Flavonol activation defines an unanticipated ligand-binding site in the kinase-RNase domain of IRE1.
ABSTRACT Signaling in the most conserved branch of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) unfolded protein response (UPR) is initiated by sequence-specific cleavage of the HAC1/XBP1 mRNA by the ER stress-induced kinase-endonuclease IRE1. We have discovered that the flavonol quercetin activates yeast IRE1's RNase and potentiates activation by ADP, a natural activating ligand that engages the IRE1 nucleotide-binding cleft. Enzyme kinetics and the structure of a cocrystal of IRE1 complexed with ADP and quercetin reveal engagement by quercetin of an unanticipated ligand-binding pocket at the dimer interface of IRE1's kinase extension nuclease (KEN) domain. Analytical ultracentrifugation and crosslinking studies support the preeminence of enhanced dimer formation in quercetin's mechanism of action. These findings hint at the existence of endogenous cytoplasmic ligands that may function alongside stress signals from the ER lumen to modulate IRE1 activity and at the potential for the development of drugs that modify UPR signaling from this unanticipated site.
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ABSTRACT: Oligomerization of protein complexes has been involved in various mechanisms that play a major role in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) functions. In particular, in response to the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the ER, an adaptive response is activated and named the unfolded protein response (UPR). To facilitate recovery of ER homeostasis, both the inositol-requiring enzyme-1 (IRE1) and the protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase, two transmembrane ER stress transducers, oligomerize and activate UPR-specific transcription factors to adjust the folding and productive capacity of the ER, to direct misfolded proteins to ER-associated degradation or autophagy. Recent advances in the molecular characterization of how ER protein sensors transduce signals to orchestrate the adaptive cellular response have greatly unlocked the development of tools to dissect their functions in health and disease. Here, we focus on the advances concerning oligomerization of ER stress transducers and, in particular IRE1, describe the oligomerization-dependent mechanisms for modulating UPR signals on and off.Progress in molecular biology and translational science 01/2013; 117:465-84.
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ABSTRACT: Ire1 is a signal transduction protein in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane that serves to adjust the protein-folding capacity of the ER according to the needs of the cell. Ire1 signals, in a transcriptional program, the unfolded protein response (UPR) via the coordinated action of its protein kinase and RNase domains. In this study, we investigated how the binding of cofactors to the kinase domain of Ire1 modulates its RNase activity. Our results suggest that the kinase domain of Ire1 initially binds cofactors without activation of the RNase domain. RNase is activated upon a subsequent conformational rearrangement of Ire1 governed by the chemical properties of bound cofactors. The conformational step can be selectively inhibited by chemical perturbations of cofactors. Substitution of a single oxygen atom in the terminal β-phosphate group of a potent cofactor ADP by sulfur results in ADPβS, a cofactor that binds to Ire1 as well as to ADP but does not activate RNase. RNase activity can be rescued by thiophilic metal ions such as Mn2+ and Cd2+, revealing a functional metal ion-phosphate interaction which controls the conformation and RNase activity of the Ire1 ADP complex. Mutagenesis of the kinase domain suggests that this rearrangement involves movement of the αC-helix, which is generally conserved among protein kinases. Using X-ray crystallography, we show that oligomerization of Ire1 is sufficient for placing the αC-helix in the active, cofactor-bound-like conformation, even in the absence of cofactors. Our structural and biochemical evidence converges on a model that the cofactor-induced conformational change in Ire1 is coupled to oligomerization of the receptor, which, in turn, activates RNase. The data reveal that cofactor-Ire1 interactions occur in two independent steps: binding of a cofactor to Ire1 and subsequent rearrangement of Ire1 resulting in its self-association. The pronounced allosteric effect of cofactors on protein-protein interactions involving Ire1's kinase domain suggests that protein kinases and pseudokinases encoded in metazoan genomes may use ATP pocket-binding ligands similarly to exert signaling roles other than phosphoryl transfer.BMC Biology 01/2011; 9:48. · 5.75 Impact Factor
Article: HacA-independent functions of the ER stress sensor IreA synergize with the canonical UPR to influence virulence traits in Aspergillus fumigatus.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a condition in which the protein folding capacity of the ER becomes overwhelmed by an increased demand for secretion or by exposure to compounds that disrupt ER homeostasis. In yeast and other fungi, the accumulation of unfolded proteins is detected by the ER-transmembrane sensor IreA/Ire1, which responds by cleaving an intron from the downstream cytoplasmic mRNA HacA/Hac1, allowing for the translation of a transcription factor that coordinates a series of adaptive responses that are collectively known as the unfolded protein response (UPR). Here, we examined the contribution of IreA to growth and virulence in the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Gene expression profiling revealed that A. fumigatus IreA signals predominantly through the canonical IreA-HacA pathway under conditions of severe ER stress. However, in the absence of ER stress IreA controls dual signaling circuits that are both HacA-dependent and HacA-independent. We found that a ΔireA mutant was avirulent in a mouse model of invasive aspergillosis, which contrasts the partial virulence of a ΔhacA mutant, suggesting that IreA contributes to pathogenesis independently of HacA. In support of this conclusion, we found that the ΔireA mutant had more severe defects in the expression of multiple virulence-related traits relative to ΔhacA, including reduced thermotolerance, decreased nutritional versatility, impaired growth under hypoxia, altered cell wall and membrane composition, and increased susceptibility to azole antifungals. In addition, full or partial virulence could be restored to the ΔireA mutant by complementation with either the induced form of the hacA mRNA, hacA(i), or an ireA deletion mutant that was incapable of processing the hacA mRNA, ireA(Δ10). Together, these findings demonstrate that IreA has both HacA-dependent and HacA-independent functions that contribute to the expression of traits that are essential for virulence in A. fumigatus.PLoS Pathogens 10/2011; 7(10):e1002330. · 9.13 Impact Factor