DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are perhaps the most toxic of all DNA lesions, with defects in the DNA-damage response to DSBs being associated with various human diseases. Although it is known that DSB repair pathways are tightly regulated by ubiquitylation, we do not yet have a comprehensive understanding of how deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs) function in DSB responses. Here, by carrying out a multidimensional screening strategy for human DUBs, we identify several with hitherto unknown links to DSB repair, the G2/M DNA-damage checkpoint and genome-integrity maintenance. Phylogenetic analyses reveal functional clustering within certain DUB subgroups, suggesting evolutionally conserved functions and/or related modes of action. Furthermore, we establish that the DUB UCHL5 regulates DSB resection and repair by homologous recombination through protecting its interactor, NFRKB, from degradation. Collectively, our findings extend the list of DUBs promoting the maintenance of genome integrity, and highlight their potential as therapeutic targets for cancer.
Defined signals that dictate the architecture of cellular boundaries in confluent cultures are poorly characterized. Here, we report dramatic remodeling, invoked by long-term epidermal growth factor (EGF) withdrawal from mammary-derived MCF10A cells. Such intervention generates an interdigitated, desmosome-rich monolayer, wherein cells project actin-containing protrusions deep into neighboring cells. These changes protect cellular sheets from mechanical disruption and dramatically restrict the freedom of cells to roam within the monolayer. Ectopic expression of activated Rac counteracts interdigitation and induces membrane ruffling, but cells remain confined by their interdigitated neighbors. Interdigitations are rapidly dissolved by acute EGF application in a process that is sensitive to actin depolymerization and myosin II inhibition. These assays for formation and dissolution of interdigitations provide a platform for the dissection of novel signaling pathways that are highly specific to EGF receptor (EGFR) activation.
Ubiquitin, a 76 amino-acid polypeptide, presents a compact three-dimensional structure, utilising a fold that recurs within larger polypeptides and in other protein modifiers, such as NEDD8 and SUMO. Ubiquitylation was initially recognised as a signal for proteasome-mediated degradation. We shall consider here how this view has evolved to appreciate that the dynamic appendage of different types of ubiquitin chains represents a versatile, three-dimensional code, fundamental to the control of many cellular processes.
The endosomal deubiquitylase USP8 has profound effects on endosomal morphology and organisation. Previous reports have proposed both positive (EGFR, MET) and negative roles in the down-regulation of receptors (Frizzled, Smoothened). Here we report an additional influence of USP8 on the retromer-dependent shuttling of ci-M6PR between the sorting endosome and biosynthetic pathway. Depletion of USP8 leads to a steady state redistribution of ci-M6PR from the Trans-Golgi Network (TGN) to endosomal compartments. Consequently we observe a defect in sorting of lysosomal enzymes, evidenced by increased levels of unprocessed Cathepsin D, which is secreted into the medium. The normal distribution of receptor can be restored by expression of siRNA-resistant USP8 but not by a catalytically inactive mutant or a truncated form, lacking a MIT domain required for endosomal localisation. We suggest that effects of USP8 depletion may reflect the loss of ESCRT-0 components which associate with retromer components Vps35 and SNX1, whilst failure to efficiently deliver lysosomal enzymes may also contribute to the observed block in receptor tyrosine kinase degradation.
Ubiquitylation is a major posttranslational modification that controls most complex aspects of cell physiology. It is reversed through the action of a large family of deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs) that are emerging as attractive therapeutic targets for a number of disease conditions. Here, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the complement of human DUBs, indicating structural motifs, typical cellular copy numbers, and tissue expression profiles. We discuss the means by which specificity is achieved and how DUB activity may be regulated. Generically DUB catalytic activity may be used to 1) maintain free ubiquitin levels, 2) rescue proteins from ubiquitin-mediated degradation, and 3) control the dynamics of ubiquitin-mediated signaling events. Functional roles of individual DUBs from each of five subfamilies in specific cellular processes are highlighted with an emphasis on those linked to pathological conditions where the association is supported by whole organism models. We then specifically consider the role of DUBs associated with protein degradative machineries and the influence of specific DUBs upon expression of receptors and channels at the plasma membrane.
