- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Newly synthesized thyroglobulin (Tg), the thyroid prohormone, forms detectable high molecular weight mixed disulfide adducts: until now, only Tg “adduct B” was identified as primarily engaging the endoplasmic reticulum oxidoreductases ERp57 and protein disulfide isomerase. Here, we demonstrate that the faster migrating Tg adduct C primarily engages the CaBP1/P5 oxidoreductase, whereas the slower migrating Tg adduct A primarily engages ERp72. Upon siRNA-mediated knockdown of CaBP1/P5 or ERp72, adducts C or A, respectively, are decreased. Within the three Tg adduct bands that do not exhibit a precursor-product relationship, Tg exhibits distinct oxidation patterns. We present evidence suggesting that disulfide maturation occurs within Tg monomers engaged in each of the adduct bands. Moreover, the same Tg substrate molecules can form simultaneous mixed disulfides with both CaBP1/P5 and protein disulfide isomerase, although these are generally viewed as components of distinct oxidoreductase-chaperone protein complexes. Such substrate-oxidoreductase combinations offer Tg the potential for simultaneous oxidative maturation along different parallel tracks leading to the native state.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Beta cell failure is caused by loss of cell mass, mostly by apoptosis, but also by simple dysfunction (decline of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, downregulation of specific gene expression). Apoptosis and dysfunction are caused, at least in part, by lipoglucotoxicity. The mechanisms implicated are oxidative stress, increase in the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP) flux and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Oxidative stress plays a role in glucotoxicity-induced beta cell dedifferentiation, while glucotoxicity-induced ER stress has been mostly linked to beta cell apoptosis. We sought to clarify whether ER stress caused by increased HBP flux participates in a dedifferentiating response of beta cells, in the absence of relevant apoptosis. We used INS-1E cells and murine islets. We analysed the unfolded protein response and the expression profile of beta cells by real-time RT-PCR and western blot. The signal transmission pathway elicited by ER stress was investigated by real-time RT-PCR and immunofluorescence. Glucosamine and high glucose induced ER stress, but did not decrease cell viability in INS-1E cells. ER stress caused dedifferentiation of beta cells, as shown by downregulation of beta cell markers and of the transcription factor, pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1. Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was inhibited. These effects were prevented by the chemical chaperone, 4-phenyl butyric acid. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signal transmission pathway was implicated, since its inhibition prevented the effects induced by glucosamine and high glucose. Glucotoxic ER stress dedifferentiates beta cells, in the absence of apoptosis, through a transcriptional response. These effects are mediated by the activation of ERK1/2.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a complex and multifunctional organelle. It is the intracellular compartment of protein folding, a complex task, both facilitated and monitored by ER folding enzymes and molecular chaperones. The ER is also a stress-sensing organelle. It senses stress caused by disequilibrium between ER load and folding capacity and responds by activating signal transduction pathways, known as unfolded protein response (UPR). Three major classes of transducer are known, inositol-requiring protein-1 (IRE1), activating transcription factor-6 (ATF6), and protein kinase RNA (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), which sense with their endoluminal domain the state of protein folding, although the exact mechanism(s) involved is not entirely clear. Depending on whether the homeostatic response of the UPR is successful in restoring an equilibrium between ER load and protein folding or not, the two possible outcomes of the UPR so far considered have been life or death. Indeed, recent efforts have been devoted to understand the life/death switch mechanisms. However, recent data suggest that what appears to be a pure binary decision may in fact be more complex, and survival may be achieved at the expenses of luxury cell functions, such as expression of differentiation genes.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of the Ras-Raf-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway causes not only proliferation and suppression of apoptosis but also the antioncogenic response of senescence. How these contrasting effects are reconciled to achieve cell transformation and cancer formation is poorly understood. In a system of two-step carcinogenesis (dedifferentiated PC EIA, transformed PC EIA-polyoma-middle T [PC EIA + Py] and PC EIA-v-raf [PC EIA + raf] cells], v-raf cooperated with EIA by virtue of a strong prosurvival effect, not elicited by Py-middle T, evident toward serum-deprivation-and H(2)O(2)-induced apoptosis. Apoptosis was detected by DNA fragmentation and annexin V staining. The prosurvival function of v-raf was, in part, mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase (MEK)-dependent, as shown by pharmacological MEK inhibition. The MEK-dependent antiapoptotic effect of v-raf was exerted despite a lower level of P-ERK1/2 in EIA + raf cells with respect to EIA + Py/EIA cells, which was dependent on a high tyrosine phosphatase activity, as shown by orthovanadate blockade. An ERK1/2 tyrosine phosphatase was likely involved. The high tyrosine phosphatase activity was instrumental to the complete suppression of senescence, detected by β-galactosidase activity, because tyrosine phosphatase blockade induced senescence in EIA + raf but not in EIA + Py cells. High tyrosine phosphatase activity and evasion from senescence were confirmed in an anaplastic thyroid cancer cell line. Therefore, besides EIA, EIA + raf cells suppress senescence through a new mechanism, namely, phosphatase-mediated P-ERK1/2 inhibition, but, paradoxically, retain the oncogenic effects of the Raf-ERK pathway. We propose that the survival effect of Raf is not a function of absolute P-ERK1/2 levels at a given time but is rather dynamically dependent on greater variations after an apoptotic stimulus.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thyroglobulin (Tg, precursor for thyroid hormone synthesis) is a large secreted glycoprotein composed of upstream regions I-II-III, followed by the approximately 570 residue cholinesterase-like (ChEL) domain. ChEL has two identified functions: 1) homodimerization, and 2) binding to I-II-III that facilitates I-II-III oxidative maturation required for intracellular protein transport. Like its homologs in the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) family, ChEL possesses two carboxyl-terminal alpha-helices. We find that a Tg-AChE chimera (swapping AChE in place of ChEL) allows for dimerization with monomeric AChE, proving exposure of the carboxyl-terminal helices within the larger context of Tg. Further, we establish that perturbing trans-helical interaction blocks homodimerization of the Tg ChEL domain. Additionally, ChEL can associate with neuroligins (a related family of cholinesterase-like proteins), demonstrating potential for Tg cross-dimerization between non-identical partners. Indeed, when mutant rdw-Tg (Tg-G2298R, defective for protein secretion) is co-expressed with wild-type Tg, the two proteins cross-dimerize and secretion of rdw-Tg is partially restored. Moreover, we find that AChE and soluble neuroligins also can bind to the upstream Tg regions I-II-III; however, they cannot rescue secretion, because they cannot facilitate oxidative maturation of I-II-III. These data suggest that specific properties of distinct Tg ChEL mutants may result in distinct patterns of Tg monomer folding, cross-dimerization with wild-type Tg, and variable secretion behavior in heterozygous patients.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plants respond to environmental stimuli, such as heat shock, by re-programming cellular activity through differential gene expression, mainly controlled at the transcription level. The current study refers to two sunflower small heat shock protein (sHSP) genes arranged in tandem in head-to-head orientation and linked by a 3809 bp region. These genes exhibit only slight structural differences in the coding portion. They code for cytosolic class I sHSPs and are named HaHSP17.6a and HaHSP17.6b according to the molecular weight of the putative proteins. The genomic organization of these genes is consistent with the idea that many HSP genes originate from duplication events; in this case, probably an inversion and duplication occurred. The HaHSP17.6a and HaHSP17.6b genes are characterized by different expression levels under various heat stress conditions; moreover, their expression is differently induced by various elicitors. The differential regulation observed for HaHSP17.6a and HaHSP17.6b genes differs from previous observations on duplicated sHSP genes in plants.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conditions perturbing the homeostasis of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) cause accumulation of unfolded proteins and trigger ER stress. In PC Cl3 thyroid cells, thapsigargin and tunicamycin interfered with the folding of thyroglobulin, causing accumulation of this very large secretory glycoprotein in the ER. Consequently, mRNAs encoding BiP and XBP-1 were induced and spliced, respectively. In the absence of apoptosis, differentiation of PC Cl3 cells was inhibited. mRNA and protein levels of the thyroid-specific genes encoding thyroglobulin, thyroperoxidase and the sodium/iodide symporter and of the genes encoding the thyroid transcription factors TTF-1, TTF-2 and Pax-8 were dramatically downregulated. These effects were, at least in part, transcriptional. Moreover, they were selective and temporally distinct from the general and transient PERK-dependent translational inhibition. Thyroid dedifferentiation was accompanied by changes in the organization of the polarized epithelial monolayer. Downregulation of the mRNA encoding E-cadherin, and upregulation of the mRNAs encoding vimentin, alpha-smooth muscle actin, alpha(1)(I) collagen and SNAI1/SIP1, together with formation of actin stress fibers and loss of trans-epithelial resistance were found, confirming an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The thyroid-specific and epithelial dedifferentiation by thapsigargin or tunicamycin were completely prevented by the PP2 inhibitor of Src-family kinases and by stable expression of a dominant-negative Src. Together, these data indicate that ER stress induces dedifferentiation and an EMT-like phenotype in thyroid cells through a Src-mediated signaling pathway.