Previous studies have shown that the presence of one P450 enzyme can affect the function of another P450. The goal of this study was to determine if P450 enzymes are capable of forming homomeric complexes that affect P450 function. To address this problem, the catalytic activities of several P450s were examined in reconstituted systems containing NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase (POR) and a single P450. CYP2B4-, CYP2E1-, and CYP1A2-mediated activities were measured as a function of POR concentration using reconstituted systems containing different concentrations of P450. Although CYP2B4-dependent activities could be explained by a simple Michaelis Menten interaction between POR and CYP2B4, both CYP2E1 and CYP1A2 activities generally produced a sigmoidal response as a function of [POR]. Interestingly, the non-Michaelis behavior of CYP1A2 could be converted to a simple mass-action response by increasing the ionic strength of the buffer. Next, physical interactions between CYP1A2 enzymes were demonstrated in reconstituted systems by chemical crosslinking and in cellular systems by bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET). Crosslinking data were consistent with the kinetic responses in that both were similarly modulated by increasing the ionic strength of the surrounding solution. Taken together, these results show that CYP1A2 forms CYP1A2•CYP1A2 complexes that exhibit altered catalytic activity.
Cytochrome P450; Homomeric P450•P450 complexes; Protein-protein interactions; enzyme kinetics; Protein cross-linking; Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer
Grain weight, an essential yield component, is under strong genetic control and markedly influenced by the environment. Here, by genome-wide association analysis with a panel of 94 elite common wheat varieties, 37 loci were found significantly associated with thousand-grain weight (TGW) in one or more environments differing in water and fertiliser levels. Five loci were stably associated with TGW under all 12 environments examined. Their elite alleles had positive effects on TGW. Four, two, three, and two loci were consistently associated with TGW in the irrigated and fertilised (IF), rainfed (RF), reduced nitrogen (RN), and reduced phosphorus (RP) environments. The elite alleles of the IF-specific loci enhanced TGW under well-resourced conditions, whereas those of the RF-, RN-, or RP-specific loci conferred tolerance to the TGW decrease when irrigation, nitrogen, or phosphorus were reduced. Moreover, the elite alleles of the environment-independent and -specific loci often acted additively to enhance TGW. Four additional loci were found associated with TGW in specific locations, one of which was shown to contribute to the TGW difference between two experimental sites. Further analysis of 14 associated loci revealed that nine affected both grain length and width, whereas the remaining loci influenced either grain length or width, indicating that these loci control grain weight by regulating kernel size. Finally, the elite allele of Xpsp3152 frequently co-segregated with the larger grain haplotype of TaGW2-6A, suggesting probable genetic and functional linkages between Xpsp3152 and GW2 that are important for grain weight control in cereal plants. Our study provides new knowledge on TGW control in elite common wheat lines, which may aid the improvement of wheat grain weight trait in further research.
Dynamic histone H3K4 methylation is an important epigenetic component of transcriptional regulation. However, most of our current understanding of this histone mark is confined to regulation of transcriptional initiation. We now show that human LSD2/KDM1b/AOF1, the human homolog of LSD1, is an H3K4me1/2 demethylase that specifically regulates histone H3K4 methylation within intragenic regions of its target genes. Genome-wide mapping reveals that LSD2 associates predominantly with the gene bodies of actively transcribed genes, but is markedly absent from promoters. Depletion of endogenous LSD2 results in an increase of H3K4me2 as well as a decrease of H3K9me2 at LSD2 binding sites, and a consequent dysregulation of target gene transcription. Furthermore, characterization of LSD2 complex revealed that LSD2 forms active complexes with euchromatic histone methyltransferases EHMT1/2 and NSD3 as well as cellular factors involved in active transcription elongation. These data provide a possible molecular mechanism linking LSD2 to transcriptional regulation post initiation.
