The tubby mouse shows a tripartite syndrome characterized by maturity-onset obesity, blindness and deafness. The causative gene Tub is the founding member of a family of related proteins present throughout the animal and plant kingdoms, each characterized by a signature carboxy-terminal tubby domain. This domain consists of a β barrel enclosing a central α helix and binds selectively to specific membrane phosphoinositides. The vertebrate family of tubby-like proteins (TULPs) includes the founding member TUB and the related TULPs, TULP1 to TULP4. Tulp1 is expressed in the retina and mutations in TULP1 cause retinitis pigmentosa in humans; Tulp3 is expressed ubiquitously in the mouse embryo and is important in sonic hedgehog (Shh)-mediated dorso-ventral patterning of the spinal cord. The amino terminus of these proteins is diverse and directs distinct functions. In the best-characterized example, the TULP3 amino terminus binds to the IFT-A complex, a complex important in intraflagellar transport in the primary cilia, through a short conserved domain. Thus, the tubby family proteins seem to serve as bipartite bridges through their phosphoinositide-binding tubby and unique amino-terminal functional domains, coordinating multiple signaling pathways, including ciliary G-protein-coupled receptor trafficking and Shh signaling. Molecular studies on this functionally diverse protein family are beginning to provide us with remarkable insights into the tubby-mouse syndrome and other related diseases.
The anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) is phosphorylated in a cell cycle dependent manner. We discovered that a specific form of PPP2 is necessary for APC/C dephosphorylation in mitosis and that this dephosphorylation event regulates the association of the APC/C with mitotic spindle poles.
In early mitosis, the END (Emi1/NuMA/Dynein-dynactin) network anchors the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) to the mitotic spindle and poles. Spindle anchoring restricts APC/C activity, thereby limiting the destruction of spindle-associated cyclin B and ensuring maintenance of spindle integrity. Emi1 binds directly to hypophosphorylated APC/C, linking the APC/C to the spindle via NuMA. However, whether the phosphorylation state of the APC/C is important for its association with the spindle and what kinases and phosphatases are necessary for regulating this event remain unknown. Here, we describe the regulation of APC/C-mitotic spindle pole association by phosphorylation. We find that only hypophosphorylated APC/C associates with microtubule asters, suggesting that phosphatases are important. Indeed, a specific form of PPP2 (CA/R1A/R2B) binds APC/C, and PPP2 activity is necessary for Cdc27 dephosphorylation. Screening by RNA interference, we find that inactivation of CA, R1A, or R2B leads to delocalization of APC/C from spindle poles, early mitotic spindle defects, a failure to congress chromosomes, and decreased levels of cyclin B on the spindle. Consistently, inhibition of cyclin B/Cdk1 activity increased APC/C binding to microtubules. Thus, cyclin B/Cdk1 and PPP2 regulate the dynamic association of APC/C with spindle poles in early mitosis, a step necessary for proper spindle formation.
The mechanisms that control E2F-1 activity are complex. We previously showed that Chk1 and Chk2 are required for E2F1 stabilization and p73 target gene induction following DNA damage. To gain further insight into the processes regulating E2F1 protein stability, we focused our investigation on the mechanisms responsible for regulating E2F1 turnover. Here we show that E2F1 is a substrate of the anaphase-promoting complex or cyclosome (APC/C), a ubiquitin ligase that plays an important role in cell cycle progression. Ectopic expression of the APC/C activators Cdh1 and Cdc20 reduced the levels of co-expressed E2F-1 protein. Co-expression of DP1 with E2F1 blocked APC/C-induced E2F1 degradation, suggesting that the E2F1/DP1 heterodimer is protected from APC/C regulation. Following Cdc20 knockdown, E2F1 levels increased and remained stable in extracts over a time course, indicating that APC/CCdc20 is a primary regulator of E2F1 stability in vivo. Moreover, cell synchronization experiments showed that siRNA directed against Cdc20 induced an accumulation of E2F1 protein in prometaphase cells. These data suggest that APC/CCdc20 specifically targets E2F1 for degradation in early mitosis and reveal a novel mechanism for limiting free E2F1 levels in cells, failure of which may compromise cell survival and/or homeostasis.
