Abstract : Eukaryotes transport biomolecules between intracellular organelles and between cells and the environment via vesicle trafficking. Soluble N -ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNARE proteins) play pivotal roles in vesicle and membrane trafficking. These proteins are categorized as Qa, Qb, Qc, and R SNAREs and form a complex that induces vesicle fusion for targeting of vesicle cargos. As the core components of the SNARE complex, the SNAP25 Qbc SNAREs perform various functions related to cellular homeostasis. The Arabidopsis thaliana SNAP25 homolog AtSNAP33 interacts with Qa and R SNAREs and plays a key role in cytokinesis and in triggering innate immune responses. However, other Arabidopsis SNAP25 homologs, such as AtSNAP29 and AtSNAP30, are not well studied; this includes their localization, interactions, structures, and functions. Here, we discuss three biological functions of plant SNAP25 orthologs in the context of AtSNAP33 and highlight recent findings on SNAP25 orthologs in various plants. We propose future directions for determining the roles of the less well-characterized AtSNAP29 and AtSNAP30 proteins.
Sofia Brito , Mi-Gi Lee , Bum-Ho Bin , and Jong-Soo LeeMol. Cells 2020; 43(4): 323-330 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2020.0026
Abstract : Epigenetic events like DNA methylation and histone modification can alter heritable phenotypes. Zinc is required for the activity of various epigenetic enzymes, such as DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), histone acetyltransferases (HATs), histone deacetylases (HDACs), and histone demethylases, which possess several zinc binding sites. Thus, the dysregulation of zinc homeostasis can lead to epigenetic alterations. Zinc homeostasis is regulated by Zinc Transporters (ZnTs), Zrt- and Irt-like proteins (ZIPs), and the zinc storage protein metallothionein (MT). Recent advances revealed that ZIPs modulate epigenetics. ZIP10 deficiency was found to result in reduced HATs, confirming its involvement in histone acetylation for rigid skin barrier formation. ZIP13 deficiency, which is associated with Spondylocheirodysplastic Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (SCD-EDS), increases DNMT activity, leading to dysgenesis of dermis via improper gene expressions. However, the precise molecular mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Future molecular studies investigating the involvement of zinc and its transporters in epigenetics are warranted.
Kang Seon Lee , Hyoeun Bang , Jung Kyoon Choi , and Kwoneel KimMol. Cells 2020; 43(4): 331-339 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2020.2282
Abstract : Genetic modifications in noncoding regulatory regions are likely critical to human evolution. Human-accelerated noncoding elements are highly conserved noncoding regions among vertebrates but have large differences across humans, which implies human-specific regulatory potential. In this study, we found that human-accelerated noncoding elements were frequently coupled with DNase I hypersensitive sites (DHSs), together with monomethylated and trimethylated histone H3 lysine 4, which are active regulatory markers. This coupling was particularly pronounced in fetal brains relative to adult brains, non-brain fetal tissues, and embryonic stem cells. However, fetal brain DHSs were also specifically enriched in deeply conserved sequences, implying coexistence of universal maintenance and human-specific fitness in human brain development. We assessed whether this coexisting pattern was a general one by quantitatively measuring evolutionary rates of DHSs. As a result, fetal brain DHSs showed a mixed but distinct signature of regional conservation and outlier point acceleration as compared to other DHSs. This finding suggests that brain developmental sequences are selectively constrained in general, whereas specific nucleotides are under positive selection or constraint relaxation simultaneously. Hence, we hypothesize that human- or primate-specific changes to universally conserved regulatory codes of brain development may drive the accelerated, and most likely adaptive, evolution of the regulatory network of the human brain.
Hyun-Ju Kim , Dong-Kyo Lee , Xian Jin , Xiangguo Che , and Je-Yong ChoiMol. Cells 2020; 43(4): 340-349 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2020.2260
Abstract : Oleoylethanolamide (OEA), a bioactive lipid in bone, is known as an endogenous ligand for G protein-coupled receptor 119 (GPR119). Here, we explored the effects of OEA on osteoclast differentiation, function, and survival. While OEA inhibits osteoclast resorptive function by disrupting actin cytoskeleton, it does not affect receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclast differentiation. OEA attenuates osteoclast spreading, blocks actin ring formation, and eventually impairs bone resorption. Mechanistically, OEA inhibits Rac activation in response to macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), but not RANKL. Furthermore, the OEA-mediated cytoskeletal disorganization is abrogated by GPR119 knockdown using small hairpin RNA (shRNA), indicating that GPR119 is pivotal for osteoclast cytoskeletal organization. In addition, OEA induces apoptosis in both control and GPR119 shRNAtransduced osteoclasts, suggesting that GPR119 is not required for osteoclast apoptosis. Collectively, our findings reveal that OEA has inhibitory effects on osteoclast function and survival of mature osteoclasts via GPR119-dependent and GPR119-independent pathways, respectively.
