Expression and functional analysis of Nr2e3, a photoreceptor-specific nuclear receptor, suggest common mechanisms in retinal development between avians and mammals.
ABSTRACT: The photoreceptor-specific nuclear receptor (PNR; Nr2e3) is a transcription factor important for retinal development. We report here the identification and expression analysis of the avian Nr2e3. Nr2e3 mRNA is expressed in the photoreceptor layer of the neural retina during early stages of chick embryogenesis. Its temporal expression is distinct from that of a related nuclear receptor, Tlx. Chick Nr2e3 recognizes and binds to the same target DNA sequence as its vertebrate orthologs. Functional assays revealed that chick Nr2e3 acts as a transcriptional repressor. Our results suggest that Nr2e3 plays a common role in retinal development in vertebrates.
Project description:Photoreceptor-specific nuclear receptor (PNR/NR2E3) and Tailless homolog (TLX/NR2E1) are human orthologs of the NR2E group, a subgroup of phylogenetically related members of the nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily of transcription factors. We assessed the ability of these NRs to form heterodimers with other members of the human NRs representing all major subgroups. The TLX ligand-binding domain (LBD) did not appear to form homodimers or interact directly with any other NR tested. The PNR LBD was able to form homodimers, but also exhibited robust interactions with the LBDs of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-? (PPAR?)/NR1C3 and thyroid hormone receptor b (TRb) TR?/NR1A2. The binding of PNR to PPAR? was specific for this paralog, as no interaction was observed with the LBDs of PPAR?/NR1C1 or PPAR?/NR1C2. In support of these findings, PPAR? and PNR were found to be co-expressed in human retinal tissue extracts and could be co-immunoprecipitated as a native complex. Selected sequence variants in the PNR LBD associated with human retinopathies, or a mutation in the dimerization region of PPAR? LBD associated with familial partial lipodystrophy type 3, were found to disrupt PNR/PPAR? complex formation. Wild-type PNR, but not a PNR309G mutant, was able to repress PPAR?-mediated transcription in reporter assays. In summary, our results reveal novel heterodimer interactions in the NR superfamily, suggesting previously unknown functional interactions of PNR with PPAR? and TR? that have potential importance in retinal development and disease.
Project description:Nuclear receptors comprise a large and expanding family of transcription factors involved in diverse aspects of animal physiology and development, the functions of which can be modulated in a spatial and temporal manner by access to small lipophilic ligands and/or the specificity of their own localized expression. Here we report the identification of a human nuclear receptor that reveals a unique proximal box (CNGCSG) in the DNA-binding domain. The conservation of this feature in its nematode counterpart suggests the requirement for this type of P box in the genetic cascades mediated by nuclear receptors in a wide variety of animal species. The expression of this receptor, PNR (photoreceptor-specific nuclear receptor), appears strongly restricted in the retina, exclusively in photoreceptor cells. In human cell lines, PNR expression was observed in Y79 retinoblastoma along with other photoreceptor marker genes such as CRX. Among vertebrate receptors, PNR shares structural kinship with an orphan receptor TLX, and despite distinct differences in the DNA binding domain, PNR is able to recognize a subset of TLX target sequences in vitro. Analyses of the human PNR gene revealed its chromosomal position as 15q24, a site that has recently been reported as a susceptible region for retinal degeneration. These data support a role for PNR in the regulation of signalling pathways intrinsic to the photoreceptor cell function.
Project description:Photoreceptor-specific nuclear receptor (PNR, NR2E3) is a key transcriptional regulator of human photoreceptor differentiation and maintenance. Mutations in the NR2E3-encoding gene cause various retinal degenerations, including Enhanced S-cone syndrome, retinitis pigmentosa, and Goldman-Favre disease. Although physiological ligands have not been identified, it is believed that binding of small molecule agonists, receptor desumoylation, and receptor heterodimerization may switch NR2E3 from a transcriptional repressor to an activator. While these features make NR2E3 a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of retinal diseases, there has been a clear lack of structural information for the receptor. Here, we report the crystal structure of the apo NR2E3 ligand binding domain (LBD) at 2.8 Å resolution. Apo NR2E3 functions as transcriptional repressor in cells and the structure of its LBD is in a dimeric auto-repressed conformation. In this conformation, the putative ligand binding pocket is filled with bulky hydrophobic residues and the activation-function-2 (AF2) helix occupies the canonical cofactor binding site. Mutations designed to disrupt either the AF2/cofactor-binding site interface or the dimer interface compromised the transcriptional repressor activity of this receptor. Together, these results reveal several conserved structural features shared by related orphan nuclear receptors, suggest that most disease-causing mutations affect the receptor's structural integrity, and allowed us to model a putative active conformation that can accommodate small ligands in its pocket.
