Recurrent background mutations in WHI2 impair proteostasis and degradation of misfolded cytosolic proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
ABSTRACT: Proteostasis promotes viability at both the cellular and organism levels by maintaining a functional proteome. This requires an intricate protein quality control (PQC) network that mediates protein folding by molecular chaperones and removes terminally misfolded proteins via the ubiquitin proteasome system and autophagy. How changes within the PQC network can perturb proteostasis and shift the balance between protein folding and proteolysis remain poorly understood. However, given that proteostasis is altered in a number of conditions such as cancer and ageing, it is critical that we identify the factors that mediate PQC and understand the interplay between members of the proteostatic network. In this study, we investigated the degradation of a thermally unstable cytosolic model substrate and identified a surprisingly high number of strains in the yeast knockout collection that displayed impaired turnover of the misfolded substrate. We found that this phenotype was caused by frequent background mutations in the general stress response gene WHI2. We linked this proteostatic defect to the lack of activity of the stress response transcription factor Msn2, potentially under conditions where the TOR pathway is active. Our results underscore how changes to the elaborate PQC network can perturb proteostasis and impair degradation of misfolded cytosolic proteins.
Project description:Although much is known about protein folding in buffers, it remains unclear how the cellular protein homeostasis network functions as a system to partition client proteins between folded and functional, soluble and misfolded, and aggregated conformations. Herein, we develop small molecule folding probes that specifically react with the folded and functional fraction of the protein of interest, enabling fluorescence-based quantification of this fraction in cell lysate at a time point of interest. Importantly, these probes minimally perturb a protein's folding equilibria within cells during and after cell lysis, because sufficient cellular chaperone/chaperonin holdase activity is created by rapid ATP depletion during cell lysis. The folding probe strategy and the faithful quantification of a particular protein's functional fraction are exemplified with retroaldolase, a de novo designed enzyme, and transthyretin, a nonenzyme protein. Our findings challenge the often invoked assumption that the soluble fraction of a client protein is fully folded in the cell. Moreover, our results reveal that the partitioning of destabilized retroaldolase and transthyretin mutants between the aforementioned conformational states is strongly influenced by cytosolic proteostasis network perturbations. Overall, our results suggest that applying a chemical folding probe strategy to other client proteins offers opportunities to reveal how the proteostasis network functions as a system to regulate the folding and function of individual client proteins in vivo.
Project description:Protein misfolding is linked to a wide array of human disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and type II diabetes1,2. Protective cellular protein quality control (PQC) mechanisms have evolved to selectively recognize misfolded proteins and limit their toxic effects3-9, thus contributing to the maintenance of the proteome (proteostasis). Here we examine how molecular chaperones and the ubiquitin-proteasome system cooperate to recognize and promote the clearance of soluble misfolded proteins. Using a panel of PQC substrates with distinct characteristics and localizations, we define distinct chaperone and ubiquitination circuitries that execute quality control in the cytoplasm and nucleus. In the cytoplasm, proteasomal degradation of misfolded proteins requires tagging with mixed lysine 48 (K48)- and lysine 11 (K11)-linked ubiquitin chains. A distinct combination of E3 ubiquitin ligases and specific chaperones is required to achieve each type of linkage-specific ubiquitination. In the nucleus, however, proteasomal degradation of misfolded proteins requires only K48-linked ubiquitin chains, and is thus independent of K11-specific ligases and chaperones. The distinct ubiquitin codes for nuclear and cytoplasmic PQC appear to be linked to the function of the ubiquilin protein Dsk2, which is specifically required to clear nuclear misfolded proteins. Our work defines the principles of cytoplasmic and nuclear PQC as distinct, involving combinatorial recognition by defined sets of cooperating chaperones and E3 ligases. A better understanding of how these organelle-specific PQC requirements implement proteome integrity has implications for our understanding of diseases linked to impaired protein clearance and proteostasis dysfunction.
