Although autophagy is a highly conserved mechanism among species and cell types, few are the molecules involved with the autophagic process that display cell- or tissue- specific expression. We have unraveled the positive regulatory role on autophagy of RUFY4 (RUN and FYVE domain containing 4), which is expressed in subsets of immune cells, including dendritic cells (DCs). DCs orchestrate the eradication of pathogens by coordinating the action of the different cell types involved in microbe recognition and destruction during the immune response. To fulfill this function, DC display particular regulation of their endocytic and autophagy pathways in response to the immune environment. Autophagy flux is downmodulated in DCs upon microbe sensing, but is remarkably augmented, when cells are differentiated in the presence of the pleiotropic cytokine IL4 (interleukin 4). From gene expression studies aimed at comparing the impact of IL4 on DC differentiation, we identified RUFY4, as a novel regulator that augments autophagy flux and, when overexpressed, induces drastic membrane redistribution and strongly tethers lysosomes. RUFY4 is therefore one of the few known positive regulators of autophagy that is expressed in a cell-specific manner or under specific immunological conditions associated with IL4 expression such as allergic asthma.
DALIS; immunity; mitophagy; MHC; MTOR; PtdIns3P; RAB7; xenophagy
Sleep deprivation is a public health epidemic that causes wide-ranging deleterious consequences, including impaired memory and cognition. Protein synthesis in hippocampal neurons promotes memory and cognition. The kinase complex mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) stimulates protein synthesis by phosphorylating and inhibiting the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E binding protein 2 (4EBP2). We investigated the involvement of the mTORC1-4EBP2 axis in the molecular mechanisms mediating the cognitive deficits caused by sleep deprivation in mice. Using an in vivo protein translation assay, we found that loss of sleep impaired protein synthesis in the hippocampus. Five hours of sleep loss attenuated both mTORC1-mediated phosphorylation of 4EBP2 and the interaction between eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) and eukaryotic initiation factor 4G (eIF4G) in the hippocampi of sleep-deprived mice. Increasing the abundance of 4EBP2 in hippocampal excitatory neurons prior to sleep deprivation increased the abundance of phosphorylated 4EBP2, restored the amount of eIF4E-eIF4G interaction and hippocampal protein synthesis to that seen in mice that were not sleep-deprived, and prevented the hippocampus-dependent memory deficits associated with sleep loss. These findings collectively demonstrate that 4EBP2-regulated protein synthesis is a critical mediator of the memory deficits caused by sleep deprivation.
The myogenic regulatory factor MRF4 is highly expressed in adult skeletal muscle but its function is unknown. Here we show that Mrf4 knockdown in adult muscle induces hypertrophy and prevents denervation-induced atrophy. This effect is accompanied by increased protein synthesis and widespread activation of muscle-specific genes, many of which are targets of MEF2 transcription factors. MEF2-dependent genes represent the top-ranking gene set enriched after Mrf4 RNAi and a MEF2 reporter is inhibited by co-transfected MRF4 and activated by Mrf4 RNAi. The Mrf4 RNAi-dependent increase in fibre size is prevented by dominant negative MEF2, while constitutively active MEF2 is able to induce myofibre hypertrophy. The nuclear localization of the MEF2 corepressor HDAC4 is impaired by Mrf4 knockdown, suggesting that MRF4 acts by stabilizing a repressor complex that controls MEF2 activity. These findings open new perspectives in the search for therapeutic targets to prevent muscle wasting, in particular sarcopenia and cachexia.
Mrf4 is a transcription factor important for muscle development, but despite high expression its function in adults is unknown. Here the authors show that interfering with Mrf4 in adult mice leads to muscle hypertrophy by activating MEF2-dependent transcription and promoting protein synthesis.
It is well known that the GCN2 and mTORC1 signaling pathways are regulated by amino acids and share common functions, in particular the control of translation. The regulation of GCN2 activity by amino acid availability relies on the capacity of GCN2 to sense the increased levels of uncharged tRNAs upon amino acid scarcity. In contrast, despite recent progress in the understanding of the regulation of mTORC1 by amino acids, key aspects of this process remain unsolved. In particular, while leucine is well known to be a potent regulator of mTORC1, the mechanisms by which this amino acid is sensed and control mTORC1 activity are not well defined. Our data establish that GCN2 is involved in the inhibition of mTORC1 upon leucine or arginine deprivation. However, the activation of GCN2 alone is not sufficient to inhibit mTORC1 activity, indicating that leucine and arginine exert regulation via additional mechanisms. While the mechanism by which GCN2 contributes to the initial step of mTORC1 inhibition involves the phosphorylation of eIF2α, we show that it is independent of the downstream transcription factor ATF4. These data point to a novel role for GCN2 and phosphorylation of eIF2α in the control of mTORC1 by certain amino acids.
