Regulation of the CDP-choline pathway by sterol regulatory element binding proteins involves transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms.
ABSTRACT: The synthesis of phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) by the CDP-choline pathway is under the control of the rate-limiting enzyme CTP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase (CCT). Sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs) have been proposed to regulate CCT at the transcriptional level, or via the synthesis of lipid activators or substrates of the CDP-choline pathway. To assess the contributions of these two mechanisms, we examined CCTalpha expression and PtdCho synthesis by the CDP-choline pathway in cholesterol and fatty acid auxotrophic CHO M19 cells inducibly expressing constitutively active nuclear forms of SREBP1a or SREBP2. Induction of either SREBP resulted in increased expression of mRNAs for sterol-regulated genes, elevated fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis (>10-50-fold) and increased PtdCho synthesis (2-fold). CCTalpha mRNA was increased 2-fold by enforced expression of SREBP1a or SREBP2. The resultant increase in CCTalpha protein and activity (2-fold) was restricted primarily to the soluble fraction of cells, and increased CCTalpha activity in vivo was not detected. Inhibition of the synthesis of fatty acids or their CoA esters by cerulenin or triacsin C respectively following SREBP induction effectively blocked the accompanying elevation in PtdCho synthesis. Thus PtdCho synthesis was driven by increased synthesis of fatty acids or a product thereof. These data show that transcriptional activation of CCTalpha is modest relative to that of other SREBP-regulated genes, and that stimulation of PtdCho synthesis by SREBPs in CHO cells is due primarily to increased fatty acid synthesis.
Project description:Farnesol (FOH) inhibits the CDP-choline pathway for PtdCho (phosphatidylcholine) synthesis, an activity that is involved in subsequent induction of apoptosis. Interestingly, the rate-limiting enzyme in this pathway, CCTalpha (CTP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase alpha), is rapidly activated, cleaved by caspases and exported from the nucleus during FOH-induced apoptosis. The purpose of the present study was to determine how CCTalpha activity and PtdCho synthesis contributed to induction of apoptosis by FOH and oleyl alcohol. Contrary to previous reports, we show that the initial effect of FOH and oleyl alcohol was a rapid (10-30 min) and transient activation of PtdCho synthesis. During this period, the mass of DAG (diacylglycerol) decreased by 40%, indicating that subsequent CDP-choline accumulation and inhibition of PtdCho synthesis could be due to substrate depletion. At later time points (>1 h), FOH and oleyl alcohol promoted caspase cleavage and nuclear export of CCTalpha, which was prevented by treatment with oleate or DiC8 (dioctanoylglycerol). Protection from FOH-induced apoptosis required CCTalpha activity and PtdCho synthesis since (i) DiC8 and oleate restored PtdCho synthesis, but not endogenous DAG levels, and (ii) partial resistance was conferred by stable overexpression of CCTalpha and increased PtdCho synthesis in CCTalpha-deficient MT58 cells. These results show that DAG depletion by FOH or oleyl alcohol could be involved in inhibition of PtdCho synthesis. However, decreased DAG was not sufficient to induce apoptosis provided nuclear CCTalpha and PtdCho syntheses were sustained.
Project description:Sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) belong to a family of transcription factors that regulate the expression of genes required for the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. Three SREBP isoforms, SREBP1a, SREBP1c, and SREBP2, have been identified in mammalian cells. SREBP1a and SREBP1c are derived from a single gene through the use of alternative transcription start sites. Here we investigated the role of SREBP-mediated lipogenesis in regulating tumor growth and initiation in colon cancer. Knockdown of either SREBP1 or SREBP2 decreased levels of fatty acids as a result of decreased expression of SREBP target genes required for lipid biosynthesis in colon cancer cells. Bioenergetic analysis revealed that silencing SREBP1 or SREBP2 expression reduced the mitochondrial respiration, glycolysis, as well as fatty acid oxidation indicating an alteration in cellular metabolism. Consequently, the rate of cell proliferation and the ability of cancer cells to form tumor spheroids in suspension culture were significantly decreased. Similar results were obtained in colon cancer cells in which the proteolytic activation of SREBP was blocked. Importantly, knockdown of either SREBP1 or SREBP2 inhibited xenograft tumor growth in vivo and decreased the expression of genes associated with cancer stem cells. Taken together, our findings establish the molecular basis of SREBP-dependent metabolic regulation and provide a rationale for targeting lipid biosynthesis as a promising approach in colon cancer treatment.
