The development of affinity purification technologies combined with mass spectrometric analysis of purified protein mixtures has been used both to identify new protein-protein interactions and to define the subunit composition of protein complexes. Transcription factor protein interactions, however, have not been systematically analyzed using these approaches. Here, we investigated whether ectopic expression of an affinity tagged transcription factor as bait in affinity purification mass spectrometry experiments perturbs gene expression in cells, resulting in the false positive identification of bait-associated proteins when typical experimental controls are used. Using quantitative proteomics and RNA sequencing, we determined that the increase in the abundance of a set of proteins caused by overexpression of the transcription factor RelA is not sufficient for these proteins to then co-purify non-specifically and be misidentified as bait-associated proteins. Therefore, typical controls should be sufficient, and a number of different baits can be compared with a common set of controls. This is of practical interest when identifying bait interactors from a large number of different baits. As expected, we found several known RelA interactors enriched in our RelA purifications (NF?B1, NF?B2, Rel, RelB, I?B?, I?B?, and I?B?). We also found several proteins not previously described in association with RelA, including the small mitochondrial chaperone Tim13. Using a variety of biochemical approaches, we further investigated the nature of the association between Tim13 and NF?B family transcription factors. This work therefore provides a conceptual and experimental framework for analyzing transcription factor protein interactions.
Lipid metabolism is tightly controlled by the nutritional state of the organism. Nutrient-rich conditions increase lipogenesis, whereas nutrient deprivation promotes fat oxidation. In this study, we identify the mitochondrial sirtuin, SIRT4, as a regulator of lipid homeostasis. SIRT4 is active in nutrient-replete conditions to repress fatty acid oxidation while promoting lipid anabolism. SIRT4 deacetylates and inhibits malonyl CoA decarboxylase (MCD), an enzyme that produces acetyl CoA from malonyl CoA. Malonyl CoA provides the carbon skeleton for lipogenesis and also inhibits fat oxidation. Mice lacking SIRT4 display elevated MCD activity and decreased malonyl CoA in skeletal muscle and white adipose tissue. Consequently, SIRT4 KO mice display deregulated lipid metabolism, leading to increased exercise tolerance and protection against diet-induced obesity. In sum, this work elucidates SIRT4 as an important regulator of lipid homeostasis, identifies MCD as a SIRT4 target, and deepens our understanding of the malonyl CoA regulatory axis.
Sirtuins are NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases regulating metabolism, stress responses, and aging processes. Mammalia possess seven Sirtuin isoforms, Sirt1-7, which differ in their subcellular localization and in the substrate proteins they deacetylate. The physiological roles of Sirtuins and their potential use as therapeutic targets for metabolic and aging-related diseases have spurred interest in the development of small-molecule Sirtuin modulators. Here, we describe an approach exploiting the structures available for four human Sirtuins for the development of isoform-specific inhibitors. Virtual docking of a compound library into the peptide binding pockets of crystal structures of Sirt2, 3, 5 and 6 yielded compounds potentially discriminating between these isoforms. Further characterization in activity assays revealed several inhibitory compounds with little isoform specificity, but also two compounds with micromolar potency and high specificity for Sirt2. Structure comparison and the predicted, shared binding mode of the Sirt2-specific compounds indicate a pocket extending from the peptide-binding groove as target side enabling isoform specificity. Our family-wide structure-based approach thus identified potent, Sirt2-specific inhibitors as well as lead structures and a target site for the development of compounds specific for other Sirtuin isoform, constituting an important step toward the identification of a complete panel of isoform-specific Sirtuin inhibitors.
Inefficient gene delivery is a critical factor limiting the use of nonviral methods in therapeutic applications including gene therapy and tissue engineering. There have been few efforts to understand or engineer the molecular signaling pathways that dictate the efficacy of gene transfer. Microarray analysis was used to determine endogenous gene expression profiles modulated during nonviral gene transfer. Nonviral DNA lipoplexes were delivered to HEK 293T cells. Flow cytometry was used to isolate a population of transfected cells. Expression patterns were compared between transfected and nontransfected samples, which revealed three genes that were significantly upregulated in transfected cells, including RAP1A, a GTPase implicated in integrin-mediated cell adhesion, and HSP70B, a stress-inducible gene that may be important for maintaining cell viability. Furthermore, RAP1A was also significantly upregulated in untransfected cells that were exposed to lipoplexes but that had not expressed the transgene as compared to control, untreated cells. Transfection in the presence of activators of upregulated genes was enhanced, demonstrating the principle of altering endogenous gene expression profiles to enhance transfection. With a greater understanding of signaling pathways involved in gene delivery, more efficient nonviral delivery schemes capitalizing on endogenous factors can be developed to advance therapeutic applications.
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