LAMP5 is member of the LAMP family of membrane proteins. In contrast to the canonical members of this protein family, LAMP1 and LAMP2, which show widespread expression in many tissues, LAMP 5 is brain specific in mice. In C. elegans, the LAMP5 ortholog UNC-46 has been suggested to act a trafficking chaperone, essential for the correct targeting of the nematode vesicular GABA-transporter UNC-47. We show here that in the mouse brain LAMP5 is expressed in subpopulations of GABAergic forebrain neurons in the striato-nigral system and the olfactory bulb. The protein was present at synaptic terminals, overlapping with the mammalian vesicular GABA-transporter VGAT. In LAMP5-deficient mice localization of the transporter was unaffected arguing against a conserved role in VGAT trafficking. Electrophysiological analyses in mutants showed alterations in short term synaptic plasticity suggesting that LAMP5 is involved in controlling the dynamics of evoked GABAergic transmission. At the behavioral level, LAMP5 mutant mice showed decreased anxiety and deficits in olfactory discrimination. Altogether, this work implicates LAMP5 function in GABAergic neurotransmission in defined neuronal subpopulations.
Interleukin-4 boosts the capacity of dendritic cells to present endogenous antigens on MHC II and to resist bacterial infection through a mechanism shown to be partially dependent on RUFY4 expression.
Autophagy is a key degradative pathway coordinated by external cues, including starvation, oxidative stress, or pathogen detection. Rare are the molecules known to contribute mechanistically to the regulation of autophagy and expressed specifically in particular environmental contexts or in distinct cell types. Here, we unravel the role of RUN and FYVE domain–containing protein 4 (RUFY4) as a positive molecular regulator of macroautophagy in primary dendritic cells (DCs). We show that exposure to interleukin-4 (IL-4) during DC differentiation enhances autophagy flux through mTORC1 regulation and RUFY4 induction, which in turn actively promote LC3 degradation, Syntaxin 17–positive autophagosome formation, and lysosome tethering. Enhanced autophagy boosts endogenous antigen presentation by MHC II and allows host control of Brucella abortus replication in IL-4–treated DCs and in RUFY4-expressing cells. RUFY4 is therefore the first molecule characterized to date that promotes autophagy and influences endosome dynamics in a subset of immune cells.
We previously demonstrated that the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) by skeletal muscle cells after muscle overload contributes to ensuing regenerative and hypertrophic processes in skeletal muscle. The objective of the present study is to reveal mechanisms through which skeletal muscle cell expression of ICAM-1 augments regenerative and hypertrophic processes of myogenesis. This was accomplished by genetically engineering C2C12 myoblasts to stably express ICAM-1, and by inhibiting the adhesive and signaling functions of ICAM-1 through the use of a neutralizing antibody or cell penetrating peptide, respectively. Expression of ICAM-1 by cultured skeletal muscle cells augmented myoblast-myoblast adhesion, myotube formation, myonuclear number, myotube alignment, myotube-myotube fusion, and myotube size without influencing the ability of myoblasts to proliferate or differentiate. ICAM-1 augmented myotube formation, myonuclear accretion, and myotube alignment through a mechanism involving adhesion-induced activation of ICAM-1 signaling, as these dependent measures were reduced via antibody and peptide inhibition of ICAM-1. The adhesive and signaling functions of ICAM-1 also facilitated myotube hypertrophy through a mechanism involving myotube-myotube fusion, protein synthesis, and Akt/p70s6k signaling. Our findings demonstrate that ICAM-1 expression by skeletal muscle cells augments myogenesis, and establish a novel mechanism through which the inflammatory response facilitates growth processes in skeletal muscle.
