P97/VCP promotes degradation of CRBN substrate glutamine synthetase and neosubstrates.
ABSTRACT: Glutamine synthetase (GS) plays an essential role in metabolism by catalyzing the synthesis of glutamine from glutamate and ammonia. Our recent study showed that CRBN, a direct protein target for the teratogenic and antitumor activities of immunomodulatory drugs such as thalidomide, lenalidomide, and pomalidomide, recognizes an acetyl degron of GS, resulting in ubiquitylation and degradation of GS in response to glutamine. Here, we report that valosin-containing protein (VCP)/p97 promotes the degradation of ubiquitylated GS, resulting in its accumulation in cells with compromised p97 function. Notably, p97 is also required for the degradation of all four known CRBN neo-substrates [Ikaros family zinc finger proteins 1 (IKZF1) and 3 (IKZF3), casein kinase 1? (CK1?), and the translation termination factor GSPT1] whose ubiquitylation is induced by immunomodulatory drugs. Together, these data point to an unexpectedly intimate relationship between the E3 ubiquitin ligase CRL4CRBN and p97 pathways.
Project description:Pomalidomide, a derivative of thalidomide, is an effective treatment for multiple myeloma. The drug exerts its effects through CRBN, a component of the E3 ubiquitin ligase complex CRL4CRBN. To search for novel factors involved in the anti-cancer activity of pomalidomide, we performed a genome-wide shRNA library screen and identified 445 genes as those affecting pomalidomide sensitivity. Genes encoding components of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, such as subunits of the CRL4CRBN complex, the COP9 signalosome, and the 26S proteasome, were among the pomalidomide-affecting genes. Karyopherin beta 1 (KPNB1) was identified as a novel pomalidomide-affecting gene. KPNB1 was required for the nuclear import of CRBN and for the CRBN-directed, pomalidomide-dependent degradation of a clinically relevant substrate, the transcription factor Aiolos. By contrast, the cytoplasmic translation factor GSPT1 was degraded following treatment with the thalidomide derivative CC-885 only when CRBN was present in the cytoplasm, indicating that subcellular distribution of CRBN is critical for the efficacy of thalidomide-based medications.
Project description:Cereblon (CRBN), a substrate receptor for the cullin-RING ubiquitin ligase 4 (CRL4) complex, is a direct protein target for thalidomide teratogenicity and antitumor activity of immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs). Here we report that glutamine synthetase (GS) is an endogenous substrate of CRL4(CRBN). Upon exposing cells to high glutamine concentration, GS is acetylated at lysines 11 and 14, yielding a degron that is necessary and sufficient for binding and ubiquitylation by CRL4(CRBN) and degradation by the proteasome. Binding of acetylated degron peptides to CRBN depends on an intact thalidomide-binding pocket but is not competitive with IMiDs. These findings reveal a feedback loop involving CRL4(CRBN) that adjusts GS protein levels in response to glutamine and uncover a new function for lysine acetylation.
Project description:The small molecules thalidomide, lenalidomide, and pomalidomide induce the ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of the transcription factors Ikaros (IKZF1) and Aiolos (IKZF3) by recruiting a Cys2-His2 (C2H2) zinc finger domain to Cereblon (CRBN), the substrate receptor of the CRL4CRBN E3 ubiquitin ligase. We screened the human C2H2 zinc finger proteome for degradation in the presence of thalidomide analogs, identifying 11 zinc finger degrons. Structural and functional characterization of the C2H2 zinc finger degrons demonstrates how diverse zinc finger domains bind the permissive drug-CRBN interface. Computational zinc finger docking and biochemical analysis predict that more than 150 zinc fingers bind the drug-CRBN complex in vitro, and we show that selective zinc finger degradation can be achieved through compound modifications. Our results provide a rationale for therapeutically targeting transcription factors that were previously considered undruggable.
Project description:Thalidomide and its derivatives, lenalidomide and pomalidomide, are clinically effective treatments for multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome with del(5q). These molecules lack activity in murine models, limiting investigation of their therapeutic activity or toxicity in vivo. Here, we report the development of a mouse model that is sensitive to thalidomide derivatives because of a single amino acid change in the direct target of thalidomide derivatives, cereblon (Crbn). In human cells, thalidomide and its analogs bind CRBN and recruit protein targets to the CRL4CRBN E3 ubiquitin ligase, resulting in their ubiquitination and subsequent degradation by the proteasome. We show that mice with a single I391V amino acid change in Crbn exhibit thalidomide-induced degradation of drug targets previously identified in human cells, including Ikaros (Ikzf1), Aiolos (Ikzf3), Zfp91, and casein kinase 1a1 (Ck1?), both in vitro and in vivo. We use the Crbn I391V model to demonstrate that the in vivo therapeutic activity of lenalidomide in del(5q) myelodysplastic syndrome can be explained by heterozygous expression of Ck1? in del(5q) cells. We found that lenalidomide acts on hematopoietic stem cells with heterozygous expression of Ck1? and inactivation of Trp53 causes lenalidomide resistance. We further demonstrate that Crbn I391V is sufficient to confer thalidomide-induced fetal loss in mice, capturing a major toxicity of this class of drugs. Further study of the Crbn I391V model will provide valuable insights into the in vivo efficacy and toxicity of this class of drugs.
