Rassf Proteins as Modulators of Mst1 Kinase Activity.
ABSTRACT: Rassf1A/5 tumor suppressors serve as adaptor proteins possessing a modular architecture with the C-terminal consisting of a coiled-coil SARAH (Salvador-Rassf-Hippo) domain and the central portion being composed of Ras associated (RA) domain. Here, we investigate the effect of Rassf effectors on Mst1 function by mapping the interaction of various domains of Rassf1A/5 and Mst1 kinase using surface plasmon resonance (SPR). The results revealed that apart from the C-terminal SARAH domain of Mst1 which interacts to form heterodimers with Rassf1A/5, the N-terminal kinase domain of Mst1 plays a crucial role in the stabilization of this complex. In addition, SPR experiments show that the RA domains play an important role in fine-tuning the Mst1-Rassf interaction, with Rassf5 being a preferred partner over a similar Rassf1A construct. It was also demonstrated that the activity profile of Mst1 in presence of Rassf adaptors completely switches. A Rassf-Mst1 complexed version of the kinase becomes apoptotic by positively regulating Mst1-H2B mediated serine 14 histone H2B phosphorylation, a hallmark of chromatin condensation. In contrast, the heterodimerization of Mst1 with Rassf1A/5 suppresses the phosphorylation of FoxO, thereby inhibiting the downstream Mst1-FoxO signalling pathway.
Project description:In eukaryotic cells, apoptosis and cell cycle arrest by the Ras --> RASSF --> MST pathway are controlled by the interaction of SARAH (for Salvador/Rassf/Hippo) domains in the C-terminal part of tumor suppressor proteins. The Mst1 SARAH domain interacts with its homologous domain of Rassf1 and Rassf5 (also known as Nore1) by forming a heterodimer that mediates the apoptosis process. Here, we describe the homodimeric structure of the human Mst1 SARAH domain and its heterotypic interaction with the Rassf5 and Salvador (Sav) SARAH domain. The Mst1 SARAH structure forms a homodimer containing two helices per monomer. An antiparallel arrangement of the long alpha-helices (h2/h2') provides an elongated binding interface between the two monomers, and the short 3(10) helices (h1/h1') are folded toward that of the other monomer. Chemical shift perturbation experiments identified an elongated, tight-binding interface with the Rassf5 SARAH domain and a 1:1 heterodimer formation. The linker region between the kinase and the SARAH domain is shown to be disordered in the free protein. These results imply a novel mode of interaction with RASSF family proteins and provide insight into the mechanism of apoptosis control by the SARAH domain.
Project description:Despite recent progress in research on the Hippo signalling pathway, the structural information available in this area is extremely limited. Intriguingly, the homodimeric and heterodimeric interactions of mammalian sterile 20-like (MST) kinases through the so-called `SARAH' (SAV/RASSF/HPO) domains play a critical role in cellular homeostasis, dictating the fate of the cell regarding cell proliferation or apoptosis. To understand the mechanism of the heterodimerization of SARAH domains, the three-dimensional structures of an MST1-RASSF5 SARAH heterodimer and an MST2 SARAH homodimer were determined by X-ray crystallography and were analysed together with that previously determined for the MST1 SARAH homodimer. While the structure of the MST2 homodimer resembled that of the MST1 homodimer, the MST1-RASSF5 heterodimer showed distinct structural features. Firstly, the six N-terminal residues (Asp432-Lys437), which correspond to the short N-terminal 3??-helix h1 kinked from the h2 helix in the MST1 homodimer, were disordered. Furthermore, the MST1 SARAH domain in the MST1-RASSF5 complex showed a longer helical structure (Ser438-Lys480) than that in the MST1 homodimer (Val441-Lys480). Moreover, extensive polar and nonpolar contacts in the MST1-RASSF5 SARAH domain were identified which strengthen the interactions in the heterodimer in comparison to the interactions in the homodimer. Denaturation experiments performed using urea also indicated that the MST-RASSF heterodimers are substantially more stable than the MST homodimers. These findings provide structural insights into the role of the MST1-RASSF5 SARAH domain in apoptosis signalling.