Inflammation; adhesion molecules; muscle regeneration; muscle hypertrophy
Mutations in genes that encode tRNAs, aminoacyl-tRNA syntheases, tRNA modifying enzymes and other tRNA interacting partners are associated with neuropathies, cancer, type-II diabetes and hearing loss, but how these mutations cause disease is unclear. We have hypothesized that levels of tRNA decoding error (mistranslation) that do not fully impair embryonic development can accelerate cell degeneration through proteome instability and saturation of the proteostasis network. To test this hypothesis we have induced mistranslation in zebrafish embryos using mutant tRNAs that misincorporate Serine (Ser) at various non-cognate codon sites. Embryo viability was affected and malformations were observed, but a significant proportion of embryos survived by activating the unfolded protein response (UPR), the ubiquitin proteasome pathway (UPP) and downregulating protein biosynthesis. Accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial and nuclear DNA damage and disruption of the mitochondrial network, were also observed, suggesting that mistranslation had a strong negative impact on protein synthesis rate, ER and mitochondrial homeostasis. We postulate that mistranslation promotes gradual cellular degeneration and disease through protein aggregation, mitochondrial dysfunction and genome instability.
tRNA; mRNA mistranslation; proteotoxic stress; protein aggregation; ROS; zebrafish
In bacteria, protein synthesis can be coupled to transcription, but in eukaryotes it is believed to occur solely in the cytoplasm. Using pulses as short as 5 s, we find that three analogues – L-azidohomoalanine, puromycin (detected after attaching fluors using ‘click’ chemistry or immuno-labeling), and amino acids tagged with ‘heavy’ 15N and 13C (detected using secondary ion mass spectrometry) – are incorporated into the nucleus and cytoplasm in a process sensitive to translational inhibitors. The nuclear incorporation represents a significant fraction of the total, and labels in both compartments have half-lives of less than a minute; results are consistent with most newly-made peptides being destroyed soon after they are made. As nascent RNA bearing a premature termination codon (detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization) is also eliminated by a mechanism sensitive to a translational inhibitor, the nuclear turnover of peptides is probably a by-product of proof-reading the RNA for stop codons (a process known as nonsense-mediated decay). We speculate that the apparently-wasteful turnover of this previously-hidden (‘dark-matter’) world of peptide is involved in regulating protein production.
Expression of long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory requires new protein synthesis, which can be repressed by phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2α subunit (eIF2α). It was reported previously that eIF2α phosphorylation is elevated in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients and AD model mice. Therefore, we determined whether suppressing eIF2α kinases could alleviate synaptic plasticity and memory deficits in AD model mice. The genetic deletion of the eIF2α kinase PERK prevented enhanced eIF2α phosphorylation, as well as deficits in protein synthesis, synaptic plasticity, and spatial memory in APP/PS1 AD model mice. Similarly, deletion of another eIF2α kinase, GCN2, prevented impairments of synaptic plasticity and spatial memory defects displayed in the APP/PS1 mice. Our findings implicate aberrant eIF2α phosphorylation as a novel molecular mechanism underlying AD-related synaptic pathophysioloy and memory dysfunction and suggest that PERK and GCN2 are potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of individuals with AD.
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the leading inherited cause of autism and intellectual disability. Aberrant synaptic translation has been implicated in the etiology of FXS, but most lines of research on therapeutic strategies have targeted protein synthesis indirectly, far upstream of the translation machinery. We sought to perturb p70 ribosomal S6 kinase 1 (S6K1), a key translation initiation and elongation regulator, in FXS model mice. We found that genetic reduction of S6K1 prevented elevated phosphorylation of translational control molecules, exaggerated protein synthesis, enhanced mGluR-dependent long-term depression (LTD), weight gain, and macro-orchidism in FXS model mice. In addition, S6K1 deletion prevented immature dendritic spine morphology and multiple behavioral phenotypes, including social interaction deficits, impaired novel object recognition, and behavioral inflexibility. Our results support the model that dysregulated protein synthesis is the key causal factor in FXS, and that restoration of normal translation can stabilize peripheral and neurological function in FXS.
In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
LC3; autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
We previously reported that leukocyte specific β2 integrins contribute to hypertrophy after muscle overload in mice. Because intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) is an important ligand for β2 integrins, we examined ICAM-1 expression by murine skeletal muscle cells after muscle overload and its contribution to the ensuing hypertrophic response. Myofibers in control muscles of wild type mice and cultures of skeletal muscle cells (primary and C2C12) did not express ICAM-1. Overload of wild type plantaris muscles caused myofibers and satellite cells/myoblasts to express ICAM-1. Increased expression of ICAM-1 after muscle overload occurred via a β2 integrin independent mechanism as indicated by similar gene and protein expression of ICAM-1 between wild type and β2 integrin deficient (CD18-/-) mice. ICAM-1 contributed to muscle hypertrophy as demonstrated by greater (p<0.05) overload-induced elevations in muscle protein synthesis, mass, total protein, and myofiber size in wild type compared to ICAM-1-/- mice. Furthermore, expression of ICAM-1 altered (p<0.05) the temporal pattern of Pax7 expression, a marker of satellite cells/myoblasts, and regenerating myofiber formation in overloaded muscles. In conclusion, ICAM-1 expression by myofibers and satellite cells/myoblasts after muscle overload could serve as a mechanism by which ICAM-1 promotes hypertrophy by providing a means for cell-to-cell communication with β2 integrin expressing myeloid cells.
