Structural and functional characterization of ubiquitin variant inhibitors of USP15
ABSTRACT: The multi-domain deubiquitinase USP15 regulates diverse eukaryotic processes and has been implicated in numerous diseases. We developed ubiquitin variants (UbVs) that targeted either the catalytic domain or each of three adaptor domains in USP15, including the N-terminal DUSP domain. Taking advantage of the modular nature of ubiquitin, we designed a linear dimer (diUbV) consisting of a UbV that bound the DUSP domain followed by a UbV that bound the catalytic domain, which exhibited enhanced specificity and more potent inhibition of USP15 catalytic activity than either UbV alone. In cells, the UbVs inhibited the deubiquitination of two USP15 substrates, SMURF2 and TRIM25, and the diUbV inhibited the effects of USP15 on the TGF- pathway. Structural analyses of three distinct UbVs bound to the catalytic domain revealed that the inhibitors locked the active site in a closed, inactive conformation. The structure of a UbV-DUSP domain complex revealed that the UbV formed an unusual strand-swapped dimer that bound two DUSP domains. These inhibitors will enable the study of USP15 function in vitro and in vivo to explore the role of the enzyme in oncology, neurology, immunology and inflammation.
Project description:The dynamic and reversible acetylation of proteins catalyzed by histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs) was discovered more than 2 decades ago and the enzymatic function of these enzymes are established as a major epigenetic regulatory mechanism of gene transcription. Thus, these epigenetic modifiers are involved in multiple diseases and represent attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. While HDAC inhibitors have been developed and approved by the FDA to treat certain cancers, progress on the development of drug-like HAT inhibitors has lagged. The HAT paralogs p300 and CBP (here called p300/CBP) are key transcriptional co-activators that are essential for a multitude of cellular processes and also implicated in human pathological conditions, including cancer. Current p300/CBP HAT domain inhibitors including natural products and bisubstrate analogs such as Lys-CoA either lack potency and selectivity or suffer from poor cellular permeability. C646 is widely utilized as a tool to inhibit p300/CBP HAT activity, but its off-target activity and reactivity may limit its cellular specificity. Here, we describe A-485 as a potent, selective and drug-like p300/CBP catalytic inhibitor. We show the first high resolution (1.95Å) co-crystal structure of a pharmacologically active small molecule (A-485) bound to the catalytic active site of p300 HAT domain and demonstrate that A-485 is an acetyl-CoA competitive inhibitor of p300/CBP. A-485 selectively inhibited proliferation across lineage-specific tumor types, including several hematological malignancies and androgen receptor-positive prostate cancer. A-485 robustly inhibited the androgen receptor transcriptional program in both androgen sensitive and castrate resistant prostate cancer and inhibited tumor growth in a castration resistant xenograft model. These results demonstrate the feasibility of selectively drugging the catalytic activity of histone acetyltransferases, provide the framework for delineating the enzymatic functions of HATs, and pave the way for the development of novel therapeutics targeting HAT activity. Overall design: This study contains 2 biological replicates for each of 11 samples for 22 total samples. Samples 1 and 2 are unstimulated controls for LnCaP-FGC cells, and samples 13 and 14 are unstimulated controls for 22Rv1 cells.
Project description:Microrchidia (MORC) proteins are GHKL ATPases that function in gene silencing in multiple organisms. Animal MORCs also contain CW-type zinc finger domains, which are known to bind to modified histones. We identified mouse MORC3 in a mutant screen for factors required for transgene silencing. We also found that MORC3 localizes to promoters marked by H3K4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) throughout the genome, consistent with its binding to H3K4me3 in vitro. We solved the crystal structure of the MORC3 ATPase-CW domain bound to the nucleotide analog AMPPNP and in complex with a H3K4me3 peptide. The CW domain uses an aromatic cage to bind trimethylated Lys4 and forms extensive hydrogen bonds with the H3 tail. We used native mass spectrometry to show that this region forms ATP dependent dimers, and that dimer formation is enhanced in the presence of non-hydrolyzable ATP analogs. Our work sheds light on aspects of the molecular function of MORC3 and suggests a counterintuitive role of MORC3 in both binding to active promoters and regulating gene silencing. Overall design: ChIP-seq study on 6 Samples.
Project description:Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) are important regulators of ubiquitin signaling. Here, we report the discovery of deubiquitinating activity in ZUFSP/C6orf113. High-resolution crystal structures of ZUFSP in complex with ubiquitin reveal several distinctive features of ubiquitin recognition and catalysis. Our analyses reveal that ZUFSP is a novel DUB with no homology to any known DUBs, leading us to classify ZUFSP as the seventh DUB family. Intriguingly, the minimal catalytic domain does not cleave polyubiquitin. We identify two new ubiquitin binding domains in ZUFSP: a ZHA (ZUFSP helical arm) that binds to the distal ubiquitin and an atypical UBZ domain in ZUFSP that binds to polyubiquitin. Importantly, both domains are essential for ZUFSP to selectively cleave K63-linked polyubiquitin. We show that ZUFSP localizes to DNA lesions, where it plays an important role in genome stability pathways, functioning to prevent spontaneous DNA damage and also promote cellular survival in response to exogenous DNA damage.
