The interaction of DIAP1 with dOmi/HtrA2 regulates cell death in Drosophila.
ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial proteins such as cytochrome c, Smac/DIABLO and Omi/HtrA2 play important roles in the cell death pathways of mammalian cells. In Drosophila, the role of mitochondria in cell death is less clear. Here, we report the identification and characterization of the Drosophila ortholog of human Omi/HtrA2. We show that Drosophila Omi/HtrA2 is imported into the mitochondria where it undergoes proteolytic maturation to yield two isoforms, dOmi-L and dOmi-S. dOmi-L contains a canonical N-terminal IAP-binding motif (AVVS), whereas dOmi-S contains a distinct N-terminal motif (SKMT). DIAP1 was able to bind to both isoforms via its BIR1 and BIR2 domains. This resulted in cleavage of the linker region of DIAP1 between the BIR1 and BIR2 domains and further degradation of the BIR1 domain by the proteolytic activity of dOmi. The binding of DIAP1 to dOmi also resulted in DIAP1-mediated polyubiquitination of dOmi, suggesting that DIAP1 could target dOmi for proteasomal degradation. Consistent with this, expression of DIAP1 in Drosophila eye discs protected them from dOmi-induced eye ablation, indicating that DIAP1 plays an important role in protecting cells from the potentially lethal effects of dOmi. The ability of IAPs to bind to and ubiquitinate mitochondrial proteins such as dOmi may be a key conserved function to counterbalance the lethal effects of these proteins if accidentally released into the cytosol.
Project description:Although essential in mammals, in flies the importance of mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization for apoptosis remains highly controversial. Herein, we demonstrate that Drosophila Omi (dOmi), a fly homologue of the serine protease Omi/HtrA2, is a developmentally regulated mitochondrial intermembrane space protein that undergoes processive cleavage, in situ, to generate two distinct inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) binding motifs. Depending upon the proapoptotic stimulus, mature dOmi is then differentially released into the cytosol, where it binds selectively to the baculovirus IAP repeat 2 (BIR2) domain in Drosophila IAP1 (DIAP1) and displaces the initiator caspase DRONC. This interaction alone, however, is insufficient to promote apoptosis, as dOmi fails to displace the effector caspase DrICE from the BIR1 domain in DIAP1. Rather, dOmi alleviates DIAP1 inhibition of all caspases by proteolytically degrading DIAP1 and induces apoptosis both in cultured cells and in the developing fly eye. In summary, we demonstrate for the first time in flies that mitochondrial permeabilization not only occurs during apoptosis but also results in the release of a bona fide proapoptotic protein.
Project description:Although the malfunction of HtrA2/Omi leads to Parkinson's disease (PD), the underlying mechanism has remained unknown. Here, we showed that HtrA2/Omi specifically removed oligomeric ?-Syn but not monomeric ?-Syn to protect oligomeric ?-Syn-induced neurodegeneration. Experiments using mnd2 mice indicated that HtrA2/Omi degraded oligomeric ?-Syn specifically without affecting monomers. Transgenic Drosophila melanogaster experiments of the co-expression ?-Syn and HtrA2/Omi and expression of genes individually also confirmed that pan-neuronal expression of HtrA2/Omi completely rescued Parkinsonism in the ?-Syn-induced PD Drosophila model by specifically removing oligomeric ?-Syn. HtrA2/Omi maintained the health and integrity of the brain and extended the life span of transgenic flies. Because HtrA2/Omi specifically degraded oligomeric ?-Syn, co-expression of HtrA2/Omi and ?-Syn in Drosophila eye maintained a healthy retina, while the expression of ?-Syn induced retinal degeneration. This work showed that the bacterial function of HtrA to degrade toxic misfolded proteins is evolutionarily conserved in mammalian brains as HtrA2/Omi.
Project description:Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) counteract ubiquitin ligases to modulate the ubiquitination and stability of target signaling molecules. In Drosophila, the ubiquitin-proteasome system has a key role in the regulation of apoptosis, most notably, by controlling the abundance of the central apoptotic regulator DIAP1. Although the mechanism underlying DIAP1 ubiquitination has been extensively studied, the precise role of DUB(s) in controlling DIAP1 activity has not been fully investigated. Here we report the identification of a DIAP1-directed DUB using two complementary approaches. First, a panel of putative Drosophila DUBs was expressed in S2 cells to determine whether DIAP1 could be stabilized, despite treatment with death-inducing stimuli that would induce DIAP1 degradation. In addition, RNAi fly lines were used to detect modifiers of DIAP1 antagonist-induced cell death in the developing eye. Together, these approaches identified a previously uncharacterized protein encoded by CG8830, which we named DeUBiquitinating-Apoptotic-Inhibitor (DUBAI), as a novel DUB capable of preserving DIAP1 to dampen Drosophila apoptosis. DUBAI interacts with DIAP1 in S2 cells, and the putative active site of its DUB domain (C367) is required to rescue DIAP1 levels following apoptotic stimuli. DUBAI, therefore, represents a novel locus of apoptotic regulation in Drosophila, antagonizing cell death signals that would otherwise result in DIAP1 degradation.
