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1.  Structure-specific endonucleases Xpf and Mus81 play overlapping but essential roles in DNA repair by homologous recombination 
Cancer research  2013;73(14):4362-4371.
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) occur frequently during replication in sister chromatids, and are dramatically increased when cells are exposed to chemotherapeutic agents including camptothecin. Such DSBs are efficiently repaired specifically by homologous recombination (HR) with the intact sister chromatid. HR hence plays pivotal roles in cellular proliferation and cellular tolerance to camptothecin. Mammalian cells carry several structure-specific endonucleases, such as Xpf-Ercc1 and Mus81-Eme1, in which Xpf and Mus81 are the essential subunits for enzymatic activity. Here we show the functional overlap between Xpf and Mus81 by conditionally inactivating Xpf in the chicken DT40 cell line, which has no Mus81 ortholog. Although mammalian cells deficient in either Xpf or Mus81 are viable, Xpf inactivation in DT40 cells was lethal, resulting in a marked increase in the number of spontaneous chromosome breaks. Similarly, inactivation of both Xpf and Mus81 in human HeLa cells and murine embryonic stem cells caused numerous spontaneous chromosome breaks. Furthermore, the phenotype of Xpf-deficient DT40 cells was reversed by ectopic expression of human Mus81-Eme1 or human Xpf-Ercc1 heterodimers. These observations indicate the functional overlap of Xpf-Ercc1 and Mus81-Eme1 in the maintenance of genomic DNA. Both Mus81-Eme1 and Xpf-Ercc1 contribute to the completion of HR as evidenced by the following data that the expression of Mus81-Eme1 or Xpf-Ercc1 diminished the number of camptothecin-induced chromosome breaks in Xpf-deficient DT40 cells, and preventing early steps in HR by deleting XRCC3 suppressed the inviability of Xpf-deficient DT40 cells. In summary, Xpf and Mus81 have a substantially overlapping function in completion of HR.
PMCID: PMC3718858  PMID: 23576554
homologous recombination; Xpf; Mus81; nuclease; chemotherapeutic agents
2.  The Protective Role of the Transmembrane Thioredoxin-Related Protein TMX in Inflammatory Liver Injury 
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling  2013;18(11):1263-1272.
Aims: Accumulating evidence indicates that oxidative stress is associated with inflammation, and the cellular redox status can determine the sensitivity and the final outcome in response to inflammatory stimuli. To control the redox balance, mammalian cells contain a variety of oxidoreductases belonging to the thioredoxin superfamily. The large number of these enzymes suggests a complex mechanism of redox regulation in mammals, but the precise function of each family member awaits further investigations. Results: We generated mice deficient in transmembrane thioredoxin-related protein (TMX), a transmembrane oxidoreductase in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). When exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and d-(+)-galactosamine (GalN) to induce inflammatory liver injury, mutant mice were highly susceptible to the toxicants and developed severe liver damage. LPS-induced production of inflammatory mediators was equivalent in both wild-type and TMX−/− mice, whereas neutralization of the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α suppressed the toxic effects of LPS/GalN in the mutant mice. Liver transcriptional profiles revealed enhanced activation of the p53-signaling pathway in the TMX−/− mice after LPS/GalN treatment. Furthermore, TMX deficiency also caused increased sensitivity to thioacetamide, which exerts its hepatotoxicity through the generation of reactive oxygen species. Innovation: The present study is the first to address the role of the oxidoreductase TMX in inflammatory liver injury. The phenotype of mice deficient in TMX suggests a functional link between redox regulation in the ER and susceptibility to oxidative tissue damage. Conclusion: We conclude that TMX plays a major role in host defense under the type of inflammatory conditions associated with oxidative stress. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 18, 1263–1272.
PMCID: PMC3584524  PMID: 22924822
3.  Tara up-regulates E-cadherin transcription by binding to the Trio RhoGEF and inhibiting Rac signaling 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2011;193(2):319-332.
In the absence of Tara, Trio binds to E-cadherin and increases activation of the E-cadherin transcriptional repressor Tbx3.
