Taspase 1: A protease with many biological surprises.
ABSTRACT: Taspase 1 (TASP1) cleaves the mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) and transcription factor (TF) IIA families of nuclear proteins to orchestrate various biological processes. TASP1 is not a classical oncogene, but assists in cell proliferation and permits oncogenic initiation through cleavage of MLL and TFIIA. TASP1 is thus better classified as a "non-oncogene addiction" protease, and targeting TASP1 offers a novel and attractive anticancer therapeutic strategy.
Project description:Taspase1, a highly conserved threonine protease, cleaves nuclear transcriptional regulators mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL, MLL1), MLL2, TFIIA, and ALF to orchestrate a wide variety of biological processes. In vitro studies thus far demonstrated that Taspase1 plays important roles in the proliferation of various cancer cell lines, including HER2-positive breast cancer cells. To investigate the role of Taspase1 in breast tumorigenesis in vivo, we deleted Taspase1 from mouse mammary glands by generating MMTV-neu;MMTV-cre;Tasp1(F/-) mice. We demonstrate that initiation of MMTV-neu- but not MMTV-wnt-driven breast cancer is blocked in the absence of Taspase1. Importantly, Taspase1 loss alone neither impacts normal development nor pregnancy physiology of the mammary gland. In mammary glands Taspase1 deficiency abrogates MMTV-neu-induced cyclins E and A expression, thereby preventing tumorigenesis. The mechanisms were explored in HER2-positive breast cancer cell line BT474 and HER2-transformed MCF10A cells and validated using knockdown-resistant Taspase1. As Taspase1 was shown to cleave MLL which forms complexes with E2F transcription factors to regulate Cyclins E, A, and B expression in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), we investigated whether the cleavage of MLL by Taspase1 constitutes an essential in vivo axis for HER2/neu-induced mammary tumorigenesis. To this end, we generated MMTV-neu;MLL(nc/nc) transgenic mice that carry homozygous non-cleavable MLL alleles. Remarkably, these mice are also protected from HER2/neu-driven breast tumorigenesis. Hence, MLL is the primary Taspase1 substrate whose cleavage is required for MMTV-neu-induced tumor formation. As Taspase1 plays critical roles in breast cancer pathology, it may serve as a therapeutic target for HER2-positive human breast cancer.
Project description:Head morphogenesis requires complex signal relays to enable precisely coordinated proliferation, migration, and patterning. Here, we demonstrate that, during mouse head formation, taspase1-mediated (TASP1-mediated) cleavage of the general transcription factor TFIIA ensures proper coordination of rapid cell proliferation and morphogenesis by maintaining limited transcription of the negative cell cycle regulators p16Ink4a and p19Arf from the Cdkn2a locus. In mice, loss of TASP1 function led to catastrophic craniofacial malformations that were associated with inadequate cell proliferation. Compound deficiency of Cdkn2a, especially p16Ink4a deficiency, markedly reduced the craniofacial anomalies of TASP1-deficent mice. Furthermore, evaluation of mice expressing noncleavable TASP1 targets revealed that TFIIA is the principal TASP1 substrate that orchestrates craniofacial morphogenesis. ChIP analyses determined that noncleaved TFIIA accumulates at the p16Ink4a and p19Arf promoters to drive transcription of these negative regulators. In summary, our study elucidates a regulatory circuit comprising proteolysis, transcription, and proliferation that is pivotal for construction of the mammalian head.
Project description:During embryogenesis, development of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) occurs in the fetal liver and involves coordinate programs of transcription. Taspase1, a highly conserved threonine protease, directly cleaves and regulates the TFIIA families of transcription factors. We discovered that loss of Taspase1 (Tasp1-/-) or non-cleavage of TFIIAa-b (TFIIAa-b nc/nc) leads to a severe fetal liver developmental retardation that is associated with impaired HSC self-renewal and loss of HSC quiescence. We used microarray to elucidate the mechanism(s) by which TFIIA regulates fetal liver hematopoiesis, and expression of targets of HoxA9 was found to be altered by gene set enrichment analyses. Embryonic day 14.5 fetal liver HSCs (defined as Lineage-Sca-1+c-Kit+CD150+cells) of wild-type (n = 4) and TFIIAa-b nc/nc (n = 3) were analyzed.
