Ki-Hong Jang , Chloe R. Heras , and Gina LeeMol. Cells 2022; 45(7): 435-443 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2022.0017
Abstract : In response to environmental changes, signaling pathways rewire gene expression programs through transcription factors. Epigenetic modification of the transcribed RNA can be another layer of gene expression regulation. N6-adenosine methylation (m6A) is one of the most common modifications on mRNA. It is a reversible chemical mark catalyzed by the enzymes that deposit and remove methyl groups. m6A recruits effector proteins that determine the fate of mRNAs through changes in splicing, cellular localization, stability, and translation efficiency. Emerging evidence shows that key signal transduction pathways including TGFβ (transforming growth factor-β), ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase), and mTORC1 (mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1) regulate downstream gene expression through m6A processing. Conversely, m6A can modulate the activity of signal transduction networks via m6A modification of signaling pathway genes or by acting as a ligand for receptors. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of the crosstalk between m6A and signaling pathways and its implication for biological systems.
Jaejun Choi , Ryeonghyeon Kim , and Junseock KohMol. Cells 2022; 45(7): 444-453 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2022.0035
Abstract : Multivalent macromolecular interactions underlie dynamic regulation of diverse biological processes in ever-changing cellular states. These interactions often involve binding of multiple proteins to a linear lattice including intrinsically disordered proteins and the chromosomal DNA with many repeating recognition motifs. Quantitative understanding of such multivalent interactions on a linear lattice is crucial for exploring their unique regulatory potentials in the cellular processes. In this review, the distinctive molecular features of the linear lattice system are first discussed with a particular focus on the overlapping nature of potential protein binding sites within a lattice. Then, we introduce two general quantitative frameworks, combinatorial and conditional probability models, dealing with the overlap problem and relating the binding parameters to the experimentally measurable properties of the linear lattice-protein interactions. To this end, we present two specific examples where the quantitative models have been applied and further extended to provide biological insights into specific cellular processes. In the first case, the conditional probability model was extended to highlight the significant impact of nonspecific binding of transcription factors to the chromosomal DNA on gene-specific transcriptional activities. The second case presents the recently developed combinatorial models to unravel the complex organization of target protein binding sites within an intrinsically disordered region (IDR) of a nucleoporin. In particular, these models have suggested a unique function of IDRs as a molecular switch coupling distinct cellular processes. The quantitative models reviewed here are envisioned to further advance for dissection and functional studies of more complex systems including phase-separated biomolecular condensates.
Yoonjeong Lee , Jaehyeon Kim , Hyunjin Kim , Ji Eun Han , Sohee Kim , Kyong-hwa Kang , Donghoon Kim , Jong-Min Kim , and Hyongjong KohMol. Cells 2022; 45(7): 454-464 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2022.5002
Abstract : DJ-1 is one of the causative genes of early-onset familial Parkinson’s disease (PD). As a result, DJ-1 influences the pathogenesis of sporadic PD. DJ-1 has various physiological functions that converge to control the levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Based on genetic analyses that sought to investigate novel antioxidant DJ-1 downstream genes, pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) kinase (PDK) was demonstrated to increase survival rates and decrease dopaminergic (DA) neuron loss in DJ-1 mutant flies under oxidative stress. PDK phosphorylates and inhibits the PDH complex (PDC), subsequently downregulating glucose metabolism in the mitochondria, which is a major source of intracellular ROS. A loss-of-function mutation in PDK was not found to have a significant effect on fly development and reproduction, but severely ameliorated oxidative stress resistance. Thus, PDK plays a critical role in the protection against oxidative stress. Loss of PDH phosphatase (PDP), which dephosphorylates and activates PDH, was also shown to protect DJ-1 mutants from oxidative stress, ultimately supporting our findings. Further genetic analyses suggested that DJ-1 controls PDK expression through hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), a transcriptional regulator of the adaptive response to hypoxia and oxidative stress. Furthermore, CPI-613, an inhibitor of PDH, protected DJ-1 null flies from oxidative stress, suggesting that the genetic and pharmacological inhibition of PDH may be a novel treatment strategy for PD associated with DJ-1 dysfunction.
