Missense Variants in RHOBTB2 Cause a Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathy in Humans, and Altered Levels Cause Neurological Defects in Drosophila.
ABSTRACT: Although the role of typical Rho GTPases and other Rho-linked proteins in synaptic plasticity and cognitive function and dysfunction is widely acknowledged, the role of atypical Rho GTPases (such as RHOBTB2) in neurodevelopment has barely been characterized. We have now identified de novo missense variants clustering in the BTB-domain-encoding region of RHOBTB2 in ten individuals with a similar phenotype, including early-onset epilepsy, severe intellectual disability, postnatal microcephaly, and movement disorders. Three of the variants were recurrent. Upon transfection of HEK293 cells, we found that mutant RHOBTB2 was more abundant than the wild-type, most likely because of impaired degradation in the proteasome. Similarly, elevated amounts of the Drosophila ortholog RhoBTB in vivo were associated with seizure susceptibility and severe locomotor defects. Knockdown of RhoBTB in the Drosophila dendritic arborization neurons resulted in a decreased number of dendrites, thus suggesting a role of RhoBTB in dendritic development. We have established missense variants in the BTB-domain-encoding region of RHOBTB2 as causative for a developmental and epileptic encephalopathy and have elucidated the role of atypical Rho GTPase RhoBTB in Drosophila neurological function and possibly dendrite development.
Project description:RhoBTB proteins are atypical members of the Rho family of small GTPases. Two of the three RhoBTB proteins, RhoBTB1 and RhoBTB2, have been proposed as tumor suppressors and might function as adaptors of Cul3-dependent ubiquitin ligase complexes. Using yeast two-hybrid analysis and co-immunoprecipitation we show that all three RhoBTB proteins interact with Cul3. The interaction requires the N-terminal region of Cul3 and the first BTB domain of RhoBTB. RhoBTB3, the only RhoBTB with a prenylation motif, associates with vesicles that are frequently found in the vicinity of microtubules, suggesting a participation in some aspects of vesicle trafficking. We also show that RhoBTB2 and RhoBTB3 are capable of homo and heterodimerizing through the BTB domain region. The GTPase domain, which does not bind GTP, is able to interact with the BTB domain region, thus preventing proteasomal degradation of RhoBTB. This fits into a model in which an intramolecular interaction maintains RhoBTB in an inactive state, preventing the formation or the functionality of Cul3-dependent complexes. We also report a significantly decreased expression of RHOBTB and CUL3 genes in kidney and breast tumor samples and a very good correlation in the expression changes between RHOBTB and CUL3 that suggests that these genes are subject to a common inactivation mechanism in tumors.
Project description:The Hippo pathway regulates growth and apoptosis. We identify RhoBTB proteins as novel regulators of Hippo signaling. RhoBTB depletion in the Drosophila wing disc epithelium cooperated with Yki to drive hyperplasia into neoplasia. Depletion of RhoBTB2 caused elevated YAP activity in human cells. RhoBTB2 deficiency resulted in increased colony formation in assays for anchorage-independent growth. We provide evidence that RhoBTBs acts on Hippo signaling through regulation of the kinase LKB1. LKB1 protein levels were reduced upon RhoBTB2 depletion, which correlated with increased LKB1 ubiquitination. Restoring LKB1 levels rescued loss of RhoBTB in Drosophila Our results suggest that RhoBTB-dependent LKB1 regulation may contribute to its tumor-suppressive function.
Project description:The Rho GTPases are related to the Ras proto-oncogenes and consist of 22 family members. These proteins have important roles in regulating the organization of the actin filament system, and thereby the morphogenesis of vertebrate cells as well as their ability to migrate. In an effort to compare the effects of all members of the Rho GTPase family, active Rho GTPases were transfected into porcine aortic endothelial cells and the effects on the actin filament system were monitored. Cdc42, TCL (TC10-like), Rac1-Rac3 and RhoG induced the formation of lamellipodia, whereas Cdc42, Rac1 and Rac2 also induced the formation of thick bundles of actin filaments. In contrast, transfection with TC10 or Chp resulted in the formation of focal adhesion-like structures, whereas Wrch-1 induced long and thin filopodia. Transfection with RhoA, RhoB or RhoC induced the assembly of stress fibres, whereas Rnd1-Rnd3 resulted in the loss of stress fibres, but this effect was associated with the formation of actin- and ezrin-containing dorsal microvilli. Cells expressing RhoD and Rif had extremely long and flexible filopodia. None of the RhoBTB or Miro GTPases had any major influence on the organization of the actin filament system; instead, RhoBTB1 and RhoBTB2 were present in vesicular structures, and Miro-1 and Miro-2 were present in mitochondria. Collectively, the data obtained in this study to some extent confirm earlier observations, but also allow the identification of previously undetected roles of the different members of the Rho GTPases.