The spatiotemporal regulation of E-cadherin expression is important during body plan development and carcinogenesis. We found that Tara (Trio-associated repeat on actin) is enriched in cadherin-based adherens junctions (AJs), and its knockdown in MDCK cells (Tara-KD cells) significantly decreases the expression of E-cadherin. Tara-KD activates Rac1 through the Trio RhoGEF, which binds to E-cadherin and subsequently increases the phosphorylation of p38 and Tbx3, a transcriptional E-cadherin repressor. Accordingly, the decrease in E-cadherin expression is abrogated by ITX3 and SB203580 (specific inhibitors of Trio RhoGEF and p38MAPK, respectively), and by dephosphomimetic Tbx3. Despite the decreased E-cadherin expression, the Tara-KD cells do not undergo an epithelial–mesenchymal transition and remain as an epithelial cell sheet, presumably due to the concomitant up-regulation of cadherin-6. Tara-KD reduces the actin-belt density in the circumferential ring, and the cells form flattened cysts, suggesting that Tara functions to modulate epithelial cell sheet formation and integrity by up-regulating E-cadherin transcription.
PMCID: PMC3080255  PMID: 21482718
4.  Rho and Anillin-dependent Control of mDia2 Localization and Function in Cytokinesis 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2010;21(18):3193-3204.
Diaphanous-related formin, mDia, is an actin nucleation/polymerization factor functioning downstream of the small GTPase Rho. We found that, in addition to the Rho GTPase-mediated activation, the interaction between mDia2 and anillin is required for the localization and function of mDia2 in cytokinesis.
Diaphanous-related formin, mDia, is an actin nucleation/polymerization factor functioning downstream of the small GTPase Rho. Although Rho is critically involved in cytokinesis, it remains elusive how Rho effectors and other regulators of cytoskeletons work together to accomplish this process. Here we focused on mDia2, an mDia isoform involved in cytokinesis of NIH 3T3 cells, and analyzed mechanisms of its localization in cytokinesis. We found that targeting of mDia2 to the cleavage furrow requires not only its binding to RhoA but also its diaphanous-inhibitory domain (DID). We then performed pulldown assays using a fragment containing the latter domain as a bait and identified anillin as a novel mDia2 interaction partner. The anillin-binding is competitive with the diaphanous autoregulatory domain (DAD) of mDia2 in its autoinhibitory interaction. A series of RNA interference and functional rescue experiments has revealed that, in addition to the Rho GTPase-mediated activation, the interaction between mDia2 and anillin is required for the localization and function of mDia2 in cytokinesis.
PMCID: PMC2938385  PMID: 20660154
5.  Flightless-I (Fli-I) Regulates the Actin Assembly Activity of Diaphanous-related Formins (DRFs) Daam1 and mDia1 in Cooperation with Active Rho GTPase* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2010;285(21):16231-16238.
Eukaryotic cells dynamically reorganize the actin cytoskeleton to regulate various cellular activities, such as cell shape change, cell motility, cytokinesis, and vesicular transport. Diaphanous-related formins (DRFs), such as Daam1 and mDia1, play central roles in actin dynamics through assembling linear actin filaments. It has been reported that the GTP-bound active Rho binds directly to DRFs and partially unleashes the intramolecular autoinhibition of DRFs. However, whether proteins other than Rho involve the regulation of the actin assembly activity of DRFs has been unclear. Here, we show that Flightless-I (Fli-I), a gelsolin family protein essential for early development, binds directly to Daam1 and mDia1. Fli-I enhances the intrinsic actin assembly activity of Daam1 and mDia1 in vitro and is required for Daam1-induced actin assembly in living cells. Furthermore, Fli-I promotes the GTP-bound active Rho-mediated relief of the autoinhibition of Daam1 and mDia1. Thus, Fli-I is a novel positive regulator of Rho-induced linear actin assembly mediated by DRFs.
PMCID: PMC2871490  PMID: 20223827
Cytoskeleton/Actin; G Proteins/Low Molecular Weight; Signal Transduction/G-proteins; Subcellular Organelles/Cytoskeleton; Rho; Cell Shape; Cytoskeletal Reorganization; Formin
6.  The CENP-S complex is essential for the stable assembly of outer kinetochore structure 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;186(2):173-182.
