Novel role of calmodulin in regulating protein transport to mitochondria in a unicellular eukaryote.
ABSTRACT: Lower eukaryotes like the kinetoplastid parasites are good models to study evolution of cellular pathways during steps to eukaryogenesis. In this study, a kinetoplastid parasite, Leishmania donovani, was used to understand the process of mitochondrial translocation of a nucleus-encoded mitochondrial protein, the mitochondrial tryparedoxin peroxidase (mTXNPx). We report the presence of an N-terminal cleavable mitochondrial targeting signal (MTS) validated through deletion and grafting experiments. We also establish a novel finding of calmodulin (CaM) binding to the MTS of mTXNPx through specific residues. Mutation of CaM binding residues, keeping intact the residues involved in mitochondrial targeting and biochemical inhibition of CaM activity both in vitro and in vivo, prevented mitochondrial translocation. Through reconstituted import assays, we demonstrate obstruction of mitochondrial translocation either in the absence of CaM or Ca(2+) or in the presence of CaM inhibitors. We also demonstrate the prevention of temperature-driven mTXNPx aggregation in the presence of CaM. These findings establish the idea that CaM is required for the transport of the protein to mitochondria through maintenance of translocation competence posttranslation.
Project description:Human cytomegalovirus UL37 antiapoptotic proteins, including the predominant UL37 exon 1 protein (pUL37x1), traffic sequentially from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) through the mitochondrion-associated membrane compartment to the mitochondrial outer membrane (OMM), where they inactivate the proapoptotic activity of Bax. We found that widespread mitochondrial distribution occurs within 1 h of pUL37x1 synthesis. The pUL37x1 mitochondrial targeting signal (MTS) spans its first antiapoptotic domain (residues 5 to 34) and consists of a weak hydrophobicity leader (MTSalpha) and proximal downstream residues (MTSbeta). This MTS arrangement of a hydrophobic leader and downstream proximal basic residues is similar to that of the translocase of the OMM 20, Tom20. We examined whether the UL37 MTS functions analogously to Tom20 leader. Surprisingly, lowered hydropathy of the UL37x1 MTSalpha, predicted to block ER translocation, still allowed dual targeting of mutant to the ER and OMM. However, increased hydropathy of the MTS leader caused exclusion of the UL37x1 high-hydropathy mutant from mitochondrial import. Conversely, UL37 MTSalpha replacement with the Tom20 leader did not retarget pUL37x1 exclusively to the OMM; rather, the UL37x1-Tom20 chimera retained dual trafficking. Moreover, replacement of the UL37 MTSbeta basic residues did not reduce OMM import. Ablation of the MTSalpha posttranslational modification site or of the downstream MTS proline-rich domain (PRD) increased mitochondrial import. Our results suggest that pUL37x1 sequential ER to mitochondrial trafficking requires a weakly hydrophobic leader and is regulated by MTSbeta sequences. Thus, HCMV pUL37x1 uses a mitochondrial importation pathway that is genetically distinguishable from that of known OMM proteins.
Project description:The kinase PINK1 and the E3 ubiquitin (Ub) ligase Parkin participate in mitochondrial quality control. The phosphorylation of Ser65 in Parkin's ubiquitin-like (UBl) domain by PINK1 stimulates Parkin activation and translocation to damaged mitochondria, which induces mitophagy generating polyUb chain. However, Parkin Ser65 phosphorylation is insufficient for Parkin mitochondrial translocation. Here we report that Ser65 in polyUb chain is also phosphorylated by PINK1, and that phosphorylated polyUb chain on mitochondria tethers Parkin at mitochondria. The expression of Tom70MTS-4xUb SE, which mimics phospho-Ser65 polyUb chains on the mitochondria, activated Parkin E3 activity and its mitochondrial translocation. An E3-dead form of Parkin translocated to mitochondria with reduced membrane potential in the presence of Tom70(MTS)-4xUb SE, whereas non-phospho-polyUb mutant Tom70(MTS)-4xUb SA abrogated Parkin translocation. Parkin binds to the phospho-polyUb chain through its RING1-In-Between-RING (IBR) domains, but its RING0-linker is also required for mitochondrial translocation. Moreover, the expression of Tom70(MTS)-4xUb SE improved mitochondrial degeneration in PINK1-deficient, but not Parkin-deficient, Drosophila. Our study suggests that the phosphorylation of mitochondrial polyUb by PINK1 is implicated in both Parkin activation and mitochondrial translocation, predicting a chain reaction mechanism of mitochondrial phospho-polyUb production by which rapid translocation of Parkin is achieved.
