Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) represses cell cycle progression by directly phosphorylating cyclin D1 and indirectly regulating cyclin D1 transcription by inhibiting Wnt signaling. Recently, we reported that the Epm2a-encoded laforin is a GSK-3β phosphatase and a tumor suppressor. The cellular mechanism for its tumor suppression remains unknown. Using ex vivo thymocytes and primary embryonic fibroblasts from Epm2a−/− mice, we show here a general function of laforin in the cell cycle regulation and repression of cyclin D1 expression. Moreover, targeted mutation of Epm2a increased the phosphorylation of Ser9 on GSK-3β while having no effect on the phosphorylation of Ser21 on GSK-3α. In the GSK-3β+/+ but not the GSK-3β−/− cells, Epm2a small interfering RNA significantly enhanced cell growth. Consistent with an increased level of cyclin D1, the phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein (Rb) and the levels of Rb-E2F-regulated genes cyclin A, cyclin E, MCM3, and PCNA are also elevated. Inhibitors of GSK-3β selectively increased the cell growth of Epm2a+/+ but not of Epm2a−/− cells. Taken together, our data demonstrate that laforin is a selective phosphatase for GSK-3β and regulates cell cycle progression by GSK-3β-dependent mechanisms. These data provide a cellular basis for the tumor suppression activity of laforin.
Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) plays pivotal roles in mitosis; however, little is known about its function in S phase. In this study, we show that inhibition of Plk1 impairs DNA replication and results in slow S-phase progression in cultured cancer cells. We have identified origin recognition complex 2 (Orc2), a member of the DNA replication machinery, as a Plk1 substrate and have shown that Plk1 phosphorylates Orc2 at Ser188 in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, Orc2-S188 phosphorylation is enhanced when DNA replication is under challenge induced by ultraviolet, hydroxyurea, gemcitabine, or aphidicolin treatment. Cells expressing the unphosphorylatable mutant (S188A) of Orc2 had defects in DNA synthesis under stress, suggesting that this phosphorylation event is critical to maintain DNA replication under stress. To dissect the mechanism pertinent to this observation, we showed that Orc2-S188 phosphorylation associates with DNA replication origin and that cells expressing Orc2-S188A mutant fail to maintain the functional pre-replicative complex (pre-RC) under DNA replication stress. Furthermore, the intra-S-phase checkpoint is activated in Orc2-S188A-expressing cells to cause delay of S-phase progress. Our study suggests a novel role of Plk1 in facilitating DNA replication under conditions of stress to maintain genomic integrity.
Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that play multiple roles in cells. How mitochondria cooperatively modulate embryonic stem (ES) cell function during development is not fully understood. Global disruption of Ptpmt1, a mitochondrial Pten-like phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PIP) phosphatase, resulted in developmental arrest and postimplantation lethality. Ptpmt1−/− blastocysts failed to outgrow, and inner-cell-mass cells failed to thrive. Depletion of Ptpmt1 in conditional knockout ES cells decreased proliferation without affecting energy homeostasis or cell survival. Differentiation of Ptpmt1-depleted ES cells was essentially blocked. This was accompanied by upregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors and a significant cell cycle delay. Reintroduction of wild-type but not of catalytically deficient Ptpmt1 C132S or truncated Ptpmt1 lacking the mitochondrial localization signal restored the differentiation capabilities of Ptpmt1 knockout ES cells. Intriguingly, Ptpmt1 is specifically important for stem cells, as ablation of Ptpmt1 in differentiated embryonic fibroblasts did not disturb cellular function. Further analyses demonstrated that oxygen consumption of Ptpmt1-depleted cells was decreased, while glycolysis was concomitantly enhanced. In addition, mitochondrial fusion/dynamics were compromised in Ptpmt1 knockout cells due to accumulation of PIPs. These studies, while establishing a crucial role for Ptpmt1 phosphatase in embryogenesis, reveal a mitochondrial metabolic stress-activated checkpoint in the control of ES cell differentiation.
