The Crosstalk of Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) Stress Pathways with NF-?B: Complex Mechanisms Relevant for Cancer, Inflammation and Infection.
ABSTRACT: Stressful conditions occuring during cancer, inflammation or infection activate adaptive responses that are controlled by the unfolded protein response (UPR) and the nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells (NF-?B) signaling pathway. These systems can be triggered by chemical compounds but also by cytokines, toll-like receptor ligands, nucleic acids, lipids, bacteria and viruses. Despite representing unique signaling cascades, new data indicate that the UPR and NF-?B pathways converge within the nucleus through ten major transcription factors (TFs), namely activating transcription factor (ATF)4, ATF3, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (CEBP) homologous protein (CHOP), X-box-binding protein (XBP)1, ATF6? and the five NF-?B subunits. The combinatorial occupancy of numerous genomic regions (enhancers and promoters) coordinates the transcriptional activation or repression of hundreds of genes that collectively determine the balance between metabolic and inflammatory phenotypes and the extent of apoptosis and autophagy or repair of cell damage and survival. Here, we also discuss results from genetic experiments and chemical activators of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress that suggest a link to the cytosolic inhibitor of NF-?B (I?B)? degradation pathway. These data show that the UPR affects this major control point of NF-?B activation through several mechanisms. Taken together, available evidence indicates that the UPR and NF-?B interact at multiple levels. This crosstalk provides ample opportunities to fine-tune cellular stress responses and could also be exploited therapeutically in the future.
Project description:The unfolded protein response (UPR) is an adaptive signaling pathway utilized to sense and alleviate the stress of protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In mammals, the UPR is mediated through three proximal sensors PERK/PEK, IRE1, and ATF6. PERK/PEK is a protein kinase that phosphorylates the alpha subunit of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 to inhibit protein synthesis. Activation of IRE1 induces splicing of XBP1 mRNA to produce a potent transcription factor. ATF6 is a transmembrane transcription factor that is activated by cleavage upon ER stress. We show that in Caenorhabditis elegans, deletion of either ire-1 or xbp-1 is synthetically lethal with deletion of either atf-6 or pek-1, both producing a developmental arrest at larval stage 2. Therefore, in C. elegans, atf-6 acts synergistically with pek-1 to complement the developmental requirement for ire-1 and xbp-1. Microarray analysis identified inducible UPR (i-UPR) genes, as well as numerous constitutive UPR (c-UPR) genes that require the ER stress transducers during normal development. Although ire-1 and xbp-1 together regulate transcription of most i-UPR genes, they are each required for expression of nonoverlapping sets of c-UPR genes, suggesting that they have distinct functions. Intriguingly, C. elegans atf-6 regulates few i-UPR genes following ER stress, but is required for the expression of many c-UPR genes, indicating its importance during development and homeostasis. In contrast, pek-1 is required for induction of approximately 23% of i-UPR genes but is dispensable for the c-UPR. As pek-1 and atf-6 mainly act through sets of nonoverlapping targets that are different from ire-1 and xbp-1 targets, at least two coordinated responses are required to alleviate ER stress by distinct mechanisms. Finally, our array study identified the liver-specific transcription factor CREBh as a novel UPR gene conserved during metazoan evolution.
Project description:The Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) maintains homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and defends against ER stress, an underlying factor in various human diseases. During the UPR, numerous genes are activated that sustain and protect the ER. These responses are known to involve the canonical UPR transcription factors XBP1, ATF4, and ATF6. Here, we show in C. elegans that the conserved stress defense factor SKN-1/Nrf plays a central and essential role in the transcriptional UPR. While SKN-1/Nrf has a well-established function in protection against oxidative and xenobiotic stress, we find that it also mobilizes an overlapping but distinct response to ER stress. SKN-1/Nrf is regulated by the UPR, directly controls UPR signaling and transcription factor genes, binds to common downstream targets with XBP-1 and ATF-6, and is present at the ER. SKN-1/Nrf is also essential for resistance to ER stress, including reductive stress. Remarkably, SKN-1/Nrf-mediated responses to oxidative stress depend upon signaling from the ER. We conclude that SKN-1/Nrf plays a critical role in the UPR, but orchestrates a distinct oxidative stress response that is licensed by ER signaling. Regulatory integration through SKN-1/Nrf may coordinate ER and cytoplasmic homeostasis.
