Discovery of novel inhibitors of ribosome biogenesis by innovative high throughput screening strategies.
ABSTRACT: Over the past two decades, ribosome biogenesis has emerged as an attractive target for cancer treatment. In this study, two high-throughput screens were used to identify ribosome biogenesis inhibitors. Our primary screen made use of the HaloTag selective labeling strategy to identify compounds that decreased the abundance of newly synthesized ribosomes in A375 malignant melanoma cells. This screen identified 5786 hit compounds. A subset of those initial hit compounds were tested using a secondary screen that directly measured pre-ribosomal RNA (pre-rRNA) abundance as a reporter of rRNA synthesis rate, using quantitative RT-PCR. From the secondary screen, we identified two structurally related compounds that are potent inhibitors of rRNA synthesis. These two compounds, Ribosome Biogenesis Inhibitors 1 and 2 (RBI1 and RBI2), induce a substantial decrease in the viability of A375 cells, comparable to the previously published ribosome biogenesis inhibitor CX-5461. Anchorage-independent cell growth assays further confirmed that RBI2 inhibits cell growth and proliferation. Thus, the RBI compounds have promising properties for further development as potential cancer chemotherapeutics.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Ribosome biogenesis is a central process in every growing cell. In eukaryotes, it requires more than 250 non-ribosomal assembly factors, most of which are essential. Despite this large repertoire of potential targets, only very few chemical inhibitors of ribosome biogenesis are known so far. Such inhibitors are valuable tools to study this highly dynamic process and elucidate mechanistic details of individual maturation steps. Moreover, ribosome biogenesis is of particular importance for fast proliferating cells, suggesting its inhibition could be a valid strategy for treatment of tumors or infections.<h4>Results</h4>We systematically screened ~?1000 substances for inhibitory effects on ribosome biogenesis using a microscopy-based screen scoring ribosomal subunit export defects. We identified 128 compounds inhibiting maturation of either the small or the large ribosomal subunit or both. Northern blot analysis demonstrates that these inhibitors cause a broad spectrum of different rRNA processing defects.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our findings show that the individual inhibitors affect a wide range of different maturation steps within the ribosome biogenesis pathway. Our results provide for the first time a comprehensive set of inhibitors to study ribosome biogenesis by chemical inhibition of individual maturation steps and establish the process as promising druggable pathway for chemical intervention.
Project description:The synthesis of ribosomes is one of the central and most resource demanding processes in each living cell. As ribosome biogenesis is tightly linked with the regulation of the cell cycle, perturbation of ribosome formation can trigger severe diseases, including cancer. Eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis starts in the nucleolus with pre-rRNA transcription and the initial assembly steps, continues in the nucleoplasm and is finished in the cytoplasm. From start to end, this process is highly dynamic and finished within few minutes. Despite the tremendous progress made during the last decade, the coordination of the individual maturation steps is hard to unravel by a conventional methodology. In recent years small molecular compounds were identified that specifically block either rDNA transcription or distinct steps within the maturation pathway. As these inhibitors diffuse into the cell rapidly and block their target proteins within seconds, they represent excellent tools to investigate ribosome biogenesis. Here we review how the inhibitors affect ribosome biogenesis and discuss how these effects can be interpreted by taking the complex self-regulatory mechanisms of the pathway into account. With this we want to highlight the potential of low molecular weight inhibitors to approach the dynamic nature of the ribosome biogenesis pathway.
Project description:Rps15p, an essential ribosomal protein, was previously shown to be critical for nuclear export of small subunit pre-particles. We have designed a synthetic lethal screen in Saccharomyces cerevisiae to identify its genetic partners and further elucidate its role during ribosomal biogenesis. Our screen revealed interactions with mutants affected at various stages during ribosome biogenesis, from early nucleolar steps to nuclear export. Mutations were identified in genes encoding proteins involved in early ribosome biogenesis steps, like the small subunit processome component Utp15p, the 90S pre-ribosome factor Slx9p and the H/ACA snoRNP core protein Nhp2p. In addition, we found a synthetic lethality with BUD23, a gene encoding a methyltransferase involved both in rRNA modification and small subunit nuclear export. Interestingly, deletion of snR36 or snR85, two H/ACA snoRNAs that direct modifications close to Rps15p's binding site on the rRNA, produces mild and opposite effects on growth in an rps15 hypomorphic background. These data uncover an unreported link between a ribosomal protein and rRNA modification machinery.