Project description:DNA methylation is a conserved epigenetic gene regulation mechanism. DOMAINS REARRANGED METHYLTRANSFERASE (DRM) is a key de novo methyltransferase in plants, but how DRM acts mechanistically is poorly understood. Here, we report the crystal structure of the methyltransferase domain of tobacco DRM (NtDRM) and reveal a molecular basis for its rearranged structure. NtDRM forms a functional homo-dimer critical for catalytic activity. We also show that Arabidopsis DRM2 exists in complex with the siRNA effector ARGONAUTE4 (AGO4) and preferentially methylates one DNA strand, likely the strand acting as the template for non-coding Pol V RNA transcripts. This strand-biased DNA methylation is also positively correlated with strand-biased siRNA accumulation. These data suggest a model in which DRM2 is guided to target loci by AGO4-siRNA and involves base-pairing of associated siRNAs with nascent RNA transcripts. Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing was done for a wildtype line (ecotype Col) as well as various transgenic lines in a drm2 mutant background (ecotype Col). Each transgenic line expressed a version of the DRM2 protein that was either wildtype or carried induced mutations in order to test the function of various domains in the DRM2 protein. Two sets of whole-genome bisulfite were performed (130615 or 131216) and comparisons were mainly done within sets although comparisons can also be done between sets. The drm2 mutant methylome was also analyzed in this study using a previously published whole-genome bisulfite library (GSE39901).
Project description:Modification by ubiquitin controls the stability of most cellular proteins, and deregulation contributes to a variety of human diseases such as cancer. Deubiquitinases (DUBs) remove ubiquitin from proteins, and the inhibition of DUBs has been recognized as a therapeutic strategy to induce degradation of specific proteins, a concept extendable to ‘undruggable’ targets such as transcription factors. However, this potential has remained untapped; specific small molecule inhibitors for DUBs are scarce and insights into mechanisms of action are limited. Ubiquitin specific protease (USP) 7 stabilises the oncogenic E3 ligase MDM2 that destabilises the tumour suppressor p53 and inhibition of USP7 results in MDM2 degradation and p53 re-activation in a variety of cancers. We here present two small molecule inhibitors, FT671 and FT827, that inhibit USP7 with nanomolar affinity and display exquisite specificity towards USP7 in vitro and in cells. USP7-inhibitor co-crystal structures reveal that both compounds target the auto-inhibited apo-form of USP7 and bind in proximity to the misaligned catalytic triad in a dynamic hydrophobic pocket that serves as the binding site for the ubiquitin C-terminus. The unique auto-inhibited conformation of apo USP7 differs from other USP DUBs, explaining compound selectivity. Consistent with USP7 target engagement in cells, FT671 destabilises MDM2, stabilises p53 and results in transcription of p53 target genes, induction of the tumour suppressor p21, and tumour growth inhibition in vivo.
Project description:Eukaryotic protein homeostasis (proteostasis) is largely dependent on the action of highly conserved Hsp70 molecular chaperones. Recent evidence indicates that apart from conserved molecular allostery, Hsp70 proteins retained and adapted throughout the evolution the ability to assemble as functionally relevant ATP-bound dimers. Here we have compared the ATP-dependent dimerization of DnaK, human stress-inducible Hsp70, Hsc70 and BiP Hsp70 proteins showing that their dimerization propensities differ with stress-inducible Hsp70 being predominantly dimeric in the presence of ATP. The structural analyses using hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry, native electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, chemical cross-linking and small-angle X-ray scattering revealed that stress-inducible Hsp70 assembles in solution as an antiparallel dimer with the intermolecular interface closely resembling the ATP-bound dimer interfaces captured in DnaK and BiP crystal structures. ATP-dependent dimerization of stress-inducible Hsp70 is necessary for its efficient interaction with Hsp40 as shown by experiments with dimerization-deficient mutants. Moreover, dimerization of ATP-bound Hsp70 is required for its participation in high molecular weight protein complexes detected ex vivo supporting its functional role in vivo. As human cytosolic Hsp70 has the ability to interact with tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain containing co-chaperones, we tested the interaction of Hsp70 ATP-dependent dimer with Chip and Tomm34 co-chaperones. While Chip associates with intact Hsp70 dimer to form a larger complex, binding of Tomm34 disrupts Hsp70 dimer and this event plays an important role in Hsp70 activity regulation. In summary, this study provides structural evidence of robust ATP-dependent antiparallel dimerization of human inducible Hsp70 protein and suggests novel role of TPR domain co-chaperones in multichaperone complexes involving Hsp70 ATP-bound dimers.
