Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hot off the presses! Apr 08 mol cell

The Apr 08 issue of the mol cell is now up on Pubget (About mol cell): if you're at a subscribing institution, just click the link in the latest link at the home page. (Note you'll only be able to get all the PDFs in the issue if your institution subscribes to Pubget.)

Latest Articles Include:

  • Autophagy in Ras-Induced Malignant Transformation: Fatal or Vital?
    - mol cell 42(1):1-3 (2011)
    In this issue of Molecular Cell, Elgendy et al. suggest that Ras-induced autophagy may kill tumor cells on the verge of oncogenic transformation, providing a contrast to recent reports indicating that autophagy is required for optimal growth of Ras-driven cancers.
  • SUMmOning Daxx-Mediated Repression
    - mol cell 42(1):4-5 (2011)
    An intimate relationship exists between the transcriptional coregulator Daxx, SUMO, and PML nuclear bodies. In this issue, Chang et al. (2011) provide structural insights into how phosphorylation of Daxx increases its affinity toward SUMOs and functional insights into how enhanced SUMO binding affects Daxx-PML interactions, PML nuclear body localization, and Daxx-mediated repression of genes encoding for antiapoptotic factors.
  • Marked for Translation: Long A/U Tails as an Interface between Completion of RNA Editing and Ribosome Recruitment
    - mol cell 42(1):6-8 (2011)
    The mechanism by which ribosomes select translatable mRNAs from the complex mixture of incompletely edited mRNAs in trypanosome mitochondria has remained a mystery. In this issue of Molecular Cell, Aphasizheva and colleagues (Aphasizheva et al., 2011) reveal a role for long 3′ A/U tails in signaling ribosome recruitment to a fully edited, translatable mRNA.
  • Catalytic Control in the EGF Receptor and Its Connection to General Kinase Regulatory Mechanisms
    - mol cell 42(1):9-22 (2011)
    In contrast to the active conformations of protein kinases, which are essentially the same for all kinases, inactive kinase conformations are structurally diverse. Some inactive conformations are, however, observed repeatedly in different kinases, perhaps reflecting an important role in catalysis. In this review, we analyze one of these recurring conformations, first identified in CDK and Src kinases, which turned out to be central to understanding of how kinase domain of the EGF receptor is activated. This mechanism, which involves the stabilization of the active conformation of an α helix, has features in common with mechanisms operative in several other kinases.
  • Oncogenic Ras-Induced Expression of Noxa and Beclin-1 Promotes Autophagic Cell Death and Limits Clonogenic Survival
    - mol cell 42(1):23-35 (2011)
    Deregulated oncogenes such as MYC and RAS are typically insufficient to transform cells on their own due to the activation of pathways that restrain proliferation. Previous studies have shown that oncogenic H-Ras can induce proliferative arrest or senescence, depending on the cellular context. Here, we show that deregulated H-Ras activity can also lead to caspase-independent cell death with features of autophagy. Ras-induced autophagy was associated with upregulation of the BH3-only protein Noxa as well as the autophagy regulator Beclin-1. Silencing of Noxa or Beclin-1 expression reduced Ras-induced autophagy and increased clonogenic survival. Ras-induced cell death was also inhibited by coexpression of Bcl-2 family members that inhibit Beclin-1 function. Ras-induced autophagy was associated with Noxa-mediated displacement of the Bcl-2 family member, Mcl-1, from Beclin-1. Thus, Ras-induced expression of Noxa and Beclin-1 promotes autophagic cell death, which represents! a mechanism to limit the oncogenic potential of deregulated Ras signals.
  • Activation of the PIK3CA/AKT Pathway Suppresses Senescence Induced by an Activated RAS Oncogene to Promote Tumorigenesis
    - mol cell 42(1):36-49 (2011)
    Mutations in both RAS and the PTEN/PIK3CA/AKT signaling module are found in the same human tumors. PIK3CA and AKT are downstream effectors of RAS, and the selective advantage conferred by mutation of two genes in the same pathway is unclear. Based on a comparative molecular analysis, we show that activated PIK3CA/AKT is a weaker inducer of senescence than is activated RAS. Moreover, concurrent activation of RAS and PIK3CA/AKT impairs RAS-induced senescence. In vivo, bypass of RAS-induced senescence by activated PIK3CA/AKT correlates with accelerated tumorigenesis. Thus, not all oncogenes are equally potent inducers of senescence, and, paradoxically, a weak inducer of senescence (PIK3CA/AKT) can be dominant over a strong inducer of senescence (RAS). For tumor growth, one selective advantage of concurrent mutation of RAS and PTEN/PIK3CA/AKT is suppression of RAS-induced senescence. Evidence is presented that this new understanding can be exploited in rational development! and targeted application of prosenescence cancer therapies.
