Biochemical Journal

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN: 03063283 / 14708728
Published by: Portland Press Ltd.
Total articles ≅ 56,144

Latest articles in this journal

Foteini Bartzoka, Monica Gonzalez-Magaldi, Patrick O Byrne, Nicole I Callery, Kalina Hristova,
Published: 23 November 2022
Abstract:
The Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) is a Receptor Tyrosine Kinase that mediates cell proliferation and differentiation events during development and maintenance of complex organisms. Formation of specific, ligand-dependent EGFR dimers is a key step in stimulating EGFR signaling, and crystal structures of active, dimeric forms of isolated EGFR extracellular regions and kinase domains have revealed much about how dimer interactions regulate EGFR activity. The nature and role of the transmembrane region in regulating EGFR activity remains less clear, however. Proposed roles for the transmembrane region range from nonspecific but energetically favorable interactions to specific transmembrane dimer conformations being associated with active, inactive, or activity-modulated states of EGFR. To investigate the role of specific transmembrane dimers in modulating EGFR activity we generated thirteen EGFR variants with altered transmembrane sequences designed to favor or disfavor specific types of transmembrane region interactions. We show using FRET microscopy that EGFR transmembrane regions have an intrinsic propensity to associate in mammalian cell membranes that is counteracted by the extracellular region. We show using cell-based assays that each of the EGFR transmembrane variants except the Neu variant, which results in constitutive receptor phosphorylation, is able to autophosphorylate and stimulate phosphorylation of downstream effectors Erk and Akt. Our results indicate that many transmembrane sequences, including poly-leucine, are compatible with EGFR activity and provide no evidence for specific transmembrane dimers regulating EGFR function.
Elizabeth M. Black, Yoon Ki Joo,
Published: 23 November 2022
Biochemical Journal, Volume 479, pp 2345-2349; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20220461

Abstract:
Chk1 is a member of the DNA damage response pathway, whose loss leads to replication stress and genome instability. Because of its protective role against lethal levels of DNA replication stress, Chk1 has been studied as a valuable and intriguing target for cancer therapy. However, one of the most prominent challenges with this strategy is development of resistance to Chk1 inhibitors, rendering the treatment ineffective. In their recent papers, Hunter and colleagues demonstrate multiple mechanisms by which Chk1 inhibitor resistance can arise in lymphomas. Specifically, this series of papers identify the relationship between dysfunction in NF-κB and the development of Chk1 inhibitor resistance through a loss of Chk1 activity in mouse models of lymphoma. They identify that cells lacking Chk1 activity can compensate for this loss through up-regulation of alternative pathways, such as PI3K/AKT. Finally, this work also identifies a novel role for Claspin, an important Chk1 activator, in female fertility and cancer development, furthering our understanding of how dysfunction in the Claspin/Chk1 signaling pathway affects disease states. These findings improve our understanding of drug resistance in cancer therapy, which has important implications for clinical use of Chk1 inhibitors.
Qianxi Li, Jia-Cheng Liu, Ming-Hong He,
Published: 23 November 2022
Abstract:
The KEOPS complex is an evolutionarily conserved protein complex in all three domains of life (Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya). In budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the KEOPS complex (ScKEOPS) consists of five subunits, which are Kae1, Bud32, Cgi121, Pcc1, and Gon7. The KEOPS complex is an ATPase and is required for tRNA N6-threonylcarbamoyladenosine modification, telomere length maintenance, and efficient DNA repair. Here, recombinant ScKEOPS full complex and Kae1-Pcc1-Gon7 and Bud32-Cgi121 subcomplexes were purified and their biochemical activities were examined. KEOPS was observed to have ATPase and GTPase activities, which are predominantly attributed to the Bud32 subunit, as catalytically dead Bud32, but not catalytically dead Kae1, largely eliminated the ATPase/GTPase activity of KEOPS. In addition, KEOPS could hydrolyze ADP to adenosine or GDP to guanosine, and produce PPi, indicating that KEOPS is an ADP/GDP nucleotidase. Furt­­her mutagenesis characterization of Bud32 and Kae1 subunits revealed that Kae1, but not Bud32, is responsible for the ADP/GDP nucleotidase activity. In addition, the Kae1V309D mutant exhibited decreased ADP/GDP nucleotidase activity in vitro and shortened telomeres in vivo, but showed only a limited defect in t6A modification, suggesting that the ADP/GDP nucleotidase activity of KEOPS contributes to telomere length regulation.
Micaela Cerletti, Agustín Rabino, Roberto A. Paggi, Celeste C Ferrari, Ansgar Poetsch, Harri Savilahti, Saija Kiljunen,
Published: 23 November 2022
Biochemical Journal, Volume 479, pp 2365-2377; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20220403