Project description:The photoreceptor-specific orphan nuclear receptor NR2E3 is a key regulator of transcriptional events during photoreceptor differentiation in mammalian retina. Mutations in NR2E3 are associated with enhanced S-cone syndrome and related retinal phenotypes that reveal characteristic excess of S-cone function. This study was undertaken to determine biochemical as well as functional consequences of reported sequence variants and disease-causing mutations in NR2E3.Twenty-five different mutations in the wild-type NR2E3 expression construct were generated by site-directed mutagenesis and performed nuclear localization, gel-shift, rhodopsin promoter activity assays, and co-immunoprecipitation in cultured mammalian cells.Of the 25 mutant proteins, 15 mislocalize at least partially to the cytoplasm. Eight of the nine changes in the DNA-binding domain (DBD) and 12 of the 14 mutations in the ligand-binding domain (LBD) of NR2E3 exhibited reduced DNA-binding and transcriptional activation of the rhodopsin promoter. Moreover, these mutations dramatically altered the interaction of NR2E3 with NRL as well as with CRX. Two NR2E3 variants between DBD and LBD showed no effect on any biochemical or functional parameter tested.These data provide a better understanding of sequence variants, validate disease-causing mutations, and demonstrate the significance of DBD and LBD in mediating NR2E3 function. These studies contribute to molecular mechanisms underlying retinal phenotypes caused by NR2E3 mutations.
Project description:Rod and cone photoreceptors in mammalian retina are generated from common pool(s) of neuroepithelial progenitors. NRL, CRX and NR2E3 are key transcriptional regulators that control photoreceptor differentiation. Mutations in NR2E3, a rod-specific orphan nuclear receptor, lead to loss of rods, increased density of S-cones and supernormal S-cone-mediated vision in humans. To better understand its in vivo function, NR2E3 was expressed ectopically in the Nrl-/- retina, where post-mitotic precursors fated to be rods develop into functional S-cones similar to the human NR2E3 disease. Expression of NR2E3 in the Nrl-/- retina completely suppressed cone differentiation and resulted in morphologically rod-like photoreceptors, which were however not functional. Gene profiling of FACS-purified photoreceptors confirmed the role of NR2E3 as a strong suppressor of cone genes but an activator of only a subset of rod genes (including rhodopsin) in vivo. Ectopic expression of NR2E3 in cone precursors and differentiating S-cones of wild-type retina also generated rod-like cells. The dual regulatory function of NR2E3 was not dependent upon the presence of NRL and/or CRX, but on the timing and level of its expression. Our studies reveal a critical role of NR2E3 in establishing functional specificity of NRL-expressing photoreceptor precursors during retinal neurogenesis.
Project description:Photoreceptor cell-specific nuclear receptor (PNR) (NR2E3) acts as a sequence-specific repressor that controls neuronal differentiation in the developing retina. We identified a novel PNR co-repressor, Ret-CoR, that is expressed in the developing retina and brain. Biochemical purification of Ret-CoR identified a multiprotein complex that included E2F/Myb-associated proteins, histone deacetylases (HDACs) and NCoR/HDAC complex-related components. Ret-CoR appeared to function as a platform protein for the complex, and interacted with PNR via two CoRNR motifs. Purified Ret-CoR complex exhibited HDAC activity, co-repressed PNR transrepression function in vitro, and co-repressed PNR function in PNR target gene promoters, presumably in the retinal progenitor cells. Notably, the appearance of Ret-CoR protein was cell-cycle-stage-dependent (from G1 to S). Therefore, Ret-CoR appears to act as a component of an HDAC co-repressor complex that supports PNR repression function in the developing retina, and may represent a co-regulator class that supports transcriptional regulator function via cell-cycle-dependent expression.
Project description:NR2E3 encodes the photoreceptor-specific nuclear hormone receptor that acts as a repressor of cone-specific gene expression in rod photoreceptors, and as an activator of several rod-specific genes. Recessive variants located in the ligand-binding domain (LBD) of NR2E3 cause enhanced short wavelength sensitive- (S-) cone syndrome (ESCS), a retinal degeneration characterized by an excess of S-cones and non-functional rods. We analyzed the dimerization properties of NR2E3 and the effect of disease-causing LBD missense variants by bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET(2) ) protein interaction assays. Homodimerization was not affected in presence of p.A256V, p.R039G, p.R311Q, and p.R334G variants, but abolished in presence of p.L263P, p.L336P, p.L353V, p.R385P, and p.M407K variants. Homology modeling predicted structural changes induced by NR2E3 LBD variants. NR2E3 LBD variants did not affect interaction with CRX, but with NRL and rev-erb?/NR1D1. CRX and NRL heterodimerized more efficiently together, than did either with NR2E3. NR2E3 did not heterodimerize with TLX/NR2E1 and RXR?/NR2C1. The identification of a new compound heterozygous patient with detectable rod function, who expressed solely the p.A256V variant protein, suggests a correlation between LBD variants able to form functional NR2E3 dimers and atypical mild forms of ESCS with residual rod function.
