The mouse polyubiquitin gene Ubb is essential for meiotic progression.
ABSTRACT: Ubiquitin is encoded in mice by two polyubiquitin genes, Ubb and Ubc, that are considered to be stress inducible and two constitutively expressed monoubiquitin (Uba) genes. Here we report that targeted disruption of Ubb results in male and female infertility due to failure of germ cells to progress through meiosis I and hypogonadism. In the absence of Ubb, spermatocytes and oocytes arrest during meiotic prophase, before metaphase of the first meiotic division. Although cellular ubiquitin levels are believed to be maintained by a combination of functional redundancy among the four ubiquitin genes, stress inducibility of the two polyubiquitin genes, and ubiquitin recycling by proteasome-associated isopeptidases, our results indicate that ubiquitin is required for and consumed during meiotic progression. The striking similarity of the meiotic phenotype in Ubb(-/-) germ cells to the sporulation defect in fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) lacking a polyubiquitin gene suggests that a meiotic role of the polyubiquitin gene has been conserved throughout eukaryotic evolution.
Project description:Ubiquitin (Ub) is an essential protein found in all eukaryotic cells and plays important roles in a variety of cellular functions including germ cell development. We have previously reported that targeted disruption of the polyubiquitin gene Ubb results in male and female infertility in Ubb(-/-) mice, with germ cells arrested at meiotic prophase I. Although reduced Ub levels in germ cells are believed to be responsible for the fertility defect in Ubb(-/-) mice, it is still unclear how reduced Ub levels result in sterility. Here we describe the results of a microarray analysis of the murine testicular transcriptome, which demonstrates dramatically altered gene expression patterns in Ubb(-/-) mice, possibly related to reduced levels of histone 2A (H2A) ubiquitylation. We find that large numbers of genes related to fertility, metabolism, transcription, and the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) are misregulated in Ubb(-/-) mice. Such wide-ranging alterations in gene expression suggest that loss of the Ubb gene does not mimic a single-gene defect phenotype, but instead may affect gene expression more globally. These dramatic changes in gene expression could, at least in part, contribute to the complex fertility and metabolic phenotypes seen in these mice.
Project description:Analysis of Ubb knockout mouse testes at 7, 4, 21, and 28 dpp. Ubiquitin (Ub) is an essential protein found in all eukaryotic cells and plays important roles in a variety of cellular functions including germ cell development. Targeted disruption of the polyubiquitin gene Ubb results in male and female infertility in mice with germ cells arrested at meiotic prophase I. Overall design: Whole testes from wild-type (WT) and Ubb−/− (KO) mice were harvested at 7, 14, 21, and 28 days postpartum. Total RNA was extracted and hybridized to Affymetrix Mouse Genome 430 2.0 arrays.
Project description:Analysis of Ubb knockout mouse testes at 7, 4, 21, and 28 dpp. Ubiquitin (Ub) is an essential protein found in all eukaryotic cells and plays important roles in a variety of cellular functions including germ cell development. Targeted disruption of the polyubiquitin gene Ubb results in male and female infertility in mice with germ cells arrested at meiotic prophase I. Whole testes from wild-type (WT) and Ubb−/− (KO) mice were harvested at 7, 14, 21, and 28 days postpartum. Total RNA was extracted and hybridized to Affymetrix Mouse Genome 430 2.0 arrays.
Project description:Ubiquitin is involved in almost every cellular process, and it is also known to be a stress-inducible protein. Based on previous reports that many types of cancer display an elevated level of ubiquitin, we hypothesized that this increased amount of ubiquitin is essential for the growth of cancer cells and that, consequently, the downregulation of ubiquitin may be a potential anti-cancer treatment. We first found that the level of ubiquitin can be effectively downregulated via knockdown of a polyubiquitin gene, Ubb, with siRNA (Ubb-KD) and then demonstrated its anti-cancer effects in several cancer cell lines and xenograft mice. Ubb-KD resulted in the attenuation of TNF?-induced NF-?B activation, the stabilization of the tumor suppressor p53, and stress-sensitization. Taken together, downregulation of ubiquitin through Ubb-KD is a potential anti-cancer treatment by inhibiting ubiquitination at multiple sites related to oncogenic pathways and by weakening the ability of cancer cells to overcome increased stress.
Project description:Disruption of polyubiquitin gene Ubb leads to early-onset reactive gliosis and adult-onset hypothalamic neurodegeneration in mice. However, it remains unknown why reduced levels of ubiquitin (Ub) due to loss of Ubb lead to these neural phenotypes. To determine whether or not the defects in neurons or their progenitors per se, but not in their cellular microenvironment, are the cause of the neural phenotypes observed in Ubb(-/-) mice, we investigated the properties of cultured cells isolated from Ubb(-/-) mouse embryonic brains. Although cells were cultured under conditions promoting neuronal growth, Ubb(-/-) cells underwent apoptosis during culture in vitro, with increased numbers of glial cells and decreased numbers of neurons. Intriguingly, at the beginning of the Ubb(-/-) cell culture, the number of neural stem cells (NSCs) significantly decreased due to their reduced proliferation and their premature differentiation into glial cells. Furthermore, upregulation of Notch target genes due to increased steady-state levels of Notch intracellular domain (NICD) led to the dramatic reduction of proneuronal gene expression in Ubb(-/-) cells, resulting in inhibition of neurogenesis and promotion of gliogenesis. Therefore, our study suggests an unprecedented role for cellular Ub pools in determining the fate and self-renewal of NSCs.
