[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expansion of a poly-glutamine (polyQ) repeat in a group of functionally unrelated proteins is the cause of several inherited neurodegenerative disorders, including Huntington's disease. The polyQ length-dependent aggregation and toxicity of these disease proteins can be reproduced in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This system allowed us to screen for genes that when overexpressed reduce the toxic effects of an N-terminal fragment of mutant huntingtin with 103 Q. Surprisingly, among the identified suppressors were three proteins with Q-rich, prion-like domains (PrDs): glycine threonine serine repeat protein (Gts1p), nuclear polyadenylated RNA-binding protein 3, and minichromosome maintenance protein 1. Overexpression of the PrD of Gts1p, containing an imperfect 28 residue glutamine-alanine repeat, was sufficient for suppression of toxicity. Association with this discontinuous polyQ domain did not prevent 103Q aggregation, but altered the physical properties of the aggregates, most likely early in the assembly pathway, as reflected in their increased SDS solubility. Molecular simulations suggested that Gts1p arrests the aggregation of polyQ molecules at the level of nonfibrillar species, acting as a cap that destabilizes intermediates on path to form large fibrils. Quantitative proteomic analysis of polyQ interactors showed that expression of Gts1p reduced the interaction between polyQ and other prion-like proteins, and enhanced the association of molecular chaperones with the aggregates. These findings demonstrate that short, Q-rich peptides are able to shield the interactive surfaces of toxic forms of polyQ proteins and direct them into nontoxic aggregates.
Preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: When exposed to proteotoxic environmental conditions, mammalian cells activate the cytosolic stress response in order to restore protein homeostasis. A key feature of this response is the heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1)-dependent expression of molecular chaperones. Here, we describe the results of an RNA interference screen in HeLa cells to identify modulators of stress response induction and attenuation. The modulator proteins are localized in multiple cellular compartments, with chromatin modifiers and nuclear protein quality control playing a central regulatory role. We find that the acetyltransferase, EP300, controls the cellular level of activatable HSF1. This involves acetylation of HSF1 at multiple lysines not required for function and results in stabilization of HSF1 against proteasomal turnover. Acetylation of functionally critical lysines during stress serves to fine-tune HSF1 activation. Finally, the nuclear proteasome system functions in attenuating the stress response by degrading activated HSF1 in a manner linked with the clearance of misfolded proteins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal Embryonic Leucine zipper Kinase (MELK) was recently shown to be involved in cell division of Xenopus embryo epithelial cells. The cytokinetic furrow of these cells ingresses asymmetrically and is developmentally regulated. Two subpopulations of xMELK, the mMELK (for "mitotic" xMELK) and iMELK ("interphase" xMELK), which differ in their spatial and temporal regulation, are detected in Xenopus embryo. How cells regulate these two xMELK populations is unknown. In this study we show that, in epithelial cells, xMELK is present at a higher concentration at the apical junctional complex, in contrast to mesenchyme-like cells, which have uniform distribution of cortical MELK. Interestingly, mMELK and iMELK also differ by their requirements towards cell-cell contacts to establish their proper cortical localization both in epithelial and mesenchyme-like cells. Receptor for Activated protein Kinase C (RACK1), which we identified as an xMELK partner, co-localizes with xMELK at the tight junction. Moreover, a truncated RACK1 construct interferes with iMELK localization at cell-cell contacts. Collectively, our results suggest that iMELK and RACK1 are present in the same complex and that RACK1 is involved in the specific recruitment of iMELK at the apical junctional complex in epithelial cells of Xenopus embryos.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Validation of the LM, NNI and DGC methods. Test of the performance of the pair-wise combination of methods using the text mined, manually curated gold standard dataset - EXPERT.