Project description:The capacity of the cell to produce, fold and degrade proteins relies on components of the proteostasis network. Multiple types of insults can impose a burden on this network, causing protein misfolding. Using thermal stress, a classic example of acute proteostatic stress, we demonstrate that ?5-10% of the soluble cytosolic and nuclear proteome in human HEK293 cells is vulnerable to misfolding when proteostatic function is overwhelmed. Inhibiting new protein synthesis for 30?min prior to heat-shock dramatically reduced the amount of heat-stress induced polyubiquitylation, and reduced the misfolding of proteins identified as vulnerable to thermal stress. Following prior studies in C. elegans in which mutant huntingtin (Q103) expression was shown to cause the secondary misfolding of cytosolic proteins, we also demonstrate that mutant huntingtin causes similar 'secondary' misfolding in human cells. Similar to thermal stress, inhibiting new protein synthesis reduced the impact of mutant huntingtin on proteostatic function. These findings suggest that newly made proteins are vulnerable to misfolding when proteostasis is disrupted by insults such as thermal stress and mutant protein aggregation.
Project description:Protein misfolding is a recurring phenomenon that cells must manage; otherwise misfolded proteins can aggregate and become toxic should they persist. To counter this burden, cells have evolved protein quality control (PQC) mechanisms that manage misfolded proteins. Two classes of systems that function in PQC are chaperones that aid in protein folding and ubiquitin-protein ligases that ubiquitinate misfolded proteins for proteasomal degradation. How folding and degradative PQC systems interact and coordinate their respective functions is not yet fully understood. Previous studies of PQC degradation pathways in the endoplasmic reticulum and cytosol have led to the prevailing idea that these pathways require the activity of Hsp70 chaperones. Here, we find that involvement of the budding yeast Hsp70 chaperones Ssa1 and Ssa2 in nuclear PQC degradation varies with the substrate. In particular, nuclear PQC degradation mediated by the yeast ubiquitin-protein ligase San1 often involves Ssa1/Ssa2, but San1 substrate recognition and ubiquitination can proceed without these Hsp70 chaperone functions in vivo and in vitro. Our studies provide new insights into the variability of Hsp70 chaperone involvement with a nuclear PQC degradation pathway.
Project description:The initial folding of secreted proteins occurs in the ER lumen, which contains specific chaperones and where posttranslational modifications may occur. Therefore lack of translocation, regardless of entry route or protein identity, is a highly toxic event, as the newly synthesized polypeptide is misfolded and can promiscuously interact with cytosolic factors. Mislocalized proteins bearing a signal sequence that did not successfully translocate through the translocon complex are subjected to a preemptive quality control (pQC) pathway and are degraded by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). In contrast to UPS-mediated, ER-associated degradation, few components involved in pQC have been identified. Here we demonstrate that on specific translocation inhibition, a p97-AIRAPL complex directly binds and regulates the efficient processing of polyubiquitinated pQC substrates by the UPS. We also demonstrate p97's role in pQC processing of preproinsulin in cases of naturally occurring mutations within the signal sequence of insulin.
Project description:Cellular protein homeostasis (proteostasis) is maintained through the balance between de novo synthesis and proteolysis. The unfolded/misfolded protein response (UPR) that is triggered by stressed endoplasmic reticulum (ER) also plays an important role in proteostasis in both plants and animals. Although ER-triggered UPR has been extensively studied in plants, the molecular mechanisms underlying mitochondrial and chloroplastic UPRs are largely uncharacterized despite the fact that these organelles are sites of production of harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS), which damage proteins. In this study, we demonstrate that chloroplasts of the Arabidopsis yellow leaf variegation 2 (var2) mutant, which lacks the metalloprotease FtsH2, accumulate damaged chloroplast proteins and trigger a UPR-like response, namely the accumulation of a suite of chloroplast proteins involved in protein quality control (PQC). These PQC proteins include heat-shock proteins, chaperones, proteases, and ROS detoxifiers. Given that FtsH2 functions primarily in photosystem II proteostasis, the accumulation of PQC-related proteins may balance the FtsH2 deficiency. Moreover, the apparent up-regulation of the cognate transcripts indicates that the accumulation of PQC-related proteins in var2 is probably mediated by retrograde signaling, indicating the occurrence of a UPR-like response in var2.