Molecular Cell

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 1097-2765
Publications
Article
Mismatch recognition by the human MutS homologs hMSH2-hMSH6 is regulated by adenosine nucleotide binding, supporting the hypothesis that it functions as a molecular switch. Here we show that ATP-induced release of hMSH2-hMSH6 from mismatched DNA is prevented if the ends are blocked or if the DNA is circular. We demonstrate that mismmatched DNA provokes ADP-->ATP exchange, resulting in a discernible conformational transition that converts hMSH2-hMSH6 into a sliding clamp capable of hydrolysis-independent diffusion along the DNA backbone. Our results support a model for bidirectional mismatch repair in which stochastic loading of multiple ATP-bound hMSH2-hMSH6 sliding clamps onto mismatch-containing DNA leads to activation of the repair machinery and/or other signaling effectors similar to G protein switches.
 
Article
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae DNA polymerase delta proofreading exonuclease-defective mutation pol3-01 is known to cause high rates of accumulating mutations. The pol3-01 mutant was found to have abnormal cell cycle progression due to activation of the S phase checkpoint. Inactivation of the S phase checkpoint suppressed both the pol3-01 cell cycle progression defect and mutator phenotype, indicating that the pol3-01 mutator phenotype was dependent on the S phase damage checkpoint pathway. Epistasis analysis suggested that a portion of the pol3-01 mutator phenotype involves members of the RAD6 epistasis group that function in both error-free and error-prone repair. These results indicate that activation of a checkpoint in response to certain types of replicative defects can result in the accumulation of mutations.
 
Article
Inositol hexakisphosphate and other inositol high polyphosphates have diverse and critical roles in eukaryotic regulatory pathways. Inositol 1,3,4-trisphosphate 5/6-kinase catalyzes the rate-limiting step in inositol high polyphosphate synthesis in animals. This multifunctional enzyme also has inositol 3,4,5,6-tetrakisphosphate 1-kinase and other activities. The structure of an archetypal family member, from Entamoeba histolytica, has been determined to 1.2 A resolution in binary and ternary complexes with nucleotide, substrate, and product. The structure reveals an ATP-grasp fold. The inositol ring faces ATP edge-on such that the 5- and 6-hydroxyl groups are nearly equidistant from the ATP gamma-phosphate in catalytically productive phosphoacceptor positions and explains the unusual dual site specificity of this kinase. Inositol tris- and tetrakisphosphates interact via three phosphate binding subsites and one solvent-exposed site that could in principle be occupied by 18 different substrates, explaining the mechanisms for the multiple specificities and catalytic activities of this enzyme.
 
Article
Helicobacter pylori infection of the human stomach is associated with altered acid secretion, loss of acid-producing parietal cells, and, in some hosts, adenocarcinoma. We have used a transgenic mouse model to study the effects of parietal cell ablation on H. pylori pathogenesis. Ablation results in amplification of the presumptive gastric epithelial stem cell and its immediate committed daughters. The amplified cells produce sialylated oncofetal carbohydrate antigens that function as receptors for H. pylori adhesins. Attachment results in enhanced cellular and humoral immune responses. NeuAc alpha 2,3Gal beta 1,4 glycoconjugates may not only facilitate persistent H. pylori infection in a changing gastric ecosystem, but by promoting interactions with lineage progenitors and/or initiated cells contribute to tumorigenesis in patients with chronic atrophic gastritis.
 
Article
Binding of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3)) to the amino-terminal region of IP(3) receptor promotes Ca(2+) release from the endoplasmic reticulum. Within the amino terminus, the first 220 residues directly preceding the IP(3) binding core domain play a key role in IP(3) binding suppression and regulatory protein interaction. Here we present a crystal structure of the suppressor domain of the mouse type 1 IP(3) receptor at 1.8 A. Displaying a shape akin to a hammer, the suppressor region contains a Head subdomain forming the beta-trefoil fold and an Arm subdomain possessing a helix-turn-helix structure. The conserved region on the Head subdomain appeared to interact with the IP(3) binding core domain and is in close proximity to the previously proposed binding sites of Homer, RACK1, calmodulin, and CaBP1. The present study sheds light onto the mechanism underlying the receptor's sensitivity to the ligand and its communication with cellular signaling proteins.
 
Data Collection, Structure Determination, and Refinement Statistics Data Collection and MAD Phasing Statistics
The Asymmetric Unit of the IP 3-3K Crystal Contains a Dimer, but the Construct Is a Monomer in Solution
Activities of IP 3 -3K Mutants
Substrate Binding by IP 3 -3K 
A Comparison of Selected Elements in the Catalytic Core of the Protein and Inositide Kinases The lack of a catalytic loop and the presence of an extended ␤ sheet in the C lobe place the IP 3 -3K and PIPKII ␤ in a subfamily of PKs that have C lobes similar to the ATP-grasp C lobe. (A) IP 3 -3K with 
Article
Mammalian cells produce a variety of inositol phosphates (InsPs), including Ins(1,4,5)P3 that serves both as a second messenger and as a substrate for inositol polyphosphate kinases (IPKs), which further phosphorylate it. We report the structure of an IPK, the human Ins(1,4,5)P3 3-kinase-A, both free and in complexes with substrates and products. This enzyme catalyzes transfer of a phosphate from ATP to the 3-OH of Ins(1,4,5)P3, and its X-ray crystal structure provides a template for understanding a broad family of InsP kinases. The catalytic domain consists of three lobes. The N and C lobes bind ATP and resemble protein and lipid kinases, despite insignificant sequence similarity. The third lobe binds inositol phosphate and is a unique four-helix insertion in the C lobe. This lobe embraces all of the phosphates of Ins(1,4,5)P3 in a positively charged pocket, explaining the enzyme's substrate specificity and its inability to phosphorylate PtdIns(4,5)P2, the membrane-resident analog of Ins(1,4,5)P3.
 