Project description:Immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) including lenalidomide and pomalidomide bind cereblon (CRBN) and activate the CRL4CRBN ubiquitin ligase to trigger proteasomal degradation of the essential transcription factors IKZF1 and IKZF3 and multiple myeloma (MM) cytotoxicity. We have shown that CRBN is also targeted for degradation by SCFFbxo7 ubiquitin ligase. In the current study, we explored the mechanisms underlying sensitivity of MM cells to IMiDs using genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screening. We validate that CSN9 signalosome complex, a deactivator of Cullin-RING ubiquitin ligase, inhibits SCFFbxo7 E3 ligase-mediated CRBN degradation, thereby conferring sensitivity to IMiDs; conversely, loss of function of CSN9 signalosome activates SCFFbxo7 complex, thereby enhancing degradation of CRBN and conferring IMiD resistance. Finally, we show that pretreatment with either proteasome inhibitors or NEDD8 activating enzyme (NAE) inhibitors can abrogate degradation and maintain levels of CRBN, thereby enhancing sensitivity to IMiDs. These studies therefore demonstrate that CSN9 signalosome complex regulates sensitivity to IMiDs by modulating CRBN expression.
Project description:In the 1950s the drug thalidomide administered as a sedative to pregnant women led ot the birth of thousands of children with multiple defects. Despite its teratogenicity, thalidomide and ist IMiD derivatives recently emerged as effective treatments for multiple myeloma and 5q-dysplasia. IMiDs target the CUL4-RBX1-DDB1-CRBN (CRL4(CRBN)) ubiquitin ligase. Through an unbiased screen we identify the homeobox trranscription factor MEIS2 as an endogenous substrate of CRL4(CRBN). By definition, a specific target of CRL4(CRBN) is expected to have a very low intensity on negative control arrays (E1_E2), (E1_CRBN), (E1_E2_Cdt2), (E1_E2_Cdt2_revlimid), (E1_E2_Cdt2_CSN) or with CRL4(CRBN) in presence of inhibitor (E1_E2_CRBN_revlimid) and high intensity on arrays with CRL4(CRBN) (E1_E2_CRBN) or CRL4(CRBN) in presence of CSN (E1_E2_CRBN_CSN) Accordingly 16 protein microarrays were subjected to in vitro ubiquitylation using the following enzyme combinations: 3x Uba1+UbcH5a; 2x Uba1+UbcH5a+CRL4(DDB2); 3x Uba1+UbcH5a+CRL4(CRBN); 2x Uba1+UbcH5a+CRL4(CRBN)+lenalidomide; 2x Uba1+UbcH5a+CRL4(CRBN)+CSN; 2x Uba1+UbcH5a+CRL4(Cdt2); 1x Uba1+UbcH5a+CRL4(Cdt2)+CSN; 1x Uba1+UbcH5a+CRL4(Cdt2)+lenalidomide
Project description:Exposure to thalidomide during a critical window of development results in limb defects in humans and non-human primates while mice and rats are refractory to these effects. Thalidomide-induced teratogenicity is dependent on its binding to cereblon (CRBN), the substrate receptor of the Cul4A-DDB1-CRBN-RBX1 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. Thalidomide binding to CRBN elicits subsequent ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of CRBN neosubstrates including SALL4, a transcription factor of which polymorphisms phenocopy thalidomide-induced limb defects in humans. Herein, thalidomide-induced degradation of SALL4 was examined in human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) that were differentiated either to lateral plate mesoderm (LPM)-like cells, the developmental ontology of the limb bud, or definitive endoderm. Thalidomide and its immunomodulatory drug (IMiD) analogs, lenalidomide, and pomalidomide, dose-dependently inhibited hiPSC mesendoderm differentiation. Thalidomide- and IMiD-induced SALL4 degradation can be abrogated by CRBN V388I mutation or SALL4 G416A mutation in hiPSCs. Genetically modified hiPSCs expressing CRBN E377V/V388I mutant or SALL4 G416A mutant were insensitive to the inhibitory effects of thalidomide, lenalidomide, and pomalidomide on LPM differentiation while retaining sensitivity to another known limb teratogen, all-trans retinoic acid (atRA). Finally, disruption of LPM differentiation by atRA or thalidomide perturbed subsequent chondrogenic differentiation in vitro. The data here show that thalidomide, lenalidomide, and pomalidomide affect stem cell mesendoderm differentiation through CRBN-mediated degradation of SALL4 and highlight the utility of the LPM differentiation model for studying the teratogenicity of new CRBN modulating agents.
