Nutrient-sensitive pathways regulate both O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), cooperatively connecting metabolic homeostasis to regulation of numerous intracellular processes essential for life. Similar to phosphorylation, catalyzed by kinases such as AMPK, O-GlcNAcylation is a highly dynamic Ser/Thr-specific post-translational modification of nuclear, cytoplasmic, and mitochondrial proteins catalyzed exclusively by OGT. OGT and AMPK target a multitude of intracellular proteins, with the net effect to protect cells from the damaging effects of metabolic stress. Despite hundreds of studies demonstrating significant overlap in upstream and downstream signaling processes, no study has investigated if OGT and AMPK can directly regulate each other. We show acute activation of AMPK alters the substrate selectivity of OGT in several cell lines and nuclear localization of OGT in C2C12 skeletal muscle myotubes. Nuclear localization of OGT affects O-GlcNAcylation of numerous nuclear proteins and acetylation of Lys-9 on histone 3 in myotubes. AMPK phosphorylates Thr-444 on OGT in vitro; phosphorylation of Thr-444 is tightly associated with AMPK activity and nuclear localization of OGT in myotubes, and phospho-mimetic T444E-OGT exhibits altered substrate selectivity. Conversely, the ?- and ?-subunits of AMPK are O-GlcNAcylated, O-GlcNAcylation of the ?1-subunit increases with AMPK activity, and acute inhibition of O-GlcNAc cycling disrupts activation of AMPK. We have demonstrated significant cross-talk between the O-GlcNAc and AMPK systems, suggesting OGT and AMPK may cooperatively regulate nutrient-sensitive intracellular processes that mediate cellular metabolism, growth, proliferation, and/or tissue function.
Cbx7 is one of five mammalian orthologs of the Drosophila Polycomb. Cbx7 recognizes methylated lysine residues on the histone H3 tail and contributes to gene silencing in the context of the Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1). However, our knowledge of Cbx7 post-translational modifications remains limited. Through combined biochemical and mass spectrometry approaches, we report a novel phosphorylation site on mouse Cbx7 at residue Thr-118 (Cbx7T118ph), near the highly conserved Polycomb box. The generation of a site-specific antibody to Cbx7T118ph demonstrates that Cbx7 is phosphorylated via MAPK signaling. Furthermore, we find Cbx7T118 phosphorylation in murine mammary carcinoma cells, which can be blocked by MEK inhibitors. Upon EGF stimulation, Cbx7 interacts robustly with other members of PRC1. To test the role of Cbx7T118 phosphorylation in gene silencing, we employed a RAS-induced senescence model system. We demonstrate that Cbx7T118 phosphorylation moderately enhances repression of its target gene p16. In summary, we have identified and characterized a novel MAPK-mediated phosphorylation site on Cbx7 and propose that mitogen signaling to the chromatin template regulates PRC1 function.
The mediators of the DNA damage response (DDR) are highly phosphorylated by kinases that control cell proliferation, but little is known about the role of this regulation. Here we show that cell cycle phosphorylation of the prototypical DDR mediator Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rad9 depends on cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) complexes. We find that a specific G2/M form of Cdc28 can phosphorylate in vitro the N-terminal region of Rad9 on nine consensus CDK phosphorylation sites. We show that the integrity of CDK consensus sites and the activity of Cdc28 are required for both the activation of the Chk1 checkpoint kinase and its interaction with Rad9. We have identified T125 and T143 as important residues in Rad9 for this Rad9/Chk1 interaction. Phosphorylation of T143 is the most important feature promoting Rad9/Chk1 interaction, while the much more abundant phosphorylation of the neighbouring T125 residue impedes the Rad9/Chk1 interaction. We suggest a novel model for Chk1 activation where Cdc28 regulates the constitutive interaction of Rad9 and Chk1. The Rad9/Chk1 complex is then recruited at sites of DNA damage where activation of Chk1 requires additional DDR-specific protein kinases.
Tensin1 is the archetype of a family of focal adhesion proteins. Tensin1 has a phosphotyrosine binding domain that binds the cytoplasmic tail of ?-integrin, a Src homology 2 domain that binds focal adhesion kinase, p130Cas, and the RhoGAP called deleted in liver cancer-1, a phosphatase and tensin homology domain that binds protein phosphatase-1? and other regions that bind F-actin. The association between tensin1 and these partners affects cell polarization, migration, and invasion. In this study we analyzed the phosphorylation of human S-tag-tensin1 expressed in HEK293 cells by mass spectrometry. Peptides covering >90% of the sequence initially revealed 50 phosphorylated serine/phosphorylated threonine (pSer/pThr) but no phosphorylated tyrosine (pTyr) sites. Addition of peroxyvanadate to cells to inhibit protein tyrosine phosphatases exposed 10 pTyr sites and addition of calyculin A to cells to inhibit protein phosphatases type 1 and 2A gave a total of 62 pSer/pThr sites. We also characterized two sites modified by O-linked N-acetylglucosamine. Tensin1 F302A, which does not bind protein phosphatase-1, showed > twofold enhanced phosphorylation of seven sites. The majority of pSer/pThr have adjacent proline (Pro) residues and we show endogenous p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) associated with and phosphorylated tensin1 in an in vitro kinase assay. Recombinant p38? MAPK also phosphorylated S-tag-tensin1, resulting in decreased binding with deleted in liver cancer-1. Activation of p38 MAPK in cells by sorbitol-induced hyperosmotic stress increased phosphorylation of S-tag-tensin1, which reduced binding to deleted in liver cancer-1 and increased binding to endogenous pTyr proteins, including p130Cas and focal adhesion kinase. These data demonstrate that tensin1 is extensively phosphorylated on Ser/Thr residues in cells and phosphorylation by p38 MAPK regulates the specificity of the tensin1 Src homology 2 domain for binding to different proteins. Tensin1 provides a hub for connecting signaling pathways involving p38 MAP kinase, tyrosine kinases and RhoGTPases.