Project description:The mammalian unfolded protein response (UPR) protects the cell against the stress of misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We have investigated here the contribution of the UPR transcription factors XBP-1, ATF6alpha, and ATF6beta to UPR target gene expression. Gene profiling of cell lines lacking these factors yielded several XBP-1-dependent UPR target genes, all of which appear to act in the ER. These included the DnaJ/Hsp40-like genes, p58(IPK), ERdj4, and HEDJ, as well as EDEM, protein disulfide isomerase-P5, and ribosome-associated membrane protein 4 (RAMP4), whereas expression of BiP was only modestly dependent on XBP-1. Surprisingly, given previous reports that enforced expression of ATF6alpha induced a subset of UPR target genes, cells deficient in ATF6alpha, ATF6beta, or both had minimal defects in upregulating UPR target genes by gene profiling analysis, suggesting the presence of compensatory mechanism(s) for ATF6 in the UPR. Since cells lacking both XBP-1 and ATF6alpha had significantly impaired induction of select UPR target genes and ERSE reporter activation, XBP-1 and ATF6alpha may serve partially redundant functions. No UPR target genes that required ATF6beta were identified, nor, in contrast to XBP-1 and ATF6alpha, did the activity of the UPRE or ERSE promoters require ATF6beta, suggesting a minor role for it during the UPR. Collectively, these results suggest that the IRE1/XBP-1 pathway is required for efficient protein folding, maturation, and degradation in the ER and imply the existence of subsets of UPR target genes as defined by their dependence on XBP-1. Further, our observations suggest the existence of additional, as-yet-unknown, key regulators of the UPR.
Project description:Acidosis commonly exists in the tissue microenvironment of various pathophysiological conditions such as tumors, inflammation, ischemia, metabolic disease, and respiratory disease. For instance, the tumor microenvironment is characterized by acidosis and hypoxia due to tumor heterogeneity, aerobic glycolysis (the "Warburg effect"), and the defective vasculature that cannot efficiently deliver oxygen and nutrients or remove metabolic acid byproduct. How the acidic microenvironment affects the function of blood vessels, however, is not well defined. GPR4 (G protein-coupled receptor 4) is a member of the proton-sensing G protein-coupled receptors and it has high expression in endothelial cells (ECs). We have previously reported that acidosis induces a broad inflammatory response in ECs. Acidosis also increases the expression of several endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response genes such as CHOP (C/EBP homologous protein) and ATF3 (activating transcription factor 3). In the current study, we have examined acidosis/GPR4- induced ER stress pathways in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and other types of ECs. All three arms of the ER stress/unfolded protein response (UPR) pathways were activated by acidosis in ECs as an increased expression of phosphorylated eIF2? (eukaryotic initiation factor 2?), phosphorylated IRE1? (inositol-requiring enzyme 1?), and cleaved ATF6 upon acidic pH treatment was observed. The expression of other downstream mediators of the UPR, such as ATF4, ATF3, and spliced XBP-1 (X box-binding protein 1), was also induced by acidosis. Through genetic and pharmacological approaches to modulate the expression level or activity of GPR4 in HUVEC, we found that GPR4 plays an important role in mediating the ER stress response induced by acidosis. As ER stress/UPR can cause inflammation and cell apoptosis, acidosis/GPR4-induced ER stress pathways in ECs may regulate vascular growth and inflammatory response in the acidic microenvironment.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the cellular site for protein folding. ER stress occurs when protein folding capacity is exceeded. This stress induces a cyto-protective signaling cascades termed the unfolded protein response (UPR) aimed at restoring homeostasis. While acute ER stress is lethal, chronic sub-lethal ER stress causes cells to adapt by attenuation of UPR activation. Hepatitis C virus (HCV), a major human pathogen, was shown to cause ER stress, however it is unclear whether HCV induces chronic ER stress, and if so whether adaptation mechanisms are initiated. We wanted to characterize the kinetics of HCV-induced ER stress during infection and assess adaptation mechanisms and their significance.