The Tribbles 2 (TRB2) pseudokinase binds to ATP and autophosphorylates in a metal-independent manner.
ABSTRACT: The human Tribbles (TRB)-related pseudokinases are CAMK (calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase)-related family members that have evolved a series of highly unusual motifs in the 'pseudocatalytic' domain. In canonical kinases, conserved amino acids bind to divalent metal ions and align ATP prior to efficient phosphoryl-transfer to substrates. However, in pseudokinases, atypical residues give rise to diverse and often unstudied biochemical and structural features that are thought to be central to cellular functions. TRB proteins play a crucial role in multiple signalling networks and overexpression confers cancer phenotypes on human cells, marking TRB pseudokinases out as a novel class of drug target. In the present paper, we report that the human pseudokinase TRB2 retains the ability to both bind and hydrolyse ATP weakly in vitro. Kinase activity is metal-independent and involves a catalytic lysine residue, which is conserved in TRB proteins throughout evolution alongside several unique amino acids in the active site. A similar low level of autophosphorylation is also preserved in the closely related human TRB3. By employing chemical genetics, we establish that the nucleotide-binding site of an 'analogue-sensitive' (AS) TRB2 mutant can be targeted with specific bulky ligands of the pyrazolo-pyrimidine (PP) chemotype. Our analysis confirms that TRB2 retains low levels of ATP binding and/or catalysis that is targetable with small molecules. Given the significant clinical successes associated with targeting of cancer-associated kinases with small molecule inhibitors, it is likely that similar approaches will be useful for further evaluating the TRB pseudokinases, with the translation of this information likely to furnish new leads for drug discovery.
Project description:Pseudokinases are considered to be the inactive counterparts of conventional protein kinases and comprise approximately 10% of the human and mouse kinomes. Here, we report the crystal structure of the Legionella pneumophila effector protein, SidJ, in complex with the eukaryotic Ca2+-binding regulator, calmodulin (CaM). The structure reveals that SidJ contains a protein kinase-like fold domain, which retains a majority of the characteristic kinase catalytic motifs. However, SidJ fails to demonstrate kinase activity. Instead, mass spectrometry and in vitro biochemical analyses demonstrate that SidJ modifies another Legionella effector SdeA, an unconventional phosphoribosyl ubiquitin ligase, by adding glutamate molecules to a specific residue of SdeA in a CaM-dependent manner. Furthermore, we show that SidJ-mediated polyglutamylation suppresses the ADP-ribosylation activity. Our work further implies that some pseudokinases may possess ATP-dependent activities other than conventional phosphorylation.
Project description:Approximately 10% of human protein kinases are believed to be inactive and named pseudokinases because they lack residues required for catalysis. Here, we show that the highly conserved pseudokinase selenoprotein-O (SelO) transfers AMP from ATP to Ser, Thr, and Tyr residues on protein substrates (AMPylation), uncovering a previously unrecognized activity for a member of the protein kinase superfamily. The crystal structure of a SelO homolog reveals a protein kinase-like fold with ATP flipped in the active site, thus providing a structural basis for catalysis. SelO pseudokinases localize to the mitochondria and AMPylate proteins involved in redox homeostasis. Consequently, SelO activity is necessary for the proper cellular response to oxidative stress. Our results suggest that AMPylation may be a more widespread post-translational modification than previously appreciated and that pseudokinases should be analyzed for alternative transferase activities.
Project description:Insufficient insulin secretion and reduced pancreatic beta cell mass are hallmarks of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Here, we confirm that a previously identified polymorphism (rs2295490/Q84R) in exon 2 of the pseudokinase-encoding gene tribbles 3 (TRB3) is associated with an increased risk for T2DM in 2 populations of people of mixed European descent. Carriers of the 84R allele had substantially reduced plasma levels of C-peptide, the product of proinsulin processing to insulin, suggesting a role for TRB3 in beta cell function. Overexpression of TRB3 84R in mouse beta cells, human islet cells, and the murine beta cell line MIN6 revealed reduced insulin exocytosis, associated with a marked reduction in docked insulin granules visualized by electron microscopy. Conversely, knockdown of TRB3 in MIN6 cells restored insulin secretion and expression of exocytosis genes. Further analysis in MIN6 cells demonstrated that TRB3 interacted with the transcription factor ATF4 and that this complex acted as a competitive inhibitor of cAMP response element-binding (CREB) transcription factor in the regulation of key exocytosis genes. In addition, the 84R TRB3 variant exhibited greater protein stability than wild-type TRB3 and increased binding affinity to Akt. Mice overexpressing TRB3 84R in beta cells displayed decreased beta cell mass, associated with reduced proliferation and enhanced apoptosis rates. These data link a missense polymorphism in human TRB3 to impaired insulin exocytosis and thus increased risk for T2DM.
