Brian J North

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (27)177.17 Total impact

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    Full-text · Dataset · Feb 2015
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    Dataset: ncomms7263

    Full-text · Dataset · Feb 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Sirtuins are a highly conserved class of NAD(+)-dependent lysine deacylases. The human isotype Sirt2 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cancer, inflammation and neurodegeneration, which makes the modulation of Sirt2 activity a promising strategy for pharmaceutical intervention. A rational basis for the development of optimized Sirt2 inhibitors is lacking so far. Here we present high-resolution structures of human Sirt2 in complex with highly selective drug-like inhibitors that show a unique inhibitory mechanism. Potency and the unprecedented Sirt2 selectivity are based on a ligand-induced structural rearrangement of the active site unveiling a yet-unexploited binding pocket. Application of the most potent Sirtuin-rearranging ligand, termed SirReal2, leads to tubulin hyperacetylation in HeLa cells and induces destabilization of the checkpoint protein BubR1, consistent with Sirt2 inhibition in vivo. Our structural insights into this unique mechanism of selective sirtuin inhibition provide the basis for further inhibitor development and selective tools for sirtuin biology.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Nature Communications
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    Xiangping Dai · Brian J North · Hiroyuki Inuzuka
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    ABSTRACT: Deletion of ovarian carcinoma 2/disabled homolog 2 (DOC-2/DAB2) interacting protein (DAB2IP), is a tumor suppressor that serves as a scaffold protein involved in coordinately regulating cell proliferation, survival and apoptotic pathways. DAB2IP is epigenetically down-regulated in a variety of tumors through the action of the histone methyltransferase EZH2. Although DAB2IP is transcriptionally down-regulated in a variety of tumors, it remains unclear if other mechanisms contribute to functional inactivation of DAB2IP. Here we demonstrate that DAB2IP can be functionally down-regulated by two independent mechanisms. First, we identified that Akt1 can phosphorylate DAB2IP on S847, which regulates the interaction between DAB2IP and its effector molecules H-Ras and TRAF2. Second, we demonstrated that DAB2IP can be degraded in part through ubiquitin-proteasome pathway by SCFFbw7. DAB2IP harbors two Fbw7 phosho-degron motifs, which can be regulated by the kinase, CK1δ. Our data hence indicate that in addition to epigenetic down-regulation, two additional pathways can functional inactivate DAB2IP. Given that DAB2IP has previously been identified to possess direct causal role in tumorigenesis and metastasis, our data indicate that a variety of pathways may pass through DAB2IP to govern cancer development, and therefore highlight DAB2IP agonists as potential therapeutic approaches for future anti-cancer drug development.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · Oncotarget
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    ABSTRACT: CYLD negatively regulates the NF-κB signaling pathway and osteoclast differentiation largely through antagonizing TNF receptor-associated factor (TRAF)-mediated K63-linkage polyubiquitination in osteoclast precursor cells. CYLD activity is controlled by IκB kinase (IKK), but the molecular mechanism(s) governing CYLD protein stability remains largely undefined. Here, we report that SCFβ-TRCP regulates the ubiquitination and degradation of CYLD, a process dependent on prior phosphorylation of CYLD at Ser432/Ser436 by IKK. Furthermore, depletion of β-TRCP induced CYLD accumulation and TRAF6 deubiquitination in osteoclast precursor cells, leading to suppression of RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation. Therefore, these data pinpoint the IKK/β-TRCP/CYLD signaling pathway as an important modulator of osteoclastogenesis.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Oncotarget
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    ABSTRACT: Mice overexpressing the mitotic checkpoint kinase gene BubR1 live longer, whereas mice hypomorphic for BubR1 (BubR1(H/H)) live shorter and show signs of accelerated aging. As wild-type mice age, BubR1 levels decline in many tissues, a process that is proposed to underlie normal aging and age-related diseases. Understanding why BubR1 declines with age and how to slow this process is therefore of considerable interest. The sirtuins (SIRT1-7) are a family of NAD(+)-dependent deacetylases that can delay age-related diseases. Here, we show that the loss of BubR1 levels with age is due to a decline in NAD(+) and the ability of SIRT2 to maintain lysine-668 of BubR1 in a deacetylated state, which is counteracted by the acetyltransferase CBP. Overexpression of SIRT2 or treatment of mice with the NAD(+) precursor nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) increases BubR1 abundance in vivo. Overexpression of SIRT2 in BubR1(H/H) animals increases median lifespan, with a greater effect in male mice. Together, these data indicate that further exploration of the potential of SIRT2 and NAD(+) to delay diseases of aging in mammals is warranted.