Project description:BACKGROUND:NR2E3 (PNR) is an orphan nuclear receptor essential for proper photoreceptor determination and differentiation. In humans, mutations in NR2E3 have been associated with the recessively inherited enhanced short wavelength sensitive (S-) cone syndrome (ESCS) and, more recently, with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). NR2E3 acts as a suppressor of the cone generation program in late mitotic retinal progenitor cells. In adult rod photoreceptors, NR2E3 represses cone-specific gene expression and acts in concert with the transcription factors CRX and NRL to activate rod-specific genes. NR2E3 and CRX have been shown to physically interact in vitro through their respective DNA-binding domains (DBD). The DBD also contributes to homo- and heterodimerization of nuclear receptors. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:We analyzed NR2E3 homodimerization and NR2E3/CRX complex formation in an in vivo situation by Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET(2)). NR2E3 wild-type protein formed homodimers in transiently transfected HEK293T cells. NR2E3 homodimerization was impaired in presence of disease-causing mutations in the DBD, except for the p.R76Q and p.R104W mutant proteins. Strikingly, the adRP-linked p.G56R mutant protein interacted with CRX with a similar efficiency to that of NR2E3 wild-type and p.R311Q proteins. In contrast, all other NR2E3 DBD-mutant proteins did not interact with CRX. The p.G56R mutant protein was also more effective in abolishing the potentiation of rhodospin gene transactivation by the NR2E3 wild-type protein. In addition, the p.G56R mutant enhanced the transrepression of the M- and S-opsin promoter, while all other NR2E3 DBD-mutants did not. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:These results suggest different disease mechanisms in adRP- and ESCS-patients carrying NR2E3 mutations. Titration of CRX by the p.G56R mutant protein acting as a repressor in trans may account for the severe clinical phenotype in adRP patients.
Project description:Photoreceptor cell-specific receptor (PNR/NR2E3) is an orphan nuclear receptor that plays a critical role in retinal development and photoreceptor maintenance. The disease-causing mutations in PNR have a pleiotropic effect resulting in varying retinal diseases. Recently, PNR has been implicated in control of cellular functions in cancer cells. PNR was reported to be a novel regulator of ER? expression in breast cancer cells, and high PNR expression correlates with favorable response to tamoxifen treatment. Moreover, PNR was shown to increase p53 stability in HeLa cells, implying that PNR may be a therapeutic target in this and other cancers that retain a wild type p53 gene. To facilitate further understanding of PNR functions in cancer, we characterized compound 11a, a synthetic, putative PNR agonist in several cell-based assays. Interestingly, we showed that 11a failed to activate PNR and its cytotoxicity was independent of PNR expression, excluding PNR as a mediator for 11a cytotoxicity. Systematic analyses of the cytotoxic effects of 11a in NCI-60 cell lines revealed a strong positive correlation of cytotoxicity with p53 status, i.e., p53 wild type cell lines were significantly more sensitive to 11a than p53 mutated or null cell lines. Furthermore, using HCT116 p53+/+ and p53-/- isogenic cell lines we revealed that the mechanism of 11a-induced cytotoxicity occurred through G1/S phase cell cycle arrest rather than apoptosis. In conclusion, we observed a correlation of 11a sensitivity with p53 status but not with PNR expression, suggesting that tumors expressing wild type p53 might be responsive to this compound.
Project description:The retinal transcription factor Nr2e3 plays a key role in photoreceptor development and function. In this study we examine gene expression in the retina of Nr2e3(rd7/rd7) mutants with respect to wild-type control mice, to identify genes that are misregulated and hence potentially function in the Nr2e3 transcriptional network. Quantitative candidate gene real time PCR and subtractive hybridization approaches were used to identify transcripts that were misregulated in Nr2e3(rd7/rd7) mice. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays were then used to determine which of the misregulated transcripts were direct targets of NR2E3. We identified 24 potential targets of NR2E3. In the developing retina, NR2E3 targets transcription factors such as Ror1, Rorg, and the nuclear hormone receptors Nr1d1 and Nr2c1. In the mature retina NR2E3 targets several genes including the rod specific gene Gnb1 and cone specific genes blue opsin, and two of the cone transducin subunits, Gnat2 and Gnb3. In addition, we identified 5 novel transcripts that are targeted by NR2E3. While mislocalization of proteins between rods and cones was not observed, we did observe diminished concentration of GNB1 protein in adult Nr2e3(rd7/rd7) retinas. These studies identified novel transcriptional pathways that are potentially targeted by Nr2e3 in the retina and specifically demonstrate a novel role for NR2E3 in regulating genes involved in phototransduction.