Project description:Dysfunction of PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1), a Ser/Thr kinase with an N-terminal mitochondrial-targeting sequence (MTS), causes familial recessive parkinsonism. Reduction of the mitochondrial membrane potential limits MTS-mediated matrix import and promotes PINK1 accumulation on the outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) of depolarized mitochondria. PINK1 then undergoes autophosphorylation and phosphorylates ubiquitin and Parkin, a cytosolic ubiquitin ligase, for clearance of damaged mitochondria. The molecular basis for PINK1 localization on the OMM of depolarized mitochondria rather than release to the cytosol is poorly understood. Here, we disentangle the PINK1 localization mechanism using deletion mutants and a newly established constitutively active PINK1 mutant. Disruption of the MTS through N-terminal insertion of aspartic acid residues results in OMM localization of PINK1 in energized mitochondria. Unexpectedly, the MTS and putative transmembrane domain (TMD) are dispensable for OMM localization, whereas mitochondrial translocase Tom40 (also known as TOMM40) and an alternative mitochondrial localization signal that resides between the MTS and TMD are required. PINK1 utilizes a mitochondrial localization mechanism that is distinct from that of conventional MTS proteins and that presumably functions in conjunction with the Tom complex in OMM localization when the conventional N-terminal MTS is inhibited.
Project description:Recognition of mitochondrial targeting signals (MTS) by receptor translocases of outer and inner membranes of mitochondria is one of the prerequisites for import of nucleus-encoded proteins into this organelle. The MTS for a majority of trypanosomatid mitochondrial proteins have not been well defined. Here we analyzed the targeting signal for trypanosome alternative oxidase (TAO), which functions as the sole terminal oxidase in the infective form of Trypanosoma brucei. Deleting the first 10 of 24 amino acids predicted to be the classical N-terminal MTS of TAO did not affect its import into mitochondria in vitro. Furthermore, ectopically expressed TAO was targeted to mitochondria in both forms of the parasite even after deletion of first 40 amino acid residues. However, deletion of more than 20 amino acid residues from the N terminus reduced the efficiency of import. These data suggest that besides an N-terminal MTS, TAO possesses an internal mitochondrial targeting signal. In addition, both the N-terminal MTS and the mature TAO protein were able to target a cytosolic protein, dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), to a T. brucei mitochondrion. Further analysis identified a cryptic internal MTS of TAO, located within amino acid residues 115 to 146, which was fully capable of targeting DHFR to mitochondria. The internal signal was more efficient than the N-terminal MTS for import of this heterologous protein. Together, these results show that TAO possesses a cleavable N-terminal MTS as well as an internal MTS and that these signals act together for efficient import of TAO into mitochondria.
Project description:VopE, a mitochondrial targeting T3SS effector protein of <i>Vibrio cholerae</i>, perturbs innate immunity by modulating mitochondrial dynamics. In the current study, ectopic expression of VopE was found to be toxic in a yeast model system and toxicity was further aggravated in the presence of various stressors. Interestingly, a VopE variant lacking predicted mitochondrial targeting sequence (MTS) also exhibited partial lethality in the yeast system. With the aid of yeast genetic tools and different stressors, we have demonstrated that VopE and its derivative VopE<sup>?MTS</sup> modulate cell wall integrity (CWI-MAPK) signaling pathway and have identified several critical residues contributing to the lethality of VopE. Furthermore, co-expression of two effectors VopE<sup>?MTS</sup> and VopX, interfering with the CWI-MAPK cellular pathway can partially suppress the VopX mediated yeast growth inhibition. Taken together, these results suggest that VopE alters signaling through the CWI-MAPK pathway, and demonstrates the usefulness of yeast model system to gain additional insights on the functionality of VopE.
Project description:The mitochondrial matrix GTPase NOA1 is a nuclear encoded protein, essential for mitochondrial protein synthesis, oxidative phosphorylation and ATP production. Here, we demonstrate that newly translated NOA1 protein is imported into the nucleus, where it localizes to the nucleolus and interacts with UBF1 before nuclear export and import into mitochondria. Mutation of the nuclear localization signal (NLS) prevented both nuclear and mitochondrial import while deletion of the N-terminal mitochondrial targeting sequence (MTS) or the C-terminal RNA binding domain of NOA1 impaired mitochondrial import. Absence of the MTS resulted in accumulation of NOA1 in the nucleus and increased caspase-dependent apoptosis. We also found that export of NOA1 from the nucleus requires a leptomycin-B sensitive, Crm1-dependent nuclear export signal (NES). Finally, we show that NOA1 is a new substrate of the mitochondrial matrix protease complex ClpXP. Our results uncovered an unexpected, mandatory detour of NOA1 through the nucleolus before uptake into mitochondria. We propose that nucleo-mitochondrial translocation of proteins is more widespread than previously anticipated providing additional means to control protein bioavailability as well as cellular communication between both compartments.
Project description:Coordinate regulation of PARP-1 and -2 and PARG is required for cellular responses to genotoxic stress. While PARP-1 and -2 are regulated by DNA breaks and covalent modifications, mechanisms of PARG regulation are poorly understood. We report here discovery of a PARG regulatory segment far removed linearly from residues involved in catalysis. Expression and analysis of human PARG segments identified a minimal catalytically active C-terminal PARG (hPARG59) containing a 16-residue N-terminal mitochondrial targeting sequence (MTS). Deletion analysis and site-directed mutagenesis revealed that the MTS, specifically hydrophobic residues L473 and L474, was required for PARG activity. This region of PARG was termed the "regulatory segment/MTS" (REG/MTS). The overall alpha-helical composition of hPARG59, determined by circular dichroism (CD), was unaffected by mutation of the REG/MTS leucine residues, suggesting that activity loss was not due to incorrect protein folding. REG/MTS was predicted to be in a loop conformation because the CD spectra of mutant Delta1-16 lacking the REG/MTS showed a higher alpha-helical content than hPARG59, indicating a secondary structure other than alpha-helix for this segment. Deletion of the REG/MTS from full-length hPARG111 also resulted in a complete loss of activity, indicating that all PARG isoforms are subject to regulation at this site. The presence of the REG/MTS raises the possibility that PARG activity is regulated by interactions of PARP-1 and -2 and other proteins at this site, raises interesting questions concerning mitochondrial PARG because MTS residues are often removed after transport, and offers a potentially novel site for drug targeting of PARG.
