Priming-dependent phosphorylation and regulation of the tumor suppressor pVHL by glycogen synthase kinase 3.
ABSTRACT: Inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene is linked to the development of tumors of the eyes, kidneys, and central nervous system. VHL encodes two gene products, pVHL30 and pVHL19, of which one, pVHL30, associates functionally with microtubules (MTs) to regulate their stability. Here we report that pVHL30 is a novel substrate of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) in vitro and in vivo. Phosphorylation of pVHL on serine 68 (S68) by GSK3 requires a priming phosphorylation event at serine 72 (S72) mediated in vitro by casein kinase I. Functional analysis of pVHL species carrying nonphosphorylatable or phosphomimicking mutations at S68 and/or S72 reveals a central role for these phosphorylation events in the regulation of pVHL's MT stabilization (but not binding) activity. Taken together, our results identify pVHL as a novel priming-dependent substrate of GSK3 and suggest a dual-kinase mechanism in the control of pVHL's MT stabilization function. Since GSK3 is a component of multiple signaling pathways that are altered in human cancer, our results further imply that normal operation of the GSK3-pVHL axis may be a critical aspect of pVHL's tumor suppressor mechanism through the regulation of MT dynamics.
Project description:A recent analysis of gene expression in renal cell carcinoma cells led to the identification of mRNAs whose translation was dependent on the presence of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene product, pVHL. Here, we investigate the finding that pVHL-expressing RCC cells (VHL(+)) exhibited elevated levels of polysome-associated p53 mRNA and increased p53 protein levels compared with VHL-defective (VHL(-)) cells. Our findings indicate that p53 translation is specifically heightened in VHL(+) cells, given that (i) p53 mRNA abundance in VHL(+) and VHL(-) cells was comparable, (ii) p53 degradation did not significantly influence p53 expression, and (iii) p53 synthesis was markedly induced in VHL(+) cells. Electrophoretic mobility shift and immunoprecipitation assays to detect endogenous and radiolabeled p53 transcripts revealed that the RNA-binding protein HuR, previously shown to regulate mRNA turnover and translation, was capable of binding to the 3' untranslated region of the p53 mRNA in a VHL-dependent fashion. Interestingly, while whole-cell levels of HuR in VHL(+) and VHL(-) cells were comparable, HuR was markedly more abundant in the cytoplasmic and polysome-associated fractions of VHL(+) cells. In keeping with earlier reports, the elevated cytoplasmic HuR in VHL(+) cells was likely due to the reduced AMP-activated kinase activity in these cells. Demonstration that HuR indeed contributed to the increased expression of p53 in VHL(+) cells was obtained through use of RNA interference, which effectively reduced HuR expression and in turn caused marked decreases in p53 translation and p53 abundance. Taken together, our findings support a role for pVHL in elevating p53 expression, implicate HuR in enhancing VHL-mediated p53 translation, and suggest that VHL-mediated p53 upregulation may contribute to pVHL's tumor suppressive functions in renal cell carcinoma.
Project description:pVHL, product of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene, functions as the substrate recognition component of an E3-ubiquitin ligase that targets proteins for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. Hypoxia-inducible factor ? (HIF?) is the well-known substrate of pVHL. Besides HIF?, pVHL also binds to many other proteins and has multiple functions. In this manuscript, we report that the nuclear clusterin (nCLU) is a target of pVHL. We found that pVHL had a direct interaction with nCLU. nCLU bound to pVHL at pVHL's ? domain, the site for recognition of substrate, indicating that nCLU might be a substrate of pVHL. Interestingly, pVHL bound to nCLU but did not lead to nCLU destruction. Further studies indicated that pVHL mediated K63-linked ubiquitination of nCLU and promoted nCLU nuclear translocation. In summary, our results disclose a novel function of pVHL that mediates K63-linked ubiquitination and identify nCLU as a new target of pVHL.
Project description:The von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor pVHL is an E3 ligase that targets hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs). Mutation of VHL results in HIF up-regulation and contributes to processes related to tumor progression such as invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis. However, very little is known with regard to post-transcriptional regulation of pVHL. Here we show that WD repeat and SOCS box-containing protein 1 (WSB1) is a negative regulator of pVHL through WSB1's E3 ligase activity. Mechanistically, WSB1 promotes pVHL ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation, thereby stabilizing HIF under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. As a consequence, WSB1 up-regulates the expression of HIF-1?'s target genes and promotes cancer invasion and metastasis through its effect on pVHL. Consistent with this, WSB1 protein level negatively correlates with pVHL level and metastasis-free survival in clinical samples. This work reveals a new mechanism of pVHL's regulation by which cancer acquires invasiveness and metastatic tendency.