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · The EMBO Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Taxanes are potent inhibitors of cell motility, a property implicated in their antiangiogenic and antimetastatic activity and unrelated to their antiproliferative effect. The molecular mechanism of this anti-motility activity is poorly understood. In this study, we found that paclitaxel induced tubulin acetylation in endothelial and tumor cells, at concentrations that affected cell motility but not proliferation (10(-8) to 10(-9) M, for 4 hours). Induction of tubulin acetylation correlated with inhibition of motility but not proliferation based on a comparison of highly and poorly cytotoxic taxanes (paclitaxel and IDN5390) and tumor cell lines sensitive and resistant to paclitaxel (1A9 and 1A9 PTX22). Consistent with the hypothesis that tubulin deacetylase activity might affect cell response to the anti-motility activity of taxanes, we found that overexpression of the tubulin deacetylase SIRT2 increased cell motility and reduced cell response to the anti-motility activity of paclitaxel. Conversely, the SIRT2 inhibitor splitomicin reduced cell motility and potentiated the anti-motility activity of paclitaxel. The inhibitory effect was further potentiated by the addition of the HDAC6 inhibitor trichostatin A. Paclitaxel and splitomicin promoted translocation into the nucleus-and hence activation-of FOXO3a, a negative regulator of cell motility. This study indicates a role for SIRT2 in the regulation of cell motility and suggests that therapies combining sirtuin inhibitors and taxanes could be used to treat cell motility-based pathologic processes such as tumor angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)
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    ABSTRACT: Resveratrol induces mitochondrial biogenesis and protects against metabolic decline, but whether SIRT1 mediates these benefits is the subject of debate. To circumvent the developmental defects of germline SIRT1 knockouts, we have developed an inducible system that permits whole-body deletion of SIRT1 in adult mice. Mice treated with a moderate dose of resveratrol showed increased mitochondrial biogenesis and function, AMPK activation, and increased NAD(+) levels in skeletal muscle, whereas SIRT1 knockouts displayed none of these benefits. A mouse overexpressing SIRT1 mimicked these effects. A high dose of resveratrol activated AMPK in a SIRT1-independent manner, demonstrating that resveratrol dosage is a critical factor. Importantly, at both doses of resveratrol no improvements in mitochondrial function were observed in animals lacking SIRT1. Together these data indicate that SIRT1 plays an essential role in the ability of moderate doses of resveratrol to stimulate AMPK and improve mitochondrial function both in vitro and in vivo.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Cell metabolism
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    Brian J North · David A Sinclair
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    ABSTRACT: The average lifespan of humans is increasing, and with it the percentage of people entering the 65 and older age group is growing rapidly and will continue to do so in the next 20 years. Within this age group, cardiovascular disease will remain the leading cause of death, and the cost associated with treatment will continue to increase. Aging is an inevitable part of life and unfortunately poses the largest risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Although numerous studies in the cardiovascular field have considered both young and aged humans, there are still many unanswered questions as to how the genetic pathways that regulate aging in model organisms influence cardiovascular aging. Likewise, in the molecular biology of aging field, few studies fully assess the role of these aging pathways in cardiovascular health. Fortunately, this gap is beginning to close, and these two fields are merging together. We provide an overview of some of the key genes involved in regulating lifespan and health span, including sirtuins, AMP-activated protein kinase, mammalian target of rapamycin, and insulin-like growth factor 1 and their roles regulating cardiovascular health. We then discuss a series of review articles that will appear in succession and provide a more comprehensive analysis of studies carried out linking genes of aging and cardiovascular health, and perspectives of future directions of these two intimately linked fields.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Circulation Research
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    ABSTRACT: The formation of myelin by Schwann cells (SCs) occurs via a series of orchestrated molecular events. We previously used global expression profiling to examine peripheral nerve myelination and identified the NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase Sir-two-homolog 2 (Sirt2) as a protein likely to be involved in myelination. Here, we show that Sirt2 expression in SCs is correlated with that of structural myelin components during both developmental myelination and remyelination after nerve injury. Transgenic mice lacking or overexpressing Sirt2 specifically in SCs show delays in myelin formation. In SCs, we found that Sirt2 deacetylates Par-3, a master regulator of cell polarity. The deacetylation of Par-3 by Sirt2 decreases the activity of the polarity complex signaling component aPKC, thereby regulating myelin formation. These results demonstrate that Sirt2 controls an essential polarity pathway in SCs during myelin assembly and provide insights into the association between intracellular metabolism and SC plasticity.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