A new class of inflammatory CD4+ T cells that produce interleukin-17 (IL-17) (termed Th17) has been identified, which plays a critical role in numerous inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases. The active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3], has a direct repressive effect on the expression of IL-17A in both human and mouse T cells. In vivo treatment of mice with ongoing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE; a mouse model of multiple sclerosis) diminishes paralysis and progression of the disease and reduces IL-17A-secreting CD4+ T cells in the periphery and central nervous system (CNS). The mechanism of 1,25(OH)2D3 repression of IL-17A expression was found to be transcriptional repression, mediated by the vitamin D receptor (VDR). Transcription assays, gel shifting, and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays indicate that the negative effect of 1,25(OH)2D3 on IL-17A involves blocking of nuclear factor for activated T cells (NFAT), recruitment of histone deacetylase (HDAC), sequestration of Runt-related transcription factor 1 (Runx1) by 1,25(OH)2D3/VDR, and a direct effect of 1,25(OH)2D3 on induction of Foxp3. Our results describe novel mechanisms and new concepts with regard to vitamin D and the immune system and suggest therapeutic targets for the control of autoimmune diseases.
Drosophila microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are generally produced by different Dicer enzymes (Dcr-1 and Dcr-2) and sorted to functionally distinct Argonaute effectors (AGO1 and AGO2). However, there is cross talk between these pathways, as highlighted by the recognition that Drosophila miRNA* strands (the partner strands of mature miRNAs) are generated by Dcr-1 but are preferentially sorted to AGO2. Here, we show that a component of the siRNA loading complex, R2D2, is essential both to load endogenously encoded siRNAs (endo-siRNAs) into AGO2 and to prevent endo-siRNAs from binding to AGO1. Northern blot analysis and deep sequencing showed that in the r2d2 mutant, all classes of endo-siRNAs were unable to load AGO2 and instead accumulated in the AGO1 complex. Such redirection was specific to endo-siRNAs and was not observed with miRNA* strands. We observed functional consequences of altered sorting in RNA interference (RNAi) mutants, since endo-siRNAs generated from cis-natural antisense transcripts (cis-NAT-siRNA) exhibited evidence for biased maturation as single strands in AGO1 according to thermodynamic asymmetry and a hairpin-derived endo-siRNA formed cleavage-competent complexes with AGO1 upon mutation of r2d2. Finally, we demonstrated a direct role for the R2D2/Dcr-2 heterodimer in sensing central mismatch positions that direct miRNA* strands to AGO2. Together, these data reveal new roles of R2D2 in organizing small RNA networks in Drosophila.
Cwc22 was previously identified to associate with the pre-mRNA splicing factor Cef1/Ntc85, a component of the Prp19-associated complex (nineteen complex [NTC]) involved in spliceosome activation. We show here that Cwc22 is required for pre-mRNA splicing both in vivo and in vitro but is neither tightly associated with the NTC nor required for spliceosome activation. Cwc22 is associated with the spliceosome prior to catalytic steps and remains associated throughout the reaction. The stable association of Cwc22 with the spliceosome requires the presence of the NTC but is independent of Prp2. Although Cwc22 is not required for the recruitment of Prp2 to the spliceosome, it is essential for the function of Prp2 in promoting the release of the U2 components SF3a and SF3b. In the absence of Cwc22, Prp2 can bind to the spliceosome but is dissociated upon ATP hydrolysis without promoting the release of SF3a/b. Thus, Cwc22 represents a novel ATP-dependent step one factor besides Prp2 and Spp2 and has a distinct role from that of Spp2 in mediating the function of Prp2.
The Mohawk homeobox (Mkx) gene encodes a new atypical homeodomain-containing protein with transcriptional repressor activity. Mkx mRNA exhibited dynamic expression patterns during development of the palate, somite, kidney, and testis, suggesting that it may be an important regulator of multiple developmental processes. To investigate the roles of Mkx in organogenesis, we generated mice carrying a null mutation in this gene. Mkx−/− mice survive postnatally and exhibit a unique wavy-tail phenotype. Close examination revealed that the mutant mice had smaller tendons than wild-type littermates and that the rapid postnatal growth of collagen fibrils in tendons was disrupted in Mkx−/− mice. Defects in tendon development were detected in the mutant mouse embryos as early as embryonic day 16.5 (E16.5). Although collagen fibril assembly initially appeared normal, the tendons of Mkx−/− embryos expressed significantly reduced amounts of collagen I, fibromodulin, and tenomodulin in comparison with control littermates. We found that Mkx mRNA was strongly expressed in differentiating tendon cells during embryogenesis and in the tendon sheath cells in postnatal stages. In addition to defects in tendon collagen fibrillogenesis, Mkx−/− mutant mice exhibited abnormal tendon sheaths. These results identify Mkx as an important regulator of tendon development.
