(2022). A ROS-dependent mechanism promotes CDK2 phosphorylation to drive progression through S phase. Dev cell,
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) at the right concentration promote cell proliferation in cell culture, stem cells, and model organisms. However, the mystery of how ROS signaling is coordinated with cell cycle progression and integrated into the cell cycle control machinery on the molecular level remains unsolved. Here, we report increasing levels of mitochondrial ROS during the cell cycle in human cell lines that target cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2). Chemical and metabolic interferences with ROS production decrease T-loop phosphorylation on CDK2 and so impede its full activation and thus its efficient DNA replication. ROS regulate CDK2 activity through the oxidation of a conserved cysteine residue near the T-loop, which prevents the binding of the T-loop phosphatase KAP. Together, our data reveal how mitochondrial metabolism is coupled with DNA replication and cell cycle progression via ROS, thereby demonstrating how KAP activity toward CDKs can be cell cycle regulated..
(2021). ROS Dynamics Delineate Functional States of Hippocampal Neural Stem Cells and Link to Their Activity-Dependent Exit from Quiescence. ,
Cellular redox states regulate the balance between stem cell maintenance and activation. Increased levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) are linked to proliferation and lineage specification. In contrast to this general principle, we here show that in the hippocampus of adult mice, quiescent neural precursor cells (NPCs) maintain the highest ROS levels (hiROS). Classifying NPCs on the basis of cellular ROS content identified distinct functional states. Shifts in ROS content primed cells for a subsequent state transition, with lower ROS content marking proliferative activity and differentiation. Physical activity, a physiological activator of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, recruited hiROS NPCs into proliferation via a transient Nox2-dependent ROS surge. In the absence of Nox2, baseline neurogenesis was unaffected, but the activity-induced increase in proliferation disappeared. These results provide a metabolic classification of NPC functional states and describe a mechanism linking the modulation of cellular ROS by behavioral cues to the activation of adult NPCs..
(2021). Efficient and gentle delivery of molecules into cells with different elasticity via Progressive Mechanoporation. ,
Intracellular delivery of cargo molecules such as membrane-impermeable proteins or drugs is crucial for cell treatment in biological and medical applications. Recently, microfluidic mechanoporation techniques have enabled transfection of previously inaccessible cells. These techniques create transient pores in the cell membrane by shear-induced or constriction contact-based rapid cell deformation. However, cells deform and recover differently from a given extent of shear stress or compression and it is unclear how the underlying mechanical properties affect the delivery efficiency of molecules into cells. In this study, we identify cell elasticity as a key mechanical determinant of delivery efficiency leading to the development of "progressive mechanoporation" (PM), a novel mechanoporation method that improves delivery efficiency into cells of different elasticity. PM is based on a multistage cell deformation, through a combination of hydrodynamic forces that pre-deform cells followed by their contact-based compression inside a PDMS-based device controlled by a pressure-based microfluidic controller. PM allows processing of small sample volumes (about 20 μL) with high-throughput (>10 000 cells per s), while controlling both operating pressure and flow rate for a reliable and reproducible cell treatment. We find that uptake of molecules of different sizes is correlated with cell elasticity whereby delivery efficiency of small and big molecules is favoured in more compliant and stiffer cells, respectively. A possible explanation for this opposite trend is a different size, number and lifetime of opened pores. Our data demonstrates that PM reliably and reproducibly delivers impermeable cargo of the size of small molecule inhibitors such as 4 kDa FITC-dextran with >90% efficiency into cells of different mechanical properties without affecting their viability and proliferation rates. Importantly, also much larger cargos such as a >190 kDa Cas9 protein-sgRNA complex are efficiently delivered high-lighting the biological, biomedical and clinical applicability of our findings..
(2020). Dimerization regulates the human APC/C-associated ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme UBE2S. Science signaling,
At the heart of protein ubiquitination cascades, ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (E2s) form reactive ubiquitin-thioester intermediates to enable efficient transfer of ubiquitin to cellular substrates. The precise regulation of E2s is thus crucial for cellular homeostasis, and their deregulation is frequently associated with tumorigenesis. In addition to driving substrate ubiquitination together with ubiquitin ligases (E3s), many E2s can also autoubiquitinate, thereby promoting their own proteasomal turnover. To investigate the mechanisms that balance these disparate activities, we dissected the regulatory dynamics of UBE2S, a human APC/C-associated E2 that ensures the faithful ubiquitination of cell cycle regulators during mitosis. We uncovered a dimeric state of UBE2S that confers autoinhibition by blocking a catalytically critical ubiquitin binding site. Dimerization is stimulated by the lysine-rich carboxyl-terminal extension of UBE2S that is also required for the recruitment of this E2 to the APC/C and is autoubiquitinated as substrate abundance becomes limiting. Consistent with this mechanism, we found that dimerization-deficient UBE2S turned over more rapidly in cells and did not promote mitotic slippage during prolonged drug-induced mitotic arrest. We propose that dimerization attenuates the autoubiquitination-induced turnover of UBE2S when the APC/C is not fully active. More broadly, our data illustrate how the use of mutually exclusive macromolecular interfaces enables modulation of both the activities and the abundance of E2s in cells to facilitate precise ubiquitin signaling..
