced injury, downstream atf6 and s-xbp1 expression were paradoxically not increased, explaining the halted cell stress responses. The μ-opioid agonist DALDA protected against glafenine-induced injury through induction of atf6-dependent UPR. Our findings show that DALDA prevents glafenine-induced epithelial damage through induction of effective UPR.
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae IRE1 gene, encoding a putative receptor-type protein kinase, is known to be required for inositol prototrophy and for the induction of a chaperon molecule, BiP, encoded by KAR2, under stress conditions such as tunicamycin addition. We have characterized a yeast gene, IRE2, which was isolated as a suppressor gene that complements the inositol auxotrophic phenotype of the ire1 mutation. Sequencing analysis revealed that IRE2 is identical to HAC1, which encodes a transcription factor having a basic-leucine zipper motif. Introduction of IRE2/HAC1 into the ire1 mutant clearly restored the expression of KAR2 upon tunicamycin treatment. ire2/hac1-disrupted yeast cells showed not only the inositol auxotrophic phenotype but also the tunicamycin sensitivity, and failed to induce the expression of KAR2. These results clearly indicate that the IRE2/HAC1 gene product plays a critical role in the induction of KAR2 expression and in the inositol prototrophy mediated by IRE1.