  • Rac1 Regulates the Activity of mTORC1 and mTORC2 and Controls Cellular Size
    - mol cell 42(1):50-61 (2011)
    Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine/threonine kinase that exists in two separate complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2, that function to control cell size and growth in response to growth factors, nutrients, and cellular energy levels. Low molecular weight GTP-binding proteins of the Rheb and Rag families are key regulators of the mTORC1 complex, but regulation of mTORC2 is poorly understood. Here, we report that Rac1, a member of the Rho family of GTPases, is a critical regulator of both mTORC1 and mTORC2 in response to growth-factor stimulation. Deletion of Rac1 in primary cells using an inducible-Cre/Lox approach inhibits basal and growth-factor activation of both mTORC1 and mTORC2. Rac1 appears to bind directly to mTOR and to mediate mTORC1 and mTORC2 localization at specific membranes. Binding of Rac1 to mTOR does not depend on the GTP-bound state of Rac1, but on the integrity of its C-terminal domain. This function of Rac1 provides a means to regulate mTORC1 ! and mTORC2 simultaneously.
  • Structural and Functional Roles of Daxx SIM Phosphorylation in SUMO Paralog-Selective Binding and Apoptosis Modulation
    - mol cell 42(1):62-74 (2011)
    Small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) conjugation and interaction are increasingly associated with various cellular processes. However, little is known about the cellular signaling mechanisms that regulate proteins for distinct SUMO paralog conjugation and interactions. Using the transcriptional coregulator Daxx as a model, we show that SUMO paralog-selective binding and conjugation are regulated by phosphorylation of the Daxx SUMO-interacting motif (SIM). NMR structural studies show that Daxx 732E-I-I-V-L-S-D-S-D740 is a bona fide SIM that binds to SUMO-1 in a parallel orientation. Daxx-SIM is phosphorylated by CK2 kinase at residues S737 and S739. Phosphorylation promotes Daxx-SIM binding affinity toward SUMO-1 over SUMO-2/3, causing Daxx preference for SUMO-1 conjugation and interaction with SUMO-1-modified factors. Furthermore, Daxx-SIM phosphorylation enhances Daxx to sensitize stress-induced cell apoptosis via antiapoptotic gene repression. Our findings provide st! ructural insights into the Daxx-SIM:SUMO-1 complex, a model of SIM phosphorylation-enhanced SUMO paralog-selective modification and interaction, and phosphorylation-regulated Daxx function in apoptosis.
  • Essential Role for Ubiquitin-Ubiquitin-Conjugating Enzyme Interaction in Ubiquitin Discharge from Cdc34 to Substrate
    - mol cell 42(1):75-83 (2011)
    During ubiquitin conjugation, the thioester bond that links "donor" ubiquitin to ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (E2) undergoes nucleophilic attack by the -amino group of an acceptor lysine, resulting in formation of an isopeptide bond. Models of ubiquitination have envisioned the donor ubiquitin to be a passive participant in this process. However, we show here that the I44A mutation in ubiquitin profoundly inhibits its ability to serve as a donor for ubiquitin chain initiation or elongation, but can be rescued by computationally predicted compensatory mutations in the E2 Cdc34. The donor defect of ubiquitin-I44A can be partially suppressed either by using a low pKa amine (hydroxylamine) as the acceptor or by performing reactions at higher pH, suggesting that the discharge defect arises in part due to inefficient deprotonation of the acceptor lysine. We propose that interaction between Cdc34 and the donor ubiquitin organizes the active site to promote efficient ubiqu! itination of substrate.
  • Integrating Cardiac PIP3 and cAMP Signaling through a PKA Anchoring Function of p110γ
    - mol cell 42(1):84-95 (2011)
    Adrenergic stimulation of the heart engages cAMP and phosphoinositide second messenger signaling cascades. Cardiac phosphoinositide 3-kinase p110γ participates in these processes by sustaining β-adrenergic receptor internalization through its catalytic function and by controlling phosphodiesterase 3B (PDE3B) activity via an unknown kinase-independent mechanism. We have discovered that p110γ anchors protein kinase A (PKA) through a site in its N-terminal region. Anchored PKA activates PDE3B to enhance cAMP degradation and phosphorylates p110γ to inhibit PIP3 production. This provides local feedback control of PIP3 and cAMP signaling events. In congestive heart failure, p110γ is upregulated and escapes PKA-mediated inhibition, contributing to a reduction in β-adrenergic receptor density. Pharmacological inhibition of p110γ normalizes β-adrenergic receptor density and improves contractility in failing hearts.