cell cycle; ubiquitination; E2F1; APC/C; Cdc20; Cdh1
Oncogenic mutations in the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway are prevalent in human tumors, making this pathway a target of drug development efforts. Recently, ATP-competitive Raf inhibitors were shown to cause MAPK pathway activation via Raf kinase priming in wild-type BRaf cells and tumors, highlighting the need for a thorough understanding of signaling in the context of small molecule kinase inhibitors. Here, we present critical improvements in cell-line engineering and image analysis coupled with automated image acquisition that allow for the simultaneous identification of cellular localization of multiple MAPK pathway components (KRas, CRaf, Mek1 and Erk2). We use these assays in a systematic study of the effect of small molecule inhibitors across the MAPK cascade either as single agents or in combination. Both Raf inhibitor priming as well as the release from negative feedback induced by Mek and Erk inhibitors cause translocation of CRaf to the plasma membrane via mechanisms that are additive in pathway activation. Analysis of Erk activation and sub-cellular localization upon inhibitor treatments reveals differential inhibition and activation with the Raf inhibitors AZD628 and GDC0879 respectively. Since both single agent and combination studies of Raf and Mek inhibitors are currently in the clinic, our assays provide valuable insight into their effects on MAPK signaling in live cells.
We report that San, an acetyltransferase required for sister chromatid cohesion, also acetylates β-tubulin at lysine 252. The acetylation happens only on free tubulin heterodimers, and it delays the incorporation of modified tubulins into microtubules in vivo.
Dynamic instability is a critical property of microtubules (MTs). By regulating the rate of tubulin polymerization and depolymerization, cells organize the MT cytoskeleton to accommodate their specific functions. Among many processes, posttranslational modifications of tubulin are implicated in regulating MT functions. Here we report a novel tubulin acetylation catalyzed by acetyltransferase San at lysine 252 (K252) of β-tubulin. This acetylation, which is also detected in vivo, is added to soluble tubulin heterodimers but not tubulins in MTs. The acetylation-mimicking K252A/Q mutants were incorporated into the MT cytoskeleton in HeLa cells without causing any obvious MT defect. However, after cold-induced catastrophe, MT regrowth is accelerated in San-siRNA cells while the incorporation of acetylation-mimicking mutant tubulins is severely impeded. K252 of β-tubulin localizes at the interface of α-/β-tubulins and interacts with the phosphate group of the α-tubulin-bound GTP. We propose that the acetylation slows down tubulin incorporation into MTs by neutralizing the positive charge on K252 and allowing tubulin heterodimers to adopt a conformation that disfavors tubulin incorporation.
In vitro, the Anaphase Promoting Complex (APC) E3 ligase functions with E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzymes of the E2–C and Ubc4/5 families to ubiquitinate substrates. However, only the use of the E2–C family, notably UbcH10, is genetically well validated. Here, we biochemically demonstrate preferential use of UbcH10 by the APC, specified by the E2 core domain. Importantly, an additional E2–E3 interaction mediated by the N-terminal extension of UbcH10 regulates APC activity. Mutating the highly conserved N-terminus increases substrate ubiquitination, the number of substrate lysines targeted, allows ubiquitination of APC substrates lacking their destruction-boxes, increases resistance to the APC inhibitors Emi1 and BubR1 in vitro, and bypasses the spindle checkpoint in vivo. Fusion of the UbcH10 N-terminus to UbcH5 restricts ubiquitination activity, but does not direct specific interactions with the APC. Thus, UbcH10 combines a specific E2–E3 interface and regulation via its N-terminal extension to limit APC activity for substrate selection and checkpoint control.
Mitosis; Emi1; Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases; UbcH10; Anaphase Promoting Complex; Spindle Assembly Checkpoint
Vertebrate oocytes are arrested in metaphase II of meiosis prior to fertilization by cytostatic factor (CSF). CSF enforces a cell cycle arrest by inhibiting the anaphase promoting complex (APC), an E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets Cyclin B for degradation. Although Cyclin B synthesis is ongoing during CSF arrest, constant Cyclin B levels are maintained. To achieve this, oocytes allow continuous slow Cyclin B degradation, without eliminating the bulk of Cyclin B, which would induce release from CSF arrest. However, the mechanism that controls this continuous degradation is not understood.
We report here the molecular details of a negative feedback loop wherein Cyclin B promotes its own destruction through Cdc2/Cyclin B-mediated phosphorylation and inhibition of the APC inhibitor, Emi2. Emi2 bound to the core APC and this binding was disrupted by Cdc2/Cyclin B, without affecting Emi2 protein stability. Cdc2 mediated phosphorylation of Emi2 was antagonized by PP2A, which could bind to Emi2 and promote Emi2-APC interactions.