Reversible ubiquitylation of proteins contributes to their integrity, abundance and activity. The RE1-silencing transcription factor (REST) plays key physiological roles and is dysregulated in a spectrum of disease. It is rapidly turned over and is phosphorylated, polyubiquitylated and degraded en masse during neuronal differentiation and cell cycle progression. Through siRNA screening we identified the deubiquitylase USP15 as a key regulator of cellular REST. Both antagonism of REST polyubiquitylation and rescue of endogenous REST levels are dependent on the deubiquitylase activity of USP15. However, USP15 depletion does not destabilize pre-existing REST, but rather specifically impairs de novo REST synthesis. Indeed, we find that a small fraction of endogenous USP15 is associated with polysomes. In accordance with these findings, USP15 does not antagonize the degradation of phosphorylated REST at mitosis. Instead it is required for the rapid accumulation of newly synthesized REST on mitotic exit, thus playing a key role in its cell cycle oscillations. Importantly, this study reveals a novel role for a DUB in specifically promoting new protein synthesis.
Sorting ubiquitinated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) to the intralumenal vesicles of the multivesicular body requires the coordinated action of several ESCRT complexes. A central question is how EGFR transits vectorially from early, ubiquitin-binding ESCRTs to the final complex, ESCRT-III, such that cargo sequestration is coupled with intralumenal vesicle formation.
Ubiquitin-specific protease 33 (USP33) is a deubiquitinase that has been associated with a variety of physiological events. Here, we show the existence of multiple USP33 splice variants and characterize the sub-cellular localization of endogenous USP33 as well as GFP-USP33 isoforms 1-3. The localization of USP33 is broadly confined to the secretory pathway, with all variants localizing to endoplasmic reticulum-associated structures. In addition, GFP-USP33 variant 3 shows a marked accumulation at the Golgi apparatus. Several deubiquitinases have large insertions within their otherwise highly conserved catalytic domains, the function of which is poorly characterized. Analysis of USP33 reveals a role for two distinct inserts within the catalytic domain. One is required for association with the endoplasmic reticulum, whilst the second is required for membrane association, but can be alternatively spliced (variant 3) to excise eight amino acids, which otherwise suppress Golgi localization. We propose that varying the expression of differentially localized isoforms provides a means to influence the spectrum of substrates encountered by USP33.
USP4, 11 and 15 are three closely related paralogues of the ubiquitin specific protease (USP) family of deubiquitinating enzymes. The DUSP domain and the UBL domain in these proteins are juxtaposed which may provide a functional unit conferring specificity. We determined the structures of the USP15 DUSP-UBL double domain unit in monomeric and dimeric states. We then conducted comparative analysis of the structural and physical properties of all three DUSP-UBL units. We identified structural features that dictate different dispositions between constituent domains, which in turn may influence respective binding properties.
Ubiquitin is a common demoninator in the targeting of substrates to all three major protein degradation pathways in mammalian cells: the proteasome, the lysosome, and the autophagosome. The factors that direct a substrate toward a particular route of degradation likely include ubiquitin chain length and linkage type, which may favor interaction with particular receptors or confer differential susceptibility to deubiquitinase activities associated with each pathway.
Autophagosome formation is a complex process that begins with the nucleation of a pre-autophagosomal structure (PAS) that expands into a phagophore or isolation membrane, the precursor of the autophagosome. A key event in the formation of the phagophore is the production of PtdIns3P by the phosphatidylinsitol kinase Vps34. In yeast the two closely related proteins, Atg18 and Atg21, are the only known effectors of PtdIns3P that act in the autophagy pathway. The recruitment of Atg18 or Atg21 to the PAS is an essential step in the formation of the phagophore. Our bioinformatic analysis of the Atg18 and Atg21 orthologues in all eukaryotes shows that WIPI1 and WIPI2 are both mammalian orthologues of Atg18. We show that WIPI2 is a mammalian effector of PtdIns3P and is ubiquitously expressed in a variety of cell lines. WIPI2 is recruited to early autophagosomal structures along with Atg16L and ULK1 and is required for the formation of LC3-positive autophagosomes. Furthermore, when WIPI2 is depleted, we observe a remarkable accumulation of omegasomes, ER-localized PtdIns3P-containing structures labeled by DFCP1 (double FYVE domain-containing protein 1), which are thought to act as platforms for autophagosome formation. In view of our data we propose a role for WIPI2 in the progression of omegasomes into autophagosomes.