Formation of epithelial sheets requires that cell division occurs in the plane of the sheet. During mitosis, spindle poles align so the astral microtubules contact the lateral cortex. Confinement of the mammalian Pins protein to the lateral cortex is essential for this process. Defects in signaling through Cdc42 and atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) also cause spindle misorientation. When epithelial cysts are grown in 3D cultures, misorientation creates multiple lumens.
The capsid protein of Plum pox virus (PPV-CP) is modified with O-linked ?-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc). In Arabidopsis thaliana this modification is made by an O-GlcNAc transferase named SECRET AGENT (SEC). Modification of PPV-CP by SEC is hypothesized to have a direct role in the infection process, because virus titer and rate of spread are reduced in SEC mutants. Previous studies used deletion mapping and site-directed mutagenesis to identify four O-GlcNAc sites on the capsid protein that are modified by Escherichia coli-expressed SEC. The infection process was not affected when two of these sites were mutated suggesting that O-GlcNAcylation of these sites does not have a significant role in the infection process or that a subset of the modifications is sufficient. Since it is possible that the mutational mapping approach missed or incorrectly identified O-GlcNAc sites, the modifications produced by E. coli-expressed SEC were characterized using mass spectrometry. O-GlcNAcylated peptides were enzymatically tagged with galactose, the products were enriched on immobilized Ricinus communis agglutinin I and sequenced by electron transfer dissociation (ETD) mass spectrometry. Five O-GlcNAc sites on PPV-CP were identified. Two of these sites were not identified in by the previous mutational mapping. In addition, one site previously predicted by mutation mapping was not detected, but modification of this site was not supported when the mutation mapping was repeated. This study suggests that mapping modification sites by ETD mass spectrometry is more comprehensive and accurate than mutational mapping.
The post-translational methylation of alpha-amino groups was first discovered over 30 years ago on the bacterial ribosomal proteins L16 and L33 (refs 1, 2), but almost nothing is known about the function or enzymology of this modification. Several other bacterial and eukaryotic proteins have since been shown to be alpha-N-methylated. However, the Ran guanine nucleotide-exchange factor, RCC1, is the only protein for which any biological function of alpha-N-methylation has been identified. Methylation-defective mutants of RCC1 have reduced affinity for DNA and cause mitotic defects, but further characterization of this modification has been hindered by ignorance of the responsible methyltransferase. All fungal and animal N-terminally methylated proteins contain a unique N-terminal motif, Met-(Ala/Pro/Ser)-Pro-Lys, indicating that they may be targets of the same, unknown enzyme. The initiating Met is cleaved, and the exposed alpha-amino group is mono-, di- or trimethylated. Here we report the discovery of the first alpha-N-methyltransferase, which we named N-terminal RCC1 methyltransferase (NRMT). Substrate docking and mutational analysis of RCC1 defined the NRMT recognition sequence and enabled the identification of numerous new methylation targets, including SET (also known as TAF-I or PHAPII) and the retinoblastoma protein, RB. Knockdown of NRMT recapitulates the multi-spindle phenotype seen with methylation-defective RCC1 mutants, demonstrating the importance of alpha-N-methylation for normal bipolar spindle formation and chromosome segregation.
N-Terminal methylation of free ?-amino groups is a post-translational modification of proteins that was first described 30 years ago but has been studied very little. In this modification, the initiating M residue is cleaved and the exposed ?-amino group is mono-, di-, or trimethylated by NRMT, a recently identified N-terminal methyltransferase. Currently, all known eukaryotic ?-amino-methylated proteins have a unique N-terminal motif, M-X-P-K, where X is A, P, or S. NRMT can also methylate artificial substrates in vitro in which X is G, F, Y, C, M, K, R, N, Q, or H. Methylation efficiencies of N-terminal amino acids are variable with respect to the identity of X. Here we use in vitro peptide methylation assays and substrate immunoprecipitations to show that the canonical M-X-P-K methylation motif is not the only one recognized by NRMT. We predict that N-terminal methylation is a widespread post-translational modification and that there is interplay between N-terminal acetylation and N-terminal methylation. We also use isothermal calorimetry experiments to demonstrate that NRMT can efficiently recognize and bind to its fully methylated products.
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