Musashi-1 promotes stress-induced tumor progression through recruitment of AGO2.
ABSTRACT: Carcinomatous progression and recurrence are the main therapeutic challenges frequently faced by patients with refractory tumors. However, the underlined molecular mechanism remains obscure.Methods: We found Musashi-1 (MSI1) transported into cytosol under stress condition by confocal microscopy and cell fractionation. Argonaute 2 (AGO2) was then identified as a cytosolic binding partner of MSI1 by Mass Spectrametry, immunoprecipitation, and recombinant protein pull-down assay. We used RNA-IP to determine the MSI1/AGO2 associated regions on downstream target mRNAs. Finally, we overexpressed C-terminus of MSI1 to disrupt endogenous MSI1/AGO2 interaction and confirm it effects on tmor progression.Results: Malignant tumors exhibit elevated level of cytosolic Musashi-1 (MSI1), which translocates into cytosol in response to stress and promote tumor progression. Cytosolic MSI1 forms a complex with AGO2 and stabilize or destabilize its target mRNAs by respectively binding to their 3´ untranslated region or coding domain sequence. Both MSI1 translocation and MSI1/AGO2 binding are essential for promoting tumor progression. Blocking MSI1 shuttling by either chemical inhibition or point mutation attenuates the growth of GBM-xenografts in mice. Importantly, overexpression of the C-terminus of MSI1 disrupts endogenous MSI1/AGO2 interaction and effectively reduces stress-induced tumor progression.Conclusion: Our findings highlight novel molecular functions of MSI1 during stress-induced carcinomatous recurrence, and suggest a new therapeutic strategy for refractory malignancies by targeting MSI1 translocation and its interaction with AGOs.
Project description:RNA-binding protein Musashi-1 (MSI1) is a key regulator of several stem cell populations. MSI1 is involved in tumor proliferation and maintenance, and it regulates target mRNAs at the translational level. The known mRNA targets of MSI1 include Numb, APC, and P21WAF-1, key regulators of Notch/Wnt signaling and cell cycle progression, respectively. In this study, we aim to identify small molecule inhibitors of MSI1-mRNA interactions, which could block the growth of cancer cells with high levels of MSI1. Using a fluorescence polarization (FP) assay, we screened small molecules from several chemical libraries for those that disrupt the binding of MSI1 to its consensus RNA. One cluster of hit compounds is the derivatives of secondary metabolites from Aspergillus nidulans. One of the top hits, Aza-9, from this cluster was further validated by surface plasmon resonance and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which demonstrated that Aza-9 binds directly to MSI1, and the binding is at the RNA binding pocket. We also show that Aza-9 binds to Musashi-2 (MSI2) as well. To test whether Aza-9 has anti-cancer potential, we used liposomes to facilitate Aza-9 cellular uptake. Aza-9-liposome inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis and autophagy, and down-regulates Notch and Wnt signaling in colon cancer cell lines. In conclusion, we identified a series of potential lead compounds for inhibiting MSI1/2 function, while establishing a framework for identifying small molecule inhibitors of RNA binding proteins using FP-based screening methodology.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder associated with structural and functional alterations of brain cells causing progressive deterioration of memory and other cognitive functions. Recent studies demonstrate that several neurodegenerative diseases, including AD exhibit RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) pathologies, including TAR DNA -binding protein (TDP-43), fused in sarcoma (FUS), superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and T-interacting antigen-1 (TIA-1), highlighting the role of RBPs in neurodegeneration. One such group of RBPs, Musashi proteins comprised of MSI1 and MSI2, has been long studied in neurogenesis and cancer biology. Herein, we have investigated the aggregation properties of MSI1 and MSI2 by in vitro assays, their expression and accumulation as well as their possible interactions with other cellular proteins, such as tau in AD pathology. We have performed atomic force microscopy, Western blot, and immunoprecipitation to demonstrate the aggregation properties of recombinant Musashi proteins. Furthermore, we have studied cortical brain sections from AD (N?=?4) and age-matched non-demented subjects (N?=?4) by Western blot and immunofluorescence microscopy to investigate MSI1 and MSI2 levels and their localization in human brain tissues. Musashi proteins showed in vitro aggregation properties by forming oligomers. We have observed an increase in Musashi proteins levels in AD brain tissues as compared with age-matched non-demented subjects. Moreover, Musashi proteins are observed to form oligomers in the diseased brain tissues. Interestingly, the co-immunofluorescence study has revealed a change in fluorescence pattern of oligomeric Musashi proteins and tau with a high association in the perinuclear area of the cells suggesting changes in function of Musashi proteins. Our data have demonstrated for the first time that MSI1 and MSI2 are present in an oligomeric state in AD brains compared to the age-matched non-demented subjects and that these large assemblies co-localize with tau contributing to the neurodegenerative pathogenesis.
