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1.  N-terminal acetylation and replicative age affect proteasome localization and cell fitness during aging 
Journal of Cell Science  2015;128(1):109-117.
Specific degradation of proteins is essential for virtually all cellular processes and is carried out predominantly by the proteasome. The proteasome is important for clearance of damaged cellular proteins. Damaged proteins accumulate over time and excess damaged proteins can aggregate and induce the death of old cells. In yeast, the localization of the proteasome changes dramatically during aging, possibly in response to altered proteasome activity requirements. We followed two key parameters of this process: the distribution of proteasomes in nuclear and cytosolic compartments, and the formation of cytoplasmic aggregate-like structures called proteasome storage granules (PSGs). Whereas replicative young cells efficiently relocalized proteasomes from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and formed PSGs, replicative old cells were less efficient in relocalizing the proteasome and had less PSGs. By using a microscopy-based genome-wide screen, we identified genetic factors involved in these processes. Both relocalization of the proteasome and PSG formation were affected by two of the three N-acetylation complexes. These N-acetylation complexes also had different effects on the longevity of cells, indicating that each N-acetylation complex has different roles in proteasome location and aging.
PMCID: PMC4282048  PMID: 25413350
Proteasome; Intracellular location; N-acetylation; Replicative age; Aging
3.  Integrating Chemical and Genetic Silencing Strategies To Identify Host Kinase-Phosphatase Inhibitor Networks That Control Bacterial Infection 
ACS Chemical Biology  2013;9(2):414-422.
Every year three million people die as a result of bacterial infections, and this number may further increase due to resistance to current antibiotics. These antibiotics target almost all essential bacterial processes, leaving only a few new targets for manipulation. The host proteome has many more potential targets for manipulation in order to control bacterial infection, as exemplified by the observation that inhibiting the host kinase Akt supports the elimination of different intracellular bacteria including Salmonella and M. tuberculosis. If host kinases are involved in the control of bacterial infections, phosphatases could be as well. Here we present an integrated small interference RNA and small molecule screen to identify host phosphatase-inhibitor combinations that control bacterial infection. We define host phosphatases inhibiting intracellular growth of Salmonella and identify corresponding inhibitors for the dual specificity phosphatases DUSP11 and 27. Pathway analysis places many kinases and phosphatases controlling bacterial infection in an integrated pathway centered around Akt. This network controls host cell metabolism, survival, and growth and bacterial survival and reflect a natural host cell response to bacterial infection. Inhibiting two enzyme classes with opposite activities–kinases and phosphatases–may be a new strategy to overcome infections by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
PMCID: PMC3934374  PMID: 24274083
4.  Recombination-Induced Tag Exchange (RITE) Cassette Series to Monitor Protein Dynamics in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2013;3(8):1261-1272.
Proteins are not static entities. They are highly mobile, and their steady-state levels are achieved by a balance between ongoing synthesis and degradation. The dynamic properties of a protein can have important consequences for its function. For example, when a protein is degraded and replaced by a newly synthesized one, posttranslational modifications are lost and need to be reincorporated in the new molecules. Protein stability and mobility are also relevant for the duplication of macromolecular structures or organelles, which involves coordination of protein inheritance with the synthesis and assembly of newly synthesized proteins. To measure protein dynamics, we recently developed a genetic pulse-chase assay called recombination-induced tag exchange (RITE). RITE has been successfully used in Saccharomyces cerevisiae to measure turnover and inheritance of histone proteins, to study changes in posttranslational modifications on aging proteins, and to visualize the spatiotemporal inheritance of protein complexes and organelles in dividing cells. Here we describe a series of successful RITE cassettes that are designed for biochemical analyses, genomics studies, as well as single cell fluorescence applications. Importantly, the genetic nature and the stability of the tag switch offer the unique possibility to combine RITE with high-throughput screening for protein dynamics mutants and mechanisms. The RITE cassettes are widely applicable, modular by design, and can therefore be easily adapted for use in other cell types or organisms.
PMCID: PMC3737166  PMID: 23708297
pulse-chase; epitope tag; protein turnover; protein inheritance
5.  MED12 Controls the Response to Multiple Cancer Drugs through Regulation of TGF-β Receptor Signaling 
Cell  2012;151(5):937-950.
