Difluoromethyl-1,3,4-oxadiazoles are slow-binding substrate analog inhibitors of histone deacetylase 6 with unprecedented isotype selectivityHistone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) is an attractive drug development target because of its role in the immune response, neuropathy, and cancer. Knockout mice develop normally and have no apparent phenotype, suggesting that selective inhibitors should have an excellent therapeutic window. Unfortunately, current HDAC6 inhibitors have only moderate selectivity and may inhibit other HDAC subtypes at high concentrations, potentially leading to side effects. Recently, substituted oxadiazoles have attracted attention as a promising novel HDAC inhibitor chemotype, but their mechanism of action is unknown.
Identification of an inhibitory domain in GTPase-activating protein p190RhoGAP responsible for masking its functional GAP domainThe GTPase-activating protein (GAP) p190RhoGAP (p190A) is encoded by ARHGAP35 which is found mutated in cancers. p190A is a negative regulator of the GTPase RhoA in cells and must be targeted to RhoA-dependent actin-based structures to fulfill its roles. We previously identified a functional region of p190A called the PLS (protrusion localization sequence) required for localization of p190A to lamellipodia but also for regulating the GAP activity of p190A. Additional effects of the PLS region on p190A localization and activity need further characterization.
RNA-binding protein LIN28A upregulates transcription factor HIF1α by posttranscriptional regulation via direct binding to UGAU motifsHypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) is a transcription factor that regulates angiogenesis under hypoxic conditions. To investigate the posttranscriptional regulatory mechanism of HIF1α, we performed a cell-based screening to reveal potential cis-elements and the regulatory RNA-binding proteins that act as trans-factors. We found that LIN28A promoted HIF1α protein expression independently of the downregulation of microRNA let-7, which is also directly mediated by LIN28A. Transcriptome analysis and evaluation of RNA stability using RNA-seq and SLAM-seq analyses, respectively, revealed that LIN28A upregulates HIF1A expression via mRNA stabilization.
The SDBC is active in quenching oxidative conditions and bridges the cell envelope layers in Deinococcus radioduransDeinococcus radiodurans is known for its remarkable ability to withstand harsh stressful conditions. The outermost layer of its cell envelope is a proteinaceous coat, the S-layer, essential for resistance to and interactions with the environment. The S-layer Deinoxanthin-binding complex (SDBC), one of the main units of the characteristic multilayered cell envelope of this bacterium, protects against environmental stressors and allows exchanges with the environment. So far, specific regions of this complex, the collar and the stalk, remained unassigned.
A splicing-dependent ER retention signal regulates surface expression of the mechanosensitive TMEM63B cation channelTMEM63B is a mechanosensitive cation channel activated by hypoosmotic stress and mechanic stimulation. We recently reported a brain-specific alternative splicing of exon 4 in TMEM63B. The short variant lacking exon 4, which constitutes the major isoform in the brain, exhibits enhanced responses to hypoosmotic stimulation compared to the long isoform containing exon 4. However, the mechanisms affecting this differential response are unclear. Here, we showed that the short isoform exhibited stronger cell surface expression compared to the long variant.
GLUT1 is a highly efficient L-fucose transporterUnderstanding L-fucose metabolism is important because it is used as a therapy for several congenital disorders of glycosylation. Exogenous L-fucose can be activated and incorporated directly into multiple N- and O-glycans via the fucose salvage/recycling pathway. However, unlike for other monosaccharides, no mammalian L-fucose transporter has been identified. Here, we functionally screened nearly 140 annotated transporters and identified GLUT1 (SLC2A1) as an L-fucose transporter. We confirmed this assignment using multiple approaches to alter GLUT1 function, including chemical inhibition, siRNA knockdown, and gene KO.
Multi-transcriptome analysis following an acute skeletal muscle growth stimulus yields tools for discerning global and MYC regulatory networksMyc is a powerful transcription factor implicated in epigenetic reprogramming, cellular plasticity, and rapid growth as well as tumorigenesis. Cancer in skeletal muscle is extremely rare despite marked and sustained Myc induction during loading-induced hypertrophy. Here, we investigated global, actively transcribed, stable, and myonucleus-specific transcriptomes following an acute hypertrophic stimulus in mouse plantaris. With these datasets, we define global and Myc-specific dynamics at the onset of mechanical overload-induced muscle fiber growth.
Differential activity of mGlu7 allosteric modulators provides evidence for mGlu7/8 heterodimers at hippocampal Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapsesGlutamate acts at eight metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptor subtypes expressed in a partially overlapping fashion in distinct brain circuits. Recent evidence indicates that specific mGlu receptor protomers can heterodimerize and that these heterodimers can exhibit different pharmacology when compared to their homodimeric counterparts. Group III mGlu agonist-induced suppression of evoked excitatory potentials and induction of long-term potentiation at Schaffer collateral-CA1 (SC-CA1) synapses in the rodent hippocampus can be blocked by the selective mGlu7 negative allosteric modulator (NAM), ADX71743.