Woo Ryung Kim , Eun Gyung Park , Hee-Eun Lee , Sang-Je Park , Jae-Won Huh , Jeong Nam Kim , and Heui-Soo KimMol. Cells 2022; 45(7): 465-478 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2022.2158
Abstract : MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that regulate the expression of target messenger RNA (mRNA) complementary to the 3’ untranslated region (UTR) at the post-transcriptional level. Hsa-miR-422a, which is commonly known as miRNA derived from transposable element (MDTE), was derived from short interspersed nuclear element (SINE). Through expression analysis, hsa-miR-422a was found to be highly expressed in both the small intestine and liver of crab-eating monkey. AT-Rich Interaction Domain 5 B (ARID5B) was selected as the target gene of hsa-miR-422a, which has two binding sites in both the exon and 3’UTR of ARID5B. To identify the interaction between hsa-miR-422a and ARID5B, a dual luciferase assay was conducted in HepG2 cell line. The luciferase activity of cells treated with the hsa-miR-422a mimic was upregulated and inversely downregulated when both the hsa-miR-422a mimic and inhibitor were administered. Nuclear factor erythroid-2 (NF-E2) was selected as the core transcription factor (TF) via feed forward loop analysis. The luciferase expression was downregulated when both the hsa-miR-422a mimic and siRNA of NF-E2 were treated, compared to the treatment of the hsa-miR-422a mimic alone. The present study suggests that hsa-miR-422a derived from SINE could bind to the exon region as well as the 3’UTR of ARID5B. Additionally, hsa-miR-422a was found to share binding sites in ARID5Bwith several TFs, including NF-E2. The hsa-miR-422a might thus interact with TF to regulate the expression of ARID5B, as demonstrated experimentally. Altogether, hsa-miR-422a acts as a super enhancer miRNA of ARID5Bby collaborating with TF and NF-E2.
Narayan Bashyal , Tae-Young Lee , Da-Young Chang , Jin-Hwa Jung , Min Gyeong Kim , Rakshya Acharya , Sung-Soo Kim , Il-Hoan Oh , and Haeyoung Suh-KimMol. Cells 2022; 45(7): 479-494 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2022.5015
Abstract : Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells that have been intensively studied as therapeutic tools for a variety of disorders. To enhance the efficacy of MSCs, therapeutic genes are introduced using retroviral and lentiviral vectors. However, serious adverse events (SAEs) such as tumorigenesis can be induced by insertional mutagenesis. We generated lentiviral vectors encoding the wild-type herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSV-TK) gene and a gene containing a point mutation that results in an alanine to histidine substitution at residue 168 (TK(A168H)) and transduced expression in MSCs (MSC-TK and MSC-TK(A168H)). Transduction of lentiviral vectors encoding the TK(A168H) mutant did not alter the proliferation capacity, mesodermal differentiation potential, or surface antigenicity of MSCs. The MSC-TK(A168H) cells were genetically stable, as shown by karyotyping. MSC-TK(A168H) responded to ganciclovir (GCV) with an half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) value 10-fold less than that of MSC-TK. Because MSC-TK(A168H) cells were found to be non-tumorigenic, a U87-TK(A168H) subcutaneous tumor was used as a SAE-like condition and we evaluated the effect of valganciclovir (vGCV), an oral prodrug for GCV. U87-TK(A168H) tumors were more efficiently ablated by 200 mg/kg vGCV than U87-TK tumors. These results indicate that MSC-TK(A168H) cells appear to be pre-clinically safe for therapeutic use. We propose that genetic modification with HSV-TK(A168H) makes allogeneic MSC-based ex vivo therapy safer by eliminating transplanted cells during SAEs such as uncontrolled cell proliferation.
Seheon Kim , Seri Koh , Wonchull Kang , and Jin Kuk YangMol. Cells 2022; 45(7): 495-501 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2022.0012
Abstract : Leucine dehydrogenase (LDH, EC 188.8.131.52) catalyzes the reversible deamination of branched-chain L-amino acids to their corresponding keto acids using NAD+ as a cofactor. LDH generally adopts an octameric structure with D4 symmetry, generating a molecular mass of approximately 400 kDa. Here, the crystal structure of the LDH from Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa-LDH) was determined at 2.5 Å resolution. Interestingly, the crystal structure shows that the enzyme exists as a dimer with C2 symmetry in a crystal lattice. The dimeric structure was also observed in solution using multiangle light scattering coupled with size-exclusion chromatography. The enzyme assay revealed that the specific activity was maximal at 60°C and pH 8.5. The kinetic parameters for three different amino acid and the cofactor (NAD+) were determined. The crystal structure represents that the subunit has more compact structure than homologs’ structure. In addition, the crystal structure along with sequence alignments indicates a set of non-conserved arginine residues which are important in stability. Subsequent mutation analysis for those residues revealed that the enzyme activity reduced to one third of the wild type. These results provide structural and biochemical insights for its future studies on its application for industrial purposes.
Myoungjoo Riu , Man Su Kim , Soo-Keun Choi , Sang-Keun Oh , and Choong-Min RyuMol. Cells 2022; 45(7): 502-511 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2022.2009
Abstract : Bacterial volatile compounds (BVCs) exert beneficial effects on plant protection both directly and indirectly. Although BVCs have been detected
Sungwook Han, Hosuk Lee, Andrew J. Lee, Seung-Kyoon Kim, Inkyung Jung, Gou Young Koh, Tae-Kyung Kim, and Daeyoup LeeMol. Cells 2022; 45(7): 512-512 https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2021.0224.e