Project description:The Tribbles (TRIB) pseudokinases control multiple aspects of eukaryotic cell biology and evolved unique features distinguishing them from all other protein kinases. The atypical pseudokinase domain retains a regulated binding platform for substrates, which are ubiquitinated by context-specific E3 ligases. This plastic configuration has also been exploited as a scaffold to support the modulation of canonical MAPK and AKT modules. In this review, we discuss the evolution of TRIBs and their roles in vertebrate cell biology. TRIB2 is the most ancestral member of the family, whereas the emergence of TRIB3 homologs in mammals supports additional biological roles, many of which are currently being dissected. Given their pleiotropic role in diseases, the unusual TRIB pseudokinase conformation provides a highly attractive opportunity for drug design.
Project description:Her3 (also known as ErbB3) belongs to the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases and is well credentialed as an anti-cancer target but is thought to be 'undruggable' using ATP-competitive small molecules because it lacks appreciable kinase activity. Here we report what is to our knowledge the first selective Her3 ligand, TX1-85-1, that forms a covalent bond with Cys721 located in the ATP-binding site of Her3. We demonstrate that covalent modification of Her3 inhibits Her3 signaling but not proliferation in some Her3-dependent cancer cell lines. Subsequent derivatization with a hydrophobic adamantane moiety demonstrates that the resultant bivalent ligand (TX2-121-1) enhances inhibition of Her3-dependent signaling. Treatment of cells with TX2-121-1 results in partial degradation of Her3 and serendipitously interferes with productive heterodimerization between Her3 with either Her2 or c-Met. These results suggest that small molecules will be capable of perturbing the biological function of Her3 and ?60 other pseudokinases found in human cells.
Project description:Pseudokinases lack conserved motifs typically required for kinase activity. Nearly half of pseudokinases bind ATP, but only few retain phosphotransfer activity, leaving the functional role of nucleotide binding in most cases unknown. Janus kinases (JAKs) are nonreceptor tyrosine kinases with a tandem pseudokinase-kinase domain configuration, where the pseudokinase domain (JAK homology 2, JH2) has important regulatory functions and harbors mutations underlying hematological and immunological diseases. JH2 of JAK1, JAK2, and TYK2 all bind ATP, but the significance of this is unclear. We characterize the role of nucleotide binding in normal and pathogenic JAK signaling using comprehensive structure-based mutagenesis. Disruption of JH2 ATP binding in wild-type JAK2 has only minor effects, and in the presence of type I cytokine receptors, the mutations do not affect JAK2 activation. However, JH2 mutants devoid of ATP binding ameliorate the hyperactivation of JAK2 V617F. Disrupting ATP binding in JH2 also inhibits the hyperactivity of other pathogenic JAK2 mutants, as well as of JAK1 V658F, and prevents induction of erythrocytosis in a JAK2 V617F myeloproliferative neoplasm mouse model. Molecular dynamic simulations and thermal-shift analysis indicate that ATP binding stabilizes JH2, with a pronounced effect on the C helix region, which plays a critical role in pathogenic activation of JAK2. Taken together, our results suggest that ATP binding to JH2 serves a structural role in JAKs, which is required for aberrant activity of pathogenic JAK mutants. The inhibitory effect of abrogating JH2 ATP binding in pathogenic JAK mutants may warrant novel therapeutic approaches.
Project description:Pseudokinases lack essential residues for kinase activity, yet are emerging as important regulators of signal transduction networks. The pseudokinase STRAD activates the LKB1 tumour suppressor by forming a heterotrimeric complex with LKB1 and the scaffolding protein MO25. Here, we describe the structure of STRADalpha in complex with MO25alpha. The structure reveals an intricate web of interactions between STRADalpha and MO25alpha involving the alphaC-helix of STRADalpha, reminiscent of the mechanism by which CDK2 interacts with cyclin A. Surprisingly, STRADalpha binds ATP and displays a closed conformation and an ordered activation loop, typical of active protein kinases. Inactivity is accounted for by nonconservative substitution of almost all essential catalytic residues. We demonstrate that binding of ATP enhances the affinity of STRADalpha for MO25alpha, and conversely, binding of MO25alpha promotes interaction of STRADalpha with ATP. Mutagenesis studies reveal that association of STRADalpha with either ATP or MO25alpha is essential for LKB1 activation. We conclude that ATP and MO25alpha cooperate to maintain STRADalpha in an "active" closed conformation required for LKB1 activation. It has recently been demonstrated that a mutation in human STRADalpha that truncates a C-terminal region of the pseudokinase domain leads to the polyhydramnios, megalencephaly, symptomatic epilepsy (PMSE) syndrome. We demonstrate this mutation destabilizes STRADalpha and prevents association with LKB1. In summary, our findings describe one of the first structures of a genuinely inactive pseudokinase. The ability of STRADalpha to activate LKB1 is dependent on a closed "active" conformation, aided by ATP and MO25alpha binding. Thus, the function of STRADalpha is mediated through an active kinase conformation rather than kinase activity. It is possible that other pseudokinases exert their function through nucleotide binding and active conformations.