<h4>Methods and findings</h4>The HuH7.5.1 cellular system and HCV-transgenic (HCV-Tg) mice were used to characterize HCV-induced ER stress/UPR pathway activation and adaptation. HCV induced a wave of acute ER stress peaking 2-5 days post-infection, which rapidly subsided thereafter. UPR pathways were activated including IRE1 and EIF2? phosphorylation, ATF6 cleavage and XBP-1 splicing. Downstream target genes including GADD34, ERdj4, p58ipk, ATF3 and ATF4 were upregulated. CHOP, a UPR regulated protein was activated and translocated to the nucleus. Remarkably, UPR activity did not return to baseline but remained elevated for up to 14 days post infection suggesting that chronic ER stress is induced. At this time, cells adapted to ER stress and were less responsive to further drug-induced ER stress. Similar results were obtained in HCV-Tg mice. Suppression of HCV by Interferon-? 2a treatment, restored UPR responsiveness to ER stress tolerant cells.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our study shows, for the first time, that HCV induces adaptation to chronic ER stress which was reversed upon viral suppression. These finding represent a novel viral mechanism to manipulate cellular response pathways.
Project description:Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) gene encodes a member of the ATF family of transcription factors and is induced by various stress signals, including many of those that induce the unfolded protein response (UPR). Emerging evidence suggests that ATF3 is a hub of the cellular adaptive-response network and studies using various mouse models indicate that ATF3 plays a role in the pathogenesis of various diseases. One way to investigate the potential relevance of ATF3 to human diseases is to determine its expression in patient samples and test whether it correlates with disease progression or clinical outcomes. Due to the scarcity and preciousness of patient samples, methods that can detect ATF3 on archival tissue sections would greatly facilitate this research. In this chapter, we briefly review the roles of ATF3 in cellular adaptive-response and UPR, and then describe the detailed steps and tips that we developed based on general immunohistochemistry (IHC) protocols to detect ATF3 on paraffin embedded sections.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Salmonella enterica infections can lead to Reactive Arthritis (ReA), which can exhibit an association with human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-B*27:05, a molecule prone to misfolding and initiation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). This study examined how HLA-B*27:05 expression and the UPR affect the Salmonella life-cycle within epithelial cells. METHODS:Isogenic epithelial cell lines expressing two copies of either HLA-B*27:05 and a control HLA-B*35:01 heavy chain (HC) were generated to determine the effect on the Salmonella infection life-cycle. A cell line expressing HLA-B*27:05.HC physically linked to the light chain beta-2-microglobulin and a specific peptide (referred to as a single chain trimer, SCT) was also generated to determine the effects of HLA-B27 folding status on S. enterica life-cycle. XBP-1 venus and AMP dependent Transcription Factor (ATF6)-FLAG reporters were used to monitor UPR activation in infected cells. Triacin C was used to inhibit de novo lipid synthesis during UPR, and confocal imaging of ER tracker stained membrane allowed quantification of glibenclamide-associated membrane. RESULTS:S. enterica demonstrated enhanced replication with an altered cellular localisation in the presence of HLA-B*27:05.HC but not in the presence of HLA-B*27:05.SCT or HLA-B*35:01. HLA-B*27:05.HC altered the threshold for UPR induction. Salmonella activated the UPR and required XBP-1 for replication, which was associated with endoreticular membrane expansion and lipid metabolism. CONCLUSIONS:HLA-B27 misfolding and a UPR cellular environment are associated with enhanced Salmonella replication, while Salmonella itself can activate XBP-1 and ATF6. These data provide a potential mechanism linking the life-cycle of Salmonella with the physicochemical properties of HLA-B27 and cellular events that may contribute to ReA pathogenesis. Our observations suggest that the UPR pathway maybe