Treatment of Human Fibroblasts Carrying NPC1 Missense Mutations with MG132 Leads to an Improvement of Intracellular Cholesterol Trafficking.
ABSTRACT: Niemann Pick type C (NPC) disease is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by the lysosomal/late endosomal (LE) accumulation of unesterified cholesterol and other lipids due to a defect in the intracellular lipid trafficking. About 95% of patients present mutations in the NPC1 gene. Among the 290 mutations reported in the NPC1 gene, about 70% are missense. However, little information is available regarding the impact of missense mutations on NPC1 protein stability and function. In this study, we in vitro characterized the pathogenic effect of 7 NPC1 missense mutations. In all cases, the basal levels of mutant NPC1 expression were reduced with respect to wild type. Treatment of fibroblasts carrying NPC1 missense mutations in homo or hemizygosity, with the proteasome inhibitor MG132 or glycerol 10%, a chemical chaperone known to stabilize misfolded proteins, resulted in a significant increase of NPC1 protein levels in all cell lines, indicating that these mutants are subjected to proteasomal degradation due to protein misfolding The increment of NPC1 mutant protein induced by the proteasome inhibitor was associated with a localization of NPC1 protein within lysosomal/LE compartment. In cell lines carrying mutations p.N1156S, p.L1191F, p.V1165M, and p.I1061T, the increment of NPC1 mutant protein resulted in an improvement of the intracellular trafficking of cholesterol and GM1. These findings showed that it is possible to correct the NPC cellular phenotype by increasing the amount of endogenous NPC1 mutated protein, suggesting that at least some NPC1 mutations might be potentially rescued by small molecules-based chaperone therapy.
Project description:Niemann-Pick disease, type C (NPC) is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disease caused by mutations in either NPC1 or NPC2, which encodes an intracellular cholesterol-binding protein in lysosome. Deficiency of either NPC1 or NPC2 protein results in malfunction of intracellular cholesterol trafficking and lysosomal accumulation of unesterified cholesterols. A human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) line was generated from dermal fibroblasts of a male patient that has a homozygous p.I1061T missense mutation in NPC1 using a non-integrating Sendai virus technique. This NPC1 iPSC line offers a useful resource for disease modeling and drug development.
Project description:The Niemann Pick type C (NPC) proteins, NPC1 and NPC2, are involved in the lysosomal storage disease, NPC disease. The formation of a NPC1?NPC2 protein?protein complex is believed to be necessary for the transfer of cholesterol and lipids out of the late endosomal (LE)/lysosomal (Lys) compartments. Mutations in either NPC1 or NPC2 can lead to an accumulation of cholesterol and lipids in the LE/Lys, the primary phenotype of the NPC disease. We investigated the NPC1(NTD)?NPC2 protein?protein complex computationally using two putative binding interfaces. A combination of molecular modeling and molecular dynamics simulations reveals atomic details that are responsible for interface stability. Cholesterol binding energies associated with each of the binding pockets for the two models are calculated. Analyses of the cholesterol binding in the two models support bidirectional ligand transfer when a particular interface is established. Based on the results, we propose that, depending on the location of the cholesterol ligand, a dynamical interface between the NPC2 and NPC1(NTD) proteins exists. Structural features of a particular interface can lower the energy barrier and stabilize the passage of the cholesterol substrate from NPC2 to NPC1(NTD).
Project description:Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease is an inherited, progressive neurodegenerative disorder principally caused by mutations in the NPC1 gene. NPC disease is characterized by the accumulation of unesterified cholesterol in the late endosomes (LE) and lysosomes (Ly) (LE/Ly). Vorinostat, a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi), restores cholesterol homeostasis in fibroblasts derived from NPC patients; however, the exact mechanism by which Vorinostat restores cholesterol level is not known yet. In this study, we performed comparative proteomic profiling of the response of NPC1I1061T fibroblasts to Vorinostat. After stringent statistical criteria to filter identified proteins, we observed 202 proteins that are differentially expressed in Vorinostat-treated fibroblasts. These proteins are members of diverse cellular pathways including the endomembrane dependent protein folding-stability-degradation-trafficking axis, energy metabolism, and lipid metabolism. Our study shows that treatment of NPC1I1061T fibroblasts with Vorinostat not only enhances pathways promoting the folding, stabilization and trafficking of NPC1 (I1061T) mutant to the LE/Ly, but alters the expression of lysosomal proteins, specifically the lysosomal acid lipase (LIPA) involved in the LIPA->NPC2->NPC1 based flow of cholesterol from the LE/Ly lumen to the LE/Ly membrane. We posit that the Vorinostat may modulate numerous pathways that operate in an integrated fashion through epigenetic and post-translational modifications reflecting acetylation/deacetylation balance to help manage the defective NPC1 fold, the function of the LE/Ly system and/or additional cholesterol metabolism/distribution pathways, that could globally contribute to improved mitigation of NPC1 disease in the clinic based on as yet uncharacterized principles of cellular metabolism dictating cholesterol homeostasis.