Inhibitors of the ALK and EGF receptor tyrosine kinases provoke dramatic but short-lived responses in lung cancers harboring EML4-ALK translocations or activating mutations of EGFR, respectively. We used a large-scale RNAi screen to identify MED12, a component of the transcriptional MEDIATOR complex that is mutated in cancers, as a determinant of response to ALK and EGFR inhibitors. MED12 is in part cytoplasmic where it negatively regulates TGF-βR2 through physical interaction. MED12 suppression therefore results in activation of TGF-βR signaling, which is both necessary and sufficient for drug resistance. TGF-β signaling causes MEK/ERK activation, and consequently MED12 suppression also confers resistance to MEK and BRAF inhibitors in other cancers. MED12 loss induces an EMT-like phenotype, which is associated with chemotherapy resistance in colon cancer patients and to gefitinib in lung cancer. Inhibition of TGF-βR signaling restores drug responsiveness in MED12KD cells, suggesting a strategy to treat drug-resistant tumors that have lost MED12.
PMCID: PMC3672971  PMID: 23178117
6.  Ubiquitination by the Membrane-associated RING-CH-8 (MARCH-8) Ligase Controls Steady-state Cell Surface Expression of Tumor Necrosis Factor-related Apoptosis Inducing Ligand (TRAIL) Receptor 1* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2013;288(9):6617-6628.
Background: Endogenous functions of the recently identified membrane-associated RING-CH (MARCH) family of transmembrane ubiquitin ligases are undefined, except for MARCH-1.
Results: MARCH-8 interacts with death receptor TRAIL receptor (R) R1, ubiquitinates TRAIL-R1, and down-regulates TRAIL-R1 from the cell surface at steady state.
Conclusion: Steady-state cell surface levels of TRAIL-R1 are controlled by MARCH-8-mediated ubiquitination.
Significance: TRAIL-R1 is the first identified substrate of endogenous MARCH-8.
The eleven members of the membrane-associated RING-CH (MARCH) ubiquitin ligase family are relatively unexplored. Upon exogenous (over)expression, a number of these ligases can affect the trafficking of membrane molecules. However, only for MARCH-1 endogenous functions have been demonstrated. For the other endogenous MARCH proteins, no functions or substrates are known. We report here that TRAIL-R1 is a physiological substrate of the endogenous MARCH-8 ligase. Human TRAIL-R1 and R2 play a role in immunosurveillance and are targets for cancer therapy, because they selectively induce apoptosis in tumor cells. We demonstrate that TRAIL-R1 is down-regulated from the cell surface, with great preference over TRAIL-R2, by exogenous expression of MARCH ligases that are implicated in endosomal trafficking, such as MARCH-1 and -8. MARCH-8 attenuated TRAIL-R1 cell surface expression and apoptosis signaling by virtue of its ligase activity. This suggested that ubiquitination of TRAIL-R1 was instrumental in its down-regulation by MARCH-8. Indeed, in cells with endogenous MARCH expression, TRAIL-R1 was ubiquitinated at steady-state, with the conserved membrane-proximal lysine 273 as one of the potential acceptor sites. This residue was also essential for the interaction of TRAIL-R1 with MARCH-1 and MARCH-8 and its down-regulation by these ligases. Gene silencing identified MARCH-8 as the endogenous ligase that ubiquitinates TRAIL-R1 and attenuates its cell surface expression. These findings reveal that endogenous MARCH-8 regulates the steady-state cell surface expression of TRAIL-R1.
PMCID: PMC3585101  PMID: 23300075
Apoptosis; E3 Ubiquitin Ligase; Receptor Endocytosis; Receptor Modification; Ubiquitination
7.  Selective Infection of Antigen-Specific B Lymphocytes by Salmonella Mediates Bacterial Survival and Systemic Spreading of Infection 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e50667.
