The SEA module: a new extracellular domain associated with O-glycosylation.
ABSTRACT: Using a variety of homology search methods and multiple alignments, a new extracellular module was identified in (1) agrin, (2) enterokinase, (3) a 63-kDa sea urchin sperm protein, (4) perlecan, (5) the breast cancer marker MUCI (episialin), (6) the cell surface antigen 114/A10, and (7/8) two functionally uncharacterized, probably extracellular, Caenorhabditis elegans proteins. Despite the functional diversity of these adhesive proteins, a common denominator seems to be their existence in heavily glycosylated environments. In addition, the better characterized proteins mentioned above contain all O-glycosidic-linked carbohydrates such as heparan sulfate that contribute considerably to their molecular masses. The common module might regulate or assist binding to neighboring carbohydrate moieties.
Project description:Oral squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of cancer in the oral cavity, representing more than 90% of all oral cancers. The characterization of altered molecules in oral cancer is essential to understand molecular mechanisms underlying tumor progression as well as to contribute to cancer biomarker and therapeutic target discovery. Proteoglycans are key molecular effectors of cell surface and pericellular microenvironments, performing multiple functions in cancer. Two of the major basement membrane proteoglycans, agrin and perlecan, were investigated in this study regarding their role in oral cancer. Using real time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR), we showed that agrin and perlecan are highly expressed in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Interestingly, cell lines originated from distinct sites showed different expression of agrin and perlecan. Enzymatically targeting chondroitin sulfate modification by chondroitinase, oral squamous carcinoma cell line had a reduced ability to adhere to extracellular matrix proteins and increased sensibility to cisplatin. Additionally, knockdown of agrin and perlecan promoted a decrease on cell migration and adhesion, and on resistance of cells to cisplatin. Our study showed, for the first time, a negative regulation on oral cancer-associated events by either targeting chondroitin sulfate content or agrin and perlecan levels.
Project description:In a previous study we showed, by transient expression studies in COS-1 cells, that the C-terminal domain of rat intestinal membrane mucin Muc3 was cleaved between glycine and serine within a GSIVV (one-letter) amino acid sequence during its residence in the endoplasmic reticulum. The extracellular domain fragment remained linked to the membrane-associated fragment by non-covalent interactions. The present study demonstrates that cleavage depends not only on the presence of the G/SIVV site (where G/S is the glycine downward arrow serine cleavage site), but also on more distant C-terminal sequences in the SEA (sea-urchin sperm protein, enterokinase and agrin) module. Inhibition of N-glycosylation by tunicamycin treatment of transfected cells did not prevent re-association of fragments, although cleavage was partially impaired, as some of the non-glycosylated, non-cleaved products were seen to accumulate in cells. Membrane targeting of the Muc3 domain and its cleavage products occurred in transfected cells and was not impaired in mutants in which the cleavage site was mutated. Targeting was also not impaired for products devoid of N-linked oligosaccharides. Our studies thus indicate that (a) cleavage within the SEA module of rat Muc3 requires participation of peptide sequences located C-terminal of and distant from the cleavage site, (b) re-association of the fragments requires the SEA module, but is independent of N-linked oligosaccharides, and (c) membrane targeting of the mucin is independent of the SEA-module-cleavage reaction.
Project description:Normal locomotion of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans requires transmission of contractile force through a series of mechanical linkages from the myofibrillar lattice of the body wall muscles, across an intervening extracellular matrix and epithelium (the hypodermis) to the cuticle. Mutations in mua-3 cause a separation of the hypodermis from the cuticle, suggesting this gene is required for maintaining hypodermal-cuticle attachment as the animal grows in size postembryonically. mua-3 encodes a predicted 3,767 amino acid protein with a large extracellular domain, a single transmembrane helix, and a smaller cytoplasmic domain. The extracellular domain contains four distinct protein modules: 5 low density lipoprotein type A, 52 epidermal growth factor, 1 von Willebrand factor A, and 2 sea urchin-enterokinase-agrin modules. MUA-3 localizes to the hypodermal hemidesmosomes and to other sites of mechanically robust transepithelial attachments, including the rectum, vulva, mechanosensory neurons, and excretory duct/pore. In addition, it is shown that MUA-3 colocalizes with cytoplasmic intermediate filaments (IFs) at these sites. Thus, MUA-3 appears to be a protein that links the IF cytoskeleton of nematode epithelia to the cuticle at sites of mechanical stress.
