We report that Sh3rf2, a homologue of the pro-apoptotic scaffold POSH (Plenty of SH3s), acts as an anti-apoptotic regulator for the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway. siRNA-mediated knockdown of Sh3rf2 promotes apoptosis of neuronal PC12 cells, cultured cortical neurons, and C6 glioma cells. This death appears to result from activation of JNK signaling. Loss of Sh3rf2 triggers activation of JNK and its target c-Jun. Also, apoptosis promoted by Sh3rf2 knockdown is inhibited by dominant-negative c-Jun as well as by a JNK inhibitor. Investigation of the mechanism by which Sh3rf2 regulates cell survival implicates POSH, a scaffold required for activation of pro-apoptotic JNK/c-Jun signaling. In cells lacking POSH, Sh3rf2 knockdown is unable to activate JNK. We further find that Sh3rf2 binds POSH to reduce its levels by a mechanism that requires the RING domains of both proteins and that appears to involve proteasomal POSH degradation. Conversely, knockdown of Sh3rf2 promotes the stabilization of POSH protein and activation of JNK signaling. Finally, we show that endogenous Sh3rf2 protein rapidly decreases following several different apoptotic stimuli and that knockdown of Sh3rf2 activates the pro-apoptotic JNK pathway in neuronal cells. These findings support a model in which Sh3rf2 promotes proteasomal degradation of pro-apoptotic POSH in healthy cells and in which apoptotic stimuli lead to rapid loss of Sh3rf2 expression, and consequently to stabilization of POSH and JNK activation and cell death. On the basis of these observations, we propose the alternative name POSHER (POSH-eliminating RING protein) for the Sh3rf2 protein.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autism is a childhood-onset neurodevelopmental disorder with complex genetic mechanism underlying its etiology. Recent studies revealed that a few single de novo copy number variants of genomic DNA (copy number variants [CNVs]) are pathogenic and causal in some sporadic cases, adding support to the hypothesis that some sporadic autism might be caused by single rare mutation with large clinical effect. In this study, we report the detection of two novel private CNVs simultaneously in a male patient with autism. These two CNVs include a microduplication of ~4.5 Mb at chromosome 4q12-13.1 that was transmitted from his mother and a microdeletion of ~1.8 Mb at 5q32 that was transmitted from his father. Several genes such as LPHN3, POU4F3, SH3RF2, and TCERG1 mapped to these two regions have psychiatric implications. However, the parents had only mild degree of attention deficit symptoms but did not demonstrate any obvious autistic symptoms or psychopathology. Our findings indicate that each of these two CNVs alone may not be pathogenic enough to cause clinical symptoms in their respective carriers, and hence they can be transmitted within each individual family. However, concomitant presence of these two CNVs might result in the clinical phenotypes of the affected patient reported here. Thus, our report of this family may represent an example to show that two hits of CNV and the presence of compound heterozygosity might be important mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of autism.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 09/2012; 159B(6):710-7. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.b.32074 · 3.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by the loss of functional fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). Loss of FMRP results in an elevated basal protein expression profile of FMRP targeted mRNAs, a loss of local metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-regulated protein synthesis, exaggerated long-term depression and corresponding learning and behavioral deficits. Evidence shows that blocking mGluR signaling in FXS models ameliorates these deficits. Therefore, understanding the signaling mechanisms downstream of mGluR stimulation may provide additional therapeutic targets for FXS. Kinase cascades are an integral mechanism regulating mGluR-dependent protein translation. The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway has been shown to regulate mGluR-dependent nuclear transcription; however, the involvement of JNK in local, synaptic signaling has not been explored. Here, we show that JNK is both necessary and sufficient for mGluR-dependent expression of a subset of FMRP target proteins. In addition, JNK activity is basally elevated in fmr1 knockout mouse synapses, and blocking JNK activity reduces the over-expression of post-synaptic proteins in these mice. Together, these data suggest that JNK may be an important signaling mechanism downstream of mGluR stimulation, regulating FMRP-dependent protein synthesis. Furthermore, local, post-synaptic dysregulation of JNK activity may provide a viable target to ameliorate the deficits involved in FXS.
Expression of many FMRP target proteins is enhanced in FXS. Here, we evaluated the role of JNKs in FXS. We found that JNK signaling is activated upon mGluR stimulation in wild-type neurons. Conversely, JNK activity is basally elevated in fmr1 knockout. Inhibiting JNK reduced the expression of FMRP target proteins and driving JNK activity increased the expression of these proteins.
Journal of Neurochemistry 09/2013; 127(6). DOI:10.1111/jnc.12453 · 4.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SH3RF (SH3 domain containing RING finger protein) family members, SH3RF1-3, are multidomain scaffold proteins involved in promoting cell survival and apoptosis. In this report, we show that SH3RF2 is an oncogene product that is overexpressed in human cancers and regulates p21-activated kinase 4 (PAK4) protein stability. Immunohistochemical analysis of 159 colon cancer tissues showed that SH3RF2 expression levels are frequently elevated in cancer tissues and significantly correlate with poor prognostic indicators, including increased invasion, early recurrence, and poor survival rates. We also demonstrated that PAK4 protein is degraded by the ubiquitin-proteasome system and that SH3RF2 inhibits PAK4 ubiquitination via physical interaction-mediated steric hindrance, which results in the upregulation of PAK4 protein. Moreover, ablation of SH3RF2 expression attenuates TRADD (TNFRSF1A-associated via death domain) recruitment to TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-α) receptor 1 and hinders downstream signals, thereby inhibiting NF-κB (nuclear factor-κappaB) activity and enhancing caspase-8 activity, in the context of TNF-α treatment. Notably, ectopic expression of SH3RF2 effectively prevents apoptosis in cancer cells and enhances cell migration, colony formation and tumor growth in vivo. Taken together, our results suggest that SH3RF2 is an oncogene that may be a definitive regulator of PAK4. Therefore, SH3RF2 may represent an effective therapeutic target for cancer treatment.
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