The constitutive centromere-associated network (CCAN) proteins are central to kinetochore assembly. To define the molecular architecture of this critical kinetochore network, we sought to determine the full complement of CCAN components and to define their relationships. This work identified a centromere protein S (CENP-S)–containing subcomplex that includes the new constitutive kinetochore protein CENP-X. Both CENP-S– and CENP-X–deficient chicken DT40 cells are viable but show abnormal mitotic behavior based on live cell analysis. Human HeLa cells depleted for CENP-X also showed mitotic errors. The kinetochore localization of CENP-S and -X is abolished in CENP-T– or CENP-K–deficient cells, but reciprocal experiments using CENP-S–deficient cells did not reveal defects in the localization of CCAN components. However, CENP-S– and CENP-X–deficient cells show a significant reduction in the size of the kinetochore outer plate. In addition, we found that intrakinetochore distance was increased in CENP-S– and CENP-X–deficient cells. These results suggest that the CENP-S complex is essential for the stable assembly of the outer kinetochore.
PMCID: PMC2717651  PMID: 19620631
7.  CENP-H–containing Complex Facilitates Centromere Deposition of CENP-A in Cooperation with FACT and CHD1 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2009;20(18):3986-3995.
Centromere identity is thought to be determined by epigenetic mechanisms. The centromere-specific histone H3 variant CENP-A plays a central role in specifying the locus where the centromere is constructed. However, the precise mechanisms that target CENP-A to centromeric chromatin are poorly understood. Here, we show that facilitates chromatin transcription (FACT) localizes to centromeres in a CENP-H–containing complex-dependent manner. In conditional mutant cell lines for SSRP1, a subunit of FACT, centromere targeting of newly synthesized CENP-A is severely inhibited. The chromatin remodeling factor CHD1 binds to SSRP1 both in vivo and in vitro and associates with centromeres. The centromeric localization of CHD1 is lost in SSRP1-depleted cells. RNA interference knockdown of CHD1 leads to a decrease in the amount of centromere localized CENP-A. These findings indicate that the CENP-H–containing complex facilitates deposition of newly synthesized CENP-A into centromeric chromatin in cooperation with FACT and CHD1.
PMCID: PMC2743618  PMID: 19625449
8.  Isolation and characterization of post-splicing lariat–intron complexes 
Nucleic Acids Research  2008;37(3):891-902.
Pre-mRNA splicing occurs in a large complex spliceosome. The steps of both spliceosome assembly and splicing reaction have been extensively analyzed, and many of the factors involved have been identified. However, the post-splicing intron turnover process, especially in vertebrates, remains to be examined. In this paper, we developed a two-tag affinity purification method for purifying lariat intron RNA–protein complexes obtained from an in vitro splicing reaction. Glycerol gradient sedimentation analyses revealed that there are at least two forms of post-splicing intron complexes, which we named the ‘Intron Large (IL)’ and the ‘Intron Small (IS)’ complexes. The IL complex contains U2, U5 and U6 snRNAs and other protein splicing factors, whereas the IS complex contains no such U snRNAs or proteins. We also showed that TFIP11, a human homolog of yeast Ntr1, is present in the IL complex and the TFIP11 mutant protein, which lacks the interaction domain with hPrp43 protein, caused accumulation of the IL complex and reduction of IS complex formation in vitro. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that TFIP11 in cooperation with hPrp43 mediates the transition from the IL complex to the IS complex, leading to efficient debranching and turnover of excised introns.
PMCID: PMC2647322  PMID: 19103666
9.  MKKS Is a Centrosome-shuttling Protein Degraded by Disease-causing Mutations via CHIP-mediated Ubiquitination 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2008;19(3):899-911.
McKusick–Kaufman syndrome (MKKS) is a recessively inherited human genetic disease characterized by several developmental anomalies. Mutations in the MKKS gene also cause Bardet–Biedl syndrome (BBS), a genetically heterogeneous disorder with pleiotropic symptoms. However, little is known about how MKKS mutations lead to disease. Here, we show that disease-causing mutants of MKKS are rapidly degraded via the ubiquitin–proteasome pathway in a manner dependent on HSC70 interacting protein (CHIP), a chaperone-dependent ubiquitin ligase. Although wild-type MKKS quickly shuttles between the centrosome and cytosol in living cells, the rapidly degraded mutants often fail to localize to the centrosome. Inhibition of proteasome functions causes MKKS mutants to form insoluble structures at the centrosome. CHIP and partner chaperones, including heat-shock protein (HSP)70/heat-shock cognate 70 and HSP90, strongly recognize MKKS mutants. Modest knockdown of CHIP by RNA interference moderately inhibited the degradation of MKKS mutants. These results indicate that the MKKS mutants have an abnormal conformation and that chaperone-dependent degradation mediated by CHIP is a key feature of MKKS/BBS diseases.