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In PC Cl3 cells, a continuous, fully differentiated rat thyroid cell line, P2Y(2) purinoceptor activation provoked a transient increase of [Ca(2+)](i), followed by a decreasing sustained phase. The alpha and beta1 protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor Gö6976 decreased the rate of decrement to the basal [Ca(2+)](i) level and increased the peak of Ca(2+) entry of the P2Y(2)-provoked Ca(2+)transients. These effects of Gö 6976 were not caused by an increased permeability of the plasma membrane, since the Mn(2+) and Ba(2+) uptake were not changed by Gö 6976. Similarly, the Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger was not implicated, since the rate of decrement to the basal [Ca(2+)](i) level was equally decreased in physiological and Na(+)-free buffers, in the presence of Gö 6976. On the contrary, the activity of the sarcoplasmic-endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)ATPase (SERCA) 2b was profoundly affected by Gö 6976 since the drug was able to completely inhibit the stimulation of the SERCA 2b activity elicited by P2-purinergic agonists. Finally, the PKC activator phorbol myristate acetate had effects opposite to Gö 6976, in that it markedly increased the rate of decrement to the basal [Ca(2+)](i) level after P2Y(2) stimulation and also increased the activity of SERCA 2b. These results suggest that SERCA 2b plays a role in regulating the sustained phase of Ca(2+) transients caused by P2Y(2) stimulation.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the first identification of transient folding intermediates of endogenous thyroglobulin (Tg; a large homodimeric secretory glycoprotein of thyrocytes), which include mixed disulfides with endogenous oxidoreductases servicing Tg folding needs. Formation of disulfide-linked Tg adducts with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) oxidoreductases begins cotranslationally. Inhibition of ER glucosidase activity blocked formation of a subgroup of Tg adducts containing ERp57 while causing increased Tg adduct formation with protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), delayed adduct resolution, perturbed oxidative folding of Tg monomers, impaired Tg dimerization, increased Tg association with BiP/GRP78 and GRP94, activation of the unfolded protein response, increased ER-associated degradation of a subpopulation of Tg, partial Tg escape from ER quality control with increased secretion of free monomers, and decreased overall Tg secretion. These data point towards mixed disulfides with the ERp57 oxidoreductase in conjunction with calreticulin/calnexin chaperones acting as normal early Tg folding intermediates that can be “substituted” by PDI adducts only at the expense of lower folding efficiency with resultant ER stress.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Poly(A)+RNA isolated from durum and common wheat seeds exposed to different thermal regimes during ripening, was translated in vitro using a rabbit reticulocyte system. The modification of protein synthesis was studied with particular regard to the heat shock proteins produced under high temperature conditions. One-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis showed products ranging in size from 14 to 100 kDa, some of which were present only when mRNA samples from high temperature-treated plants were translated. The mRNAs were also analysed by Northern hybridization with specific probes for heat shock proteins. The results clearly show that wheat plants respond to thermal stress by triggering the typical mechanisms of the heat shock response including activation of the heat shock genes, in developing grains as well as other plant parts.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High temperatures during grain filling are considered one of the factors that can modify dough properties and quality in wheat. In this study we analysed four Italian wheat cultivars grown under different temperature conditions to study the influence of high temperature on storage-protein-gene expression. Plants were grown both in the field and in growth cabinets, and were subjected to different thermal regimes. PolyA+ mRNAs were extracted from control and stressed plants at different stages of kernel development. Northern blot hybridisations were performed using probes for storage and heat shock proteins to monitor the expression of the relative genes under different temperature conditions. Northern analyses, performed using storage protein probes, indicated that temperature variation does not influence the synthesis of any of the storage protein mRNAs. On the contrary, the hybridisation signals obtained using heat shock probes were more intense in the stressed samples, indicating that the expression of heat shock genes is modulated by the temperature variation.
Università del Salento
Lecce, Apulia, Italy
- Department of Biotechnology and Environmental Science