Project description:The VHL tumor suppressor protein (pVHL) is part of an E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets HIF for destruction. pVHL-defective renal carcinoma cells exhibit increased NF-kappaB activity but the mechanism is unclear. NF-kappaB affects tumorigenesis and therapeutic resistance in some settings. We found that pVHL associates with the NF-kappaB agonist Card9 but does not target Card9 for destruction. Instead, pVHL serves as an adaptor that promotes the phosphorylation of the Card9 C terminus by CK2. Elimination of these sites markedly enhanced Card9's ability to activate NF-kappaB in VHL(+/+) cells, and Card9 siRNA normalized NF-kappaB activity in VHL(-/-) cells and restored their sensitivity to cytokine-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, downregulation of Card9 in VHL(-/-) cancer cells reduced their tumorigenic potential. Therefore pVHL can serve as an adaptor for both a ubiquitin conjugating enzyme and a kinase. The latter activity, which promotes Card9 phosphorylation, links pVHL to control of NF-kappaB activity and tumorigenesis.
Project description:Based on evidence that the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor protein is associated with polysomes and interacts with translation regulatory factors, we set out to investigate the potential influence of pVHL on protein translation. To this end, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) cells that either lacked pVHL or expressed pVHL through stable transfection were used to prepare RNA from cytosolic (unbound) and polysome-bound fractions. Hybridization of cDNA arrays using RNA from each fraction revealed a subset of transcripts whose abundance in polysomes decreased when pVHL function was restored. The tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) mRNA was identified as one of the transcripts that preferentially associated with polysomes in pVHL-deficient cells. Additional evidence that the TNF-alpha mRNA was a target of translational repression by pVHL was obtained from reporter gene assays, which further revealed that pVHL's inhibitory influence on protein synthesis occurred through the TNF-alpha 3'-untranslated region. Our findings uncover a novel function for the pVHL tumor suppressor protein as regulator of protein translation.
Project description:Loss of function in either VHL or Nek1 leads to cyst formation in tissues, especially in kidneys. Whether there is a connection between pVHL and Nek1 regulation is unknown. Here, we report that the VHL protein (pVHL) may be a substrate of Nek1. While Nek1 can phosphorylate pVHL at multiple sites, the phosphorylation at serine-168 results in pVHL degradation. Nek1-mediated phosphorylation of pVHL does not significantly affect hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF), a known target of pVHL. However, non-phosphorylable pVHL reconstituted in VHL-deficient cells induces more stable cilia than wild-type VHL during serum stimulation and Nocodazole treatment. The results suggest a possible regulation of pVHL by Nek1 that may contribute to ciliary homeostasis and cystogenesis.
Project description:Alzheimer disease neurons are characterized by extraneuronal plaques formed by aggregated amyloid-? peptide and by intraneuronal tangles composed of fibrillar aggregates of the microtubule-associated Tau protein. Tau is mostly found in a hyperphosphorylated form in these tangles. Glycogen synthase kinase 3? (GSK3?) is a proline-directed kinase generally considered as one of the major players that (hyper)phosphorylates Tau. The kinase phosphorylates mainly (Ser/Thr)-Pro motifs and is believed to require a priming activity by another kinase. Here, we use an in vitro phosphorylation assay and NMR spectroscopy to characterize in a qualitative and quantitative manner the phosphorylation of Tau by GSK3?. We find that three residues can be phosphorylated (Ser-396, Ser-400, and Ser-404) by GSK3? alone, without priming. Ser-404 is essential in this process, as its mutation to Ala prevents all activity of GSK3?. However, priming enhances the catalytic efficacy of the kinase, as initial phosphorylation of Ser-214 by the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) leads to the rapid modification by GSK3? of four regularly spaced additional sites. Because the regular incorporation of negative charges by GSK3? leads to a potential parallel between phospho-Tau and heparin, we investigated its interaction with the heparin/low density lipoprotein receptor binding domain of human apolipoprotein E. We indeed observed an interaction between the GSK3?-promoted regular phospho-pattern on Tau and the apolipoprotein E fragment but none in the absence of phosphorylation or the presence of an irregular phosphorylation pattern by the prolonged activity of PKA. Apolipoprotein E is therefore able to discriminate and interact with specific phosphorylation patterns of Tau.