Project description:The motor neuron (MN)–hexamer complex consisting of LIM homeobox 3, Islet-1, and nuclear LIM interactor is a key determinant of motor neuron specification and differentiation. To gain insights into the transcriptional network in motor neuron development, we performed a genome-wide ChIP-sequencing analysis and found that the MN–hexamer directly regulates a wide array of motor neuron genes by binding to the HxRE (hexamer response element) shared among the target genes. Interestingly, STAT3-binding motif is highly enriched in the MN–hexamer–bound peaks in addition to the HxRE. We also found that a transcriptionally active form of STAT3 is expressed in embryonic motor neurons and that STAT3 associates with the MN–hexamer, enhancing the transcriptional activity of the MN–hexamer in an upstream signal-dependent manner. Correspondingly, STAT3 was needed for motor neuron differentiation in the developing spinal cord. Together, our studies uncover crucial gene regulatory mechanisms that couple MN–hexamer and STAT-activating extracellular signals to promote motor neuron differentiation in vertebrate spinal cord. To explain our experimental scheme briefly, we are interested in finding target sites for the dimer of transcription factors Isl1 and Lhx3. To mimic the biological activity of Isl1/Lhx3 dimer, we made Isl1-Lhx3 fusion and found that Isl1-Lhx3 has a potent biological activity in multiple systems (i.e. generation of ectopic motor neurons). Then we made ES cell line that induces Flag-tagged Isl1-Lhx3 expression upon Dox treatment. These *mouse* ES cells differentiate to motor neurons (iMN-ESCs) when treated with Dox following EB formation. To identify genomic binding sites of Isl1-Lhx3 (Flag-tagged), we performed ChIP with Flag antibody (pull down of Flag-Isl1-Lhx3) in ES cells treated with Dox. ChIP with Flag antibody in ES cells treated with vehicle (no Dox) was done as a negative control in parallel, and sequenced along with +Dox sample. We have done these experiments twice (two sets).
Project description:UFBP1 (UFM1-binding and PCI domain-containing protein 1, also called DDRGK domain-containing protein 1, Dashurin, or C20orf116) is a protein that also participates in the ufmylation conjugating systems besides the E1 ubiquitin-like modifier-activating enzyme 5 (UBA5), the E2, UFM1-conjugating enzyme 1 (UFC1), and the E3, UFM1-protein ligase 1 (UFL1). Although this protein play important roles in the ufmylation, its other biological functions have not been explored. To identify the UFBP1 interacting proteins, we expressed GFP (control sample) and FLAG-UFBP1 (experimental sample) in HEK293T cells and purified UFBP1 and its interacting proteins for MS analysis.
Project description:The N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most abundant internal modification in almost all eukaryotic messenger RNAs, and is dynamically regulated. Therefore, identification of m6A readers is especially important in determining the cellular function of m6A. YTHDF2 has recently been characterized as the first m6A reader that regulates the cytoplasmic stability of methylated RNA. Here we show that YTHDC1 is a nuclear m6A reader and report the crystal structure of the YTH domain of YTHDC1 bound to m6A-containing RNA. We further determined the structure of another YTH domain, YTHDF1, and found that the YTH domain utilizes a conserved aromatic cage to specifically recognize the methyl group of m6A. Our structural characterizations of the YTHDC1-m6A RNA complex also shed light on the molecular basis for the preferential binding of the GG(m6A)C sequence by YTHDC1 and confirm the YTH domain as a specific m6A RNA reader. PAR-CLIP (Photoactivatable-Ribonucleoside-Enhanced Crosslinking and Immunoprecipitation) was applied to human YTHDC1 protein to identify its binding sites.
Project description:Emerging evidence suggests that Ago/Piwi proteins function in the nucleus as well as the cytoplasm to control gene expression, but the mechanisms they employ in the nucleus remain poorly defined. The Tetrahymena thermophila Ago/Piwi protein Twi12 is essential for growth and functions in the nucleus. We show that Twi12 interacts with the exonuclease Xrn2. Twi12 functions to stabilize and localize Xrn2 in vivo, as well as activate its exonuclease activity in vitro. When Twi12 or Xrn2 are depleted, pre-rRNA processing intermediates accumulate and mature rRNA levels decline. RNA polymerase I and II (RNAP I and II) transcripts also accumulate. Twi12 function depends on small RNA (sRNA) binding, which is required for its nuclear import. Twi12-bound sRNAs are Dicer-independent 3' tRNA fragments that we propose may not be involved in sequence-specific base pairing to targets. Our findings suggest a role for tRNA fragments and an Ago/Piwi protein in global control of gene expression through interaction with a conserved exonuclease. One library is analyzed here: small RNAs associated with ZZF-tagged Twi12. Twi12 is the full-length version, which is extended by 17 amino acids at the N-terminus compared to the previously-reported Twi12. Specifically, the 16-22 nt reads were analyzed here.