Project description:RASSF enzymes act as key apoptosis activators and tumor suppressors, being downregulated in many human cancers, although their exact regulatory roles remain unknown. A key downstream event in the RASSF pathway is the regulation of MST kinases, which are main effectors of RASSF-induced apoptosis. The regulation of MST1/2 includes both homo- and heterodimerization, mediated by helical SARAH domains, though the underlying molecular interaction mechanism is unclear. Here, we study the interactions between RASSF1A, RASSF5, and MST2 SARAH domains by using both atomistic molecular simulation techniques and experiments. We construct and study models of MST2 homodimers and MST2-RASSF SARAH heterodimers, and we identify the factors that control their high molecular stability. In addition, we also analyze both computationally and experimentally the interactions of MST2 SARAH domains with a series of synthetic peptides particularly designed to bind to it, and hope that our approach can be used to address some of the challenging problems in designing new anti-cancer drugs.
Project description:Ras proteins play a direct causal role in human cancer with activating mutations in Ras occurring in approximately 30% of tumours. Ras effectors also contribute to cancer, as mutations occur in Ras effectors, notably B-Raf and PI3-K, and drugs blocking elements of these pathways are in clinical development. In 2000, a new Ras effector was identified, RAS-association domain family 1 (RASSF1), and expression of the RASSF1A isoform of this gene is silenced in tumours by methylation of its promoter. Since methylation is reversible and demethylating agents are currently being used in clinical trials, detection of RASSF1A silencing by promoter hypermethylation has potential clinical uses in cancer diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. RASSF1A belongs to a new family of RAS effectors, of which there are currently 8 members (RASSF1-8). RASSF1-6 each contain a variable N-terminal segment followed by a Ras-association (RA) domain of the Ral-GDS/AF6 type, and a specialised coiled-coil structure known as a SARAH domain extending to the C-terminus. RASSF7-8 contain an N-terminal RA domain and a variable C-terminus. Members of the RASSF family are thought to function as tumour suppressors by regulating the cell cycle and apoptosis. This review will summarise our current knowledge of each member of the RASSF family and in particular what role they play in tumourigenesis, with a special focus on RASSF1A, whose promoter methylation is one of the most frequent alterations found in human tumours.
Project description:The MST1 kinase phosphorylates FoxO transcription factors in the cytosol and histone H2B in the nucleus to promote cellular apoptosis. In addition to a N-terminal kinase domain, MST1 contains C-terminal regulatory and dimerization regions that are cleaved upon nuclear transport. In this report, we investigate the role of the MST1 regulatory region and dimerization domain in MST1 activity toward FoxO and histone H2B substrates. We find that the MST1 regulatory region enhances FoxO phosphorylation while inhibiting histone H2B phosphorylation, consistent with the cellular properties of MST1. We also identify autophosphorylation sites within the MST1 regulatory region and show that both regulatory region phosphorylation and MST1 dimerization contribute to FoxO phosphorylation. Together, our studies provide new insights into how MST1 substrate selectivity is modulated with implications for understanding apoptotic signaling through MST1 kinase.
Project description:Members of the RASSF family (RASSF1-10) have been identified as candidate tumour suppressors that are frequently downregulated by promoter hypermethylation in cancers. These proteins carry a common Ras-association (RA) and SARAH domain (RASSF1-6) that can potentially bind Ras oncoproteins and mediate protein-protein interactions with other SARAH domain proteins. However, there is a notable lack of comparative characterisation of the RASSF family, as well as molecular and structural information that facilitate their tumour suppressive functions. As part of our comparative analysis, we modelled the RA and SARAH domains of the RASSF members based on existing structures and predicted their potential interactions. These in silico predictions were compared to in vitro interaction studies with Ras and MST kinase (a SARAH domain-containing protein). Our data shows a diversity of interaction within the RASSF family RA domain, whereas the SARAH domain-mediated interactions for RASSF1-6 are consistent with the predictions. This suggests that different members, despite shared general architecture, could have distinct functional properties. Additionally, we identify a new interacting partner for MST kinase in the form of RASSF7. Current data supports an interaction model where RASSF serves as an adaptor for the assembly of multiple protein complexes and further functional interactions, involving MST kinases and other SARAH domain proteins, which could be regulated by Ras.
Project description:The tumour suppressor protein RASSF1A is phosphorylated by Aurora A kinase, thereby impairing its tumour suppressor function. Consequently, inhibiting the interaction between Aurora A and RASSF1A may be used for anti-tumour therapy. We used recombinant variants of RASSF1A to map the sites of interaction with Aurora A. The phosphorylation kinetics of three truncated RASSF1A variants has been analysed. Compared to the RASSF1A form lacking the 120 residue long N-terminal part, the Km value of the phosphorylation is increased from 10 to 45 ?M upon additional deletion of the C-terminal SARAH domain. On the other hand, deletion of the flexible loop (?177-197) that precedes the phosphorylation site/s (T202/S203) results in a reduction of the kcat value from about 40 to 7?min-1. Direct physical interaction between the isolated SARAH domain and Aurora A was revealed by SPR. These data demonstrate that the SARAH domain of RASSF1A is involved in the binding to Aurora A kinase. Structural modelling confirms that a novel complex is feasible between the SARAH domain and the kinase domain of Aurora A. In addition, a regulatory role of the loop in the catalytic phosphorylation reaction has been demonstrated both experimentally and by structural modelling.
