Negative regulation of RhoA translation and signaling by hnRNP-Q1 affects cellular morphogenesis.
ABSTRACT: The small GTPase RhoA has critical functions in regulating actin dynamics affecting cellular morphogenesis through the RhoA/Rho kinase (ROCK) signaling cascade. RhoA signaling controls stress fiber and focal adhesion formation and cell motility in fibroblasts. RhoA signaling is involved in several aspects of neuronal development, including neuronal migration, growth cone collapse, dendrite branching, and spine growth. Altered RhoA signaling is implicated in cancer and neurodegenerative disease and is linked to inherited intellectual disabilities. Although much is known about factors regulating RhoA activity and/or degradation, little is known about molecular mechanisms regulating RhoA expression and the subsequent effects on RhoA signaling. We hypothesized that posttranscriptional control of RhoA expression may provide a mechanism to regulate RhoA signaling and downstream effects on cell morphology. Here we uncover a cellular function for the mRNA-binding protein heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) Q1 in the control of dendritic development and focal adhesion formation that involves the negative regulation of RhoA synthesis and signaling. We show that hnRNP-Q1 represses RhoA translation and knockdown of hnRNP-Q1 induced phenotypes associated with elevated RhoA protein levels and RhoA/ROCK signaling. These morphological changes were rescued by ROCK inhibition and/or RhoA knockdown. These findings further suggest that negative modulation of RhoA mRNA translation can provide control over downstream signaling and cellular morphogenesis.
Project description:Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) Q1, an RNA-binding protein, has been implicated in many post-transcriptional processes, including RNA metabolism and mRNA splicing and translation. However, the role of hnRNP Q1 in tumorigenesis remains unclear. We previously performed RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP)-seq analysis to identify hnRNP Q1-interacting mRNAs and found that hnRNP Q1 targets a group of genes that are involved in mitotic regulation, including Aurora-A. Here, we demonstrate that altering the hnRNP Q1 level influences the expression of the Aurora-A protein, but not its mRNA. Stimulation with epidermal growth factor (EGF) enhances both binding between hnRNP Q1 and Aurora-A mRNA as well as the efficacy of the hnRNP Q1-induced translation of Aurora-A mRNA. The EGF/hnRNP Q1-induced translation of Aurora-A mRNA is mediated by the mTOR and ERK pathways. In addition, we show that hnRNP Q1 up-regulates the translation of a group of spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) genes. hnRNP Q1 overexpression is positively correlated with the levels of Aurora-A and the SAC genes in human colorectal cancer tissues. In summary, our data suggest that hnRNP Q1 plays an important role in regulating the expression of a group of cell cycle-related genes. Therefore, it may contribute to tumorigenesis by up-regulating the translation of these genes in colorectal cancer.
Project description:Posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression by mRNA-binding proteins is critical for neuronal development and function. hnRNP-Q1 is an mRNA-binding protein that regulates mRNA processing events, including translational repression. hnRNP-Q1 is highly expressed in brain tissue, suggesting a function in regulating genes critical for neuronal development. In this study, we have identified Growth-associated protein 43 (Gap-43) mRNA as a novel target of hnRNP-Q1 and have demonstrated that hnRNP-Q1 represses Gap-43 mRNA translation and consequently GAP-43 function. GAP-43 is a neuronal protein that regulates actin dynamics in growth cones and facilitates axonal growth. Previous studies have identified factors that regulate Gap-43 mRNA stability and localization, but it remains unclear whether Gap-43 mRNA translation is also regulated. Our results reveal that hnRNP-Q1 knockdown increased nascent axon length, total neurite length, and neurite number in mouse embryonic cortical neurons and enhanced Neuro2a cell process extension; these phenotypes were rescued by GAP-43 knockdown. Additionally, we have identified a G-quadruplex structure in the 5' untranslated region of Gap-43 mRNA that directly interacts with hnRNP-Q1 as a means to inhibit Gap-43 mRNA translation. Therefore hnRNP-Q1-mediated repression of Gap-43 mRNA translation provides an additional mechanism for regulating GAP-43 expression and function and may be critical for neuronal development.
