A redox-sensitive luciferase assay for determining the localization and topology of endoplasmic reticulum proteins.
ABSTRACT: Correct localization and transmembrane topology are crucial for the proteins residing and functioning in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We have developed a rapid and convenient assay, based on the redox-sensitive luciferase from Gaussia princeps (Gluc) and green fluorescence protein (GFP), to determine the localization or topology of ER proteins. Using the tandem Gluc-GFP reporter fused to different positions of a target protein, we successfully characterized the topologies of two ER transmembrane proteins Herp and HRD1 that are involved in the ER quality control system. This assay method may also be applicable to the proteins in secretory pathway, plasma membrane, and other compartments of cells.
Project description:Accumulation of aberrant proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) triggers the unfolded protein response pathway that helps the cell to survive under these stress conditions. Herp is a mammalian ubiquitin domain protein, which is strongly induced by the unfolded protein response. It is involved in ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD) and interacts directly with the ubiquitin ligase Hrd1, which is found in high molecular mass complexes of the ER membrane. Here we present the first evidence that Herp regulates Hrd1-mediated ubiquitylation in a ubiquitin-like (UBL) domain-dependent manner. We found that upon exposure of cells to ER stress, elevation of Herp steady state levels is accompanied by an enhanced association of Herp with pre-existing Hrd1. Hrd1-associated Herp is rapidly degraded and substituted by de novo synthesized Herp, suggesting a continuous turnover of the protein at Hrd1 complexes. Further analysis revealed the presence of multiple Hrd1 copies in a single complex enabling binding of a variable number of Herp molecules. Efficient ubiquitylation of the Hrd1-specific ERAD substrate ?1-antitrypsin null Hong Kong (NHK) required the presence of the Herp UBL domain, which was also necessary for NHK degradation. In summary, we propose that binding of Herp to Hrd1-containing ERAD complexes positively regulates the ubiquitylation activity of these complexes, thus permitting survival of the cell during ER stress.
Project description:A functional unfolded protein response (UPR) is essential for endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) of misfolded secretory proteins, reflecting the fact that some level of UPR activation must exist under normal physiological conditions. A coordinator of the UPR and ERAD processes has long been sought. We previously showed that the PKR-like, ER-localized eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2? kinase branch of the UPR is required for the recruitment of misfolded proteins and the ubiquitin ligase HRD1 to the ER-derived quality control compartment (ERQC), a staging ground for ERAD. Here we show that homocysteine-induced ER protein (Herp), a protein highly upregulated by this UPR branch, is responsible for this compartmentalization. Herp localizes to the ERQC, and our results suggest that it recruits HRD1, which targets to ERAD the substrate presented by the OS-9 lectin at the ERQC. Predicted overall structural similarity of Herp to the ubiquitin-proteasome shuttle hHR23, but including a transmembrane hairpin, suggests that Herp may function as a hub for membrane association of ERAD machinery components, a key organizer of the ERAD complex.
Project description:The mammalian ubiquitin ligase Hrd1 is the central component of a complex facilitating degradation of misfolded proteins during the ubiquitin-proteasome-dependent process of ER-associated degradation (ERAD). Hrd1 associates with cofactors to execute ERAD, but their roles and how they assemble with Hrd1 are not well understood. Here, we identify crucial cofactor interaction domains within Hrd1 and report a previously unrecognised evolutionarily conserved segment within the intrinsically disordered cytoplasmic domain of Hrd1 (termed the HAF-H domain), which engages complementary segments in the cofactors FAM8A1 and Herp (also known as HERPUD1). This domain is required by Hrd1 to interact with both FAM8A1 and Herp, as well as to assemble higher-order Hrd1 complexes. FAM8A1 enhances binding of Herp to Hrd1, an interaction that is required for ERAD. Our findings support a model of Hrd1 complex formation, where the Hrd1 cytoplasmic domain and FAM8A1 have a central role in the assembly and activity of this ERAD machinery.
Project description:Luciferases are widely used to monitor biological processes. Here we describe the naturally secreted Gaussia princeps luciferase (Gluc) as a highly sensitive reporter for quantitative assessment of cells in vivo by measuring its concentration in blood. The Gluc blood assay complements in vivo bioluminescence imaging, which has the ability to localize the signal and provides a multifaceted assessment of cell viability, proliferation and location in experimental disease and therapy models.
Project description:Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated protein degradation (ERAD) is a quality control system that induces the degradation of ER terminally misfolded proteins. The ERAD system consists of complexes of multiple ER membrane-associated and luminal proteins that function cooperatively. We aimed to reveal the role of Derlin-3 in the ERAD system using the liver, pancreas, and kidney obtained from different mouse genotypes. We performed coimmunoprecipitation and sucrose density gradient centrifugation to unravel the dynamic nature of ERAD complexes. We observed that Derlin-3 is exclusively expressed in the pancreas, and its deficiency leads to the destabilization of Herp and accumulation of ERAD substrates. Under normal conditions, Complex-1a predominantly contains Herp, Derlin-2, HRD1, and SEL1L, and under ER stress, Complex-1b contains Herp, Derlin-3 (instead of Derlin-2), HRD1, and SEL1L. Complex-2 is upregulated under ER stress and contains Derlin-1, Derlin-2, p97, and VIMP. Derlin-3 deficiency suppresses the transition of Derlin-2 from Complex-1a to Complex-2 under ER stress. In the pancreas, Derlin-3 deficiency blocks Derlin-2 transition. In conclusion, the composition of ERAD complexes is tissue-specific and changes in response to ER stress in a Derlin-3-dependent manner. Derlin-3 may play a key role in changing ERAD complex compositions to overcome ER stress.