Constant Cyclin B levels are maintained during a CSF arrest through the regulation of Emi2 activity. A balance between Cdc2 and PP2A controls Emi2 phosphorylation, which in turn controls the ability of Emi2 to bind to and inhibit the APC. This balance allows proper maintenance of Cyclin B levels and Cdc2 kinase activity during CSF arrest.
The transition of oocytes from meiosis I (MI) to meiosis II (MII) requires partial cyclin B degradation to allow MI exit without S phase entry. Rapid reaccumulation of cyclin B allows direct progression into MII, producing a cytostatic factor (CSF)-arrested egg. It has been reported that dampened translation of the anaphase-promoting complex (APC) inhibitor Emi2 at MI allows partial APC activation and MI exit. We have detected active Emi2 translation at MI and show that Emi2 levels in MI are mainly controlled by regulated degradation. Emi2 degradation in MI depends not on Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), but on Cdc2-mediated phosphorylation of multiple sites within Emi2. As in MII, this phosphorylation is antagonized by Mos-mediated recruitment of PP2A to Emi2. Higher Cdc2 kinase activity in MI than MII allows sufficient Emi2 phosphorylation to destabilize Emi2 in MI. At MI anaphase, APC-mediated degradation of cyclin B decreases Cdc2 activity, enabling Cdc2-mediated Emi2 phosphorylation to be successfully antagonized by Mos-mediated PP2A recruitment. These data suggest a model of APC autoinhibition mediated by stabilization of Emi2; Emi2 proteins accumulate at MI exit and inhibit APC activity sufficiently to prevent complete degradation of cyclin B, allowing MI exit while preventing interphase before MII entry.
Expression of the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) inhibitor Emi1 is required for the accumulation of APC/C substrates crucial for DNA synthesis and mitotic entry. We show that in vivo Emi1 expression correlates with the proliferative status of the cellular compartment and that cells lacking Emi1 undergo cellular senescence. Emi1 depletion leads to strong decreases in E2F target mRNA and APC/C substrate protein abundances. However, cyclin E mRNA and cyclin E protein levels and associated kinase activities are increased. Cells lacking Emi1 undergo DNA damage, likely explained by replication stress upon deregulated cyclin E- and A-associated kinase activities. Inhibition of ATM kinase prevents induction of senescence, implying that senescence is a consequence of DNA damage. Surprisingly, no senescence or no extensive amount of senescence is evident upon depletion of the Emi1-stabilizing factor Evi5 or Pin1, respectively. Our data suggest that maintenance of a protein stabilization/mRNA expression positive-feedback circuit fueled by Emi1 is required for accurate cell cycle progression, maintenance of DNA integrity, and prevention of cellular senescence.
Overexpression of cyclin E, an activator of cyclin-dependent kinase 2, has been linked to human cancer. In cell culture models, the forced expression of cyclin E leads to aneuploidy and polyploidy, which is consistent with a direct role of cyclin E overexpression in tumorigenesis. In this study, we show that the overexpression of cyclin E has a direct effect on progression through the latter stages of mitotic prometaphase before the complete alignment of chromosomes at the metaphase plate. In some cases, such cells fail to divide chromosomes, resulting in polyploidy. In others, cells proceed to anaphase without the complete alignment of chromosomes. These phenotypes can be explained by an ability of overexpressed cyclin E to inhibit residual anaphase-promoting complex (APCCdh1) activity that persists as cells progress up to and through the early stages of mitosis, resulting in the abnormal accumulation of APCCdh1 substrates as cells enter mitosis. We further show that the accumulation of securin and cyclin B1 can account for the cyclin E–mediated mitotic phenotype.
Mammalian oocytes are arrested in prophase of the first meiotic division. Progression into the first meiotic division is driven by an increase in the activity of maturation-promoting factor (MPF). In mouse oocytes, we find that early mitotic inhibitor 1 (Emi1), an inhibitor of the anaphase-promoting complex (APC) that is responsible for cyclin B destruction and inactivation of MPF, is present at prophase I and undergoes Skp1–Cul1–F-box/βTrCP-mediated destruction immediately after germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD). Exogenous Emi1 or the inhibition of Emi1 destruction in prophase-arrested oocytes leads to a stabilization of cyclin B1–GFP that is sufficient to trigger GVBD. In contrast, the depletion of Emi1 using morpholino oligonucleotides increases cyclin B1–GFP destruction, resulting in an attenuation of MPF activation and a delay of entry into the first meiotic division. Finally, we show that Emi1-dependent effects on meiosis I require the presence of Cdh1. These observations reveal a novel mechanism for the control of entry into the first meiotic division: an Emi1-dependent inhibition of APCCdh1.
