Peptide affinity analysis of proteins that bind to an unstructured region containing the transactivating domain of the osmoprotective transcription factor NFAT5.
ABSTRACT: NFAT5 is a transcription factor originally identified because it is activated by hypertonicity and that activation increases expression of genes that protect against the adverse effects of the hypertonicity. However, its targets also include genes not obviously related to tonicity. The transactivating domain of NFAT5 is contained in its COOH-terminal region, which is predicted to be unstructured. Unstructured regions are common in transcription factors particularly in transactivating domains where they can bind co-regulatory proteins essential to their function. To identify potential binding partners of NFAT5 from either cytoplasmic or nuclear HEK293 cell extracts, we used peptide affinity chromatography followed by mass spectrometry. Peptide aptamer-baits consisted of overlapping 20 amino acid peptides within the predicted COOH-terminal unstructured region of NFAT5. We identify a total of 351 unique protein preys that associate with at least one COOH-terminal peptide bait from NFAT5 in either cytoplasmic or nuclear extracts from cells incubated at various tonicities (NaCl varied). In addition to finding many proteins already known to associate with NFAT5, we found many new ones whose function suggest novel aspects of NFAT5 regulation, interaction, and function. Relatively few of the proteins pulled down by peptide baits from NFAT5 are generally involved in transcription, and most, therefore, are likely to be specifically related to the regulation of NFAT5 or its function. The novel associated proteins are involved with cancer, effects of hypertonicity on chromatin, development, splicing of mRNA, transcription, and vesicle trafficking.
Project description:NFAT5 is an osmoregulated transcription factor that particularly increases expression of genes involved in protection against hypertonicity. Transcription factors often contain unstructured regions that bind co-regulatory proteins that are crucial for their function. The NH2-terminal region of NFAT5 contains regions predicted to be intrinsically disordered. We used peptide aptamer-based affinity chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry to identify protein preys pulled down by one or more overlapping 20 amino acid peptide baits within a predicted NH2-terminal unstructured region of NFAT5. We identify a total of 467 unique protein preys that associate with at least one NH2-terminal peptide bait from NFAT5 in either cytoplasmic or nuclear extracts from HEK293 cells treated with elevated, normal, or reduced NaCl concentrations. Different sets of proteins are pulled down from nuclear vs. cytoplasmic extracts. We used GeneCards to ascertain known functions of the protein preys. The protein preys include many that were previously known, but also many novel ones. Consideration of the novel ones suggests many aspects of NFAT5 regulation, interaction and function that were not previously appreciated, for example, hypertonicity inhibits NFAT5 by sumoylating it and the NFAT5 protein preys include components of the CHTOP complex that desumoylate proteins, an action that should contribute to activation of NFAT5.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The transcription factor NFAT5 is a major inducer of osmoprotective genes and is required to maintain the proliferative capacity of cells exposed to hypertonic stress. In response to hypertonicity, NFAT5 translocates to the nucleus, binds to regulatory regions of osmoprotective genes and activates their transcription. Besides stimulus-specific regulatory mechanisms, the activity of transcription factors in cycling cells is also regulated by the passage through mitosis, when most transcriptional processes are downregulated. It was not known whether mitosis could be a point of control for NFAT5. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Using confocal microscopy we observed that NFAT5 was excluded from chromatin during mitosis in both isotonic and hypertonic conditions. Analysis of NFAT5 deletions showed that exclusion was mediated by the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD). NFAT5 mutants lacking this domain showed constitutive binding to mitotic chromatin independent of tonicity, which caused them to localize in the nucleus and remain bound to chromatin in the subsequent interphase without hypertonic stimulation. We analyzed the contribution of the CTD, DNA binding, and nuclear import and export signals to the subcellular localization of this factor. Our results indicated that cytoplasmic localization of NFAT5 in isotonic conditions required both the exclusion from mitotic DNA and active nuclear export in interphase. Finally, we identified several regions within the CTD of NFAT5, some of them overlapping with transactivation domains, which were separately capable of causing its exclusion from mitotic chromatin. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Our results reveal a multipart mechanism regulating the subcellular localization of NFAT5. The transactivating module of NFAT5 switches its function from an stimulus-specific activator of transcription in interphase to an stimulus-independent repressor of binding to DNA in mitosis. This mechanism, together with export signals acting in interphase, resets the cytoplasmic localization of NFAT5 and prevents its nuclear accumulation and association with DNA in the absence of hypertonic stress.