Development of ?-Hairpin Peptides for the Measurement of SCF-Family E3 Ligase Activity in Vitro via Ornithine Ubiquitination.
ABSTRACT: Regulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) to treat select types of cancer has become a popular area of drug discovery research. The FDA approval of proteasome inhibitors Bortezomib and Carfilzomib in the treatment of multiple myeloma has led to an increased need for chemical reporters capable of detecting and quantifying protein ubiquitination and the activity of members of the UPS including E3 ubiquitin ligases and the proteasome in the tumor cells of the patients. One limitation of peptide-based reporters is their rapid degradation in the cellular environment by cytosolic peptidases. Conversely, ?-hairpin "protectides" exhibit a pronounced secondary structure that significantly increases their lifetime under cellular conditions. The goal of this work was to develop a family of novel, ornithine-rich protectides that could act as primary degrons serving as substrates for in vitro ubiquitination. The fluorescent peptide-based reporters were demonstrated to be highly resistant to degradation in multiple myeloma cell lysates. The most stable ?-hairpin primary degron, containing a single ornithine residue at the N-terminus, OWRWR [Ac-OWVRVpGO(FAM)WIRQ-NH2], demonstrated rapid ubiquitination kinetics and a 20-fold increase in stability when compared with an unstructured primary degron. A screen of E1 and E3 enzyme inhibitors in cell lysates showed that ubiquitination of OWRWR was significantly impaired by inhibitors of the SCF family of E3 ligases. Furthermore, this is the first report demonstrating the use of an ornithine residue on a primary degron as a ubiquitination site. This study serves as a strong foundation for the development of stable, fluorescent, peptide-based reporters capable of quantifying protein ubiquitination and the enzymatic activity of members of the UPS.
Project description:In recent years the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) has garnered increasing interest as a target for chemotherapeutics. Due to the success of the proteasome inhibitors Bortezomib and Carfilzomib in the treatment of multiple myeloma, several new compounds have been developed to target E3 ubiquitin ligases and the proteasome in numerous human cancers. This has increased the need for new analytical methods to precisely measure intracellular enzyme activity in cells. A key component of a desired analytical method is a substrate that is capable of rapid intracellular ubiquitination yet easily incorporated into the next generation of more sophisticated UPS reporters. Portable degradation sequences, or degrons, have the ability to bind to E3 ligases and promote substrate ubiquitination when the sequence is presented in isolation or appended to other entities such as fluorescent peptide-based reporters. Previous work identified an E3 ligase (MDM2)-binding element at p53 amino acids 92-112, which was later demonstrated to be rapidly ubiquitinated in cytosolic lysates effectively functioning as a transportable degron. In this work, a shortened p53 sequence within amino acids 92-112 that displayed rapid ubiquitination kinetics was identified. A nine-member peptide library was synthesized using sequence elements of various sizes and lengths, all based on the initial 22 amino acid long sequence, containing a single ubiquitination site lysine. The ubiquitination kinetics were determined using a combination of gel electrophoresis and analytical high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to rank the members of the library and identify the optimal ubiquitination sequence. This analysis identified the five amino acid sequence, KGSYG, corresponding to residues 105-108 with an added N-terminal lysine, as a portable degron since this sequence demonstrated the most rapid ubiquitination kinetics.