RACK1 (receptor for activated protein kinase C 1) is an intracellular scaffolding protein known to interact with the inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor and thereby enhance calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Because calcium signaling may affect vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, we investigated whether RACK1 regulates proliferation of rat preglomerular microvascular smooth muscle cells. Western blot analysis indicated that preglomerular microvascular smooth muscle cells robustly express RACK1 protein, and co-immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated that RACK1 binds the inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor. RACK1 siRNA decreased RACK1 mRNA and protein expression, significantly (p=0.0225) reduced steady-state basal levels of intracellular calcium (6712 ± 156 versus 7408 ± 248, arbitrary florescence units in RACK1 siRNA-treated versus control cells, respectively) and significantly (p<0.0001) decreased cell proliferation by approximately 50%. Xestospongin C and 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (antagonists of inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors), cyclopiazonic acid (sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase inhibitor) and calmidazolium (calmodulin inhibitor) mimicked the effects of RACK1 siRNA on proliferation, and RACK1 siRNA had no additional effects on proliferation in the presence of these agents. RACK1 siRNA did not affect the expression of cyclin D1/2 or phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein (pro-growth cell cycle regulators), yet caused compensatory decreases in the expression of p21Cip1/Waf1 and p27Kip1 (anti-growth cell cycle regulators). Like preglomerular microvascular smooth muscle cells, glomemular mesangial cells also expressed high levels of RACK1, and RACK1 siRNA inhibited their proliferation.
RACK1 modulates proliferation of preglomerular microvascular smooth muscle cells and glomemular mesangial cells, likely via the inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor/calcium/calmodulin pathway. RACK1 may represent a novel druggable target for treating renal diseases such as glomerulosclerosis.
Receptor for Activated Protein Kinase C 1; RACK1; Cell Proliferation; Microvascular Smooth Muscle Cells; Glomerular Mesangial Cells; Calcium; Calmodulin
Adenosine deaminase (ADA) is responsible for the deamination of immunosuppressive adenosine to inosine. In human T lymphocytes, ADA is associated with dipeptidyl peptidase IV (CD26). ADA expression and activity were evaluated in regulatory T cells (Treg) and CD4+ T effector cells (Teff) of patients with head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC). CD4+CD39+ and CD4+CD39neg T cells were isolated by single-cell sorting from the peripheral blood of 15 HNSCC patients and 15 healthy donors (NC). CD26/ADA expression in these cells was studied by multicolor flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry in tumor tissues. ADA activity was evaluated by mass spectrometry, suppression of Teff proliferation in CFSE assays and cytokine production by Luminex. CD4+CD39+ Treg had low and CD4+CD39neg Teff high CD26/ADA expression and ADA activity in NC or HNSCC. The frequency and suppressor activity of CD39+CD26neg Treg were elevated in patients relative to NC (p < 0.01). However, ADA activity in patients’ CD4+CD39neg Teff was decreased (p < 0.05), resulting in extracellular adenosine accumulation. Also, patients’ Teff were more sensitive to inhibitory signals delivered via adenosine receptors. IL-2, IL12 and INFγ upregulated ADA expression and activity in CD4+CD39neg Teff, whereas IL-10, PGE2 and CADO downregulated it. The differentially expressed CD26/ADA can serve as surface markers for functionally-active CD39+CD26neg Treg.
Adenosine; adenosine deaminase (ADA); cancer; Teff; Treg
Posttranslational protein modification by the ubiquitin-like SUMO protein is critical to eukaryotic cell regulation, but much remains unknown regarding its operation and substrates. Here we report that specific mutations in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Ulp1 SUMO protease, including its coiled-coil (CC) domain, lead to the accumulation of distinct sumoylated proteins in vivo. A prominent ∼50-kDa sumoylated protein accumulates in a Ulp1 CC mutant. The protein was identified as Scs2, an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane protein that regulates phosphatidylinositol synthesis and lipid trafficking. Mutation of lysine 180 of Scs2 abolishes its sumoylation. Notably, impairment of either cellular sumoylation or cellular desumoylation mechanisms inhibits cell growth in the absence of inositol and exacerbates the inositol auxotrophy caused by deletion of SCS2. Mutants lacking the Ulp2 SUMO protease are the most severely affected, and this defect was traced to the mutants' impaired ability to induce transcription of INO1, which encodes the rate-limiting enzyme of inositol biosynthesis. Conversely, inositol starvation induces a striking change in the profiles of total cellular SUMO conjugates. These results provide the first evidence of cross-regulation between the SUMO and inositol pathways, including the sumoylation of an ER membrane protein central to phospholipid synthesis and phosphoinositide signaling.