  • No preview · Article · Oct 2008 · EJC Supplements
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    ABSTRACT: Sirtuins are homologues of the yeast transcriptional repressor Sir2p and are conserved from bacteria to humans. We report that human SIRT4 is localized to the mitochondria. SIRT4 is a matrix protein and becomes cleaved at amino acid 28 after import into mitochondria. Mass spectrometry analysis of proteins that coimmunoprecipitate with SIRT4 identified insulindegrading enzyme and the ADP/ATP carrier proteins, ANT2 and ANT3. SIRT4 exhibits no histone deacetylase activity but functions as an efficient ADP-ribosyltransferase on histones and bovine serum albumin. SIRT4 is expressed in islets of Langerhans and colocalizes with insulin-expressing beta cells. Depletion of SIRT4 from insulin-producing INS-1E cells results in increased insulin secretion in response to glucose. These observations define a new role for mitochondrial SIRT4 in the regulation of insulin secretion.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2007 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    Brian J North · Eric Verdin
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    ABSTRACT: Sirtuins are evolutionarily conserved NAD(+)-dependent deacetylases and ADP-ribosyltransferases involved in the regulation of cell division, apoptosis, DNA damage repair, genomic silencing, and longevity. Recent studies have focused on identifying target substrates for human sirtuin enzymatic activity, but little is known about processes that directly regulate their function. Here, we demonstrate that SIRT2 is phosphorylated both in vitro and in vivo on serine 368 by the cell-cycle regulator, cyclin-dependent kinase 1, and dephosphorylated by the phosphatases CDC14A and CDC14B. Overexpression of SIRT2 mediates a delay in cellular proliferation that is dependent on serine 368 phosphorylation. Furthermore, mutation of serine 368 reduces hyperploidy in cells under mitotic stress due to microtubule poisons.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2007 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    Brian J North · Eric Verdin
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    ABSTRACT: The human NAD+-dependent protein deacetylase SIRT2 resides predominantly in the cytoplasm where it functions as a tubulin deacetylase. Here we report that SIRT2 maintains a largely cytoplasmic localization during interphase by active nuclear export in a Crm1-dependent manner. We identified a functional, leptomycin B-sensitive, nuclear export signal sequence within SIRT2. During the cell cycle, SIRT2 becomes enriched in the nucleus and is associated with mitotic structures, beginning with the centrosome during prophase, the mitotic spindle during metaphase, and the midbody during cytokinesis. Cells overexpressing wild-type or a catalytically inactive SIRT2 exhibit an increase in multinucleated cells. The findings suggest a novel mechanism of regulating SIRT2 function by nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling, as well as a role for SIRT2 in the nucleus during interphase and throughout mitosis.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · PLoS ONE
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    Brian J North · David A Sinclair
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) synthetase (AceCS), an evolutionarily conserved enzyme that converts acetate to acetyl-CoA, is activated by sirtuin-mediated deacetylation. Two recent studies show that this mechanism of regulation is also crucial for mammalian AceCS activity, indicating that control of metabolism at the step of converting acetate to acetyl-CoA is conserved. These findings highlight a metabolic regulatory network controlled by sirtuins that has implications for the mechanisms of calorie restriction and modulation of mammalian lifespan.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2007 · Trends in Biochemical Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Sirtuins are NAD-dependent protein deacetylases found in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans that share sequence homology with the yeast transcriptional regulator Sir2. In eukaryotes, sirtuins regulate The first two authors contributed equally to this review. transcriptional repression, recombination, cell cycle division, microtubule organization, and cellular responses to DNA-damaging agents. Sir2 proteins have also been implicated in regulating the molecular mechanisms of aging. Eukaryotic sirtuins contain a core catalytic domain and variable amino- and carboxyl-terminal extensions that regulate their subcellular localizations and catalytic activity. This review focuses on the diverse sub-cellular distribution, substrate specificity, and cellular functions of sirtuins with particular emphasis on the biology of mammalian sirtuins.