Article
Soluble inositol polyphosphates are ubiquitous second messengers in eukaryotes, and their levels are regulated by an array of specialized kinases. The structure of an archetypal member of this class, inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate 3-kinase (IP3K), has been determined at 2.2 angstroms resolution in complex with magnesium and adenosine diphosphate. IP3K contains a catalytic domain that is a variant of the protein kinase superfamily, and a novel four-helix substrate binding domain. The two domains are in an open conformation with respect to each other, suggesting that substrate recognition and catalysis by IP3K involves a dynamic conformational cycle. The unique helical domain of IP3K blocks access to the active site by membrane-bound phosphoinositides, explaining the structural basis for soluble inositol polyphosphate specificity.
 
Article
The C-terminal proteolytic processing product of merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) appears essential for successful erythrocyte invasion by the malarial parasite, Plasmodium. We have determined the crystal structure at 1.8 A resolution of a soluble baculovirus-recombinant form of the protein from P. cynomolgi, which confers excellent protective efficacy in primate vaccination trials. The structure comprises two EGF-like domains, and sequence comparisons strongly suggest that the same conformation is present in all species of Plasmodium, including P. falciparum and P. vivax, which are pathogenic in man. In particular, conserved interdomain contacts between the two EGF modules should preserve the compact form of the molecule in all species. Implications of the crystal structure for anti-malarial vaccine development are discussed.
 
Article
The structure of the functional N-terminal domain from the extracellular region of the cell surface receptor sialoadhesin has been determined in complex with the oligosaccharide 3' sialyllactose. This provides structural information for the siglec family of proteins. The structure conforms to the V-set immunoglobulin-like fold but contains several distinctive features, including an intra-beta sheet disulphide and a splitting of the standard beta strand G into two shorter strands. These novel features appear important in adapting the V-set fold for sialic acid-mediated recognition. Analysis of the complex with 3'sialyllactose highlights three residues, conserved throughout the siglec family, as key features of the sialic acid-binding template. The complex is representative of the functional recognition interaction with carbohydrate and as such provides detailed information for a heterotypic cell adhesion interaction.
 
Article
Proteasomes are cylindrical structures that function in multiple cellular processes by degrading a wide variety of cytosolic and nuclear proteins. Substrate access and product release from the enclosed catalytic chamber occurs through axial pores that are opened by activator complexes. Here, we report high-resolution structures of wild-type and mutant archaeal proteasomes bound to the activator PA26. These structures support the proposal that an ordered open conformation is required for proteolysis and that its formation can be triggered by outward displacement of surrounding residues. The structures and associated biochemical assays reveal the mechanism of binding, which involves an interaction between the PA26 C terminus and a conserved lysine. Surprisingly, biochemical observations implicate an equivalent interaction for the unrelated ATP-dependent activators PAN and PA700.
 
Article
Flagellin, the main protein of the bacterial flagella, elicits defence responses and alters growth in Arabidopsis seedlings. Previously, we identified the FLS1 locus, which confers flagellin insensitivity in Ws-0. To identify additional components involved in flagellin perception, we screened for flagellin insensitivity mutants in the flagellin-sensitive accession La-er. Here, we describe the identification of a new locus, FLS2, by a map-based strategy. The FLS2 gene is ubiquitously expressed and encodes a putative receptor kinase. FLS2 shares structural and functional homologies with known plant resistance genes and with components involved in the innate immune system of mammals and insects.
 
Article
(Molecular Cell 43, 1005–1014; September 16, 2011)In this paper, we reported that the levels of specific microRNAs (miRNAs) decrease when cells are grown at low density or when cells are detached from a culture dish. Based on our results, we proposed that some miRNAs are selectively destabilized depending on the adhesion status of the cells. However, in subsequent studies, we discovered that structured miRNAs with low GC content, such as miR-141, miR-29b, miR-21, miR-106b, miR-15a, and miR-34a, are selectively lost during sample preparation rather than degraded in the cell. The small RNA loss occurs when a small number of cells is used for RNA preparation using the standard TRIzol protocol (see Kim et al. [pp. 893–895] in this issue for details). These findings provide an alternative explanation for our original data. While the original data are all reproducible, we are retracting the paper because we feel the main conclusions have been compromised. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
 
Article
The histone H3K27 methyltransferase EZH2 plays an important role in oncogenesis, by mechanisms that are incompletely understood. Here, we show that the JmjC domain histone H3 demethylase NDY1 synergizes with EZH2 to silence the EZH2 inhibitor miR-101. NDY1 and EZH2 repress miR-101 by binding its promoter in concert, via a process triggered by upregulation of NDY1. Whereas EZH2 binding depends on NDY1, the latter binds independently of EZH2. However, both are required to repress transcription. NDY1 and EZH2 acting in concert upregulate EZH2 and stabilize the repression of miR-101 and its outcome. NDY1 is induced by FGF-2 via CREB phosphorylation and activation, downstream of DYRK1A, and mediates the FGF-2 and EZH2 effects on cell proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis. The FGF-2-NDY1/EZH2-miR-101-EZH2 axis described here was found to be active in bladder cancer. These data delineate an oncogenic pathway that functionally links FGF-2 with EZH2 via NDY1 and miR-101.
 