Project description:Combining endurance training with resistance training (RT) may attenuate skeletal muscle hypertrophic adaptation versus RT alone; however, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. We investigated changes in markers of ribosome biogenesis, a process linked with skeletal muscle hypertrophy, following concurrent training versus RT alone. Twenty-three males underwent eight weeks of RT, either performed alone (RT group, n?=?8), or combined with either high-intensity interval training (HIT+RT group, n?=?8), or moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT+RT group, n?=?7). Muscle samples (vastus lateralis) were obtained before training, and immediately before, 1?h and 3?h after the final training session. Training-induced changes in basal expression of the 45S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) precursor (45S pre-rRNA), and 5.8S and 28S mature rRNAs, were greater with concurrent training versus RT. However, during the final training session, RT further increased both mTORC1 (p70S6K1 and rps6 phosphorylation) and 45S pre-rRNA transcription-related signalling (TIF-1A and UBF phosphorylation) versus concurrent training. These data suggest that when performed in a training-accustomed state, RT induces further increases mTORC1 and ribosome biogenesis-related signalling in human skeletal muscle versus concurrent training; however, changes in ribosome biogenesis markers were more favourable following a period of short-term concurrent training versus RT performed alone.
Project description:The synthesis of ribosomes is an essential process, which is aided by a variety of trans-acting factors in bacteria. Among these is a group of GTPases essential for bacterial viability and emerging as promising targets for new antibacterial agents. Herein, we describe a robust high-throughput screening process for inhibitors of one such GTPase, the Escherichia coli EngA protein. The primary screen employed an assay of phosphate production in a 384-well density. Reaction conditions were chosen to maximize sensitivity for the discovery of competitive inhibitors while maintaining a strong signal amplitude and low noise. In a pilot screen of 31,800 chemical compounds, 44 active compounds were identified. Furthermore, we describe the elimination of nonspecific inhibitors that were detergent sensitive or reactive as well as those that interfered with the high-throughput phosphate assay. Four inhibitors survived these common counterscreens for nonspecificity, but these chemicals were also inhibitors of the unrelated enzyme dihydrofolate reductase, suggesting that they too were promiscuously active. The high-throughput screen of the EngA protein described here provides a meticulous pilot study in the search for specific inhibitors of GTPases involved in ribosome biogenesis.
Project description:Ribosome biogenesis is a highly regulated, essential cellular process. Although studies in yeast have established some of the biological principles of ribosome biogenesis, many of the intricacies of its regulation in higher eukaryotes remain unknown. To understand how ribosome biogenesis is globally integrated in human cells, we conducted a genome-wide siRNA screen for regulators of nucleolar number. We found 139 proteins whose depletion changed the number of nucleoli per nucleus from 2-3 to only 1 in human MCF10A cells. Follow-up analyses on 20 hits found many (90%) to be essential for the nucleolar functions of rDNA transcription (7), pre-ribosomal RNA (pre-rRNA) processing (16), and/or global protein synthesis (14). This genome-wide analysis exploits the relationship between nucleolar number and function to discover diverse cellular pathways that regulate the making of ribosomes and paves the way for further exploration of the links between ribosome biogenesis and human disease.
