Structural insights into the activity and regulation of human Josephin-2.
ABSTRACT: The MJD family of human deubiquitinating enzymes contains four members: Ataxin-3, the ataxin-3-like protein (AT3L), Josephin-1, and Josephin-2. All share a conserved catalytic unit known as the Josephin domain. Ataxin-3 and AT3L also contain extensive regulatory regions that modulate their functions, whereas Josephins-1 and -2 are substantially smaller, containing only the Josephin domain. To gain insight into how these minimal Josephins differ from their larger relatives, we determined the 2.3?Å X-ray crystal structure of human Josephin-2 and probed the enzyme's substrate specificity. Several large disordered loops are seen in the structure, suggesting a highly dynamic enzyme. Josephin-2 lacks several allosteric sites found in ataxin-3, but its structure suggests potential regulation via ubiquitination of a loop adjoining the active site. The enzyme preferentially recognizes substrates containing K11, K48, and K63 linkages, pointing toward a possible role in maintenance of protein quality control.
Project description:The Josephin domain is a conserved cysteine protease domain found in four human deubiquitinating enzymes: ataxin-3, the ataxin-3-like protein (ATXN3L), Josephin-1, and Josephin-2. Josephin domains from these four proteins were purified and assayed for their ability to cleave ubiquitin substrates. Reaction rates differed markedly both among the different proteins and for different substrates with a given protein. The ATXN3L Josephin domain is a significantly more efficient enzyme than the ataxin-3 domain despite their sharing 85% sequence identity. To understand the structural basis of this difference, the 2.6 ? x-ray crystal structure of the ATXN3L Josephin domain in complex with ubiquitin was determined. Although ataxin-3 and ATXN3L adopt similar folds, they bind ubiquitin in different, overlapping sites. Mutations were made in ataxin-3 at selected positions, introducing the corresponding ATXN3L residue. Only three such mutations are sufficient to increase the catalytic activity of the ataxin-3 domain to levels comparable with that of ATXN3L, suggesting that ataxin-3 has been subject to evolutionary restraints that keep its deubiquitinating activity in check.
Project description:Ataxin-3, the disease protein in the neurodegenerative disorder Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3 or Machado Joseph disease, is a cysteine protease implicated in the ubiquitin proteasome pathway. It contains multiple ubiquitin binding sites through which it anchors polyubiquitin chains of different linkages that are then cleaved by the N-terminal catalytic (Josephin) domain. The properties of the ubiquitin interacting motifs (UIMs) in the C-terminus of ataxin-3 are well established. Very little is known, however, about how two recently identified ubiquitin-binding sites in the Josephin domain contribute to ubiquitin chain binding and cleavage. In the current study, we sought to define the specific contribution of the Josephin domain to the catalytic properties of ataxin-3 and assess how the topology and affinity of these binding sites modulate ataxin-3 activity. Using NMR we modeled the structure of diUb/Josephin complexes and showed that linkage preferences are imposed by the topology of the two binding sites. Enzymatic studies further helped us to determine a precise hierarchy between the sites. We establish that the structure of Josephin dictates specificity for K48-linked chains. Site 1, which is close to the active site, is indispensable for cleavage. Our studies open the way to understand better the cellular function of ataxin-3 and its link to pathology.
Project description:The Josephin domain plays an important role in the cellular functions of ataxin-3, the protein responsible for the neurodegenerative Machado-Joseph disease. We have determined the solution structure of Josephin and shown that it belongs to the family of papain-like cysteine proteases, sharing the highest degree of structural similarity with bacterial staphopain. A currently unique structural feature of Josephin is a flexible helical hairpin formed by a 32-residue insertion, which could determine substrate specificity. By using the Josephin structure and the availability of NMR chemical shift assignments, we have mapped the enzyme active site by using the typical cysteine protease inhibitors, transepoxysuccinyl-L-eucylamido-4-guanidino-butane (E-64) and [L-3-trans-(propylcarbamyl)oxirane-2-carbonyl]-L-isoleucyl-L-proline (CA-074). We also demonstrate that the specific interaction of Josephin with the ubiquitin-like domain of the ubiquitin- and proteasome-binding factor HHR23B involves complementary exposed hydrophobic surfaces. The structural similarity with other deubiquitinating enzymes suggests a model for the proteolytic enzymatic activity of ataxin-3.
Project description:Fibrillar aggregation of the protein ataxin-3 is linked to the inherited neurodegenerative disorder Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3, a member of the polyQ expansion disease family. We previously reported that aggregation and stability of the nonpathological form of ataxin-3, carrying an unexpanded polyQ tract, are modulated by its N-terminal Josephin domain. It was also shown that expanded ataxin-3 aggregates via a two-stage mechanism initially involving Josephin self-association, followed by a polyQ-dependent step. Despite this recent progress, however, the exact mechanism of ataxin-3 fibrilization remains elusive. Here, we have used electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and other biophysical techniques to characterize the morphological and mechanical properties of nonexpanded ataxin-3 fibrils. By comparing aggregates of ataxin-3 and of the isolated Josephin domain, we show that the two proteins self-assemble into fibrils with markedly similar features over the temperature range 37-50°C. Estimates of persistence length and Young's modulus of the fibrils reveal a great flexibility. Our data indicate that, under physiological conditions, during early aggregation Josephin retains a nativelike secondary structure but loses its enzymatic activity. The results suggest a key role of Josephin in ataxin-3 fibrillar aggregation.