PMCID: PMC2262992  PMID: 18094050
10.  Fibulin-5/DANCE has an elastogenic organizer activity that is abrogated by proteolytic cleavage in vivo 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2007;176(7):1061-1071.
Elastic fibers are required for the elasticity and integrity of various organs. We and others previously showed that fibulin-5 (also called developing arteries and neural crest EGF-like [DANCE] or embryonic vascular EGF-like repeat–containing protein [EVEC]) is indispensable for elastogenesis by studying fibulin-5–deficient mice, which recapitulate human aging phenotypes caused by disorganized elastic fibers (Nakamura, T., P.R. Lozano, Y. Ikeda, Y. Iwanaga, A. Hinek, S. Minamisawa, C.F. Cheng, K. Kobuke, N. Dalton, Y. Takada, et al. 2002. Nature. 415:171–175; Yanagisawa, H., E.C. Davis, B.C. Starcher, T. Ouchi, M. Yanagisawa, J.A. Richardson, and E.N. Olson. 2002. Nature. 415:168–171). However, the molecular mechanism by which fiblin-5 contributes to elastogenesis remains unknown. We report that fibulin-5 protein potently induces elastic fiber assembly and maturation by organizing tropoelastin and cross-linking enzymes onto microfibrils. Deposition of fibulin-5 on microfibrils promotes coacervation and alignment of tropoelastins on microfibrils, and also facilitates cross-linking of tropoelastin by tethering lysyl oxidase-like 1, 2, and 4 enzymes. Notably, recombinant fibulin-5 protein induced elastogenesis even in serum-free conditions, although elastogenesis in cell culture has been believed to be serum-dependent. Moreover, the amount of full-length fibulin-5 diminishes with age, while truncated fibulin-5, which cannot promote elastogenesis, increases. These data suggest that fibulin-5 could be a novel therapeutic target for elastic fiber regeneration.
PMCID: PMC2064089  PMID: 17371835
11.  Gab family proteins are essential for postnatal maintenance of cardiac function via neuregulin-1/ErbB signaling 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2007;117(7):1771-1781.
Grb2-associated binder (Gab) family of scaffolding adaptor proteins coordinate signaling cascades downstream of growth factor and cytokine receptors. In the heart, among EGF family members, neuregulin-1β (NRG-1β, a paracrine factor produced from endothelium) induced remarkable tyrosine phosphorylation of Gab1 and Gab2 via erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene (ErbB) receptors. We examined the role of Gab family proteins in NRG-1β/ErbB-mediated signal in the heart by creating cardiomyocyte-specific Gab1/Gab2 double knockout mice (DKO mice). Although DKO mice were viable, they exhibited marked ventricular dilatation and reduced contractility with aging. DKO mice showed high mortality after birth because of heart failure. In addition, we noticed remarkable endocardial fibroelastosis and increase of abnormally dilated vessels in the ventricles of DKO mice. NRG-1β induced activation of both ERK and AKT in the hearts of control mice but not in those of DKO mice. Using DNA microarray analysis, we found that stimulation with NRG-1β upregulated expression of an endothelium-stabilizing factor, angiopoietin 1, in the hearts of control mice but not in those of DKO mice, which accounted for the pathological abnormalities in the DKO hearts. Taken together, our observations indicated that in the NRG-1β/ErbB signaling, Gab1 and Gab2 of the myocardium are essential for both maintenance of myocardial function and stabilization of cardiac capillary and endocardial endothelium in the postnatal heart.
PMCID: PMC1888569  PMID: 17571162
12.  A novel histone exchange factor, protein phosphatase 2Cγ, mediates the exchange and dephosphorylation of H2A–H2B 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2006;175(3):389-400.