Project description:Taking advantage of the ongoing Dictyostelium genome sequencing project, we have assembled >73 kb of genomic DNA in 15 contigs harbouring 15 genes and one pseudogene of Rho-related proteins. Comparison with EST sequences revealed that every gene is interrupted by at least one and up to four introns. For racC extensive alternative splicing was identified. Northern blot analysis showed that mRNAs for racA, racE, racG, racH and racI were present at all stages of development, whereas racJ and racL were expressed only at late stages. Amino acid sequences have been analysed in the context of Rho-related proteins of other organisms. Rac1a/1b/1c, RacF1/F2 and to a lesser extent RacB and the GTPase domain of RacA can be grouped in the Rac subfamily. None of the additional Dictyostelium Rho-related proteins belongs to any of the well-defined subfamilies, like Rac, Cdc42 or Rho. RacD and RacA are unique in that they lack the prenylation motif characteristic of Rho proteins. RacD possesses a 50 residue C-terminal extension and RacA a 400 residue C-terminal extension that contains a proline-rich region, two BTB domains and a novel C-terminal domain. We have also identified homologues for RacA in Drosophila and mammals, thus defining a new subfamily of Rho proteins, RhoBTB.
Project description:RhoBTB1 is an atypical Rho GTPase with two BTB domains in addition to its Rho domain. Although most Rho GTPases regulate actin cytoskeletal dynamics, RhoBTB1 is not known to affect cell shape or motility. We report that RhoBTB1 depletion increases prostate cancer cell invasion and induces elongation in Matrigel, a phenotype similar to that induced by depletion of ROCK1 and ROCK2. We demonstrate that RhoBTB1 associates with ROCK1 and ROCK2 and its association with ROCK1 is via its Rho domain. The Rho domain binds to the coiled-coil region of ROCK1 close to its kinase domain. We identify two amino acids within the Rho domain that alter RhoBTB1 association with ROCK1. RhoBTB1 is a substrate for ROCK1, and mutation of putative phosphorylation sites reduces its association with Cullin3, a scaffold for ubiquitin ligases. We propose that RhoBTB1 suppresses cancer cell invasion through interacting with ROCKs, which in turn regulate its association with Cullin3. Via Cullin3, RhoBTB1 has the potential to affect protein degradation.
Project description:The expression of the wild-type tumor-suppressor gene DBC2 (Deleted-in-Breast Cancer 2, a.k.a RhoBTB2) is suppressed in many cancers, in addition to breast cancer. In a screen for Cdc37-associated proteins, DBC2 was identified to be a potential client protein of the 90 kDa heat shock protein (Hsp90) chaperone machine. Pull down assays of ectopically expressed DBC2 confirmed that DBC2 associated with Hsp90 and its co-chaperone components in reticulocyte lysate and MCF7 cells. Similar to other atypical Rho GTPases, DBC2 was found to have retained the capacity to bind GTP. The ability of DBC2 to bind GTP was modulated by the Hsp90 ATPase cycle, as demonstrated through the use of the Hsp90 chemical inhibitors, geldanamycin and molybdate. The binding of full length DBC2 to GTP was suppressed in the presence of geldanamycin, while it was enhanced in the presence of molybdate. Furthermore, assembly of DBC2-Cullin3-COP9 E3 ligase complexes was Hsp90-dependent. The data suggest a new paradigm for Hsp90-modulated assembly of a Cul3/DBC2 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex that may extend to other E3 ligase complexes.
Project description:GTPases of the Rho family are molecular switches that play important roles in converting and amplifying external signals into cellular effects. Originally demonstrated to control the dynamics of the F-actin cytoskeleton, Rho GTPases have been implicated in many basic cellular processes that influence cell proliferation, differentiation, motility, adhesion, survival, or secretion. To elucidate the evolutionary history of the Rho family, we have analyzed over 20 species covering major eukaryotic clades from unicellular organisms to mammals, including platypus and opossum, and have reconstructed the ontogeny and the chronology of emergence of the different subfamilies. Our data establish that the 20 mammalian Rho members are structured into 8 subfamilies, among which Rac is the founder of the whole family. Rho, Cdc42, RhoUV, and RhoBTB subfamilies appeared before Coelomates and RhoJQ, Cdc42 isoforms, RhoDF, and Rnd emerged in chordates. In vertebrates, gene duplications and retrotranspositions increased the size of each chordate Rho subfamily, whereas RhoH, the last subfamily, arose probably by horizontal gene transfer. Rac1b, a Rac1 isoform generated by alternative splicing, emerged in amniotes, and RhoD, only in therians. Analysis of Rho mRNA expression patterns in mouse tissues shows that recent subfamilies have tissue-specific and low-level expression that supports their implication only in narrow time windows or in differentiated metabolic functions. These findings give a comprehensive view of the evolutionary canvas of the Rho family and provide guides for future structure and evolution studies of other components of Rho signaling pathways, in particular regulators of the RhoGEF family.