The bacterial pathogen Salmonella causes worldwide disease. A major route of intestinal entry involves M cells, providing access to B cell-rich Peyer’s Patches. Primary human B cells phagocytose Salmonella typhimurium upon recognition by the specific surface Ig receptor (BCR). As it is unclear how Salmonella disseminates systemically, we studied whether Salmonella can use B cells as a transport device for spreading.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Human primary B cells or Ramos cell line were incubated with GFP-expressing Salmonella. Intracellular survival and escape was studied in vitro by live cell imaging, flow cytometry and flow imaging. HEL-specific B cells were transferred into C57BL/6 mice and HEL-expressing Salmonella spreading in vivo was analyzed investigating mesenteric lymph nodes, spleen and blood. After phagocytosis by B cells, Salmonella survives intracellularly in a non-replicative state which is actively maintained by the B cell. Salmonella is later excreted followed by reproductive infection of other cell types. Salmonella-specific B cells thus act both as a survival niche and a reservoir for reinfection. Adoptive transfer of antigen-specific B cells before oral infection of mice showed that these B cells mediate in vivo systemic spreading of Salmonella to spleen and blood.
This is a first example of a pathogenic bacterium that abuses the antigen-specific cells of the adaptive immune system for systemic spreading for dissemination of infection.
PMCID: PMC3510171  PMID: 23209805
8.  Ubiquitin-Based Probes Prepared by Total Synthesis To Profile the Activity of Deubiquitinating Enzymes 
Chembiochem  2012;13(15):2251-2258.
Epitope-tagged active-site-directed probes are widely used to visualize the activity of deubiquitinases (DUBs) in cell extracts, to investigate the specificity and potency of small-molecule DUB inhibitors, and to isolate and identify DUBs by mass spectrometry. With DUBs arising as novel potential drug targets, probes are required that can be produced in sufficient amounts and to meet the specific needs of a given experiment. The established method for the generation of DUB probes makes use of labor-intensive intein-based methods that have inherent limitations concerning the incorporation of unnatural amino acids and the amount of material that can be obtained. Here, we describe the total chemical synthesis of active-site-directed probes and their application to activity-based profiling and identification of functional DUBs. This synthetic methodology allowed the easy incorporation of desired tags for specific applications, for example, fluorescent reporters, handles for immunoprecipitation or affinity pull-down, and cleavable linkers. Additionally, the synthetic method can be scaled up to provide significant amounts of probe. Fluorescent ubiquitin probes allowed faster, in-gel detection of active DUBs, as compared to (immuno)blotting procedures. A biotinylated probe holding a photocleavable linker enabled the affinity pull-down and subsequent mild, photorelease of DUBs. Also, DUB activity levels were monitored in response to overexpression or knockdown, and to inhibition by small molecules. Furthermore, fluorescent probes revealed differential DUB activity profiles in a panel of lung and prostate cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC3487179  PMID: 23011887
activity-based protein profiling; deubiquitinating enzymes; fluorescent probes; solid-phase synthesis; ubiquitin
9.  Synergizing Radiation Therapy and Immunotherapy for Curing Incurable Cancers: Opportunities and Challenges 
Oncology (Williston Park, N.Y.)  2008;22(9):1064-1084.
The combination of radiation therapy and immunotherapy holds particular promise as a strategy for cancer therapeutics. There is evidence that immunotherapy is most beneficial alone when employed early in the disease process or in combination with standard therapies (e.g., radiation) later in the disease process. Indeed, radiation may act synergistically with immunotherapy to enhance immune responses, inhibit immunosuppression, and/or alter the phenotype of tumor cells, thus rendering them more susceptible to immune-mediated killing. Furthermore, as monotherapies, both immunotherapy and radiation may be insufficient to eliminate tumor masses. However, following immunization with a cancer vaccine, the destruction of even a small percentage of tumor cells by radiation could result in cross-priming and presentation of tumor antigens to the immune system, thereby potentiating antitumor responses. Learning how to exploit radiation-induced changes to tumor-cell antigens, and how to induce effective immune responses to these cumulatively immunogenic stimuli, is an exciting frontier in cancer therapy research. This review examines a) mechanisms by which many forms of radiation therapy can induce or augment antitumor immune responses and b) preclinical systems that demonstrate that immunotherapy can be effectively combined with radiation therapy. Finally, we review current clinical trials where standard-of-care radiation therapy is being combined with immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3474236  PMID: 18777956
10.  Into the Intracellular Logistics of Cross-Presentation 
The induction of cytotoxic CD8+ T cell responses requires the presentation of antigenic peptides by MHC class I molecules (MHC I). MHC I usually present peptides derived from endogenous proteins. However, some subtypes of dendritic cells have developed the ability to efficiently present peptides derived from exogenous antigens on MHC I via a process called cross-presentation. Cross-presentation is intimately linked to the induction of anti-viral, -bacterial, and -tumor cytotoxic T cell (CTL) responses, as well as a wide variety of CTL-mediated diseases and transplant rejections. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying cross-presentation have been studied intensively since its original description, yet understanding of this process is incomplete and on the forefront of immunological research. Numerous pathways and models, some of them conflicting, have been described so far. Here, we review the various pathways reported as involved in cross-presentation, highlighting the complexity of this process. We also discuss in detail the different intracellular steps required, from antigen capture and routing, to processing, and finally peptide loading, emphasizing the need for a better understanding of the cell biology of this phenomenon.