Several bacterial pathogens have TIR domain-containing proteins that contribute to their pathogenesis. We identified a second TIR-containing protein in Brucella spp. that we have designated BtpB. We show it is a potent inhibitor of TLR signaling, probably via MyD88. BtpB is a novel Brucella effector that is translocated into host cells and interferes with activation of dendritic cells. In vivo mouse studies revealed that BtpB is contributing to virulence and control of local inflammatory responses with relevance in the establishment of chronic brucellosis. Together, our results show that BtpB is a novel Brucella effector that plays a major role in the modulation of host innate immune response during infection.
Brucella; TIR domain; Btp1/BtpA; TLR; DC; NF-κB
Glutamatergic synapses in early postnatal development transiently express calcium-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs). Although these GluA2-lacking receptors are essential and are elevated in response to brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), little is known regarding molecular mechanisms that govern their expression and synaptic insertion. Here we show that BDNF-induced GluA1 translation in rat primary hippocampal neurons requires the activation of mTOR via calcium calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase (CaMKK). Specifically, BDNF-mediated phosphorylation of T308 in AKT, a known substrate of CaMKK and an upstream activator of mTOR-dependent translation, was prevented by 1) pharmacological inhibition of CaMKK with STO-609, 2) overexpression of a dominant-negative CaMKK, or 3) short hairpin-mediated knockdown of CaMKK. GluA1 surface expression induced by BDNF, as assessed by immunocytochemistry using an extracellular N-terminal GluA1 antibody or by surface biotinylation, was impaired following knockdown of CaMKK or treatment with STO-609. Activation of CaMKK by BDNF requires TRPC channels as SKF-96365, but not the NMDA receptor antagonist D-APV, prevented BDNF-induced GluA1 surface expression as well as phosphorylation of CaMKI, AKTT308 and mTOR. Using siRNA we confirmed the involvement of TRPC5 and -6 subunits in BDNF-induced AKTT308 phosphorylation. The BDNF-induced increase in mEPSC was blocked by IEM-1460, a selected antagonist of CP-AMPARs, as well as by the specific repression of acute GluA1 translation via siRNA to GluA1 but not GluA2. Taken together these data support the conclusion that newly synthesized GluA1 subunits, induced by BDNF, are readily incorporated into synapses where they enhance the expression of CP-AMPARs and synaptic strength.
BDNF; AMPA receptors; translation; CaM-kinase; TRPC
Increasing size of G3BP-induced stress granules is associated with a threshold or switch that must be triggered for eIF2α phosphorylation and subsequent translational repression to occur. Stress granules are active in signaling to the translational machinery and may be important regulators of the innate immune response.
Stress granules are large messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) aggregates composed of translation initiation factors and mRNAs that appear when the cell encounters various stressors. Current dogma indicates that stress granules function as inert storage depots for translationally silenced mRNPs until the cell signals for renewed translation and stress granule disassembly. We used RasGAP SH3-binding protein (G3BP) overexpression to induce stress granules and study their assembly process and signaling to the translation apparatus. We found that assembly of large G3BP-induced stress granules, but not small granules, precedes phosphorylation of eIF2α. Using mouse embryonic fibroblasts depleted for individual eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) kinases, we identified protein kinase R as the principal kinase that mediates eIF2α phosphorylation by large G3BP-induced granules. These data indicate that increasing stress granule size is associated with a threshold or switch that must be triggered in order for eIF2α phosphorylation and subsequent translational repression to occur. Furthermore, these data suggest that stress granules are active in signaling to the translational machinery and may be important regulators of the innate immune response.
A new method for visualizing translation in cells via standard immunofluorescence microscopy provides evidence for translation in the nucleoplasm and nucleolus.