Article
We have studied promoter clearance at a series of RNA polymerase II promoters with varying spacing of the TATA box and start site. We find that regardless of promoter spacing, the upstream edge of the transcription bubble forms 20 bp from TATA. The bubble expands downstream until 18 bases are unwound and the RNA is at least 7 nt long, at which point the upstream approximately 8 bases of the bubble abruptly reanneal (bubble collapse). If either bubble size or transcript length is insufficient, bubble collapse cannot occur. Bubble collapse coincides with the end of the requirement for the TFIIH helicase for efficient transcript elongation. We also provide evidence that bubble collapse suppresses pausing at +7 to +9 caused by the presence of the B finger segment of TFIIB within the complex. Our results indicate that bubble collapse defines the RNA polymerase II promoter clearance transition.
 
Article
First identified as a neutrophil granule component, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL; also called human neutrophil lipocalin, 24p3, uterocalin, or neu-related lipocalin) is a member of the lipocalin family of binding proteins. Putative NGAL ligands, including neutrophil chemotactic agents such as N-formylated tripeptides, have all been refuted by recent biochemical and structural results. NGAL has subsequently been implicated in diverse cellular processes, but without a characterized ligand, the molecular basis of these functions remained mysterious. Here we report that NGAL tightly binds bacterial catecholate-type ferric siderophores through a cyclically permuted, hybrid electrostatic/cation-pi interaction and is a potent bacteriostatic agent in iron-limiting conditions. We therefore propose that NGAL participates in the antibacterial iron depletion strategy of the innate immune system.
 
Article
The ordered assembly of immunoglobulin and TCR genes by V(D)J recombination depends on the regulated accessibility of individual loci. We show here that the histone tails and intrinsic nucleosome structure pose significant impediments to V(D)J cleavage. However, alterations to nucleosome structure via histone acetylation or by stable hSWI/SNF-dependent remodeling greatly increase the accessibility of nucleosomal DNA to V(D)J cleavage. Moreover, acetylation and hSWI/SNF remodeling can act in concert on an individual nucleosome to achieve levels of V(D)J cleavage approaching those observed on naked DNA. These results are consistent with a model in which regulated recruitment of chromatin modifying activities is involved in mediating the lineage and stage-specific control of V(D)J recombination.
 
Article
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs that function as posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression. miRNAs affect a variety of signaling pathways, and impaired miRNA regulation may contribute to the development of cancer and other diseases. Here we show that miRNA miR-10a interacts with the 5' untranslated region of mRNAs encoding ribosomal proteins to enhance their translation. miR-10a alleviates translational repression of the ribosomal protein mRNAs during amino acid starvation and is required for their translational induction following anisomycin treatment or overexpression of RAS. We show that miR-10a binds immediately downstream of the regulatory 5'TOP motif and that the 5'TOP regulatory complex and miR-10a are functionally interconnected. The results show that miR-10a may positively control global protein synthesis via the stimulation of ribosomal protein mRNA translation and ribosome biogenesis and hereby affect the ability of cells to undergo transformation.
 
Article
Upon androgen stimulation, PKN1-mediated histone H3 threonine 11 phosphorylation (H3T11P) promotes AR target gene activation. However, the underlying mechanism is not completely understood. Here, we show that WDR5, a subunit of the SET1/MLL complex, interacts with H3T11P, and this interaction facilitates the recruitment of the MLL1 complex and subsequent H3K4 tri-methylation (H3K4me3). Using ChIP-seq, we find that androgen stimulation results in a 6-fold increase in the number of H3T11P-marked regions and induces WDR5 colocalization to one third of H3T11P-enriched promoters, thus establishing a genome-wide relationship between H3T11P and recruitment of WDR5. Accordingly, PKN1 knockdown or chemical inhibition severely blocks WDR5 chromatin association and H3K4me3 on AR target genes. Finally, WDR5 is critical in prostate cancer cell proliferation and is hyperexpressed in human prostate cancers. Together, these results identify WDR5 as a critical epigenomic integrator of histone phosphorylation and methylation and as a major driver of androgen-dependent prostate cancer cell proliferation.
 
Article
Junctional complexes between the plasma membrane (PM) and endoplasmic/sarcoplasmic reticulum (ER/ SR) are a common feature of all excitable cell types and mediate cross-talk between cell surface and intracellular ion channels. We have identified the junctophilins (JPs), a novel conserved family of proteins that are components of the junctional complexes. JPs are composed of a carboxy-terminal hydrophobic segment spanning the ER/SR membrane and a remaining cytoplasmic domain that shows specific affinity for the PM. In mouse, there are at least three JP subtypes: JP-1, -2, and -3. JP-2 is abundantly expressed in the heart, and mutant mice lacking JP-2 exhibited embryonic lethality. Cardiac myocytes from the mutant mice showed deficiency of the junctional membrane complexes and abnormal Ca2+ transients. Our results suggest that JPs are important components of junctional membrane complexes.
 
Article
CENP-A, the centromere-specific histone H3 variant, plays a crucial role in organizing kinetochore chromatin for precise chromosome segregation. We have isolated Ams2, a Daxx-like motif-containing GATA factor, and histone H4, as multicopy suppressors of cnp1-1, an S. pombe CENP-A mutant. While depletion of Ams2 results in the reduction of CENP-A binding to the centromere and chromosome missegregation, increasing its dosage restores association of a CENP-A mutant protein with centromeres. Conversely, overexpression of CENP-A or histone H4 suppresses an ams2 disruptant. The intracellular amount of Ams2 thus affects centromeric nucleosomal constituents. Ams2 is abundant in S phase and associates with chromatin, including the central centromeres through binding to GATA-core sequences. Ams2 is thus a cell cycle-regulated GATA factor that is required for centromere function.
 