Project description:A major challenge associated with biochemical and cellular analysis of pseudokinases is a lack of target-validated small-molecule compounds with which to probe function. Tribbles 2 (TRIB2) is a cancer-associated pseudokinase with a diverse interactome, including the canonical AKT signaling module. There is substantial evidence that human TRIB2 promotes survival and drug resistance in solid tumors and blood cancers and therefore is of interest as a therapeutic target. The unusual TRIB2 pseudokinase domain contains a unique cysteine-rich C-helix and interacts with a conserved peptide motif in its own carboxyl-terminal tail, which also supports its interaction with E3 ubiquitin ligases. We found that TRIB2 is a target of previously described small-molecule protein kinase inhibitors, which were originally designed to inhibit the canonical kinase domains of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase family members. Using a thermal shift assay, we discovered TRIB2-binding compounds within the Published Kinase Inhibitor Set (PKIS) and used a drug repurposing approach to classify compounds that either stabilized or destabilized TRIB2 in vitro. TRIB2 destabilizing agents, including the covalent drug afatinib, led to rapid TRIB2 degradation in human AML cancer cells, eliciting tractable effects on signaling and survival. Our data reveal new drug leads for the development of TRIB2-degrading compounds, which will also be invaluable for unraveling the cellular mechanisms of TRIB2-based signaling. Our study highlights that small molecule-induced protein down-regulation through drug "off-targets" might be relevant for other inhibitors that serendipitously target pseudokinases.
Project description:Tribbles (TRB)3 is an intracellular pseudokinase that modulates the activity of several signal transduction cascades. TRB3 has been reported to inhibit the activity of Akt protein kinases. TRB3 gene expression is highly regulated in many cell types, and amino acid starvation, hypoxia, or endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress promotes TRB3 expression in noncardiac cells.The objective of this work was to examine TRB3 expression and function in cultured cardiac myocytes and in mouse heart.Agents that induced ER stress increased TRB3 expression in cultured cardiac myocytes while blocking insulin-stimulated Akt activation in these cells. Knockdown of TRB3 in cultured cardiac myocytes reversed the effects of ER stress on insulin signaling. Experimental myocardial infarction led to increased TRB3 expression in murine heart tissue in the infarct border zone suggesting that ER stress may play a role in pathological cardiac remodeling. Transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of TRB3 were generated and they exhibited normal contractile function but altered cardiac signal transduction and metabolism with reduced cardiac glucose oxidation rates. Transgenic TRB3 mice were also sensitized to infarct expansion and cardiac myocyte apoptosis in the infarct border zone after myocardial infarction.These results demonstrate that TRB3 induction is a significant aspect of the ER stress response in cardiac myocytes and that TRB3 antagonizes cardiac glucose metabolism and cardiac myocyte survival.
Project description:Pseudokinases are classified by the lack of one or several of the highly conserved motifs involved in nucleotide (nt) binding or catalytic activity of protein kinases (PKs). Pseudokinases represent ?10% of the human kinome and they are found in all evolutionary classes of kinases. It has become evident that pseudokinases, which were initially considered somewhat peculiar dead kinases, are important components in several signalling cascades. Furthermore, several pseudokinases have been linked to human diseases, particularly cancer, which is raising interest for therapeutic approaches towards these proteins. The ATP-binding pocket is a well-established drug target and elucidation of the mechanism and properties of nt binding in pseudokinases is of significant interest and importance. Recent studies have demonstrated that members of the pseudokinase family are very diverse in structure as well as in their ability and mechanism to bind nts or perform phosphoryl transfer reactions. This diversity also precludes prediction of pseudokinase function, or the importance of nt binding for said function, based on primary sequence alone. Currently available data indicate that ?40% of pseudokinases are able to bind nts, whereas only few are able to catalyse occasional phosphoryl transfer. Pseudokinases employ diverse mechanisms to bind nts, which usually occurs at low, but physiological, affinity. ATP binding serves often a structural role but in most cases the functional roles are not precisely known. In the present review, we discuss the various mechanisms that pseudokinases employ for nt binding and how this often low-affinity binding can be accurately analysed.