PMCID: PMC3342325  PMID: 22566915
antigen; cross-presentation; dendritic cell; MHC class I; phagosome; vaccination; cross-priming; gap junctions
11.  A Role for Estrogen Receptor Phosphorylation in the Resistance to Tamoxifen 
About two thirds of all human breast cancer cases are estrogen receptor positive. The drug of first choice for these patients is tamoxifen. However, about half of the recurrences after removal of the primary tumor are or become resistant to this drug. While many mechanisms have been identified for tamoxifen resistance in the lab, at present only a few have been translated to the clinic. This paper highlights the role in tamoxifen resistance of phosphorylation by different kinases on different sites of the estrogen receptor. We will discuss the molecular pathways and kinases that are involved in phosphorylation of ERα and how these affect tamoxifen resistance. Finally, we will elaborate on the clinical translation of these observations and the possibility to predict tamoxifen responses in patient tumor samples before treatment onset. The findings made originally on the bench may translate into a better and personalized treatment of breast cancer patients using an old and safe anticancer drug: tamoxifen.
PMCID: PMC3262574  PMID: 22295213
12.  Antigen-Specific B Cells Reactivate an Effective Cytotoxic T Cell Response against Phagocytosed Salmonella through Cross-Presentation 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(9):e13016.
The eradication of facultative intracellular bacterial pathogens, like Salmonella typhi, requires the concerted action of both the humoral immune response and the cytotoxic CD8+ T cell response. Dendritic cells (DCs) are considered to orchestrate the cytotoxic CD8+ T cell response via cross-presentation of bacterial antigens onto MHC class I molecules. Cross-presentation of Salmonella by DCs however, is accompanied by the induction of apoptosis in the DCs. Besides antibody production, B cells are required to clear Salmonella infection for other unknown reasons.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Here we show that Salmonella-specific B cells that phagocytose Salmonella upon BCR-ligation reactivate human memory CD8+ T cells via cross-presentation yielding a Salmonella-specific cytotoxic T cell response. The reactivation of CD8+ T cells is dependent on CD4+ T cell help. Unlike the DCs, B cell-mediated cross-presentation of Salmonella does not coincide with apoptosis.
B cells form a new player in the activation of the cytotoxic effector arm of the immune response and the generation of effective adaptive immunity in Salmonella infection.
PMCID: PMC2946406  PMID: 20885961
13.  Mechanical Forces Used for Cell Fractionation Can Create Hybrid Membrane Vesicles 
The ability to understand the inner works of the cell requires methods for separation of intracellular membrane-enclosed compartments. Disruption of the plasma membrane (PM) by mechanical forces to investigate the content of the cell is common practice. Whether vesicles or membranes of different sources can fuse as a result is unclear. If such contamination occurs, conclusions based on these techniques should consider these. Utilizing an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane marker and a PM marker, we were able to detect the source of membranes following the breakup of cells using flow cytometry and immuno Electron Microscopy (immuno EM). Fractionation processes produced a small fraction of new membrane entities from two distinctively different origins generated during the initial disruption steps in a temperature independent manner, stressing that defining organelles or intrinsic fusion events based on such procedures and markers are valid when exceeding the small number of vesciles fused during the fractionation process.