Project description:The nucleus contains a network of tubular invaginations of the nuclear envelope (NE), termed the nucleoplasmic reticulum (NR), implicated in transport, gene expression, and calcium homeostasis. Here, we show that proliferation of the NR, measured by the frequency of NE invaginations and tubules, is regulated by CTP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase-alpha (CCTalpha), the nuclear and rate-limiting enzyme in the CDP-choline pathway for phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) synthesis. In Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)-K1 cells, fatty acids triggered activation and translocation of CCTalpha onto intranuclear tubules characteristic of the NR. This was accompanied by a twofold increase in NR tubules quantified by immunostaining for lamin A/C or the NE. CHO MT58 cells expressing a temperature-sensitive CCTalpha allele displayed reduced PtdCho synthesis and CCTalpha expression and minimal proliferation of the NR in response to oleate compared with CHO MT58 cells stably expressing CCTalpha. Expression of CCTalpha mutants in CHO58 cells revealed that both enzyme activity and membrane binding promoted NR proliferation. In support of a direct role for membrane binding in NR tubule formation, recombinant CCTalpha caused the deformation of liposomes into tubules in vitro. This demonstrates that a key nuclear enzyme in PtdCho synthesis coordinates lipid synthesis and membrane deformation to promote formation of a dynamic nuclear-cytoplasmic interface.
Project description:CTP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase alpha (CCTalpha), the rate-limiting enzyme in the CDP-choline pathway for phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) synthesis, is activated by translocation to nuclear membranes. However, CCTalpha is cytoplasmic in cells with increased capacity for PtdCho synthesis and following acute activation, suggesting that nuclear export is linked to activation. The objective of this study was to identify which CCTalpha domains were involved in nuclear export in response to the lipid activators farnesol (FOH) and oleate. Imaging of CCT-green fluorescent protein (GFP) mutants expressed in CCTalpha-deficient CHO58 cells showed that FOH-mediated translocation to nuclear membranes and export to the cytoplasm required the membrane binding amphipathic helix (domain M). Nuclear export was reduced by a mutation that mimics constitutive phosphorylation of the CCT phosphorylation (P) domain. However, domain M alone was sufficient to promote translocation to the nuclear envelope and export of a nuclear-localized GFP construct in FOH- or oleate-treated CHO58 cells. In the context of acute activation with lipid mediators, nuclear export of CCT-GFP mutants correlated with in vitro activity but not PtdCho synthesis. This study describes a nuclear export pathway that is dependent on membrane interaction of an amphipathic helix, thus linking lipid-dependent activation to the nuclear/cytoplasmic distribution of CCTalpha.
Project description:CTP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase (CCT) catalyzes a rate-controlling step in the biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho). Multiple CCT isoforms, CCTalpha, CCTbeta2, and CCTbeta3, are encoded by two genes, Pcyt1a and Pcyt1b. The importance of CCTalpha in mice was investigated by deleting exons 5 and 6 in the Pcyt1a gene using the Cre-lox system. Pcyt1a-/- zygotes failed to form blastocysts, did not develop past embryonic day 3.5 (E3.5), and failed to implant. In situ hybridization in E11.5 embryos showed that Pcyt1a is expressed ubiquitously, with the highest level in fetal liver, and CCTalpha transcripts are significantly more abundant than transcripts encoding CCTbeta or phosphatidylethanolamine (PtdEtn) N-methyl transferase, two other enzymes capable of producing PtdCho. Reduction of the CCTalpha transcripts in heterozygous E11.5 embryos was accompanied by upregulation of CCTbeta and PtdEtn N-methyltransferase transcripts. In contrast, enzymatic and real-time PCR data revealed that CCTbeta (Pcyt1b) expression is not upregulated to compensate for the reduction in CCTalpha expression in adult liver and other tissues from Pcyt1a+/- heterozygous mice. PtdCho biosynthesis measured by choline incorporation into isolated hepatocytes was not compromised in the Pcyt1a+/- mice. Liver PtdCho mass was the same in Pcyt1a+/+ and Pcyt1a+/- adult animals, but lung PtdCho mass decreased in the heterozygous mice. These data show that CCTalpha expression is required for early embryonic development, but that a 50% reduction in enzyme activity has little detectable impact on the operation of the CDP-choline metabolic pathway in adult tissues.