Project description:Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by over-accumulation of low-density lipoprotein-derived cholesterol and glycosphingolipids in late endosomes/lysosomes (LE/L) throughout the body. Human mutations in either NPC1 or NPC2 genes have been directly associated with impaired cholesterol efflux from LE/L. Independent from its role in cholesterol homeostasis and its NPC2 partner, NPC1 was unexpectedly identified as a critical player controlling intracellular entry of filoviruses such as Ebola. In this study, a yeast three-hybrid system revealed that the NPC1 cytoplasmic tail directly interacts with the clathrin adaptor protein AP-1 via its acidic/di-leucine motif. Consequently, a nonfunctional AP-1A cytosolic complex resulted in a typical NPC-like phenotype mainly due to a direct impairment of NPC1 trafficking to LE/L and a partial secretion of NPC2. Furthermore, the mislocalization of NPC1 was not due to cholesterol accumulation in LE/L, as it was not rescued upon treatment with M?-cyclodextrin, which almost completely eliminated intracellular free cholesterol. Our cumulative data demonstrate that the cytosolic clathrin adaptor AP-1A is essential for the lysosomal targeting and function of NPC1 and NPC2.
Project description:Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in NPC1 or NPC2 genes. In 2009, the molecular characterization of 44 NPC Italian patients has been published. Here, we present an update of the genetic findings in 105 Italian NPC patients belonging to 83 unrelated families (77 NPC1 and 6 NPC2). NPC1 and NPC2 genes were studied following an algorithm recently published. Eighty-four different NPC1 and five NPC2 alleles were identified. Only two NPC1 alleles remained non detected. Sixty-two percent of NPC1 alleles were due to missense variants. The most frequent NPC1 mutation was the p.F284Lfs*26 (5.8% of the alleles). All NPC2 mutations were found in the homozygous state, and all but one was severe. Among newly diagnosed patients, 18 novel NPC1 mutations were identified. The pathogenic nature of 7/9 missense alleles and 3/4 intronic variants was confirmed by filipin staining and NPC1 protein analysis or mRNA expression in patient's fibroblasts. Taken together, our previous published data and new results provide an overall picture of the molecular characteristics of NPC patients diagnosed so far in Italy.
Project description:Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease is a rare lysosomal storage disease caused primarily by mutations in NPC1. NPC1 encodes the lysosomal cholesterol transport protein NPC1. The most common NPC1 mutation is a missense mutation (NPC1I1061T) that causes misfolding and rapid degradation of mutant protein in the endoplasmic reticulum. Cholesterol accumulates in enlarged lysosomes as a result of decreased levels of lysosomal NPC1I1061T protein in patient cells. There is currently no cure or FDA-approved treatment for patients. We sought to identify novel compounds that decrease lysosomal cholesterol storage in NPC1I1061T/I1061T patient fibroblasts using a high-content screen with the cholesterol dye, filipin and the lysosomal marker, LAMP1. A total of 3532 compounds were screened, including 2013 FDA-approved drugs, 327 kinase inhibitors and 760 serum metabolites. Twenty-three hits were identified that decreased both filipin and LAMP1 signals. The majority of hits (16/21) were histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, a previously described class of modifiers of NPC cholesterol storage. Of the remaining hits, the antimicrobial compound, alexidine dihydrochloride had the most potent lysosomal cholesterol-reducing activity. Subsequent analyses showed that alexidine specifically increased levels of NPC1 transcript and mature protein in both control and NPC patient cells. Although unsuitable for systemic therapy, alexidine represents a unique tool compound for further NPC studies and as a potent inducer of NPC1. Together, these findings confirm the utility of high-content image-based compound screens of NPC1 patient cells and support extending the approach into larger compound collections.
