The Foxp3 transcription factor is the master regulator of regulatory T cell (Treg) differentiation and function. Its activity is regulated by reversible acetylation. Using mass spectrometry of immunoprecipitated proteins, we identify three novel acetylation sites in murine Foxp3 (K31, K262, and K267) and the corresponding sites in human FoxP3 proteins. Newly raised modification-specific antibodies against acetylated K31 and K267 confirm acetylation of these residues in murine Tregs. Mutant Foxp3 proteins carrying arginine substitutions at the three acetylation sites (3KR) accumulate in T cells to higher levels than wildtype Foxp3 and exert better suppressive activity in co-culture experiments. Acetylation and stability of wildtype, but not mutant, Foxp3 is enhanced when cells are treated with Ex-527, an inhibitor of the NAD+-dependent deacetylase SIRT1. Treatment with Ex-527 promotes Foxp3 expression during induced Treg differentiation, enhances Foxp3 levels in natural Tregs, and prevents loss of Foxp3 expression in adoptively transferred Tregs in mice. Our data identify SIRT1 as a negative regulator of Treg function via deacetylation of three novel target sites in Foxp3. SIRT1 inhibitors strengthen the suppressive activity of Tregs and may be useful in enhancing Treg-based therapeutic approaches to autoimmune diseases or graft rejections.
Mitochondrial protein hyperacetylation is a known consequence of sustained ethanol consumption and has been proposed to play a role in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). The mechanisms underlying this altered acetylome, however, remain unknown. The mitochondrial deacetylase sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) is reported to be the major regulator of mitochondrial protein deacetylation and remains a central focus for studies on protein acetylation. To investigate the mechanisms underlying ethanol-induced mitochondrial acetylation, we employed a model for ALD in both wild-type (WT) and SIRT3 knockout (KO) mice using a proteomics and bioinformatics approach. Here, WT and SIRT3 KO groups were compared in a mouse model of chronic ethanol consumption, revealing pathways relevant to ALD, including lipid and fatty acid metabolism, antioxidant response, amino acid biosynthesis and the electron-transport chain, each displaying proteins with altered acetylation. Interestingly, protein hyperacetylation resulting from ethanol consumption and SIRT3 ablation suggests ethanol-induced hyperacetylation targets numerous biological processes within the mitochondria, the majority of which are known to be acetylated through SIRT3-dependent mechanisms. These findings reveal overall increases in 91 mitochondrial targets for protein acetylation, identifying numerous critical metabolic and antioxidant pathways associated with ALD, suggesting an important role for mitochondrial protein acetylation in the pathogenesis of ALD.
HIV-1 latency is a barrier to overcome in the effort to fully eradicate the virus from infected individuals using highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). Therefore, the study of the mechanisms underlying the establishment and maintenance of HIV-1 latency are vital to achieving a cure. Transcriptional repression of the viral promoter is the major cause of HIV-1 latency. DNA methylation of genomic regions known as CpG islands (CpGIs) is a well-established transcriptional regulatory mechanism, and the HIV-1 provirus contains several conserved CpGIs including two that are located within the viral promoter region. The study of these CpGIs in both in vitro and in vivo models of HIV-1 latency using the technique of bisulfite-mediated methylcytosine mapping has led to their identification as factors that contribute to the maintenance of HIV-1 latency. Here, we discuss the identification of CpGIs within the HIV-1 provirus and the study of their differential methylation patterns in several HIV-1 latency models using bisulfite-mediated methylcytosine mapping.
CpG Island; DNA methylation; HIV-1 latency; Bisulfite-mediated methylcytosine mapping
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.
Progressive mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to neuronal degeneration in age-mediated disease. An essential regulator of mitochondrial function is the deacetylase, sirtuin 3 (SIRT3). Here we investigate a role for CNS Sirt3 in mitochondrial responses to reactive oxygen species (ROS)- and Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-mediated stress. Pharmacological augmentation of mitochondrial ROS increases Sirt3 expression in primary hippocampal culture with SIRT3 over-expression being neuroprotective. Furthermore, Sirt3 expression mirrors spatiotemporal deposition of β-amyloid in an AD mouse model and is also upregulated in AD patient temporal neocortex. Thus, our data suggest a role for SIRT3 in mechanisms sensing and tackling ROS- and AD-mediated mitochondrial stress.