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Hypertonicity can perturb cellular functions, induce DNA damage-like responses and inhibit proliferation. The transcription factor NFAT5 induces osmoprotective gene products that allow cells to adapt to sustained hypertonic conditions. Although it is known that NFAT5-deficient lymphocytes and renal medullary cells have reduced proliferative capacity and viability under hypertonic stress, less is understood about the contribution of this factor to DNA damage responses and cell cycle regulation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have generated conditional knockout mice to obtain NFAT5(-/-) T lymphocytes, which we used as a model of proliferating cells to study NFAT5-dependent responses. We show that hypertonicity triggered an early, NFAT5-independent, genotoxic stress-like response with induction of p53, p21 and GADD45, downregulation of cyclins, and cell cycle arrest. This was followed by an NFAT5-dependent adaptive phase in wild-type cells, which induced an osmoprotective gene expression program, downregulated stress markers, resumed cyclin expression and proliferation, and displayed enhanced NFAT5 transcriptional activity in S and G2/M. In contrast, NFAT5(-/-) cells failed to induce osmoprotective genes and exhibited poorer viability. Although surviving NFAT5(-/-) cells downregulated genotoxic stress markers, they underwent cell cycle arrest in G1/S and G2/M, which was associated with reduced expression of cyclins E1, A2 and B1. We also show that pathologic hypertonicity levels, as occurring in plasma of patients and animal models of osmoregulatory disorders, inhibited the induction of cyclins and aurora B kinase in response to T cell receptor stimulation in fresh NFAT5(-/-) lymphocytes. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that NFAT5 facilitates cell proliferation under hypertonic conditions by inducing an osmoadaptive response that enables cells to express fundamental regulators needed for cell cycle progression.
Project description:The transcription factor NFAT5, also known as TonEBP, belongs to the family of Rel homology domain-containing factors, which comprises the NF-?B proteins and the calcineurin-dependent NFAT1 to NFAT4. NFAT5 shares several structural and functional features with other Rel-family factors, for instance it recognizes DNA elements with the same core sequence as those bound by NFAT1 to 4, and like NF-?B it responds to Toll-like receptors (TLR) and activates macrophage responses to microbial products. On the other hand, NFAT5 is quite unique among Rel-family factors as it can be activated by hyperosmotic stress caused by elevated concentrations of extracellular sodium ions. NFAT5 regulates specific genes but also others that are inducible by NF-?B and NFAT1 to 4. The ability of NFAT5 to do so in response to hypertonicity, microbial products, and inflammatory stimuli may extend the capabilities of immune cells to mount effective anti-pathogen responses in diverse microenvironment and signaling conditions. Recent studies identifying osmostress-dependent and -independent functions of NFAT5 have broadened our understanding of how NFAT5 may modulate immune function. In this review we focus on the role of NFAT5 in macrophages and T cells in different contexts, discussing findings from in vivo mouse models of NFAT5 deficiency and reviewing current knowledge on its mechanisms of regulation. Finally, we propose several questions for future research.
Project description:The tonicity-responsive transcription factor, nuclear factor of activated T cells 5 (NFAT5/tonicity enhancer binding protein [TonEBP]), has been well characterized in numerous cell types; however, NFAT5 function in vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) is unknown. Our main objective was to determine the role of NFAT5 regulation in SMCs.We showed that NFAT5 is regulated by hypertonicity in SMCs and is upregulated in atherosclerosis and neointimal hyperplasia. RNAi knockdown of NFAT5 inhibited basal expression of several SMC differentiation marker genes, including smooth muscle ? actin (SM?A). Bioinformatic analysis of SM?A revealed 7 putative NFAT5 binding sites in the first intron, and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed NFAT5 enrichment of intronic DNA. Overexpression of NFAT5 increased SM?A promoter-intron activity, which requires an NFAT5 cis element at +1012, whereas dominant-negative NFAT5 decreased SM?A promoter-intron activity. Because it is unlikely that SMCs experience extreme changes in tonicity, we investigated other stimuli and uncovered 2 novel NFAT5-inducing factors: angiotensin II, a contractile agonist, and platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB), a potent mitogen in vascular injury. Angiotensin II stimulated NFAT5 translocation and activity, and NFAT5 knockdown inhibited an angiotensin II-mediated upregulation of SM?A mRNA. PDGF-BB increased NFAT5 protein, and loss of NFAT5 inhibited PDGF-BB-induced SMC migration.We have identified NFAT5 as a novel regulator of SMC phenotypic modulation and have uncovered the role of NFAT5 in angiotensin II-induced SM?A expression and PDGF-BB-stimulated SMC migration.