Virus infection induces host antiviral responses, including induction of type I interferons. Transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) plays a pivotal role and is tightly regulated in this process. Here, we identify HERC5 (HECT domain and RLD 5) as a specific binding protein of IRF3 by immunoprecipitation. Ectopic expression or knockdown of HERC5 could, respectively, enhance or impair IRF3-mediated gene expression. Mechanistically, HERC5 catalyzes the conjugation of ubiquitin-like protein ISG15 onto IRF3 (Lys193, -360, and -366), thus attenuating the interaction between Pin1 and IRF3, resulting in sustained IRF3 activation. In contrast to results for wild-type IRF3, the mutant IRF3(K193,360,366R) interacts tightly with Pin1, is highly polyubiquitinated, and becomes less stable upon Sendai virus (SeV) infection. Consistently, host antiviral responses are obviously boosted or crippled in the presence or absence of HERC5, respectively. Collectively, this study characterizes HERC5 as a positive regulator of innate antiviral responses. It sustains IRF3 activation via a novel posttranslational modification, ISGylation.
The loss of E-cadherin gene expression can cause the dysfunction of the cell-cell junction to trigger tumor metastasis. Members of the Snail family of transcription factors are repressors of the expression of the E-cadherin gene. In this study, we showed that the activated androgen receptor (AR) is a novel repressor of E-cadherin gene expression and can promote metastasis. Our results demonstrated that the activated AR could bind to the E-cadherin promoter in vitro and in vivo. The activated AR and HDAC1 had synergistic effects in downregulating E-cadherin gene expression. Treating cells with the AR ligand, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), triggered the reduction of E-cadherin expression and induced changes in cell morphology from an epithelial-like to a mesenchymal-like appearance. When nonmetastatic breast cancer cells expressing cytoplasmic AR were transplanted into mice and the mice were treated with DHT, tumors were detected at metastatic sites, whereas no tumors were detected in transplanted mice without DHT treatment. Furthermore, clinical data from breast cancer patients with invasive ductal carcinomas showed high levels of AR expression in the nuclei and low levels of E-cadherin expression. These results suggest that, similarly to Snail and Twist, the activated AR can downregulate E-cadherin expression to promote the activation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and tumor metastasis.
Promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) is an important regulator due to its role in numerous cellular processes including apoptosis, viral infection, senescence, DNA damage repair, and cell cycle regulation. Despite the role of PML in many cellular functions, little is known about the regulation of PML itself. We show that PML stability is regulated through interaction with the peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase Pin1. This interaction is mediated through four serine-proline motifs in the C terminus of PML. Binding to Pin1 results in degradation of PML in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. Furthermore, our data indicate that sumoylation of PML blocks the interaction, thus preventing degradation of PML by this pathway. Functionally, we show that in the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line modulating levels of Pin1 affects steady-state levels of PML. Furthermore, degradation of PML due to Pin1 acts both to protect these cells from hydrogen peroxide-induced death and to increase the rate of proliferation. Taken together, our work defines a novel mechanism by which sumoylation of PML prevents Pin1-dependent degradation. This interaction likely occurs in numerous cell lines and may be a pathway for oncogenic transformation.
When recognized by the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) produced in eukaryotic cells results in posttranscriptional gene silencing. In addition, dsRNA can trigger the interferon response as part of the immune response in vertebrates. In this study, we show that dsRNA, but not short interfering RNA (siRNA), induces the expression of qde-2 (an Argonaute gene) and dcl-2 (a Dicer gene), two central components of the RNAi pathway in the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. The induction of QDE-2 by dsRNA is required for normal gene silencing, indicating that this is a regulatory mechanism that allows the optimal function of the RNAi pathway. In addition, we demonstrate that Dicer proteins (DCLs) regulate QDE-2 posttranscriptionally, suggesting a role for DCLs or siRNA in QDE-2 accumulation. Finally, a genome-wide search revealed that additional RNAi components and homologs of antiviral and interferon-stimulated genes are also dsRNA-activated genes in Neurospora. Together, our results suggest that the activation of the RNAi components is part of a broad ancient host defense response against viral and transposon infections.