Article
We obtained an 11 subunit model of RNA polymerase (Pol) III by combining a homology model of the nine subunit core enzyme with a new X-ray structure of the subcomplex C17/25. Compared to Pol II, Pol III shows a conserved active center for RNA synthesis but a structurally different upstream face for specific initiation complex assembly during promoter selection. The Pol III upstream face includes a HRDC domain in subunit C17 that is translated by 35 A and rotated by 150 degrees compared to its Pol II counterpart. The HRDC domain is essential in vivo, folds independently in vitro, and, unlike other HRDC domains, shows no indication of nucleic acid binding. Thus, the HRDC domain is a functional module that could account for the role of C17 in Pol III promoter-specific initiation. During elongation, C17/25 may bind Pol III transcripts emerging from the adjacent exit pore, because the subcomplex binds to tRNA in vitro.
 
Article
Chromatin alterations, induced by covalent histone modifications, mediate a wide range of DNA-templated processes, including apoptosis. Apoptotic chromatin condensation has been causally linked to the phosphorylation of histone H2B (serine 14 in human; serine 10 in yeast, H2BS10ph) in human and yeast cells. Here, we extend these studies by demonstrating a unidirectional, crosstalk pathway between H2BS10 phosphorylation and lysine 11 acetylation (H2BK11ac) in yeast. We demonstrate that the H2BK11 acetyl mark, which exists in growing yeast, is removed upon H(2)O(2) treatment but before H2BS10ph occurs, in a unidirectional fashion. H2B K11Q mutants are resistant to cell death elicited by H(2)O(2), while H2B K11R mutants that mimic deacetylation promote cell death. Our results suggest that Hos3 HDAC deacetylates H2BK11ac, which in turn mediates H2BS10ph by Ste20 kinase. Together, these studies underscore a concerted series of enzyme reactions governing histone modifications that promote a switch from cell proliferation to cell death.
 
Article
Mediator exists in a free form containing the Med12, Med13, CDK8, and CycC subunits (the Srb8-11 module) and a smaller form, which lacks these four subunits and associates with RNA polymerase II (Pol II), forming a holoenzyme. We use chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and DNA microarrays to investigate genome-wide localization of Mediator and the Srb8-11 module in fission yeast. Mediator and the Srb8-11 module display similar binding patterns, and interactions with promoters and upstream activating sequences correlate with increased transcription activity. Unexpectedly, Mediator also interacts with the downstream coding region of many genes. These interactions display a negative bias for positions closer to the 5' ends of open reading frames (ORFs) and appear functionally important, because downregulation of transcription in a temperature-sensitive med17 mutant strain correlates with increased Mediator occupancy in the coding region. We propose that Mediator coordinates transcription initiation with transcriptional events in the coding region of eukaryotic genes.
 
Article
Germline mutations of the Brca1 tumor suppressor gene predispose women to breast and ovarian cancers. To study mechanisms underlying BRCA1-related tumorigenesis, we derived mouse embryonic fibroblast cells carrying a targeted deletion of exon 11 of the Brca1 gene. We show that the mutant cells maintain an intact G1-S cell cycle checkpoint and proliferate poorly. However, a defective G2-M checkpoint in these cells is accompanied by extensive chromosomal abnormalities. Mutant fibroblasts contain multiple, functional centrosomes, which lead to unequal chromosome segregation, abnormal nuclear division, and aneuploidy. These data uncover an essential role of BRCA1 in maintaining genetic stability through the regulation of centrosome duplication and the G2-M checkpoint and provide a molecular basis for the role of BRCA1 in tumorigenesis.
 
Article
Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is an inherited disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of fever and inflammation. Most patients with FMF carry missense mutations in the C-terminal half of the pyrin protein. To study the physiologic role of pyrin, we generated mice expressing a truncated pyrin molecule that, similar to FMF patients, retains the full PYRIN domain. Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces accentuated body temperatures and increased lethality in homozygous mutant mice. When stimulated, macrophages from these mice produce increased amounts of activated caspase-1 and, consequently, elevated levels of mature IL-1beta. Full-length pyrin competes in vitro with caspase-1 for binding to ASC, a known caspase-1 activator. Apoptosis is impaired in macrophages from pyrin-truncation mice through an IL-1-independent pathway. These data support a critical role for pyrin in the innate immune response, possibly by acting on ASC, and suggest a biologic basis for the selection of hypomorphic pyrin variants in man.
 
Article
Activation of client proteins by the Hsp90 molecular chaperone is dependent on binding and hydrolysis of ATP, which drives a molecular clamp via transient dimerization of the N-terminal domains. The crystal structure of the middle segment of yeast Hsp90 reveals considerable evolutionary divergence from the equivalent regions of other GHKL protein family members such as MutL and GyrB, including an additional domain of new fold. Using the known structure of the N-terminal nucleotide binding domain, a model for the Hsp90 dimer has been constructed. From this structure, residues implicated in the ATPase-coupled conformational cycle and in interactions with client proteins and the activating cochaperone Aha1 have been identified, and their roles functionally characterized in vitro and in vivo.
 