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The protein homeostasis (proteostasis) network maintains balanced protein synthesis, folding, transport, and degradation within a cell. Failure to maintain proteostasis is associated with aging and disease, leading to concerted efforts to study how the network responds to various proteotoxic stresses. This is often accomplished using ectopic overexpression of well-characterized, model misfolded protein substrates. However, how cells tolerate large-scale, diverse burden to the proteostasis network is not understood. Aneuploidy, the state of imbalanced chromosome content, adversely affects the proteostasis network by dysregulating the expression of hundreds of proteins simultaneously. Using aneuploid haploid yeast cells as a model, we address whether cells can tolerate large-scale, diverse challenges to the proteostasis network. RESULTS:Here we characterize several aneuploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains isolated from a collection of stable, randomly generated yeast aneuploid cells. These strains exhibit robust growth and resistance to multiple drugs which induce various forms of proteotoxic stress. Whole genome re-sequencing of the strains revealed this was not the result of genetic mutations, and transcriptome profiling combined with ribosome footprinting showed that genes are expressed and translated in accordance to chromosome copy number. In some strains, various facets of the proteostasis network are mildly upregulated without chronic activation of environmental stress response or heat shock response pathways. No severe defects were observed in the degradation of misfolded proteins, using model misfolded substrates of endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation or cytosolic quality control pathways, and protein biosynthesis capacity was not impaired. CONCLUSIONS:We show that yeast strains of some karyotypes in the genetic background studied here can tolerate the large aneuploidy-associated burden to the proteostasis machinery without genetic changes, dosage compensation, or activation of canonical stress response pathways. We suggest that proteotoxic stress, while common, is not always an obligate consequence of aneuploidy, but rather certain karyotypes and genetic backgrounds may be able to tolerate the excess protein burden placed on the protein homeostasis machinery. This may help clarify how cancer cells are paradoxically both highly aneuploid and highly proliferative at the same time.
Project description:Protein homeostasis (proteostasis) disturbances and inflammation are evident in normal aging and some age-related neurodegenerative diseases. While the proteostasis network maintains the integrity of intracellular and extracellular functional proteins, inflammation is a biological response to harmful stimuli. Cellular stress conditions can cause protein damage, thus exacerbating protein misfolding and leading to an eventual overload of the degradation system. The regulation of proteostasis network is particularly important in postmitotic neurons due to their limited regenerative capacity. Therefore, maintaining balanced protein synthesis, handling unfolding, refolding, and degrading misfolded proteins are essential to preserve all cellular functions in the central nervous sysytem. Failing proteostasis may trigger inflammatory responses in glial cells, and the consequent release of inflammatory mediators may lead to disturbances in proteostasis. Here, we review the mechanisms of proteostasis and inflammatory response, emphasizing their role in the pathological hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Furthermore, we discuss the interplay between proteostatic stress and excessive immune response that activates inflammation and leads to dysfunctional proteostasis.
Project description:Protein Quality Control (PQC) pathways are essential to maintain the equilibrium between protein folding and the clearance of misfolded proteins. In order to discover novel human PQC factors, we developed a high-content, high-throughput cell-based assay to assess PQC activity. The assay is based on a fluorescently tagged, temperature sensitive PQC substrate and measures its degradation relative to a temperature insensitive internal control. In a targeted screen of 1591 siRNA genes involved in the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System (UPS) we identified 25 of the 33 genes encoding for 26S proteasome subunits and discovered several novel PQC factors. An unbiased genome-wide siRNA screen revealed the protein translation machinery, and in particular the EIF3 translation initiation complex, as a novel key modulator of misfolded protein stability. These results represent a comprehensive unbiased survey of human PQC components and establish an experimental tool for the discovery of genes that are required for the degradation of misfolded proteins under conditions of proteotoxic stress.
Project description:Gaucher's disease (GD) is characterized by loss of lysosomal glucocerebrosidase (GC) activity. Mutations in the gene encoding GC destabilize the protein's native folding leading to ER-associated degradation (ERAD) of the misfolded enzyme. Enhancing the cellular folding capacity by remodeling the proteostasis network promotes native folding and lysosomal activity of mutated GC variants. However, proteostasis modulators reported so far, including ERAD inhibitors, trigger cellular stress and lead to induction of apoptosis. We show herein that lacidipine, an L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker that also inhibits ryanodine receptors on the ER membrane, enhances folding, trafficking and lysosomal activity of the most severely destabilized GC variant achieved via ERAD inhibition in fibroblasts derived from patients with GD. Interestingly, reprogramming the proteostasis network by combining modulation of Ca(2+) homeostasis and ERAD inhibition remodels the unfolded protein response and dramatically lowers apoptosis induction typically associated with ERAD inhibition.