PMCID: PMC2974167  PMID: 21060726
membrane fusion; fractionation; trafficking; signalling; proteomics.
14.  Cholesterol sensor ORP1L contacts the ER protein VAP to control Rab7–RILP–p150Glued and late endosome positioning 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;185(7):1209-1225.
Late endosomes (LEs) have characteristic intracellular distributions determined by their interactions with various motor proteins. Motor proteins associated to the dynactin subunit p150Glued bind to LEs via the Rab7 effector Rab7-interacting lysosomal protein (RILP) in association with the oxysterol-binding protein ORP1L. We found that cholesterol levels in LEs are sensed by ORP1L and are lower in peripheral vesicles. Under low cholesterol conditions, ORP1L conformation induces the formation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)–LE membrane contact sites. At these sites, the ER protein VAP (VAMP [vesicle-associated membrane protein]-associated ER protein) can interact in trans with the Rab7–RILP complex to remove p150Glued and associated motors. LEs then move to the microtubule plus end. Under high cholesterol conditions, as in Niemann-Pick type C disease, this process is prevented, and LEs accumulate at the microtubule minus end as the result of dynein motor activity. These data explain how the ER and cholesterol control the association of LEs with motor proteins and their positioning in cells.
PMCID: PMC2712958  PMID: 19564404
15.  Varicellovirus UL49.5 Proteins Differentially Affect the Function of the Transporter Associated with Antigen Processing, TAP 
PLoS Pathogens  2008;4(5):e1000080.
Cytotoxic T-lymphocytes play an important role in the protection against viral infections, which they detect through the recognition of virus-derived peptides, presented in the context of MHC class I molecules at the surface of the infected cell. The transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) plays an essential role in MHC class I–restricted antigen presentation, as TAP imports peptides into the ER, where peptide loading of MHC class I molecules takes place. In this study, the UL49.5 proteins of the varicelloviruses bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1), pseudorabies virus (PRV), and equine herpesvirus 1 and 4 (EHV-1 and EHV-4) are characterized as members of a novel class of viral immune evasion proteins. These UL49.5 proteins interfere with MHC class I antigen presentation by blocking the supply of antigenic peptides through inhibition of TAP. BHV-1, PRV, and EHV-1 recombinant viruses lacking UL49.5 no longer interfere with peptide transport. Combined with the observation that the individually expressed UL49.5 proteins block TAP as well, these data indicate that UL49.5 is the viral factor that is both necessary and sufficient to abolish TAP function during productive infection by these viruses. The mechanisms through which the UL49.5 proteins of BHV-1, PRV, EHV-1, and EHV-4 block TAP exhibit surprising diversity. BHV-1 UL49.5 targets TAP for proteasomal degradation, whereas EHV-1 and EHV-4 UL49.5 interfere with the binding of ATP to TAP. In contrast, TAP stability and ATP recruitment are not affected by PRV UL49.5, although it has the capacity to arrest the peptide transporter in a translocation-incompetent state, a property shared with the BHV-1 and EHV-1 UL49.5. Taken together, these results classify the UL49.5 gene products of BHV-1, PRV, EHV-1, and EHV-4 as members of a novel family of viral immune evasion proteins, inhibiting TAP through a variety of mechanisms.
Author Summary
Herpesviruses have the conspicuous property that they persist for life in the infected host. This is also the case for varicelloviruses, a large subfamily of herpesviruses with representatives in humans (varicella zoster virus or VZV), cattle (bovine herpesvirus 1 or BHV-1), pigs (pseudorabies virus or PRV), and horses (equine herpesvirus or EHV type 1 and 4), among many others. Cytotoxic T-lymphocytes play an important role in the protection against viral infections, which they detect through the recognition of virus-derived peptides, presented in the context of MHC class I molecules at the surface of the infected cell. The transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) plays an essential role in this process, as TAP imports peptides into the compartment where peptide loading of the MHC class I molecules takes place. In this study, we show that the UL49.5 proteins of BHV-1, PRV, EHV-1, and EHV-4 all block the supply of peptides through the inhibition of TAP, but that the mechanisms employed by these proteins to inhibit TAP function exhibit surprising diversity. VZV UL49.5, on the other hand, binds to TAP, but does not interfere with peptide transport. Our study classifies the UL49.5 proteins of BHV-1, PRV, EHV-1, and EHV-4 as members of a novel family of viral immune evasion proteins, inhibiting TAP through a variety of mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC2386557  PMID: 18516302
16.  A CD8+ T cell immune evasion protein specific to Epstein-Barr virus and its close relatives in Old World primates 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2007;204(8):1863-1873.