Article
Hyperactivation of Ras-ERK1/2 signaling is critical to the development of many human malignancies, but little is known regarding the specific contribution of ERK1 or ERK2 to oncogenic processes. We demonstrate that ERK2 but not ERK1 signaling is necessary for Ras-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation (EMT). Further, ERK2 but not ERK1 overexpression is sufficient to induce EMT. Many ERK1/2-interacting proteins contain amino acid motifs, e.g., DEF or D-motifs, which regulate docking with ERK1/2. Remarkably, ERK2 signaling to DEF motif-containing targets is required to induce EMT and correlates with increased migration, invasion, and survival. Importantly, the late-response gene product Fra1 is necessary for Ras- and ERK2-induced EMT through upregulation of ZEB1/2 proteins. Thus, an apparent critical role for ERK2 DEF motif signaling during tumorigenesis is the regulation of Fra1 and the subsequent induction of ZEB1/2, suggesting a potential therapeutic target for Ras-regulated tumorigenesis.
 
Article
Esa1 is the catalytic subunit of the NuA4 histone acetylase (HAT) complex that acetylates histone H4, and it is a member of the MYST family of HAT proteins that includes the MOZ oncoprotein and the HIV-1 Tat interacting protein Tip60. Here we report the X-ray crystal structure of the HAT domain of Esa1 bound to coenzyme A and investigate the protein's catalytic mechanism. Our data reveal that Esa1 contains a central core domain harboring a putative catalytic base, and flanking domains that are implicated in histone binding. Comparisons with the Gcn5/PCAF and Hat1 proteins suggest a unified mechanism of catalysis and histone binding by HAT proteins, whereby a structurally conserved core domain mediates catalysis, and sequence variability within a structurally related N- and C-terminal scaffold determines substrate specificity.
 
Article
Genetic deletion of the mitochondrial deacetylase sirtuin-3 (Sirt3) results in increased mitochondrial superoxide, a tumor-permissive environment, and mammary tumor development. MnSOD contains a nutrient- and ionizing radiation (IR)-dependent reversible acetyl-lysine that is hyperacetylated in Sirt3⁻/⁻ livers at 3 months of age. Livers of Sirt3⁻/⁻ mice exhibit decreased MnSOD activity, but not immunoreactive protein, relative to wild-type livers. Reintroduction of wild-type but not deacetylation null Sirt3 into Sirt3⁻/⁻ MEFs deacetylated lysine and restored MnSOD activity. Site-directed mutagenesis of MnSOD lysine 122 to an arginine, mimicking deacetylation (lenti-MnSOD(K122-R)), increased MnSOD activity when expressed in MnSOD⁻/⁻ MEFs, suggesting acetylation directly regulates function. Furthermore, infection of Sirt3⁻/⁻ MEFs with lenti-MnSOD(K122-R) inhibited in vitro immortalization by an oncogene (Ras), inhibited IR-induced genomic instability, and decreased mitochondrial superoxide. Finally, IR was unable to induce MnSOD deacetylation or activity in Sirt3⁻/⁻ livers, and these irradiated livers displayed significant IR-induced cell damage and microvacuolization in their hepatocytes.
 
Article
Both microRNAs and alternative pre-mRNA splicing have been implicated in the development of the nervous system (NS), but functional interactions between these two pathways are poorly understood. We demonstrate that the neuron-specific microRNA miR-124 directly targets PTBP1 (PTB/hnRNP I) mRNA, which encodes a global repressor of alternative pre-mRNA splicing in nonneuronal cells. Among the targets of PTBP1 is a critical cassette exon in the pre-mRNA of PTBP2 (nPTB/brPTB/PTBLP), an NS-enriched PTBP1 homolog. When this exon is skipped, PTBP2 mRNA is subject to nonsense-mediated decay (NMD). During neuronal differentiation, miR-124 reduces PTBP1 levels, leading to the accumulation of correctly spliced PTBP2 mRNA and a dramatic increase in PTBP2 protein. These events culminate in the transition from non-NS to NS-specific alternative splicing patterns. We also present evidence that miR-124 plays a key role in the differentiation of progenitor cells to mature neurons. Thus, miR-124 promotes NS development, at least in part by regulating an intricate network of NS-specific alternative splicing.
 
Article
The molecular mechanism for how RISC and microRNAs selectively and reversibly regulate mRNA translation in response to receptor signaling is unknown but could provide a means for temporal and spatial control of translation. Here we show that miR-125a targeting PSD-95 mRNA allows reversible inhibition of translation and regulation by gp1 mGluR signaling. Inhibition of miR-125a increased PSD-95 levels in dendrites and altered dendritic spine morphology. Bidirectional control of PSD-95 expression depends on miR-125a and FMRP phosphorylation status. miR-125a levels at synapses and its association with AGO2 are reduced in Fmr1 KO. FMRP phosphorylation promotes the formation of an AGO2-miR-125a inhibitory complex on PSD-95 mRNA, whereas mGluR signaling of translation requires FMRP dephosphorylation and release of AGO2 from the mRNA. These findings reveal a mechanism whereby FMRP phosphorylation provides a reversible switch for AGO2 and microRNA to selectively regulate mRNA translation at synapses in response to receptor activation.
 
Article
Arabidopsis ARGONAUTE1 (AGO1) encodes the RNA slicer enzyme of the microRNA (miRNA) pathway and is regulated by miR168-programmed, AGO1-catalyzed mRNA cleavage. Here, we describe two additional regulatory processes required for AGO1 homeostasis: transcriptional coregulation of MIR168 and AGO1 genes, and posttranscriptional stabilization of miR168 by AGO1. Disrupting any of these regulatory processes by using mutations or transgenes disturbs a proper functioning of the miRNA pathway. In contrast, minor perturbation leads to fine-tuned posttranscriptional adjustment of miR168 and AGO1 levels, thereby maintaining a proper balance of other miRNAs, which, together with AGO1, control the mRNA levels of miRNA targets. We suggest that miR168 stabilization occurs at the level of silencing-complex assembly and that modulating the efficiency of assembling miRNA-programmed silencing complexes will also be important in other contexts.
 