Project description:The RNA-binding protein hnRNP Q has been implicated in neuronal mRNA metabolism. Here, we show that knockdown of hnRNP Q increased neurite complexity in cultured rat cortical neurons and induced filopodium formation in mouse neuroblastoma cells. Reexpression of hnRNP Q1 in hnRNP Q-depleted cells abrogated the morphological changes of neurites, indicating a specific role for hnRNP Q1 in neuronal morphogenesis. A search for mRNA targets of hnRNP Q1 identified functionally coherent sets of mRNAs encoding factors involved in cellular signaling or cytoskeletal regulation and determined its preferred binding sequences. We demonstrated that hnRNP Q1 bound to a set of identified mRNAs encoding the components of the actin nucleation-promoting Cdc42/N-WASP/Arp2/3 complex and was in part colocalized with Cdc42 mRNA in granules. Using subcellular fractionation and immunofluorescence, we showed that knockdown of hnRNP Q reduced the level of some of those mRNAs in neurites and redistributed their encoded proteins from neurite tips to soma to different extents. Overexpression of dominant negative mutants of Cdc42 or N-WASP compromised hnRNP Q depletion-induced neurite complexity. Together, our results suggest that hnRNP Q1 may participate in localization of mRNAs encoding Cdc42 signaling factors in neurites, and thereby may regulate actin dynamics and control neuronal morphogenesis.
Project description:In order to study the potential targeting RNA of hnRNP Q1 in colorectal cancer, RNA immunoprecipitation were used for collecting hnRNP Q1-associated RNA. Overall design: GFP-tag hnRNP Q1 were overexpressed in SW480 cells, then the cytoplasmic lysate was harvested for RNA immunoprecipitation by anti-GFP antibody. Total RNA was extracted from immunoprecipitate and submitted for RNA-seq.
Project description:By using RNA-immunoprecipitation assay following next-generation sequencing, a group of cell cycle-related genes targeted by hnRNP Q1 were identified, including Aurora-A kinase. Overexpressed hnRNP Q1 can upregulate Aurora-A protein, but not alter the mRNA level, through enhancing the translational efficiency of Aurora-A mRNA, either in a cap-dependent or -independent manner, by interacting with the 5'-UTR of Aurora-A mRNA through its RNA-binding domains (RBDs) 2 and 3. By ribosomal profiling assay further confirmed the translational regulation of Aurora-A mRNA by hnRNP Q1. Overexpression of hnRNP Q1 promotes cell proliferation and tumor growth. HnRNP Q1/?RBD23-truncated mutant, which loses the binding ability and translational regulation of Aurora-A mRNA, has no effect on promoting tumor growth. The expression level of hnRNP Q1 is positively correlated with Aurora-A in colorectal cancer. Taken together, our data indicate that hnRNP Q1 is a novel trans-acting factor that binds to Aurora-A mRNA 5'-UTRs and regulates its translation, which increases cell proliferation and contributes to tumorigenesis in colorectal cancer.
Project description:Ras homolog gene family member A (RhoA) through Rho kinase kinase (ROCK), one of its downstream effectors, regulates a wide range of cell physiological functions, including vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation, by degrading cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, p27. Our previous studies found that heparin inhibition of pulmonary artery SMC (PASMC) proliferation and pulmonary hypertension was dependent on p27 up-regulation. To investigate whether ROCK, a regulator of p27, is involved in regulation of heparin inhibition of PASMC proliferation, we analyzed ROCK expression in the lungs from mice and from human PASMCs exposed to hypoxia, and investigated the effect of ROCK expression in vitro by RhoA cDNA transfection. We also investigated the effect of guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF)-H1, an upstream regulator of RhoA, on heparin inhibition of PASMC proliferation by GEF-H1 cDNA transfection. We found that: (1) hypoxia increased ROCK expression in mice and PASMCs; (2) overexpression of RhoA diminished the inhibitory effect of heparin on PASMC proliferation and down-regulated p27 expression; and (3) overexpression of GEF-H1 negated heparin inhibition of PASMC proliferation, which was accompanied by increased GTP-RhoA and decreased p27. This study demonstrates that the RhoA/ROCK pathway plays an important role in heparin inhibition on PASMC proliferation, and reveals that heparin inhibits PASMC proliferation through GEF-H1/RhoA/ROCK/p27 signaling pathway, by down-regulating GEF-H1, RhoA, and ROCK, and then up-regulating p27.
