[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Erythropoiesis is a highly regulated process during which BFU-E are differentiated into RBCs through CFU-E, Pro-E, PolyCh-E, OrthoCh-E, and reticulocyte stages. Uniquely, most erythroid-specific genes are activated during the Pro-E to Baso-E transition. We show that a wave of nuclear import of the erythroid-specific transcription factor EKLF occurs during the Pro-E to Baso-E transition. We further demonstrate that this wave results from a series of finely tuned events, including timed activation of PKCθ, phosphorylation of EKLF at S68 by P-PKCθ(S676), and sumoylation of EKLF at K74. The latter EKLF modifications modulate its interactions with a cytoplasmic ankyrin-repeat-protein FOE and importinβ1, respectively. The role of FOE in the control of EKLF nuclear import is further supported by analysis of the subcellular distribution patterns of EKLF in FOE-knockout mice. This study reveals the regulatory mechanisms of the nuclear import of EKLF, which may also be utilized in the nuclear import of other factors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Streptothricin-F (STT-F), one of the early-discovered antibiotics, consists of three components, a β-lysine homopolymer, an aminosugar D-gulosamine, and an unusual bicyclic streptolidine. The biosynthesis of streptolidine is a long-lasting but unresolved puzzle. Herein, a combination of genetic/biochemical/structural approaches was used to unravel this problem. The STT gene cluster was first sequenced from a Streptomyces variant BCRC 12163, wherein two gene products OrfP and OrfR were characterized in vitro to be a dihydroxylase and a cyclase, respectively. Thirteen high-resolution crystal structures for both enzymes in different reaction intermediate states were snapshotted to help elucidate their catalytic mechanisms. OrfP catalyzes an Fe(II) -dependent double hydroxylation reaction converting L-Arg into (3R,4R)-(OH)2 -L-Arg via (3S)-OH-L-Arg, while OrfR catalyzes an unusual PLP-dependent elimination/addition reaction cyclizing (3R,4R)-(OH)2 -L-Arg to the six-membered (4R)-OH-capreomycidine. The biosynthetic mystery finally comes to light as the latter product was incorporation into STT-F by a feeding experiment.
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 02/2014; 53(7):1943-8. · 13.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cell cycle checkpoint kinases play central roles in genome maintenance of eukaryotes. Activation of the yeast checkpoint kinase Rad53 involves Rad9 or Mrc1 adaptor-mediated phospho-priming by Mec1 kinase, followed by auto-activating phosphorylation within its activation loop. However, mechanisms of how these adaptors regulate priming phosphorylation of specific sites and how this then leads to Rad53 activation remain poorly understood. Here we use quantitative mass spectrometry to delineate the stepwise phosphorylation events in the activation of endogenous Rad53 in response to S phase alkylation DNA damage, and show that the two Rad9 and Mrc1 adaptors, the four N-terminal Mec1-target TQ sites of Rad53 (Rad53-SCD1), and the Rad53-FHA2 coordinate intimately for optimal priming phosphorylation to support substantial Rad53 auto-activation. Rad9 or Mrc1 alone can mediate surprisingly similar Mec1-target site phosphorylation patterns of Rad53, including previously undetected tri- and tetra-phosphorylation of Rad53-SCD1. Reducing the number of TQ motifs turns the SCD1 into a proportionally poorer Mec1 target, which then requires the presence of both Mrc1 and Rad9 for sufficient priming and auto-activation. The phosphothreonine-interacting Rad53-FHA domains, particularly FHA2, regulate phospho-priming by interacting with the checkpoint mediators, but do not seem to play a major role in the phospho-SCD1-dependent auto-activation step. Finally, mutation of all four SCD1 TQ motifs greatly reduces Rad53 activation, but does not eliminate it, and residual Rad53 activity in this mutant is dependent on Rad9 but not Mrc1. Altogether, our results provide a paradigm for how phosphorylation site clusters and checkpoint mediators can be involved in the regulation of signaling relay in kinase-kinase cascades in vivo, and elucidate an SCD1-independent Rad53 auto-activation mechanism through the Rad9 pathway. The work also demonstrates the power of mass spectrometry for in-depth analyses of molecular mechanisms in cellular signaling in vivo.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salt-inducible kinase 2 (SIK2) is an important regulator of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB)-mediated gene expression in various cell types and is the only AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) family member known to interact with the p97/VCP ATPase. Previously, we have demonstrated that SIK2 could regulate autophagy when proteasomal function is compromised. Here we report that physical and functional interactions between SIK2 and p97/VCP underlie the regulation of ERAD. SIK2 co-localizes with p97/VCP in the ER membrane and stimulates its ATPase activity through direct phosphorylation. While the expression of wild-type recombinant SIK2 accelerated the degradation and removal of ERAD substrates, the kinase-deficient variant conversely had no effect. Furthermore, down-regulation of endogenous SIK2 or mutation of the SIK2 target site on p97/VCP led to impaired degradation of ERAD substrates and disruption of ER homeostasis. Collectively, these findings highlight a mechanism by which the interplay between SIK2 and p97/VCP contributes to the regulation of ERAD in mammalian cells.