(2019). Degron-tagged reporters probe membrane topology and enable the specific labelling of membrane-wrapped structures. Nature communications,
Visualization of specific organelles in tissues over background fluorescence can be challenging, especially when reporters localize to multiple structures. Instead of trying to identify proteins enriched in specific membrane-wrapped structures, we use a selective degradation approach to remove reporters from the cytoplasm or nucleus of C. elegans embryos and mammalian cells. We demonstrate specific labelling of organelles using degron-tagged reporters, including extracellular vesicles, as well as individual neighbouring membranes. These degron-tagged reporters facilitate long-term tracking of released cell debris and cell corpses, even during uptake and phagolysosomal degradation. We further show that degron protection assays can probe the topology of the nuclear envelope and plasma membrane during cell division, giving insight into protein and organelle dynamics. As endogenous and heterologous degrons are used in bacteria, yeast, plants, and animals, degron approaches can enable the specific labelling and tracking of proteins, vesicles, organelles, cell fragments, and cells in many model systems..
(2019). Autoinhibition Mechanism of the Ubiquitin-Conjugating Enzyme UBE2S by Autoubiquitination. Structure (london, england : 1993),
Ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (E2s) govern key aspects of ubiquitin signaling. Emerging evidence suggests that the activities of E2s are modulated by posttranslational modifications; the structural underpinnings, however, are largely unclear. Here, we unravel the structural basis and mechanistic consequences of a conserved autoubiquitination event near the catalytic center of E2s, using the human anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome-associated UBE2S as a model system. Crystal structures we determined of the catalytic ubiquitin carrier protein domain combined with MD simulations reveal that the active-site region is malleable, which permits an adjacent ubiquitin acceptor site, Lys +5 , to be ubiquitinated intramolecularly. We demonstrate by NMR that the Lys +5 -linked ubiquitin inhibits UBE2S by obstructing its reloading with ubiquitin. By immunoprecipitation, quantitative mass spectrometry, and siRNA-and-rescue experiments we show that Lys +5 ubiquitination of UBE2S decreases during mitotic exit but does not influence proteasomal turnover of this E2. These findings suggest that UBE2S activity underlies inherent regulation during the cell cycle..
(2018). Constitutive regulation of mitochondrial morphology by Aurora A kinase depends on a predicted cryptic targeting sequence at the N-terminus. Open biology,
Aurora A kinase (AURKA) is a major regulator of mitosis and an important driver of cancer progression. The roles of AURKA outside of mitosis, and how these might contribute to cancer progression, are not well understood. Here, we show that a fraction of cytoplasmic AURKA is associated with mitochondria, co-fractionating in cell extracts and interacting with mitochondrial proteins by reciprocal co-immunoprecipitation. We have also found that the dynamics of the mitochondrial network are sensitive to AURKA inhibition, depletion or overexpression. This can account for the different mitochondrial morphologies observed in RPE-1 and U2OS cell lines, which show very different levels of expression of AURKA. We identify the mitochondrial fraction of AURKA as influencing mitochondrial morphology, because an N-terminally truncated version of the kinase that does not localize to mitochondria does not affect the mitochondrial network. We identify a cryptic mitochondrial targeting sequence in the AURKA N-terminus and discuss how alternative conformations of the protein may influence its cytoplasmic fate..