Project description:The neuronal nucleus plays a vital role in information processing, but whether it supports computational functions such as paired-pulse facilitation, comparable to synapses, is unclear. Ca(2+)-dependent movement of calmodulin (CaM) to the nucleus is highly responsive to Ca(2+) entry through L-type channels and promotes activation of the transcription factor CREB (cAMP-responsive element binding protein) through phosphorylation by CaM-sensitive kinases. We characterized key features of this CaM translocation and its possible role in facilitation of nuclear signaling. Nuclear CaM was elevated within 15 s of stimulus onset, preceding the first signs of CREB phosphorylation in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Depolarization-induced elevation of nuclear CaM also was observed in cerebellar granule cells, neocortical neurons, and dentate gyrus granule cells. Nuclear translocation of CaM was not blocked by disruption of actin filaments or microtubules, or by emptying endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) stores with thapsigargin. Translocation of fluorescently tagged CaM was prevented by fusing it with the Ca(2+)/CaM binding peptide M13, suggesting that nuclear CaM accumulation depends on association with endogenous Ca(2+)/CaM binding proteins. To determine whether increased nuclear [CaM] might influence subsequent nuclear signal processing, we compared responses to two consecutive depolarizing stimuli. After a weak "priming" stimulus that caused CaM translocation, CREB phosphorylation caused by a subsequent stimulus was significantly faster, more sensitive to Ca(2+) elevation, and less specifically dependent on Ca(2+) influx through L-type channels. CaM translocation not only supports rapid signaling to the nucleus, but also could provide a "memory" for facilitatory effects of repeated neural activity, seen in altered phosphorylated CREB dynamics and Ca(2+) channel dependence.
Project description:hCNT3 (human concentrative nucleoside transporter 3) is a nucleoside-sodium symporter that transports a broad range of naturally occurring purine and pyrimidine nucleosides as well as anticancer nucleoside drugs. To understand its uridine binding and translocation mechanisms, a cysteine-less version of hCNT3 was constructed and used for cysteine-accessibility and permeant-protection assays. Cysteine-less hCNT3, with 14 endogenous cysteine residues changed to serine, displayed wild-type properties in a yeast expression system, indicating that endogenous cysteine residues are not essential for hCNT3-mediated nucleoside transport. A series of cysteine-substitution mutants spanning predicted TMs (transmembrane domains) 11-13 was constructed and tested for accessibility to thiol-specific reagents. Mutants M496C, G498C, F563C, A594C, G598C and A606C had no detectable transport activity, indicating that a cysteine substitution at each of these positions was not tolerated. Two functional mutants in putative TM 11 (L480C and S487C) and four in putative TM 12 (N565C, T557C, G567C and I571C) were partially inhibited by MTS (methanethiosulphonate) reagent and high concentrations of uridine protected against inhibition, indicating that TMs 11 and 12 may form part of the nucleoside translocation pathway. The lack of accessibility of MTS reagents to TM 13 mutants suggests that TM 13 is not exposed to the nucleoside translocation pathway. Furthermore, G567C, N565C and I571C mutants were only sensitive to MTSEA (MTS-ethylammonium), a membranepermeant thiol reagent, indicating that these residues may be accessible from the cytoplasmic side of the membrane, providing evidence in support of the predicted orientation of TM 12 in the current putative topology model of hCNT3.
Project description:Inhibition of the Tryparedoxin peroxidase interaction has been becomes a new therapeutic strategy in leishmaniasis. Docking analysis was carried out to study the effects of quercetin and taxifolin on Tryparedoxin Peroxidase (TryP). Tryparedoxin peroxidase of Trypanosomatidae functions as antioxidants through their Peroxidase and peroxynitrite reductase activities. The 3D models of Tryparedoxin Peroxidase of Leishmania braziliensis (L. braziliensis TryP) was modeled using the template Tryparedoxin Peroxidase I from Leishmania Major (L. Major TryPI) (PDB ID: 3TUE). Further, we evaluated for TryP inhibitory activity of flavonoids such as quercetin and taxifolin using in silico docking studies. Docking results showed the binding energies of - 11.8601and -8.0851 for that quercetin and taxifolin respectively. Flavonoids contributed better L. braziliensis TryP inhibitory activity because of its structural parameters. Thus, from our in silico studies we identify that quercetin and taxifolin posses anti-leishmanial acitivities mediated through TryP inhibition mechanism.