Project description:We recently identified elevated annexin A6 (AnxA6) protein levels in Niemann-Pick-type C1 (NPC1) mutant cells. In these cells, AnxA6 depletion rescued the cholesterol accumulation associated with NPC1 deficiency. Here, we demonstrate that elevated AnxA6 protein levels in NPC1 mutants or upon pharmacological NPC1 inhibition, using U18666A, were not due to upregulated AnxA6 mRNA expression, but caused by defects in AnxA6 protein degradation. Two KFERQ-motifs are believed to target AnxA6 to lysosomes for chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), and we hypothesized that the cholesterol accumulation in endolysosomes (LE/Lys) triggered by the NPC1 inhibition could interfere with the CMA pathway. Therefore, AnxA6 protein amounts and cholesterol levels in the LE/Lys (LE-Chol) compartment were analyzed in NPC1 mutant cells ectopically expressing lysosome-associated membrane protein 2A (Lamp2A), which is well known to induce the CMA pathway. Strikingly, AnxA6 protein amounts were strongly decreased and coincided with significantly reduced LE-Chol levels in NPC1 mutant cells upon Lamp2A overexpression. Therefore, these findings suggest Lamp2A-mediated restoration of CMA in NPC1 mutant cells to lower LE-Chol levels with concomitant lysosomal AnxA6 degradation. Collectively, we propose CMA to permit a feedback loop between AnxA6 and cholesterol levels in LE/Lys, encompassing a novel mechanism for regulating cholesterol homeostasis in NPC1 disease.
Project description:Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease is a fatal hereditary neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a massive accumulation of cholesterol in lysosomes and late endosomes due to a defect in intracellular cholesterol trafficking. Dysfunction in intracellular cholesterol trafficking is responsible for about 50 rare inherited lysosomal storage disorders including NPC. The lysosomal proteins NPC1 and NPC2 play a crucial role in trafficking of cholesterol from late endosomes and lysosomes to other cellular compartments. However, the detailed mechanisms of cholesterol trafficking at the late endosomes/lysosomes (LE/LY) are poorly understood. Studies showed that 2-hydroxypropyl-?-cyclodextrin (HP?CD) alleviates the cholesterol accumulation defect in animal model and has been approved for a phase 2b/3 clinical trial for NPC. HP?CD is known to bind cholesterol; however, the mechanisms how HP?CD mediates the exit of cholesterol from the LE/LY compartments are still unknown. Further, another cyclodextrin (CD) derivative, 2-hydroxypropyl-?-cyclodextrin (HP?CD), was shown to reduce intracellular cholesterol accumulation in NPC patient cells and NPC mice model. Herein, we identified a number of candidate proteins differentially expressed in NPC patient-derived cells compared to cells derived from a healthy donor using a proteomic approach. Interestingly, both HP?CD and HP?CD treatments modulated the expression of most of these NPC-specific proteins. Data showed that treatment with both CDs induces the expression of the lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP-1) in NPC patient-derived cells. Remarkably, LAMP-1 overexpression in HeLa cells rescued U18666A-induced cholesterol accumulation suggesting a role of LAMP-1 in cholesterol trafficking. We propose that HP?CD and HP?CD facilitate cholesterol export from the LE/LY compartments via the LAMP-1 protein, which may play a crucial role in cholesterol trafficking at the LE/LY compartments when there is no functional NPC1 protein. Together, this study uncovers new cellular mechanisms for cholesterol trafficking, which will contribute to development of novel therapeutic approaches for lysosomal storage diseases.
Project description:Cholesterol is an important precursor for numerous biologically active molecules, and it plays a major role in membrane structure and function. Cholesterol can be endogenously synthesized or exogenously taken up via the endocytic vesicle system and subsequently delivered to post-endo/lysosomal sites including the plasma membrane and the endoplasmic reticulum. Niemann-Pick C (NPC) disease results in the accumulation of exogenously-derived cholesterol, as well as other lipids, in late endosomes and lysosomes (LE/LY). Identification of the two genes that underlie NPC disease, NPC1 and NPC2, has focused attention on the mechanisms by which lipids, in particular cholesterol, are transported out of the LE/LY compartment. This review discusses the role of the NPC2 protein in cholesterol transport, and the potential for concerted action of NPC1 and NPC2 in regulating normal intracellular cholesterol homeostasis.
Project description:Niemann-Pick type C disease is a lysosomal storage disorder most often caused by loss-of-function mutations in the NPC1 gene. The encoded multipass transmembrane protein is required for cholesterol efflux from late endosomes and lysosomes. Numerous missense mutations in the NPC1 gene cause disease, including the prevalent I1061T mutation that leads to protein misfolding and degradation. Here, we sought to modulate the cellular proteostasis machinery to achieve functional recovery in primary patient fibroblasts. We demonstrate that targeting endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium levels using ryanodine receptor (RyR) antagonists increased steady-state levels of the NPC1 I1061T protein. These compounds also promoted trafficking of mutant NPC1 to late endosomes and lysosomes and rescued the aberrant storage of cholesterol and sphingolipids that is characteristic of disease. Similar rescue was obtained using three distinct RyR antagonists in cells with missense alleles, but not with null alleles, or by over-expressing calnexin, a calcium-dependent ER chaperone. Our work highlights the utility of proteostasis regulators to remodel the protein-folding environment in the ER to recover function in the setting of disease-causing missense alleles.