Genetic code expansion in the mouse brain

August 29th, 2016 by Russell J Ernst

Nature Chemical Biology 12, 776 (2016). doi:10.1038/nchembio.2160

Authors: Russell J Ernst, Toke P Krogager, Elizabeth S Maywood, Roberto Zanchi, Václav Beránek, Thomas S Elliott, Nicholas P Barry, Michael H Hastings & Jason W Chin

Site-specific incorporation of non-natural amino acids into proteins, via genetic code expansion with pyrrolysyl tRNA synthetase (PylRS) and tRNAPylCUA pairs (and their evolved derivatives) from Methanosarcina sp., forms the basis of powerful approaches to probe and control protein function in cells and invertebrate organisms. Here we demonstrate that adeno-associated viral delivery of these pairs enables efficient genetic code expansion in primary neuronal culture, organotypic brain slices and the brains of live mice.

Proof of Principle: Coronin 1A – An Intrinsic Modulator of T Lymphocyte Function [Signal Transduction]

August 26th, 2016 by Siegmund, K., Klepsch, V., Hermann-Kleiter, N., Baier, G.

Coronins are evolutionarily conserved proteins that were originally identified as modulators of actin-dependent processes. Studies analyzing complete Coronin 1a knockout mice have shown that this molecule is an important regulator of T cell homeostasis and it has been linked to immune deficiencies as well as autoimmune disorders. Nevertheless, since Coronin 1A is strongly expressed in all leukocyte subsets, it is not conclusive whether or not this phenotype is attributed to a T cell-intrinsic function of Coronin 1A. To address this research question, we have generated a T cell-specific Coronin 1a knockout mouse (Coro1afl/fl x Cd4[Cre]). Deletion of Coro1a specifically in T cells led to a strong reduction in T cell number and a shift towards the effector/memory phenotype in peripheral lymphoid organs when compared to Cd4[Cre] mice expressing wild-type Coro1a. In contrast to peripheral lymphoid tissue, thymocyte number and subsets were not affected by the deletion of Coro1a. Furthermore, T cell-specific Coro1a knockout mice were largely resistant to the induction of autoimmunity when tested in the MOG-induced EAE mouse model of multiple sclerosis. Thus, the phenotype of T cell-specific Coro1a deletion resembles the phenotype observed with conventional (whole body) Coro1a knockout mice. In summary, our findings provide formal proof of the predominant T cell-intrinsic role of Coronin 1A.

Leptin Enhances TH2 and ILC2 Responses in Allergic Airway Disease [Molecular Bases of Disease]

August 26th, 2016 by Zheng, H., Zhang, X., Castillo, E. F., Luo, Y., Liu, M., Yang, X. O.

Allergic asthma and obesity are the leading health problems in the world. Many studies have shown that obesity is a risk factor of development of asthma. However, the underlying mechanism has not been well established. In this study, we demonstrate that leptin, an adipokine elevated in obese individuals, promoted proliferation and survival of pro-allergic type 2 helper T cells and group 2 innate lymphoid cells and production of type 2 cytokines, which together contribute to allergic responses. Leptin activates mTORC1, MAPK and STAT3 pathways in TH2 cells. The effects of leptin on TH2 cell proliferation, survival and cytokine production are dependent on the mTORC1 and MAPK pathways as revealed by specific inhibitors. In vivo, leptin-deficiency led to attenuated experimental allergic airway inflammation. Our results thus support that obesity associated elevation of leptin may increase the susceptibility of asthma via modulation of pro-allergic lymphocyte responses.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Observation of α-Synuclein Membrane Interaction by Monitoring the Acetylation Reactivity of Its Lysine Side Chains

August 23rd, 2016 by Jung Ho Lee, Jinfa Ying and Ad Bax

TOC Graphic

DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.6b00637

Apolipoprotein C-III Nanodiscs Studied by Site-Specific Tryptophan Fluorescence

August 23rd, 2016 by Chase A. Brisbois and Jennifer C. Lee

TOC Graphic

DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.6b00599

DUSP1 maintains IRF1 and leads to increased expression of IRF1-dependent genes: A mechanism promoting glucocorticoid-insensitivity [Signal Transduction]

August 22nd, 2016 by Shah, S., King, E. M., Mostafa, M. M., Altonsy, M. O., Newton, R.

