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1.  Essential Developmental, Genomic Stability, and Tumour Suppressor Functions of the Mouse Orthologue of hSSB1/NABP2 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(2):e1003298.
Single-stranded DNA binding proteins (SSBs) regulate multiple DNA transactions, including replication, transcription, and repair. We recently identified SSB1 as a novel protein critical for the initiation of ATM signaling and DNA double-strand break repair by homologous recombination. Here we report that germline Ssb1−/− embryos die at birth from respiratory failure due to severe rib cage malformation and impaired alveolar development, coupled with additional skeletal defects. Unexpectedly, Ssb1−/− fibroblasts did not exhibit defects in Atm signaling or γ-H2ax focus kinetics in response to ionizing radiation (IR), and B-cell specific deletion of Ssb1 did not affect class-switch recombination in vitro. However, conditional deletion of Ssb1 in adult mice led to increased cancer susceptibility with broad tumour spectrum, impaired male fertility with testicular degeneration, and increased radiosensitivity and IR–induced chromosome breaks in vivo. Collectively, these results demonstrate essential roles of Ssb1 in embryogenesis, spermatogenesis, and genome stability in vivo.
Author Summary
Single-stranded DNA binding proteins (SSBs) play a variety of roles in the cell, regulating transcription, replication, and DNA repair. We recently identified and described a novel SSB, designated SSB1, which was shown to be critical for DNA repair in the cell. In this study we have used a mouse model in which the Ssb1 gene is deleted to further investigate its physiological function. Here, we show that deletion of Ssb1 causes death at birth due to severe respiratory failure, which is caused by an improperly formed rib cage and immature lung development. In addition, we observed multiple additional skeletal defects in Ssb1 deleted mice, indicating that Ssb1 is necessary for proper development of the embryonic skeleton. Furthermore, Ssb1 deletion in the adult mouse caused fertility defects in male mice and led to the development of a variety of tumours. Together, these studies demonstrate a novel and critical role of Ssb1 in embryonic development, in fertility, and in the protection from tumour formation.
PMCID: PMC3567186  PMID: 23408915
2.  SIRT3 Deficiency and Mitochondrial Protein Hyperacetylation Accelerate the Development of the Metabolic Syndrome 
Molecular cell  2011;44(2):177-190.
Acetylation is increasingly recognized as an important metabolic regulatory post-translational protein modification, yet the metabolic consequence of mitochondrial protein hyperacetylation is unknown. We find that high-fat diet (HFD) feeding induces hepatic mitochondrial protein hyperacetylation in mice and downregulation of the major mitochondrial protein deacetylase SIRT3. Mice lacking SIRT3 (SIRT3KO) placed on a HFD show accelerated obesity, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia, and steatohepatitis compared to wild-type (wt) mice. The lipogenic enzyme stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 is highly induced in SIRT3KO mice, and its deletion rescues both wt and SIRT3KO mice from HFD-induced hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance. We further identify a single nucleotide polymorphism in the human SIRT3 gene that is suggestive of a genetic association with the metabolic syndrome. This polymorphism encodes a point-mutation in the SIRT3 protein, which reduces its overall enzymatic efficiency. Our findings show loss of SIRT3 and dysregulation of mitochondrial protein acetylation contribute to the metabolic syndrome.
PMCID: PMC3563434  PMID: 21856199
3.  Regulation of Activation-Induced Cytidine Deaminase DNA Deamination Activity in B Cells by Serine-38 Phosphorylation 
Biochemical Society transactions  2009;37(Pt 3):561-568.
Human and mouse immunoglobulin (Ig) genes are diversified in mature B cells by distinct processes known as Ig heavy chain class switch recombination (CSR) and Ig variable region exon somatic hypermutation (SHM). These DNA modification processes are initiated by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), a DNA cytidine deaminase predominantly expressed in activated B cells. AID is post-transcriptionally regulated via multiple mechanisms including microRNA regulation, nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling, ubiquitination and phosphorylation. Among these regulatory processes, AID phosphorylation at Serine-38 (S38) has been a focus of particularly intense study and debate. Here, we discuss recent biochemical and mouse genetic studies that begin to elucidate the functional significance of AID S38 phosphorylation in the context of the evolution of this mode of AID regulation and the potential roles that it may play in activated B cells during a normal immune response.
PMCID: PMC3540414  PMID: 19442251
activation-induced cytidine deaminase; class switch recombination; evolution; phosphorylation; somatic hypermutation
4.  SIRT3 Deacetylates Mitochondrial 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl CoA Synthase 2 and Regulates Ketone Body Production 
Cell Metabolism  2010;12(6):654-661.
The mitochondrial sirtuin SIRT3 regulates metabolic homeostasis during fasting and calorie restriction. We identified mitochondrial 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA synthase 2 (HMGCS2) as an acetylated protein and a possible target of SIRT3 in a proteomics survey in hepatic mitochondria from Sirt3−/− (SIRT3KO) mice. HMGCS2 is the rate-limiting step in β-hydroxybutyrate synthesis and is hyperacetylated at lysines 310, 447, and 473 in the absence of SIRT3. HMGCS2 is deacetylated by SIRT3 in response to fasting in wild-type mice, but not in SIRT3KO mice. HMGCS2 is deacetylated in vitro when incubated with SIRT3 and in vivo by overexpression of SIRT3. Deacetylation of HMGCS2 lysines 310, 447, and 473 by incubation with wild-type SIRT3 or by mutation to arginine enhances its enzymatic activity. Molecular dynamics simulations show that in silico deacetylation of these three lysines causes conformational changes of HMGCS2 near the active site. Mice lacking SIRT3 show decreased β-hydroxybutyrate levels during fasting. Our findings show SIRT3 regulates ketone body production during fasting and provide molecular insight into how protein acetylation can regulate enzymatic activity.
