Histone acetylation plays critical roles in chromatin remodeling, DNA repair, and epigenetic regulation of gene expression, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Proteasomes usually catalyze ATP- and polyubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. Here we show that the proteasomes containing the activator PA200 catalyze the polyubiquitin-independent degradation of histones. Most proteasomes in mammalian testes (“spermatoproteasomes”) contain a spermatid/sperm-specific α-subunit α4s/PSMA8 and/or the catalytic β-subunits of immunoproteasomes in addition to PA200. Deletion of PA200 in mice abolishes acetylation-dependent degradation of somatic core histones during DNA double-strand breaks, and delays core histone disappearance in elongated spermatids. Purified PA200 greatly promotes ATP-independent proteasomal degradation of the acetylated core histones, but not polyubiquitinated proteins. Furthermore, acetylation on histones is required for their binding to the bromodomain-like regions in PA200 and its yeast ortholog, Blm10. Thus, PA200/Blm10 specifically targets the core histones for acetylation-mediated degradation by proteasomes, providing mechanisms by which acetylation regulates histone degradation, DNA repair, and spermatogenesis.
X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID-X1) caused by mutations in interleukin 2 receptor gamma (IL2RG) gene threatens the survival of affected boys during the first year of life unless hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is provided. Although viral vector-mediated gene therapy has been successfully performed in patients with no HLA-matched donors, leukemia caused by vector-mediated insertional mutagenesis has been reported in some individuals. Transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) is an artificial sequence-specific endonuclease that is expected to revolutionize the precise correction of disease-causing mutations and eliminate the risk of insertional mutagenesis. Here, we report TALEN-mediated genome editing of the IL2RG locus. We transfected TALENs along with a targeting vector into Jurkat cells, and we confirmed the precise introduction of the exogenous gene into the IL2RG locus. In addition, we found that the length of homology arm in the targeting vector influenced the efficiency of TALEN-mediated homologous recombination.
Nucleolus is a dynamic structure that controls biogenesis of ribosomal RNA and senses cellular stresses. Nucleolus contains a number of proteins including ribosomal proteins that conduct cellular stresses to downstream signaling such as p53 pathway. Recently, it has been reported that modification by a ubiquitin-like molecule, Nedd8, regulates subnuclear localization of ribosomal protein L11. Most of L11 is normally localized and neddylated in nucleolus. However, cellular stress triggers deneddylation and redistribution of L11, and subsequent activation of p53. Although Nedd8 modification is thought to be important for L11 localization, the mechanism of how neddylation of L11 is regulated remains largely unknown. Here, we show that Myeloma overexpressed 2 (Myeov2) controls L11 localization through down-regulation of Nedd8 modification. Expression of Myeov2 reduced neddylation of proteins including L11. We also found that Myeov2 associates with L11 and withholds L11 in nucleoplasm. Although Myeov2 interacted with a Nedd8 deconjugation enzyme COP9 signalosome, L11 deneddylation was mediated by another deneddylase Nedp1, independently of Myeov2. Finally, p53 transcriptional activity is upregulated by Myeov2 expression. These data demonstrate that Myeov2 hampers L11 neddylation through their interactions and confines L11 to nucleoplasm to modulate nucleolar integrity. Our findings provide a novel link between oncogenic stress and p53 pathway and may shed light on the protective mechanism against cancer.
In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
LC3; autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
Nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) is critical for the expression of multiple genes involved in inflammatory responses and cellular survival. NF-κB is normally sequestered in the cytoplasm through interaction with an inhibitor of NF-κB (IκB), but inflammatory stimulation induces proteasomal degradation of IκB, followed by NF-κB nuclear translocation. The degradation of IκB is mediated by a SCF (Skp1-Cullin1-F-box protein)-type ubiquitin ligase complex that is post-translationaly modified by a ubiquitin-like molecule Nedd8. In this study, we report that BRCA1-associated protein 2 (Brap2) is a novel Nedd8-binding protein that interacts with SCF complex, and is involved in NF-κB translocation following TNF-α stimulation. We also found a putative neddylation site in Brap2 associated with NF-κB activity. Our findings suggest that Brap2 is a novel modulator that associates with SCF complex and controls TNF-α-induced NF-κB nuclear translocation.