γ1-Herpesviruses such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) have a unique ability to amplify virus loads in vivo through latent growth-transforming infection. Whether they, like α- and β-herpesviruses, have been driven to actively evade immune detection of replicative (lytic) infection remains a moot point. We were prompted to readdress this question by recent work (Pudney, V.A., A.M. Leese, A.B. Rickinson, and A.D. Hislop. 2005. J. Exp. Med. 201:349–360; Ressing, M.E., S.E. Keating, D. van Leeuwen, D. Koppers-Lalic, I.Y. Pappworth, E.J.H.J. Wiertz, and M. Rowe. 2005. J. Immunol. 174:6829–6838) showing that, as EBV-infected cells move through the lytic cycle, their susceptibility to EBV-specific CD8+ T cell recognition falls dramatically, concomitant with a reductions in transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) function and surface human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I expression. Screening of genes that are unique to EBV and closely related γ1-herpesviruses of Old World primates identified an early EBV lytic cycle gene, BNLF2a, which efficiently blocks antigen-specific CD8+ T cell recognition through HLA-A–, HLA-B–, and HLA-C–restricting alleles when expressed in target cells in vitro. The small (60–amino acid) BNLF2a protein mediated its effects through interacting with the TAP complex and inhibiting both its peptide- and ATP-binding functions. Furthermore, this targeting of the major histocompatibility complex class I pathway appears to be conserved among the BNLF2a homologues of Old World primate γ1-herpesviruses. Thus, even the acquisition of latent cycle genes endowing unique growth-transforming ability has not liberated these agents from evolutionary pressure to evade CD8+ T cell control over virus replicative foci.
PMCID: PMC2118677  PMID: 17620360
17.  Activation of endosomal dynein motors by stepwise assembly of Rab7–RILP–p150Glued, ORP1L, and the receptor βlll spectrin 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2007;176(4):459-471.
The small GTPase Rab7 controls late endocytic transport by the minus end–directed motor protein complex dynein–dynactin, but how it does this is unclear. Rab7-interacting lysosomal protein (RILP) and oxysterol-binding protein–related protein 1L (ORP1L) are two effectors of Rab7. We show that GTP-bound Rab7 simultaneously binds RILP and ORP1L to form a RILP–Rab7–ORP1L complex. RILP interacts directly with the C-terminal 25-kD region of the dynactin projecting arm p150Glued, which is required for dynein motor recruitment to late endocytic compartments (LEs). Still, p150Glued recruitment by Rab7–RILP does not suffice to induce dynein-driven minus-end transport of LEs. ORP1L, as well as βIII spectrin, which is the general receptor for dynactin on vesicles, are essential for dynein motor activity. Our results illustrate that the assembly of microtubule motors on endosomes involves a cascade of linked events. First, Rab7 recruits two effectors, RILP and ORP1L, to form a tripartite complex. Next, RILP directly binds to the p150Glued dynactin subunit to recruit the dynein motor. Finally, the specific dynein motor receptor Rab7–RILP is transferred by ORP1L to βIII spectrin. Dynein will initiate translocation of late endosomes to microtubule minus ends only after interacting with βIII spectrin, which requires the activities of Rab7–RILP and ORP1L.