Article
We have expressed and purified 13 proteins predicted to be required for B. subtilis DNA replication. When combined with a circular DNA template with a 5' unpaired flap, these proteins reconstitute replication of both the leading and lagging strands at the physiological rate. Consistent with the in vivo requirement for two DNA polymerase III replicases for B. subtilis chromosomal replication, both PolC and DnaE are required for reconstitution of the replication fork in vitro. Leading strand synthesis requires PolC plus ten proteins; lagging strand synthesis additionally requires primase and DnaE. DnaE does not serve as the lagging strand replicase, like DNA polymerase delta in eukaryotes, but instead functions like eukaryotic DNA polymerase alpha, adding a stretch of deoxynucleotides to the RNA primer before handoff to PolC. Primase equilibrates with the fork prior to synthesis of each Okazaki fragment, and its concentration controls the frequency of initiation and Okazaki fragment size.
 
Article
Mago and Y14 are core components of the exon junction complex (EJC), an assembly central to nonsense-mediated mRNA decay in humans and mRNA localization in flies. The Mago-Y14 heterodimer shuttles between the nucleus, where it is loaded onto specific mRNAs, and the cytoplasm, where it functions in translational regulation. The heterodimer is imported back into the nucleus by Importin 13 (Imp13), a member of the karyopherin-beta family of transport factors. We have elucidated the structural basis of the Mago-Y14 nuclear import cycle. The 3.35 A structure of the Drosophila Imp13-Mago-Y14 complex shows that Imp13 forms a ring-like molecule, reminiscent of Crm1, and encircles the Mago-Y14 cargo with a conserved interaction surface. The 2.8 A structure of human Imp13 bound to RanGTP reveals how Mago-Y14 is released in the nucleus by a steric hindrance mechanism. Comparison of the two structures suggests how this unusual karyopherin might function in bidirectional nucleocytoplasmic transport.
 
Article
Polypyrimdine tract binding protein (PTB) is a regulator of alternative splicing, mRNA 3' end formation, mRNA stability and localization, and IRES-mediated translation. Transient overexpression of PTB can influence alternative splicing, sometimes resulting in nonphysiological splicing patterns. Here, we show that alternative skipping of PTB exon 11 leads to an mRNA that is removed by NMD and that this pathway consumes at least 20% of the PTB mRNA in HeLa cells. We also show that exon 11 skipping is itself promoted by PTB in a negative feedback loop. This autoregulation may serve both to prevent disruptively high levels of PTB expression and to restore nuclear levels when PTB is mobilized to the cytoplasm. Our findings suggest that alternative splicing can act not only to generate protein isoform diversity but also to quantitatively control gene expression and complement recent bioinformatic analyses, indicating a high prevalence of human alternative splicing leading to NMD.
 
Article
Phagophore maturation is a key step in the macroautophagy pathway, which is critical in many important physiological and pathological processes. Here we identified Drosophila N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein 2 (dNSF2) and soluble NSF attachment protein (Snap) as strong genetic modifiers of mutant CHMP2B, an ESCRT-III component that causes frontotemporal dementia and autophagosome accumulation. Among several SNAP receptor (SNARE) genes, Drosophila syntaxin 13 (syx13) exhibited a strong genetic interaction with mutant CHMP2B. Knockdown of syntaxin 13 (STX13) or its binding partner Vti1a in mammalian cells caused LC3-positive puncta to accumulate and blocks autophagic flux. STX13 was present on LC3-positive phagophores induced by rapamycin and was highly enriched on multilamellar structures induced by dysfunctional ESCRT-III. Loss of STX13 also caused the accumulation of Atg5-positive puncta and the formation of multilamellar structures. These results suggest that STX13 is a genetic modifier of ESCRT-III dysfunction and participates in the maturation of phagophores into closed autophagosomes.
 
Article
The La protein facilitates the production of tRNAs in the nucleus and the translation of specific mRNAs in the cytoplasm. We report that human La that is phosphorylated on serine 366 (pLa) is nucleoplasmic and associated with precursor tRNAs and other nascent RNA polymerase III transcripts while nonphosphorylated (np)La is cytoplasmic and associated with a subset of mRNAs that contain 5'-terminal oligopyrimidine (5'TOP) motifs known to control protein synthesis. Thus, La ribonucleoproteins (RNP) exist in distinct states that differ in subcellular localization, serine 366 phosphorylation, and associated RNAs. These results are consistent with a model in which the relative concentrations of the La S366 isoforms in different subcellular compartments in conjunction with the relative concentrations of specific RNA ligands in these compartments determine the differential association of npLa and pLa with their respective classes of associated RNAs.
 
Article
Spongiform encephalopathies are believed to be transmitted by a unique mechanism involving self-propagating conformational conversion of prion protein into a misfolded form. Here we demonstrate that fundamental aspects of mammalian prion propagation, including the species barrier and strain diversity, can be reproduced in vitro in a seeded fibrillization of the recombinant prion protein variant Y145Stop. Our data show that species-specific substitution of a single amino acid in a critical region completely changes the seeding specificity of prion protein fibrils. Furthermore, we demonstrate that sequence-based barriers that prevent cross-seeding between proteins from different species can be bypassed, and new barriers established, by a template-induced adaptation process that leads to the emergence of new strains of prion fibrils. Although the seeding barriers observed in this study do not fully match those seen in animals, the present findings provide fundamental insight into mechanistic principles of these barriers at a molecular level.
 
