Functional RNA Interference (RNAi) Screen Identifies System A Neutral Amino Acid Transporter 2 (SNAT2) as a Mediator of Arsenic-induced Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress

ArticleinJournal of Biological Chemistry 287(8):6025-34 · January 2012with43 Reads
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.311217 · Source: PubMed
Exposure to the toxic metalloid arsenic is associated with diabetes and cancer and causes proteotoxicity and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress at the cellular level. Adaptive responses to ER stress are implicated in cancer and diabetes; thus, understanding mechanisms of arsenic-induced ER stress may offer insights into pathogenesis. Here, we identify genes required for arsenite-induced ER stress response in a genome-wide RNAi screen. Using an shRNA library targeting ∼20,000 human genes, together with an ER stress cell model, we performed flow cytometry-based cell sorting to isolate cells with defective response to arsenite. Our screen discovered several genes modulating arsenite-induced ER stress, including sodium-dependent neutral amino acid transporter, SNAT2. SNAT2 expression and activity are up-regulated by arsenite, in a manner dependent on activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), an important mediator of the integrated stress response. Inhibition of SNAT2 expression or activity or deprivation of its primary substrate, glutamine, specifically suppressed ER stress induced by arsenite but not tunicamycin. Induction of SNAT2 is coincident with the activation of the nutrient-sensing mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, which is at least partially required for arsenite-induced ER stress. Importantly, inhibition of the SNAT2 or the System L transporter, LAT1, suppressed mTOR activation by arsenite, supporting a role for these transporters in modulating amino acid signaling. These findings reveal SNAT2 as an important and specific mediator of arsenic-induced ER stress, and suggest a role for aberrant mTOR activation in arsenic-related human diseases. Furthermore, this study demonstrates the utility of RNAi screens in elucidating cellular mechanisms of environmental toxins.
    • "siRNAs could also be transformed from short hairpin RNA (shRNA) within transfected cells. The findings led to the development of siRNA-directed reverse genetics methods, which included RNAi library construction and screening systems [2,678. Methodological progress has also revealed that the efficiency of knockdown depends on sequence within each siRNA [9, 10]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) screening is extensively used in the field of reverse genetics. RNAi libraries constructed using random oligonucleotides have made this technology affordable. However, the new methodology requires exploration of the RNAi target gene information after screening because the RNAi library includes non-natural sequences that are not found in genes. Here, we developed a web-based tool to support RNAi screening. The system performs short hairpin RNA (shRNA) target prediction that is informed by comprehensive enquiry (SPICE). SPICE automates several tasks that are laborious but indispensable to evaluate the shRNAs obtained by RNAi screening. SPICE has four main functions: (i) sequence identification of shRNA in the input sequence (the sequence might be obtained by sequencing clones in the RNAi library), (ii) searching the target genes in the database, (iii) demonstrating biological information obtained from the database, and (iv) preparation of search result files that can be utilized in a local personal computer (PC). Using this system, we demonstrated that genes targeted by random oligonucleotide-derived shRNAs were not different from those targeted by organism-specific shRNA. The system facilitates RNAi screening, which requires sequence analysis after screening. The SPICE web application is available at Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13637-016-0039-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2016
    • "Remarkably, however, the cell death in wild type cells subjected to arsenite treatment is largely unaltered by Chac1 silencing. This indicates that once Chac1 expression is sufficiently restricted, other factors become limiting towards cell viability (or arise as cell death-promoting), which is not unexpected considering the multiple facets of arsenite cytotoxicity [1,3,[10][11][12]36,44]. Nevertheless, a failure to induce Trib3 in response to arsenite stress would constitute a threat to cell survival due to the risk of unstrained Chac1 expression. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arsenic, a metalloid with cytotoxic and carcinogenic effects related to the disruption of glutathione homeostasis, induces the expression of ATF4, a central transcription factor in the cellular stress response. However, the interplay between factors downstream of ATF4 is incompletely understood. In this article, we investigate the role of Tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3), a regulatory member of the ATF4 pathway, in determining cell sensitivity to arsenite. Our results show that arsenite potently upregulates Trib3 mRNA and protein in an ATF4-dependent manner in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Trib3-deficient cells display increased susceptibility to arsenite-induced cell death, which is rescued by re-expressing TRIB3. In cells lacking TRIB3, arsenite stress leads to markedly elevated mRNA and protein levels of Chac1, a gene that encodes a glutathione-degrading enzyme and is not previously known to be repressed by TRIB3. Analysis of the Chac1 promoter identified two regulatory elements that additively mediate the induction of Chac1 by arsenite and ATF4, as well as the robust suppression of Chac1 by TRIB3. Crucially, Chac1 silencing enhances glutathione levels and eliminates the increased susceptibility of Trib3-deficient cells to arsenite stress. Moreover, Trib3-deficient cells demonstrate an increased rate of glutathione consumption, which is abolished by Chac1 knockdown. Taken together, these data indicate that excessive Chac1 expression is detrimental to arsenite-treated cell survival and that TRIB3 is critical for restraining the pro-death potential of Chac1 during arsenite stress, representing a novel mechanism of cell viability regulation that occurs within the ATF4 pathway.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2016
    • "These results suggest that blocking of SNAT2 could reduce β cell failure in type 2 diabetes. In a related study, C/EBP-homologous protein expression was used as a read-out for the induction of ER stress by arsenite [129]. A genome-wide silencing screen revealed SNAT2 as a key protein required for the onset of ER stress. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transporters of the SLC38 family are found in all cell types of the body. They mediate Na(+)-dependent net uptake and efflux of small neutral amino acids. As a result they are particularly expressed in cells that grow actively, or in cells that carry out significant amino acid metabolism, such as liver, kidney and brain. SLC38 transporters occur in membranes that face intercellular space or blood vessels, but do not occur in the apical membrane of absorptive epithelia. In the placenta, they play a significant role in the transfer of amino acids to the foetus. Members of the SLC38 family are highly regulated in response to amino acid depletion, hypertonicity and hormonal stimuli. SLC38 transporters play an important role in amino acid signalling and have been proposed to act as transceptors independent of their transport function. The structure of SLC38 transporters is characterised by the 5 + 5 inverted repeat fold, which is observed in a wide variety of transport proteins.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013
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