VHLdb: A database of von Hippel-Lindau protein interactors and mutations.
ABSTRACT: Mutations in von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein (pVHL) predispose to develop tumors affecting specific target organs, such as the retina, epididymis, adrenal glands, pancreas and kidneys. Currently, more than 400 pVHL interacting proteins are either described in the literature or predicted in public databases. This data is scattered among several different sources, slowing down the comprehension of pVHL's biological role. Here we present VHLdb, a novel database collecting available interaction and mutation data on pVHL to provide novel integrated annotations. In VHLdb, pVHL interactors are organized according to two annotation levels, manual and automatic. Mutation data are easily accessible and a novel visualization tool has been implemented. A user-friendly feedback function to improve database content through community-driven curation is also provided. VHLdb presently contains 478 interactors, of which 117 have been manually curated, and 1,074 mutations. This makes it the largest available database for pVHL-related information. VHLdb is available from URL: http://vhldb.bio.unipd.it/.
Project description:Familiar cancers represent a privileged point of view for studying the complex cellular events inducing tumor transformation. Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, a familiar predisposition to develop cancer is a clear example. Here, we present our efforts to decipher the role of von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein (pVHL) in cancer insurgence. We collected high quality information about both pVHL mutations and interactors to investigate the association between patient phenotypes, mutated protein surface and impaired interactions. Our data suggest that different phenotypes correlate with localized perturbations of the pVHL structure, with specific cell functions associated to different protein surfaces. We propose five different pVHL interfaces to be selectively involved in modulating proteins regulating gene expression, protein homeostasis as well as to address extracellular matrix (ECM) and ciliogenesis associated functions. These data were used to drive molecular docking of pVHL with its interactors and guide Petri net simulations of the most promising alterations. We predict that disruption of pVHL association with certain interactors can trigger tumor transformation, inducing metabolism imbalance and ECM remodeling. Collectively taken, our findings provide novel insights into VHL-associated tumorigenesis. This highly integrated in silico approach may help elucidate novel treatment paradigms for VHL disease.
Project description:Based on evidence that the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor protein is associated with polysomes and interacts with translation regulatory factors, we set out to investigate the potential influence of pVHL on protein translation. To this end, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) cells that either lacked pVHL or expressed pVHL through stable transfection were used to prepare RNA from cytosolic (unbound) and polysome-bound fractions. Hybridization of cDNA arrays using RNA from each fraction revealed a subset of transcripts whose abundance in polysomes decreased when pVHL function was restored. The tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) mRNA was identified as one of the transcripts that preferentially associated with polysomes in pVHL-deficient cells. Additional evidence that the TNF-alpha mRNA was a target of translational repression by pVHL was obtained from reporter gene assays, which further revealed that pVHL's inhibitory influence on protein synthesis occurred through the TNF-alpha 3'-untranslated region. Our findings uncover a novel function for the pVHL tumor suppressor protein as regulator of protein translation.
Project description:Loss of von Hippel-Lindau protein pVHL function promotes VHL diseases, including sporadic and inherited clear cell Renal Cell Carcinoma (ccRCC). Mechanisms controlling pVHL function and regulation, including folding and stability, remain elusive. Here, we have identified the conserved cochaperone prefoldin complex in a screen for pVHL interactors. The prefoldin complex delivers non-native proteins to the chaperonin T-complex-protein-1-ring (TRiC) or Cytosolic Chaperonin containing TCP-1 (CCT) to assist folding of newly synthesized polypeptides. The pVHL-prefoldin interaction was confirmed in human cells and prefoldin knock-down reduced pVHL expression levels. Furthermore, when pVHL was expressed in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, all prefoldin mutants promoted its aggregation. We mapped the interaction of prefoldin with pVHL at the exon2-exon3 junction encoded region. Low levels of the PFDN3 prefoldin subunit were associated with poor survival in ccRCC patients harboring VHL mutations. Our results link the prefoldin complex with pVHL folding and this may impact VHL diseases progression.
