A pharmacological probe identifies cystathionine ?-synthase as a new negative regulator for ferroptosis.
ABSTRACT: Cystathionine ?-synthase (CBS) is responsible for the first enzymatic reaction in the transsulfuration pathway of sulfur amino acids. The molecular function and mechanism of CBS as well as that of transsulfuration pathway remain ill-defined in cell proliferation and death. In the present study, we designed, synthesized and obtained a bioactive inhibitor CH004 for human CBS, which functions in vitro and in vivo. CH004 inhibits CBS activity, elevated the cellular homocysteine and suppressed the production of hydrogen sulfide in a dose-dependent manner in cells or in vivo. Chemical or genetic inhibition of CBS demonstrates that endogenous CBS is closely coupled with cell proliferation and cell cycle. Moreover, CH004 substantially retarded in vivo tumor growth in a xenograft mice model of liver cancer. Importantly, inhibition of CBS triggers ferroptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma. Overall, the study provides several clues for studying the interplays amongst transsulfuration pathway, ferroptosis and liver cancer.
Project description:Abstract Purpose: Cystathionine ?-synthase (CBS), a key enzyme in the transsulfuration metabolic pathway, converts homocysteine to cystathionine, which is converted to cysteine required for the synthesis of major retinal antioxidant glutathione (GSH). Enzyme activity assays suggest that CBS is present in human and pig retina, however recent studies reported that CBS is not expressed in mouse retina. We found this species difference puzzling. Given the plethora of studies using mouse retina as a model system, coupled with the importance of GSH in retina, we investigated CBS expression in mouse retina at the molecular and cell biological level.Wildtype (WT) mice or mice lacking the gene encoding CBS (cbs(-)(/)(-)) were used in these studies. RNA and protein were isolated from retinas and liver (positive control) for the analysis of cbs gene expression by RT-PCR and CBS protein expression by Western blotting, respectively. CBS was analyzed by immunofluorescence in retinal cryosections and primary retinal cells (ganglion, Müller, retinal pigment epithelial). CBS enzyme activity was measured in primary Müller cells.RT-PCR revealed robust cbs expression in WT liver, brain and retina. Western blotting detected CBS in retina, brain and liver of WT mice, but not in cbs(-)(/)(-) mice liver. In immunohistochemical studies, CBS was present abundantly in the ganglion cell layer of retina; it was detected also in primary isolations of Müller, RPE and ganglion cells. CBS activity was detected in Müller cells by fluorescent detection of H2S.We have compelling molecular evidence that CBS is expressed in mouse retina at the gene and protein level. Our immunofluorescence data suggest that it is present in several retinal cell types and the data from the enzyme activity assay suggest activity in Müller cells. These findings set the stage to investigate the role of CBS and the transsulfuration pathway in the generation of GSH in mouse retina.
Project description:Cystathionine ?-synthase (CBS) catalyzes the condensation of serine and homocysteine to water and cystathionine, which is then hydrolyzed to cysteine, ?-ketobutyrate and ammonia by cystathionine ?-lyase (CGL) in the reverse transsulfuration pathway. The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, the causative agent of toxoplasmosis, includes both CBS and CGL enzymes. We have recently reported that the putative T. gondii CGL gene encodes a functional enzyme. Herein, we cloned and biochemically characterized cDNA encoding CBS from T. gondii (TgCBS), which represents a first example of protozoan CBS that does not bind heme but possesses two C-terminal CBS domains. We demonstrated that TgCBS can use both serine and O-acetylserine to produce cystathionine, converting these substrates to an aminoacrylate intermediate as part of a PLP-catalyzed ?-replacement reaction. Besides a role in cysteine biosynthesis, TgCBS can also efficiently produce hydrogen sulfide, preferentially via condensation of cysteine and homocysteine. Unlike the human counterpart and similar to CBS enzymes from lower organisms, the TgCBS activity is not stimulated by S-adenosylmethionine. This study establishes the presence of an intact functional reverse transsulfuration pathway in T. gondii and demonstrates the crucial role of TgCBS in biogenesis of H2S.