Our previous studies show that inhibition of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) augments agonist-induced renovascular 3’,5’-cAMP secretion more in isolated, perfused kidneys from spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) versus Wistar-Kyoto normotensive rats (WKY); however, whether this is due to PDE4 inhibition in renovascular smooth muscle cells or endothelial cells is unknown. Therefore, we examined the effects of 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (broad-spectrum PDE inhibitor) and RO 20–1724 (selective PDE4 inhibitor) on isoproterenol-induced 3’,5’-cAMP levels in cultured WKY and SHR preglomerular vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells. 3-Isobutyl-1-methylxanthine and RO 20–1724 augmented isoproterenol-induced 3’,5’-cAMP levels similarly in WKY versus SHR endothelial cells. In contrast, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine and RO 20–1724 augmented isoproterenol-induced 3’,5’-cAMP levels significantly more in SHR, compared with WKY, smooth muscle cells (p<0.0001). In both cell types from both rat strains, mRNA levels for the PDE4B subtype exceeded levels for the PDE4A, PDE4C and PDE4D subtypes, and siRNA knockdown of PDE4B mRNA in SHR smooth muscle cells increased isoproterenol-induced 3’,5’-cAMP. mRNA levels for the PDE4B2 variant exceeded levels for the PDE4B1, PDE4B3, PDE4B4 and PDE4B5 variants. In vivo, infusions of RO 20–1724 increased the urinary excretion of 3’,5’-cAMP more in SHR than WKY (p=0.0211). We conclude that: 1) the greater effect of PDE4 inhibition on renovascular 3’,5’-cAMP is mediated by inhibition of PDE4 in renovascular smooth muscle cells, not endothelial cells; 2) the major PDE4 subtype in both renovascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells is PDE4B with variant PDE4B2 likely being dominant; and 3) inhibition of PDE4 in vivo increases renal 3’,5’-cAMP levels more in genetically-hypertensive rats.
3’,5’-Cyclic AMP; Phosphodiesterase 4; Phosphodiesterase 4B; Phosphodiesterase 4B2; Isoproterenol; Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats; Wistar-Kyoto Rats
Detergent-insoluble protein accumulation and aggregation in the brain is one of the pathological hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we describe the identification of septin 11 (SEPT11), an enriched component of detergent-resistant fractions in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-immunoreactive inclusions (FTLD-U), using large-scale unbiased proteomics approaches.
We developed and applied orthogonal quantitative proteomic strategies for the unbiased identification of disease-associated proteins in FTLD-U. Using these approaches, we proteomically profiled detergent-insoluble protein extracts prepared from frontal cortex of FTLD-U cases, unaffected controls, or neurologic controls (i.e. Alzheimer's disease; AD). Among the proteins altered specifically in FTLD-U, we identified TAR DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43), a known component of ubiquitinated inclusions. Moreover, we identified additional proteins enriched in detergent-resistant fractions in FTLD-U, and characterized one of them, SEPT11, in detail. Using independent highly sensitive targeted proteomics approaches, we confirmed the enrichment of SEPT11 in FTLD-U extracts. We further showed that SEPT11 is proteolytically cleaved into N-terminal fragments and, in addition to its prominent glial localization in normal brain, accumulates in thread-like pathology in affected cortex of FTLD-U patients.
The proteomic discovery of insoluble SEPT11 accumulation in FTLD-U, along with novel pathological associations, highlights a role for this cytoskeleton-associated protein in the pathogenesis of this complex disorder.
Neurodegeneration; dementia; proteomics; mass spectrometry; ubiquitin; aggregates
SOX4 is a developmental transcription factor that is required for differentiation and proliferation in multiple tissues. SOX4 is overexpressed in many human malignancies, but the precise role of SOX4 in cancer progression is still not well understood. Thus, the identification of additional SOX4 binding partners is essential for elucidating the mechanism of SOX4-mediated effects in cancer progression.