Project description:Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is divided into steroid-sensitive (SSNS) and -resistant (SRNS) variants. SRNS causes end-stage kidney disease, which cannot be cured. While the disease mechanisms of NS are not well understood, genetic mapping studies suggest a multitude of unknown single-gene causes. We combined homozygosity mapping with whole-exome resequencing and identified an ARHGDIA mutation that causes SRNS. We demonstrated that ARHGDIA is in a complex with RHO GTPases and is prominently expressed in podocytes of rat glomeruli. ARHGDIA mutations (R120X and G173V) from individuals with SRNS abrogated interaction with RHO GTPases and increased active GTP-bound RAC1 and CDC42, but not RHOA, indicating that RAC1 and CDC42 are more relevant to the pathogenesis of this SRNS variant than RHOA. Moreover, the mutations enhanced migration of cultured human podocytes; however, enhanced migration was reversed by treatment with RAC1 inhibitors. The nephrotic phenotype was recapitulated in arhgdia-deficient zebrafish. RAC1 inhibitors were partially effective in ameliorating arhgdia-associated defects. These findings identify a single-gene cause of NS and reveal that RHO GTPase signaling is a pathogenic mediator of SRNS.
Project description:Rho GTPases are important members of the Ras superfamily, which represents the largest signaling protein family in eukaryotes, and function as key molecular switches in converting and amplifying external signals into cellular responses. Although numerous analyses of Rho family genes have been reported, including their functions and evolution, a systematic analysis of this family has not been performed in Mollusca or in Bivalvia, one of the most important classes of Mollusca.In this study, we systematically identified and characterized a total set (Rho, Rac, Mig, Cdc42, Tc10, Rnd, RhoU, RhoBTB and Miro) of thirty Rho GTPase genes in three bivalve species, including nine in the Yesso scallop Patinopecten yessoensis, nine in the Zhikong scallop Chlamys farreri, and twelve in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas. Phylogenetic analysis and interspecies comparison indicated that bivalves might possess the most complete types of Rho genes in invertebrates. A multiple RNA-seq dataset was used to investigate the expression profiles of bivalve Rho genes, revealing that the examined scallops share more similar Rho expression patterns than the oyster, whereas more Rho mRNAs are expressed in C. farreri and C. gigas than in P. yessoensis. Additionally, Rho, Rac and Cdc42 were found to be duplicated in the oyster but not in the scallops. Among the expanded Rho genes of C. gigas, duplication pairs with high synonymous substitution rates (Ks) displayed greater differences in expression.A comprehensive analysis of bivalve Rho GTPase family genes was performed in scallop and oyster species, and Rho genes in bivalves exhibit greater conservation than those in any other invertebrate. This is the first study focusing on a genome-wide characterization of Rho GTPase genes in bivalves, and the findings will provide a valuable resource for a better understanding of Rho evolution and Rho GTPase function in Bivalvia.
Project description:p21-activated kinases (PAKs) are serine/threonine protein kinases acting as effectors of CDC42 and RAC, which are members of the RHO family of small GTPases. PAK1's kinase activity is autoinhibited by homodimerization, whereas CDC42 or RAC1 binding causes PAK1 activation by dimer dissociation. Major functions of the PAKs include actin cytoskeleton reorganization, for example regulation of the cellular protruding activity during cell spreading. We report the de novo PAK1 mutations c.392A>G (p.Tyr131Cys) and c.1286A>G (p.Tyr429Cys) in two unrelated subjects with developmental delay, secondary macrocephaly, seizures, and ataxic gait. We identified enhanced phosphorylation of the PAK1 targets JNK and AKT in fibroblasts of one subject and of c-JUN in those of both subjects compared with control subjects. In fibroblasts of the two affected individuals, we observed a trend toward enhanced PAK1 kinase activity. By using co-immunoprecipitation and size-exclusion chromatography, we observed a significantly reduced dimerization for both PAK1 mutants compared with wild-type PAK1. These data demonstrate that the two PAK1 variants function as activating alleles. In a cell spreading assay, subject-derived fibroblasts showed significant enrichment in cells occupied by filopodia. Interestingly, application of the PAK1 inhibitor FRAX486 completely reversed this cellular phenotype. Together, our data reveal that dominantly acting, gain-of-function PAK1 mutations cause a neurodevelopmental phenotype with increased head circumference, possibly by a combined effect of defective homodimerization and enhanced kinase activity of PAK1. This condition, along with the developmental disorders associated with RAC1 and CDC42 missense mutations, highlight the importance of RHO GTPase members and effectors in neuronal development.