Abstract:
Phytoene synthase (PSY) converts two molecules of geranyl-geranyl diphosphate to phytoene, the key regulatory step in carotenogenesis. However, post-translational mechanisms that control PSY expression are scarcely understood. Carotenoid biosynthesis (mainly bacterioruberin) is a distinctive feature of haloarchaea thriving in hypersaline environments. Carotenogenesis is negatively regulated by the AAA+ LonB protease in the haloarchaeon Haloferax volcanii as it controls PSY degradation. We investigated the relevance of the C-terminal portion of HvPSY as a regulatory element for carotenoid biosynthesis. H. volcanii mutants were constructed to express full-length HvPSY protein (strain HVPSYwt) and truncated HvPSY lacking 10 (HVPSY10), 20 (HVPSY20) or 34 amino acids (HVPSY34) at the C-terminus. Cells of HVPSY20 and HVPSY34 showed hyperpigmentation (bacterioruberin content 4-fold higher than HVPSYwt) which correlated with increased PSY protein abundance (2-fold in HVPSY34) while they contained less psy transcript level compared to HVPSYwt. In vivo degradation assays showed that HvPSY34 was more stable than HvPSYwt. Collectively, these results show that the C-terminal region of HvPSY contains a “recognition determinant” for proteolysis in H. volcanii. Preliminary evidence suggests that LonB is involved in the recognition mechanism. This study provides the first identification of a regulatory sequence in an archaeal PSY for the post-translational control of carotenogenesis.
Enoli De Silva, Dana V. Devine, Eric Jan, Calvin D. Roskelley,
Published: 23 November 2022
Biochemical Journal, Volume 479, pp 2351-2364; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20220177