RNA polymerases can be shared by a particular group of genes in a transcription “factory” in nuclei, where transcription may be coordinated in concert with the distribution of coexpressed genes in higher-eukaryote genomes. Moreover, gene expression can be modulated by regulatory elements working over a long distance. Here, we compared the conformation of a 130-kb chromatin region containing the mouse α-globin cluster and their flanking housekeeping genes in 14.5-day-postcoitum fetal liver and brain cells. The analysis of chromatin conformation showed that the active α1 and α2 globin genes and upstream regulatory elements are in close spatial proximity, indicating that looping may function in the transcriptional regulation of the mouse α-globin cluster. In fetal liver cells, the active α1 and α2 genes, but not the inactive ζ gene, colocalize with neighboring housekeeping genes C16orf33, C16orf8, MPG, and C16orf35. This is in sharp contrast with the mouse α-globin genes in nonexpressing cells, which are separated from the congregated housekeeping genes. A comparison of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) occupancies showed that active α1 and α2 gene promoters have a much higher RNA Pol II enrichment in liver than in brain. The RNA Pol II occupancy at the ζ gene promoter, which is specifically repressed during development, is much lower than that at the α1 and α2 promoters. Thus, the mouse α-globin gene cluster may be regulated through moving in or out active globin gene promoters and regulatory elements of a preexisting transcription factory in the nucleus, which is maintained by the flanking clustered housekeeping genes, to activate or inactivate α-globin gene expression.
G proteins are molecular switches that control a wide variety of physiological functions, including neurotransmission, transcriptional activation, cell migration, cell growth. and proliferation. The ability of GTPases to participate in signaling events is determined by the ratio of GTP-bound to GDP-bound forms in the cell. All known GTPases exist in an inactive (GDP-bound) and an active (GTP-bound) conformation, which are catalyzed by guanine nucleotide exchange factors and GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs), respectively. In this study, we identified and characterized a new family of bifunctional GTP-binding and GTPase-activating proteins, named GGAP. GGAPs contain an N-terminal Ras homology domain, called the G domain, followed by a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, a C-terminal GAP domain, and a tandem ankyrin (ANK) repeat domain. Expression analysis indicates that this new family of proteins has distinct cell localization, tissue distribution, and even message sizes. GTPase assays demonstrate that GGAPs have high GTPase activity through direct intramolecular interaction of the N-terminal G domain and the C-terminal GAP domain. In the absence of the GAP domain, the N-terminal G domain has very low activity, suggesting a new model of GGAP protein regulation via intramolecular interaction like the multidomain protein kinases. Overexpression of GGAPs leads to changes in cell morphology and activation of gene transcription.
The mammalian SWI/SNF-like chromatin-remodeling BAF complex plays several important roles in controlling cell proliferation and differentiation. Interferons (IFNs) are key mediators of cellular antiviral and antiproliferative activities. In this report, we demonstrate that the BAF complex is required for the maximal induction of a subset of IFN target genes by alpha IFN (IFN-α). The BAF complex is constitutively associated with the IFITM3 promoter in vivo and facilitates the chromatin remodeling of the promoter upon IFN-α induction. Furthermore, we show that the ubiquitous transcription activator Sp1 interacts with the BAF complex in vivo and augments the BAF-mediated activation of the IFITM3 promoter. Sp1 binds constitutively to the IFITM3 promoter in the absence of the BAF complex, suggesting that it may recruit and/or stabilize the BAF complex binding to the IFITM3 promoter. Our results bring new mechanistic insights into the antiproliferative effects of the chromatin-remodeling BAF complex.