Here, we have adapted a one-step affinity purification method that enables rapid purification of SOX4 complexes via intracellular biotinylation of the amino-terminus of SOX4 to perform large-scale proteomics analysis. We have discovered that junction plakoglobin (JUP) interacts with SOX4 in both the cytosol and the nucleus and the interaction between SOX4 and plakoglobin is significantly increased when prostate and breast cancer cells are stimulated with WNT3A. Interactions between SOX4 and plakoglobin were further enhanced by the nuclear export inhibitor leptomycin B (LMB), suggesting that plakoglobin promotes nuclear export of SOX4. The SOX4-plakoglobin complex affected the expression of Wnt pathway target genes and SOX4 downstream targets, such as AXIN2, DICER1, and DHX9. In addition, SOX4 DNA binding activity to the promoters of DICER1, AXIN2, DHX9 and SOX4 itself was reduced by conditions that promote SOX4-plakoglobin complex formation. Conditions that enhanced SOX4-plakoglobin interactions resulted in reduced transcriptional activity of β-catenin luciferase reporters.
These data suggest that this newly identified interaction between SOX4 and plakoglobin is inhibitory and provides new insights into the role of SOX4 in key pathways in cell proliferation, development, and cancer progression.
During autophagy, the microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3), a specific autophagic marker in mammalian cells, is processed from the cytosolic form (LC3-I) to the membrane-bound form (LC3-II). In HEK293 cells stably expressing FLAG-tagged LC3, activation of protein kinase C inhibited the autophagic processing of LC3-I to LC3-II induced by amino acid starvation or rapamycin. PKC inhibitors dramatically induced LC3 processing and autophagosome formation. Unlike autophagy induced by starvation or rapamycin, PKC inhibitor-induced autophagy was not blocked by the PI-3 kinase inhibitor wortmannin. Using orthophosphate metabolic labeling, we found that LC3 was phosphorylated in response to the PKC activator PMA or the protein phosphatase inhibitor calyculin A. Furthermore, bacterially expressed LC3 was directly phosphorylated by purified PKC in vitro. The sites of phosphorylation were mapped to T6 and T29 by nanoLC-coupled tandem mass-spectrometry. Mutations of these residues significantly reduced LC3 phosphorylation by purified PKC in vitro. However, in HEK293 cells stably expressing LC3 with these sites mutated either singly or doubly to Ala, Asp or Glu, autophagy was not significantly affected, suggesting that PKC regulates autophagy through a mechanism independent of LC3 phosphorylation.
LC3; microtubules; autophagy; Protein Kinase C; protein phosphatase; mass spectrometry
We reported that adenosine A1 receptor (A1AR) knockout (KO) mice develop lethal status epilepticus after experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is not seen in wild-type (WT) mice. Studies in epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and neuro-oncology suggest enhanced neuro-inflammation and/or neuronal death in A1AR KO. We hypothesized that A1AR deficiency exacerbates the microglial response and neuronal damage after TBI. A1AR KO and WT littermates were subjected to mild controlled cortical impact (3 m/sec; 0.5 mm depth) to left parietal cortex, an injury level below the acute seizure threshold in the KO. At 24 h or 7 days, mice were sacrificed and serial sections prepared. Iba-1 immunostaining was used to quantify microglia at 7 days. To assess neuronal injury, sections were stained with Fluoro-Jade C (FJC) at 24 h to evaluate neuronal death in the hippocampus and cresyl violet staining at 7 days to analyze cortical lesion volumes. We also studied the effects of adenosine receptor agonists and antagonists on 3H-thymidine uptake (proliferation index) by BV-2 cells (immortalized mouse microglial). There was no neuronal death in CA1 or CA3 quantified by FJC. A1AR KO mice exhibited enhanced microglial response; specifically, Iba-1 + microglia were increased 20–50% more in A1AR KO versus WT in ipsilateral cortex, CA3, and thalamus, and contralateral cortex, CA1, and thalamus (p < 0.05). However, contusion and cortical volumes did not differ between KO and WT. Pharmacological studies in cultured BV-2 cells indicated that A1AR activation inhibits microglial proliferation. A1AR activation is an endogenous inhibitor of the microglial response to TBI, likely via inhibition of proliferation, and this may represent a therapeutic avenue to modulate microglia after TBI.