Project description:Inactivation of von Hippel-Lindau tumor-suppressor protein (pVHL) is associated with von Hippel-Lindau disease, an inherited cancer syndrome, as well as the majority of patients with sporadic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Although the involvement of pVHL in oxygen sensing through targeting hypoxia-inducible factor-? subunits to ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis has been well documented, less is known about pVHL regulation under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. We found that pVHL levels decreased in hypoxia and that hypoxia-induced cell cycle arrest is associated with pVHL expression in RCC cells. pVHL levels fluctuate during the cell cycle, paralleling cyclin B1 levels, with decreased levels in mitosis and G1. pVHL contains consensus destruction (D) box sequences, and pVHL associates with Cdh1, an activator of the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) E3 ubiquitin ligase. We show that pVHL has a decreased half-life in G1, Cdh1 downregulation results in increased pVHL expression, whereas Cdh1 overexpression results in decreased pVHL expression. Taken together, these results suggest that pVHL is a novel substrate of APC/C(Cdh1). D box-independent pVHL degradation was also detected, indicating that other ubiquitin ligases are also activated for pVHL degradation.
Project description:Inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene is linked to the development of tumors of the eyes, kidneys, and central nervous system. VHL encodes two gene products, pVHL30 and pVHL19, of which one, pVHL30, associates functionally with microtubules (MTs) to regulate their stability. Here we report that pVHL30 is a novel substrate of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) in vitro and in vivo. Phosphorylation of pVHL on serine 68 (S68) by GSK3 requires a priming phosphorylation event at serine 72 (S72) mediated in vitro by casein kinase I. Functional analysis of pVHL species carrying nonphosphorylatable or phosphomimicking mutations at S68 and/or S72 reveals a central role for these phosphorylation events in the regulation of pVHL's MT stabilization (but not binding) activity. Taken together, our results identify pVHL as a novel priming-dependent substrate of GSK3 and suggest a dual-kinase mechanism in the control of pVHL's MT stabilization function. Since GSK3 is a component of multiple signaling pathways that are altered in human cancer, our results further imply that normal operation of the GSK3-pVHL axis may be a critical aspect of pVHL's tumor suppressor mechanism through the regulation of MT dynamics.
Project description:One of the mechanisms of tumorigenesis is that the failure of cell division results in genetically unstable, multinucleated cells. Here we show that pVHL, a tumor suppressor protein that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), plays an important role in regulation of cytokinesis. We found that pVHL-deficient RCC 786-O cells were multinucleated and polyploid. Reintroduction of wild-type pVHL into these cells rescued the diploid cell population, whereas the mutant pVHL-K171G failed to do so. We demonstrate that lysine 171 of pVHL is important for the final step of cytokinesis: the midbody abscission. The pVHL-K171G caused failure to localize the ESCRT-1 interacting protein Alix and the v-SNARE complex component Endobrevin to the midbody in 786-O cells, leading to defective cytokinesis. Moreover, SUMOylation of pVHL at lysine 171 might modulate its function as a cytokinesis regulator. pVHL tumor suppressor function was also disrupted by the K171G mutation, as evidenced by the xenograft tumor formation when 786-O clones expressing pVHL-K171G were injected into mice. Most RCC cell lines show a polyploid chromosome complement and consistent heterogeneity in chromosome number. Thus, this study offers a way to explain the chromosome instability in RCC and reveals a new direction for the tumor suppressor function of pVHL, which is independent of its E3 ubiquitin ligase activity.
Project description:The von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein (pVHL) is inactivated in the hereditary cancer syndrome von Hippel-Lindau disease and in the majority of sporadic renal carcinomas. pVHL is the substrate-binding subunit of the CBC(VHL) ubiquitin ligase complex that negatively regulates cell growth by promoting the degradation of hypoxia-inducible transcription factor subunits (HIF1/2alpha). Proteomics-based identification of novel pVHL substrates is hampered by their short half-life and low abundancy in mammalian cells. The usefulness of yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) approaches, on the other hand, has been limited by the failure of pVHL to adopt its native structure and by the absence of prolylhydroxylase activity critical for pVHL substrate recognition. Therefore, we modified the Y2H system to faithfully reconstitute the physical interaction between pVHL and its substrates. Our approach relies on the coexpression of pVHL with the cofactors Elongin B and Elongin C and with HIF1/2alpha prolylhydroxylases. In a proof-of-principle Y2H screen, we identified the known substrates HIF1/2alpha and new candidate substrates including diacylglycerol kinase iota, demonstrating that our strategy allows detection of stable interactions between pVHL and otherwise elusive cellular targets. Additional future applications may include structure/function analyses of pVHL-HIF1/2alpha binding and screens for therapeutically relevant compounds that either stabilize or disrupt this interaction.
