Defining the human C2H2 zinc finger degrome targeted by thalidomide analogs through CRBN.
ABSTRACT: The small molecules thalidomide, lenalidomide, and pomalidomide induce the ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of the transcription factors Ikaros (IKZF1) and Aiolos (IKZF3) by recruiting a Cys2-His2 (C2H2) zinc finger domain to Cereblon (CRBN), the substrate receptor of the CRL4CRBN E3 ubiquitin ligase. We screened the human C2H2 zinc finger proteome for degradation in the presence of thalidomide analogs, identifying 11 zinc finger degrons. Structural and functional characterization of the C2H2 zinc finger degrons demonstrates how diverse zinc finger domains bind the permissive drug-CRBN interface. Computational zinc finger docking and biochemical analysis predict that more than 150 zinc fingers bind the drug-CRBN complex in vitro, and we show that selective zinc finger degradation can be achieved through compound modifications. Our results provide a rationale for therapeutically targeting transcription factors that were previously considered undruggable.
Project description:Pomalidomide, a derivative of thalidomide, is an effective treatment for multiple myeloma. The drug exerts its effects through CRBN, a component of the E3 ubiquitin ligase complex CRL4CRBN. To search for novel factors involved in the anti-cancer activity of pomalidomide, we performed a genome-wide shRNA library screen and identified 445 genes as those affecting pomalidomide sensitivity. Genes encoding components of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, such as subunits of the CRL4CRBN complex, the COP9 signalosome, and the 26S proteasome, were among the pomalidomide-affecting genes. Karyopherin beta 1 (KPNB1) was identified as a novel pomalidomide-affecting gene. KPNB1 was required for the nuclear import of CRBN and for the CRBN-directed, pomalidomide-dependent degradation of a clinically relevant substrate, the transcription factor Aiolos. By contrast, the cytoplasmic translation factor GSPT1 was degraded following treatment with the thalidomide derivative CC-885 only when CRBN was present in the cytoplasm, indicating that subcellular distribution of CRBN is critical for the efficacy of thalidomide-based medications.
Project description:Thalidomide and its derivatives, lenalidomide and pomalidomide, are clinically effective treatments for multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome with del(5q). These molecules lack activity in murine models, limiting investigation of their therapeutic activity or toxicity in vivo. Here, we report the development of a mouse model that is sensitive to thalidomide derivatives because of a single amino acid change in the direct target of thalidomide derivatives, cereblon (Crbn). In human cells, thalidomide and its analogs bind CRBN and recruit protein targets to the CRL4CRBN E3 ubiquitin ligase, resulting in their ubiquitination and subsequent degradation by the proteasome. We show that mice with a single I391V amino acid change in Crbn exhibit thalidomide-induced degradation of drug targets previously identified in human cells, including Ikaros (Ikzf1), Aiolos (Ikzf3), Zfp91, and casein kinase 1a1 (Ck1?), both in vitro and in vivo. We use the Crbn I391V model to demonstrate that the in vivo therapeutic activity of lenalidomide in del(5q) myelodysplastic syndrome can be explained by heterozygous expression of Ck1? in del(5q) cells. We found that lenalidomide acts on hematopoietic stem cells with heterozygous expression of Ck1? and inactivation of Trp53 causes lenalidomide resistance. We further demonstrate that Crbn I391V is sufficient to confer thalidomide-induced fetal loss in mice, capturing a major toxicity of this class of drugs. Further study of the Crbn I391V model will provide valuable insights into the in vivo efficacy and toxicity of this class of drugs.
Project description:Glutamine synthetase (GS) plays an essential role in metabolism by catalyzing the synthesis of glutamine from glutamate and ammonia. Our recent study showed that CRBN, a direct protein target for the teratogenic and antitumor activities of immunomodulatory drugs such as thalidomide, lenalidomide, and pomalidomide, recognizes an acetyl degron of GS, resulting in ubiquitylation and degradation of GS in response to glutamine. Here, we report that valosin-containing protein (VCP)/p97 promotes the degradation of ubiquitylated GS, resulting in its accumulation in cells with compromised p97 function. Notably, p97 is also required for the degradation of all four known CRBN neo-substrates [Ikaros family zinc finger proteins 1 (IKZF1) and 3 (IKZF3), casein kinase 1? (CK1?), and the translation termination factor GSPT1] whose ubiquitylation is induced by immunomodulatory drugs. Together, these data point to an unexpectedly intimate relationship between the E3 ubiquitin ligase CRL4CRBN and p97 pathways.