Although, the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatase, DUSP1, mediates dexamethasone-induced repression of MAPKs, 14 out of 46 interleukin-1β (IL1B)-induced mRNAs were significantly enhanced by DUSP1 over-expression in pulmonary A549 cells. These include the interferon regulatory factor, IRF1, and the chemokine, CXCL10. Of these DUSP1-enhanced mRNAs, 10, including CXCL10, were IRF1-dependent. MAPK inhibitors and DUSP1 over-expression prolonged IRF1 expression by elevating transcription, and increasing IRF1 mRNA and protein stability. Conversely, DUSP1 silencing increased IL1B-induced MAPK phosphorylation, while significantly reducing IRF1 protein expression at 4h. This confirms a regulatory network, whereby DUSP1 switches off MAPKs to maintain IRF1 expression. There was no repression of IRF1 expression by dexamethasone in primary human bronchial epithelial cells, and in A549 cells IL1B-induced IRF1 protein was only modestly and transiently repressed. While dexamethasone did not repress IL1B-induced IRF1 protein expression at 4-6h, silencing of IL1B plus dexamethasone-induced DUSP1 significantly reduced IRF1 expression. IL1B-induced expression of CXCL10 was largely insensitive to dexamethasone, whereas other DUSP1-enhanced, IRF1-dependent mRNAs showed various degrees of repression. With IL1B plus dexamethasone, CXCL10 expression was also IRF1-dependent and expression was reduced by DUSP1 silencing. Thus, IL1B plus dexamethasone-induced DUSP1 maintains expression of IRF1 and the IRF1-dependent gene, CXCL10. This is supported by chromatin immunoprecipitation showing IRF1 recruitment to be essentially unaffected by dexamethasone at the CXCL10 promoter or at the promoters of more highly repressed IRF1-dependent genes. Since, IRF1-dependent genes, such as CXCL10, are central to host defence, these data may help explain the reduced effectiveness of glucocorticoids during asthma exacerbations.
  • Posted in Journal of Biological Chemistry, Publications
  • Comments Off on DUSP1 maintains IRF1 and leads to increased expression of IRF1-dependent genes: A mechanism promoting glucocorticoid-insensitivity [Signal Transduction]

Severe Molecular Defects Exhibited by the R179H Mutation in Human Vascular Smooth Muscle {alpha}-Actin [Protein Structure and Folding]

August 22nd, 2016 by Lu, H., Fagnant, P. M., Krementsova, E. B., Trybus, K. M.

Mutations in vascular smooth muscle α-actin (SM α-actin), encoded by ACTA2, are the most common cause of familial thoracic aortic aneurysms that lead to dissection (TAAD). The R179H mutation has a poor patient prognosis, and is unique in causing multisystemic smooth muscle dysfunction (1). Here we characterize this mutation in expressed human SM α-actin. R179H actin shows severe polymerization defects, with a 40-fold higher critical concentration for assembly than WT SM α-actin, driven by a high disassembly rate. The mutant filaments are more readily severed by cofilin. Both defects are attenuated by copolymerization with WT. The R179H monomer binds more tightly to profilin, and formin binding suppresses nucleation and slows polymerization rates. Linear filaments will thus not be readily formed, and cells expressing R179H actin will likely have increased levels of monomeric G-actin. The co-transcription factor myocardin-related transcription factor-A (MRTF-A), which affects cellular phenotype, binds R179H actin with less cooperativity than WT actin. Smooth muscle myosin moves R179H filaments more slowly than WT, even when copolymerized with equimolar amounts of WT. The marked decrease in the ability to form filaments may contribute to the poor patient prognosis, and explain why R179H disrupts even visceral smooth muscle cell function where the SM α-actin isoform is present in low amounts. The R179H mutation has the potential to affect actin structure and function in both the contractile domain of the cell, and the more dynamic cytoskeletal pool of actin, both of which are required for contraction.

Oxidation increases the strength of the methionine-aromatic interaction

August 22nd, 2016 by Andrew K Lewis

Nature Chemical Biology 12, 860 (2016). doi:10.1038/nchembio.2159

Authors: Andrew K Lewis, Katie M Dunleavy, Tiffany L Senkow, Cheng Her, Benjamin T Horn, Mark A Jersett, Ryan Mahling, Megan R McCarthy, Gabriella T Perell, Christopher C Valley, Christine B Karim, Jiali Gao, William C K Pomerantz, David D Thomas, Alessandro Cembran, Anne Hinderliter & Jonathan N Sachs

  • Posted in Nat Chem Biol, Publications
  • Comments Off on Oxidation increases the strength of the methionine-aromatic interaction

Biophysical determinants for cellular uptake of hydrocarbon-stapled peptide helices

August 22nd, 2016 by Gregory H Bird

Nature Chemical Biology 12, 845 (2016). doi:10.1038/nchembio.2153

Authors: Gregory H Bird, Emanuele Mazzola, Kwadwo Opoku-Nsiah, Margaret A Lammert, Marina Godes, Donna S Neuberg & Loren D Walensky

  • Posted in Nat Chem Biol, Publications
  • Comments Off on Biophysical determinants for cellular uptake of hydrocarbon-stapled peptide helices

Discovery of LRE1 as a specific and allosteric inhibitor of soluble adenylyl cyclase

August 22nd, 2016 by Lavoisier Ramos-Espiritu

Nature Chemical Biology 12, 838 (2016). doi:10.1038/nchembio.2151

Authors: Lavoisier Ramos-Espiritu, Silke Kleinboelting, Felipe A Navarrete, Antonio Alvau, Pablo E Visconti, Federica Valsecchi, Anatoly Starkov, Giovanni Manfredi, Hannes Buck, Carolina Adura, Jonathan H Zippin, Joop van den Heuvel, J Fraser Glickman, Clemens Steegborn, Lonny R Levin & Jochen Buck

  • Posted in Nat Chem Biol, Publications
  • Comments Off on Discovery of LRE1 as a specific and allosteric inhibitor of soluble adenylyl cyclase