adenosine; A1 receptor; BV-2 cells; head injury; Iba-1; knockout; microglia; neurotrauma
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is the most common cause of dementia with pre-senile onset, accounting for as many as 20% of cases. A common subset of FTLD cases is characterized by the presence of ubiquitinated inclusions in vulnerable neurons (FTLD-U). While the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in FTLD-U have not yet been elucidated, the presence of inclusions in this disease indicates enhanced aggregation of one or several proteins. Moreover, these inclusions suggest altered expression, processing, or degradation of proteins during FTLD-U pathogenesis. Thus, one approach to understanding disease mechanisms is to delineate the molecular changes in protein composition in FTLD-U brain. Using a combined approach consisting of laser capture microdissection (LCM) and high-resolution liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS), we identified 1252 proteins in hippocampal dentate granule cells excised from three post-mortem FTLD-U and three unaffected control cases processed in parallel. Additionally, we employed a labeling-free quantification technique to compare the abundance of the identified proteins between FTLD-U and control cases. Quantification revealed 54 proteins with selective enrichment in FTLD-U, including TAR–DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43), a recently identified component of ubiquitinated inclusions. Moreover, 19 proteins were selectively decreased in FTLD-U. Subsequent immunohistochemical analysis of TDP-43 and three additional protein candidates suggests that our proteomic profiling of FTLD-U dentate granule cells reveals both inclusion-associated proteins and non-aggregated disease-specific proteins. Application of LCM is a valuable tool in the molecular analysis of complex tissues, and its application in the proteomic characterization of neurodegenerative disorders such as FTLD-U may be used to identify proteins altered in disease.
neurodegeneration; dementia; laser capture microdissection; mass spectrometry; ubiquitin
Our previous studies show that stimulation of adenylyl cyclase in preglomerular vascular smooth muscle cells (PGVSMCs) increases extracellular 3’,5’-cAMP; however, the mechanism by which PGVSMCs transport intracellular 3’,5’-cAMP into the extracellular milieu is unknown.We hypothesize that multidrug resistance protein 4 (MRP4) is the primary transporter mediating efflux of intracellular 3’,5’-cAMP from PGVSMCs.Both RT-PCR and real-time PCR detected MRP4 mRNA in PGVSMCs in culture. Moreover, Western blotting using an antibody specific for MRP4 gave rise to a 150 kDa signal consistent with the presence of MRP4 protein in PGVSMCs.Specifically-designed siRNA reduced MRP4 mRNA expression by 71% (p=0.0075) and MRP4 protein by 80% (p=0.0004).Isoproterenol (1 μmol/L) increased intracellular 3’,5’-cAMP, which resulted in efflux of 3’,5’-cAMP into the medium. siRNA knockdown of MRP4 significantly reduced basal extracellular 3’,5’-cAMP and nearly abolished isoproterenol-induced increases in extracellular 3’,5’-cAMP (p=0.0143, interaction between isoproterenol and MRP4 siRNA in 2-factor analysis of variance). In isoproterenol-treated cells, MRP4 siRNA decreased the ratio of extracellular 3’,5’-cAMP to intracellular 3’,5’-cAMP by 72% (p=0.0019).We conclude that MRP4 is the dominant 3’,5’-cAMP transporter in PGVSMCs.
Neurodegenerative diseases are often defined pathologically by the presence of protein aggregates. These aggregates, including amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), result from the abnormal accumulation and processing of proteins, and may ultimately lead to neuronal dysfunction and cell death. To date, conventional biochemical studies have revealed abundant core components in protein aggregates. However, rapidly improving proteomics technologies offer opportunities to revisit pathologic aggregate composition, and to identify less abundant but potentially important functional molecules that participate in neurodegeneration. The purpose of this study was to establish a proteomic strategy for the profiling of neurodegenerative disease tissues for disease-specific changes in protein abundance. Using high resolution liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) we analyzed detergent-insoluble frontal cortex samples from AD and unaffected control cases. In addition, we analyzed samples from frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) cases to identify AD-specific changes not present in other neurodegenerative diseases. We used a labeling-free quantification technique to compare the abundance of identified peptides in the samples based on extracted ion current (XIC) of their corresponding ions. Of the 512 identified proteins, quantitation demonstrated significant changes in 81 AD-specific proteins. Following additional manual filtering, 11 proteins were accepted with high confidence as increased in AD compared to control and FTLD brains, including β-amyloid, tau and apolipoprotein E, all well-established AD-linked proteins. In addition, we identified and validated the presence of serine protease 15, ankyrin B, and 14-3-3η in the detergent-insoluble fraction. Our results provide further evidence for the capacity of proteomics applications to identify conserved sets of disease-specific proteins in AD, to enhance our understanding of disease pathogenesis, and to deliver new candidates for the development of effective therapies for this, and other, devastating neurodegenerative disorders.