Although highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has converted HIV into a chronic disease, a reservoir of HIV latently infected resting T cells prevents the eradication of the virus from patients. To achieve eradication, HAART must be combined with drugs that reactivate the dormant viruses. We examined this problem in an established model of HIV postintegration latency by screening a library of small molecules. Initially, we identified eight molecules that reactivated latent HIV. Using them as templates, additional hits were identified by means of similarity-based virtual screening. One of those hits, 8-methoxy-6-methylquinolin-4-ol (MMQO), proved to be useful to reactivate HIV-1 in different cellular models, especially in combination with other known reactivating agents, without causing T-cell activation and with lower toxicity than that of the initial hits. Interestingly, we have established that MMQO produces Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) activation and enhances the T-cell receptor (TCR)/CD3 stimulation of HIV-1 reactivation from latency but inhibits CD3-induced interleukin-2 (IL-2) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) gene transcription. Moreover, MMQO prevents TCR-induced cell cycle progression and proliferation in primary T cells. The present study documents that the combination of biological screening in a cellular model of viral latency with virtual screening is useful for the identification of novel agents able to reactivate HIV-1. Moreover, we set the bases for a hypothetical therapy to reactivate latent HIV by combining MMQO with physiological or pharmacological TCR/CD3 stimulation.
Taxanes are potent inhibitors of cell motility, a property implicated in their antiangiogenic and antimetastatic activity and unrelated to their antiproliferative effect. The molecular mechanism of this anti-motility activity is poorly understood. In this study, we found that paclitaxel induced tubulin acetylation in endothelial and tumor cells, at concentrations that affected cell motility but not proliferation (10-8 to 10-9 M, for 4 hours). Induction of tubulin acetylation correlated with inhibition of motility but not proliferation based on a comparison of highly and poorly cytotoxic taxanes (paclitaxel and IDN5390) and tumor cell lines sensitive and resistant to paclitaxel (1A9 and 1A9 PTX22). Consistent with the hypothesis that tubulin deacetylase activity might affect cell response to the anti-motility activity of taxanes, we found that overexpression of the tubulin deacetylase SIRT2 increased cell motility and reduced cell response to the anti-motility activity of paclitaxel. Conversely, the SIRT2 inhibitor splitomicin reduced cell motility and potentiated the anti-motility activity of paclitaxel. The inhibitory effect was further potentiated by the addition of the HDAC6 inhibitor trichostatin A. Paclitaxel and splitomicin promoted translocation into the nucleus—and hence activation—of FOXO3a, a negative regulator of cell motility. This study indicates a role for SIRT2 in the regulation of cell motility and suggests that therapies combining sirtuin inhibitors and taxanes could be used to treat cell motility-based pathologic processes such as tumor angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis.
Sirtuins (SIRT1 7), the mammalian homologues of the Sir2 gene in yeast, have emerging roles in age-related diseases, such as cardiac hypertrophy, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. However, the role of several sirtuin family members, including SIRT1 and SIRT3, in cancer has been controversial. The aim of this review is to explore and discuss the seemingly dichotomous role of SIRT3 in cancer biology with particular emphasis on its potential role as a tumor promoter and tumor suppressor. This review will also discuss the potential role of SIRT3 as a novel therapeutic target to treat cancer.
Sirtuin-3; SIRT3; Cancer; Tumor promoter; Tumor Suppressor
Several sirtuin family members (SIRT1-7), evolutionarily conserved NAD-dependant deacetylases, play an important role in carcinogenesis. However, their role in oral cancer has not yet been investigated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether sirtuins play a role in oral cancer carcinogenesis.
We examined the expression levels of all sirtuins in several oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell lines compared to normal human oral keratinocytes, and found SIRT3 was highly expressed. Therefore, tissue microarrays were used to evaluate the clinical relevance of this overexpression. SIRT3 downregulation in OSCC cell proliferation and survival was then investigated and analyzed by cell proliferation and cell viability assays. Ionizing radiation and cisplatin were used to investigate whether SIRT3 downregulation can increase the sensitivity of OSCC to both treatments. To further assess the in vivo role of SIRT3 in OSCC carcinogenesis, we used a floor-of-mouth oral cancer murine model to study the effect of SIRT3 downregulation on OSCC tumor growth in immunodeficient mice.
