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1.  Different Roles of Eukaryotic MutS and MutL Complexes in Repair of Small Insertion and Deletion Loops in Yeast 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(10):e1003920.
DNA mismatch repair greatly increases genome fidelity by recognizing and removing replication errors. In order to understand how this fidelity is maintained, it is important to uncover the relative specificities of the different components of mismatch repair. There are two major mispair recognition complexes in eukaryotes that are homologues of bacterial MutS proteins, MutSα and MutSβ, with MutSα recognizing base-base mismatches and small loop mispairs and MutSβ recognizing larger loop mispairs. Upon recognition of a mispair, the MutS complexes then interact with homologues of the bacterial MutL protein. Loops formed on the primer strand during replication lead to insertion mutations, whereas loops on the template strand lead to deletions. We show here in yeast, using oligonucleotide transformation, that MutSα has a strong bias toward repair of insertion loops, while MutSβ has an even stronger bias toward repair of deletion loops. Our results suggest that this bias in repair is due to the different interactions of the MutS complexes with the MutL complexes. Two mutants of MutLα, pms1-G882E and pms1-H888R, repair deletion mispairs but not insertion mispairs. Moreover, we find that a different MutL complex, MutLγ, is extremely important, but not sufficient, for deletion repair in the presence of either MutLα mutation. MutSβ is present in many eukaryotic organisms, but not in prokaryotes. We suggest that the biased repair of deletion mispairs may reflect a critical eukaryotic function of MutSβ in mismatch repair.
Author Summary
DNA mismatch repair is a major pathway that prevents both base substitution and insertion or deletion errors during replication. Most eukaryotes have two recognition complexes, MutSα and MutSβ, homologues of prokaryotic MutS and differing in their affinity for mismatches, with MutSα recognizing base-base mismatches and small insertion/deletion loops and MutSβ recognizing larger loops. We show that repair mediated by these complexes has opposite biases for insertion versus deletion mispairs with MutSα-directed repair favoring insertion loops and MutSβ-directed repair favoring deletion loops. This bias is mediated by differing interactions with downstream MutL complexes. We suggest that MutSα represents a prokaryotic MutS biased for repair of insertion loops and that MutSβ represents a new eukaryotic activity biased for repair of deletion loops.
PMCID: PMC3814323  PMID: 24204320
2.  Polyglutamine Toxicity Is Controlled by Prion Composition and Gene Dosage in Yeast 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(4):e1002634.
Polyglutamine expansion causes diseases in humans and other mammals. One example is Huntington's disease. Fragments of human huntingtin protein having an expanded polyglutamine stretch form aggregates and cause cytotoxicity in yeast cells bearing endogenous QN-rich proteins in the aggregated (prion) form. Attachment of the proline(P)-rich region targets polyglutamines to the large perinuclear deposit (aggresome). Aggresome formation ameliorates polyglutamine cytotoxicity in cells containing only the prion form of Rnq1 protein. Here we show that expanded polyglutamines both with (poly-QP) or without (poly-Q) a P-rich stretch remain toxic in the presence of the prion form of translation termination (release) factor Sup35 (eRF3). A Sup35 derivative that lacks the QN-rich domain and is unable to be incorporated into aggregates counteracts cytotoxicity, suggesting that toxicity is due to Sup35 sequestration. Increase in the levels of another release factor, Sup45 (eRF1), due to either disomy by chromosome II containing the SUP45 gene or to introduction of the SUP45-bearing plasmid counteracts poly-Q or poly-QP toxicity in the presence of the Sup35 prion. Protein analysis confirms that polyglutamines alter aggregation patterns of Sup35 and promote aggregation of Sup45, while excess Sup45 counteracts these effects. Our data show that one and the same mode of polyglutamine aggregation could be cytoprotective or cytotoxic, depending on the composition of other aggregates in a eukaryotic cell, and demonstrate that other aggregates expand the range of proteins that are susceptible to sequestration by polyglutamines.
Author Summary
Polyglutamine diseases, including Huntington disease, are associated with expansions of polyglutamine tracts, resulting in aggregation of respective proteins. The severity of Huntington disease is controlled by both DNA and non–DNA factors. Mechanisms of such a control are poorly understood. Polyglutamine may sequester other cellular proteins; however, different experimental models have pointed to different sequestered proteins. By using a yeast model, we demonstrate that the mechanism of polyglutamine toxicity is driven by the composition of other (endogenous) aggregates (for example, yeast prions) present in a eukaryotic cell. Although these aggregates do not necessarily cause significant toxicity on their own, they serve as mediators in protein sequestration and therefore determine which specific proteins are to be sequestered by polyglutamines. We also show that polyglutamine deposition into an aggresome, a perinuclear compartment thought to be cytoprotective, fails to ameliorate cytotoxicity in cells with certain compositions of pre-existing aggregates. Finally, we demonstrate that an increase in the dosage of a sequestered protein due to aneuploidy by a chromosome carrying a respective gene may rescue cytotoxicity. Our data shed light on genetic and epigenetic mechanisms modulating polyglutamine cytotoxicity and establish a new approach for identifying potential therapeutic targets through characterization of the endogenous aggregated proteins.