PMCID: PMC2063981  PMID: 17283181
18.  Visualizing the action of steroid hormone receptors in living cells  
Transcription controlled by Steroid Hormone Receptors (SHRs) plays a key role in many important physiological processes like organ development, metabolite homeostasis, and response to external stimuli. Understandably, the members of this family have drawn a lot of attention from the scientific community since their discovery, four decades ago. Still, after many years of research we are only beginning to unravel the complex nature of these receptors. The pace at which we do has improved significantly in recent years with the discovery of genetically encoded fluorescent probes, and the accompanying revival of biophysical approaches that allow more detailed study of SHRs. Here, we will look into the different aspects of SHR signalling, and discuss how biophysical techniques have contributed to visualizing their function in their native context, the living cell.
PMCID: PMC1853070  PMID: 17464358
19.  Radiation modulates the peptide repertoire, enhances MHC class I expression, and induces successful antitumor immunotherapy 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2006;203(5):1259-1271.
Radiotherapy is one of the most successful cancer therapies. Here the effect of irradiation on antigen presentation by MHC class I molecules was studied. Cell surface expression of MHC class I molecules was increased for many days in a radiation dose-dependent manner as a consequence of three responses. Initially, enhanced degradation of existing proteins occurred which resulted in an increased intracellular peptide pool. Subsequently, enhanced translation due to activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway resulted in increased peptide production, antigen presentation, as well as cytotoxic T lymphocyte recognition of irradiated cells. In addition, novel proteins were made in response to γ-irradiation, resulting in new peptides presented by MHC class I molecules, which were recognized by cytotoxic T cells. We show that immunotherapy is successful in eradicating a murine colon adenocarcinoma only when preceded by radiotherapy of the tumor tissue. Our findings indicate that directed radiotherapy can improve the efficacy of tumor immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3212727  PMID: 16636135
20.  A dynamic ubiquitin equilibrium couples proteasomal activity to chromatin remodeling 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2006;173(1):19-26.
Protein degradation, chromatin remodeling, and membrane trafficking are critically regulated by ubiquitylation. The presence of several coexisting ubiquitin-dependent processes, each of crucial importance to the cell, is remarkable. This brings up questions on how the usage of this versatile regulator is negotiated between the different cellular processes. During proteotoxic stress, the accumulation of ubiquitylated substrates coincides with the depletion of ubiquitylated histone H2A and chromatin remodeling. We show that this redistribution of ubiquitin during proteotoxic stress is a direct consequence of competition for the limited pool of free ubiquitin. Thus, the ubiquitin cycle couples various ubiquitin-dependent processes because of a rate-limiting pool of free ubiquitin. We propose that this ubiquitin equilibrium may allow cells to sense proteotoxic stress in a genome-wide fashion.
PMCID: PMC2063781  PMID: 16606690
21.  Ubiquitin crosstalk connecting cellular processes 
Cell Division  2006;1:21.
The polypeptide ubiquitin is used in many processes as different as endocytosis, multivesicular body formation, and regulation of gene transcription. Conjugation of a single ubiquitin moiety is typically used in these processes. A polymer of ubiquitin moieties is required for tagging proteins for proteasomal degradation. Besides its role in protein degradation, ubiquitin is also engaged as mono- or polymer in intracellular signalling and DNA repair. Since free ubiquitin is present in limiting amounts in cells, changes in the demands for ubiquitin in any of these processes is likely to indirectly affect other ubiquitin modifications. For example, proteotoxic stress strongly increases poly-ubiquitylated proteins at the cost of mono-ubiquitylated histones resulting in chromatin remodelling and altered transcription. Here we discuss the interconnection between ubiquitin-dependent processes and speculate on the functional significance of the ubiquitin equilibrium as a signalling route translating cellular stress into molecular responses.
PMCID: PMC1613237  PMID: 17007633
22.  The many roads to cross-presentation 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2005;202(10):1313-1318.
Cross-presentation of extracellular antigens by MHC class I molecules is required for priming cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) at locations remote from the site of infection. Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain cross-presentation. One such mechanism involves the fusion of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) with the endosomal-phagosomal system, in which the machinery required for peptide loading of MHC class I molecules is introduced directly into the phagosome. Here, we discuss the evidence for and against the ER-phagosome concept as well as other possible mechanisms of cross-presentation.
