Transglutaminase 2-dependent deamidation of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase promotes trophoblastic cell fusion [Protein Structure and Folding]

December 27th, 2013 by Iwai, K., Shibukawa, Y., Yamazaki, N., Wada, Y.

Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) is a multi-functional protein as well as a classic glycolytic enzyme, and its pleiotropic functions are achieved by various post-translational modifications and the resulting translocations to intracellular compartments. In the present study, GAPDH in the plasma membrane of BeWo choriocarcinoma cells displayed a striking acidic shift in two-dimensional electrophoresis after cell-cell fusion induction by forskolin. This post-translational modification was deamidation of multiple glutaminyl residues as determined by molecular mass measurement and tandem mass spectrometry of acidic GAPDH isoforms. Transglutaminase (TG) inhibitors prevented this acidic shift and reduced cell fusion. Knockdown of the TG2 gene by short hairpin RNA reproduced these effects of TG inhibitors. Various GAPDH mutants with replacement of different numbers (one to seven) of Gln by Glu were expressed in BeWo cells. These deamidated mutants reversed the suppressive effect of wild-type GAPDH overexpression on cell fusion. Interestingly, the mutants accumulated in the plasma membrane, and this accumulation was increased according to the number of Gln/Glu substitutions. Considering that GAPDH binds F-actin via an electrostatic interaction and that the cytoskeleton is rearranged in trophoblastic cell fusion, TG2-dependent GAPDH deamidation was suggested to participate in actin cytoskeletal remodeling.
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