Scisung Chung , Sulhee Kim , Sung Ho Ryu , Kwang Yeon Hwang , and Yunje ChoMol. Cells 2020; 43(4): 350-359 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2020.2287
Abstract : Pathogenic aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) are attractive targets for anti-infective agents because their catalytic active sites are different from those of human ARSs. Mupirocin is a topical antibiotic that specifically inhibits bacterial isoleucy-ltRNA synthetase (IleRS), resulting in a block to protein synthesis. Previous studies on Thermus thermophilus IleRS indicated that mupirocin-resistance of eukaryotic IleRS is primarily due to differences in two amino acids, His581 and Leu583, in the active site. However, without a eukaryotic IleRS structure, the structural basis for mupirocin-resistance of eukaryotic IleRS remains elusive. Herein, we determined the crystal structure of Candida albicans IleRS complexed with Ile-AMP at 2.9 Å resolution. The largest difference between eukaryotic and prokaryotic IleRS enzymes is closure of the active site pocket by Phe55 in the HIGH loop; Arg410 in the CP core loop; and the second Lys in the KMSKR loop. The Ile-AMP product is lodged in a closed active site, which may restrict its release and thereby enhance catalytic efficiency. The compact active site also prevents the optimal positioning of the 9-hydroxynonanoic acid of mupirocin and plays a critical role in resistance of eukaryotic IleRS to anti-infective agents.
Young Lee , Na-Eun Han , Wonju Kim , Jae Gon Kim , In Bum Lee , Su Jeong Choi , Heejung Chun , Misun Seo , C. Justin Lee , Hae-Young Koh , Joung-Hun Kim , Ja-Hyun Baik , Mark F. Bear , Se-Young Choi , and Bong-June YoonMol. Cells 2020; 43(4): 360-372 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2019.0279
Abstract : The basal ganglia network has been implicated in the control of adaptive behavior, possibly by integrating motor learning and motivational processes. Both positive and negative reinforcement appear to shape our behavioral adaptation by modulating the function of the basal ganglia. Here, we examined a transgenic mouse line (G2CT) in which synaptic transmissions onto the medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the basal ganglia are depressed. We found that the level of collaterals from direct pathway MSNs in the external segment of the globus pallidus (GPe) (‘bridging collaterals’) was decreased in these mice, and this was accompanied by behavioral inhibition under stress. Furthermore, additional manipulations that could further decrease or restore the level of the bridging collaterals resulted in an increase in behavioral inhibition or active behavior in the G2CT mice, respectively. Collectively, our data indicate that the striatum of the basal ganglia network integrates negative emotions and controls appropriate coping responses in which the bridging collateral connections in the GPe play a critical regulatory role.
Yan Lin , Jia Liu , Jia Chen , Chun Yao , Yunwen Yang , Jie Wang , Hongqin Zhuang , and Zi-Chun HuaMol. Cells 2020; 43(4): 373-383 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2020.2198
Abstract : Our previous study revealed a novel role of Fas-associated death domain-containing protein (FADD) in islet development and insulin secretion. Insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) is a zinc metalloprotease that selectively degrades biologically important substrates associated with type 2 diabetes (T2DM). The current study was designed to investigate the effect of FADD phosphorylation on IDE. We found that the mRNA and protein levels of IDE were significantly downregulated in FADD-D mouse livers compared with control mice. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that FADD regulates the expression of IDE at the transcriptional level without affecting the stability of the mRNA in HepG2 cells. Following treatment with cycloheximide, the IDE protein degradation rate was found to be increased in both FADD-D primary hepatocytes and FADD-knockdown HepG2 cells. Additionally, IDE expression levels were reduced in insulin-stimulated primary hepatocytes from FADD-D mice compared to those from control mice. Moreover, FADD phosphorylation promotes nuclear translocation of FoxO1, thus inhibiting the transcriptional activity of the IDE promoter. Together, these findings imply a novel role of FADD in the reduction of protein stability and expression levels of IDE.