PMCID: PMC3310379  PMID: 21109197
5.  Batf controls the global regulators of class switch recombination in both B and T cells 
Nature immunology  2011;12(6):536-543.
The transcription factor Batf controls TH17 differentiation by regulating the expression of both RORγt and RORγt target genes such as Il17. Here, we report the mechanism by which Batf controls in vivo class switch recombination (CSR). In T cells, Batf directly controls expression of the transcription factors Bcl-6 and c-Maf, both of which are needed for development of T follicular helper (TFH) cells. Restoring TFH activity to Batf−/− T cells in vivo requires co-expression of both Bcl-6 and c-Maf. In B cells, Batf directly controls the expression of both activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) and of IH-CH germline transcripts. Thus, Batf functions at multiple hierarchical levels across two cell types to globally regulate in vivo switched antibody responses.
PMCID: PMC3117275  PMID: 21572431
6.  SIRT3 regulates fatty acid oxidation via reversible enzyme deacetylation 
Nature  2010;464(7285):121-125.
Sirtuins are NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases and mediate adaptive responses to a variety of stresses, including calorie restriction and metabolic stress. Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) is localized in the mitochondrial matrix where it regulates the acetylation levels of metabolic enzymes, including acetyl coenzyme A synthetase 21,2. Mice lacking both SIRT3 alleles appear phenotypically normal under basal conditions, but show marked hyperacetylation of several mitochondrial proteins3. We report that SIRT3 expression is upregulated during fasting in liver and brown adipose tissues. Livers from mice lacking SIRT3 show higher levels of fatty acid oxidation intermediate products and triglycerides during fasting associated with decreased levels of fatty acid oxidation when compared to wild-type mice. Mass spectrometry analysis of mitochondrial proteins shows that long-chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase (LCAD) is hyperacetylated at lysine 42 in the absence of SIRT3. LCAD is deacetylated in wild-type mice under fasted conditions and by SIRT3 in vitro and in vivo, and hyperacetylation of LCAD reduces its enzymatic activity. Mice lacking SIRT3 exhibit hallmarks of fatty acid oxidation disorders during fasting including reduced ATP levels and intolerance to cold exposure. These findings identify acetylation as a novel regulatory mechanism for mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and demonstrate that SIRT3 modulates mitochondrial intermediary metabolism and fatty acid utilization during fasting.
PMCID: PMC2841477  PMID: 20203611
7.  Calorie Restriction Alters Mitochondrial Protein Acetylation 
Aging cell  2009;8(5):604-606.
Calorie restriction (CR) increases lifespan in organisms ranging from budding yeast through mammals. Mitochondrial adaptation represents a key component of the response to CR. Molecular mechanisms underlying this adaptation are largely unknown. Here we show that lysine acetylation of mitochondrial proteins is altered during CR in a tissue-specific fashion. Via large-scale mass spectrometry screening, we identify 72 candidate proteins involved in a variety of metabolic pathways with altered acetylation during CR. Mitochondrial acetylation changes may play an important role in the pro-longevity CR response.
PMCID: PMC2752488  PMID: 19594485
calorie restriction; longevity; sirtuins; mitochondria; metabolism; mass spectrometry
Journal of internal medicine  2008;263(2):128-141.
Ageing, or increased mortality with time, coupled with physiologic decline, is a nearly universal yet poorly understood biological phenomenon. Studies in model organisms suggest that two conserved pathways modulate longevity: DNA damage repair and insulin/Igf1-like signaling. In addition, homologs of yeast Sir2 – the sirtuins – regulate lifespan in diverse organisms. Here, we focus on one particular sirtuin, SIRT6. Mice lacking SIRT6 develop a degenerative disorder that in some respects mimics models of accelerated ageing [1]. We discuss how sirtuins in general and SIRT6 specifically relate to other evolutionarily conserved pathways affecting ageing, and how SIRT6 might function to ensure organismal homeostasis and normal lifespan.
PMCID: PMC2486832  PMID: 18226091
Ageing; DNA Damage; Metabolism
9.  Mammalian Sir2 Homolog SIRT3 Regulates Global Mitochondrial Lysine Acetylation▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2007;27(24):8807-8814.
Homologs of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sir2 protein, sirtuins, promote longevity in many organisms. Studies of the sirtuin SIRT3 have so far been limited to cell culture systems. Here, we investigate the localization and function of SIRT3 in vivo. We show that endogenous mouse SIRT3 is a soluble mitochondrial protein. To address the function and relevance of SIRT3 in the regulation of energy metabolism, we generated and phenotypically characterized SIRT3 knockout mice. SIRT3-deficient animals exhibit striking mitochondrial protein hyperacetylation, suggesting that SIRT3 is a major mitochondrial deacetylase. In contrast, no mitochondrial hyperacetylation was detectable in mice lacking the two other mitochondrial sirtuins, SIRT4 and SIRT5. Surprisingly, despite this biochemical phenotype, SIRT3-deficient mice are metabolically unremarkable under basal conditions and show normal adaptive thermogenesis, a process previously suggested to involve SIRT3. Overall, our results extend the recent finding of lysine acetylation of mitochondrial proteins and demonstrate that SIRT3 has evolved to control reversible lysine acetylation in this organelle.
PMCID: PMC2169418  PMID: 17923681

Results 1-9 (9)