It is controversial whether a functional androgen receptor (AR) on germ cells, including spermatogonia, is essential for their development into sperm and, thus, initiation and maintenance of spermatogenesis. It was recently shown that many spermatocytes underwent apoptosis in the testes of Hsp90α KO mice. We had generated Hsp90α KO mice independently and confirmed this phenotype. However, the important question of whether Hsp90α is required to maintain spermatogenesis in adult mice in which testicular maturation is already completed could not be addressed using these conventional KO mice. To answer this question, we generated a tamoxifen-inducible deletion mutant of Hsp90α and found that conditional deletion of Hsp90α in adult mice caused even more severe apoptosis in germ cells beyond the pachytene stage, leading to complete arrest of spermatogenesis and testicular atrophy. Importantly, immunohistochemical analysis revealed that AR expression in WT testis was more evident in spermatogonia than in spermatocytes, whereas its expression was aberrant and ectopic in Hsp90α KO testis, raising the possibility that an AR abnormality in primordial germ cells is involved in spermatogenesis arrest in the Hsp90α KO mice. Our results suggest that the AR, specifically chaperoned by Hsp90α in spermatogonia, is critical for maintenance of established spermatogenesis and for survival of spermatocytes in adult testis, in addition to setting the first wave of spermatogenesis before puberty.
Hsp90α; Spermatogonia; Spermatogenesis; Androgen receptor
Proteasomes play a fundamental role in the processing of intracellular antigens into peptides that bind to MHC class I molecules for presentation to CD8 T cells. Three IFNγ-inducible catalytic proteasome (immuno)subunits as well as the IFNγ-inducible proteasome activator PA28 dramatically accelerate the generation of a subset of MHC class I-presented antigenic peptides. To determine whether these IFNγ-inducible proteasome components play a compounded role in antigen processing, we generated mice lacking both PA28 and the immunosubunits β5i/LMP7 and β2i/MECL-1. Analyses of MHC class I cell surface levels ex vivo demonstrated that PA28-deficiency reduced the production of MHC class I-binding peptides both in cells with and without immunosubunits, in the last cells on top of an already diminished production of MHC ligands in the absence of immunoproteasomes. In contrast, the immunosubunits but not PA28 appeared to be of critical importance for the induction of CD8 T cell responses to multiple dominant Influenza and Listeria-derived epitopes. Taken together, our data demonstrate that PA28 and the proteasome immunosubunits use fundamentally different mechanisms to enhance the supply of MHC class I-binding peptides. However, only the immunosubunit-imposed effects on proteolytic epitope processing appear to have substantial effects on the fine-specificity of pathogen-specific CD8 T cell responses.
Antigen processing; immunoproteasome; CD8 T cell; PA28; MHC class I
We have developed a method to measure the amounts of cell surface-expressed membrane proteins with bioluminescence. Dinoflagellate luciferase was expressed on the surface of a mammalian cell as a chimeric fusion protein with a membrane protein of interest. Using a membrane-impermeable substrate to quantify the membrane-displayed luciferase, the expression of the membrane protein on the cell surface was determined. By inclusion of a quenching step for the luminescent activity of luciferase on the cell surface, we were able to monitor the membrane protein expression kinetics by measuring the luminescence recovery from the cell surface after quenching. The reported methods provide a convenient way to monitor the kinetics of expression and transport of membrane proteins to the cell surface. It is applicable to the high-throughput analysis of drugs or drug candidates concerning their effects on membrane protein expression.
Little is known about how synaptic activity is modulated in the central nervous system. We have identified SCRAPPER, a synapse-localized E3 ubiquitin ligase, which regulates neural transmission. SCRAPPER directly binds and ubiquitinates RIM1, a modulator of presynaptic plasticity. In neurons from Scrapper-knockout (SCR-KO) mice, RIM1 had a longer half-life with significant reduction in ubiquitination, indicating that SCRAPPER is the predominant ubiquitin ligase that mediates RIM1 degradation. As anticipated in a RIM1 degradation defect mutant, SCR-KO mice displayed altered electrophysiological synaptic activity, i.e., increased frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents. This phenotype of SCR-KO mice was phenocopied by RIM1 overexpression and could be rescued by re-expression of SCRAPPER or knockdown of RIM1. The acute effects of proteasome inhibitors, such as upregulation of RIM1 and the release probability, were blocked by the impairment of SCRAPPER. Thus, SCRAPPER has an essential function in regulating proteasome-mediated degradation of RIM1 required for synaptic tuning.