Project description:In addition to being essential for the transcription of genes involved in cellular lipogenesis, increasing evidence associates sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs) with the transcriptional control of carbohydrate metabolism. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of overexpression SREBP1a, a potent activator of all SREBP-responsive genes, on the intermediary metabolism of Sparus aurata, a glucose-intolerant carnivorous fish. Administration of chitosan-tripolyphosphate nanoparticles complexed with a plasmid driving expression of the N-terminal transactivation domain of SREBP1a significantly increased SREBP1a mRNA and protein in the liver of S. aurata. Overexpression of SREBP1a enhanced the hepatic expression of key genes in glycolysis-gluconeogenesis (glucokinase and 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase), fatty acid synthesis (acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 and acetyl-CoA carboxylase 2), elongation (elongation of very long chain fatty acids protein 5) and desaturation (fatty acid desaturase 2) as well as reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate production (glucose-6-phosphate 1-dehydrogenase) and cholesterol synthesis (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase), leading to increased blood triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Beyond reporting the first study addressing in vivo effects of exogenous SREBP1a in a glucose-intolerant model, our findings support that SREBP1a overexpression caused multigenic effects that favoured hepatic glycolysis and lipogenesis and thus enabled protein sparing by improving dietary carbohydrate conversion into fatty acids and cholesterol.
Project description:Cholinephosphotransferase catalyses the final step in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) via the Kennedy pathway by the transfer of phosphocholine from CDP-choline to diacylglycerol. Ethanolaminephosphotransferase catalyses an analogous reaction with CDP-ethanolamine as the phosphobase donor for the synthesis of phosphatidylethanolamine (PtdEtn). Together these two enzyme activities determine both the site of synthesis and the fatty acyl composition of PtdCho and PtdEtn synthesized de novo. A human choline/ethanolaminephosphotransferase cDNA (hCEPT1) was cloned, expressed and characterized. Northern blot analysis revealed one hCEPT1 2.3 kb transcript that was ubiquitous and not enriched, with respect to actin, in any particular cell type. The open reading frame predicts a protein (hCEPT1p) of 416 amino acid residues with a molecular mass of 46550 Da containing seven membrane-spanning domains. A predicted amphipathic helix resides within the active site of the enzyme with the final two aspartic residues of the CDP-alcohol phosphotransferase motif, DG(X)2AR(X)8G(X)3D(X)3D, positioned within this helix. hCEPT1p was successfully expressed in a full-length, active form in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells devoid of endogenous cholinephosphotransferase or ethanolaminephosphotransferase activities (HJ091, cpt1::LEU2 ept1-). In vitro, hCEPT1p displayed broad substrate specificity, utilizing both CDP-choline and CDP-ethanolamine as phosphobase donors to a broad range of diacylglycerols, resulting in the synthesis of both PtdCho and PtdEtn. In vivo, S. cerevisiae cells (HJ091, cpt1::LEU2 ept1-) expressing hCEPT1 efficiently incorporated both radiolabelled choline and ethanolamine into phospholipids, demonstrating that hCEPT1p has the ability to synthesize both choline- and ethanolamine- containing phospholipids in vitro and in vivo.