During interkinesis, a metaphase II (MetII) spindle is built immediately after the completion of meiosis I. Oocytes then remain MetII arrested until fertilization. In mouse, we find that early mitotic inhibitor 2 (Emi2), which is an anaphase-promoting complex inhibitor, is involved in both the establishment and the maintenance of MetII arrest. In MetII oocytes, Emi2 needs to be degraded for oocytes to exit meiosis, and such degradation, as visualized by fluorescent protein tagging, occurred tens of minutes ahead of cyclin B1.
Emi2 antisense morpholino knockdown during oocyte maturation did not affect polar body (PB) extrusion. However, in interkinesis the central spindle microtubules from meiosis I persisted for a short time, and a MetII spindle failed to assemble. The chromatin in the oocyte quickly decondensed and a nucleus formed. All of these effects were caused by the essential role of Emi2 in stabilizing cyclin B1 after the first PB extrusion because in Emi2 knockdown oocytes a MetII spindle was recovered by Emi2 rescue or by expression of nondegradable cyclin B1 after meiosis I.
Degradation of specific protein substrates by the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC) is critical for mitotic exit. We have identified the protein Xenopus nuclear factor 7 (Xnf7) as a novel APC inhibitor able to regulate the timing of exit from mitosis. Immunodepletion of Xnf7 from Xenopus laevis egg extracts accelerated the degradation of APC substrates cyclin B1, cyclin B2, and securin upon release from cytostatic factor arrest, whereas excess Xnf7 inhibited APC activity. Interestingly, Xnf7 exhibited intrinsic ubiquitin ligase activity, and this activity was required for APC inhibition. Unlike other reported APC inhibitors, Xnf7 did not associate with Cdc20, but rather bound directly to core subunits of the APC. Furthermore, Xnf7 was required for spindle assembly checkpoint function in egg extracts. These data suggest that Xnf7 is an APC inhibitor able to link spindle status to the APC through direct association with APC core components.
Progression through mitosis requires activation of cyclin B/Cdk1 and its downstream targets, including Polo-like kinase and the anaphase-promoting complex (APC), the ubiquitin ligase directing degradation of cyclins A and B. Recent evidence shows that APC activation requires destruction of the APC inhibitor Emi1. In prophase, phosphorylation of Emi1 generates a D-pS-G-X-X-pS degron to recruit the SCFβTrCP ubiquitin ligase, causing Emi1 destruction and allowing progression beyond prometaphase, but the kinases directing this phosphorylation remain undefined. We show here that the polo-like kinase Plk1 is strictly required for Emi1 destruction and that overexpression of Plk1 is sufficient to trigger Emi1 destruction. Plk1 stimulates Emi1 phosphorylation, βTrCP binding, and ubiquitination in vitro and cyclin B/Cdk1 enhances these effects. Plk1 binds to Emi1 in mitosis and the two proteins colocalize on the mitotic spindle poles, suggesting that Plk1 may spatially control Emi1 destruction. These data support the hypothesis that Plk1 activates the APC by directing the SCF-dependent destruction of Emi1 in prophase.
The dual specificity phosphatase Cdc14 has been shown to be a critical regulator of late mitotic events in several eukaryotes, including S. cerevisiae, S. pombe. C. elegans and H. sapiens. However, Cdc14 homologs have clearly evolved to regulate distinct cellular processes and to respond to regulatory signals important for these processes. The human paralogs hCdc14A and B are the only vertebrate Cdc14 homologues studied to date, but their functions are not well understood. Therefore, it is of great interest to examine the function Cdc14 homologs in other vertebrate species.
We identified two open reading frames from Xenopus laevis closely related to human Cdc14A, called XCdc14α and XCdc14β, although no obvious paralog of the hCdc14B was found. To begin a functional characterization of Xcdc14α and XCdc14β, we raised polyclonal antibodies against a conserved region. These antibodies stained both the nucleolus and centrosome in interphase Xenopus tissue culture cells, and the mitotic centrosomes. GFP-tagged version of XCdc14α localized to the nucleulus and GFP-XCdc14β localized to the centrosome, although not exclusively. XCdc14α was also both meiotically and mitotically phosphorylated. Injection of antibodies raised against a conserved region of XCdc14/β into Xenopus embryos at the two-cell stage blocked division of the injected blastomeres, suggesting that activities of XCdc14α/β are required for normal cell division.