Project description:Rat intestinal mucin Muc3 (rMuc3), like its human homologue (MUC3) and several other membrane mucins, contains a C-terminally located SEA (sea urchin sperm protein, enterokinase and agrin) module, with an intrinsic proteolytic site sequence G downward arrow SIVV (where G downward arrow S is the glycine serine cleavage site). As shown previously [Wang, Khatri and Forstner (2002) Biochem. J. 366, 623-631], expression of the C-terminal domain of rMuc3 in COS-1 cells yields a V5 epitope-tagged N-terminal glycopeptide of 30 kDa and a Myc- and His epitope-tagged C-terminal glycopeptide of 49 kDa. The present study shows that the 49 kDa membrane-anchored fragment undergoes a further cleavage reaction which decreases its size to 30 kDa. Western blotting, pulse-chase metabolic incubations, immunoprecipitation and deglycosylation with N-glycosidase F were used to detect and identify the proteolytic products. Both the first and second cleavages are presumed to facilitate solubilization of Muc3 at the apical surface of enterocytes and/or enhance the potential for Muc3 to participate in ligand-receptor and signal transduction events for enterocyte function in vivo.
Project description:Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) have been suggested to play an important role in the formation and persistence of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in dementia of the Alzheimer's type (DAT). We performed a comparative immunohistochemical analysis of the expression of the HSPGs agrin, perlecan, glypican-1, and syndecans 1-3 in the lesions of DAT brain neocortex and hippocampus. Using a panel of specific antibodies directed against the protein backbone of the various HSPG species and against the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) side-chains, we demonstrated the following. The basement membrane-associated HSPG, agrin, is widely expressed in senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles and cerebral blood vessels, whereas the expression of the other basement membrane-associated HSPG, perlecan, is lacking in senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles and is restricted to the cerebral vasculature. Glypican and three different syndecans, all cell membrane-associated HSPG species, are also expressed in senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, albeit at a lower frequency than agrin. Heparan sulfate GAG side chains are also associated with both senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Our results suggest that glycosaminoglycan side chains of the HSPGs agrin, syndecan, and glypican, but not perlecan, may play an important role in the formation of both senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. In addition, we speculate that agrin, because it contains nine protease-inhibiting domains, may protect the protein aggregates in senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles against extracellular proteolytic degradation, leading to the persistence of these deposits.
Project description:Activin A, a member of the transforming growth factor-? family, plays important roles in hormonal homeostasis and embryogenesis. In this study, we produced recombinant human activin A and examined its abilities to bind to extracellular matrix proteins. Recombinant activin A expressed in 293-F cells was purified as complexes of mature dimeric activin A with its pro-region. Among a panel of extracellular matrix proteins tested, recombinant activin A bound to perlecan and agrin, but not to laminins, nidogens, collagens I and IV, fibronectin, and nephronectin. The binding of recombinant activin A to perlecan was inhibited by heparin and high concentrations of NaCl and abolished by heparitinase treatment of perlecan, suggesting that activin A binds to the heparan sulfate chains of perlecan. In support of this possibility, recombinant activin A was capable of directly binding to heparin and heparan sulfate chains. Site-directed mutagenesis of recombinant activin A revealed that clusters of basic amino acid residues, Lys(259)-Lys(263) and Lys(270)-Lys(272), in the pro-region were required for binding to perlecan. Interestingly, deletion of the peptide segment Lys(259)-Gly(277) containing both basic amino acid clusters from the pro-region did not impair the activity of activin A to stimulate Smad-dependent gene expressions, although it completely ablated the perlecan-binding activity. The binding of activin A to basement membrane heparan sulfate proteoglycans through the basic residues in the pro-region was further confirmed by in situ activin A overlay assays using frozen tissue sections. Taken together, the present results indicate that activin A binds to heparan sulfate proteoglycans through its pro-region and thereby regulates its localization within tissues.
Project description:MUC1 and other membrane-associated mucins harbor long, up to 1 ?m, extended highly glycosylated mucin domains and sea urchin sperm protein, enterokinase and agrin (SEA) domains situated on their extracellular parts. These mucins line luminal tracts and organs, and are anchored to the apical cell membrane by a transmembrane domain. The SEA domain is highly conserved and undergoes a molecular strain-dependent autocatalytic cleavage during folding in the endoplasmic reticulum, a process required for apical plasma membrane expression. To date, no specific function has been designated for the SEA domain. Here, we constructed a recombinant protein consisting of three SEA domains in tandem and used force spectroscopy to assess the dissociation force required to unfold individual, folded SEA domains. Force-distance curves revealed three peaks, each representing unfolding of a single SEA domain. Fitting the observed unfolding events to a worm-like chain model yielded an average contour length of 32 nm per SEA domain. Analysis of forces applied on the recombinant protein revealed an average unfolding force of 168 pN for each SEA domain at a loading rate of 25 nN·s(-1). Thus, the SEA domain may act as a breaking point that can dissociate before the plasma membrane is breached when mechanical forces are applied to cell surfaces.