PML, a nuclear protein, interacts with several transcription factors and their coactivators, such as HIPK2 and p300, resulting in the activation of transcription. Although PML is thought to achieve transcription activation by stabilizing the transcription factor complex, little is known about the underlying molecular mechanism. To clarify the role of PML in transcription regulation, we purified the PML complex and identified Fbxo3 (Fbx3), Skp1, and Cullin1 as novel components of this complex. Fbx3 formed SCFFbx3 ubiquitin ligase and promoted the degradation of HIPK2 and p300 by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. PML inhibited this degradation through a mechanism that unexpectedly did not involve inhibition of the ubiquitination of HIPK2. PML, Fbx3, and HIPK2 synergistically activated p53-induced transcription. Our findings suggest that PML stabilizes the transcription factor complex by protecting HIPK2 and p300 from SCFFbx3-induced degradation until transcription is completed. In contrast, the leukemia-associated fusion PML-RARα induced the degradation of HIPK2. We discuss the roles of PML and PML-retinoic acid receptor α, as well as those of HIPK2 and p300 ubiquitination, in transcriptional regulation and leukemogenesis.
Autophagy is a membrane-trafficking mechanism that delivers cytoplasmic constituents into the lysosome/vacuole for bulk protein degradation. This mechanism is involved in the preservation of nutrients under starvation condition as well as the normal turnover of cytoplasmic component. Aberrant autophagy has been reported in several neurodegenerative disorders, hepatitis, and myopathies. Here, we generated conditional knockout mice of Atg7, an essential gene for autophagy in yeast. Atg7 was essential for ATG conjugation systems and autophagosome formation, amino acid supply in neonates, and starvation-induced bulk degradation of proteins and organelles in mice. Furthermore, Atg7 deficiency led to multiple cellular abnormalities, such as appearance of concentric membranous structure and deformed mitochondria, and accumulation of ubiquitin-positive aggregates. Our results indicate the important role of autophagy in starvation response and the quality control of proteins and organelles in quiescent cells.
The membrane phospholipid phosphatidylinositol 4, 5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] is a critical signal transducer in eukaryotic cells. However, the physiological roles of the type I phosphatidylinositol phosphate kinases (PIPKIs) that synthesize PI(4,5)P2 are largely unknown. Here, we show that the α isozyme of PIPKI (PIPKIα) negatively regulates mast cell functions and anaphylactic responses. In vitro, PIPKIα-deficient mast cells exhibited increased degranulation and cytokine production after Fcɛ receptor-I cross-linking. In vivo, PIPKIα−/− mice displayed enhanced passive cutaneous and systemic anaphylaxis. Filamentous actin was diminished in PIPKIα−/− mast cells, and enhanced degranulation observed in the absence of PIPKIα was also seen in wild-type mast cells treated with latrunculin, a pharmacological inhibitor of actin polymerization. Moreover, the association of FcɛRI with lipid rafts and FcɛRI-mediated activation of signaling proteins was augmented in PIPKIα−/− mast cells. Thus, PIPKIα is a negative regulator of FcɛRI-mediated cellular responses and anaphylaxis, which functions by controlling the actin cytoskeleton and dynamics of FcɛRI signaling. Our results indicate that the different PIPKI isoforms might be functionally specialized.
Transcription factor Nrf2 is a major regulator of genes encoding phase 2 detoxifying enzymes and antioxidant stress proteins in response to electrophilic agents and oxidative stress. In the absence of such stimuli, Nrf2 is inactive owing to its cytoplasmic retention by Keap1 and rapid degradation through the proteasome system. We examined the contribution of Keap1 to the rapid turnover of Nrf2 (half-life of less than 20 min) and found that a direct association between Keap1 and Nrf2 is required for Nrf2 degradation. In a series of domain function analyses of Keap1, we found that both the BTB and intervening-region (IVR) domains are crucial for Nrf2 degradation, implying that these two domains act to recruit ubiquitin-proteasome factors. Indeed, Cullin 3 (Cul3), a subunit of the E3 ligase complex, was found to interact specifically with Keap1 in vivo. Keap1 associates with the N-terminal region of Cul3 through the IVR domain and promotes the ubiquitination of Nrf2 in cooperation with the Cul3-Roc1 complex. These results thus provide solid evidence that Keap1 functions as an adaptor of Cul3-based E3 ligase. To our knowledge, Nrf2 and Keap1 are the first reported mammalian substrate and adaptor, respectively, of the Cul3-based E3 ligase system.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein plays an important role in the formation of the viral nucleocapsid and a regulatory protein involved in hepatocarcinogenesis. In this study, we have identified proteasome activator PA28γ (11S regulator γ) as an HCV core binding protein by using yeast two-hybrid system. This interaction was demonstrated not only in cell culture but also in the livers of HCV core transgenic mice. These findings are extended to human HCV infection by the observation of this interaction in liver specimens from a patient with chronic HCV infection. Neither the interaction of HCV core protein with other PA28 subtypes nor that of PA28γ with other Flavivirus core proteins was detected. Deletion of the PA28γ-binding region from the HCV core protein or knockout of the PA28γ gene led to the export of the HCV core protein from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Overexpression of PA28γ enhanced the proteolysis of the HCV core protein. Thus, the nuclear retention and stability of the HCV core protein is regulated via a PA28γ-dependent pathway through which HCV pathogenesis may be exerted.