These results provide evidence that XCdc14α/β are required for normal cellular division and are regulated by at least two mechanisms, subcellular localization and possibly phosphorylation. Due to the high sequence conservation between Xcdc14α and hCdc14A, it seems likely that both mechanisms will contribute to regulation of Cdc14 homologs in vertebrates.
In budding yeast, the Cdc14p phosphatase activates mitotic exit by dephosphorylation of specific cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) substrates and seems to be regulated by sequestration in the nucleolus until its release in mitosis. Herein, we have analyzed the two human homologs of Cdc14p, hCdc14A and hCdc14B. We demonstrate that the human Cdc14A phosphatase is selective for Cdk substrates in vitro and that although the protein abundance and intrinsic phosphatase activity of hCdc14A and B vary modestly during the cell cycle, their localization is cell cycle regulated. hCdc14A dynamically localizes to interphase but not mitotic centrosomes, and hCdc14B localizes to the interphase nucleolus. These distinct patterns of localization suggest that each isoform of human Cdc14 likely regulates separate cell cycle events. In addition, hCdc14A overexpression induces the loss of the pericentriolar markers pericentrin and γ-tubulin from centrosomes. Overproduction of hCdc14A also causes mitotic spindle and chromosome segregation defects, defective karyokinesis, and a failure to complete cytokinesis. Thus, the hCdc14A phosphatase appears to play a role in the regulation of the centrosome cycle, mitosis, and cytokinesis, thereby influencing chromosome partitioning and genomic stability in human cells.
Using an in vitro chromatin assembly assay in Xenopus egg extract, we show that cyclin E binds specifically and saturably to chromatin in three phases. In the first phase, the origin recognition complex and Cdc6 prereplication proteins, but not the minichromosome maintenance complex, are necessary and biochemically sufficient for ATP-dependent binding of cyclin E–Cdk2 to DNA. We find that cyclin E binds the NH2-terminal region of Cdc6 containing Cy–Arg-X-Leu (RXL) motifs. Cyclin E proteins with mutated substrate selection (Met-Arg-Ala-Ile-Leu; MRAIL) motifs fail to bind Cdc6, fail to compete with endogenous cyclin E–Cdk2 for chromatin binding, and fail to rescue replication in cyclin E–depleted extracts. Cdc6 proteins with mutations in the three consensus RXL motifs are quantitatively deficient for cyclin E binding and for rescuing replication in Cdc6-depleted extracts. Thus, the cyclin E–Cdc6 interaction that localizes the Cdk2 complex to chromatin is important for DNA replication. During the second phase, cyclin E–Cdk2 accumulates on chromatin, dependent on polymerase activity. In the third phase, cyclin E is phosphorylated, and the cyclin E–Cdk2 complex is displaced from chromatin in mitosis. In vitro, mitogen-activated protein kinase and especially cyclin B–Cdc2, but not the polo-like kinase 1, remove cyclin E–Cdk2 from chromatin. Rebinding of hyperphosphorylated cyclin E–Cdk2 to interphase chromatin requires dephosphorylation, and the Cdk kinase–directed Cdc14 phosphatase is sufficient for this dephosphorylation in vitro. These three phases of cyclin E association with chromatin may facilitate the diverse activities of cyclin E–Cdk2 in initiating replication, blocking rereplication, and allowing resetting of origins after mitosis.
cyclin-dependent kinases; origin recognition complex; DNA replication; Cdc6; Cdc14
Nephronophthisis (NPHP), Joubert (JBTS) and Meckel-Gruber (MKS) syndromes are autosomal-recessive ciliopathies presenting with cystic kidneys, retinal degeneration, and cerebellar/neural tube malformation. Whether defects in kidney, retinal, or neural disease primarily involve ciliary, Hedgehog, or cell polarity pathways remains unclear. Using high-confidence proteomics, we identified 850 interactors copurifying with nine NPHP/JBTS/MKS proteins, and discovered three connected modules: “NPHP1-4-8” functioning at the apical surface; “NPHP5-6” at centrosomes; and “MKS” linked to Hedgehog signaling. Assays for ciliogenesis and epithelial morphogenesis in 3D renal cultures link renal cystic disease to apical organization defects, whereas ciliary and Hedgehog pathway defects lead to retinal or neural deficits. Using 38 interactors as candidates, linkage and sequencing analysis of 250 patients identified ATXN10 and TCTN2 as new NPHP-JBTS genes and our Tctn2 mouse knockout shows neural tube and Hedgehog signaling defects. Our study further illustrates the power of linking proteomic networks and human genetics to uncover critical disease pathways.