Dominant protein interactions that influence the pathogenesis of conformational diseases.
ABSTRACT: Misfolding of exportable proteins can trigger endocrinopathies. For example, misfolding of insulin can result in autosomal dominant mutant INS gene-induced diabetes of youth, and misfolding of thyroglobulin can result in autosomal recessive congenital hypothyroidism with deficient thyroglobulin. Both proinsulin and thyroglobulin normally form homodimers; the mutant versions of both proteins misfold in the ER, triggering ER stress, and, in both cases, heterozygosity creates potential for cross-dimerization between mutant and WT gene products. Here, we investigated these two ER-retained mutant secretory proteins and the selectivity of their interactions with their respective WT counterparts. In both cases and in animal models of these diseases, we found that conditions favoring an increased stoichiometry of mutant gene product dominantly inhibited export of the WT partner, while increased relative level of the WT gene product helped to rescue secretion of the mutant partner. Surprisingly, the bidirectional consequences of secretory blockade and rescue occur simultaneously in the same cells. Thus, in the context of heterozygosity, expression level and stability of WT subunits may be a critical factor influencing the effect of protein misfolding on clinical phenotype. These results offer new insight into dominant as well as recessive inheritance of conformational diseases and offer opportunities for the development of new therapies.
Project description:Penetration of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane by polyomavirus (PyV) is a decisive step in virus entry. We showed previously that the ER-resident factor ERp29 induces the local unfolding of PyV to initiate the ER membrane penetration process. ERp29 contains an N-terminal thioredoxin domain (NTD) that mediates its dimerization and a novel C-terminal all-helical domain (CTD) whose function is unclear. The NTD-mediated dimerization of ERp29 is critical for its unfolding activity; whether the CTD plays any role in PyV unfolding is unknown. We now show that three hydrophobic residues within the last helix of the ERp29 CTD that were individually mutated to either lysine or alanine abolished ERp29's ability to stimulate PyV unfolding and infection. This effect was not due to global misfolding of the mutant proteins, as they dimerize and do not form aggregates or display increased protease sensitivity. Moreover, the mutant proteins stimulated secretion of the secretory protein thyroglobulin with an efficiency similar to that of wild-type ERp29. Using a cross-linking coimmunoprecipitation assay, we found that the physical interaction of the ERp29 CTD mutants with PyV is inefficient. Our data thus demonstrate that the ERp29 CTD plays a crucial role in PyV unfolding and infection, likely by serving as part of a substrate-binding domain.
Project description:Relatively few clues have been uncovered to elucidate the cell biological role(s) of mammalian ATP2C1 encoding an inwardly directed secretory pathway Ca2+/Mn2+ pump that is ubiquitously expressed. Deficiency of ATP2C1 results in a human disease (Hailey-Hailey), which primarily affects keratinocytes. ATP2C1-encoded protein is detected in the Golgi complex in a calcium-dependent manner. A small interfering RNA causes knockdown of ATP2C1 expression, resulting in defects in both post-translational processing of wild-type thyroglobulin (a secretory glycoprotein) as well as endoplasmic reticulum-associated protein degradation of mutant thyroglobulin, whereas degradation of a nonglycosylated misfolded secretory protein substrate appears unaffected. Knockdown of ATP2C1 is not associated with elevated steady state levels of ER chaperone proteins, nor does it block cellular activation of either the PERK, ATF6, or Ire1/XBP1 portions of the ER stress response. However, deficiency of ATP2C1 renders cells hypersensitive to ER stress. These data point to the important contributions of the Golgi-localized ATP2C1 protein in homeostatic maintenance throughout the secretory pathway.
Project description:Mutations in rod opsin-the light-sensitive protein of rod cells-cause retinitis pigmentosa. Many rod opsin mutations lead to protein misfolding, and therefore it is important to understand the role of molecular chaperones in rod opsin biogenesis. We show that BiP (HSPA5) prevents the aggregation of rod opsin. Cleavage of BiP with the subtilase cytotoxin SubAB results in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retention and ubiquitylation of wild-type (WT) rod opsin (WT-green fluorescent protein [GFP]) at the ER. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching reveals that WT-GFP is usually mobile in the ER. By contrast, depletion of BiP activity by treatment with SubAB or coexpression of a BiP ATPase mutant, BiP(T37G), decreases WT-GFP mobility to below that of the misfolding P23H mutant of rod opsin (P23H-GFP), which is retained in the ER and can form cytoplasmic ubiquitylated inclusions. SubAB treatment of P23H-GFP-expressing cells decreases the mobility of the mutant protein further and leads to ubiquitylation throughout the ER. Of interest, BiP overexpression increases the mobility of P23H-GFP, suggesting that it can reduce mutant rod opsin aggregation. Therefore inhibition of BiP function results in aggregation of rod opsin in the ER, which suggests that BiP is important for maintaining the solubility of rod opsin in the ER.