  • Substrate Binding Drives Large-Scale Conformational Changes in the Hsp90 Molecular Chaperone
    - mol cell 42(1):96-105 (2011)
    Hsp90 is a ubiquitous molecular chaperone. Previous structural analysis demonstrated that Hsp90 can adopt a large number of structurally distinct conformations; however, the functional role of this flexibility is not understood. Here we investigate the structural consequences of substrate binding with a model system in which Hsp90 interacts with a partially folded protein (Δ131Δ), a well-studied fragment of staphylococcal nuclease. SAXS measurements reveal that under apo conditions, Hsp90 partially closes around Δ131Δ, and in the presence of AMPPNP, Δ131Δ binds with increased affinity to Hsp90's fully closed state. FRET measurements show that Δ131Δ accelerates the nucleotide-driven open/closed transition and stimulates ATP hydrolysis by Hsp90. NMR measurements reveal that Hsp90 binds to a specific, highly structured region of Δ131Δ. These results suggest that Hsp90 preferentially binds a locally structured region in a globally unfolded protein, and this bindi! ng drives functional changes in the chaperone by lowering a rate-limiting conformational barrier.
  • Pentatricopeptide Repeat Proteins Stimulate mRNA Adenylation/Uridylation to Activate Mitochondrial Translation in Trypanosomes
    - mol cell 42(1):106-117 (2011)
    The majority of trypanosomal mitochondrial pre-mRNAs undergo massive uridine insertion/deletion editing, which creates open reading frames. Although the pre-editing addition of short 3′ A tails is known to stabilize transcripts during and after the editing, the processing event committing the fully edited mRNAs to translation remained unknown. Here, we show that a heterodimer of pentatricopeptide repeat-containing (PPR) proteins, termed kinetoplast polyadenylation/uridylation factors (KPAFs) 1 and 2, induces the postediting addition of A/U heteropolymers by KPAP1 poly(A) polymerase and RET1 terminal uridyltransferase. Edited transcripts bearing 200- to 300-nucleotide-long A/U tails, but not short A tails, were enriched in translating ribosomal complexes and affinity-purified ribosomal particles. KPAF1 repression led to a selective loss of A/U-tailed mRNAs and concomitant inhibition of protein synthesis. These results establish A/U extensions as the defining cis-eleme! nts of translation-competent mRNAs. Furthermore, we demonstrate that A/U-tailed mRNA preferentially interacts with the small ribosomal subunit, whereas edited substrates and complexes bind to the large subunit.
  • Dot1 and Histone H3K79 Methylation in Natural Telomeric and HM Silencing
    - mol cell 42(1):118-126 (2011)
    The expression of genes residing near telomeres is attenuated through telomere position-effect variegation (TPEV). By using a URA3 reporter located at TEL-VII-L of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, it was proposed that the disruptor of telomeric silencing-1 (Dot1) regulates TPEV by catalyzing H3K79 methylation. URA3 reporter assays also indicated that H3K79 methylation is required for HM silencing. Surprisingly, a genome-wide expression analysis of H3K79 methylation-defective mutants identified only a few telomeric genes, such as COS12 at TEL-VII-L, to be subject to H3K79 methylation-dependent natural silencing. Consistently, loss of Dot1 did not globally alter Sir2 or Sir3 occupancy in subtelomeric regions, but only led to some telomere-specific changes. Furthermore, H3K79 methylation by Dot1 did not play a role in the maintenance of natural HML silencing. Therefore, commonly used URA3 reporter assays may not report on natural PEV, and therefore, studies concerning the epigen! etic mechanism of silencing in yeast should also employ assays reporting on natural gene expression patterns.
  • A Common Telomeric Gene Silencing Assay Is Affected by Nucleotide Metabolism
    - mol cell 42(1):127-136 (2011)
    Telomere-associated position-effect variegation (TPEV) in budding yeast has been used as a model for understanding epigenetic inheritance and gene silencing. A widely used assay to identify mutants with improper TPEV employs the URA3 gene at the telomere of chromosome VII-L that can be counterselected with 5-fluoroorotic acid (5-FOA). 5-FOA resistance has been inferred to represent lack of transcription of URA3 and therefore to represent heterochromatin-induced gene silencing. For two genes implicated in telomere silencing, POL30 and DOT1, we show that the URA3 telomere reporter assay does not reflect their role in heterochromatin formation. Rather, an imbalance in ribonucleotide reductase (RNR), which is induced by 5-FOA, and the specific promoter of URA3 fused to ADH4 at telomere VII-L are jointly responsible for the variegated phenotype. We conclude that metabolic changes caused by the drug employed and certain mutants being studied are incompatible with the use of ! certain prototrophic markers for TPEV.
  • Requirement of ATM-Dependent Monoubiquitylation of Histone H2B for Timely Repair of DNA Double-Strand Breaks
    - mol cell 42(1):137 (2011)

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