    No preview · Chapter · Dec 2005
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    ABSTRACT: Class III histone deacetylases, or sirtuins, are homologous to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae transcriptional regulator SIR2. The class III enzymes are characterized by their dependence on nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). This cofactor serves as an acetyl-group acceptor in the deacetylation reaction generating O-acetyl-ADP-ribose. Enzymatic activity of sirtuin can be measured in vitro using recombinant proteins purified from mammalian cells after overexpression or after purification from Escherichia coli. This review discusses protocols for the purification of enzymatically active human sirtuin 1, 2, and 3 and their activities on histone and nonhistone substrates.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2005 · Methods
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    ABSTRACT: Although originally characterized as nuclear enzymes controlling the stability of nucleosomes, histone deacetylases (HDACs) may also exert their activity within the cytosol. Recently, we have demonstrated that HDAC8, a class I HDAC, is a novel, prominently cytosolic marker of smooth muscle differentiation. As HDAC8 displays a striking stress fiber-like pattern of distribution and is coexpressed in vivo with smooth muscle alpha-actin (alpha-SMA) and smooth muscle myosin heavy chain, we have explored the possible participation of this HDAC in smooth muscle cytoskeleton regulation. Cell fractionation assays performed with primary human smooth muscle cells (HSMCs) showed that HDAC8, in contrast to HDAC1 and HDAC3, was enriched in cytoskeleton-bound protein fractions and insoluble cell pellets, suggesting an association of HDAC8 with the cystoskeleton. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments using HSMCs, NIH-3T3 cells, and human prostate tissue lysates further demonstrated that HDAC8 associates with alpha-SMA but not with beta-actin. HDAC8 silencing through RNA interference strongly reduced the capacity of HSMCs to contract collagen lattices. Mock transfections had no effect on HSMC contractily, and transfections with small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) specific for HDAC6, a cytosolic HDAC that functions as an alpha-tubulin deacetylase, resulted in a weak contraction inhibition. Although mock- and HDAC6 siRNA-transfected HSMCs showed no noticeable morphological changes, HDAC8 siRNA-transfected HSMCs displayed a size reduction with diminished cell spreading after replating. Altogether, our findings indicate that HDAC8 associates with the smooth muscle actin cytoskeleton and may regulate the contractile capacity of smooth muscle cells.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2005 · The FASEB Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Tat protein is acetylated by the transcriptional coactivator p300, a necessary step in Tat-mediated transactivation. We report here that Tat is deacetylated by human sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent class III protein deacetylase in vitro and in vivo. Tat and SIRT1 coimmunoprecipitate and synergistically activate the HIV promoter. Conversely, knockdown of SIRT1 via small interfering RNAs or treatment with a novel small molecule inhibitor of the SIRT1 deacetylase activity inhibit Tat-mediated transactivation of the HIV long terminal repeat. Tat transactivation is defective in SIRT1-null mouse embryonic fibroblasts and can be rescued by expression of SIRT1. These results support a model in which cycles of Tat acetylation and deacetylation regulate HIV transcription. SIRT1 recycles Tat to its unacetylated form and acts as a transcriptional coactivator during Tat transactivation.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2005 · PLoS Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Histone deacetylases (HDACs) were originally identified as nuclear enzymes involved in gene transcription regulation. Until recently, it was thought that their activity was restricted within the nucleus, with histones as unique substrates. The demonstration that specific HDACs deacetylate nonhistone proteins, such as p53 and alpha-tubulin, broadened the field of activity of these enzymes. HDAC8, a class I HDAC, is considered to be ubiquitously expressed, as suggested by results of Northern blots performed on tissue RNA extracts, and transfection experiments using various cell lines have indicated that this enzyme may display a prominent nuclear localization. Using immunohistochemistry, we unexpectedly found that, in normal human tissues, HDAC8 is exclusively expressed by cells showing smooth muscle differentiation, including visceral and vascular smooth muscle cells, myoepithelial cells, and myofibroblasts, and is mainly detected in their cytosol. These findings were confirmed in vitro by nucleo-cytoplasmic fractionation and immunoblot experiments performed on human primary smooth muscle cells, and by the cytosolic detection of epitope-tagged HDAC8 overexpressed in fibroblasts. Immunocytochemistry strongly suggested a cytoskeleton-like distribution of the enzyme. Further double-immunofluorescence staining experiments coupled with confocal microscopy analysis showed that epitope-tagged HDAC8 overexpressed in murine fibroblasts formed cytoplasmic stress fiber-like structures that co-localized with the smooth muscle cytoskeleton protein smooth muscle alpha-actin. Our works represent the first demonstration of the restricted expression of a class I HDAC to a specific cell type and indicate that HDAC8, besides being a novel marker of smooth muscle differentiation, may play a role in the biology of these contractile cells.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2004 · American Journal Of Pathology

Publication Stats

3k Citations
177.17 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011-2015
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2014
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
      • Department of Pathology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2012
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Genetics
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2002-2008
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • • Gladstone Institute
      • • Cardiovascular Research Institute
      San Francisco, California, United States
  • 2004
    • The Rockefeller University
      New York, New York, United States