Project description:Thyroid hormonogenesis requires secretion of thyroglobulin, a protein comprising Cys-rich regions I, II, and III (referred to collectively as region I-II-III) followed by a cholinesterase-like (ChEL) domain. Secretion of mature thyroglobulin requires extensive folding and glycosylation in the ER. Multiple reports have linked mutations in the ChEL domain to congenital hypothyroidism in humans and rodents; these mutations block thyroglobulin from exiting the ER and induce ER stress. We report that, in a cell-based system, mutations in the ChEL domain impaired folding of thyroglobulin region I-II-III. Truncated thyroglobulin devoid of the ChEL domain was incompetent for cellular export; however, a recombinant ChEL protein ("secretory ChEL") was secreted efficiently. Coexpression of secretory ChEL with truncated thyroglobulin increased intracellular folding, promoted oxidative maturation, and facilitated secretion of region I-II-III, indicating that the ChEL domain may function as an intramolecular chaperone. Additionally, we found that the I-II-III peptide was cosecreted and physically associated with secretory ChEL. A functional ChEL domain engineered to be retained intracellularly triggered oxidative maturation of I-II-III but coretained I-II-III, indicating that the ChEL domain may also function as a molecular escort. These insights into the role of the ChEL domain may represent potential therapeutic targets in the treatment of congenital hypothyroidism.
Project description:Osteoarthritis was induced in male wild-type and ColIITgcog (c/c) mice by destabilisation of the medial meniscus (DMM). c/c mice have increased ER stress in chondrocytes via the collagen II promoter driven expression of a misfolding protein, the cog form of thyroglobulin. RNA-sequencing of laser micro-dissected cartilage was performed at 2 weeks post-surgery (n=3/group).
Project description:The large secretory glycoprotein, thyroglobulin, is the primary translation product of thyroid follicular cells. This difficult-to-fold protein is readily susceptible to structural alterations that render the misfolded thyroglobulin unable to be exported from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) a known cause of congenital hypothyroidism, with severe, chronic thyrocyte ER stress. Nevertheless, patients with this disease commonly grow a goiter indicative of thyroid cell survival and adaptation. To model this, we have treated PCCl3 thyrocytes with continuous exposure to tunicamcyin (causing an ER stress that can be specifically attributed to thyroglobulin misfolding). In response, PCCl3 cells escape by downregulating expression of Mfsd2a (the tunicamycin transporter). By contrast, following CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletion of Mfsd2a, PCCl3 cells cannot escape the continuous, chronic effects of high-dose tunicamycin (as demonstrated by persistent accumulation of unglycosylated thyroglobulin); nevertheless the thyrocytes live and grow. A comprehensive proteomic analysis of these cells adapted to chronic ER protein misfolding reveals many hundreds of up-regulated proteins, supporting stimulation of ER chaperones, oxidoreductases, and stress responses as well as lipid biosynthesis pathways. Further, we noted: a) increased phospho-AMP-kinase-B (suggesting upregulated AMPK activity) and decreased phospho-S6 and protein translation (suggesting decreased mTOR activity), consistent with conserved cell survival/adaptation pathways; and b) a suggestion of less differentiated thyrocyte phenotype with decreased PAX8, FOXE1, and TPO protein, as well as a significant decrease of thyroglobulin mRNA levels.
