Current Issue

  • Minireview 2022-08-31

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    Current Understanding of Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Antigen-4 (CTLA-4) Signaling in T-Cell Biology and Disease Therapy

    Gil-Ran Kim and Je-Min Choi

    Mol. Cells 2022; 45(8): 513-521

    Abstract : Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) is an immune checkpoint molecule that is mainly expressed on activated T cells and regulatory T (Treg) cells that inhibits T-cell activation and regulates immune homeostasis. Due to the crucial functions of CTLA-4 in T-cell biology, CTLA-4-targeted immunotherapies have been developed for autoimmune disease as well as cancers. CTLA-4 is known to compete with CD28 to interact with B7, but some studies have revealed that its downstream signaling is independent of its ligand interaction. As a signaling domain of CTLA-4, the tyrosine motif plays a role in inhibiting T-cell activation. Recently, the lysine motif has been shown to be required for the function of Treg cells, emphasizing the importance of CTLA-4 signaling. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of CTLA-4 biology and molecular signaling events and discuss strategies to target CTLA-4 signaling for immune modulation and disease therapy.

  • Minireview 2022-08-31

    0 127 43

    Z-DNA–Containing Long Terminal Repeats of Human Endogenous Retrovirus Families Provide Alternative Promoters for Human Functional Genes

    Du Hyeong Lee , Woo Hyeon Bae , Hongseok Ha , Eun Gyung Park , Yun Ju Lee , Woo Ryung Kim , and Heui-Soo Kim

    Mol. Cells 2022; 45(8): 522-530

    Abstract : Transposable elements (TEs) account for approximately 45% of the human genome. TEs have proliferated randomly and integrated into functional genes during hominoid radiation. They appear as right-handed B-DNA double helices and slightly elongated left-handed Z-DNAs. Human endogenous retrovirus (HERV) families are widely distributed in human chromosomes at a ratio of 8%. They contain a 5′-long terminal repeat (LTR)-gag-pol-env-3′-LTR structure. LTRs contain the U3 enhancer and promoter region, transcribed R region, and U5 region. LTRs can influence host gene expression by acting as regulatory elements. In this review, we describe the alternative promoters derived from LTR elements that overlap Z-DNA by comparing Z-hunt and DeepZ data for human functional genes. We also present evidence showing the regulatory activity of LTR elements containing Z-DNA in GSDML. Taken together, the regulatory activity of LTR elements with Z-DNA allows us to understand gene function in relation to various human diseases.

  • Journal Club 2022-08-31

    0 247 57

    Cellular Senescence: The Villain of Metabolic Disease?

    Discovery of a distinct senescent cell population in obesity-induced metabolic dysfunction

    Gung Lee *

    Mol. Cells 2022; 45(8): 531-533
  • Journal Club 2022-08-31

    0 100 27

    Keep Hypoxia-Inducible Factor α and Stay Cool

    Adipocyte HIFα regulates thermogenic execution.

    Ji Seul Han *

    Mol. Cells 2022; 45(8): 534-536
  • Research Article 2022-08-31

    0 86 28

    Transcriptional Regulatory Role of NELL2 in Preproenkephalin Gene Expression

    Chang Man Ha , Dong Hee Kim , Tae Hwan Lee , Han Rae Kim , Jungil Choi , Yoonju Kim , Dasol Kang , Jeong Woo Park , Sergio R. Ojeda , Jin Kwon Jeong , and Byung Ju Lee

    Mol. Cells 2022; 45(8): 537-549

    Abstract : Preproenkephalin (PPE) is a precursor molecule for multiple endogenous opioid peptides Leu-enkephalin (ENK) and Met-ENK, which are involved in a wide variety of modulatory functions in the nervous system. Despite the functional importance of ENK in the brain, the effect of brain-derived factor(s) on PPE expression is unknown. We report the dual effect of neural epidermal growth factor (EGF)-likelike 2 (NELL2) on PPE gene expression. In cultured NIH3T3 cells, transfection of NELL2 expression vectors induced an inhibition of PPE transcription intracellularly, in parallel with downregulation of protein kinase C signaling pathways and extracellular signal-regulated kinase. Interestingly, these phenomena were reversed when synthetic NELL2 was administered extracellularly. The in vivo disruption of NELL2 synthesis resulted in an increase in PPE mRNA level in the rat brain, suggesting that the inhibitory action of intracellular NELL2 predominates the activation effect of extracellular NELL2 on PPE gene expression in the brain. Biochemical and molecular studies with mutant NELL2 structures further demonstrated the critical role of EGF-like repeat domains in NELL2 for regulation of PPE transcription. These are the first results to reveal the spatio-specific role of NELL2 in the homeostatic regulation of PPE gene expression.

  • Research Article 2022-08-31

    0 114 40

    Downregulation of SETD5 Suppresses the Tumorigenicity of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells

    Mijin Park , Byul Moon , Jong-Hwan Kim , Seung-Jin Park , Seon-Kyu Kim , Kihyun Park , Jaehoon Kim , Seon-Young Kim , Jeong-Hoon Kim , and Jung-Ae Kim

    Mol. Cells 2022; 45(8): 550-563

    Abstract : Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an aggressive and incurable cancer. Although understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of HCC has greatly advanced, therapeutic options for the disease remain limited. In this study, we demonstrated that SETD5 expression is positively associated with poor prognosis of HCC and that SETD5 depletion decreased HCC cell proliferation and invasion while inducing cell death. Transcriptome analysis revealed that SETD5 loss downregulated the interferon-mediated inflammatory response in HCC cells. In addition, SETD5 depletion downregulated the expression of a critical glycolysis gene, PKM (pyruvate kinase M1/2), and decreased glycolysis activity in HCC cells. Finally, SETD5 knockdown inhibited tumor growth in xenograft mouse models. These results collectively suggest that SETD5 is involved in the tumorigenic features of HCC cells and that targeting SETD5 may suppress HCC progression.