We show for the first time that SIRT3 is overexpressed in OSCC in vitro and in vivo, compared to other sirtuins. Downregulation of SIRT3 inhibited OSCC cell growth and proliferation, and increased its sensitivity to radiation and cisplatin treatments in vitro. SIRT3 downregulation reduced tumor burden in vivo.
Our findings reveal a novel role for SIRT3 in oral cancer carcinogenesis as a promoter of cell proliferation and survival, thus implicating SIRT3 as a new potential therapeutic target to treat oral cancer.
SIRT3; Sirtuins; Carcinogenesis; Oral cancer; Squamous cell carcinoma
Despite advances in metabolic and postmetabolic labeling methods for quantitative proteomics, there remains a need for improved label-free approaches. This need is particularly pressing for workflows that incorporate affinity enrichment at the peptide level, where isobaric chemical labels such as isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation and tandem mass tags may prove problematic or where stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture labeling cannot be readily applied. Skyline is a freely available, open source software tool for quantitative data processing and proteomic analysis. We expanded the capabilities of Skyline to process ion intensity chromatograms of peptide analytes from full scan mass spectral data (MS1) acquired during HPLC MS/MS proteomic experiments. Moreover, unlike existing programs, Skyline MS1 filtering can be used with mass spectrometers from four major vendors, which allows results to be compared directly across laboratories. The new quantitative and graphical tools now available in Skyline specifically support interrogation of multiple acquisitions for MS1 filtering, including visual inspection of peak picking and both automated and manual integration, key features often lacking in existing software. In addition, Skyline MS1 filtering displays retention time indicators from underlying MS/MS data contained within the spectral library to ensure proper peak selection. The modular structure of Skyline also provides well defined, customizable data reports and thus allows users to directly connect to existing statistical programs for post hoc data analysis. To demonstrate the utility of the MS1 filtering approach, we have carried out experiments on several MS platforms and have specifically examined the performance of this method to quantify two important post-translational modifications: acetylation and phosphorylation, in peptide-centric affinity workflows of increasing complexity using mouse and human models.
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.
Calorie restriction results in leanness, which is linked to metabolic conditions that favor longevity. We show here that deficiency of the triglyceride synthesis enzyme acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1), which promotes leanness, also extends longevity without limiting food intake. Female DGAT1-deficient mice were protected from age-related increases in body fat, tissue triglycerides, and inflammation in white adipose tissue. This protection was accompanied by increased mean and maximal life spans of ~25% and ~10%, respectively. Middle-aged Dgat1−/− mice exhibited several features associated with longevity, including decreased levels of circulating insulin growth factor 1 (IGF1) and reduced fecundity. Thus, deletion of DGAT1 in mice provides a model of leanness and extended lifespan that is independent of calorie restriction.
DGAT1; adipose tissue; longevity; triglycerides; calorie restriction
Sirtuins are a highly conserved family of proteins whose activity can extend lifespan in model organisms such as yeast, worms, and flies. Mammals contain seven sirtuins (SIRT1-7) that modulate distinct metabolic and stress response pathways. Three sirtuins, SIRT3, SIRT4 and SIRT5, are located in the mitochondrion, a dynamic organelle that functions as the primary site of oxidative metabolism and plays critical roles in apoptosis and intracellular signaling. Recent findings have shed light on how the mitochondrial sirtuins function in the control of basic mitochondrial biology, including energy production, metabolism, apoptosis, and intracellular signaling.
The SWI/SNF BAF chromatin remodeling complex generates a repressive nucleosome structure at the HIV LTR conducive to establishment and maintenance of HIV latency, while PBAF augments HIV transcription.