Project description:BACKGROUND: We previously identified a novel gene family dispersed in the genome of Schistosoma japonicum by retrotransposon-mediated gene duplication mechanism. Although many transcripts were identified, no homolog was readily identifiable from sequence information. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we utilized structural homology modeling and biochemical methods to identify remote homologs, and characterized the gene products as SEA (sea-urchin sperm protein, enterokinase and agrin)-domain containing proteins. A common extracellular domain in this family was structurally similar to SEA-domain. SEA-domain is primarily a structural domain, known to assist or regulate binding to glycans. Recombinant proteins from three members of this gene family specifically interacted with glycosaminoglycans with high affinity, with potential implication in ligand acquisition and immune evasion. Similar approach was used to identify a heme-binding site on the SEA-domain. The heme-binding mode showed heme molecule inserted into a hydrophobic pocket, with heme iron putatively coordinated to two histidine axial ligands. Heme-binding properties were confirmed using biochemical assays and UV-visible absorption spectroscopy, which showed high affinity heme-binding (K D?=?1.605×10(-6) M) and cognate spectroscopic attributes of hexa-coordinated heme iron. The native proteins were oligomers, antigenic, and are localized on adult worm teguments and gastrodermis; major host-parasite interfaces and site for heme detoxification and acquisition. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest potential role, at least in the nucleation step of heme crystallization (hemozoin formation), and as receptors for heme uptake. Survival strategies exploited by parasites, including heme homeostasis mechanism in hemoparasites, are paramount for successful parasitism. Thus, assessing prospects for application in disease intervention is warranted.
Project description:SEA (sea urchin sperm protein, enterokinase, agrin) domains, many of which possess autoproteolysis activity, have been found in a number of cell surface and secreted proteins. Despite high sequence divergence, SEA domains were also proposed to be present in dystroglycan based on a conserved autoproteolysis motif and receptor-type protein phosphatase IA-2 based on structural similarity. The presence of a SEA domain adjacent to the transmembrane segment appears to be a recurring theme in quite a number of type I transmembrane proteins on the cell surface, such as MUC1, dystroglycan, IA-2, and Notch receptors. By comparative sequence and structural analyses, we identified dystroglycan-like proteins with SEA domains in Capsaspora owczarzaki of the Filasterea group, one of the closest single-cell relatives of metazoans. We also detected novel and divergent SEA domains in a variety of cell surface proteins such as EpCAM, ?/?-sarcoglycan, PTPRR, collectrin/Tmem27, amnionless, CD34, KIAA0319, fibrocystin-like protein, and a number of cadherins. While these proteins are mostly from metazoans or their single cell relatives such as choanoflagellates and Filasterea, fibrocystin-like proteins with SEA domains were found in several other eukaryotic lineages including green algae, Alveolata, Euglenozoa, and Haptophyta, suggesting an ancient evolutionary origin. In addition, the intracellular protein Nucleoporin 54 (Nup54) acquired a divergent SEA domain in choanoflagellates and metazoans.
Project description:Polyserase-1 (polyserine protease-1)/TMPRSS9 (transmembrane serine protease 9) is a type II transmembrane serine protease (TTSP) that possesses unique three tandem serine protease domains. However, the physiological function of each protease domain remains poorly understood. We discovered a new splice variant of polyserase-1, termed Serase-1B, which contains 34 extra amino acids consisting a SEA module (a domain found in sea urchin sperm protein, enterokinase and agrin) adjacent to the transmembrane domain and the first protease domain with a mucin-like box at the C-terminus. The tissue distribution of this enzyme by RT (reverse transcription)-PCR analysis revealed high expression in the liver, small intestine, pancreas, testis and peripheral blood CD14+ and CD8+ cells. To investigate the role of Serase-1B, a full-length form recombinant protein was produced. Interestingly, recombinant Serase-1B was partly secreted as a soluble inactive precursor and it was also activated by trypsin. This activated enzyme selectively cleaved synthetic peptides for trypsin and activated protein C, and it was inhibited by several natural serine protease inhibitors, such as aprotinin, alpha2-antiplasmin and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1. In addition, Serase-1B efficiently converted pro-uPA (urokinase-type plasminogen activator) into active uPA and this activation was strongly inhibited by these natural inhibitors. Furthermore, this activation was also negatively regulated by glycosaminoglycans. Our results indicate that Serase-1B is a novel member of TTSPs that might be involved in uPA/plasmin-mediated proteolysis and possibly implicated in biological events such as fibrinolysis and tumour progression.