Structural and functional studies of Arabidopsis thaliana triphosphate tunnel metalloenzymes reveal roles for additional domainsTriphosphate tunnel metalloenzymes (TTMs) are found in all biological kingdoms and have been characterized in microorganisms and animals. Members of the TTM family have divergent biological functions and act on a range of triphosphorylated substrates (RNA, thiamine triphosphate, and inorganic polyphosphate). TTMs in plants have received considerably less attention and are unique in that some homologs harbor additional domains including a P-loop kinase and transmembrane domain. Here, we report on structural and functional aspects of the multimodular TTM1 and TTM2 of Arabidopsis thaliana.
Met/Val129 polymorphism of the full-length human prion protein dictates distinct pathways of amyloid formationMethionine/valine polymorphism at position 129 of the human prion protein, huPrP, is tightly associated with the pathogenic phenotype, disease progress, and age of onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease or Fatal Familial Insomnia. This raises the question of whether and how the amino acid type at position 129 influences the structural properties of huPrP, affecting its folding, stability, and amyloid formation behavior. Here, our detailed biophysical characterization of the 129M and 129V variants of recombinant full-length huPrP(23–230) by amyloid formation kinetics, CD spectroscopy, molecular dynamics simulations, and sedimentation velocity analysis reveals differences in their aggregation propensity and oligomer content, leading to deviating pathways for the conversion into amyloid at acidic pH.
Hyperactivation of the proteasome in Caenorhabditis elegans protects against proteotoxic stress and extends lifespanVirtually all age-related neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) can be characterized by the accumulation of proteins inside and outside the cell that are thought to significantly contribute to disease pathogenesis. One of the cell’s primary systems for the degradation of misfolded/damaged proteins is the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), and its impairment is implicated in essentially all NDs. Thus, upregulating this system to combat NDs has garnered a great deal of interest in recent years. Various animal models have focused on stimulating 26S activity and increasing 20S proteasome levels, but thus far, none have targeted intrinsic activation of the 20S proteasome itself.
Dynamic S-acylation of the ER-resident protein stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) is required for store-operated Ca2+ entryMany cell surface stimuli cause calcium release from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stores to regulate cellular physiology. Upon ER calcium store depletion, the ER-resident protein stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) physically interacts with plasma membrane protein Orai1 to induce calcium release–activated calcium (CRAC) currents that conduct calcium influx from the extracellular milieu. Although the physiological relevance of this process is well established, the mechanism supporting the assembly of these proteins is incompletely understood.
Biased GPCR signaling by the native parathyroid hormone–related protein 1 to 141 relative to its N-terminal fragment 1 to 36The parathyroid hormone (PTH)–related protein (PTHrP) is indispensable for the development of mammary glands, placental calcium ion transport, tooth eruption, bone formation and bone remodeling, and causes hypercalcemia in patients with malignancy. Although mature forms of PTHrP in the body consist of splice variants of 139, 141, and 173 amino acids, our current understanding on how endogenous PTHrP transduces signals through its cognate G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR), the PTH type 1 receptor (PTHR), is largely derived from studies done with its N-terminal fragment, PTHrP1-36.
Single amino acids set apparent temperature thresholds for heat-evoked activation of mosquito transient receptor potential channel TRPA1Animals detect heat using thermosensitive transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. In insects, these include TRP ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), which in mosquitoes is crucial for noxious heat avoidance and thus is an appealing pest control target. However, the molecular basis for heat-evoked activation has not been fully elucidated, impeding both studies of the molecular evolution of temperature sensitivity and rational design of inhibitors. In TRPA1 and other thermosensitive TRPs, the N-terminal cytoplasmic ankyrin repeat (AR) domain has been suggested to participate in heat-evoked activation, but the lack of a structure containing the full AR domain has hindered our mechanistic understanding of its role.
Metalloprotease ADAM9 cleaves ephrin-B ligands and differentially regulates Wnt and mTOR signaling downstream of Akt kinase in colorectal cancer cellsEphrin-B signaling has been implicated in many normal and pathological processes, including neural crest development and tumor metastasis. We showed previously that proteolysis of ephrin-B ligands by the disintegrin metalloprotease ADAM13 is necessary for canonical Wnt signal activation and neural crest induction in Xenopus, but it was unclear if these mechanisms are conserved in mammals. Here, we report that mammalian ADAM9 cleaves ephrin-B1 and ephrin-B2 and can substitute for Xenopus ADAM13 to induce the neural crest.
The Casein kinase 1α agonist pyrvinium attenuates Wnt-mediated CK1α degradation via interaction with the E3 ubiquitin ligase component CereblonThe Cullin-RING ligase 4 E3 ubiquitin ligase component Cereblon (CRBN) is a well-established target for a class of small molecules termed immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs). These drugs drive CRBN to modulate the degradation of a number of neosubstrates required for the growth of multiple cancers. Whereas the mechanism underlying the activation of CRBN by IMiDs is well described, the normal physiological regulation of CRBN is poorly understood. We recently showed that CRBN is activated following exposure to Wnt ligands and subsequently mediates the degradation of a subset of physiological substrates.