Whether protein translation occurs in the nucleus is contentious. To address this question, we developed the ribopuromycylation method (RPM), which visualizes translation in cells via standard immunofluorescence microscopy. The RPM is based on ribosome-catalyzed puromycylation of nascent chains immobilized on ribosomes by antibiotic chain elongation inhibitors followed by detection of puromycylated ribosome-bound nascent chains with a puromycin (PMY)-specific monoclonal antibody in fixed and permeabilized cells. The RPM correlates localized translation with myriad processes in cells and can be applied to any cell whose translation is sensitive to PMY. In this paper, we use the RPM to provide evidence for translation in the nucleoplasm and nucleolus, which is regulated by infectious and chemical stress.
Translational control depends on phosphorylation of eIF2α by PKR-like ER kinase (PERK). To examine the role of PERK in cognitive function, we selectively disrupted PERK expression in the adult mouse forebrain. In the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of PERK-deficient mice, eIF2α phosphorylation and ATF4 expression were diminished and associated with enhanced behavioral perseveration, decreased prepulse inhibition, reduced fear extinction, and impaired behavioral flexibility. Treatment with the glycine transporter inhibitor SSR504734 normalized eIF2α phosphorylation, ATF4 expression, and behavioral flexibility in PERK-deficient mice. Moreover, PERK and ATF4 expression were reduced in the frontal cortex of human schizophrenic patients. Together, our findings reveal that PERK plays a critical role in information processing and cognitive function, and that modulation of eIF2α phosphorylation and ATF4 expression may represent an effective strategy for treating behavioral inflexibility associated with several neurological disorders including schizophrenia.
PERK; translational control; eIF2α; ATF4; prefrontal cortex; cognitive control; glycine transporter-1 inhibitor; behavioral flexibility; schizophrenia
Nucleic acid sensing by cells is a key feature of antiviral responses, which generally result in type-I Interferon production and tissue protection. However, detection of double-stranded RNAs in virus-infected cells promotes two concomitant and apparently conflicting events. The dsRNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) phosphorylates translation initiation factor 2-alpha (eIF2α) and inhibits protein synthesis, whereas cytosolic DExD/H box RNA helicases induce expression of type I-IFN and other cytokines. We demonstrate that the phosphatase-1 cofactor, growth arrest and DNA damage-inducible protein 34 (GADD34/Ppp1r15a), an important component of the unfolded protein response (UPR), is absolutely required for type I-IFN and IL-6 production by mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) in response to dsRNA. GADD34 expression in MEFs is dependent on PKR activation, linking cytosolic microbial sensing with the ATF4 branch of the UPR. The importance of this link for anti-viral immunity is underlined by the extreme susceptibility of GADD34-deficient fibroblasts and neonate mice to Chikungunya virus infection.
Nucleic acids detection by multiple molecular sensors results in type-I interferon production, which protects cells and tissues from viral infections. At the intracellular level, the detection of double-stranded RNA by one of these sensors, the dsRNA-dependent protein kinase also leads to the profound inhibition of protein synthesis. We describe here that the inducible phosphatase 1 co-factor Ppp1r15a/GADD34, a well known player in the endoplasmic reticulum unfolded protein response (UPR), is activated during double-stranded RNA detection and is absolutely necessary to allow cytokine production in cells exposed to poly I:C or Chikungunya virus. Our data shows that the cellular response to nucleic acids can reveal unanticipated connections between innate immunity and fundamental stress pathways, such as the ATF4 branch of the UPR.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arthritogenic mosquito-transmitted alphavirus that is undergoing reemergence in areas around the Indian Ocean. Despite the current and potential danger posed by this virus, we know surprisingly little about the induction and evasion of CHIKV-associated antiviral immune responses. With this in mind we investigated innate immune reactions to CHIKV in human fibroblasts, a demonstrable in vivo target of virus replication and spread. We show that CHIKV infection leads to activation of the transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) and subsequent transcription of IRF3-dependent antiviral genes, including beta interferon (IFN-β). IRF3 activation occurs by way of a virus-induced innate immune signaling pathway that includes the adaptor molecule interferon promoter stimulator 1 (IPS-1). Despite strong transcriptional upregulation of these genes, however, translation of the corresponding proteins is not observed. We further demonstrate that translation of cellular (but not viral) genes is blocked during infection and that although CHIKV is found to trigger inactivation of the translational molecule eukaryotic initiation factor subunit 2α by way of the double-stranded RNA sensor protein kinase R, this response is not required for the block to protein synthesis. Furthermore, overall diminution of cellular RNA synthesis is also observed in the presence of CHIKV and transcription of IRF3-dependent antiviral genes appears specifically blocked late in infection. We hypothesize that the observed absence of IFN-β and antiviral proteins during infection results from an evasion mechanism exhibited by CHIKV that is dependent on widespread shutoff of cellular protein synthesis and a targeted block to late synthesis of antiviral mRNA transcripts.