Project description:The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is the primary pathway responsible for the recognition and degradation of misfolded, damaged, or tightly regulated proteins. The conjugation of a polyubiquitin chain, or polyubiquitination, to a target protein requires an increasingly diverse cascade of enzymes culminating with the E3 ubiquitin ligases. Protein recognition by an E3 ligase occurs through a specific sequence of amino acids, termed a degradation sequence or degron. Recently, degrons have been incorporated into novel reporters to monitor proteasome activity; however only a limited few degrons have successfully been incorporated into such reporters. The goal of this work was to evaluate the ubiquitination kinetics of a small library of portable degrons that could eventually be incorporated into novel single cell reporters to assess proteasome activity. After an intensive literary search, eight degrons were identified from proteins recognized by a variety of E3 ubiquitin ligases and incorporated into a four component degron-based substrate to comparatively calculate ubiquitination kinetics. The mechanism of placement of multiple ubiquitins on the different degron-based substrates was assessed by comparing the data to computational models incorporating first order reaction kinetics using either multi-monoubiquitination or polyubiquitination of the degron-based substrates. A subset of three degrons was further characterized to determine the importance of the location and proximity of the ubiquitination site lysine with respect to the degron. Ultimately, this work identified three candidate portable degrons that exhibit a higher rate of ubiquitination compared to peptidase-dependent degradation, a desired trait for a proteasomal targeting motif.
Project description:The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) has garnered much attention due to its potential for the development of therapeutics. Following a successful clinical application of general proteasome inhibitors much effort has been devoted to targeting individual UPS components including E3 enzymes and deubiquitinases that control specificity of ubiquitination. Our group has developed a novel approach for targeting the UPS proteins using engineered ubiquitin variants (Ubvs). These drug-like proteins can serve as valuable tools to study biological function of UPS components and assist in the development of small molecules for clinical use. In this review, we summarize studies of Ubvs targeting members of three major families, including deubiquitinases, HECT E3 ligases, and CRL E3 ligases. In particular, we focus on Ubv binding mechanisms, structural studies, and effects on enzyme function. Furthermore, new insights gained from the Ubvs are discussed in the context of small molecule studies.
Project description:Deregulation of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many human diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. The recent approval of the proteasome inhibitor Velcade(R) (bortezomib) for the treatment of multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma establishes this system as a valid target for cancer treatment. We review here new patented proteasome inhibitors and patented small molecule inhibitors targeting more specific UPS components, such as E3 ubiquitin ligases and deubiquitylating enzymes. Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; http://www.targetedproteinsdb.com).
Project description:Ubiquitination is a multi-step enzymatic process that involves the marking of a substrate protein by bonding a ubiquitin and protein for proteolytic degradation mainly via the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). The process is regulated by three main types of enzymes, namely ubiquitin-activating enzymes (E1), ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (E2), and ubiquitin ligases (E3). Under physiological conditions, ubiquitination is highly reversible reaction, and deubiquitinases or deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) can reverse the effect of E3 ligases by the removal of ubiquitin from substrate proteins, thus maintaining the protein quality control and homeostasis in the cell. The dysfunction or dysregulation of these multi-step reactions is closely related to pathogenic conditions; therefore, understanding the role of ubiquitination in diseases is highly valuable for therapeutic approaches. In this review, we first provide an overview of the molecular mechanism of ubiquitination and UPS; then, we attempt to summarize the most common diseases affecting the dysfunction or dysregulation of these mechanisms.
Project description:Cellular protein quality control (PQC) systems selectively target misfolded or otherwise aberrant proteins for degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). How cells discern abnormal from normal proteins remains incompletely understood, but involves in part the recognition between ubiquitin E3 ligases and degradation signals (degrons) that are exposed in misfolded proteins. PQC is compartmentalized in the cell, and a great deal has been learned in recent years about ER-associated degradation (ERAD) and nuclear quality control. In contrast, a comprehensive view of cytosolic quality control (CytoQC) has yet to emerge, and will benefit from the development of a well-defined set of model substrates. In this study, we generated an isogenic "degron library" in Saccharomyces cerevisiae consisting of short sequences appended to the C-terminus of a reporter protein, Ura3 About half of these degron-containing proteins are substrates of the integral membrane E3 ligase Doa10, which also plays a pivotal role in ERAD and some nuclear protein degradation. Notably, some of our degron fusion proteins exhibit dependence on the E3 ligase Ltn1/Rkr1 for degradation, apparently by a mechanism distinct from its known role in ribosomal quality control of translationally paused proteins. Ubr1 and San1, E3 ligases involved in the recognition of some misfolded CytoQC substrates, are largely dispensable for the degradation of our degron-containing proteins. Interestingly, the Hsp70/Hsp40 chaperone/cochaperones Ssa1,2 and Ydj1, are required for the degradation of all constructs tested. Taken together, the comprehensive degron library presented here provides an important resource of isogenic substrates for testing candidate PQC components and identifying new ones.