(2018). An E2-ubiquitin thioester-driven approach to identify substrates modified with ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like molecules. Nature communications,
Covalent modifications of proteins with ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like molecules are instrumental to many biological processes. However, identifying the E3 ligase responsible for these modifications remains a major bottleneck in ubiquitin research. Here, we present an E2-thioester-driven identification (E2~dID) method for the targeted identification of substrates of specific E2 and E3 enzyme pairs. E2~dID exploits the central position of E2-conjugating enzymes in the ubiquitination cascade and provides in vitro generated biotinylated E2~ubiquitin thioester conjugates as the sole source for ubiquitination in extracts. This enables purification and mass spectrometry-based identification of modified proteins under stringent conditions independently of the biological source of the extract. We demonstrate the sensitivity and specificity of E2-dID by identifying and validating substrates of APC/C in human cells. Finally, we perform E2~dID with SUMO in S. cerevisiae, showing that this approach can be easily adapted to other ubiquitin-like modifiers and experimental models..
(2018). Conditional control of fluorescent protein degradation by an auxin-dependent nanobody. Nat commun,
The conditional and reversible depletion of proteins by auxin-mediated degradation is a powerful tool to investigate protein functions in cells and whole organisms. However, its wider applications require fusing the auxin-inducible degron (AID) to individual target proteins. Thus, establishing the auxin system for multiple proteins can be challenging. Another approach for directed protein degradation are anti-GFP nanobodies, which can be applied to GFP stock collections that are readily available in different experimental models. Here, we combine the advantages of auxin and nanobody-based degradation technologies creating an AID-nanobody to degrade GFP-tagged proteins at different cellular structures in a conditional and reversible manner in human cells. We demonstrate efficient and reversible inactivation of the anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) and thus provide new means to study the functions of this essential ubiquitin E3 ligase. Further, we establish auxin degradation in a vertebrate model organism by employing AID-nanobodies in zebrafish..
(2017). Quantitative Cell Cycle Analysis Based on an Endogenous All-in-One Reporter for Cell Tracking and Classification. Cell reports,
Cell cycle kinetics are crucial to cell fate decisions. Although live imaging has provided extensive insights into this relationship at the single-cell level, the limited number of fluorescent markers that can be used in a single experiment has hindered efforts to link the dynamics of individual proteins responsible for decision making directly to cell cycle progression. Here, we present fluorescently tagged endogenous proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) as an all-in-one cell cycle reporter that allows simultaneous analysis of cell cycle progression, including the transition into quiescence, and the dynamics of individual fate determinants. We also provide an image analysis pipeline for automated segmentation, tracking, and classification of all cell cycle phases. Combining the all-in-one reporter with labeled endogenous cyclin D1 and p21 as prime examples of cell-cycle-regulated fate determinants, we show how cell cycle and quantitative protein dynamics can be simultaneously extracted to gain insights into G1 phase regulation and responses to perturbations..
(2017). PLK1 Activation in Late G2 Sets Up Commitment to Mitosis. Cell reports,
Commitment to mitosis must be tightly coordinated with DNA replication to preserve genome integrity. While we have previously established that the timely activation of CyclinB1-Cdk1 in late G2 triggers mitotic entry, the upstream regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we report that Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) is required for entry into mitosis during an unperturbed cell cycle and is rapidly activated shortly before CyclinB1-Cdk1. We determine that Plk1 associates with the Cdc25C1 phosphatase and induces its phosphorylation before mitotic entry. Plk1-dependent Cdc25C1 phosphosites are sufficient to promote mitotic entry, even when Plk1 activity is inhibited. Furthermore, we find that activation of Plk1 during G2 relies on CyclinA2-Cdk activity levels. Our findings thus elucidate a critical role for Plk1 in CyclinB1-Cdk1 activation and mitotic entry and outline how CyclinA2-Cdk, an S-promoting factor, poises cells for commitment to mitosis..
(2017). DNA damage during S-phase mediates the proliferation-quiescence decision in the subsequent G1 via p21 expression. Nature communications,
Following DNA damage caused by exogenous sources, such as ionizing radiation, the tumour suppressor p53 mediates cell cycle arrest via expression of the CDK inhibitor, p21. However, the role of p21 in maintaining genomic stability in the absence of exogenous DNA-damaging agents is unclear. Here, using live single-cell measurements of p21 protein in proliferating cultures, we show that naturally occurring DNA damage incurred over S-phase causes p53-dependent accumulation of p21 during mother G2- and daughter G1-phases. High p21 levels mediate G1 arrest via CDK inhibition, yet lower levels have no impact on G1 progression, and the ubiquitin ligases CRL4 Cdt2 and SCF Skp2 couple to degrade p21 prior to the G1/S transition. Mathematical modelling reveals that a bistable switch, created by CRL4 Cdt2 , promotes irreversible S-phase entry by keeping p21 levels low, preventing premature S-phase exit upon DNA damage. Thus, we characterize how p21 regulates the proliferation-quiescence decision to maintain genomic stability..