Project description:Musashi-2 (MSI2) belongs to Musashi family of RNA binding proteins (RBP). Like Musashi-1 (MSI1), it is overexpressed in a variety of cancers and is a promising therapeutic target. Both MSI proteins contain two N-terminal RNA recognition motifs and play roles in posttranscriptional regulation of target mRNAs. Previously, we have identified several inhibitors of MSI1, all of which bind to MSI2 as well. In order to design MSI2-specific inhibitors and compare the differences of binding mode of the inhibitors, we set out to solve the structure of MSI2-RRM1, the key motif that is responsible for the binding. Here, we report the crystal structure and the first NMR solution structure of MSI2-RRM1, and compare these to the structures of MSI1-RBD1 and other RBPs. A high degree of structural similarity was observed between the crystal and solution NMR structures. MSI2-RRM1 shows a highly similar overall folding topology to MSI1-RBD1 and other RBPs. The structural information of MSI2-RRM1 will be helpful for understanding MSI2-RNA interaction and for guiding rational drug design of MSI2-specific inhibitors.
Project description:Gene expression and metabolism are coupled at numerous levels. Cells must sense and respond to nutrients in their environment, and specialized cells must synthesize metabolic products required for their function. Pluripotent stem cells have the ability to differentiate into a wide variety of specialized cells. How metabolic state contributes to stem cell differentiation is not understood. In this study, we show that RNA-binding by the stem cell translation regulator Musashi-1 (MSI1) is allosterically inhibited by 18-22 carbon ω-9 monounsaturated fatty acids. The fatty acid binds to the N-terminal RNA Recognition Motif (RRM) and induces a conformational change that prevents RNA association. Musashi proteins are critical for development of the brain, blood, and epithelium. We identify stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 as a MSI1 target, revealing a feedback loop between ω-9 fatty acid biosynthesis and MSI1 activity. We propose that other RRM proteins could act as metabolite sensors to couple gene expression changes to physiological state.
Project description:RNA-binding protein Musashi-2 (MSI2) is a key regulator in stem cells, it is over-expressed in a variety of cancers and its higher expression is associated with poor prognosis. Like Musashi-1, it contains two N-terminal RRMs (RNA-recognition Motifs, also called RBDs (RNA-binding Domains)), RRM1 and RRM2, which mediate the binding to their target mRNAs. Previous studies have obtained the three-dimensional structures of the RBDs of Musashi-1 and the RBD1:RNA complex. Here we show the binding of MSI2-RRM1 to a 15nt Numb RNA in Fluorescence Polarization assay and time resolved Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer assay. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy we assigned the backbone resonances of MSI2-RRM1, and characterized the direct interaction of RRM1 to Numb RNA r(GUAGU). Our NMR titration and structure modeling studies showed that MSI2-RRM1 and MSI1-RBD1 have similar RNA binding events and binding pockets. This work adds significant information to MSI2-RRM1 structure and RNA binding pocket, and contributes to the development of MSI2 specific and MSI1/MSI2 dual inhibitors.