Persistence of a reservoir of latently infected memory T cells provides a barrier to HIV eradication in treated patients. Several reports have implicated the involvement of SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes in restricting early steps in HIV infection, in coupling the processes of integration and remodeling, and in promoter/LTR transcription activation and repression. However, the mechanism behind the seemingly contradictory involvement of SWI/SNF in the HIV life cycle remains unclear. Here we addressed the role of SWI/SNF in regulation of the latent HIV LTR before and after transcriptional activation. We determined the predicted nucleosome affinity of the LTR sequence and found a striking reverse correlation when compared to the strictly positioned in vivo LTR nucleosomal structure; sequences encompassing the DNase hypersensitive regions displayed the highest nucleosome affinity, while the strictly positioned nucleosomes displayed lower affinity for nucleosome formation. To examine the mechanism behind this reverse correlation, we used a combinatorial approach to determine DNA accessibility, histone occupancy, and the unique recruitment and requirement of BAF and PBAF, two functionally distinct subclasses of SWI/SNF at the LTR of HIV-infected cells before and after activation. We find that establishment and maintenance of HIV latency requires BAF, which removes a preferred nucleosome from DHS1 to position the repressive nucleosome-1 over energetically sub-optimal sequences. Depletion of BAF resulted in de-repression of HIV latency concomitant with a dramatic alteration in the LTR nucleosome profile as determined by high resolution MNase nucleosomal mapping. Upon activation, BAF was lost from the HIV promoter, while PBAF was selectively recruited by acetylated Tat to facilitate LTR transcription. Thus BAF and PBAF, recruited during different stages of the HIV life cycle, display opposing function on the HIV promoter. Our data point to the ATP-dependent BRG1 component of BAF as a putative therapeutic target to deplete the latent reservoir in patients.
Despite the effectiveness of antiretroviral medication, the HIV virus persists in resting memory T cells of infected patients in a latent state, providing the main impediment to eradication of the virus. In this article, we examined the molecular mechanism responsible for the establishment and maintenance of HIV latency and its re-activation, and uncovered the role played in this process by the SWI/SNF class of chromatin remodeling complexes, which use energy from ATP to alter the structure of chromatin. We show that two distinct sub-classes of SWI/SNF, BAF and PBAF, play functionally opposing roles in distinct steps of the HIV promoter (or long terminal repeat, LTR) transcription cycle. The PBAF complex augments transcription of the LTR by the viral transactivator Tat. In contrast, the distinct BAF complex generates a chromatin structure at the LTR that is energetically unfavorable with respect to the intrinsic histone-DNA sequence preferences. Specifically, we find that BAF positions a repressive nucleosome immediately downstream of the HIV transcription start site, abrogating transcription, and in this way contributes to the establishment and maintenance of HIV latency. Our data describe a novel molecular mechanism for the establishment and maintenance of HIV latency, and we identify the catalytic subunit of BAF, the enzyme BRG1, as a putative molecular target to deplete the latent reservoir in infected patients.
SIRT1 and SIRT3 are NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases that are evolutionarily conserved across mammals. These proteins are located in the cytoplasm/nucleus and mitochondria, respectively. Previous reports demonstrated that human SIRT1 deacetylates Acetyl-CoA Synthase 1 (AceCS1) in the cytoplasm, whereas SIRT3 deacetylates the homologous Acetyl-CoA Synthase 2 (AceCS2) in the mitochondria. We recently showed that 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA synthase 2 (HMGCS2) is deacetylated by SIRT3 in mitochondria, and we demonstrate here that SIRT1 deacetylates the homologous 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA synthase 1 (HMGCS1) in the cytoplasm. This novel pattern of substrate homology between cytoplasmic SIRT1 and mitochondrial SIRT3 suggests that considering evolutionary relationships between the sirtuins and their substrates may help to identify and understand the functions and interactions of this gene family. In this perspective, we take a first step by characterizing the evolutionary history of the sirtuins and these substrate families.
sirtuins; evolution; deacetylases; aging
Posttranslational modifications of the HIV-1 Tat protein have emerged as critical regulatory mechanisms that fine-tune interactions of the viral transactivator with TAR RNA and cellular cofactors. Here, we identify the lysine methyltransferase Set7/9 (renamed KMT7) as a novel co-activator of HIV transcription. Set7/9-KMT7 associates with the HIV promoter in vivo and monomethylates lysine 51, a highly conserved residue located in the RNA-binding domain of Tat. Knockdown of Set7/9-KMT7 suppresses Tat transactivation of the HIV promoter, but does not affect the transcriptional activity of methylation-deficient Tat (K51A). Set7/9-KMT7 itself binds TAR RNA and forms a complex with Tat and the positive transcription elongation factor P-TEFb. Our findings uncover novel RNA-binding properties of Set7/9-KMT7 and demonstrate a positive role of Tat methylation in early steps of the Tat transactivation cycle.