Ahmed Alfar, E.
(2017). Distinct Levels of Reactive Oxygen Species Coordinate Metabolic Activity with Beta-cell Mass Plasticity. Scientific reports,
The pancreatic beta-cells control glucose homeostasis by secreting insulin in response to nutrient intake. The number of beta-cells is under tight metabolic control, as this number increases with higher nutrient intake. However, the signaling pathways matching nutrition with beta-cell mass plasticity remain poorly defined. By applying pharmacological and genetic manipulations, we show that reactive oxygen species (ROS) regulate dose-dependently beta-cell proliferation in vivo and in vitro. In particular, reducing ROS levels in beta-cells blocks their proliferation in response to nutrients. Using a non-invasive genetic sensor of intracellular hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ), we reveal that glucose can directly increase the levels of H 2 O 2 . Furthermore, a moderate increase in H 2 O 2 levels can stimulate beta-cell proliferation. Interestingly, while high H 2 O 2 levels are inhibitory to beta-cell proliferation, they expand beta-cell mass in vivo by inducing rapid beta-cell neogenesis. Our study thus reveals a ROS-level-dependent mechanism linking nutrients with beta-cell mass plasticity. Hence, given the requirement of ROS for beta-cell mass expansion, antioxidant therapies should be applied with caution in diabetes..
Di Fiore, B.
(2015). The ABBA Motif Binds APC/C Activators and Is Shared by APC/C Substrates and Regulators. Developmental cell,
(2015). Real-time deformability cytometry: on-the-fly cell mechanical phenotyping. Nature methods,
(2015). A Human Interactome in Three Quantitative Dimensions Organized by Stoichiometries and Abundances. Cell,
(2011). APC15 drives the turnover of MCC-CDC20 to make the spindle assembly checkpoint responsive to kinetochore attachment. Nature cell biology,
(2010). Pom121 links two essential subcomplexes of the nuclear pore complex core to the membrane. Journal of cell biology,
Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) control the movement of molecules across the nuclear envelope (NE). We investigated the molecular interactions that exist at the interface between the NPC scaffold and the pore membrane. We show that key players mediating these interactions in mammalian cells are the nucleoporins Nup155 and Nup160. Nup155 depletion massively alters NE structure, causing a dramatic decrease in NPC numbers and the improper targeting of membrane proteins to the inner nuclear membrane. The role of Nup155 in assembly is likely closely linked to events at the membrane as we show that Nup155 interacts with pore membrane proteins Pom121 and NDC1. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the N terminus of Pom121 directly binds the β-propeller regions of Nup155 and Nup160. We propose a model in which the interactions of Pom121 with Nup155 and Nup160 are predicted to assist in the formation of the nuclear pore and the anchoring of the NPC to the pore membrane..
(2009). UBE2S elongates ubiquitin chains on APC/C substrates to promote mitotic exit. Nature cell biology,
(2007). A broad spectrum of actin paralogs inParamecium tetraureliacells display differential localization and function. Journal of cell science,
To localize the different actin paralogs found in Paramecium and to disclose functional implications, we used overexpression of GFP-fusion proteins and antibody labeling, as well as gene silencing. Several isoforms are associated with food vacuoles of different stages. GFP-actin either forms a tail at the lee side of the organelle, or it is vesicle bound in a homogenous or in a speckled arrangement, thus reflecting an actin-based mosaic of the phagosome surface appropriate for association and/or dissociation of other vesicles upon travel through the cell. Several paralogs occur in cilia. A set of actins is found in the cell cortex where actin outlines the regular surface pattern. Labeling of defined structures of the oral cavity is due to other types of actin, whereas yet more types are distributed in a pattern suggesting association with the numerous Golgi fields. A substantial fraction of actins is associated with cytoskeletal elements that are known to be composed of other proteins. Silencing of the respective actin genes or gene subfamilies entails inhibitory effects on organelles compatible with localization studies. Knock down of the actin found in the cleavage furrow abolishes cell division, whereas silencing of other actin genes alters vitality, cell shape and swimming behavior..
(2007). The actin multigene family of Paramecium tetraurelia. Bmc genomics,
(2006). The Conserved Transmembrane Nucleoporin NDC1 Is Required for Nuclear Pore Complex Assembly in Vertebrate Cells. Molecular cell,
(2006). A Multigene Family Encoding R-SNAREs in the Ciliate Paramecium tetraurelia. Traffic,