Article
Phosphorylation of histone H3 is implicated in transcriptional activation and chromosome condensation, but its immediate molecular function has remained obscure. By affinity chromatography of nuclear extracts against modified H3 tail peptides, we identified 14-3-3 isoforms as proteins that bind these tails in a strictly phosphorylation-dependent manner. Acetylation of lysines 9 and 14 does not impede 14-3-3 binding to serine 10-phosphorylated H3 tails. In vivo, 14-3-3 is inducibly recruited to c-fos and c-jun nucleosomes upon gene activation, concomitant with H3 phosphoacetylation. We have determined the structures of 14-3-3zeta complexed with serine 10-phosphorylated or phosphoacetylated H3 peptides. These reveal a distinct mode of 14-3-3/phosphopeptide binding and provide a structural understanding for the lack of effect of acetylation at lysines 9 and 14 on this interaction. 14-3-3 isoforms thus represent a class of proteins that mediate the effect of histone phosphorylation at inducible genes.
 
Article
TRAIL selectively kills diseased cells in vivo, spurring interest in this death ligand as a potential therapeutic. However, many cancer cells are resistant to TRAIL, suggesting the mechanism mediating TRAIL-induced apoptosis is complex. Here we identify PACS-2 as an essential TRAIL effector, required for killing tumor cells in vitro and virally infected hepatocytes in vivo. PACS-2 is phosphorylated at Ser437 in vivo, and pharmacologic and genetic studies demonstrate Akt is an in vivo Ser437 kinase. Akt cooperates with 14-3-3 to regulate the homeostatic and apoptotic properties of PACS-2 that mediate TRAIL action. Phosphorylated Ser437 binds 14-3-3 with high affinity, which represses PACS-2 apoptotic activity and is required for PACS-2 to mediate trafficking of membrane cargo. TRAIL triggers dephosphorylation of Ser437, reprogramming PACS-2 to promote apoptosis. Together, these studies identify the phosphorylation state of PACS-2 Ser437 as a molecular switch that integrates cellular homeostasis with TRAIL-induced apoptosis.
 
Article
We recently reported that a large proportion of aggressive squamous cell carcinomas of humans and mice express markedly reduced IKKalpha. However, the role of IKKalpha in maintaining genomic stability is unknown. Here we reported that IKKalpha-deficient keratinocytes had a defect in the G(2)/M cell-cycle arrest in response to DNA damage due to downregulated 14-3-3sigma, a cell cycle checkpoint protein. Trimethylated histone H3 lysine 9 (H3-K9) was found to associate with the histone trimethyltransferase Suv39h1 and DNA methyltransferase Dnmt3a in the methylated 14-3-3sigma locus. Reintroduction of IKKalpha restored the expression of 14-3-3sigma. IKKalpha was found to associate with H3 in 14-3-3sigma, which prevented access of Suv39h1 to H3, thereby preventing hypermethylation of 14-3-3sigma. IKKalpha mutants that failed to bind to H3 did not restore the expression of 14-3-3sigma. Thus, IKKalpha protects the 14-3-3sigma locus from hypermethylation, which serves as a mechanism of maintaining genomic stability in keratinocytes.
 
Article
In healthy cells the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 adopts a topology typical of tail-anchored proteins with only the hydrophobic carboxyl terminus inserted into the membrane, as shown by labeling cell lysates with a membrane-impermeant sulfhydryl-specific reagent. Induction of apoptosis in cells triggered a change in the conformation of Bcl-2 such that cysteine 158 near the base of helix 5 inserted into the lipid bilayer of both endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria where it was protected from labeling. Addition of a peptide corresponding to the BH3 domain of the proapoptotic protein Bim to cell lysates triggered a similar conformational change in Bcl-2, demonstrating that preexisting, membrane-bound Bcl-2 proteins change topology.
 
Article
Regulatory 14-3-3 proteins activate the plant plasma membrane H(+)-ATPase by binding to its C-terminal autoinhibitory domain. This interaction requires phosphorylation of a C-terminal, mode III, recognition motif as well as an adjacent span of approximately 50 amino acids. Here we report the X-ray crystal structure of 14-3-3 in complex with the entire binding motif, revealing a previously unidentified mode of interaction. A 14-3-3 dimer simultaneously binds two H(+)-ATPase peptides, each of which forms a loop within the typical 14-3-3 binding groove and therefore exits from the center of the dimer. Several H(+)-ATPase mutants support this structure determination. Accordingly, 14-3-3 binding could result in H(+)-ATPase oligomerization. Indeed, by using single-particle electron cryomicroscopy, the 3D reconstruction of the purified H(+)-ATPase/14-3-3 complex demonstrates a hexameric arrangement. Fitting of 14-3-3 and H(+)-ATPase atomic structures into the 3D reconstruction map suggests the spatial arrangement of the holocomplex.
 