PMCID: PMC3334884  PMID: 22536159
3.  Hsp104 and Prion Propagation 
Protein and peptide letters  2009;16(6):598-605.
High-ordered aggregates (amyloids) may disrupt cell functions, cause toxicity at certain conditions and provide a basis for self-perpetuated, protein-based infectious heritable agents (prions). Heat shock proteins acting as molecular chaperones counteract protein aggregation and influence amyloid propagation. The yeast Hsp104/Hsp70/Hsp40 chaperone complex plays a crucial role in interactions with both ordered and unordered aggregates. The main focus of this review will be on the Hsp104 chaperone, a molecular “disaggregase”.
PMCID: PMC2791106  PMID: 19519517
Hsp104; yeast prion; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; chaperone; amyloid
4.  Chaperone Effects on Prion and Nonprion Aggregates 
Prion  2007;1(4):217-222.
Exposure to high temperature or other stresses induces a synthesis of heat shock proteins. Many of these proteins are molecular chaperones and some of them help cells to cope with heat-induced denaturation and aggregation of other proteins. In the last decade, chaperones have received increased attention in connection with their role in maintenance and propagation of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae prions, infectious or heritable agents transmitted at the protein level. Recent data suggest that functioning of the chaperones in reactivation of heat-damaged proteins and in propagation of prions is based on the same molecular mechanisms but may lead to different consequences depending on the type of aggregate. In both cases the concerted and balanced action of “chaperones' team,” including Hsp104, Hsp70, Hsp40 and possibly other proteins, determines whether a misfolded protein is to be incorporated into an aggregate, rescued to the native state or targeted for degradation.
PMCID: PMC2634534  PMID: 19164915
Amyloid; Hsp40; Hsp70; Hsp104; stress response; yeast
5.  C-Terminal Truncation of α-COP Affects Functioning of Secretory Organelles and Calcium Homeostasis in Hansenula polymorpha 
Eukaryotic Cell  2004;3(1):52-60.
In eukaryotic cells, COPI vesicles retrieve resident proteins to the endoplasmic reticulum and mediate intra-Golgi transport. Here, we studied the Hansenula polymorpha homologue of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae RET1 gene, encoding α-COP, a subunit of the COPI protein complex. H. polymorpha ret1 mutants, which expressed truncated α-COP lacking more than 300 C-terminal amino acids, manifested an enhanced ability to secrete human urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and an inability to grow with a shortage of Ca2+ ions, whereas a lack of α-COP expression was lethal. The α-COP defect also caused alteration of intracellular transport of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein Gas1p, secretion of abnormal uPA forms, and reductions in the levels of Pmr1p, a Golgi Ca2+-ATPase. Overexpression of Pmr1p suppressed some ret1 mutant phenotypes, namely, Ca2+ dependence and enhanced uPA secretion. The role of COPI-dependent vesicular transport in cellular Ca2+ homeostasis is discussed.
PMCID: PMC329505  PMID: 14871936
6.  Aggregation and retention of human urokinase type plasminogen activator in the yeast endoplasmic reticulum 
Secretion of recombinant proteins in yeast can be affected by their improper folding in the endoplasmic reticulum and subsequent elimination of the misfolded molecules via the endoplasmic reticulum associated protein degradation pathway. Recombinant proteins can also be degraded by the vacuolar protease complex. Human urokinase type plasminogen activator (uPA) is poorly secreted by yeast but the mechanisms interfering with its secretion are largely unknown.
We show that in Hansenula polymorpha overexpression worsens uPA secretion and stimulates its intracellular aggregation. The absence of the Golgi modifications in accumulated uPA suggests that aggregation occurs within the endoplasmic reticulum. Deletion analysis has shown that the N-terminal domains were responsible for poor uPA secretion and propensity to aggregate. Mutation abolishing N-glycosylation decreased the efficiency of uPA secretion and increased its aggregation degree. Retention of uPA in the endoplasmic reticulum stimulates its aggregation.
The data obtained demonstrate that defect of uPA secretion in yeast is related to its retention in the endoplasmic reticulum. Accumulation of uPA within the endoplasmic reticulum disturbs its proper folding and leads to formation of high molecular weight aggregates.
PMCID: PMC130179  PMID: 12366865

Results 1-6 (6)