2017-01-01 | S-EPMC5389304 | BioStudies
Project description:Thalidomide causes teratogenic effects by inducing protein degradation via cereblon (CRBN)-containing ubiquitin ligase and modification of its substrate specificity. Human P450 cytochromes convert thalidomide into two monohydroxylated metabolites that are considered to contribute to thalidomide effects, through mechanisms that remain unclear. Here, we report that promyelocytic leukaemia zinc finger (PLZF)/ZBTB16 is a CRBN target protein whose degradation is involved in thalidomide- and 5-hydroxythalidomide-induced teratogenicity. Using a human transcription-factor protein array produced in a wheat cell-free protein synthesis system, PLZF was identified as a thalidomide-dependent CRBN substrate. PLZF is degraded by the ubiquitin ligase CRL4CRBN in complex with thalidomide, its derivatives, or 5-hydroxythalidomide in a manner dependent on the conserved first and third zinc finger domains of PLZF. Surprisingly, thalidomide and 5-hydroxythalidomide confer distinctly different substrate specificities to mouse and chicken CRBN, and both compounds cause teratogenic phenotypes in chicken embryos. Consistently, knockdown of Plzf induces short bone formation in chicken limbs. Most importantly, degradation of PLZF protein, but not of the known thalidomide-dependent CRBN substrate SALL4, was induced by thalidomide or 5-hydroxythalidomide treatment in chicken embryos. Furthermore, PLZF overexpression partially rescued the thalidomide-induced phenotypes. Our findings implicate PLZF as an important thalidomide-induced CRBN neo-substrate involved in thalidomide teratogenicity.
Project description:Thalidomide and its derivatives lenalidomide and pomalidomide (IMiDs) are effective treatments of haematologic malignancies. It was shown that IMiDs impart gain-of-function properties to the CUL4-RBX1-DDB1-CRBN (CRL4CRBN) ubiquitin ligase that enable binding, ubiquitination and degradation of key therapeutic targets such as IKZF1, IKZF3 and CSNK1A1. While these substrates have been implicated as efficacy targets in multiple myeloma (MM) and 5q deletion associated myelodysplastic syndrome (del(5q)-MDS), other targets likely exist. Using a pulse-chase SILAC mass spectrometry-based proteomics approach, we demonstrate that lenalidomide induces the ubiquitination and degradation of ZFP91. We establish ZFP91 as a bona fide IMiD-dependent CRL4CRBN substrate and further show that ZFP91 harbours a zinc finger (ZnF) motif, related to the IKZF1/3 ZnF, critical for IMiD-dependent CRBN binding. These findings demonstrate that single time point pulse-chase SILAC mass spectrometry-based proteomics (pSILAC MS) is a sensitive approach for target identification of small molecules inducing selective protein degradation.
Project description:Thalidomide and its derivatives exert not only therapeutic effects as immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) but also adverse effects such as teratogenicity, which are due in part to different C2H2 zinc-finger (ZF) transcription factors, IKZF1 (or IKZF3) and SALL4, respectively. Here, we report the structural bases for the SALL4-specific proteasomal degradation induced by 5-hydroxythalidomide, a primary thalidomide metabolite generated by the enzymatic activity of cytochrome P450 isozymes, through the interaction with cereblon (CRBN). The crystal structure of the metabolite-mediated human SALL4-CRBN complex and mutagenesis studies elucidate the complex formation enhanced by the interaction between CRBN and an additional hydroxy group of (S)-5-hydroxythalidomide and the variation in the second residue of ?-hairpin structure that underlies the C2H2 ZF-type neo-morphic substrate (neosubstrate) selectivity of 5-hydroxythalidomide. These findings deepen our understanding of the pharmaceutical action of IMiDs and provide structural evidence that the glue-type E3 ligase modulators cause altered neosubstrate specificities through their metabolism.
Project description:Exposure to thalidomide during a critical window of development results in limb defects in humans and non-human primates while mice and rats are refractory to these effects. Thalidomide-induced teratogenicity is dependent on its binding to cereblon (CRBN), the substrate receptor of the Cul4A-DDB1-CRBN-RBX1 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. Thalidomide binding to CRBN elicits subsequent ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of CRBN neosubstrates including SALL4, a transcription factor of which polymorphisms phenocopy thalidomide-induced limb defects in humans. Herein, thalidomide-induced degradation of SALL4 was examined in human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) that were differentiated either to lateral plate mesoderm (LPM)-like cells, the developmental ontology of the limb bud, or definitive endoderm. Thalidomide and its immunomodulatory drug (IMiD) analogs, lenalidomide, and pomalidomide, dose-dependently inhibited hiPSC mesendoderm differentiation. Thalidomide- and IMiD-induced SALL4 degradation can be abrogated by CRBN V388I mutation or SALL4 G416A mutation in hiPSCs. Genetically modified hiPSCs expressing CRBN E377V/V388I mutant or SALL4 G416A mutant were insensitive to the inhibitory effects of thalidomide, lenalidomide, and pomalidomide on LPM differentiation while retaining sensitivity to another known limb teratogen, all-trans retinoic acid (atRA). Finally, disruption of LPM differentiation by atRA or thalidomide perturbed subsequent chondrogenic differentiation in vitro. The data here show that thalidomide, lenalidomide, and pomalidomide affect stem cell mesendoderm differentiation through CRBN-mediated degradation of SALL4 and highlight the utility of the LPM differentiation model for studying the teratogenicity of new CRBN modulating agents.