In eukaryotic nuclei, DNA is wrapped around a protein octamer composed of the core histones H2A, H2B, H3, and H4, forming nucleosomes as the fundamental units of chromatin. The modification and deposition of specific histone variants play key roles in chromatin function. In this study, we established an in vitro system based on permeabilized cells that allows the assembly and exchange of histones in situ. H2A and H2B, each tagged with green fluorescent protein (GFP), are incorporated into euchromatin by exchange independently of DNA replication, and H3.1-GFP is assembled into replicated chromatin, as found in living cells. By purifying the cellular factors that assist in the incorporation of H2A–H2B, we identified protein phosphatase (PP) 2C γ subtype (PP2Cγ/PPM1G) as a histone chaperone that binds to and dephosphorylates H2A–H2B. The disruption of PP2Cγ in chicken DT40 cells increased the sensitivity to caffeine, a reagent that disturbs DNA replication and damage checkpoints, suggesting the involvement of PP2Cγ-mediated histone dephosphorylation and exchange in damage response or checkpoint recovery in higher eukaryotes.
PMCID: PMC2064517  PMID: 17074886
13.  An ADP-Ribosylation Factor GTPase-activating Protein Git2-short/KIAA0148 Is Involved in Subcellular Localization of Paxillin and Actin Cytoskeletal Organization 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2001;12(3):645-662.
Paxillin acts as an adaptor protein in integrin signaling. We have shown that paxillin exists in a relatively large cytoplasmic pool, including perinuclear areas, in addition to focal complexes formed at the cell periphery and focal adhesions formed underneath the cell. Several ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF) GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs; ARFGAPs) have been shown to associate with paxillin. We report here that Git2-short/KIAA0148 exhibits properties of a paxillin-associated ARFGAP and appears to be colocalized with paxillin, primarily at perinuclear areas. A fraction of Git2-short was also localized to actin-rich structures at the cell periphery. Unlike paxillin, however, Git2-short did not accumulate at focal adhesions underneath the cell. Git2-short is a short isoform of Git2, which is highly homologous to p95PKL, another paxillin-binding protein, and showed a weaker binding affinity toward paxillin than that of Git2. The ARFGAP activities of Git2 and Git2-short have been previously demonstrated in vitro, and we provided evidence that at least one ARF isoform, ARF1, is an intracellular substrate for the GAP activity of Git2-short. We also showed that Git2-short could antagonize several known ARF1-mediated phenotypes: overexpression of Git2-short, but not its GAP-inactive mutant, caused the redistribution of Golgi protein β-COP and reduced the amounts of paxillin-containing focal adhesions and actin stress fibers. Perinuclear localization of paxillin, which was sensitive to ARF inactivation, was also affected by Git2-short overexpression. On the other hand, paxillin localization to focal complexes at the cell periphery was unaffected or even augmented by Git2-short overexpression. Therefore, an ARFGAP protein weakly interacting with paxillin, Git2-short, exhibits pleiotropic functions involving the regulation of Golgi organization, actin cytoskeletal organization, and subcellular localization of paxillin, all of which need to be coordinately regulated during integrin-mediated cell adhesion and intracellular signaling.
PMCID: PMC30970  PMID: 11251077
14.  Disruption of TBP-2 ameliorates insulin sensitivity and secretion without affecting obesity 
Nature Communications  2010;1:127-.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is characterized by defects in both insulin sensitivity and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) and is often accompanied by obesity. In this study, we show that disruption of thioredoxin binding protein-2 (TBP-2, also called Txnip) in obese mice (ob/ob) dramatically improves hyperglycaemia and glucose intolerance, without affecting obesity or adipocytokine concentrations. TBP-2-deficient ob/ob mice exhibited enhanced insulin sensitivity with activated insulin receptor substrate-1/Akt signalling in skeletal muscle and GSIS in islets compared with ob/ob mice. The elevation of uncoupling protein-2 (UCP-2) expression in ob/ob islets was downregulated by TBP-2 deficiency. TBP-2 overexpression suppressed glucose-induced adenosine triphosphate production, Ca2+ influx and GSIS. In β-cells, TBP-2 enhanced the expression level and transcriptional activity of UCP-2 by recruitment of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ co-activator-1α to the UCP-2 promoter. Thus, TBP-2 is a key regulatory molecule of both insulin sensitivity and GSIS in diabetes, raising the possibility that inhibition of TBP-2 may be a novel therapeutic approach for T2DM.
Thioredoxin binding protein-2 (TBP-2) mutant mice have abnormal insulin sensitivity and secretion. In this study, TBP-2-null obese mice are shown to have improved insulin sensitivity and glucose intolerance, suggesting a potential role for TBP-2 inhibition in diabetes treatment.
PMCID: PMC3060604  PMID: 21119640

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