Project description:The detailed, atomistic-level understanding of molecular signaling along the tumor-suppressive Hippo signaling pathway that controls tissue homeostasis by balancing cell proliferation and death through apoptosis is a promising avenue for the discovery of novel anticancer drug targets. The activation of kinases such as Mammalian STE20-Like Protein Kinases 1 and 2 (MST1 and MST2)-modulated through both homo- and heterodimerization (e.g. interactions with Ras association domain family, RASSF, enzymes)-is a key upstream event in this pathway and remains poorly understood. On the other hand, RASSFs (such as RASSF1A or RASSF5) act as important apoptosis activators and tumor suppressors, although their exact regulatory roles are also unclear. We present recent molecular studies of signaling along the Ras-RASSF-MST pathway, which controls growth and apoptosis in eukaryotic cells, including a variety of modern molecular modeling and simulation techniques. Using recently available structural information, we discuss the complex regulatory scenario according to which RASSFs perform dual signaling functions, either preventing or promoting MST2 activation, and thus control cell apoptosis. Here, we focus on recent studies highlighting the special role being played by the specific interactions between the helical Salvador/RASSF/Hippo (SARAH) domains of MST2 and RASSF1a or RASSF5 enzymes. These studies are crucial for integrating atomistic-level mechanistic information about the structures and conformational dynamics of interacting proteins, with information available on their system-level functions in cellular signaling.
Project description:As a tumor suppressor, RASSF5 (NORE1A) activates MST1/2 thereby modulating the Hippo pathway. Structurally, activation involves RASSF5 and MST1/2 swapping their SARAH domains to form a SARAH heterodimer. This exposes the MST1/2 kinase domain which homodimerizes, leading to trans-autophosphorylation. The SARAH-SARAH interaction shifts RASSF5 away from its autoinhibited state and relieves MST1/2 autoinhibition. Separate crystal structures are available for the RA (Ras association) domain and SARAH dimer, where SARAH is a long straight ?-helix. Using all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, we modeled the RASSF5 RA with a covalently connected SARAH to elucidate the dynamic mechanism of how SARAH mediates between autoinhibition and Ras triggered-activation. Our results show that in inactive RASSF5 the RA domain retains SARAH, yielding a self-associated conformation in which SARAH is in a kinked ?-helical motif that increases the binding interface. When RASSF5 binds K-Ras4B-GTP, the equilibrium shifts toward SARAH's interacting with MST. Since the RA/SARAH affinity is relatively low, whereas that of the SARAH heterodimer is in the nM range, we suggest that RASSF5 exerts its tumor suppressor action through competition with other Ras effectors for Ras effector binding site, as well as coincidentally its recruitment to the membrane to help MST activation. Thus, SARAH plays a key role in RASSF5's tumor suppression action by linking the two major pathways in tumor cell proliferation: Ras and the MAPK (tumor cell proliferation-promoting) pathway, and the Hippo (tumor cell proliferation-suppressing) pathway.
Project description:The tumor-suppressive Hippo pathway controls tissue homeostasis through balancing cell proliferation and apoptosis. Activation of the kinases Mst1 and Mst2 (Mst1/2) is a key upstream event in this pathway and remains poorly understood. Mst1/2 and their critical regulators RASSFs contain Salvador/RASSF1A/Hippo (SARAH) domains that can homo- and heterodimerize. Here, we report the crystal structures of human Mst2 alone and bound to RASSF5. Mst2 undergoes activation through transautophosphorylation at its activation loop, which requires SARAH-mediated homodimerization. RASSF5 disrupts Mst2 homodimer and blocks Mst2 autoactivation. Binding of RASSF5 to already activated Mst2, however, does not inhibit its kinase activity. Thus, RASSF5 can act as an inhibitor or a potential positive regulator of Mst2, depending on whether it binds to Mst2 before or after activation-loop phosphorylation. We propose that these temporally sensitive functions of RASSFs enable the Hippo pathway to respond to and integrate diverse cellular signals.