Proteomics; Alzheimer’s disease; Detergent-insoluble fractions
Methylation of lysine and arginine is known to be critical in cellular processes. However, methylation of other amino acidic residues has been largely overlooked. Here, we report a systematic screening for methylation of side chains of aspartate and glutamate (D/E-methylation), involving exhaustive nano-HPLC/MS/MS, a protein sequence database search, and manual verification. The putative D/E-methylated peptides were confirmed by MS/MS of synthetic peptides. Our analysis identified several D/E-methylation substrate proteins and their modification sites in human and yeast cells. To our knowledge, this is the first report conclusively identifying in vivo D/E-methylation substrates and their modification sites in eukaryotic cells, demonstrating that D/E-methylations are abundant protein modifications. The substrate proteins identified here provide a stepping stone for future biochemical characterization of protein methylation pathways.
methylation; methylation of aspartic acid; methylation of glutamic acid; mass spectrometry; proteomics
All seven lysine residues in ubiquitin contribute to the synthesis of polyubiquitin chains on protein substrates. Whereas K48-linked chains are well established as mediators of proteasomal degradation, and K63-linked chains act in nonproteolytic events, the roles of unconventional polyubiquitin chains linked through K6, K11, K27, K29, or K33 are not well understood. Here we report that the unconventional linkages are abundant in vivo, and all non-K63 linkages may target proteins for degradation. Ubiquitin with K48 as the single lysine cannot support yeast viability, and different linkages have partially redundant functions. By profiling both the entire yeast proteome and ubiquitinated proteins in wild-type and ubiquitin K11R mutant strains using mass spectrometry, we identified K11 linkage-specific substrates, including Ubc6, a ubiquitin conjugating enzyme involved in endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD). Ubc6 primarily synthesizes K11-linked chains, and K11 linkages function in the ERAD pathway. Thus, unconventional polyubiquitin chains are critical for ubiquitin-proteasome system function.
ubiquitin; polyubiquitin chains; K11 linkages; protein degradation; proteasome; Ubc6; mass spectrometry; proteomics; SILAC
Ischemia and seizure cause excessive neuronal excitation that is associated with brain acidosis and neuronal cell death. However, the molecular mechanism of acidification-triggered neuronal injury is incompletely understood. Here, we show that Asparagine Endopeptidase (AEP) is activated under acidic condition and cuts SET, an inhibitor of Dnase, and triggers DNA damage in brain, which is inhibited by PIKE-L. SET, a substrate of caspases, was cleaved by acidic cytosolic extract independent of caspase activation. Fractionation of the acidic cellular extract yielded AEP that is required for SET cleavage. We found that kainate provoked AEP activation and SET cleavage at N175, triggering DNA nicking in wild-type but not AEP-null mice. PIKE-L strongly bound SET and prevented its degradation by AEP, leading to resistance of neuronal cell death. Moreover, AEP also mediated stroke-provoked SET cleavage and cell death in brain. Thus, AEP might be one of the proteinases activated by acidosis triggering neuronal injury during neuroexcitotoxicity or ischemia.
More than 80 years after iron accumulation was initially described in the substantia nigra (SN) of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, the mechanisms responsible for this phenomenon are still unknown. Similarly, how iron is delivered to its major recipients in the cell – mitochondria and the respiratory complexes – has yet to be elucidated. Here, we report a novel transferrin/transferrin receptor 2 (Tf/TfR2)-mediated iron transport pathway in mitochondria of SN dopamine neurons. We found that TfR2 has a previously uncharacterized mitochondrial targeting sequence that is sufficient to import the protein into these organelles. Importantly, the Tf/TfR2 pathway can deliver Tf bound iron to mitochondria and to the respiratory complex I as well. The pathway is redox-sensitive and oxidation of Tf thiols to disulfides induces release from Tf of highly reactive ferrous iron, which contributes to free radical production. In the rotenone model of PD, Tf accumulates in dopamine neurons, with much of it accumulating in the mitochondria. This is associated with iron deposition in SN, similar to what occurs in PD. In the human SN, TfR2 is also found in mitochondria of dopamine neurons, and in PD there is a dramatic increase of oxidized Tf in SN. Thus, we have discovered a novel mitochondrial iron transport system that goes awry in PD, and which may provide a new target for therapeutic intervention.