Project description:pVHL, the protein product of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene, is a ubiquitin ligase that targets hypoxia-inducible factor ? (HIF-?) for proteasomal degradation. Although HIF-? activation is necessary for VHL disease pathogenesis, constitutive activation of HIF-? alone did not induce renal clear cell carcinomas and pheochromocytomas in mice, suggesting the involvement of an HIF-?-independent pathway in VHL pathogenesis. Here, we show that the transcription factor B-Myb is a pVHL substrate that is degraded via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)- and/or platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-dependent tyrosine 15 phosphorylation of B-Myb prevents its degradation. Mice injected with B-Myb knockdown 786-O cells developed dramatically larger tumors than those bearing control cell tumors. Microarray screening of B-Myb-regulated genes showed that the expression of HIF-?-dependent genes was not affected by B-Myb knockdown, indicating that B-Myb prevents HIF-?-dependent tumorigenesis through an HIF-?-independent pathway. These data indicate that the regulation of B-Myb by pVHL plays a critical role in VHL disease.
Project description:Numerous mutations of the Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene have been reported to cause dysfunction of VHL protein (pVHL) and lead to processes related to tumor progression. pVHL acts as an E3 ligase and degrades downstream targets, such as hypoxia-inducible transcription factor (HIF) which is essential for tumor growth. Previous studies reported reduction of VHL protein, rather than mRNA in VHL-related tumor patients, suggesting that instability of the pVHL protein itself is a primary cause of dysfunction. Regulation of pVHL stability has therefore been a major focus of research. We report that ubiquitin-specific protease 9X (USP9X), which is a deubiquitinase binds and promotes degradation of both wild-type and mutants of pVHL that retain E3 ligase function, thus activating the HIF pathway. USP9X degrades pVHL through protection of its substrate, the newly identified pVHL E3 ligase Smurf1. In addition, USP9X activates glycolysis and promotes cell proliferation through pVHL. Treatment with a USP9X inhibitor shows an effect similar to USP9X knockdown in pVHL induction, and suppresses HIF activity. Our findings demonstrate that USP9X is a novel regulator of pVHL stability, and USP9X may be a therapeutic target for treatment of VHL-related tumors.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The VHL protein (pVHL) is a multiadaptor protein that interacts with more than 30 different binding partners involved in many oncogenic processes. About 70 % of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) have VHL mutations with varying impact on pVHL function. Loss of pVHL function leads to the accumulation of Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF), which is targeted by current targeted treatments. In contrast to nonsense and frameshift mutations that highly likely nullify pVHL multipurpose functions, missense mutations may rather specifically influence the binding capability of pVHL to its partners. The affected pathways may offer predictive clues to therapy and response to treatment. In this study we focused on the VHL missense mutation pattern in ccRCC, and studied their potential effects on pVHL protein stability and binding partners and discussed treatment options. METHODS:We sequenced VHL in 360 sporadic ccRCC FFPE samples and compared observed and expected frequency of missense mutations in 32 different binding domains. The prediction of the impact of those mutations on protein stability and function was assessed in silico. The response to HIF-related, anti-angiogenic treatment of 30 patients with known VHL mutation status was also investigated. RESULTS:We identified 254 VHL mutations (68.3 % of the cases) including 89 missense mutations (35 %). Codons Ser65, Asn78, Ser80, Trp117 and Leu184 represented hotspots and missense mutations in Trp117 and Leu 184 were predicted to highly destabilize pVHL. About 40 % of VHL missense mutations were predicted to cause severe protein malfunction. The pVHL binding domains for HIF1AN, BCL2L11, HIF1/2α, RPB1, PRKCZ, aPKC-λ/ι, EEF1A1, CCT-ζ-2, and Cullin2 were preferentially affected. These binding partners are mainly acting in transcriptional regulation, apoptosis and ubiquitin ligation. There was no correlation between VHL mutation status and response to treatment. CONCLUSIONS:VHL missense mutations may exert mild, moderate or strong impact on pVHL stability. Besides the HIF binding domain, other pVHL binding sites seem to be non-randomly altered by missense mutations. In contrast to LOF mutations that affect all the different pathways normally controlled by pVHL, missense mutations may be rather appropriate for designing tailor-made treatment strategies for ccRCC.