targeted for future therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Arsenic exposure through drinking water is a major global public health problem and is associated with an enhanced risk of various cancers including skin cancer. In human skin, arsenic induces precancerous melanosis and keratosis, which may progress to basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. However, the mechanism by which these pathophysiologic alterations occur remains elusive. In this study, we showed that subchronic arsenic exposure to SKH-1 mice induced unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling regulated by proteins, inositol-requiring enzyme-1 (IRE1), PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) and activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6). Arsenic activated all three UPR regulatory proteins in the skin. Arsenic induced IRE1 phosphorylation which resulted in augmented splicing of X-box binding protein 1 (XBP-1) leading to its migration to the nucleus, and also enhanced transcriptional activation of downstream target proteins. Hyperphosphorylation of PERK which induces eukaryotic translation initial factor 2? (eIF2?) in a phosphorylation-dependent manner enhanced translation of ATF4, in addition to augmenting proteolytic activation of ATF6 in arsenic-treated skin. A similar increase in the expression of CHOP was observed. Enhanced XBP-1s, ATF4, and ATF6 regulated downstream chaperones GRP94 and GRP78. In addition, arsenic induced inflammation-related p38/MAPKAPK-2 MAPK signaling and alterations in Th-1/Th-2/Th-17 cytokines/chemokines and their receptors. Antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine blocked arsenic-induced reactive oxygen species, with a concomitant attenuation of UPR and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling and proinflammatory cytokine/chemokine signatures. Our results identify novel pathways involved in the pathogenesis of arsenic-mediated cutaneous inflammation which may also be related to enhanced cancer risk in arsenic exposed cohorts.
Project description:Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress activates the Unfolded Protein Response, a compensatory signaling response that is mediated by the IRE-1, PERK/PEK-1, and ATF-6 pathways in metazoans. Genetic studies have implicated roles for UPR signaling in animal development and disease, but the function of the UPR under physiological conditions, in the absence of chemical agents administered to induce ER stress, is not well understood. Here, we show that in Caenorhabditis elegans XBP-1 deficiency results in constitutive ER stress, reflected by increased basal levels of IRE-1 and PEK-1 activity under physiological conditions. We define a dynamic, temperature-dependent requirement for XBP-1 and PEK-1 activities that increases with immune activation and at elevated physiological temperatures in C. elegans. Our data suggest that the negative feedback loops involving the activation of IRE-1-XBP-1 and PEK-1 pathways serve essential roles, not only at the extremes of ER stress, but also in the maintenance of ER homeostasis under physiological conditions.
Project description:To endure over the organismal lifespan, neurons utilize multiple strategies to achieve protein homeostasis (proteostasis). Some homeostatic mechanisms act in a subcellular compartment-specific manner, but others exhibit trans-compartmental mechanisms of proteostasis. To identify pathways protecting neurons from pathological tau protein, we employed a transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans model of human tauopathy exhibiting proteostatic disruption. We show normal functioning of the endoplasmic reticulum unfolded protein response (UPRER) promotes clearance of pathological tau, and loss of the three UPRER branches differentially affects tauopathy phenotypes. Loss of function of xbp-1 and atf-6 genes, the two main UPRER transcription factors, exacerbates tau toxicity. Furthermore, constitutive activation of master transcription factor XBP-1 ameliorates tauopathy phenotypes. However, both ATF6 and PERK branches of the UPRER participate in amelioration of tauopathy by constitutively active XBP-1, possibly through endoplasmic reticulum-associated protein degradation (ERAD). Understanding how the UPRER modulates pathological tau accumulation will inform neurodegenerative disease mechanisms.