Abstract:
Apoptosis is a critical process for the maintenance of cell populations, and involves mitochondrial depolarization, the sequential cleavage of caspase-9 and -3, followed by the externalization of phosphatidylserine (PS) on the plasma membrane. The actin cytoskeleton and its accessory proteins are known regulators of apoptotic signalling in nucleated cells but their roles in platelet apoptosis are undefined. Filamin A (FLNA) is a ubiquitously-expressed actin-crosslinking protein that also serves as an intracellular signalling scaffold. Here we used platelets from mice with a platelet-specific FLNA deficiency (Flnafl/Y, Pf4-cre/+, termed platelet-specific knockout) to test the role of FLNA in platelet apoptosis. Treatment with the BH3-mimetic drug ABT-737 induced caspase-3 cleavage and PS exposure in platelets from floxed mice (Flnafl/Y, termed control) but these effects were essentially abrogated in FLNA-null platelets (platelet-specific knockout). Protein kinase C (PKC), a known FLNA ligand, was also activated by ABT-737, and PKC’s phosphorylation of its downstream substrates was attenuated in FLNA-null platelets. The PKC inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide (BIM) also reduced caspase-3 cleavage, thus essentially phenocopying the FLNA-null platelets. Notably, the caspase-3 cleavage defect in FLNA-null platelets was rescued by the PKC-activating phorbol ester PMA, suggesting that FLNA and PKC share a common pathway in regulating platelet apoptosis. Mitochondrial depolarization and caspase-9 cleavage were unaffected by BIM treatment, suggesting that PKC specifically controls the downstream caspase-3 point of the pro-apoptotic signalling pathway. These data point to a novel role for FLNA in the regulation of platelet apoptosis, thus providing an improved understanding of how circulating platelet counts are maintained.
Elisha Honami McCrory, Vyacheslav Akimov, , Blagoy Blagoev
Published: 21 November 2022
Abstract:
The E3 ligase HOIL-1 forms ester bonds in vitro between ubiquitin and serine/threonine residues in proteins. Here, we exploit UbiSite technology to identify serine and threonine residues undergoing HOIL-1 catalysed ubiquitylation in macrophages stimulated with R848, an activator of the TLR7/8 heterodimer. We identify Thr12, Thr14, Ser20 and Thr22 of ubiquitin as amino acid residues forming ester bonds with the C-terminal carboxylate of another ubiquitin molecule. This increases from 8 to 12 the number of ubiquitin linkage types that are formed in cells. We also identify Ser175 of IRAK4, Ser136, Thr163 and Ser168 of IRAK2 and Thr141 of MyD88 as further sites of HOIL-1-catalysed ubiquitylation together with lysine residues in these proteins that also undergo R848-dependent ubiquitylation. These findings establish that the ubiquitin chains attached to components of myddosomes are initiated by both ester and isopeptide bonds. Ester bond formation takes place within the proline, serine, threonine-rich (PST) domains of IRAK2 and IRAK4 and the intermediate domain of MyD88. The ubiquitin molecules attached to Lys162, Thr163 and Ser168 of IRAK2 are attached to different IRAK2 molecules.
Published: 16 November 2022
Biochemical Journal, Volume 479, pp 2327-2343; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20220255