Parkinson's disease; Rotenone; Oxidative stress; Mitochondria; Iron; Transferrin
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, is manifested in the brain by the aggregation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The tangles are primarily composed of microtubule-associated protein tau that is aberrantly hyperphosphorylated, suggesting that deregulated phosphorylation may contribute to AD pathogenesis. However, systematic analysis of the phosphoproteome in AD brain tissues has not been reported. We used calcium phosphate precipitation to analyze an AD postmortem brain, followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The protein sample was first resolved by one-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and subjected to gel excision and in-gel digestion. Phosphopeptides in the resulting peptide mixtures were enriched in a single step of calcium phosphate precipitation, and then analyzed by the LC-MS/MS approach. After database search, stringent filtering, and manual validation of neural loss in the MS/MS spectra, a total of 466 phosphorylation sites on 185 proteins including tau were identified. The majority of sites were not described previously. This study demonstrates the feasibility of combining calcium phosphate precipitation with mass spectrometry for phosphoproteome analysis of postmortem human brain tissue.
Alzheimer’s disease; protein phosphorylation; immobilized metal-affinity chromatography; calcium phosphate precipitation; proteomics
p27Kip1 is a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that regulates the G1/S transition. Increased degradation of p27Kip1 is associated with cellular transformation. Previous work demonstrated that the ubiquitin ligases KPC1/KPC2 and SCFSkp2 ubiquitinate p27Kip1 in G1 and early S, respectively. The regulation of these ligases remains unclear. We report here that the USP19 deubiquitinating enzyme interacts with and stabilizes KPC1, thereby modulating p27Kip1 levels and cell proliferation. Cells depleted of USP19 by RNA interference exhibited an inhibition of cell proliferation, progressing more slowly from G0/G1 to S phase, and accumulated p27Kip1. This increase in p27Kip1 was associated with normal levels of Skp2 but reduced levels of KPC1. The overexpression of KPC1 or the use of p27−/− cells inhibited significantly the growth defect observed upon USP19 depletion. KPC1 was ubiquitinated in vivo and stabilized by proteasome inhibitors and by overexpression of USP19, and it also coimmunoprecipitated with USP19. Our results identify USP19 as the first deubiquitinating enzyme that regulates the stability of a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor and demonstrate that progression through G1 to S phase is, like the metaphase-anaphase transition, controlled in a hierarchical, multilayered fashion.
Protein ubiquitination plays an essential regulatory role within all eukaryotes. Large-scale analyses of ubiquitinated proteins are usually performed by combining affinity purification strategies with mass spectrometry. However, there is no reliable method to systematically differentiate ubiquitinated species from co-purified unmodified components. Here we report a simple strategy for the large-scale validation of ubiquitination by reconstructing virtual Western blots for proteins analyzed by gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. Because protein ubiquitination, especially polyubiquitination, causes dramatic shift of molecular weight, the difference between experimental and expected molecular weight was used to confirm the status of ubiquitination. Experimental molecular weight of putative yeast ubiquitin-conjugates was computed from the value and distribution of spectral counts in the gel using a Gaussian curve fitting approach. Unmodified proteins in yeast cell lysate were also analyzed as a control to assess the accuracy of the method. Multiple thresholds that incorporated the mass of ubiquitin and/or experimental variations were evaluated with respect to sensitivity and specificity. Ultimately, only ~30% of the candidate ubiquitin-conjugates were accepted based on the stringent filtering criteria, although they were purified under denaturing conditions. These accepted conjugates had an estimated false discovery rate of ~8% and primarily consisted of proteins larger than 100 kDa. Compared with another validation method (i.e. identification of ubiquitinated lysine sites), ~95% of the proteins with defined modification sites showed a convincing increase in molecular weight on the virtual Western blots. A second independent analysis indicated that the method can be simplified by excising less than ten gel bands. Therefore, this strategy establishes criteria necessary for the interpretation of ubiquitinated proteins.