Project description:SHROOM2 is a key mediator of RhoA-ROCK pathway that regulates cell motility and actin cytoskeleton organization. However, the functions of SHROOM2 beyond RhoA/ROCK signaling remain poorly understood. Here, we report that SHROOM2 not only participates in RhoA-ROCK-induced stress fiber formation and focal adhesion, but also had an unanticipated role in suppressing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and tumor metastasis. Depletion of SHROOM2 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cells enhances mesenchymal characteristics and reduces epithelial markers, concomitant with increased motility, enabling the development of invasion and tumor metastasis, which are largely ROCK-independent, as ROCK inhibitor Y-27632 did not cause EMT phenotype; furthermore, combination of ROCK inhibition and SHROOM2 depletion resulted in the most robust increases in cell migration and invasion, indicating that SHROOM2 and ROCK work synergistically rather than epistatic. Analysis of clinical samples suggested that SHROOM2 is downregulated in NPC and the expression of SHROOM2 in metastatic NPC was even lower than in the primary tumors. Our findings uncover a non-canonical role of SHROOM2 as a potent antagonist for EMT and NPC metastasis.
Project description:RhoA-mediated regulation of myosin-II activity in the actin cortex controls the ability of cells to contract and bleb during a variety of cellular processes, including cell migration and division. Cell contraction and blebbing also frequently occur as part of the cytopathic effect seen during many different viral infections. We now demonstrate that the vaccinia virus protein F11, which localizes to the plasma membrane, is required for ROCK-mediated cell contraction from 2 hr post infection. Curiously, F11-induced cell contraction is dependent on RhoC and not RhoA signaling to ROCK. Moreover, RhoC-driven cell contraction depends on the upstream inhibition of RhoD signaling by F11. This inhibition prevents RhoD from regulating its downstream effector Pak6, alleviating the suppression of RhoC by the kinase. Our observations with vaccinia have now demonstrated that RhoD recruits Pak6 to the plasma membrane to antagonize RhoC signaling during cell contraction and blebbing.
Project description:Rho GTPases share a common inhibitor, Rho guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitor (RhoGDI), which regulates their expression levels, membrane localization, and activation state. The selective dissociation of individual Rho GTPases from RhoGDI ensures appropriate responses to cellular signals, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Diacylglycerol kinase ? (DGK?), which phosphorylates diacylglycerol to yield phosphatidic acid, selectively dissociates Rac1 by stimulating PAK1-mediated phosphorylation of RhoGDI on Ser-101/174. Similarly, phosphorylation of RhoGDI on Ser-34 by protein kinase C? (PKC?) selectively releases RhoA. Here we show DGK? is required for RhoA activation and Ser-34 phosphorylation, which were decreased in DGK?-deficient fibroblasts and rescued by wild-type DGK? or a catalytically inactive mutant. DGK? bound directly to the C-terminus of RhoA and the regulatory arm of RhoGDI and was required for efficient interaction of PKC? and RhoA. DGK?-null fibroblasts had condensed F-actin bundles and altered focal adhesion distribution, indicative of aberrant RhoA signaling. Two targets of the RhoA effector ROCK showed reduced phosphorylation in DGK?-null cells. Collectively our findings suggest DGK? functions as a scaffold to assemble a signaling complex that functions as a RhoA-selective, GDI dissociation factor. As a regulator of Rac1 and RhoA activity, DGK? is a critical factor linking changes in lipid signaling to actin reorganization.
Project description:Metastatic breast cancer is incurable. In order to improve patient survival, it is critical to develop a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate metastasis and the underlying process of cell motility. Here, we focus on the role of the adaptor molecule Breast Cancer Antiestrogen Resistance 3 (BCAR3) in cellular processes that contribute to cell motility, including protrusion, adhesion remodeling, and contractility. Previous work from our group showed that elevated BCAR3 protein levels enhance cell migration, while depletion of BCAR3 reduces the migratory and invasive capacities of breast cancer cells. In the current study, we show that BCAR3 is necessary for membrane protrusiveness, Rac1 activity, and adhesion disassembly in invasive breast cancer cells. We further demonstrate that, in the absence of BCAR3, RhoA-dependent signaling pathways appear to predominate, as evidenced by an increase in RhoA activity, ROCK-mediated phosphorylation of myosin light chain II, and large ROCK/mDia1-dependent focal adhesions. Taken together, these data establish that BCAR3 functions as a positive regulator of cytoskeletal remodeling and adhesion turnover in invasive breast cancer cells through its ability to influence the balance between Rac1 and RhoA signaling. Considering that BCAR3 protein levels are elevated in advanced breast cancer cell lines and enhance breast cancer cell motility, we propose that BCAR3 functions in the transition to advanced disease by triggering intracellular signaling events that are essential to the metastatic process.