Project description:We have recently demonstrated that Taspase1-mediated cleavage of the AF4-MLL oncoprotein results in the formation of a stable multiprotein complex which forms the key event for the onset of acute proB leukemia in mice. Therefore, Taspase1 represents a conditional oncoprotein in the context of t(4;11) leukemia. In this report, we used site-directed mutagenesis to unravel the molecular events by which Taspase1 becomes sequentially activated. Monomeric pro-enzymes form dimers which are autocatalytically processed into the enzymatically active form of Taspase1 (????). The active enzyme cleaves only very few target proteins, e.g., MLL, MLL4 and TFIIA at their corresponding consensus cleavage sites (CSTasp1) as well as AF4-MLL in the case of leukemogenic translocation. This knowledge was translated into the design of a dominant-negative mutant of Taspase1 (dnTASP1). As expected, simultaneous expression of the leukemogenic AF4-MLL and dnTASP1 causes the disappearance of the leukemogenic oncoprotein, because the uncleaved AF4-MLL protein (328 kDa) is subject to proteasomal degradation, while the cleaved AF4-MLL forms a stable oncogenic multi-protein complex with a very long half-life. Moreover, coexpression of dnTASP1 with a BFP-CSTasp1-GFP FRET biosensor effectively inhibits cleavage. The impact of our findings on future drug development and potential treatment options for t(4;11) leukemia will be discussed.
Project description:The evolution of tissue-specific general transcription factors (GTFs), such as testis-specific TBP-related factor 2 (TRF2), enables the spatiotemporal expression of highly specialized genetic programs. Taspase1 is a protease that cleaves nuclear factors MLL1, MLL2, TFIIA?-?, and ALF?-? (TFIIA?). Here, we demonstrate that Taspase1-mediated processing of TFIIA?-? drives mammalian spermatogenesis. Both Taspase1(-/-) and noncleavable TFIIA?-?nc/nc testes release immature germ cells with impaired transcription of Transition proteins (Tnp) and Protamines (Prm), exhibiting chromatin compaction defects and recapitulating those observed with TRF2(-/-) testes. Although the unprocessed TFIIA still complexes with TRF2, this complex is impaired in targeting and thus activating Tnp1 and Prm1 promoters. The current study presents a paradigm in which a protease (Taspase1) cleaves a ubiquitously expressed GTF (TFIIA) to enable tissue-specific (testis) transcription, meeting the demand for sophisticated regulation of distinct subsets of genes in higher organisms.
Project description:Taspase1 is a threonine protease responsible for cleaving MLL (Mixed-Lineage Leukemia) to achieve proper HOX gene expression. Subsequent studies identified additional Taspase1 substrates including Transcription Factor IIA (TFIIA) and Drosophila HCF. Taspase1 is essential for cell proliferation and is overexpressed in many cancer cell lines. Currently no small molecule inhibitors of this enzyme have been described. Here, we report the synthesis and evaluation of vinyl sulfone, vinyl ketone, epoxy ketone, and boronic acid inhibitors designed based on the preferred Taspase1 cleavage site (Ac-Ile-Ser-Gln-Leu-Asp). Specifically, we evaluated compounds in which the reactive warhead is positioned in place of the P1 aspartic acid side chain as well as at the C-terminus of the peptide. Interestingly, both classes of inhibitors were effective and vinyl ketones and vinyl sulfones showed the greatest potency for the target protease. These results suggest that Taspase1 has unique substrate recognition properties that could potentially be exploited in the design of potent and selective inhibitors of this enzyme.