The advent of Systems Biology has been accompanied by the blooming of pathway databases. Currently pathways are defined generically with respect to the organ or cell type where a reaction takes place. The cell type specificity of the reactions is the foundation of immunological research, and capturing this specificity is of paramount importance when using pathway-based analyses to decipher complex immunological datasets. Here, we present DC-ATLAS, a novel and versatile resource for the interpretation of high-throughput data generated perturbing the signaling network of dendritic cells (DCs).
Pathways are annotated using a novel data model, the Biological Connection Markup Language (BCML), a SBGN-compliant data format developed to store the large amount of information collected. The application of DC-ATLAS to pathway-based analysis of the transcriptional program of DCs stimulated with agonists of the toll-like receptor family allows an integrated description of the flow of information from the cellular sensors to the functional outcome, capturing the temporal series of activation events by grouping sets of reactions that occur at different time points in well-defined functional modules.
The initiative significantly improves our understanding of DC biology and regulatory networks. Developing a systems biology approach for immune system holds the promise of translating knowledge on the immune system into more successful immunotherapy strategies.
The eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4GI (eIF4GI) serves as a central adapter in cap-binding complex assembly. Although eIF4GI has been shown to be sensitive to proteasomal degradation, how the eIF4GI steady-state level is controlled remains unknown. Here, we show that eIF4GI exists in a complex with NAD(P)H quinone-oxydoreductase 1 (NQO1) in cell extracts. Treatment of cells with dicumarol (dicoumarol), a pharmacological inhibitor of NQO1 known to preclude NQO1 binding to its protein partners, provokes eIF4GI degradation by the proteasome. Consistently, the eIF4GI steady-state level also diminishes upon the silencing of NQO1 (by transfection with small interfering RNA), while eIF4GI accumulates upon the overexpression of NQO1 (by transfection with cDNA). We further reveal that treatment of cells with dicumarol frees eIF4GI from mRNA translation initiation complexes due to strong activation of its natural competitor, the translational repressor 4E-BP1. As a consequence of cap-binding complex dissociation and eIF4GI degradation, protein synthesis is dramatically inhibited. Finally, we show that the regulation of eIF4GI stability by the proteasome may be prominent under oxidative stress. Our findings assign NQO1 an original role in the regulation of mRNA translation via the control of eIF4GI stability by the proteasome.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are the sentinels of the mammalian immune system, characterized by a complex maturation process driven by pathogen detection. Although multiple studies have described the analysis of activated DCs by transcriptional profiling, recent findings indicate that mRNAs are also regulated at the translational level. A systematic analysis of the mRNAs being translationally regulated at various stages of DC activation was performed using translational profiling, which combines sucrose gradient fractionation of polysomal-bound mRNAs with DNA microarray analysis.
Total and polysomal-bound mRNA populations purified from immature, 4 h and 16 h LPS-stimulated human monocyte-derived DCs were analyzed on Affymetrix microarrays U133 2.0. A group of 375 transcripts was identified as translationally regulated during DC-activation. In addition to several biochemical pathways related to immunity, the most statistically relevant biological function identified among the translationally regulated mRNAs was protein biosynthesis itself. We singled-out a cluster of 11 large ribosome proteins mRNAs, which are disengaged from polysomes at late time of maturation, suggesting the existence of a negative feedback loop regulating translation in DCs and linking ribosomal proteins to immuno-modulatory function.
Our observations highlight the importance of translation regulation during the immune response, and may favor the identification of novel protein networks relevant for immunity. Our study also provides information on the potential absence of correlation between gene expression and protein production for specific mRNA molecules present in DCs.
In response to inflammatory stimulation, dendritic cells (DCs) have a remarkable pattern of differentiation (maturation) that exhibits specific mechanisms to control antigen processing and presentation. Here, we show that in response to lipopolysaccharides, protein synthesis is rapidly enhanced in DCs. This enhancement occurs via a PI3K-dependent signaling pathway and is key for DC activation. In addition, we show that later on, in a manner similar to viral or apoptotic stress, DC activation leads to the phosphorylation and proteolysis of important translation initiation factors, thus inhibiting cap-dependent translation. This inhibition correlates with major changes in the origin of the peptides presented by MHC class I and the ability of mature DCs to prevent cell death. Our observations have important implications in linking translation regulation with DC function and survival during the immune response.