Project description:The RNA-binding protein Musashi1 (MSI1) is a marker of progenitor cells in the nervous system functioning as a translational repressor. We detected?MSI1?mRNA in several bladder carcinoma cell lines, but not in cultured normal uroepithelial cells, whereas the paralogous MSI2 gene was broadly expressed. Knockdown of?MSI1?expression by siRNA induced apoptosis and a severe decline in cell numbers in 5637 bladder carcinoma cells. Microarray analysis of gene expression changes after?MSI1?knockdown significantly up-regulated 735 genes, but down-regulated only 31. Up-regulated mRNAs contained a highly significantly greater number and density of Musashi binding sites. Therefore, a much larger set of mRNAs may be regulated by Musashi1, which may affect not only their translation, but also their turnover. The study confirmed p21(CIP1) and Numb proteins as targets of Musashi1, suggesting additionally p27(KIP1) in cell-cycle regulation and Jagged-1 in Notch signalling. A significant number of up-regulated genes encoded components of stress granules (SGs), an organelle involved in translational regulation and mRNA turnover, and impacting on apoptosis. Accordingly, heat shock induced SG formation was augmented by Musashi1 down-regulation. Our data show that ectopic?MSI1?expression may contribute to tumorigenesis in selected bladder cancers through multiple mechanisms and reveal a previously unrecognized function of Musashi1 in the regulation of SG formation.
Project description:Stem cell marker, Musashi-1 (MSI1) is over-expressed in many cancer types; however the molecular mechanisms involved in MSI1 over-expression are not well understood. We investigated the microRNA (miRNA) regulation of MSI1 and the implications this regulation plays in colorectal cancer. MicroRNA miR-137 was identified as a MSI1-targeting microRNA by immunoblotting and luciferase reporter assays. MSI1 protein was found to be highly expressed in 79% of primary rectal tumors (n=146), while miR-137 expression was decreased in 84% of the rectal tumor tissues (n=68) compared to paired normal mucosal samples. In addition to reduced MSI1 protein, exogenous expression of miR-137 inhibited cell growth, colony formation, and tumorsphere growth of colon cancer cells. Finally, in vivo studies demonstrated that induction of miR-137 can decrease growth of human colon cancer xenografts. Our results demonstrate that miR-137 acts as a tumor-suppressive miRNA in colorectal cancers and negatively regulates oncogenic MSI1.
Project description:A recent outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil has led to a simultaneous increase in reports of neonatal microcephaly. Zika targets cerebral neural precursors, a cell population essential for cortical development, but the cause of this neurotropism remains obscure. Here we report that the neural RNA-binding protein Musashi-1 (MSI1) interacts with the Zika genome and enables viral replication. Zika infection disrupts the binding of MSI1 to its endogenous targets, thereby deregulating expression of factors implicated in neural stem cell function. We further show that MSI1 is highly expressed in neural progenitors of the human embryonic brain and is mutated in individuals with autosomal recessive primary microcephaly. Selective MSI1 expression in neural precursors could therefore explain the exceptional vulnerability of these cells to Zika infection.
Project description:Characterizing the mechanisms underlying follicle development in the ovary is crucial to understanding female fertility and is an area of increasing research interest. The RNA binding protein Musashi is essential for post-transcriptional regulation of oocyte maturation in Xenopus and is expressed during ovarian development in Drosophila. In mammals Musashi is important for spermatogenesis and male fertility, but its role in the ovary has yet to be characterized. In this study we determined the expression of mammalian Musashi proteins MSI1 and MSI2 during mouse folliculogenesis, and through the use of a MSI2-specific knockout mouse model we identified that MSI2 is essential for normal follicle development. Time-course characterization of MSI1 and MSI2 revealed distinct differences in steady-state mRNA levels and protein expression/localization at important developmental time-points during folliculogenesis. Using a gene-trap mouse model that inactivates Msi2, we observed a significant decrease in ovarian mass, and change in follicle-stage composition due to developmental blocking of antral stage follicles and pre-antral follicle loss through atresia. We also confirmed that hormonally stimulated Msi2-deficient mice produce significantly fewer MII oocytes (60.9% less than controls, p < 0.05). Furthermore, the majority of these oocytes are of poor viability (62.2% non-viable/apoptotic, p < 0.05), which causes a reduction in female fertility evidenced by decreased litter size in Msi2-deficient animals (33.1% reduction to controls, p < 0.05). Our findings indicate that MSI1 and MSI2 display distinct expression profiles during mammalian folliculogenesis and that MSI2 is required for pre-antral follicle development.