  • Research Article 2022-08-31

    0 98 31

    Environment-Sensitive Ectodomain Shedding of Epithin/PRSS14 Increases Metastatic Potential of Breast Cancer Cells by Producing CCL2

    Jiyoung Jang , Eun Hye Cho , Youngkyung Cho , Binderya Ganzorig , Ki Yeon Kim , Moon Gyo Kim , and Chungho Kim

    Mol. Cells 2022; 45(8): 564-574

    Abstract : Epithin/PRSS14 is a membrane serine protease that plays a key role in tumor progression. The protease exists on the cell surface until its ectodomain shedding, which releases most of the extracellular domain. Previously, we showed that the remaining portion on the membrane undergoes intramembrane proteolysis, which results in the liberation of the intracellular domain and the intracellular domainmediated gene expression. In this study, we investigated how the intramembrane proteolysis for the nuclear function is initiated. We observed that ectodomain shedding of epithin/PRSS14 in mouse breast cancer 4T1 cells increased depending on environmental conditions and was positively correlated with invasiveness of the cells and their proinvasive cytokine production. We identified selenite as an environmental factor that can induce ectodomain shedding of the protease and increase C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) secretion in an epithin/PRSS14-dependent manner. Additionally, by demonstrating that the expression of the intracellular domain of epithin/PRSS14 is sufficient to induce CCL2 secretion, we established that epithin/PRSS14- dependent shedding and its subsequent intramembrane proteolysis are responsible for the metastatic conversion of 4T1 cells under these conditions. Consequently, we propose that epithin/PRSS14 can act as an environment-sensing receptor that promotes cancer metastasis by liberating the intracellular domain bearing transcriptional activity under conditions promoting ectodomain shedding.

  • Research Article 2022-08-31

    0 127 45

    Structural Insights into Porphyrin Recognition by the Human ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter ABCB6

    Songwon Kim , Sang Soo Lee , Jun Gyou Park , Ji Won Kim , Seulgi Ju , Seung Hun Choi , Subin Kim , Na Jin Kim , Semi Hong , Jin Young Kang , and Mi Sun Jin

    Mol. Cells 2022; 45(8): 575-587

    Abstract : Human ABCB6 is an ATP-binding cassette transporter that regulates heme biosynthesis by translocating various porphyrins from the cytoplasm into the mitochondria. Here we report the cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of human ABCB6 with its substrates, coproporphyrin III (CPIII) and hemin, at 3.5 and 3.7 Å resolution, respectively. Metalfree porphyrin CPIII binds to ABCB6 within the central cavity, where its propionic acids form hydrogen bonds with the highly conserved Y550. The resulting structure has an overall fold similar to the inward-facing apo structure, but the two nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs) are slightly closer to each other. In contrast, when ABCB6 binds a metal-centered porphyrin hemin in complex with two glutathione molecules (1 hemin: 2 glutathione), the two NBDs end up much closer together, aligning them to bind and hydrolyze ATP more efficiently. In our structures, a glycine-rich and highly flexible “bulge” loop on TM helix 7 undergoes significant conformational changes associated with substrate binding. Our findings suggest that ABCB6 utilizes at least two distinct mechanisms to fine-tune substrate specificity and transport efficiency.

  • Research Article 2022-08-31

    0 337 89

    RNA Binding Protein Rbms1 Enables Neuronal Differentiation and Radial Migration during Neocortical Development by Binding and Stabilizing the RNA Message for Efr3a

    Khadija Habib , Kausik Bishayee , Jieun Kang , Ali Sadra *, and Sung-Oh Huh *

    Mol. Cells 2022; 45(8): 588-602

    Abstract : Various RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are key components in RNA metabolism and contribute to several neurodevelop­mental disorders. To date, only a few of such RBPs have been characterized for their roles in neocortex development. Here, we show that the RBP, Rbms1, is required for radial migration, polarization and differentiation of neuronal progenitors to neurons in the neocortex development. Rbms1 expression is highest in the early development in the developing cortex, with its expression gradually diminishing from embryonic day 13.5 (E13.5) to postnatal day 0 (P0). From in utero electroporation (IUE) experiments when Rbms1 levels are knocked down in neuronal progenitors, their transition from multipolar to bipolar state is delayed and this is accompanied by a delay in radial migration of these cells. Reduced Rbms1 levels in vivo also reduces differentiation as evidenced by a decrease in levels of several differentiation markers, meanwhile having no significant effects on proliferation and cell cycle rates of these cells. As an RNA binding protein, we profiled the RNA binders of Rbms1 by a cross-linked-RIP sequencing assay, followed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction verification and showed that Rbms1 binds and stabilizes the mRNA for Efr3a, a signaling adapter protein. We also demonstrate that ectopic Efr3a can recover the cells from the migration defects due to loss of Rbms1, both in vivo and in vitro migration assays with cultured cells. These imply that one of the functions of Rbms1 involves the stabilization of Efr3a RNA message, required for migration and maturation of neuronal progenitors in radial migration in the developing neocortex.

Mol. Cells
Aug 31, 2022 Vol.45 No.8, pp. 513~602
Cryo-EM structure of human porphyrin transporter ABCB6 (main figure) shows that binding of hemin (inset, magenta) in concert with two glutathione molecules (cyan) primes ABCB6 for high ATP turnover (Kim et al., pp. 575-587).

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