PMCID: PMC2212981  PMID: 16287713
23.  Association of BMI1 with Polycomb Bodies Is Dynamic and Requires PRC2/EZH2 and the Maintenance DNA Methyltransferase DNMT1§  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(24):11047-11058.
Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are epigenetic chromatin modifiers involved in heritable gene repression. Two main PcG complexes have been characterized. Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is thought to be involved in the initiation of gene silencing, whereas Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) is implicated in the stable maintenance of gene repression. Here, we investigate the kinetic properties of the binding of one of the PRC1 core components, BMI1, with PcG bodies. PcG bodies are unique nuclear structures located on regions of pericentric heterochromatin, found to be the site of accumulation of PcG complexes in different cell lines. We report the presence of at least two kinetically different pools of BMI1, a highly dynamic and a less dynamic fraction, which may reflect BMI1 pools with different binding capacities to these stable heterochromatin domains. Interestingly, PRC2 members EED and EZH2 appear to be essential for BMI1 recruitment to the PcG bodies. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the maintenance DNA methyltransferase DNMT1 is necessary for proper PcG body assembly independent of DNMT-associated histone deacetylase activity. Together, these results provide new insights in the mechanism for regulation of chromatin silencing by PcG proteins and suggest a highly regulated recruitment of PRC1 to chromatin.
PMCID: PMC1316945  PMID: 16314526
24.  Dynein-mediated Vesicle Transport Controls Intracellular Salmonella Replication 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2004;15(6):2954-2964.
Salmonella typhimurium survives and replicates intracellular in a membrane-bound compartment, the Salmonella-containing vacuole (SCV). In HeLa cells, the SCV matures through interactions with the endocytic pathway, but Salmonella avoids fusion with mature lysosomes. The exact mechanism of the inhibition of phagolysosomal fusion is not understood. Rab GTPases control several proteins involved in membrane fusion and vesicular transport. The small GTPase Rab7 regulates the transport of and fusion between late endosomes and lysosomes and associates with the SCV. We show that the Rab7 GTPase cycle is not affected on the SCV. We then manipulated a pathway downstream of the small GTPase Rab7 in HeLa cells infected with Salmonella. Expression of the Rab7 effector RILP induces recruitment of the dynein/dynactin motor complex to the SCV. Subsequently, SCV fuse with lysosomes. As a result, the intracellular replication of Salmonella is inhibited. Activation of dynein-mediated vesicle transport can thus control intracellular survival of Salmonella.
PMCID: PMC420117  PMID: 15064357
25.  Translocation of PKCθ in T cells is mediated by a nonconventional, PI3-K– and Vav-dependent pathway, but does not absolutely require phospholipase C 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2002;157(2):253-263.
PKCθ plays an essential role in activation of mature T cells via stimulation of AP-1 and NF-κB, and is known to selectively translocate to the immunological synapse in antigen-stimulated T cells. Recently, we reported that a Vav/Rac pathway which depends on actin cytoskeleton reorganization mediates selective recruitment of PKCθ to the membrane or cytoskeleton and its catalytic activation by anti-CD3/CD28 costimulation. Because this pathway acted selectively on PKCθ, we addressed here the question of whether the translocation and activation of PKCθ in T cells is regulated by a unique pathway distinct from the conventional mechanism for PKC activation, i.e., PLC-mediated production of DAG. Using three independent approaches, i.e., a selective PLC inhibitor, a PLCγ1-deficient T cell line, or a dominant negative PLCγ1 mutant, we demonstrate that CD3/CD28-induced membrane recruitment and COOH-terminal phosphorylation of PKCθ are largely independent of PLC. In contrast, the same inhibitory strategies blocked the membrane translocation of PKCα. Membrane or lipid raft recruitment of PKCθ (but not PKCα) was absent in T cells treated with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) inhibitors or in Vav-deficient T cells, and was enhanced by constitutively active PI3-K. 3-phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK1) also upregulated the membrane translocation of PKCθ, but did not associate with it. These results provide evidence that a nonconventional PI3-K– and Vav-dependent pathway mediates the selective membrane recruitment and, possibly, activation of PKCθ in T cells.
PMCID: PMC2199257  PMID: 11956228
protein kinase C-θ; phospholipase C; Vav; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; T cell

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