Project description:In higher eukaryotes, the large subunit of the general transcription factor TFIIA is encoded by the single TFIIAalphabeta gene and posttranslationally cleaved into alpha and beta subunits. The molecular mechanisms and biological significance of this proteolytic process have remained obscure. Here, we show that TFIIA is a substrate of taspase 1 as reported for the trithorax group mixed-lineage leukemia protein. We demonstrate that recombinant taspase 1 cleaves TFIIA in vitro. Transfected taspase 1 enhances cleavage of TFIIA, and RNA interference knockdown of endogenous taspase 1 diminishes cleavage of TFIIA in vivo. In taspase 1-/- MEF cells, only uncleaved TFIIA is detected. In Xenopus laevis embryos, knockdown of TFIIA results in phenotype and expression defects. Both defects can be rescued by expression of an uncleavable TFIIA mutant. Our study shows that uncleaved TFIIA is transcriptionally active and that cleavage of TFIIA does not serve to render TFIIA competent for transcription. We propose that cleavage fine tunes the transcription regulation of a subset of genes during differentiation and development.
Project description:Many Xanthomonas bacteria use transcription activator-like effector (TALE) proteins to activate plant disease susceptibility (S) genes, and this activation contributes to disease. We recently reported that rice basal transcription factor IIA gamma subunit, OsTFIIA?5, is hijacked by TALE-carrying Xanthomonas oryzae infecting the plants. However, whether TFIIA?s are also involved in TALE-carrying Xanthomonas-caused diseases in other plants is unknown. Here, molecular and genetic approaches were used to investigate the role of TFIIA?s in other plants. We found that TFIIA?s are also used by TALE-carrying Xanthomonas to cause disease in other plants. The TALEs of Xanthomonas citri pv. citri (Xcc) causing canker in citrus and Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria (Xcv) causing bacterial spot in pepper and tomato interacted with corresponding host TFIIA?s as in rice. Transcriptionally suppressing TFIIA? led to resistance to Xcc in citrus and Xcv in pepper and tomato. The 39th residue of OsTFIIA?5 and citrus CsTFIIA? is vital for TALE-dependent induction of plant S genes. As mutated OsTFIIA?5V 39E, CsTFIIA?V 39E, pepper CaTFIIA?V 39E, and tomato SlTFIIA?V 39E also did not interact with TALEs to prevent disease. These results suggest that TALE-carrying bacteria share a common mechanism for infecting plants. Using TFIIA?V 39E-type mutation could be a general strategy for improving resistance to TALE-carrying pathogens in crops.
Project description:Transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) are sequence-specific DNA binding proteins found in a range of plant pathogenic bacteria, where they play important roles in host-pathogen interactions. However, it has been unclear how TALEs, after they have been injected into the host cells, activate transcription of host genes required for infection success. Here, we show that the basal transcription factor IIA gamma subunit TFIIA?5 from rice is a key component for infection by the TALE-carrying bacterium Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, the causal agent for bacterial blight. Direct interaction of several TALEs with TFIIA?5 is required for activation of disease susceptibility genes. Conversely, reduced expression of the TFIIA?5 host gene limits the induction of susceptibility genes and thus decreases bacterial blight symptoms. Suppression or mutation of TFIIA?5 can also reduce bacterial streak, another devastating disease of rice caused by TALE-carrying X. oryzae pv. oryzicola. These results have important implications for formulating a widely applicable strategy with which to improve resistance of plants to TALE-carrying pathogens.
Project description:The highly conserved protease TASP1 not only takes part in critical site-specific proteolysis, but also plays an important role in numerous liquid and solid malignancies. However, the TASP1 expression and its biological regulation function in malignant gallbladder carcinoma (GBC) remain fully unknown. Here we observed that TASP1 levels were substantially overexpressed in GBC samples compared with non-tumor tissues. High TASP1 level was closely associated with T stage and metastasis, and was also correlated with poor prognosis in GBC patients. The depletion of TASP1 inhibited GBC cell proliferation and metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we first revealed that FAM49B had biological function and was positively regulated by TASP1 activating PI3K/AKT signaling pathway in GBC. At the same time, FAM49B also promoted GBC cell proliferation and migration. Inhibition of PI3K/AKT with LY294002 or FAM49B expression abrogated Myc-TASP1/Lv-shTASP1-induced GBC cell proliferation and motility. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate that TASP1 is critical for GBC progression via TASP1-PI3K/AKT-FAM49B axis and it may be a novel prognostic factor. The therapeutic targeting TASP1 may be a potential treatment approach for GBC patients.