Deubiquitinases (DUBs) are emerging as important regulators of many pathways germane to cancer. They may regulate the stability of key oncogenes, exemplified by USP28 stabilisation of c-Myc. Alternatively they can negatively regulate ubiquitin-dependent signalling cascades such as the NF-kappaB activation pathway. We review the current literature that associates DUBs with cancer and discuss their suitability as drug targets of the future.
Clathrin and retromer have key functions for retrograde trafficking between early endosomes and the trans-Golgi network (TGN). Previous studies on Shiga toxin suggested that these two coat complexes operate in a sequential manner. Here, we show that the curvature recognition subunit component sorting nexin 1 (SNX1) of retromer interacts with receptor-mediated endocytosis-8 (RME-8) protein, and that RME-8 and SNX1 colocalize on early endosomes together with a model cargo of the retrograde route, the receptor-binding B-subunit of Shiga toxin (STxB). RME-8 has previously been found to bind to the clathrin uncoating adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) Hsc70, and we now report that depletion of RME-8 or Hsc70 affects retrograde trafficking at the early endosomes-TGN interface of STxB and the cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptor, an endogenous retrograde cargo protein. We also provide evidence that retromer interacts with the clathrin-binding protein hepatocyte growth factor-regulated tyrosine kinase substrate (Hrs) not only via SNX1, as previously published (Chin Raynor MC, Wei X, Chen HQ, Li L. Hrs interacts with sorting nexin 1 and regulates degradation of epidermal growth factor receptor. J Biol Chem 2001;276:7069-7078), but also via the core complex component Vps35. Hrs codistributes at the ultrastructural level with STxB on early endosomes, and interfering with Hrs function using antibodies or mild overexpression inhibits retrograde transport. Our combined data suggest a model according to which the functions in retrograde sorting on early endosomes of SNX1/retromer and clathrin are articulated by RME-8, and possibly also by Hrs.
Ubiquitylation is a reversible protein modification that is implicated in many cellular functions. Recently, much progress has been made in the characterization of a superfamily of isopeptidases that remove ubiquitin: the deubiquitinases (DUBs; also known as deubiquitylating or deubiquitinating enzymes). Far from being uniform in structure and function, these enzymes display a myriad of distinct mechanistic features. The small number (<100) of DUBs might at first suggest a low degree of selectivity; however, DUBs are subject to multiple layers of regulation that modulate both their activity and their specificity. Due to their wide-ranging involvement in key regulatory processes, these enzymes might provide new therapeutic targets.
The phosphoinositide 5-kinase (PIKfyve) is a critical enzyme for the synthesis of PtdIns(3,5)P2, that has been implicated in various trafficking events associated with the endocytic pathway. We have now directly compared the effects of siRNA-mediated knockdown of PIKfyve in HeLa cells with a specific pharmacological inhibitor of enzyme activity. Both approaches induce changes in the distribution of CI-M6PR and trans-Golgi network (TGN)-46 proteins, which cycles between endosomes and TGN, leading to their accumulation in dispersed punctae, whilst the TGN marker golgin-245 retains a perinuclear disposition. Trafficking of CD8-CI-M6PR (retromer-dependent) and CD8-Furin (retromer-independent) chimeras from the cell surface to the TGN is delayed following drug administration, as is the transport of the Shiga toxin B-subunit. siRNA knockdown of PIKfyve produced no defect in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) degradation, unless combined with knockdown of its activator molecule Vac14, suggesting that a low threshold of PtdIns(3,5)P2 is necessary and sufficient for this pathway. Accordingly pharmacological inhibition of PIKfyve results in a profound block to the lysosomal degradation of activated epidermal growth factor (EGF) and Met receptors. Immunofluorescence revealed EGF receptors to be trapped in the interior of a swollen endosomal compartment. In cells starved of amino acids, PIKfyve inhibition leads to the accumulation of the lipidated form of GFP-LC3, a marker of autophagosomal structures, which can be visualized as fluorescent punctae. We suggest that PIKfyve inhibition may render the late endosome/lysosome compartment refractory to fusion with both autophagosomes and with EGFR-containing multivesicular bodies.