Project description:E2-25K/Hip2 is an unusual ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme that interacts with the frameshift mutant of ubiquitin B (UBB(+1)) and has been identified as a crucial factor regulating amyloid-? neurotoxicity. To study the structural basis of the neurotoxicity mediated by the E2-25K-UBB(+1) interaction, we determined the three-dimensional structures of UBB(+1), E2-25K and the E2-25K/ubiquitin, and E2-25K/UBB(+1) complex. The structures revealed that ubiquitin or UBB(+1) is bound to E2-25K via the enzyme MGF motif and residues in ?9 of the enzyme. Polyubiquitylation assays together with analyses of various E2-25K mutants showed that disrupting UBB(+1) binding markedly diminishes synthesis of neurotoxic UBB(+1)-anchored polyubiquitin. These results suggest that the interaction between E2-25K and UBB(+1) is critical for the synthesis and accumulation of UBB(+1)-anchored polyubiquitin, which results in proteasomal inhibition and neuronal cell death.
Project description:Reduced levels of cellular ubiquitin (Ub) pools due to disruption of the polyubiquitin gene Ubb lead to dysregulation of neural stem cell (NSC) differentiation and impaired neuronal maturation in cells isolated from Ubb -/- mouse embryonic brains. However, it is currently unknown whether Ub is required for the specific stage of neuronal development or whether it plays a pleiotropic role throughout the process. To answer this question, we aimed to downregulate Ubb expression temporally during neuronal development, which could not be achieved in Ubb -/- cells. Therefore, we exploited lentivirus-mediated knockdown (KD) of Ubb at different stages of neuronal development, and investigated their phenotypes. Here, we report the outcome of Ubb KD on two independent culture days in vitro (DIV): DIV1 and DIV7. We observed that NSCs did not differentiate properly via Ubb KD on DIV1, but the maturation of already differentiated neurons was intact via Ubb KD on DIV7. Intriguingly, Ubb KD activated Notch signaling when it had been suppressed, but exerted no effect when it had already been activated. Therefore, our study suggests that Ub plays a pivotal role in NSC differentiation to suppress Notch signaling, but not in the subsequent maturation stages of neurons that had already been differentiated.
Project description:Ubiquitin performs essential roles in a myriad of signalling pathways required for cellular function and survival. Recently, we reported that disruption of the stress-inducible ubiquitin-encoding gene Ubb reduces ubiquitin content in the hypothalamus and leads to adult-onset obesity coupled with a loss of arcuate nucleus neurones and disrupted energy homeostasis in mice. Neuropeptides expressed in the hypothalamus control both metabolic and sleep behaviours. In order to demonstrate that the loss of Ubb results in broad hypothalamic abnormalities, we attempted to determine whether metabolic and sleep behaviours were altered in Ubb knockout mice.Metabolic rate and energy expenditure were measured in a metabolic chamber, and sleep stage was monitored via electroencephalographic/electromyographic recording. The presence of neurodegeneration and increased reactive gliosis in the hypothalamus were also evaluated.We found that Ubb disruption leads to early-onset reduced activity and metabolic rate. Additionally, we have demonstrated that sleep behaviour is altered and sleep homeostasis is disrupted in Ubb knockout mice. These early metabolic and sleep abnormalities are accompanied by persistent reactive gliosis and the loss of arcuate nucleus neurones, but are independent of neurodegeneration in the lateral hypothalamus.Ubb knockout mice exhibit phenotypes consistent with hypothalamic dysfunction. Our data also indicate that Ubb is essential for the maintenance of the ubiquitin levels required for proper regulation of metabolic and sleep behaviours in mice.
Project description:Nearly all neurodegenerative diseases are associated with abnormal accumulation of ubiquitin (Ub) conjugates within neuronal inclusion bodies. To directly test the hypothesis that depletion of cellular Ub is sufficient to cause neurodegeneration, we have disrupted Ubb, one of four genes that supply Ub in the mouse. Here, we report that loss of Ubb led to a progressive degenerative disorder affecting neurons within the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. This neurodegenerative cytopathology was accompanied by impaired hypothalamic control of energy balance and adult-onset obesity. Ubb was highly expressed in vulnerable hypothalamic neurons and total Ub levels were selectively reduced in the hypothalamus of Ubb-null mice. These findings demonstrate that maintenance of adequate supplies of cellular Ub is essential for neuronal survival and establish that decreased Ub availability is sufficient to cause neuronal dysfunction and death.
Project description:The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) regulates many biological pathways by post-translationally ubiquitylating proteins for degradation. Although maintaining a dynamic balance between free ubiquitin and ubiquitylated proteins is key to UPS function, the mechanisms that regulate ubiquitin homeostasis in different tissues through development are not clear. Here we show, via analysis of the magellan (magn) complementation group, that loss of function of the Drosophila polyubiquitin Ubi-p63E results specifically in meiotic arrest sterility in males. Ubi-p63E contributes predominantly to maintaining the free ubiquitin pool in testes. The function of Ubi-p63E is required cell-autonomously for proper meiotic chromatin condensation, cell cycle progression and spermatid differentiation. magn mutant germ cells develop normally to the spermatocyte stage but arrest at the G2/M transition of meiosis I, with lack of protein expression of the key meiotic cell cycle regulators Boule and Cyclin B. Loss of Ubi-p63E function did not strongly affect the spermatocyte transcription program regulated by the testis TBP-associated factor (tTAF) or meiosis arrest complex (tMAC) genes. Knocking down proteasome function specifically in spermatocytes caused a different meiotic arrest phenotype, suggesting that the magn phenotype might not result from general defects in protein degradation. Our results suggest a conserved role of polyubiquitin genes in male meiosis and a potential mechanism leading to meiosis I maturation arrest.