Project description:Ubiquitination, the structured degradation and turnover of cellular proteins, is regulated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). Most proteins that are critical for cellular regulations and functions are targets of the process. Ubiquitination is comprised of a sequence of three enzymatic steps, and aberrations in the pathway can lead to tumor development and progression as observed in many cancer types. Recent evidence indicates that targeting the UPS is effective for certain cancer treatment, but many more potential targets might have been previously overlooked. In this review, we will discuss the current state of small molecules that target various elements of ubiquitination. Special attention will be given to novel inhibitors of E3 ubiquitin ligases, especially those in the SCF family.
Project description:The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway for protein degradation has emerged as one of the most important mechanisms for regulation of a wide spectrum of cellular functions in virtually all eukaryotic organisms. Specifically, in plants, the ubiquitin/26S proteasome system (UPS) regulates protein degradation and contributes significantly to development of a wide range of processes, including immune response, development and programmed cell death. Moreover, increasing evidence suggests that numerous plant pathogens, such as Agrobacterium, exploit the host UPS for efficient infection, emphasizing the importance of UPS in plant-pathogen interactions. The substrate specificity of UPS is achieved by the E3 ubiquitin ligase that acts in concert with the E1 and E2 ligases to recognize and mark specific protein molecules destined for degradation by attaching to them chains of ubiquitin molecules. One class of the E3 ligases is the SCF (Skp1/Cullin/F-box protein) complex, which specifically recognizes the UPS substrates and targets them for ubiquitination via its F-box protein component. To investigate a potential role of UPS in a biological process of interest, it is important to devise a simple and reliable assay for UPS-mediated protein degradation. Here, we describe one such assay using a plant cell-free system. This assay can be adapted for studies of the roles of regulated protein degradation in diverse cellular processes, with a special focus on the F-box protein-substrate interactions.
Project description:Selective protein degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is thought to be governed primarily by the recognition of specific motifs - degrons - present in substrate proteins. The ends of proteins - the N- and C-termini - have unique properties, and an important subset of protein-protein interactions involve the recognition of free termini. The first degrons to be discovered were located at the extreme N-terminus of proteins, a finding which initiated the study of the N-degron (formerly N-end rule) pathways, but only in the last few years has it emerged that a diverse set of C-degron pathways target analogous degron motifs located at the extreme C-terminus of proteins. In this minireview we summarise the N-degron and C-degron pathways currently known to operate in human cells, focussing primarily on those that have been discovered in recent years. In each case we describe the cellular machinery responsible for terminal degron recognition, and then consider some of the functional roles of terminal degron pathways. Altogether, a broad spectrum of E3 ubiquitin ligases mediate the recognition of a diverse array of terminal degron motifs; these degradative pathways have the potential to influence a wide variety of cellular functions.
Project description:The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) regulates the ubiquitination, and thus degradation and turnover, of many proteins vital to cellular regulation and function. The UPS comprises a sequential series of enzymatic processes using four key enzyme families: E1 (ubiquitin-activating enzymes), E2 (ubiquitin-carrier proteins), E3 (ubiquitin-protein ligases), and E4 (ubiquitin chain assembly factors). Because the UPS is a crucial regulator of the cell cycle, and abnormal cell-cycle control can lead to oncogenesis, aberrancies within the UPS pathway can result in a malignant cellular phenotype and thus has become an attractive target for novel anticancer agents. This article will provide an overall review of the mechanics of the UPS, describe aberrancies leading to cancer, and give an overview of current drug therapies selectively targeting the UPS.