Phosphorylation of the phosphatidylinositol headgroup generates seven varieties of phosphoinositide of which PtdIns(4,5)P(2), PtdIns3P and PtdIns (3,5)P(2) have established roles on the endocytic pathway. In this review, we discuss the enzymes responsible for generation and turnover of these lipids, which are keys to determining compartmental identity and the flux of material through the endocytic system. The enzymatic generation of lipids serves as an amplification mechanism through which a wide variety of effector molecules can be recruited.
The scattering response of epithelial cells to activation of the Met receptor tyrosine kinase represents one facet of an "invasive growth" program. It is a complex event that incorporates loss of cell-cell adhesion, morphological changes, and cell motility. Ubiquitination is a reversible posttranslational modification that may target proteins for degradation or coordinate signal transduction pathways. There are approximately 79 active deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) predicted in the human genome. Here, via a small interfering RNA (siRNA) library approach, we have identified 12 DUBs that are necessary for aspects of the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-dependent scattering response of A549 cells. Different phenotypes are evident that range from full loss of scattering, similar to receptor knockdown (e.g., USP30, USP33, USP47), to loss of cell-cell contacts even in the absence of HGF but defective motility (e.g., USP3, ATXN3L). The knockdowns do not incur defective receptor, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, or MAP kinase activation. Our data suggest widespread involvement of the ubiquitin system at multiple stages of the Met activation response, implying significant crosstalk with phosphorylation-based transduction pathways. Development of small-molecule inhibitors of particular DUBs may offer a therapeutic approach to contain metastasis.
Database searches can fail to detect all truly homologous sequences, particularly when dealing with short, highly sequence diverse protein families. Here, using microtubule interacting and transport (MIT) domains as an example, we have applied an approach of profile-profile matching followed by ab initio structure modelling to the detection of true homologues in the borderline significant zone of database searches. Novel MIT domains were confidently identified in USP54, containing an apparently inactive ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase domain, a katanin-like ATPase KATNAL1, and an uncharacterized protein containing a VPS9 domain. As a proof of principle, we have confirmed the novel MIT annotation for USP54 by in vitro profiling of binding to CHMP proteins.
Understanding the factors, which control ErbB2 and EGF receptor (EGFR) status in cells is likely to inform future therapeutic approaches directed at these potent oncogenes. ErbB2 is resistant to stimulus-induced degradation and high levels of over-expression can inhibit EGF receptor down-regulation. We now show that for HeLa cells expressing similar numbers of EGFR and ErbB2, EGFR down-regulation is efficient and insensitive to reduction of ErbB2 levels. Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) may extend protein half-lives by rescuing ubiquitinated substrates from proteasomal degradation or from ubiquitin-dependent lysosomal sorting. Using a siRNA library directed at the full complement of human DUBs, we identified POH1 (also known as Rpn11 or PSMD14), a component of the proteasome lid, as a critical DUB controlling the apparent ErbB2 levels. Moreover, the effects on ErbB2 levels can be reproduced by administration of proteasomal inhibitors such as epoxomicin used at maximally tolerated doses. However, the extent of this apparent loss and specificity for ErbB2 versus EGFR could not be accounted for by changes in transcription or degradation rate. Further investigation revealed that cell surface ErbB2 levels are only mildly affected by POH1 knock-down and that the apparent loss can at least partially be explained by the accumulation of higher molecular weight ubiquitinated forms of ErbB2 that are detectable with an extracellular but not intracellular domain directed antibody. We propose that POH1 may deubiquitinate ErbB2 and that this activity is not necessarily coupled to proteasomal degradation.