Project description:Metaphyseal chondrodysplasia, Schmid type (MCDS) is characterized by mild short stature and growth plate hypertrophic zone expansion, and caused by collagen X mutations. We recently demonstrated the central importance of ER stress in the pathology of MCDS by recapitulating the disease phenotype by expressing misfolding forms of collagen X (Schmid) or thyroglobulin (Cog) in the hypertrophic zone. Here we characterize the Schmid and Cog ER stress signaling networks by transcriptional profiling of microdissected mutant and wildtype hypertrophic zones. Both models displayed similar unfolded protein responses (UPRs), involving activation of canonical ER stress sensors and upregulation of their downstream targets, including molecular chaperones, foldases, and ER-associated degradation machinery. Also upregulated were the emerging UPR regulators Wfs1 and Syvn1, recently identified UPR components including Armet and Creld2, and genes not previously implicated in ER stress such as Steap1 and Fgf21. Despite upregulation of the Chop/Cebpb pathway, apoptosis was not increased in mutant hypertrophic zones. Ultrastructural analysis of mutant growth plates revealed ER stress and disrupted chondrocyte maturation throughout mutant hypertrophic zones. This disruption was defined by profiling the expression of wildtype growth plate zone gene signatures in the mutant hypertrophic zones. Hypertrophic zone gene upregulation and proliferative zone gene downregulation were both inhibited in Schmid hypertrophic zones, resulting in the persistence of a proliferative chondrocyte-like expression profile in ER-stressed Schmid chondrocytes. Our findings provide a transcriptional map of two chondrocyte UPR gene networks in vivo, and define the consequences of UPR activation for the adaptation, differentiation, and survival of chondrocytes experiencing ER stress during hypertrophy. Thus they provide important insights into ER stress signaling and its impact on cartilage pathophysiology.
Project description:Newly synthesized thyroglobulin (Tg), the major secretory glycoprotein of the thyroid gland, folds and homodimerizes in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) before its export to the site of iodination, where it serves as the precursor for thyroid hormone synthesis. In families with defective Tg export, affected individuals suffer from a thyroidal ER storage disease characterized by a distended thyrocyte ER containing misfolded Tg, along with induced ER molecular chaperones. Inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, deficient Tg causes congenital hypothyroidism in newborns that, if untreated, results in goiter along with serious cognitive and growth defects. Recently, a similar phenotype has been observed in inbred cog/cog mice, although the precise molecular defect has remained undefined. Here, we have isolated and cloned a full-length 8.5-kb Tg cDNA from cog/cog mice and unaffected isogenic AKR/J mice. Comparison of the complete sequences reveals that cog/cog mice express a Leu-2263 --> Pro missense mutation in the acetylcholinesterase-homology domain of Tg. Heterologous expression studies in COS cells indicate that cog Tg exhibits a severe defect in exit from the ER. Site-directed mutagenesis of cog Tg to convert the single amino acid back to Leu-2263 restores normal Tg secretion. We conclude that the cog mutation in Tg is responsible for this ER storage disease that causes thyroid dyshormonogenesis.
Project description:Many rhodopsin mutations that cause retinitis pigmentosa produce misfolded rhodopsin proteins that are retained within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and cause photoreceptor cell death. Activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) and protein kinase RNA-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) control intracellular signaling pathways that maintain ER homeostasis. The aim of this study was to investigate how ATF6 and PERK signaling affected misfolded rhodopsin in cells, which could identify new molecular therapies to treat retinal diseases associated with ER protein misfolding.To examine the effect of ATF6 on rhodopsin, wild-type (WT) or mutant rhodopsins were expressed in cells expressing inducible human ATF6f, the transcriptional activator domain of ATF6. Induction of ATF6f synthesis rapidly activated downstream genes. To examine PERK's effect on rhodopsin, WT or mutant rhodopsins were expressed in cells expressing a genetically altered PERK protein, Fv2E-PERK. Addition of the dimerizing molecule (AP20187) rapidly activated Fv2E-PERK and downstream genes. By use of these strategies, it was examined how selective ATF6 or PERK signaling affected the fate of WT and mutant rhodopsins.ATF6 significantly reduced T17M, P23H, Y178C, C185R, D190G, K296E, and S334ter rhodopsin protein levels in the cells with minimal effects on monomeric WT rhodopsin protein levels. By contrast, the PERK pathway reduced both levels of WT, mutant rhodopsins, and many other proteins in the cell.This study indicates that selectively activating ATF6 or PERK prevents mutant rhodopsin from accumulating in cells. ATF6 signaling may be especially useful in treating retinal degenerative diseases arising from rhodopsin misfolding by preferentially clearing mutant rhodopsin and abnormal rhodopsin aggregates.
Project description:Stimulation of thyrocytes with thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) leads to a morphological change and a massive increase in thyroglobulin (Tg) production. Although Tg is a demanding client of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), its increase did not result in significant accumulation of unfolded protein in the ER. Instead, ER chaperones and folding enzymes reached maximum synthesis rates immediately after TSH stimulation, before significant upregulation of Tg synthesis. The resulting increase in folding capacity before client protein production prevented cellular unfolded-protein stress, confirmed by the silence of the most conserved branch of the unfolded protein response. Thyrocytes set an example of physiological adaptation of cells to a future potentially stress-causing situation, which suggests a general strategy for both non-secretory and specialized secretory cells.