Project description:Transcription by RNA polymerase I (Pol-I) is the main driving force behind ribosome biogenesis, a fundamental cellular process that requires the coordinated transcription of all three nuclear polymerases. Increased Pol-I transcription and the concurrent increase in ribosome biogenesis has been linked to the high rates of proliferation in cancers. The ellipticine family contains a number of potent anticancer therapeutic agents, some having progressed to stage I and II clinical trials; however, the mechanism by which many of the compounds work remains unclear. It has long been thought that inhibition of Top2 is the main reason behind the drugs antiproliferative effects. Here we report that a number of the ellipticines, including 9-hydroxyellipticine, are potent and specific inhibitors of Pol-I transcription, with IC(50) in vitro and in cells in the nanomolar range. Essentially, the drugs did not affect Pol-II and Pol-III transcription, demonstrating a high selectivity. We have shown that Pol-I inhibition occurs by a p53-, ATM/ATR-, and Top2-independent mechanism. We discovered that the drug influences the assembly and stability of preinitiation complexes by targeting the interaction between promoter recognition factor SL1 and the rRNA promoter. Our findings will have an impact on the design and development of novel therapeutic agents specifically targeting ribosome biogenesis.
Project description:Ribosome biogenesis is an essential cellular process regulated by the metabolic state of a cell. We examined whether inositol pyrophosphates, energy-rich derivatives of inositol that act as metabolic messengers, play a role in ribosome synthesis in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Yeast strains lacking the inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6) kinase Kcs1, which is required for the synthesis of inositol pyrophosphates, display increased sensitivity to translation inhibitors and decreased protein synthesis. These phenotypes are reversed on expression of enzymatically active Kcs1, but not on expression of the inactive form. The kcs1? yeast cells exhibit reduced levels of ribosome subunits, suggesting that they are defective in ribosome biogenesis. The rate of rRNA synthesis, the first step of ribosome biogenesis, is decreased in kcs1? yeast strains, suggesting that RNA polymerase I (Pol I) activity may be reduced in these cells. We determined that the Pol I subunits, A190, A43 and A34.5, can accept a ?-phosphate moiety from inositol pyrophosphates to undergo serine pyrophosphorylation. Although there is impaired rRNA synthesis in kcs1? yeast cells, we did not find any defect in recruitment of Pol I on rDNA, but observed that the rate of transcription elongation was compromised. Taken together, our findings highlight inositol pyrophosphates as novel regulators of rRNA transcription.
Project description:Ribosome biogenesis is a fundamental and tightly regulated cellular process, including synthesis, processing, and assembly of rRNAs with ribosomal proteins. Protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) have been implicated in many important biological processes, such as ribosome biogenesis. Two alternative precursor rRNA (pre-rRNA) processing pathways coexist in yeast and mammals; however, how PRMT affects ribosome biogenesis remains largely unknown. Here we show that Arabidopsis PRMT3 (AtPRMT3) is required for ribosome biogenesis by affecting pre-rRNA processing. Disruption of AtPRMT3 results in pleiotropic developmental defects, imbalanced polyribosome profiles, and aberrant pre-rRNA processing. We further identify an alternative pre-rRNA processing pathway in Arabidopsis and demonstrate that AtPRMT3 is required for the balance of these two pathways to promote normal growth and development. Our work uncovers a previously unidentified function of PRMT in posttranscriptional regulation of rRNA, revealing an extra layer of complexity in the regulation of ribosome biogenesis.
Project description:Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) signaling is strongly associated with cell growth and regulates the rate of synthesis of the rRNA precursor, the first and the key stage of ribosome biogenesis. In a screen for mediators of IGF-I signaling in cancer, we recently identified several ribosome-related proteins, including NEP1 (nucleolar essential protein 1) and WDR3 (WD repeat 3), whose homologues in yeast function in ribosome processing. The WDR3 gene and its locus on chromosome 1p12-13 have previously been linked with malignancy. Here we show that IGF-I induces expression of WDR3 in transformed cells. WDR3 depletion causes defects in ribosome biogenesis by affecting 18 S rRNA processing and also causes a transient down-regulation of precursor rRNA levels with moderate repression of RNA polymerase I activity. Suppression of WDR3 in cells expressing functional p53 reduced proliferation and arrested cells in the G(1) phase of the cell cycle. This was associated with activation of p53 and sequestration of MDM2 by ribosomal protein L11. Cells lacking functional p53 did not undergo cell cycle arrest upon suppression of WDR3. Overall, the data indicate that WDR3 has an essential function in 40 S ribosomal subunit synthesis and in ribosomal stress signaling to p53-mediated regulation of cell cycle progression in cancer cells.