Project description:Antibody fragments (scFvs) fused to luciferase reporter proteins have been used as highly sensitive optical imaging probes. Gaussia princeps luciferase (GLuc) is an attractive choice for a reporter protein because it is small and bright and does not require ATP to stimulate bioluminescence-producing reactions. Both GLuc and scFv proteins contain multiple disulfide bonds, and consequently the production of active and properly folded GLuc-scFv fusions is challenging. We therefore produced both proteins individually in active form, followed by covalent coupling to produce the intended conjugate. We used an Escherichia coli-based cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) platform to produce GLuc and scFv proteins containing non-natural amino acids (nnAAs) for subsequent conjugation by azide-alkyne click chemistry. GLuc mutants with exposed alkyne reactive groups were produced by global replacement of methionine residues in CFPS. Antibody fragment scFvs contained a single exposed azide group using a scheme for site-specific incorporation of tyrosine analogs. Incorporation of tyrosine analogs at specific sites in proteins was performed using an engineered orthogonal tRNA-tRNA synthetase pair from an archaebacterium. The unique azide and alkyne side chains in GLuc and the antibody fragment scFv facilitated conjugation by click chemistry. GLuc-scFv conjugates were shown to differentiate between cells expressing a surface target of the scFv and cells that did not carry this marker.
Project description:Gaussia princeps luciferase (Gluc) is widely used as a reporter in eukaryotes, but data about its applicability in bacteria are very limited. Here we show that a codon-optimized Gluc gene can be efficiently expressed in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. To test different Gluc variants as transcriptional reporters, we used the siiA promoter of Salmonella pathogenicity island 4 (SPI-4) driving expression of either an episomal or a chromosomally integrated Gluc gene. Most reliable results were obtained from lysates of single-copy Gluc reporter strains. Given the small size, high activity, and cofactor independence of Gluc, it might be especially suited to monitor secretion of bacterial proteins. We demonstrate its usefulness by luminescence detection of fusion proteins of Gluc and C-terminal portions of the SPI-4-encoded, type I-secreted adhesin SiiE in supernatants. The SiiE C-terminal moiety including immunoglobulin (Ig) domain 53 is essential and sufficient for mediating type I-dependent secretion of Gluc. In eukaryotes, protein-protein interaction studies based on split-Gluc protein complementation assays (PCA) could be established. We adapted these methods for use in Salmonella, demonstrating the interaction between the SPI-1-encoded effector SipA and its cognate secretion chaperone InvB. In conclusion, the versatile Gluc can be used to address a variety of biological questions, thus representing a valuable addition to the toolbox of modern molecular biology and microbiology.
Project description:Listeria innocua DNA binding protein from starved cells (LiDps) belongs to the ferritin family and provides a promising self-assembling spherical 12-mer protein scaffold for the generation of functional nanomaterials. We report the creation of a Gaussia princeps luciferase (Gluc)-LiDps fusion protein, with chemical conjugation of Zinc (II)-protoporphyrin IX (ZnPP) to lysine residues on the fusion protein (giving Gluc-LiDps-ZnPP). The Gluc-LiDps-ZnPP conjugate is shown to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) via Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET) between the Gluc (470-490?nm) and ZnPP. In vitro, Gluc-LiDps-ZnPP is efficiently taken up by tumorigenic cells (SKBR3 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells). In the presence of coelenterazine, this construct inhibits the proliferation of SKBR3 due to elevated ROS levels. Following exposure to Gluc-LiDps-ZnPP, migration of surviving SKBR3 cells is significantly suppressed. These results demonstrate the potential of the Gluc-LiDps-ZnPP conjugate as a platform for future development of an anticancer photodynamic therapy agent.
Project description:TorsinA is an AAA(+) protein located predominantly in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and nuclear envelope responsible for early onset torsion dystonia (DYT1). Most cases of this dominantly inherited movement disorder are caused by deletion of a glutamic acid in the carboxyl terminal region of torsinA. We used a sensitive reporter, Gaussia luciferase (Gluc) to evaluate the role of torsinA in processing proteins through the ER. In primary fibroblasts from controls and DYT1 patients most Gluc activity (95%) was released into the media and processed through the secretory pathway, as confirmed by inhibition with brefeldinA and nocodazole. Fusion of Gluc to a fluorescent protein revealed coalignment and fractionation with ER proteins and association of Gluc with torsinA. Notably, fibroblasts from DYT1 patients were found to secrete markedly less Gluc activity as compared with control fibroblasts. This decrease in processing of Gluc in DYT1 cells appear to arise, at least in part, from a loss of torsinA activity, because mouse embryonic fibroblasts lacking torsinA also had reduced secretion as compared with control cells. These studies demonstrate the exquisite sensitivity of this reporter system for quantitation of processing through the secretory pathway and support a role for torsinA as an ER chaperone protein.
Project description:Misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are dislocated to the cytosol to be degraded by the proteasomes. Various plant and bacterial toxins and certain viruses hijack this dislocation pathway to exert their toxicity or to infect cells. In this study, we report a dislocation-dependent reconstituted GFP (drGFP) assay that allows, for the first time, imaging proteins dislocated from the ER lumen to the cytosol in living cells. Our results indicate that both luminal and membrane-spanning ER proteins can be fully dislocated from the ER to the cytosol. By combining the drGFP assay with RNAi or chemical inhibitors of proteins in the Hrd1 ubiquitin ligase complex, we demonstrate that the Sel1L, Hrd1, p97/VCP, and importin ? proteins are required for the dislocation of misfolded luminal ?-1 antitrypsin. The strategy described in this work is broadly applicable to the study of other types of transmembrane transport of proteins and likely also of viruses and toxins in living cells.