Structure of the second phosphoubiquitin–binding site in parkinParkin and PINK1 regulate a mitochondrial quality control system that is mutated in some early onset forms of Parkinson’s disease. Parkin is an E3 ubiquitin ligase and regulated by the mitochondrial kinase PINK1 via a two-step cascade. PINK1 first phosphorylates ubiquitin, which binds a recruitment site on parkin to localize parkin to damaged mitochondria. In the second step, PINK1 phosphorylates parkin on its ubiquitin-like domain (Ubl), which binds a regulatory site to release ubiquitin ligase activity.
The cryo-EM structure of the S-layer deinoxanthin-binding complex of Deinococcus radiodurans informs properties of its environmental interactionsThe radiation-resistant bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans is known as the world’s toughest bacterium. The S-layer of D. radiodurans, consisting of several proteins on the surface of the cellular envelope and intimately associated with the outer membrane, has therefore been useful as a model for structural and functional studies. Its main proteinaceous unit, the S-layer deinoxanthin-binding complex (SDBC), is a hetero-oligomeric assembly known to contribute to the resistance against environmental stress and have porin functional features; however, its precise structure is unknown.
Structural basis for the in vitro efficacy of nirmatrelvir against SARS-CoV-2 variantsThe COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a public health threat with emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2. Nirmatrelvir (PF-07321332) is a reversible, covalent inhibitor targeting the main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 and the active protease inhibitor in PAXLOVID (nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets). However, the efficacy of nirmatrelvir is underdetermined against evolving SARS-CoV-2 variants. Here, we evaluated the in vitro catalytic activity and potency of nirmatrelvir against the Mpro of prevalent variants of concern (VOCs) or variants of interest (VOIs): Alpha (α, B.1.1.7), Beta (β, B.1.351), Delta (δ, B1.617.2), Gamma (γ, P.1), Lambda (λ, B.18.104.22.168/C37), Omicron (ο, B.1.1.529), as well as the original Washington or wildtype strain.
The activity of the serotonergic 5-HT1A receptor is modulated by voltage and sodium levelsG protein–coupled receptors are known to play a key role in many cellular signal transduction processes, including those mediating serotonergic signaling in the nervous system. Several factors have been shown to regulate the activity of these receptors, including membrane potential and the concentration of sodium ions. Whether voltage and sodium regulate the activity of serotonergic receptors is unknown. Here, we used Xenopus oocytes as an expression system to examine the effects of voltage and of sodium ions on the potency of one subtype of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) receptor, the 5-HT1A receptor.
The bacterial yjdF riboswitch regulates translation through its tRNA-like foldUnlike most riboswitches, which have one cognate effector, the bacterial yjdF riboswitch binds to diverse azaaromatic compounds, only a subset of which cause it to activate translation. We examined the yjdF aptamer domain by small-angle X-ray scattering and found that in the presence of activating ligands, the RNA adopts an overall shape similar to that of tRNA. Sequence analyses suggested that the yjdF aptamer is a homolog of tRNALys, and that two of the conserved loops of the riboswitch are equivalent to the D-loop and T-loop of tRNA, associating to form an elbow-like tertiary interaction.
Transcription factors KLF15 and PPARδ cooperatively orchestrate genome-wide regulation of lipid metabolism in skeletal muscleSkeletal muscle dynamically regulates systemic nutrient homeostasis through transcriptional adaptations to physiological cues. In response to changes in the metabolic environment (e.g., alterations in circulating glucose or lipid levels), networks of transcription factors and coregulators are recruited to specific genomic loci to fine-tune homeostatic gene regulation. Elucidating these mechanisms is of particular interest as these gene regulatory pathways can serve as potential targets to treat metabolic disease.
Spirocyclic dimer SpiD7 activates the unfolded protein response to selectively inhibit growth and induce apoptosis of cancer cellsThe unfolded protein response (UPR) is an adaptation mechanism activated to resolve transient accumulation of unfolded/misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. Failure to resolve the transient accumulation of such proteins results in UPR-mediated programmed cell death. Loss of tumor suppressor gene or oncogene addiction in cancer cells can result in sustained higher basal UPR levels; however, it is not clear if these higher basal UPR levels in cancer cells can be exploited as a therapeutic strategy.
Purine biosynthetic enzymes assemble into liquid-like condensates dependent on the activity of chaperone protein HSP90Enzymes within the de novo purine biosynthetic pathway spatially organize into dynamic intracellular assemblies called purinosomes. The formation of purinosomes has been correlated with growth conditions resulting in high purine demand, and therefore, the cellular advantage of complexation has been hypothesized to enhance metabolite flux through the pathway. However, the properties of this cellular structure are unclear. Here, we define the purinosome in a transient expression system as a biomolecular condensate using fluorescence microscopy.
Prefusion spike protein conformational changes are slower in SARS-CoV-2 than in SARS-CoV-1Within the last 2 decades, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses 1 and 2 (SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2) have caused two major outbreaks; yet, for reasons not fully understood, the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has been significantly more widespread than the 2003 SARS epidemic caused by SARS-CoV-1, despite striking similarities between these two viruses. The SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins, both of which bind to host cell angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, have been implied to be a potential source of their differential transmissibility.