Project description:Ferroptosis is a form of regulated non-apoptotic cell death that has been implicated in several disease contexts. A better understanding of the ferroptotic death mechanism could lead to the development of new therapeutics for degenerative diseases, and a better understanding of how to induce ferroptosis in specific tumor contexts. We performed an unbiased genome-wide siRNA screen to find genetic suppressors of ferroptosis. We determined that loss of CARS, the cysteinyl-tRNA synthetase, suppresses ferroptosis induced by erastin, which inhibits the cystine-glutamate antiporter known as system xc(-). Knockdown of CARS inhibited erastin-induced death by preventing the induction of lipid reactive oxygen species, without altering iron homeostasis. Knockdown of CARS led to the accumulation of cystathionine, a metabolite on the transsulfuration pathway, and upregulated genes associated with serine biosynthesis and transsulfuration. In addition, inhibition of the transsulfuration pathway resensitized cells to erastin, even after CARS knockdown. These studies demonstrate a new mechanism of resistance to ferroptosis and may lead to strategies for inducing and suppressing ferroptosis in diverse contexts.
Project description:Human cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS) catalyzes the first irreversible step in the transsulfuration pathway and commits homocysteine to the synthesis of cysteine. Mutations in CBS are the most common cause of severe hereditary hyperhomocysteinemia. A yeast two-hybrid approach to screen for proteins that interact with CBS had previously identified several components of the sumoylation pathway and resulted in the demonstration that CBS is a substrate for sumoylation. In this study, we demonstrate that sumoylation of CBS is enhanced in the presence of human polycomb group protein 2 (hPc2), an interacting partner that was identified in the initial yeast two-hybrid screen. When the substrates for CBS, homocysteine and serine for cystathionine generation and homocysteine and cysteine for H(2)S generation, are added to the sumoylation mixture, they inhibit the sumoylation reaction, but only in the absence of hPc2. Similarly, the product of the CBS reaction, cystathionine, inhibits sumoylation in the absence of hPc2. Sumoylation in turn decreases CBS activity by approximately 28% in the absence of hPc2 and by 70% in its presence. Based on these results, we conclude that hPc2 serves as a SUMO E3 ligase for CBS, increasing the efficiency of sumoylation. We also demonstrate that gamma-cystathionase, the second enzyme in the transsulfuration pathway is a substrate for sumoylation under in vitro conditions. We speculate that the role of this modification may be for nuclear localization of the cysteine-generating pathway under conditions where nuclear glutathione demand is high.
Project description:High homocysteine (HCY) levels are a risk factor for osteoporotic fracture. Furthermore, bone quality and strength are compromised by elevated HCY owing to its negative impact on collagen maturation. HCY is cleared by cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), the first enzyme in the transsulfuration pathway. CBS converts HCY to cystathionine, thereby committing it to cysteine synthesis. A microarray experiment on MC3T3-E1 murine preosteoblasts treated with 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) [1,25(OH)(2) D(3) ] revealed a cluster of genes including the cbs gene, of which the transcription was rapidly and strongly induced by 1,25(OH)(2) D(3) . Quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot analysis confirmed higher levels of cbs mRNA and protein after 1,25(OH)(2) D(3) treatment in murine and human cells. Moreover, measurement of CBS enzyme activity and quantitative measurements of HCY, cystathionine, and cysteine concentrations were consistent with elevated transsulfuration activity in 1,25(OH)(2) D(3) -treated cells. The importance of a functional vitamin D receptor (VDR) for transcriptional regulation of cbs was shown in primary murine VDR knockout osteoblasts, in which upregulation of cbs in response to 1,25(OH)(2) D(3) was abolished. Chromatin immunoprecipitation on chip and transfection studies revealed a functional vitamin D response element in the second intron of cbs. To further explore the potential clinical relevance of our ex vivo findings, human data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam suggested a correlation between vitamin D status [25(OH)D(3) levels] and HCY levels. In conclusion, this study showed that cbs is a primary 1,25(OH)(2) D(3) target gene which renders HCY metabolism responsive to 1,25(OH)(2) D(3).
Project description:The reverse transsulfuration pathway, which is composed of cystathionine ?-synthase (CBS) and cystathionine ?-lyase (CGL), plays a role to synthesize L-cysteine using L-serine and the sulfur atom in L-methionine. A plant-derived lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum SN35N has been previously found to harbor the gene cluster encoding the CBS- and CGL-like enzymes. In addition, it has been demonstrated that the L. plantarum CBS can synthesize cystathionine from O-acetyl-L-serine and L-homocysteine. The aim of this study is to characterize the enzymatic functions of the L. plantarum CGL. We have found that the enzyme has the high ?-lyase activity toward cystathionine to generate L-cysteine, together with the ?-lyase activity toward L-cystine to generate L-cysteine persulfide. By the crystallographic analysis of the inactive CGL K194A mutant complexed with cystathionine, we have found the residues which recognize the distal amino and carboxyl groups of cystathionine or L-cystine. The PLP-bound substrates at the active site may take either the binding pose for the ?- or ?-elimination reaction, with the former being the major reaction in the case of cystathionine.