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I ligands are mainly produced by the proteasome. Herein, we show that the processing of antigens is regulated by two distinct pathways, one requiring PA28 and the other hsp90. Both hsp90 and PA28 enhanced the antigen processing of ovalbumin (OVA). Geldanamycin, an inhibitor of hsp90, almost completely suppressed OVA antigen presentation in PA28α−/−/β−/− lipopolysaccharide blasts, but not in wild-type cells, indicating that hsp90 compensates for the loss of PA28 and is essential in the PA28-independent pathway. In contrast, treatment of cells with interferon (IFN)-γ, which induces PA28 expression, abrogated the requirement of hsp90, suggesting that IFN-γ enhances the PA28-dependent pathway, whereas it diminishes hsp90-dependent pathway. Importantly, IFN-γ did not induce MHC class I expressions in PA28-deficient cells, indicating a prominent role for PA28 in IFN-γ–stimulated peptide supply. Thus, these two pathways operate either redundantly or specifically, depending on antigen species and cell type.
antigen presentation; cytotoxic T lymphocytes; immunity active; macrophage activation; transplantation immunology
NEDD8/Rub1 is a ubiquitin (Ub)-like molecule that covalently ligates to target proteins through an enzymatic cascade analogous to ubiquitylation. This modifier is known to target all cullin (Cul) family proteins. The latter are essential components of Skp1/Cul-1/F-box protein (SCF)–like Ub ligase complexes, which play critical roles in Ub-mediated proteolysis. To determine the role of the NEDD8 system in mammals, we generated mice deficient in Uba3 gene that encodes a catalytic subunit of NEDD8-activating enzyme. Uba3−/− mice died in utero at the periimplantation stage. Mutant embryos showed selective apoptosis of the inner cell mass but not of trophoblastic cells. However, the mutant trophoblastic cells could not enter the S phase of the endoreduplication cycle. This cell cycle arrest was accompanied with aberrant expression of cyclin E and p57Kip2. These results suggested that the NEDD8 system is essential for both mitotic and the endoreduplicative cell cycle progression. β-Catenin, a mediator of the Wnt/wingless signaling pathway, which degrades continuously in the cytoplasm through SCF Ub ligase, was also accumulated in the Uba3−/− cytoplasm and nucleus. Thus, the NEDD8 system is essential for the regulation of protein degradation pathways involved in cell cycle progression and morphogenesis, possibly through the function of the Cul family proteins.
NEDD8; ubiquitin; cullin; knock-out; cell cycle
Smads are signal mediators for the members of the transforming
growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily. Upon phosphorylation by the
TGF-β receptors, Smad3 translocates into the nucleus, recruits
transcriptional coactivators and corepressors, and regulates
transcription of target genes. Here, we show that Smad3 activated by
TGF-β is degraded by the ubiquitin–proteasome pathway. Smad3
interacts with a RING finger protein, ROC1, through its
C-terminal MH2 domain in a ligand-dependent manner. An E3 ubiquitin
ligase complex ROC1-SCFFbw1a consisting of ROC1, Skp1,
Cullin1, and Fbw1a (also termed βTrCP1) induces ubiquitination of
Smad3. Recruitment of a transcriptional coactivator, p300, to nuclear
Smad3 facilitates the interaction with the E3 ligase complex and
triggers the degradation process of Smad3. Smad3 bound to
ROC1-SCFFbw1a is then exported from the nucleus to the
cytoplasm for proteasomal degradation. TGF-β/Smad3 signaling is thus
irreversibly terminated by the ubiquitin–proteasome pathway.