Protein Synthesis and Degradation
- The melanoma antigen (MAGE) proteins all contain a MAGE homology domain. MAGE genes are conserved in all eukaryotes and have expanded from a single gene in lower eukaryotes to ∼40 genes in humans and mice. Whereas some MAGEs are ubiquitously expressed in tissues, others are expressed in only germ cells with aberrant reactivation in multiple cancers. Much of the initial research on MAGEs focused on exploiting their antigenicity and restricted expression pattern to target them with cancer immunotherapy.
- The HECT E3 ligase family comprises three subfamilies: NEDD4 E3 ubiquitin protein ligase (NEDD4), HECT and RLD domain–containing E3 ubiquitin protein ligase (HERC), and “other.” Most previous studies have focused on the NEDD4 subfamily. Apoptosis-resistant E3 ligase 1 (AREL1) belongs to “other” subfamily HECT that inhibits apoptosis by ubiquitinating and degrading proapoptotic proteins. Here, we report the crystal structure of the extended HECT domain of AREL1 (amino acids (aa) 436–823) at 2.4 Å resolution and its ubiquitination of the proapoptotic protein second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase (SMAC).
- Eukaryotic elongation factor 2 kinase (eEF2K) negatively regulates the elongation stage of mRNA translation and is activated under different stress conditions to slow down protein synthesis. One effect of eEF2K is to alter the repertoire of expressed proteins, perhaps to aid survival of stressed cells. Here, we applied pulsed stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) to study changes in the synthesis of specific proteins in human lung adenocarcinoma (A549) cells in which eEF2K had been depleted by an inducible shRNA.
- Chemoresistance is a leading obstacle in effective management of advanced prostate cancer (PCa). A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in PCa chemoresistance could improve treatment of patients with PCa. In the present study, using immune histochemical, chemistry, and precipitation assays with cells from individuals with benign or malignant prostate cancer or established PCa cell lines, we found that the oncogenic transcription factor pre-B cell leukemia homeobox-1 (PBX1) promotes PCa cell proliferation and confers to resistance against common anti-cancer drugs such as doxorubicin and cisplatin.
- Ubiquitin (Ub)-conjugating enzymes and Ub ligases control protein degradation and regulate many cellular processes in eukaryotes. Cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein-1 (cIAP1) plays a central role in apoptosis and tumor necrosis factor signaling. It harbors a C-terminal RING domain that homodimerizes to recruit E2∼Ub (where ∼ denotes a thioester bond) complex to catalyze Ub transfer. Noncovalent Ub binding to the backside of the E2 Ub-conjugating enzyme UbcH5 has previously been shown to enhance RING domain activity, but the molecular basis for this enhancement is unclear.
- Chronic inflammation is associated with multiple human disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, metabolic diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, alleviation of inflammation induced by environmental stimuli is important for disease prevention or treatment. Cereblon (CRBN) functions as a substrate receptor of the cullin-4 RING E3 ligase to mediate protein ubiquitination and degradation. Although it has been reported that CRBN reduces the inflammatory response through its nonenzymatic function, its role as a substrate receptor of the E3 ligase is not explored in mediating this process.
- TMEPAI (transmembrane prostate androgen–induced protein, also called prostate transmembrane protein, androgen-induced 1 (PMEPA1)) is a type I transmembrane (TM) protein, but its cellular function is largely unknown. Here, studying factors influencing the stability of c-Maf, a critical transcription factor in multiple myeloma (MM), we found that TMEPAI induced c-Maf degradation. We observed that TMEPAI recruited NEDD4 (neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally down-regulated 4), a WW domain–containing ubiquitin ligase, to c-Maf, leading to its degradation through the proteasomal pathway.