Project description:As for a variety of other molecular recognition processes, conformational fluctuations play an important role in the cleavage of polyubiquitin chains by the Josephin domain of ataxin-3. The interaction between Josephin and ubiquitin appears to be mediated by the motions of ?-helical hairpin that is unusual among deubiquitinating enzymes. Here, we characterized the conformational fluctuations of the helical hairpin by incorporating NMR measurements as replica-averaged restraints in molecular dynamics simulations, and by validating the results by small-angle x-ray scattering measurements. This approach allowed us to define the extent of the helical hairpin motions and suggest a role of such motions in the recognition of ubiquitin.
Project description:The Josephin Domain (JD), i.e. the N-terminal domain of Ataxin 3 (At3) protein, is an interesting example of competition between physiological function and aggregation risk. In fact, the fibrillogenesis of Ataxin 3, responsible for the spinocerebbellar ataxia 3, is strictly related to the JD thermodynamic stability. Whereas recent NMR studies have demonstrated that different JD conformations exist, the likelihood of JD achievable conformational states in solution is still an open issue. Marked differences in the available NMR models are located in the hairpin region, supporting the idea that JD has a flexible hairpin in dynamic equilibrium between open and closed states. In this work we have carried out an investigation on the JD conformational arrangement by means of both classical molecular dynamics (MD) and Metadynamics employing essential coordinates as collective variables. We provide a representation of the free energy landscape characterizing the transition pathway from a JD open-like structure to a closed-like conformation. Findings of our in silico study strongly point to the closed-like conformation as the most likely for a Josephin Domain in water.
Project description:An unusual deubiquitinating (DUB) activity exists in HeLa cell extracts that is highly specific for cleaving K63-linked but not K48-linked polyubiquitin chains. The activity is insensitive to both N-ethyl-maleimide and ubiquitin aldehyde, indicating that it lacks an active site cysteine residue, and gel filtration experiments show that it resides in a high molecular weight (approximately 600 kDa) complex. Using a biochemical approach, we found that the K63-specific DUB activity co-fractionated through seven chromatographic steps with three multisubunit complexes: the 19S (PA700) portion of the 26S proteasome, the COP9 signalosome (CSN) and a novel complex that includes the JAMM/MPN+ domain-containing protein Brcc36. When we analysed the individual complexes, we found that the activity was intrinsic to PA700 and the Brcc36 isopeptidase complex (BRISC), but that the CSN-associated activity was due entirely to an interaction with Brcc36. None of the complexes cleave K6, K11, K29, K48 or alpha-linked polyubiquitin, but they do cleave K63 linkages within mixed-linkage chains. Our results suggest that specificity for K63-linked polyubiquitin is a common property of the JAMM/MPN+ family of DUBs.
Project description:Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 is a human neurodegenerative disease resulting from polyglutamine tract expansion. The affected protein, ataxin-3, which contains an N-terminal Josephin domain followed by tandem ubiquitin (Ub)-interacting motifs (UIMs) and a polyglutamine stretch, has been implicated in the function of the Ub proteasome system. NMR-based structural analysis has now revealed that the Josephin domain binds Ub and has a papain-like fold that is reminiscent of that of other deubiquitinases, despite primary sequence divergence but consistent with its deubiqutinating activity. Mutation of the catalytic Cys enhances the stability of a complex between ataxin-3 and polyubiquitinated proteins. This effect depends on the integrity of the UIM region, suggesting that the UIMs are bound to the substrate polyubiquitin during catalysis. We propose that ataxin-3 functions as a polyubiquitin chain-editing enzyme.
Project description:K11-linked polyubiquitin chains play important signaling and regulatory roles in both degradative and nonproteolytic pathways in eukaryotes. To understand the structural basis of how these chains are recognized and distinguished from other polyubiquitins, we determined solution structures of K11-linked diubiquitin (K11-Ub2) in the absence and presence of salt. These structures reveal that K11-Ub2 adopts conformations distinct from those of K48-linked or K63-linked chains. Importantly, our solution NMR and SANS data are inconsistent with published crystal structures of K11-Ub2. We found that increasing salt concentration compacts K11-Ub2 and strengthens interactions between the two Ub units. Binding studies indicate that K11-Ub2 interacts with ubiquitin-receptor proteins from both proteasomal and nonproteasomal pathways but with intermediate affinity and different binding modes than either K48-linked or K63-linked diubiquitin. Our data support the hypothesis that polyubiquitin chains of different linkages possess unique conformational and dynamical properties, allowing them to be recognized differently by downstream receptor proteins.
Project description:The protein ataxin-3 contains a polyglutamine stretch that triggers amyloid aggregation when it is expanded beyond a critical threshold. This results in the onset of the spinocerebellar ataxia type 3. The protein consists of the globular N-terminal Josephin domain and a disordered C-terminal tail where the polyglutamine stretch is located. Expanded ataxin-3 aggregates via a two-stage mechanism: first, Josephin domain self-association, then polyQ fibrillation. This highlights the intrinsic amyloidogenic potential of Josephin domain. Therefore, much effort has been put into investigating its aggregation mechanism(s). A key issue regards the conformational requirements for triggering amyloid aggregation, as it is believed that, generally, misfolding should precede aggregation. Here, we have assayed the effect of 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol, a co-solvent capable of stabilizing secondary structures, especially ?-helices. By combining biophysical methods and molecular dynamics, we demonstrated that both secondary and tertiary JD structures are virtually unchanged in the presence of up to 5% 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol. Despite the preservation of JD structure, 1% of 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol suffices to exacerbate the intrinsic aggregation propensity of this domain, by slightly decreasing its conformational stability. These results indicate that in the case of JD, conformational fluctuations might suffice to promote a transition towards an aggregated state without the need for extensive unfolding, and highlights the important role played by the environment on the aggregation of this globular domain.