The assembly of 20,000 sequencing reads obtained from shotgun and chromosome-specific libraries of the Spiroplasma citri genome yielded 77 chromosomal contigs totaling 1,674 kbp (92%) of the 1,820-kbp chromosome. The largest chromosomal contigs were positioned on the physical and genetic maps constructed from pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and Southern blot hybridizations. Thirty-eight contigs were annotated, resulting in 1,908 predicted coding sequences (CDS) representing an overall coding density of only 74%. Cellular processes, cell metabolism, and structural-element CDS account for 29% of the coding capacity, CDS of external origin such as viruses and mobile elements account for 24% of the coding capacity, and CDS of unknown function account for 47% of the coding capacity. Among these, 21% of the CDS group into 63 paralog families. The organization of these paralogs into conserved blocks suggests that they represent potential mobile units. Phage-related sequences were particularly abundant and include plectrovirus SpV1 and SVGII3 and lambda-like SpV2 sequences. Sixty-nine copies of transposases belonging to four insertion sequence (IS) families (IS30, IS481, IS3, and ISNCY) were detected. Similarity analyses showed that 21% of chromosomal CDS were truncated compared to their bacterial orthologs. Transmembrane domains, including signal peptides, were predicted for 599 CDS, of which 58 were putative lipoproteins. S. citri has a Sec-dependent protein export pathway. Eighty-four CDS were assigned to transport, such as phosphoenolpyruvate phosphotransferase systems (PTS), the ATP binding cassette (ABC), and other transporters. Besides glycolytic and ATP synthesis pathways, it is noteworthy that S. citri possesses a nearly complete pathway for the biosynthesis of a terpenoid.
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.
Activation of estrogen receptor α (ERα) results in both induction and repression of gene transcription; while mechanistic details of estrogen induction are well described, details of repression remain largely unknown. We characterized several ERα-repressed targets and examined in detail the mechanism for estrogen repression of Reprimo (RPRM), a cell cycle inhibitor. Estrogen repression of RPRM is rapid and robust and requires a tripartite interaction between ERα, histone deacetylase 7 (HDAC7), and FoxA1. HDAC7 is the critical HDAC needed for repression of RPRM; it can bind to ERα and represses ERα's transcriptional activity—this repression does not require HDAC7's deacetylase activity. We further show that the chromatin pioneer factor FoxA1, well known for its role in estrogen induction of genes, is recruited to the RPRM promoter, is necessary for repression of RPRM, and interacts with HDAC7. Like other FoxA1 recruitment sites, the RPRM promoter is characterized by H3K4me1/me2. Estrogen treatment causes decreases in H3K4me1/me2 and release of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) from the RPRM proximal promoter. Overall, these data implicate a novel role for HDAC7 and FoxA1 in estrogen repression of RPRM, a mechanism which could potentially be generalized to many more estrogen-repressed genes and hence be important in both normal physiology and pathological processes.
is increasingly recognized as a critical regulator of stress responses,
replicative senescence, inflammation, metabolism, and aging. SIRT1
expression is regulated transcriptionally and post-transcriptionally, and
its enzymatic activity is controlled by NAD+ levels and
interacting proteins. We found that SIRT1 protein levels were much higher
in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) than in differentiated tissues.
miRNAs post-transcriptionally downregulated SIRT1 during mESC
differentiation and maintained low levels of SIRT1 expression in
differentiated tissues. Specifically, miR-181a and b, miR-9, miR-204,
miR-199b, and miR-135a suppressed SIRT1 protein expression. Inhibition of
mir-9, the SIRT1-targeting miRNA induced earliest during mESC
differentiation, prevented SIRT1 downregulation. Conversely, SIRT1 protein
levels were upregulated post-transcriptionally during the reprogramming of
mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) into induced pluripotent stem (iPS)
cells. The regulation of SIRT1 protein levels by miRNAs might provide new
opportunities for therapeutic tissue-specific modulation of SIRT1
expression and for reprogramming of somatic cells into iPS cells.