RhoB is an endosomal small GTPase that is implicated in the response to growth factors, genotoxic stress, and farnesyltransferase inhibitors. To gain insight into its physiological functions we examined the consequences of homozygous gene deletion in the mouse. Loss of RhoB did not adversely affect mouse development, fertility, or wound healing. However, embryo fibroblasts cultured in vitro exhibited a defect in motility, suggesting that RhoB has a role in this process that is conditional on cell stress. Neoplastic transformation by adenovirus E1A and mutant Ras yielded differences in cell attachment and spreading that were not apparent in primary cells. In addition, transformed −/− cells displayed altered actin and proliferative responses to transforming growth factor β. A negative modifier role in transformation was suggested by the increased susceptibility of −/− mice to 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced skin carcinogenesis and by the increased efficiency of intraperitoneal tumor formation by −/− cells. Our findings suggest that RhoB is a negative regulator of integrin and growth factor signals that are involved in neoplastic transformation and possibly other stress or disease states.
Pleckstrin homology (PH) domain binding to D3-phosphorylated phosphatidylinositides (PI) provides a reversible means of recruiting proteins to the plasma membrane, with the resultant change in subcellular localization playing a key role in the activation of multiple intracellular signaling pathways. Previously we found that the T-cell-specific PH domain-containing kinase Itk is constitutively membrane associated in Jurkat T cells. This distribution was unexpected given that the closely related B-cell kinase, Btk, is almost exclusively cytosolic. In addition to constitutive membrane association of Itk, unstimulated JTAg T cells also exhibited constitutive phosphorylation of Akt on Ser-473, an indication of elevated basal levels of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) products PI-3,4-P2 and PI-3,4,5-P3 in the plasma membrane. Here we describe a defect in expression of the D3 phosphoinositide phosphatase, PTEN, in Jurkat and JTAg T cells that leads to unregulated PH domain interactions with the plasma membrane. Inhibition of D3 phosphorylation by PI3K inhibitors, or by expression of PTEN, blocked constitutive phosphorylation of Akt on Ser-473 and caused Itk to redistribute to the cytosol. The PTEN-deficient cells were also hyperresponsive to T-cell receptor (TCR) stimulation, as measured by Itk kinase activity, tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C-γ1, and activation of Erk compared to those in PTEN-replete cells. These data support the idea that PH domain-mediated association with the plasma membrane is required for Itk activation, provide evidence for a negative regulatory role of PTEN in TCR stimulation, and suggest that signaling models based on results from Jurkat T-cell lines may underestimate the role of PI3K in TCR signaling.
The winged-helix (WH) BF-1 gene, which encodes brain factor 1 (BF-1) (also known as foxg1), is essential for the proliferation of the progenitor cells of the cerebral cortex. Here we show that BF-1-deficient telencephalic progenitor cells are more apt to leave the cell cycle in response to transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) and activin. We found that ectopic expression of BF-1 in vitro inhibits TGF-β mediated growth inhibition and transcriptional activation. Surprisingly, we found that the ability of BF-1 to function as a TGF-β antagonist does not require its DNA binding activity. Therefore, we investigated whether BF-1 can inhibit Smad-dependent transcriptional responses by interacting with Smads or Smad binding partners. We found that BF-1 does not interact with Smads. Because the identities of the Smad partners mediating growth inhibition by TGF-β are not clearly established, we examined a model reporter system which is known to be activated by activin and TGF-β through Smads and the WH factor FAST-2. We demonstrate that BF-1 associates with FAST-2. This interaction is dependent on the same region of protein which mediates its ability to interfere with the antiproliferative activity of TGF-β and with TGF-β-dependent transcriptional activation. Furthermore, the interaction of FAST-2 with BF-1 is mediated by the same domain which is required for FAST-2 to interact with Smad2. We propose a model in which BF-1 interferes with transcriptional responses to TGF-β by interacting with FAST-2 or with other DNA binding proteins which function as Smad2 partners and which have a common mode of interaction with Smad2.
Farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTIs) are in clinical trials, but how they selectively inhibit malignant cell growth remains uncertain. One important player in this process appears to be RhoB, an endosomal Rho protein that regulates receptor trafficking. FTI treatment elicits a gain of the geranylgeranylated RhoB isoform (RhoB-GG) that occurs due to modification of RhoB by geranylgeranyltransferase I in drug-treated cells. Notably, this event is sufficient to mediate antineoplastic effects in murine models and human carcinoma cells. To further assess this gain-of-function mechanism and determine whether RhoB-GG has a necessary role in drug action, we examined the FTI response of murine fibroblasts that cannot express RhoB-GG due to homozygous deletion of the rhoB gene. Nullizygous (−/−) cells were susceptible to cotransformation by adenovirus E1A plus activated H-Ras but defective in their FTI response, despite complete inhibition of H-Ras prenylation. Actin cytoskeletal and phenotypic events were disrupted in −/− cells, implicating RhoB-GG in these effects. Interestingly, −/− cells were resistant to FTI-induced growth inhibition under anchorage-dependent but not anchorage-independent conditions, indicating that, while RhoB-GG is sufficient, it is not necessary for growth inhibition under all conditions. In contrast, −/− cells were resistant to FTI-induced apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Significantly, the apoptotic defect of −/− cells compromised the antitumor efficacy of FTI in xenograft assays. This study offers genetic proof of the hypothesis that RhoB-GG is a crucial mediator of the antineoplastic effects of FTIs.
Monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) plays a pivotal role in many inflammatory processes, including the progression of atherosclerosis and the response of the arterial wall to injury. We previously demonstrated that dexamethasone (Dex) inhibits MCP-1 mRNA accumulation in smooth muscle cells by decreasing its half-life. The effect of Dex was dependent upon the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and independent of new transcription. Using RNA affinity and column chromatography, we have identified two proteins involved in regulating MCP-1 mRNA stability: Y-box binding protein 1 (YB-1), a multifunctional DNA/RNA-binding protein, and endoribonuclease UK114 (UK). By immunoprecipitation, YB and GR formed a complex present in equal amounts in extracts from untreated and Dex-treated cells. YB-1, UK, and GR small interfering RNA (siRNA) substantially inhibited the effect of Dex on MCP-1 mRNA accumulation. In addition, YB-1 antibody blocked the degradation of MCP-1 mRNA by cytoplasmic extracts from the Dex-treated cells. The degradative activity of extracts immunoprecipitated with antibodies to either YB-1 or GR was blocked with UK antibody. UK did not degrade MCP-1 mRNA; however, upon addition to nondegrading control extracts, it rapidly degraded MCP-1 mRNA. These studies define new roles for GR, YB-1, and UK in the formation of a molecular complex that degrades MCP-1 mRNA.
The Cbl family proteins function as both E3 ubiquitin ligases and adaptor proteins to regulate various cellular signaling events, including the insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) pathways. These pathways play essential roles in growth, development, metabolism, and survival. Here we show that in Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila Cbl (dCbl) regulates longevity and carbohydrate metabolism through downregulating the production of Drosophila insulin-like peptides (dILPs) in the brain. We found that dCbl was highly expressed in the brain and knockdown of the expression of dCbl specifically in neurons by RNA interference increased sensitivity to oxidative stress or starvation, decreased carbohydrate levels, and shortened life span. Insulin-producing neuron-specific knockdown of dCbl resulted in similar phenotypes. dCbl deficiency in either the brain or insulin-producing cells upregulated the expression of dilp genes, resulting in elevated activation of the dILP pathway, including phosphorylation of Drosophila Akt and Drosophila extracellular signal-regulated kinase (dERK). Genetic interaction analyses revealed that blocking Drosophila epidermal growth factor receptor (dEGFR)-dERK signaling in pan-neurons or insulin-producing cells by overexpressing a dominant-negative form of dEGFR abolished the effect of dCbl deficiency on the upregulation of dilp genes. Furthermore, knockdown of c-Cbl in INS-1 cells, a rat β-cell line, also increased insulin biosynthesis and glucose-stimulated secretion in an ERK-dependent manner. Collectively, these results suggest that neuronal dCbl regulates life span, stress responses, and metabolism by suppressing dILP production and the EGFR-ERK pathway mediates the dCbl action. Cbl suppression of insulin biosynthesis is evolutionarily conserved, raising the possibility that Cbl may similarly exert its physiological actions through regulating insulin production in β cells.