Project description:TonEBP/NFAT5 is a major regulator of the urinary concentrating process and is essential for the osmoadaptation of renal medullary cells. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a mechanosensitive non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase expressed abundantly in the renal medulla. Since osmotic stress causes cell shrinkage, the present study investigated the contribution of FAK on TonEBP/NFAT5 activation. Osmotic stress induced time-dependent activation of FAK as evidenced by phosphorylation at Tyr-397, and furosemide reduces FAK Tyr-397 phosphorylation in the rat renal medulla. Both pharmacological inhibition of FAK and siRNA-mediated knockdown of FAK drastically reduced TonEBP/NFAT5 transcriptional activity and target gene expression in HEK293 cells. This effect was not mediated by impaired nuclear translocation or by reduced transactivating activity of TonEBP/NFAT5. However, TonEBP/NFAT5 abundance under hypertonic conditions was diminished by 50% by FAK inhibition or siRNA knockdown of FAK. FAK inhibition only marginally reduced transcription of the TonEBP/NFAT5 gene. Rather, TonEBP/NFAT5 mRNA stability was diminished significantly by FAK inhibition, which correlated with reduced reporter activity of the TonEBP/NFAT5 mRNA 3' untranslated region (3'-UTR). In conclusion, FAK is a major regulator of TonEBP/NFAT5 activity by increasing its abundance via stabilization of the mRNA. This in turn, depends on the presence of the TonEBP/NFAT5 3'-UTR.
Project description:While hyperosmolality of the kidney medulla is essential for urinary concentration, it imposes a great deal of stress. Cells in the renal medulla adapt to the stress of hypertonicity (hyperosmotic salt) by accumulating organic osmolytes. Tonicity-responsive enhancer (TonE) binding protein (TonEBP) (or NFAT5) stimulates transcription of transporters and a synthetic enzyme for the cellular accumulation of organic osmolytes. We found that dominant-negative TonEBP reduced expression of HSP70 as well as the transporters and enzyme. Near the major histocompatibility complex class III locus, there are three HSP70 genes named HSP70-1, HSP70-2, and HSC70t. While HSP70-1 and HSP70-2 were heat inducible, only HSP70-2 was induced by hypertonicity. In the 5' flanking region of the HSP70-2 gene, there are three sites for TonEBP binding. In cells transfected with a reporter plasmid containing this region, expression of luciferase was markedly stimulated in response to hypertonicity. Coexpression of the dominant-negative TonEBP reduced the luciferase expression. Mutating all three sites in the reporter plasmid led to a complete loss of induction by hypertonicity. Thus, TonEBP rather than heat shock factor stimulates transcription of the HSP70-2 gene in response to hypertonicity. We conclude that TonEBP is a master regulator of the renal medulla for cellular protection against high osmolality via organic osmolytes and molecular chaperones.