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The essential yeast kinases Mec1 and Rad53, or human ATR and Chk1, are crucial for checkpoint responses to exogenous genotoxic agents, but why they are also required for DNA replication in unperturbed cells remains poorly understood. Here we report that, even in the absence of DNA damaging agents, the rad53-4AQ mutant lacking the N-terminal Mec1 phosphorylation site cluster is synthetic lethal with a deletion of the RAD9 DNA damage checkpoint adaptor. This phenotype is caused by an inability of rad53-4AQ to activate the downstream kinase Dun1, which then leads to reduced basal dNTP levels, spontaneous replication fork stalling, and constitutive activation of - and dependence on - S phase DNA damage checkpoints. Surprisingly, the kinase-deficient rad53-K227A mutant does not share these phenotypes, but is rendered inviable by additional phospho-site mutations that prevent its binding to Dun1. The results demonstrate that ultra-low Rad53 catalytic activity is sufficient for normal replication of undamaged chromosomes as long as it is targeted towards activation of the effector kinase Dun1. Our findings indicate that the essential S phase function of Rad53 is comprised by the combination of its role in regulating basal dNTP levels and its compensatory kinase function if dNTP levels are perturbed.
Molecular and cellular biology 06/2013; · 6.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The retinoblastoma binding protein RBP2 (KDM5A) is a histone demethylase that promotes gastric cancer cell growth and is enriched in drug-resistant lung cancer cells. In tumor-prone mice lacking the tumor suppressor gene RB or MEN1, genetic ablation of RBP2 can suppress tumor initiation, but the pathogenic breadth and mechanistic aspects of this effect relative to human tumors have not been defined. Here we approached this question in the context of lung cancer. RBP2 was overexpressed in human lung cancer tissues where its depletion impaired cell proliferation, motility, migration, invasion and metastasis. RBP2 oncogenicity relied on its demethylase and DNA binding activities. RBP2 upregulated expression of cyclins D1 and E1 while suppressing the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27 (CDKN1B), each contributing to RBP2-mediated cell proliferation. Expression microarray analyses revealed that RBP2 promoted expression of integrin-ß1 (ITGB1) which is implicated in lung cancer metastasis. Mechanistic investigations established that RBP2 bound directly to the p27, cyclin D1, and ITGB1 promoters and that exogenous expression of cyclin D1, cyclin E1 or ITGB1 was sufficient to rescue proliferation or migration/invasion, respectively. Taken together, our results establish an oncogenic role for RBP2 in lung tumorigenesis and progression and uncover novel RBP2 targets mediating this role.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The INK4a-ARF locus plays a central role in the development of pancreatic tumors as evidenced by the fact that up to 98% of pancreatic tumor specimens harbored genetic alterations at the INK4a-ARF locus. Interestingly, in addition to the well-known P16(INK4A) (P16) and P14ARF tumor suppressors, the INK4a/ARF locus in pancreas encodes another protein, P12, whose structure, function, and contributions to pancreatic carcinogenesis remain to be elucidated. In the current study, we demonstrated that over-expression of p12 in human pancreatic cancer cells led to cell arrest at the G1 phase and such cell cycle arrest was related to down-regulation of a number of oncogenes, such as c-Jun, Fos, and SEI1. Furthermore, unlike P16, P12 did not retain any cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4)-inhibitory activity. Instead, P12 exhibited a transactivating activity not found in P16. We also examined the genetic status of p12 in a cohort of 40 pancreatic tumor specimens and found that p12 alteration was prevalent in pancreatic tumors with an incidence of 70% (28/40). These results support that P12 is a tumor suppressive protein distinct from P16, and its genetic inactivation is associated with pancreatic carcinogenesis.