Project description:The sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) family of transcription factors controls the biosynthesis of cholesterol and other lipids, and lipid synthesis is critical for cell growth and proliferation. We were, therefore, interested in the expression and activity of SREBPs during the cell cycle. We found that the expression of a number of SREBP-responsive promoter-reporter genes were induced in a SREBP-dependent manner in cells arrested in G2/M. In addition, the mature forms of SREBP1a and SREBP1c were hyperphosphorylated in mitotic cells, giving rise to a phosphoepitope recognized by the mitotic protein monoclonal-2 (MPM-2) antibody. In contrast, SREBP2 was not hyperphosphorylated in mitotic cells and was not recognized by the MPM-2 antibody. The MPM-2 epitope was mapped to the C terminus of mature SREBP1, and the mitosis-specific hyperphosphorylation of SREBP1 depended on this domain of the protein. The transcriptional and DNA-binding activity of SREBP1 was enhanced in cells arrested in G2/M, and these effects depended on the C-terminal domain of the protein. In part, these effects could be explained by our observation that mature SREBP1 was stabilized in G2/M. In agreement with these observations, we found that the synthesis of cholesterol was increased in G2/M-arrested cells. Thus, our results demonstrate that the activity of mature SREBP1 is regulated by phosphorylation during the cell cycle, suggesting that SREBP1 may provide a link between lipid synthesis, proliferation, and cell growth.
Project description:Cholesterol metabolism is tightly controlled by members of the sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) family of transcription factors. Here we demonstrate that the ubiquitination and degradation of SREBPs depend on their transcriptional activity. Mutations in the transactivation or DNA-binding domains of SREBPs inhibit their transcriptional activity and stabilize the proteins. The transcriptional activity and degradation of these mutants are restored when fused to heterologous transactivation or DNA-binding domains. When SREBP1a was fused to the DBD of Gal4, the ubiquitination and degradation of the fusion protein depended on coexpression of a promoter-reporter gene containing Gal4-binding sites. In addition, disruption of the interaction between WT SREBP and endogenous p300/CBP resulted in inhibition of SREBP-dependent transcription and stabilization of SREBP. Chemical inhibitors of transcription reduced the degradation of transcriptionally active SREBP1a, whereas they had no effect on the stability of transcriptionally inactive mutants, demonstrating that transcriptional activation plays an important role in the degradation of SREBPs. Thus, transcription-dependent degradation of SREBP constitutes a feedback mechanism to regulate the expression of genes involved in cholesterol metabolism and may represent a general mechanism to regulate the duration of transcriptional responses.
Project description:Neuronal differentiation is characterized by neuritogenesis and neurite outgrowth, processes that are dependent on membrane biosynthesis. Thus, the production of phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho), the major membrane phospholipid, should be stimulated during neuronal differentiation. We demonstrate that during retinoic acid (RA)-induced differentiation of Neuro-2a cells, PtdCho synthesis was promoted by an ordered and sequential activation of choline kinase alpha (CK(alpha)) and choline cytidylyltransferase alpha (CCT(alpha)). Early after RA stimulation, the increase in PtdCho synthesis is mainly governed by the biochemical activation of CCT(alpha). Later, the transcription of CK(alpha)- and CCT(alpha)-encoding genes was induced. Both PtdCho biosynthesis and neuronal differentiation are dependent on ERK activation. A novel mechanism is proposed by which PtdCho biosynthesis is coordinated during neuronal differentiation. Enforced expression of either CK(alpha) or CCTalpha increased the rate of synthesis and the amount of PtdCho, and these cells initiated differentiation without RA stimulation, as evidenced by cell morphology and the expression of genes associated with neuritogenesis. The differentiation resulting from enforced expression of CCT(alpha) or CK(alpha) was dependent on persistent ERK activation. These results indicate that elevated PtdCho synthesis could mimic the RA signals and thus determine neuronal cell fate. Moreover, they could explain the key role that PtdCho plays during neuronal regeneration.