Project description:In the 1950s, the drug thalidomide, administered as a sedative to pregnant women, led to the birth of thousands of children with multiple defects. Despite the teratogenicity of thalidomide and its derivatives lenalidomide and pomalidomide, these immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) recently emerged as effective treatments for multiple myeloma and 5q-deletion-associated dysplasia. IMiDs target the E3 ubiquitin ligase CUL4-RBX1-DDB1-CRBN (known as CRL4(CRBN)) and promote the ubiquitination of the IKAROS family transcription factors IKZF1 and IKZF3 by CRL4(CRBN). Here we present crystal structures of the DDB1-CRBN complex bound to thalidomide, lenalidomide and pomalidomide. The structure establishes that CRBN is a substrate receptor within CRL4(CRBN) and enantioselectively binds IMiDs. Using an unbiased screen, we identified the homeobox transcription factor MEIS2 as an endogenous substrate of CRL4(CRBN). Our studies suggest that IMiDs block endogenous substrates (MEIS2) from binding to CRL4(CRBN) while the ligase complex is recruiting IKZF1 or IKZF3 for degradation. This dual activity implies that small molecules can modulate an E3 ubiquitin ligase and thereby upregulate or downregulate the ubiquitination of proteins.
Project description:We have previously shown that immunomodulatory drug (IMiD) compounds induce a shift into immature myeloid precursors with a maturational arrest and subsequent neutropenia. The mechanism of action is unknown. Here we found that IMiD compounds cause selective ubiquitination and degradation of the transcription factor IKZF1 in CD34+ cells by the Cereblon (CRBN) E3 ubiquitin ligase. Loss of IKZF1 is associated with a decrease of the IKZF1-dependent transcription factor PU.1, critical for the development and maturation of neutrophils. Using a thalidomide analog bead pull-down assay, we showed that IMiD compounds directly bind CRBN in CD34+ cells. Knockdown of CRBN in CD34+ cells resulted in resistance to POM-induced IKZF1 downregulation and reversed the POM-induced lineage shift in colony-formation assays, suggesting that the POM-induced degradation of IKZF1 in CD34+ cells requires CRBN. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that IKZF1 binds to the promoter region of PU.1, suggesting that PU.1 is a direct downstream target of IKZF1 in CD34+ cells. POM failed to induce IKZF1 degradation in IKZF1-Q146H-OE CD34+ cells, indicating that CRBN binding to IKZF1 and subsequent IKZF1 ubiquitination is critical in this process. Using the NOD/SCID/?-c KO mouse model, we confirmed the induction of myeloid progenitor cells by IMiD compounds at the expense of common lymphoid progenitors. These results demonstrate a novel mechanism of action of IMiD compounds in hematopoietic progenitor cells, leading to selective degradation of transcription factors critical for myeloid maturation, and explain the occurrence of neutropenia associated with treatment by IMiD compounds.
Project description:Lenalidomide mediates the ubiquitination and degradation of Ikaros family zinc finger protein 1 (IKZF1), IKZF3, and casein kinase 1? (CK1?) by facilitating their interaction with cereblon (CRBN), the substrate receptor for the CRL4CRBN E3 ubiquitin ligase. Through this mechanism, lenalidomide is a clinically effective treatment of multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with deletion of chromosome 5q [del(5q) MDS]. To identify the cellular machinery required for lenalidomide-induced CRL4CRBN activity, we performed a positive selection, genome-scale clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) screen in a lenalidomide-sensitive myeloma cell line. CRBN was the top-ranking gene, with all CRBN-targeting guide RNAs (gRNAs) ranking as the 6 highest-scoring gRNAs. A counterscreen using an IKZF3 degron reporter to assay lenalidomide-induced protein degradation highlighted regulators of cullin-RING ligase neddylation and 2 E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes as necessary for efficient lenalidomide-induced protein degradation. We demonstrated that loss of UBE2M or members of the constitutive photomorphogenesis 9 (COP9) signalosome results in altered neddylation of cullin 4A and impairs lenalidomide-dependent CRL4CRBN activity. Additionally, we established that UBE2D3 and UBE2G1 play distinct roles in substrate ubiquitination by CRL4CRBN, with UBE2D3 acting to prime targets via monoubiquitination and UBE2G1 functioning to extend polyubiquitin chains with lysine 48 linkages. The validation of UBE2D3 and UBE2G1 highlights the functional capacity of CRISPR-Cas9 screening to identify E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme and E3 ubiquitin ligase complex pairings. More broadly, these findings establish key proteins required for lenalidomide-dependent CRL4CRBN function in myeloma and inform potential mechanisms of drug resistance.