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 05/2013; · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While numerous small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) conjugated substrates have been identified, very little is known about the cellular signalling mechanisms that differentially regulate substrate sumoylation. Here, we show that acetylation of SUMO E2 conjugase Ubc9 selectively downregulates the sumoylation of substrates with negatively charged amino acid-dependent sumoylation motif (NDSM) consisting of clustered acidic residues located downstream from the core ψ-K-X-E/D consensus motif, such as CBP and Elk-1, but not substrates with core ψ-K-X-E/D motif alone or SUMO-interacting motif. Ubc9 is acetylated at residue K65 and K65 acetylation attenuates Ubc9 binding to NDSM substrates, causing a reduction in NDSM substrate sumoylation. Furthermore, Ubc9 K65 acetylation can be downregulated by hypoxia via SIRT1, and is correlated with hypoxia-elicited modulation of sumoylation and target gene expression of CBP and Elk-1 and cell survival. Our data suggest that Ubc9 acetylation/deacetylation serves as a dynamic switch for NDSM substrate sumoylation and we report a previously undescribed SIRT1/Ubc9 regulatory axis in the modulation of protein sumoylation and the hypoxia response.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salt-inducible kinase 2 (SIK2) is a serine/threonine protein kinase belonging to the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) family. SIK2 has been shown to function in the insulin-signaling pathway during adipocyte differentiation and to modulate CREB-mediated gene expression in response to hormones and nutrients. However, molecular mechanism underlying the regulation of SIK2 kinase activity remains largely elusive. Here we report a dynamic, post-translational regulation of its kinase activity that is coordinated by an acetylation-deaceytlation switch - p300/CBP-mediated Lys53-acetylation inhibits SIK2 kinase activity, while HDAC6-mediated deacetylation restores the activity. Interestingly, overexpression of acetylation-mimetic mutant of SIK2 (SIK2-K53Q), but not the non-acetylatable K53R variant, resulted in accumulation of autophagosomes. Further consistent with a role in autophagy, knockdown of SIK2 abrogated autophagosome and lysosome fusion. Consequently, SIK2 and its kinase activity are indispensable for the removal of TDP-43Δ inclusion bodies. Our findings uncover SIK2 as a critical determinant in autophagy progression and further suggest a mechanism in which the interplay among kinase and deacetylase activities contributes to cellular protein pool homeostasis.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Turnover of mRNA is a critical step in the regulation of gene expression, and an important step in mRNA decay is removal of the 5' cap. We previously demonstrated that the expression of some immediate early gene mRNAs is controlled by RNA stability during early differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. METHODOLOGYPRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we show that the mouse decapping protein Dcp1a is phosphorylated via the ERK signaling pathway during early differentiation of preadipocytes. Mass spectrometry analysis and site-directed mutagenesis combined with a kinase assay identified ERK pathway-mediated dual phosphorylation at Ser 315 and Ser 319 of Dcp1a. To understand the functional effects of Dcp1a phosphorylation, we examined protein-protein interactions between Dcp1a and other decapping components with co-immunoprecipitation. Dcp1a interacted with Ddx6 and Edc3 through its proline-rich C-terminal extension, whereas the conserved EVH1 (enabled vasodilator-stimulated protein homology 1) domain in the N terminus of Dcp1a showed a stronger interaction with Dcp2. Once ERK signaling was activated, the interaction between Dcp1a and Ddx6, Edc3, or Edc4 was not affected by Dcp1a phosphorylation. Phosphorylated Dcp1a did, however, enhanced interaction with Dcp2. Protein complexes immunoprecipitated with the recombinant phosphomimetic Dcp1a(S315D/S319D) mutant contained more Dcp2 than did those immunoprecipitated with the nonphosphorylated Dcp1a(S315A/S319A) mutant. In addition, Dcp1a associated with AU-rich element (ARE)-containing mRNAs such as MAPK phosphatase-1 (MKP-1), whose mRNA stability was analyzed under the overexpression of Dcp1a constructs in the Dcp1a knockdown 3T3-L1 cells. CONCLUSIONSSIGNIFICANCE: Our findings suggest that ERK-phosphorylated Dcp1a enhances its interaction with the decapping enzyme Dcp2 during early differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e61697. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: NPGPx is a member of the glutathione peroxidase (GPx) family; however, it lacks GPx enzymatic activity due to the absence of a critical selenocysteine residue, rendering its function an enigma. Here, we show that NPGPx is a newly identified stress sensor that transmits oxidative stress signals by forming the disulfide bond between its Cys57 and Cys86 residues. This oxidized form of NPGPx binds to glucose-regulated protein (GRP)78 and forms covalent bonding intermediates between Cys86 of NPGPx and Cys41/Cys420 of GRP78. Subsequently, the formation of the disulfide bond between Cys41 and Cys420 of GRP78 enhances its chaperone activity. NPGPx-deficient cells display increased reactive oxygen species, accumulated misfolded proteins, and impaired GRP78 chaperone activity. Complete loss of NPGPx in animals causes systemic oxidative stress, increases carcinogenesis, and shortens life span. These results suggest that NPGPx is essential for releasing excessive ER stress by enhancing GRP78 chaperone activity to maintain physiological homeostasis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The forkhead-associated (FHA) domain recognizes phosphothreonine (pT) with high specificity and functional diversity. TIFA (TRAF-interacting protein with an FHA domain) is the smallest FHA-containing human protein. Its overexpression was previously suggested to provoke NF-κB activation, yet its exact roles in this signaling pathway and the underlying molecular mechanism remain unclear. Here we identify a novel threonine phosphorylation site on TIFA and show that this phosphorylated threonine (pT) binds with the FHA domain of TIFA, leading to TIFA oligomerization and TIFA-mediated NF-κB activation. Detailed analysis indicated that unphosphorylated TIFA exists as an intrinsic dimer and that the FHA-pT9 binding occurs between different dimers of TIFA. In addition, silencing of endogenous TIFA resulted in attenuation of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)-mediated downstream signaling. We therefore propose that the TIFA FHA-pT9 binding provides a previously unidentified link between TNF-α stimulation and NF-κB activation. The intermolecular FHA-pT9 binding between dimers also represents a new mechanism for the FHA domain.
Molecular and cellular biology 05/2012; 32(14):2664-73. · 6.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcriptional repressor B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein-1 (Blimp-1) is a master regulator of plasma cell differentiation. Here we show that Blimp-1 is covalently modified by SUMO1 at lysine 816, a modification mediated by SUMO E3 ligase PIAS1. Mutation of Blimp-1 lysine 816 reduces transcriptional repression--correlating with a reduced interaction with a histone deacetylase, HDAC2--and impairs differentiation of antibody-secreting cells. Thus, the SUMO pathway critically regulates Blimp-1 function during plasma cell differentiation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mammalian MDC1 interacts with CHK2 in the regulation of DNA damage-induced S-phase checkpoint and apoptosis, which is directed by the association of MDC1-FHA and CHK2-pThr68. However, different ligand specificities of MDC1-FHA have been reported, and no structure is available. Here we report the crystal structures of MDC1-FHA and its complex with a CHK2 peptide containing pThr68. Unlike other FHA domains, MDC1-FHA exists as an intrinsic dimer in solution and in crystals. Structural and binding analyses support pThr+3 ligand specificity and provide structural insight into MDC1-CHK2 interaction.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mucoviscosity-associated gene A (magA) of Klebsiella pneumoniae contributes to K1 capsular polysaccharide (CPS) biosynthesis. Based on sequence homology and gene alignment, the magA gene has been predicted to encode a Wzy-type CPS polymerase. Sequence alignment with the Wzy_C and RfaL protein families (which catalyze CPS or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthesis) and topological analysis has suggested that eight highly conserved residues, including G308, G310, G334, G337, R290, P305, H323, and N324, were located in a hypothetical loop region. Therefore, we used site-directed mutagenesis to study the role of these residues in CPS production, and to observe the consequent phenotypes such as mucoviscosity, serum and phagocytosis resistance, and virulence (as assessed in mice) in pyogenic liver abscess strain NTUH-K2044. Alanine substitutions at R290 or H323 abolished all of these properties. The G308A mutant was severely impaired for these functions. The G334A mutant remained mucoid with decreased CPS production, but its virulence was significantly reduced in vivo. No phenotypic change was observed for strains harboring magA G310A, G337A, P305A, or N324A mutations. Therefore, R290, G308, H323, and G334 are functionally important residues of the MagA (Wzy) protein of K. pneumoniae NTUH-K2044, capsular type K1. These amino acids are also likely to be important for the function of Wzy in other capsular types in K. pneumoniae and other species bearing Wzy_C family proteins.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(10):e46783. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell division in eukaryotes depends on a fine control of the dynamic changes of microtubules. Nucleolar and spindle-associated protein (NuSAP) is a microtubule-binding and -bundling protein essential for the integrity of the anaphase spindle and cell division. NuSAP contains two consensus cdk phosphorylation sites in its microtubule-binding domain. Here we show NuSAP is phosphorylated by cdk1 in early mitosis. This phosphorylation inhibits the binding of NuSAP to microtubules. During metaphase-to anaphase transition, NuSAP is dephosphorylated to promote spindle midzone formation and cell cycle progression. Expression of cdk1 phosphorylation-null mutant causes extensive bundling of microtubules in the prometaphase spindle. Our results suggest that phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of NuSAP during progression of mitosis regulate spindle organization through modulation of the dynamics of microtubules.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nucleoprotein (NP) of the influenza virus exists as trimers, and its tail-loop binding pocket has been suggested as a potential target for antiinfluenza therapeutics. The possibility of NP as a drug target was validated by the recent reports that nucleozin and its analogs can inhibit viral replication by inducing aggregation of NP trimers. However, these inhibitors were identified by random screening, and the binding site and inhibition mechanism are unclear. We report a rational approach to target influenza virus with a new mechanism--disruption of NP-NP interaction. Consistent with recent work, E339A, R416A, and deletion mutant Δ402-428 were unable to support viral replication in the absence of WT NP. However, only E339A and R416A could form hetero complex with WT NP, but the complex was unable to bind the RNA polymerase, leading to inhibition of viral replication. These results demonstrate the importance of the E339…R416 salt bridge in viral survival and establish the salt bridge as a sensitive antiinfluenza target. To provide further support, we showed that peptides encompassing R416 can disrupt NP-NP interaction and inhibit viral replication. Finally we performed virtual screening to target E339…R416, and some small molecules identified were shown to disrupt the formation of NP trimers and inhibit replication of WT and nucleozin-resistant strains. This work provides a new approach to design antiinfluenza drugs.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2011; 108(40):16515-20. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Global histone H1 phosphorylation correlates with cell cycle progression. However, the function of site-specific H1 variant phosphorylation remains unclear. Our mass spectrometry analysis revealed a novel N-terminal phosphorylation of the major H1 variant H1.4 at serine 35 (H1.4S35ph), which accumulates at mitosis immediately after H3 phosphorylation at serine 10. Protein kinase A (PKA) was found to be a kinase for H1.4S35. Importantly, Ser-35-phosphorylated H1.4 dissociates from mitotic chromatin. Moreover, H1.4S35A substitution mutant cannot efficiently rescue the mitotic defect following H1.4 depletion, and inhibition of PKA activity increases the mitotic chromatin compaction depending on H1.4. Our results not only indicate that PKA-mediated H1.4S35 phosphorylation dissociates H1.4 from mitotic chromatin but also suggest that this phosphorylation is necessary for specific mitotic functions.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2011; 286(41):35843-51. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: P16(INK4A) (also known as P16 and MTS1), a protein consisting exclusively of four ankyrin repeats, is recognized as a tumor suppressor mainly because of the prevalence of genetic inactivation of the p16(INK4A) (or CDKN2A) gene in virtually all types of human cancers. However, it has also been shown that an elevated level of expression (upregulation) of P16 is involved in cellular senescence, aging, and cancer progression, indicating that the regulation of P16 is critical for its function. Here, we discuss the regulatory mechanisms of P16 function at the DNA level, the transcription level, and the posttranscriptional level, as well as their implications for the structure-function relationship of P16 and for human cancers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the search for new efficacious antibiotics, biosynthetic engineering offers attractive opportunities to introduce minor alterations to antibiotic structures that may overcome resistance. Dbv29, a flavin-containing oxidase, catalyzes the four-electron oxidation of a vancomycin-like glycopeptide to yield A40926. Structural and biochemical examination of Dbv29 now provides insights into residues that govern flavinylation and activity, protein conformation and reaction mechanism. In particular, the serendipitous discovery of a reaction intermediate in the crystal structure led us to identify an unexpected opportunity to intercept the normal enzyme mechanism at two different points to create new teicoplanin analogs. Using this method, we synthesized families of antibiotic analogs with amidated and aminated lipid chains, some of which showed marked potency and efficacy against multidrug resistant pathogens. This method offers a new strategy for the development of chemical diversity to combat antibacterial resistance.
Nature Chemical Biology 05/2011; 7(5):304-9. · 12.95 Impact Factor