Project description:Cereblon (CRBN), the molecular target of lenalidomide and pomalidomide, is a substrate receptor of the cullin ring E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, CRL4(CRBN) . T cell co-stimulation by lenalidomide or pomalidomide is cereblon dependent: however, the CRL4(CRBN) substrates responsible for T cell co-stimulation have yet to be identified. Here we demonstrate that interaction of the transcription factors Ikaros (IKZF1, encoded by the IKZF1 gene) and Aiolos (IKZF3, encoded by the IKZF3 gene) with CRL4(CRBN) is induced by lenalidomide or pomalidomide. Each agent promotes Aiolos and Ikaros binding to CRL4(CRBN) with enhanced ubiquitination leading to cereblon-dependent proteosomal degradation in T lymphocytes. We confirm that Aiolos and Ikaros are transcriptional repressors of interleukin-2 expression. The findings link lenalidomide- or pomalidomide-induced degradation of these transcriptional suppressors to well documented T cell activation. Importantly, Aiolos could serve as a proximal pharmacodynamic marker for lenalidomide and pomalidomide, as healthy human subjects administered lenalidomide demonstrated Aiolos degradation in their peripheral T cells. In conclusion, we present a molecular model in which drug binding to cereblon results in the interaction of Ikaros and Aiolos to CRL4(CRBN) , leading to their ubiquitination, subsequent proteasomal degradation and T cell activation.
Project description:Thalidomide and its derivatives lenalidomide and pomalidomide (IMiDs) are effective treatments of hematologic malignancies. It was shown that IMiDs impart gain of function properties to the CUL4-RBX1-DDB1-CRBN (CRL4CRBN) ubiquitin ligase that enable binding, ubiquitination and degradation of key therapeutic targets such as IKFZ1, IKZF3 and CSNK1A1. While these substrates have been implicated as efficacy targets in multiple myeloma (MM) and 5q deletion associated myelodysplastic syndrome (del(5q)-MDS), other targets likely exist. Using a pulse-chase SILAC mass spectrometry-based proteomics approach, we demonstrate that lenalidomide induces the ubiquitination and degradation of ZFP91. We establish that ZFP91 is a bona fide IMiD dependent CRL4CRBN substrate and further show that ZFP91 harbors a zinc finger (ZnF) motif, related to the IKZF1/3 ZnF, critical for IMiD dependent CRBN binding. These findings demonstrate that single time point pulse-chase SILAC mass spectrometry-based proteomics (pSILAC-MS) is a sensitive approach for target identification of small molecules inducing selective protein degradation. Overall design: Total RNAseq of Hct116 cells treated with 30µM Lenalidomide or DMS control for 16 hours. Four biological replicates of each, lenalidomide and DMSO treatment.
Project description:Lenalidomide mediates the ubiquitination and degradation of Ikaros family zinc finger protein 1 (IKZF1), IKZF3, and casein kinase 1? (CK1?) by facilitating their interaction with cereblon (CRBN), the substrate receptor for the CRL4CRBN E3 ubiquitin ligase. Through this mechanism, lenalidomide is a clinically effective treatment of multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with deletion of chromosome 5q [del(5q) MDS]. To identify the cellular machinery required for lenalidomide-induced CRL4CRBN activity, we performed a positive selection, genome-scale clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) screen in a lenalidomide-sensitive myeloma cell line. CRBN was the top-ranking gene, with all CRBN-targeting guide RNAs (gRNAs) ranking as the 6 highest-scoring gRNAs. A counterscreen using an IKZF3 degron reporter to assay lenalidomide-induced protein degradation highlighted regulators of cullin-RING ligase neddylation and 2 E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes as necessary for efficient lenalidomide-induced protein degradation. We demonstrated that loss of UBE2M or members of the constitutive photomorphogenesis 9 (COP9) signalosome results in altered neddylation of cullin 4A and impairs lenalidomide-dependent CRL4CRBN activity. Additionally, we established that UBE2D3 and UBE2G1 play distinct roles in substrate ubiquitination by CRL4CRBN, with UBE2D3 acting to prime targets via monoubiquitination and UBE2G1 functioning to extend polyubiquitin chains with lysine 48 linkages. The validation of UBE2D3 and UBE2G1 highlights the functional capacity of CRISPR-Cas9 screening to identify E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme and E3 ubiquitin ligase complex pairings. More broadly, these findings establish key proteins required for lenalidomide-dependent CRL4CRBN function in myeloma and inform potential mechanisms of drug resistance.