Abstract:
A casual decision made one evening in 1976, in a bar near the Biochemistry Department at the University of Dundee, led me to start my personal research journey by following up a paper that suggested that acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) (believed to be a key regulatory enzyme of fatty acid synthesis) was inactivated by phosphorylation by what appeared to be a novel, cyclic AMP-independent protein kinase. This led me to define and name the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signalling pathway, on which I am still working 46 years later. ACC was the first known downstream target for AMPK, but at least 100 others have now been identified. This article contains some personal reminiscences of that research journey, focussing on: (i) the early days when we were defining the kinase and developing the key tools required to study it; (ii) the late 1990s and early 2000s, an exciting time when we and others were identifying the upstream kinases; (iii) recent times when we have been studying the complex role of AMPK in cancer. The article is published in conjunction with the Sir Philip Randle Lecture of the Biochemical Society, which I gave in September 2022 at the European Workshop on AMPK and AMPK-related kinases in Clydebank, Scotland. During the early years of my research career, Sir Philip acted as a role model, due to his pioneering work on insulin signalling and the regulation of pyruvate dehydrogenase.
Sarika Khasnis, Hildegonda Veenstra, Michael J McClellan, Opeoluwa Ojeniyi, C. David Wood,
Published: 16 November 2022
Abstract:
The cancer-associated Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latently infects and immortalises B lymphocytes. EBV latent membrane protein 2A and EBV-encoded microRNAs are known to manipulate B cell receptor signalling to control cell growth and survival and suppress lytic replication. Here we show that the EBV transcription factors EBNA2, 3A, 3B and 3C bind to genomic sites around multiple BCR pathway genes, regulate their expression and affect BCR signalling. EBNA2 regulates the majority of BCR pathway genes associated with binding sites, where EBNA3 proteins regulate only 42% of targets predicted by binding. Both EBNA2 and 3 proteins predominantly repress BCR pathway gene expression and target some common genes. EBNA2 and at least one EBNA3 protein repress the central BCR components CD79A and CD79B and the downstream genes BLNK, CD22, CD72, NFATC1, PIK3CG and RASGRP3. Studying repression of CD79B, we show that EBNA2 decreases transcription by disrupting binding of Early B-cell Factor-1 to the CD79B promoter. Consistent with repression of BCR signalling, we demonstrate that EBNA2 and EBNA3 proteins suppress the basal or active BCR signalling that culminates in NFAT activation. Additionally, we show that EBNA2, EBNA3A, and EBNA3C expression can result in reductions in the active serine 473 phosphorylated form of Akt in certain cell contexts, consistent with transcriptional repression of the PI3K-Akt BCR signalling arm. Overall, we identify EBNA2, EBNA3A and EBNA3C mediated transcription control of BCR signalling as an additional strategy through which EBV may control the growth and survival of infected B cells and maintain viral latency.
Misun Jung, Wonyoung Kim, Jin Won Cho, Won Ho Yang, In Kwon Chung
Published: 16 November 2022
Abstract:
P21WAF1/Cip1 acts as a key negative regulator of cell cycle progression, which can form complexes with cyclin-dependent kinases together with specific cyclins to induce cell cycle arrest at specific stages. p21 protein levels have been shown to be regulated primarily through phosphorylation and ubiquitination during various stages of the cell cycle. Although phosphorylation and ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation of p21 have been well established, other post-translational modifications that contribute to regulation of p21 stability and function remain to be further elucidated. Here we show that p21 degradation and its function are controlled by tankyrases, which are members of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) protein family. p21 interacts with tankyrases via newly defined tankyrase-binding motifs and is PARylated by tankyrases in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that PARylation is a new post-translational modification of p21. Up-regulation of tankyrases induces ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation of p21 through an E3 ligase RNF146, thus promoting cell cycle progression in the G1/S phase transition. On the contrary, inhibition of tankyrases by knockdown or inhibitor treatment stabilizes p21 protein and leads to cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase. Together, our data demonstrate that tankyrase may function as a new molecular regulator that controls the protein levels of p21 through PARylation-dependent proteasomal degradation. Hence, a novel function of the tankyrase-p21 axis may represent a new avenue for regulating cell cycle progression.
Lillian Feigang Schmaltz, Julia E. Ceniceros,
Published: 4 November 2022
Biochemical Journal, Volume 479, pp 2297-2309; https://doi.org/10.1042/bcj20220438

Abstract:
If left unrepaired, the major oxidative DNA lesion 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (oxoG) promotes G-to-T transversions by favorably adopting a syn conformation and base pairing with dATP during replication. The human oxoG DNA glycosylase hOGG1 senses and removes oxoG amid millions-fold excess of guanine, thereby counteracting the genotoxic effects of the major oxidative damage. Crystal structures of hOGG1 in complex with oxoG-containing DNA have provided key insights into the lesion recognition and catalysis mechanisms of the enzyme. These lesion-recognition complex (LRC) structures typically involve a catalytically inactive hOGG1 mutant, where one of the catalytic-site amino acid residues is mutated to prevent the cleavage of oxoG. The use of a catalytically incompetent hOGG1 mutant has thus precluded understanding of unscathed interactions between oxoG and hOGG1 catalytic site as well as interactions among catalytic-site amino acid residues. As an orthogonal approach to visualize such interactions, we have co-crystallized a catalytically competent hOGG1 bound to 2’-fluoro-oxodG-containing DNA, a transition state-destabilizing inhibitor that binds hOGG1 but is not processed by the enzyme. In this fluorinated lesion-recognition complex (FLRC), the 8-oxo moiety of oxoG is recognized by Gly42 and the Watson-Crick edge of oxoG is contacted by Gln315 and Pro266. The previously observed salt bridge between Lys249 and Cys253 is lacking in the FLRC, suggesting Lys249 is primed by Cys253 and poised for nucleophilic attack on C1’ of oxodG. Overall, hOGG1 FLRC marks the first structure of oxoG presented into an intact catalytic site of hOGG1 and provides complementary insights into the glycosylase mechanisms of the enzyme.
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