Project description:Deregulation of the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein (pVHL) is considered one of the main causes for malignant renal clear-cell carcinoma (ccRCC) insurgence. In human, pVHL exists in two isoforms, pVHL19 and pVHL30 respectively, displaying comparable tumor suppressor abilities. Mutations of the p53 tumor suppressor gene have been also correlated with ccRCC insurgence and ineffectiveness of treatment. A recent proteomic analysis linked full length pVHL30 with p53 pathway regulation through complex formation with the p14ARF oncosuppressor. The alternatively spliced pVHL19, missing the first 53 residues, lacks this interaction and suggests an asymmetric function of the two pVHL isoforms. Here, we present an integrative bioinformatics and experimental characterization of the pVHL oncosuppressor isoforms. Predictions of the pVHL30 N-terminus three-dimensional structure suggest that it may exist as an ensemble of structured and disordered forms. The results were used to guide Yeast two hybrid experiments to highlight isoform-specific binding properties. We observed that the physical pVHL/p14ARF interaction is specifically mediated by the 53 residue long pVHL30 N-terminal region, suggesting that this N-terminus acts as a further pVHL interaction interface. Of note, we also observed that the shorter pVHL19 isoform shows an unexpected high tendency to form homodimers, suggesting an additional isoform-specific binding specialization.
Project description:The von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene encodes two mRNA variants. Variant 1 encodes two protein isoforms, pVHL213 and pVHL160, that have been extensively documented in the literature. Variant 2 is produced by alternative splicing of exon 2 and encodes a pVHL isoform of 172 amino acids with a theoretical molecular weight of 19?kDa (pVHL172), the expression of which has never been demonstrated so far due to the absence of suitable antibodies.We have generated an anti-pVHL monoclonal antibody (JD-1956) using pVHL172 recombinant protein. We tested the antibody against exogenous or endogenous expressed proteins in different cell lines. We identified the pVHL172 using a silencing RNA strategy. The epitope of the antibody was mapped using a peptide array.We efficiently detected the three different isoforms of pVHL in cell lines and tumorigenic tissues by western blotting and immunohistochemistry and confirmed for the first time the endogenous expression of pVHL172.The endogenous expression of the three isoforms and particularly the pVHL172 has never been shown before due to a lack of a highly specific antibody since none of the available commercial antibodies distinguish the three isoforms of pVHL in cells or in both normal and cancerous human tissues. Evidence of pVHL172 expression emphasises the need to further study its implication in renal tumorigenesis and VHL disease.
Project description:Pancreatic cysts are a heterogeneous group of lesions, which can be benign or malignant. Due to improved imaging techniques, physicians are more often confronted with pancreatic cysts. Little is known about the origin of pancreatic cysts in general. Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease is an atypical ciliopathy and inherited tumor syndrome, caused by a mutation in the VHL tumor suppressor gene encoding the VHL protein (pVHL). VHL patients are prone to develop cysts and neuroendocrine tumors in the pancreas in addition to several other benign and malignant neoplasms. Remarkably, pancreatic cysts occur in approximately 70% of VHL patients, making it the only hereditary tumor syndrome with such a discernible expression of pancreatic cysts. Cellular loss of pVHL due to biallelic mutation can model pancreatic cystogenesis in other organisms, suggesting a causal relationship. Here, we give a comprehensive overview of various pVHL functions, focusing on those that can potentially explain pancreatic cyst development in VHL disease. Based on preclinical studies, cilia loss in ductal cells is probably an important early event in pancreatic cyst development.