Project description:Tonicity-responsive binding-protein (TonEBP or NFAT5) is a widely expressed transcription factor whose activity is regulated by extracellular tonicity. TonEBP plays a key role in osmoprotection by binding to osmotic response element/TonE elements of genes that counteract the deleterious effects of cell shrinkage. Here, we show that in addition to this "classical" stimulation, TonEBP protects cells against hypertonicity by enhancing nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) activity. We show that hypertonicity enhances NF-?B stimulation by lipopolysaccharide but not tumor necrosis factor-?, and we demonstrate overlapping protein kinase B (Akt)-dependent signal transduction pathways elicited by hypertonicity and transforming growth factor-?. Activation of p38 kinase by hypertonicity and downstream activation of Akt play key roles in TonEBP activity, I?B? degradation, and p65 nuclear translocation. TonEBP affects neither of these latter events and is itself insensitive to NF-?B signaling. Rather, we reveal a tonicity-dependent interaction between TonEBP and p65 and show that NF-?B activity is considerably enhanced after binding of NF-?B-TonEBP complexes to ?B elements of NF-?B-responsive genes. We demonstrate the key roles of TonEBP and Akt in renal collecting duct epithelial cells and in macrophages. These findings reveal a novel role for TonEBP and Akt in NF-?B activation on the onset of hypertonic challenge.
Project description:Osmotic stress responses are critical not only to the survival of unicellular organisms but also to the normal function of the mammalian kidney. However, the extent to which cells outside the kidney rely on osmotic stress responses in vivo remains unknown. Nuclear factor of activated T cells 5 (NFAT5)/tonicity enhancer binding protein (TonEBP), the only known osmosensitive mammalian transcription factor, is expressed most abundantly in the thymus and is induced upon lymphocyte activation. Here we report that NFAT5/TonEBP is not only essential for normal cell proliferation under hyperosmotic conditions but also necessary for optimal adaptive immunity. Targeted deletion of exons 6 and 7 of the Nfat5 gene, which encode a critical region of the DNA-binding domain, gave rise to a complete loss of function in the homozygous state and a partial loss of function in the heterozygous state. Complete loss of function resulted in late gestational lethality. Furthermore, hypertonicity-induced NFAT5/TonEBP transcriptional activity and hsp70.1 promoter function were completely eliminated, and cell proliferation under hyperosmotic culture conditions was markedly impaired. Partial loss of NFAT5/TonEBP function resulted in lymphoid hypocellularity and impaired antigen-specific antibody responses in viable heterozygous animals. In addition, lymphocyte proliferation ex vivo was reduced under hypertonic, but not isotonic, culture conditions. Direct measurement of tissue osmolality further revealed lymphoid tissues to be hyperosmolar. These results indicate that lymphocyte-mediated immunity is contingent on adaptation to physiologic osmotic stress, thus providing insight into the lymphoid microenvironment and the importance of the NFAT5/TonEBP osmotic stress response pathway in vivo.
Project description:Transcription factor tonicity-responsive enhancer-binding protein (TonEBP/NFAT5) is critical for osmo-adaptation and extracellular matrix homeostasis of nucleus pulposus (NP) cells in their hypertonic tissue niche. Recent studies implicate TonEBP signaling in inflammatory disease and rheumatoid arthritis pathogenesis. However, broader functions of TonEBP in the disc remain unknown. RNA sequencing was performed on NP cells with TonEBP knockdown under hypertonic conditions. 1140 TonEBP-dependent genes were identified and categorized using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. Bioinformatic analysis showed enrichment of matrix homeostasis and cytokine/chemokine signaling pathways. C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), interleukin 6 (IL6), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and nitric oxide synthase 2 (NOS2) were studied further. Knockdown experiments showed that TonEBP was necessary to maintain expression levels of these genes. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments and site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated that TonEBP binding to a specific site in the CCL2 promoter is required for hypertonic inducibility. Despite inhibition by dominant-negative TonEBP, IL6 and NOS2 promoters were not hypertonicity-inducible. Whole-disc response to hypertonicity was studied in an ex vivo organ culture model, using wild-type and haploinsufficient TonEBP mice. Pro-inflammatory targets were induced by hypertonicity in discs from wild-type but not TonEBP-haploinsufficient mice. Mechanistically, NF-?B activity increased with hypertonicity and was necessary for hypertonic induction of target genes IL6, TNF, and NOS2 but not CCL2 Although TonEBP maintains transcription of genes traditionally considered pro-inflammatory, it is important to note that some of these genes also serve anabolic and pro-survival roles. Therefore, in NP cells, this phenomenon may reflect a physiological adaptation to diurnal osmotic loading of the intervertebral disc.