Project description:Apoptosis has essential roles in a variety of cellular and developmental processes. Although the pathway is well studied, how the activities of individual components in the pathway are regulated is less understood. In Drosophila, a key component in apoptosis is Drosophila inhibitor of apoptosis protein 1 (DIAP1), which is required to prevent caspase activation. Here, we demonstrate that Drosophila CG42593 (ubr3), encoding the homolog of mammalian UBR3, has an essential role in regulating the apoptosis pathway. We show that loss of ubr3 activity causes caspase-dependent apoptosis in Drosophila eye and wing discs. Our genetic epistasis analyses show that the apoptosis induced by loss of ubr3 can be suppressed by loss of initiator caspase Drosophila Nedd2-like caspase (Dronc), or by ectopic expression of the apoptosis inhibitor p35, but cannot be rescued by overexpression of DIAP1. Importantly, we show that the activity of Ubr3 in the apoptosis pathway is not dependent on its Ring-domain, which is required for its E3 ligase activity. Furthermore, we find that through the UBR-box domain, Ubr3 physically interacts with the neo-epitope of DIAP1 that is exposed after caspase-mediated cleavage. This interaction promotes the recruitment and ubiquitination of substrate caspases by DIAP1. Together, our data indicate that Ubr3 interacts with DIAP1 and positively regulates DIAP1 activity, possibly by maintaining its active conformation in the apoptosis pathway.
Project description:Recently, a mutation in the mitochondrial protease Omi/HtrA2, G399S, was found in sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, leading to the designation of Omi/HtrA2 as PD locus 13 (PARK13). G399S reportedly results in reduced Omi protease activity. In vitro studies have suggested that Omi/HtrA2 acts downstream of PINK1, mutations in which mediate recessive forms of PD. We, as well as other, have previously shown that the Drosophila homologs of the familial PD genes, PINK1 (PARK6) and PARKIN (PARK2), function in a common genetic pathway to regulate mitochondrial integrity and dynamics. Whether Omi/HtrA2 regulates mitochondrial integrity and whether it acts downstream of PINK1 in vivo remain to be explored. Here, we show that Omi/HtrA2 null mutants in Drosophila, in contrast to pink1 or parkin null mutants, do not show mitochondrial morphological defects. Extensive genetic interaction studies do not provide support for models in which Omi/HtrA2 functions in the same genetic pathway as pink1, or carries out partially redundant functions with pink1, at least with respect to regulation of mitochondrial integrity and dynamics. Furthermore, Omi/HtrA2 G399S retains significant, if not full, function of Omi/HtrA2, compared with expression of protease-compromised versions of the protein. In light of recent findings showing that G399S can be found at comparable frequencies in PD patients and healthy controls, we do not favor a hypothesis in which Omi/HtrA2 plays an essential role in PD pathogenesis, at least with respect to regulation of mitochondrial integrity in the pink1/parkin pathway.
Project description:The mitochondrial serine protease HtrA2/Omi helps to maintain mitochondrial function by handling misfolded proteins in the intermembrane space. In addition, HtrA2/Omi has been implicated as a proapoptotic factor upon release into the cytoplasm during the cell death cascade. The protein contains a C-terminal PDZ domain that packs against the protease active site and inhibits proteolytic activity. Engagement of the PDZ domain by peptide ligands has been shown to activate the protease and also has been proposed to mediate substrate recognition. We report a detailed structural and functional analysis of the human HtrA2/Omi PDZ domain using peptide libraries and affinity assays to define specificity, X-ray crystallography to view molecular details of PDZ-ligand interactions, and alanine-scanning mutagenesis to probe the peptide-binding groove. We show that the HtrA2/Omi PDZ domain recognizes both C-terminal and internal stretches of extended, hydrophobic polypeptides. High-affinity ligand recognition requires contacts with up to five hydrophobic side chains by distinct sites on the PDZ domain. However, no particular residue type is absolutely required at any position, and thus, the HtrA2/Omi PDZ domain appears to be a promiscuous module adapted to recognize unstructured, hydrophobic polypeptides. This type of specificity is consistent with the biological role of HtrA2/Omi in mitochondria, which requires the recognition of diverse, exposed stretches of hydrophobic sequences in misfolded proteins. The findings are less consistent with, but do not exclude, a role for the PDZ domain in targeting the protease to specific substrates during apoptosis.