The opposing regulators of ubiquitylation status, E3 ligases and deubiquitylases, are often found to be associated in complexes. Here we report on a novel interaction between the E3 ligase BRAP (also referred to as IMP), a negative regulator of the MAPK scaffold protein KSR, and two closely related deubiquitylases, USP15 and USP4. We map the interaction to the N-terminal DUSP-UBL domain of USP15 and the coiled coil region of BRAP. USP15 as well as USP4 oppose the autoubiquitylation of BRAP, whereas BRAP promotes the ubiquitylation of USP15. Importantly, USP15 but not USP4 depletion destabilizes BRAP by promoting its proteasomal degradation, and BRAP-protein levels can be rescued by reintroducing catalytically active but not inactive mutant USP15. Unexpectedly, USP15 depletion results in a decrease in amplitude of MAPK signaling in response to EGF and PDGF. We provide evidence for a model in which the dominant effect of prolonged USP15 depletion upon signal amplitude is due to a decrease in CRAF levels while allowing for the possibility that USP15 may also function to dampen MAPK signaling through direct stabilization of a negative regulator, the E3 ligase BRAP.
The endosomal pathway provides a major platform for ubiquitin-modifying enzymes, which act upon membrane-associated proteins in transit. Ubiquitylated cargo proteins are recognized by ubiquitin-binding domains inherent to key adaptor proteins at the plasma membrane and sorting endosome. A balance between ubiquitylation and deubiquitylation activities may govern the efficiency of recycling from endosomes to the plasma membrane versus lysosomal sorting through the multivesicular body pathway. We discuss the current knowledge of the properties of adaptors and ubiquitin-modifying proteins and their effects upon the trafficking and signaling of receptors and ligands associated with pathways fundamental to development.
Ubiquitylation is a reversible post-translational modification that has emerged as a key regulator of most complex cellular processes. It may rival phosphorylation in scope and exceed it in complexity. The dynamic nature of ubiquitylation events is important for governing protein stability, maintaining ubiquitin homeostasis and controlling ubiquitin-dependent signalling pathways. The human genome encodes ~80 active deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs, also referred to as deubiquitinases), which exhibit distinct specificity profiles towards the various ubiquitin chain topologies. As a result of their ability to reverse ubiquitylation, these enzymes control a broad range of key cellular processes. In this Commentary we discuss the cellular functions of DUBs, such as their role in governing membrane traffic and protein quality control. We highlight two key signalling pathways--the Wnt and transforming growth factor ? (TGF-?) pathways, for which dynamic ubiquitylation has emerged as a key regulator. We also discuss the roles of DUBs in the nucleus, where they govern transcriptional activity and DNA repair pathways.
A variety of post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation, acetylation and ubiquitylation transduce cellular signals, which culminate in changes in gene transcription. In this article we examine the ways in which selective protein degradation provides an extra dimension to the regulation of such signalling cascades. We discuss (i) how both lysosomal and proteasomal systems are used to attenuate kinase and rho family GTPase signalling, thereby coupling activation with degradation, (ii) signal propagation contingent upon the selective degradation of inhibitory components, exemplified by the degradation of I?B to activate NF-?B signalling, and (iii) tonic suppression of signalling pathways by turnover of the transcription factors ?-catenin and p53.
Ubiquitination is a reversible modification that influences a broad range of physiological processes. There are approximately 90 deubiquitinases (DUBs) encoded in the human genome, of which 79 are predicted to have catalytic activity. We tagged 66 DUBs with green fluorescent protein and systematically surveyed their subcellular distribution, identifying enzymes specific to the nucleus, plasma membrane, and secretory and endocytic pathways. USP21 is unique in showing clear association with both centrosomes and microtubules. Using an in vitro assay, we show that microtubule binding is direct and identify a novel microtubule-binding motif encompassed within amino acids 59-75 of the N-terminus of USP21. Our functional studies indicate a key role for USP21 in the governance of microtubule- and centrosome-associated physiological processes: Depletion of USP21 in A549 cells compromises the reestablishment of a radial array of microtubules during recovery from cold-induced depolymerization and also reduces the probability of primary cilium formation, whereas USP21 knockdown in PC12 cells inhibits nerve growth factor-induced neurite outgrowth.
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