The formation, distribution, and maintenance of functional mitochondria are achieved through dynamic processes that depend strictly on the transcription of nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial proteins. A large number of these mitochondrial genes contain binding sites for the transcription factor Yin Yang 1 (YY1) in their proximal promoters, but the physiological relevance is unknown. We report here that skeletal-muscle-specific YY1 knockout (YY1mKO) mice have severely defective mitochondrial morphology and oxidative function associated with exercise intolerance, signs of mitochondrial myopathy, and short stature. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) revealed that the top pathways downregulated in YY1mKO mice were assigned to key metabolic and regulatory mitochondrial genes. This analysis was consistent with a profound decrease in the level of mitochondrial proteins and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) bioenergetic function in these mice. In contrast to the finding for wild-type mice, inactivation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) did not suppress mitochondrial genes in YY1mKO mice. Mechanistically, mTOR-dependent phosphorylation of YY1 resulted in a strong interaction between YY1 and the transcriptional coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1α (PGC1α), a major regulator of mitochondrial function. These results underscore the important role of YY1 in the maintenance of mitochondrial function and explain how its inactivation might contribute to exercise intolerance and mitochondrial myopathies.
The regulation of alternative mRNA splicing factors by extracellular cues and signal transduction cascades is poorly understood. Using an engineered extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) that can utilize ATP analogs, we have identified the alternative mRNA splicing factor 45 (SPF45), which is overexpressed in cancer, as a novel coimmunoprecipitating ERK2 substrate. ERK2 phosphorylated SPF45 on Thr71 and Ser222 in vitro and in cells in response to H-RasV12, B-RAF-V600E, and activated MEK1. Jun N-terminal kinase 1 (JNK1) and p38α also phosphorylated SPF45 in vitro and associated with SPF45 in cells. SPF45 was differentially phosphorylated in cells by all three mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases in response to phorbol myristate acid (PMA), H2O2, UV, and anisomycin stimulation. ERK and p38 activation decreased SPF45-dependent exon 6 exclusion from fas mRNA in a minigene assay in cells. Stable overexpression of SPF45 in SKOV-3 cells dramatically inhibited cell proliferation in a phosphorylation-dependent manner through inhibition of ErbB2 expression. SPF45 overexpression also induced EDA inclusion into fibronectin transcripts and fibronectin expression in a phosphorylation-dependent and -independent manner, respectively, specifically affecting cellular adhesion to a fibronectin matrix. These data identify SPF45 as the first splicing factor regulated by multiple MAP kinase pathways and show effects of both SPF45 overexpression and phosphorylation.
During vertebrate gastrulation, both concurrent inductive events and cell movements are required for axis formation. Convergence and extension (CE) movements contribute to narrowing and lengthening the forming embryonic axis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a critical role in regulating fundamental cellular functions and developmental processes, but their functions in CE movements are not well known. Zebrafish mir206 is maternally expressed and present throughout blastulation and gastrulation periods. Either gain or loss of function of mir206 leads to severe defects of convergent extension movements both cell autonomously and non-cell autonomously. Mosaic lineage tracing studies reveal that the formation of membrane protrusions and actin filaments is disturbed in mir206-overexpressing embryos or mir206 morphants. Mechanistically, mir206 targets prickle1a (pk1a) mRNA and as a result regulates c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase 2 (JNK2) phosphorylation. pk1a overexpression or knockdown can rescue convergent extension defects induced by mir206 overexpression or knockdown, respectively. Therefore, mir206 is an essential, novel regulator for normal convergent and extension movements by regulating mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) JNK signaling.
AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a key role in the regulatory network responsible for maintaining systemic energy homeostasis during exercise or nutrient deprivation. To understand the function of the regulatory β2 subunit of AMPK in systemic energy metabolism, we characterized β2 subunit-deficient mice. Using these mutant mice, we demonstrated that the β2 subunit plays an important role in regulating glucose, glycogen, and lipid metabolism during metabolic stress. The β2 mutant animals failed to maintain euglycemia and muscle ATP levels during fasting. In addition, β2-deficient animals showed classic symptoms of metabolic syndrome, including hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance when maintained on a high-fat diet (HFD), and were unable to maintain muscle ATP levels during exercise. Cell surface-associated glucose transporter levels were reduced in skeletal muscle from β2 mutant animals on an HFD. In addition, they displayed poor exercise performance and impaired muscle glycogen metabolism. These mutant mice had decreased activation of AMPK and deficits in PGC1α-mediated transcription in skeletal muscle. Our results highlight specific roles of AMPK complexes containing the β2 subunit and suggest the potential utility of AMPK isoform-specific pharmacological modulators for treatment of metabolic, cardiac, and neurological disorders.