Project description:The proper number of cells in developing tissues is achieved by coordinating cell division with apoptosis. In Drosophila, the adult wing is derived from wing imaginal discs, which undergo a period of growth and proliferation during larval stages without much programmed cell death. In this report, we demonstrate that the Drosophila casein kinase Iepsilon/delta, known as Discs overgrown (Dco), is required for maintaining this low level of apoptosis. Expression of dco can suppress the apoptotic activity of Head involution defective (Hid) in the developing eye. Loss of dco in the wing disc results in a dramatic reduction in expression of the caspase inhibitor DIAP1 and a concomitant activation of caspases. The regulation of DIAP1 by Dco occurs by a post-transcriptional mechanism that is independent of hid. Mutant clones of dco are considerably smaller than controls even when apoptosis is inhibited, suggesting that Dco promotes cell division/growth in addition to its role in cell survival. The dco phenotype cannot be explained by defects Wingless (Wg) signaling. We propose that Dco coordinates tissue size by stimulating cell division/growth and blocking apoptosis via activation of DIAP1 expression.
Project description:The NG2 proteoglycan is characteristically expressed by oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPC) and also by aggressive brain tumours highly resistant to chemo- and radiation therapy. Oligodendrocyte-lineage cells are particularly sensitive to stress resulting in cell death in white matter after hypoxic or ischemic insults of premature infants and destruction of OPC in some types of Multiple Sclerosis lesions. Here we show that the NG2 proteoglycan binds OMI/HtrA2, a mitochondrial serine protease which is released from damaged mitochondria into the cytosol in response to stress. In the cytosol, OMI/HtrA2 initiates apoptosis by proteolytic degradation of anti-apoptotic factors. OPC in which NG2 has been downregulated by siRNA, or OPC from the NG2-knockout mouse show an increased sensitivity to oxidative stress evidenced by increased cell death. The proapoptotic protease activity of OMI/HtrA2 in the cytosol can be reduced by the interaction with NG2. Human glioma expressing high levels of NG2 are less sensitive to oxidative stress than those with lower NG2 expression and reducing NG2 expression by siRNA increases cell death in response to oxidative stress. Binding of NG2 to OMI/HtrA2 may thus help protect cells against oxidative stress-induced cell death. This interaction is likely to contribute to the high chemo- and radioresistance of glioma.
Project description:Myocardial apoptosis is a significant problem underlying ischemic heart disease. We previously reported significantly elevated expression of cytoplasmic Omi/HtrA2, triggers cardiomyocytes apoptosis. However, whether increased Omi/HtrA2 within mitochondria itself influences myocardial survival in vivo is unknown. We aim to observe the effects of mitochondria-specific, not cytoplasmic, Omi/HtrA2 on myocardial apoptosis and cardiac function. Transgenic mice overexpressing cardiac-specific mitochondrial Omi/HtrA2 were generated and they had increased myocardial apoptosis, decreased systolic and diastolic function, and decreased left ventricular remodeling. Transiently or stably overexpression of mitochondria Omi/HtrA2 in H9C2 cells enhance apoptosis as evidenced by elevated caspase-3, -9 activity and TUNEL staining, which was completely blocked by Ucf-101, a specific Omi/HtrA2 inhibitor. Mechanistic studies revealed mitochondrial Omi/HtrA2 overexpression degraded the mitochondrial anti-apoptotic protein HAX-1, an effect attenuated by Ucf-101. Additionally, transfected cells overexpressing mitochondrial Omi/HtrA2 were more sensitive to hypoxia and reoxygenation (H/R) induced apoptosis. Cyclosporine A (CsA), a mitochondrial permeability transition inhibitor, blocked translocation of Omi/HtrA2 from mitochondrial to cytoplasm, and protected transfected cells incompletely against H/R-induced caspase-3 activation. We report in vitro and in vivo overexpression of mitochondrial Omi/HtrA2 induces cardiac apoptosis and dysfunction. Thus, strategies to directly inhibit Omi/HtrA2 or its cytosolic translocation from mitochondria may protect against heart injury.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Increased cardiac apoptosis is a hallmark of the elderly, which in turn increases the risk for developing cardiac disease. The overexpression of Omi/HtrA2 mRNA and protein contributes to apoptosis in the aged heart. Heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) is a transcription factor that binds to the promoter of Omi/HtrA2 in the aging myocardium. However, whether HSF1 participates in cardiomyocyte apoptosis via transcriptional regulation of Omi/HtrA2 remains unclear. The present study was designed to investigate whether HSF1 plays a role in Omi/HtrA2 transcriptional regulation and myocardial apoptosis. METHODS AND RESULTS:Assessment of the hearts of mice of different ages was performed, which indicated a decrease in cardiac function reserve and an increase in mitochondrial apoptosis. Omi/HtrA2 overexpression in the elderly was negatively correlated with left ventricular function after exercise overload and positively correlated with myocardial Caspase-9 apoptosis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) of aging hearts and plasmid transfection/RNA interference of H9C2 cells revealed that enhancement of HSF1 expression promotes Omi/HtrA2 expression by inducing the promoter activity of Omi/HtrA2 while also increasing mitochondrial apoptosis by upregulating Omi/HtrA2 expression. CONCLUSIONS:HSF1 acts as a transcriptional factor that induces Omi/HtrA2 expression and Caspase-9 apoptosis in aged cardiomyocytes, while also decreasing cardiac function reserve.