Eun-Young Koh , Ji-Eun You , Se-Hwa Jung , and Pyung-Hwan KimMol. Cells 2020; 43(4): 384-396 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2020.2230
Abstract : Breast cancer is one of the most common life-threatening malignancies and the top cause of cancer deaths in women. Although many conventional therapies exist for its treatment, breast cancer still has many handicaps to overcome. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a well-known cause of tumor recurrences due to the ability of CSCs for self-renewal and differentiation into cell subpopulations, similar to stem cells. To fully treat breast cancer, a strategy for the treatment of both cancer cells and CSCs is required. However, current strategies for the eradication of CSCs are non-specific and have low efficacy. Therefore, surface biomarkers to selectively treat CSCs need to be developed. Here, 34 out of 641 surface biomarkers on CSCs were identified by proteomic analysis between the human breast adenocarcinoma cell line MCF-7 and MCF-7-derived CSCs. Among them, carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecules 6 (CEACAM6 or CD66c), a member of the CEA family, was selected as a novel biomarker on the CSC surface. This biomarker was then experimentally validated and evaluated for use as a CSC-specific marker. Its biological effects were assessed by treating breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) with short hairpin (sh)-RNA under oxidative cellular conditions. This study is the first to evaluate the biological function of CD66c as a novel biomarker on the surface of CSCs. This marker is available as a moiety for use in the development of targeted therapeutic agents against CSCs.
Hyeon Ju Lee , Yu-Jin Jung , Seungkoo Lee , Jong-Il Kim , and Jeong A. HanMol. Cells 2020; 43(4): 397-407 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2020.2231
Abstract : DNAJB9 is known to be a member of the molecular chaperone gene family, whose cellular function has not yet been fully characterized. Here, we investigated the cellular function of DNAJB9 under strong mitogenic signals. We found that DNAJB9 inhibits p53-dependent oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) and induces neoplastic transformation under oncogenic RAS activation in mouse primary fibroblasts. In addition, we observed that DNAJB9 interacts physically with p53 under oncogenic RAS activation and that the p53-interacting region of DNAJB9 is critical for the inhibition of p53-dependent OIS and induction of neoplastic transformation by DNAJB9. These results suggest that DNAJB9 induces cell transformation under strong mitogenic signals, which is attributable to the inhibition of p53-dependent OIS by physical interactions with p53. This study might contribute to our understanding of the cellular function of DNAJB9 and the molecular basis of cell transformation.
Seung-Young Roh , Ji Yeon Kim , Hyo Kyeong Cha , Hye Young Lim , Youngran Park , Kwang-No Lee , Jaemin Shim , Jong-Il Choi , Young-Hoon Kim , and Gi Hoon SonMol. Cells 2020; 43(4): 408-418 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2020.2164
Abstract : The sinus node (SN) is located at the apex of the cardiac conduction system, and SN dysfunction (SND)—characterized by electrical remodeling—is generally attributed to idiopathic fibrosis or ischemic injuries in the SN. SND is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disorders, including syncope, heart failure, and atrial arrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation. One of the histological SND hallmarks is degenerative atrial remodeling that is associated with conduction abnormalities and increased right atrial refractoriness. Although SND is frequently accompanied by increased fibrosis in the right atrium (RA), its molecular basis still remains elusive. Therefore, we investigated whether SND can induce significant molecular changes that account for the structural remodeling of RA. Towards this, we employed a rabbit model of experimental SND, and then compared the genome-wide RNA expression profiles in RA between SND-induced rabbits and sham-operated controls to identify the differentially expressed transcripts. The accompanying gene enrichment analysis revealed extensive pro-fibrotic changes within 7 days after the SN ablation, including activation of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling and alterations in the levels of extracellular matrix components and their regulators. Importantly, our findings suggest that periostin, a matricellular factor that regulates the development of cardiac tissue, might play a key role in mediating TGF-β-signaling-induced aberrant atrial remodeling. In conclusion, the present study provides valuable information regarding the molecular signatures underlying SND-induced atrial remodeling, and indicates that periostin can be potentially used in the diagnosis of fibroproliferative cardiac dysfunctions.