Project description:Homocysteine (Hcy), a cardiovascular and neurovascular disease risk factor, is converted to hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) through the transsulfuration pathway. H(2)S has attracted considerable attention in recent years for many positive effects on vascular health and homeostasis. Cystathionine ?-synthase (CBS) is the first, and rate-limiting, enzyme in the transsulfuration pathway. Mutations in the CBS gene decrease enzymatic activity, which increases the plasma Hcy concentration, a condition called hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy). Animal models of CBS deficiency have provided invaluable insights into the pathological effects of transsulfuration impairment and of both mild and severe HHcy. However, studies have also highlighted the complexity of HHcy and the need to explore the specific details of Hcy metabolism in addition to Hcy levels per se. There has been a relative paucity of work addressing the dysfunctional H(2)S production in CBS deficiency that may contribute to, or even create, HHcy-associated pathologies. Experiments using CBS knockout mice, both homozygous (-/-) and heterozygous (+/-), have provided 15 years of new knowledge and are the focus of this review. These murine models present the opportunity to study a specific mechanism for HHcy that matches one of the etiologies in many human patients. Therefore, the goal of this review was to integrate and highlight the critical information gained thus far from models of CBS deficiency and draw attention to critical gaps in knowledge, with particular emphasis on the modulation of H(2)S metabolism. We include findings from human and animal studies to identify important opportunities for future investigation that should be aimed at generating new basic and clinical understanding of the role of CBS and transsulfuration in cardiovascular and neurovascular disease.
Project description:Accurate prediction of the impact of genomic variation on phenotype is a major goal of computational biology and an important contributor to personalized medicine. Computational predictions can lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying genetic diseases, including cancer, but their adoption requires thorough and unbiased assessment. Cystathionine-beta-synthase (CBS) is an enzyme that catalyzes the first step of the transsulfuration pathway, from homocysteine to cystathionine, and in which variations are associated with human hyperhomocysteinemia and homocystinuria. We have created a computational challenge under the CAGI framework to evaluate how well different methods can predict the phenotypic effect(s) of CBS single amino acid substitutions using a blinded experimental data set. CAGI participants were asked to predict yeast growth based on the identity of the mutations. The performance of the methods was evaluated using several metrics. The CBS challenge highlighted the difficulty of predicting the phenotype of an ex vivo system in a model organism when classification models were trained on human disease data. We also discuss the variations in difficulty of prediction for known benign and deleterious variants, as well as identify methodological and experimental constraints with lessons to be learned for future challenges.
Project description:Cystathionine-?-synthase (CBS), the first (and rate-limiting) enzyme in the transsulfuration pathway, is an important mammalian enzyme in health and disease. Its biochemical functions under physiological conditions include the metabolism of homocysteine (a cytotoxic molecule and cardiovascular risk factor) and the generation of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a gaseous biological mediator with multiple regulatory roles in the vascular, nervous, and immune system. CBS is up-regulated in several diseases, including Down syndrome and many forms of cancer; in these conditions, the preclinical data indicate that inhibition or inactivation of CBS exerts beneficial effects. This article overviews the current information on the expression, tissue distribution, physiological roles, and biochemistry of CBS, followed by a comprehensive overview of direct and indirect approaches to inhibit the enzyme. Among the small-molecule CBS inhibitors, the review highlights the specificity and selectivity problems related to many of the commonly used "CBS inhibitors" (e.g., aminooxyacetic acid) and provides a comprehensive review of their pharmacological actions under physiological conditions and in various disease models.
Project description:Cystathionine ?-synthase (CBS) is a pyridoxal-5'-phosphate-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the first step of the transsulfuration pathway, namely the condensation of serine with homocysteine to form cystathionine. Mutations in the CBS gene are the single most common cause of hereditary homocystinuria, a multisystemic disease affecting to various extents the vasculature, connective tissues and central nervous system. At present, the crystal structure of CBS from Drosophila melanogaster is the only available structure of the full-length enzyme. Here we describe a cloning, overexpression, purification and preliminary crystallographic analysis of a full-length CBS from Apis mellifera (AmCBS) which maintains 51 and 46% sequence identity with its Drosophila and human homologs, respectively. The AmCBS yielded crystals belonging to space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), with unit-cell parameters a=85.90, b=95.87, c=180.33?Å. Diffraction data were collected to a resolution of 3.0?Å. The crystal structure contained two molecules in the asymmetric unit which presumably correspond to the dimeric species observed in solution.