SIRT1; mouse embryonic stem cells; miRNAs; differentiation; post-transcriptional regulation; reprogramming
The immediate-early effector gene Arc/Arg3.1 is robustly upregulated by synaptic activity associated with learning and memory. Here we show in primary cortical neuron culture that diverse stimuli induce Arc expression through new transcription. Searching for regulatory regions important for Arc transcription, we found nine DNaseI-sensitive nucleosome-depleted sites at this genomic locus. A reporter gene encompassing these sites responded to synaptic activity in an NMDA receptor–dependent manner, consistent with endogenous Arc mRNA. Responsiveness mapped to two enhancer regions ∼6.5 kb and ∼1.4 kb upstream of Arc. We dissected these regions further and found that the proximal enhancer contains a functional and conserved “Zeste-like” response element that binds a putative novel nuclear protein in neurons. Therefore, activity regulates Arc transcription partly by a novel signaling pathway. We also found that the distal enhancer has a functional and highly conserved serum response element. This element binds serum response factor, which is recruited by synaptic activity to regulate Arc. Thus, Arc is the first target of serum response factor that functions at synapses to mediate plasticity.
plasticity; brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Zeste; serum response factor; Arc; gene transcription
The editorial board of Aging reviews research papers published in 2009, which they
believe have or will have a significant impact on aging research. Among many
others, the topics include genes that accelerate aging or in contrast promote
longevity in model organisms, DNA damage responses and telomeres, molecular
mechanisms of life span extension by calorie restriction and pharmacologic
interventions into aging. The emerging message in 2009 is that aging is not
random but determined by a genetically-regulated longevity network and can be
decelerated both genetically and pharmacologically.
aging; senescence; signal transduction; genes for longevity
DNA methylation of retroviral promoters and enhancers localized in the provirus 5′ long terminal repeat (LTR) is considered to be a mechanism of transcriptional suppression that allows retroviruses to evade host immune responses and antiretroviral drugs. However, the role of DNA methylation in the control of HIV-1 latency has never been unambiguously demonstrated, in contrast to the apparent importance of transcriptional interference and chromatin structure, and has never been studied in HIV-1-infected patients. Here, we show in an in vitro model of reactivable latency and in a latent reservoir of HIV-1-infected patients that CpG methylation of the HIV-1 5′ LTR is an additional epigenetic restriction mechanism, which controls resistance of latent HIV-1 to reactivation signals and thus determines the stability of the HIV-1 latency. CpG methylation acts as a late event during establishment of HIV-1 latency and is not required for the initial provirus silencing. Indeed, the latent reservoir of some aviremic patients contained high proportions of the non-methylated 5′ LTR. The latency controlled solely by transcriptional interference and by chromatin-dependent mechanisms in the absence of significant promoter DNA methylation tends to be leaky and easily reactivable. In the latent reservoir of HIV-1-infected individuals without detectable plasma viremia, we found HIV-1 promoters and enhancers to be hypermethylated and resistant to reactivation, as opposed to the hypomethylated 5′ LTR in viremic patients. However, even dense methylation of the HIV-1 5′LTR did not confer complete resistance to reactivation of latent HIV-1 with some histone deacetylase inhibitors, protein kinase C agonists, TNF-α, and their combinations with 5-aza-2deoxycytidine: the densely methylated HIV-1 promoter was most efficiently reactivated in virtual absence of T cell activation by suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid. Tight but incomplete control of HIV-1 latency by CpG methylation might have important implications for strategies aimed at eradicating HIV-1 infection.
Despite the potency of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to decrease the HIV-1 load and to reduce mortality due to HIV-1 infection, HIV-1 establishes latent infection resistant to host immune responses and antiretroviral therapy. HIV-1 latency is thus the main obstacle to the eradication of the virus from infected patients. CpG methylation is a mechanism which contributes to transcriptional silencing. The role of proviral DNA methylation in HIV-1 latency has not been clearly demonstrated and has never been studied in HIV-1-infected patients. We found in an in vitro model and in HIV-1-infected patients that CpG methylation of the HIV-1 promoter is important for the maintenance but not for the establishment of HIV-1 latency. We show that tight control of HIV-1 latency by CpG methylation could be a key barrier to purging the reservoir of latently infected cells in infected individuals. Although our study shows the difficulty in reactivation of HIV-1 with the heavily methylated promoter/enhancer sequences from latently infected cells, it also indicates that addition of some histone deacetylase inhibitors (namely suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, SAHA) and cytosine methylation inhibitors would represent an important part of HAART protocols in the future.