Article
Macroautophagy (autophagy) is a lysosome-dependent degradation process that has been implicated in age-associated diseases. Autophagy is involved in both cell survival and cell death, but little is known about the mechanisms that distinguish its use during these distinct cell fates. Here, we identify the microRNA miR-14 as being both necessary and sufficient for autophagy during developmentally regulated cell death in Drosophila. Loss of miR-14 prevented induction of autophagy during salivary gland cell death, but had no effect on starvation-induced autophagy in the fat body. Moreover, misexpression of miR-14 was sufficient to prematurely induce autophagy in salivary glands, but not in the fat body. Importantly, miR-14 regulates this context-specific autophagy through its target, inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate kinase 2 (ip3k2), thereby affecting inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) signaling and calcium levels during salivary gland cell death. This study provides in vivo evidence of microRNA regulation of autophagy through modulation of IP3 signaling.
 
Article
While lysine acetylation in the nucleus is well characterized, comparatively little is known about its significance in cytoplasmic signaling. Here we show that inhibition of the Sirt1 deacetylase, which is primarily cytoplasmic in cancer cell lines, sensitizes these cells to caspase-2-dependent death. To identify relevant Sirt1 substrates, we developed a proteomics strategy, enabling the identification of a range of putative substrates, including 14-3-3ζ, a known direct regulator of caspase-2. We show here that inhibition of Sirtuin activity accelerates caspase activation and overrides caspase-2 suppression by nutrient abundance. Furthermore, 14-3-3ζ is acetylated prior to caspase activation, and supplementation of Xenopus egg extract with glucose-6-phosphate, which promotes caspase-2/14-3-3ζ binding, enhances 14-3-3ζ-directed Sirtuin activity. Conversely, inhibiting Sirtuin activity promotes14-3-3ζ dissociation from caspase-2 in both egg extract and human cultured cells. These data reveal a role for Sirt1 in modulating apoptotic sensitivity, in response to metabolic changes, by antagonizing 14-3-3ζ acetylation.
 
Article
Multiple covalent modifications exist in the amino-terminal tails of core histones, but whether a relationship exists between them is unknown. We examined the relationship between serine 10 phosphorylation and lysine 14 acetylation in histone H3 and have found that, in vitro, several HAT enzymes displayed increased activity on H3 peptides bearing phospho-Ser-10. This augmenting effect of Ser-10 phosphorylation on acetylation by yGcn5 was lost by substitution of alanine for arginine 164 [Gcn5(R164A)], a residue close to Ser-10 in the structure of the ternary tGcn5/CoA/histone H3 complex. Gcn5(R164A) had reduced activity in vivo at a subset of Gcn5-dependent promoters, and, strikingly, transcription of this same subset of genes was also impaired by substitution of serine 10 to alanine in the histone H3 tail. These observations suggest that transcriptional regulation occurs by multiple mechanistically linked covalent modifications of histones.
 
Article
We have solved the high-resolution X-ray structure of 14-3-3 bound to two different phosphoserine peptides, representing alternative substrate-binding motifs. These structures reveal an evolutionarily conserved network of peptide-protein interactions within all 14-3-3 isotypes, explain both binding motifs, and identify a novel intrachain phosphorylation-mediated loop structure in one of the peptides. A 14-3-3 mutation disrupting Raf signaling alters the ligand-binding cleft, selecting a different phosphopeptide-binding motif and different substrates than the wild-type protein. Many 14-3-3: peptide contacts involve a C-terminal amphipathic alpha helix containing a putative nuclear export signal, implicating this segment in both ligand and Crm1 binding. Structural homology between the 14-3-3 NES structure and those within I kappa B alpha and p53 reveals a conserved topology recognized by the Crm1 nuclear export machinery.
 
Article
The Bcl-2 homology 3 (BH3) domain of prodeath Bcl-2 family members mediates their interaction with prosurvival Bcl-2 family members and promotes apoptosis. We report that survival factors trigger the phosphorylation of the proapoptotic Bcl-2 family member BAD at a site (Ser-155) within the BAD BH3 domain. When BAD is bound to prosurvival Bcl-2 family members, BAD Ser-155 phosphorylation requires the prior phosphorylation of Ser-136, which recruits 14-3-3 proteins that then function to increase the accessibility of Ser-155 to survival-promoting kinases. Ser-155 phosphorylation disrupts the binding of BAD to prosurvival Bcl-2 proteins and thereby promotes cell survival. These findings define a mechanism by which survival signals inactivate a proapoptotic Bcl-2 family member, and suggest a role for 14-3-3 proteins as cofactors that regulate sequential protein phosphorylation events.
 
Article
A network of ATM/ATR-mediated events regulates cell cycle checkpoints and genomic integrity and contributes to the processing of DNA double-strand breaks in both genomic DNA and at telomeres. In yeast and in human cells, investigators, including, and Herbig et al., published in this issue of Molecular Cell, are beginning to decipher the signaling pathways involved at the telomeres.
 
Article
We have used an affinity purification method to identify substrates of protein kinase B/Akt. One protein that associates with 14-3-3 in an Akt-dependent manner is shown here to be the Yes-associated protein (YAP), which is phosphorylated by Akt at serine 127, leading to binding to 14-3-3. Akt promotes YAP localization to the cytoplasm, resulting in loss from the nucleus where it functions as a coactivator of transcription factors including p73. p73-mediated induction of Bax expression following DNA damage requires YAP function and is attenuated by Akt phosphorylation of YAP. YAP overexpression increases, while YAP depletion decreases, p73-mediated apoptosis following DNA damage, in an Akt inhibitable manner. Akt phosphorylation of YAP may thus suppress the induction of the proapoptotic gene expression response following cellular damage.
 
Top-cited authors
Paul Tempst
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
David Ron
  • University of Cambridge
Yuhong Zhang
  • CHINA INSTITUTE OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Heather P Harding
  • University of Cambridge
Hediye Erdjument-Bromage
  • New York University