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most prevalent form of dementia, resulting in progressive neuronal death and debilitating damage to brain loci that mediate memory and higher cognitive function. While pathogenic genetic mutations have been implicated in ~2% of AD cases, the proximal events that underlie the common, sporadic form of the disease are incompletely understood. Converging lines of evidence from human neuropathology, basic biology, and genetics have implicated loss of the multifunctional receptor LR11 (also known as SORLA and SORL1) in AD pathogenesis. Cell-based studies suggest that LR11 reduces the formation of β-amyloid (Aβ), the molecule believed to be a primary toxic species in AD. Recently, mutant mice deficient in LR11 were shown to upregulate murine Aβ in mouse brain. In the current study, LR11-deficient mice were crossed with transgenic mice expressing autosomal-dominant human AD genes, presenilin-1 (PS1ΔE9) and amyloid precursor protein (APPswe). Here, we show that LR11 deficiency in this AD mouse model significantly increases Aβ levels and exacerbates early amyloid pathology in brain, causing a forward shift in disease onset that is LR11 gene dose-dependent. Loss of LR11 increases the processing of the APP holo-molecule into α-, β-, and γ-secretase derived metabolites. We propose that LR11 regulates APP processing and Aβ accumulation in vivo and is of proximal importance to the cascade of pathological amyloidosis. The results of the current study support the hypothesis that control of LR11 expression may exert critical effects on Alzheimer’s disease susceptibility in humans.
LR11; SORLA; SORL1; transgenic mouse; β-amyloid; Alzheimer’s disease; APOE
The manifestation of Lewy bodies (LB) in the brain is a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of protein elements in Lewy bodies by comparative mass spectrometry. Cortical LB inclusions were enriched by sucrose gradient centrifugation from postmortem brains, and a negative control sample was prepared from specimen without LB pathology. Whereas ~550 proteins were identified in the LB-enriched sample by mass spectrometry, quantitative comparison with the control sample revealed that ~40 proteins were co-enriched with α-synuclein, the major component in Lewy bodies. As expected, the list of proteins included previously reported constituents, such as those involved in protein folding, membrane trafficking and oxidative stress. More interestingly, we discovered in the LB-enriched sample several kinases (MAPKK1/MEK1, protein kinase C, and doublecortin-like kinase), a novel deubiquitinating enzyme (otubain 1), and numerous ubiquitin ligases (KPC and SCF). The proteomic studies provide enzyme candidates to investigate the regulation of α-synuclein and/or other LB proteins, which may contribute to the formation of Lewy bodies and the toxicity of α-synuclein in the related neurodegenerative disorders.
Lewy body; Parkinson’s disease; dementia with Lewy bodies; LC-MS/MS; proteomics
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) control neuronal synaptic function; however, little is known about the synaptic substrates regulated by MAPKs. A phosphopeptide library incorporating the MAPK consensus motif (PX(pS/pT)P where pS is phosphoserine and pT is phosphothreonine) was used to raise a phosphospecific antibody that detected MAPK-mediated phosphorylation. The antibody (termed “5557”) recognized a variety of phosphoproteins in the brain, many of which were enriched in postsynaptic density fractions. The immunoblot pattern changed rapidly in response to altered synaptic activity and with the inhibition of specific MAPKs and protein phosphatases. By immunoaffinity purification with 5557 antibody followed by mass spectrometry, we identified 449 putative MAPK substrates of which many appeared dynamically regulated in neuron cultures. Several of the novel candidate MAPK substrates were validated by in vitro phosphorylation assays. Additionally 82 specific phosphorylation sites were identified in 34 proteins, including Ser-447 in δ-catenin, a component of the cadherin adhesion complex. We further raised another phosphospecific antibody to confirm that δ-catenin Ser-447 is modified in neurons by the MAPK JNK in a synaptic activity-dependent manner. Ser-447 phosphorylation by JNK appears to be correlated with δ-catenin degradation, and a δ-catenin mutant defective in Ser-447 phosphorylation showed enhanced ability to promote dendrite branching in cultured neurons. Thus, phosphomotif-based affinity purification is a powerful approach to identify novel substrates of MAPKs in vivo and to reveal functionally significant phosphorylation events.