Publications by authors named "Guido T Bommer"

39 Publications

The promiscuous binding pocket of SLC35A1 ensures redundant transport of CDP-ribitol to the Golgi.

J Biol Chem 2021 Jan-Jun;296:100789. Epub 2021 May 18.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, de Duve Institute, UCLouvain, Brussels, Belgium; Walloon Excellence in Lifesciences and Biotechnology (WELBIO), Brussels, Belgium. Electronic address:

The glycoprotein α-dystroglycan helps to link the intracellular cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix. A unique glycan structure attached to this protein is required for its interaction with extracellular matrix proteins such as laminin. Up to now, this is the only mammalian glycan known to contain ribitol phosphate groups. Enzymes in the Golgi apparatus use CDP-ribitol to incorporate ribitol phosphate into the glycan chain of α-dystroglycan. Since CDP-ribitol is synthesized in the cytoplasm, we hypothesized that an unknown transporter must be required for its import into the Golgi apparatus. We discovered that CDP-ribitol transport relies on the CMP-sialic acid transporter SLC35A1 and the transporter SLC35A4 in a redundant manner. These two transporters are closely related, but bulky residues in the predicted binding pocket of SLC35A4 limit its size. We hypothesized that the large binding pocket SLC35A1 might accommodate the bulky CMP-sialic acid and the smaller CDP-ribitol, whereas SLC35A4 might only accept CDP-ribitol. To test this, we expressed SLC35A1 with mutations in its binding pocket in SLC35A1 KO cell lines. When we restricted the binding site of SLC35A1 by introducing the bulky residues present in SLC35A4, the mutant transporter was unable to support sialylation of proteins in cells but still supported ribitol phosphorylation. This demonstrates that the size of the binding pocket determines the substrate specificity of SLC35A1, allowing a variety of cytosine nucleotide conjugates to be transported. The redundancy with SLC35A4 also explains why patients with SLC35A1 mutations do not show symptoms of α-dystroglycan deficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbc.2021.100789DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8192872PMC
May 2021

Impaired glucose-1,6-biphosphate production due to bi-allelic PGM2L1 mutations is associated with a neurodevelopmental disorder.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 06 11;108(6):1151-1160. Epub 2021 May 11.

de Duve Institute, UCLouvain, 1200 Brussels, Belgium. Electronic address:

We describe a genetic syndrome due to PGM2L1 deficiency. PGM2 and PGM2L1 make hexose-bisphosphates, like glucose-1,6-bisphosphate, which are indispensable cofactors for sugar phosphomutases. These enzymes form the hexose-1-phosphates crucial for NDP-sugars synthesis and ensuing glycosylation reactions. While PGM2 has a wide tissue distribution, PGM2L1 is highly expressed in the brain, accounting for the elevated concentrations of glucose-1,6-bisphosphate found there. Four individuals (three females and one male aged between 2 and 7.5 years) with bi-allelic inactivating mutations of PGM2L1 were identified by exome sequencing. All four had severe developmental and speech delay, dysmorphic facial features, ear anomalies, high arched palate, strabismus, hypotonia, and keratosis pilaris. Early obesity and seizures were present in three individuals. Analysis of the children's fibroblasts showed that glucose-1,6-bisphosphate and other sugar bisphosphates were markedly reduced but still present at concentrations able to stimulate phosphomutases maximally. Hence, the concentrations of NDP-sugars and glycosylation of the heavily glycosylated protein LAMP2 were normal. Consistent with this, serum transferrin was normally glycosylated in affected individuals. PGM2L1 deficiency does not appear to be a glycosylation defect, but the clinical features observed in this neurodevelopmental disorder point toward an important but still unknown role of glucose-1,6-bisphosphate or other sugar bisphosphates in brain metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.04.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8206387PMC
June 2021

The metalloprotein YhcH is an anomerase providing N-acetylneuraminate aldolase with the open form of its substrate.

J Biol Chem 2021 Jan-Jun;296:100699. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Laboratory of Physiological Chemistry, de Duve Institute, UCLouvain, Brussels, Belgium. Electronic address:

N-acetylneuraminate (Neu5Ac), an abundant sugar present in glycans in vertebrates and some bacteria, can be used as an energy source by several prokaryotes, including Escherichia coli. In solution, more than 99% of Neu5Ac is in cyclic form (≈92% beta-anomer and ≈7% alpha-anomer), whereas <0.5% is in the open form. The aldolase that initiates Neu5Ac metabolism in E. coli, NanA, has been reported to act on the alpha-anomer. Surprisingly, when we performed this reaction at pH 6 to minimize spontaneous anomerization, we found NanA and its human homolog NPL preferentially metabolize the open form of this substrate. We tested whether the E. coli Neu5Ac anomerase NanM could promote turnover, finding it stimulated the utilization of both beta and alpha-anomers by NanA in vitro. However, NanM is localized in the periplasmic space and cannot facilitate Neu5Ac metabolism by NanA in the cytoplasm in vivo. We discovered that YhcH, a cytoplasmic protein encoded by many Neu5Ac catabolic operons and belonging to a protein family of unknown function (DUF386), also facilitated Neu5Ac utilization by NanA and NPL and displayed Neu5Ac anomerase activity in vitro. YhcH contains Zn, and its accelerating effect on the aldolase reaction was inhibited by metal chelators. Remarkably, several transition metals accelerated Neu5Ac anomerization in the absence of enzyme. Experiments with E. coli mutants indicated that YhcH expression provides a selective advantage for growth on Neu5Ac. In conclusion, YhcH plays the unprecedented role of providing an aldolase with the preferred unstable open form of its substrate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbc.2021.100699DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8141875PMC
April 2021

The microRNA miR-33 is a pleiotropic regulator of metabolic and developmental processes in Drosophila melanogaster.

Dev Dyn 2021 Apr 11. Epub 2021 Apr 11.

Department of Biology and Program in Biochemistry, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA.

Background: miR-33 family members are well characterized regulators of cellular lipid levels in mammals. Previous studies have shown that overexpression of miR-33 in Drosophila melanogaster leads to elevated triacylglycerol (TAG) levels in certain contexts. Although loss of miR-33 in flies causes subtle defects in larval and adult ovaries, the effects of miR-33 deficiency on lipid metabolism and other phenotypes impacted by metabolic state have not yet been characterized.

Results: We found that loss of miR-33 predisposes flies to elevated TAG levels, and we identified genes involved in TAG synthesis as direct targets of miR-33, including atpcl, midway, and Akt1. miR-33 mutants survived longer upon starvation but showed greater sensitivity to an oxidative stressor. We also found evidence that miR-33 is a negative regulator of cuticle pigmentation and that miR-33 mutants show a reduction in interfollicular stalk cells during oogenesis.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that miR-33 is a conserved regulator of lipid homeostasis, and its targets are involved in both degradation and synthesis of fatty acids and TAG. The constellation of phenotypes involving tissues that are highly sensitive to metabolic state suggests that miR-33 serves to prevent extreme fluctuations in metabolically sensitive tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dvdy.344DOI Listing
April 2021

The putative Escherichia coli dehydrogenase YjhC metabolises two dehydrated forms of N-acetylneuraminate produced by some sialidases.

Biosci Rep 2020 06;40(6)

Laboratory of Physiological Chemistry, de Duve Institute, UCLouvain, Brussels, B-1200, Belgium.

Homologues of the putative dehydrogenase YjhC are found in operons involved in the metabolism of N-acetylneuraminate (Neu5Ac) or related compounds. We observed that purified recombinant YjhC forms Neu5Ac from two dehydrated forms of this compound, 2,7-anhydro-N-acetylneuraminate (2,7-AN) and 2-deoxy-2,3-didehydro-N-acetylneuraminate (2,3-EN) that are produced during the degradation of sialoconjugates by some sialidases. The conversion of 2,7-AN into Neu5Ac is reversible and reaches its equilibrium when the ratio of 2,7-AN to Neu5Ac is ≈1/6. The conversion of 2,3-EN is irreversible, leading to a mixture of Neu5Ac and 2,7-AN. NMR analysis of the reaction catalysed by YjhC on 2,3-EN indicated that Neu5Ac was produced as the α-anomer. All conversions require NAD+ as a cofactor, which is regenerated in the reaction. They appear to involve the formation of keto (presumably 4-keto) intermediates of 2,7-AN, 2,3-EN and Neu5Ac, which were detected by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The proposed reaction mechanism is reminiscent of the one catalysed by family 4 β-glycosidases, which also use NAD+ as a cofactor. Both 2,7-AN and 2,3-EN support the growth of Escherichia coli provided the repressor NanR, which negatively controls the expression of the yjhBC operons, has been inactivated. Inactivation of either YjhC or YjhB in NanR-deficient cells prevents the growth on 2,7-AN and 2,3-EN. This confirms the role of YjhC in 2,7-AN and 2,3-EN metabolism and indicates that transport of 2,7-AN and 2,3-EN is carried out by YjhB, which is homologous to the Neu5Ac transporter NanT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BSR20200927DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7315737PMC
June 2020

Inborn errors of metabolite repair.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2020 01 29;43(1):14-24. Epub 2019 Dec 29.

de Duve Institute, Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), Brussels, Belgium.

It is traditionally assumed that enzymes of intermediary metabolism are extremely specific and that this is sufficient to prevent the production of useless and/or toxic side-products. Recent work indicates that this statement is not entirely correct. In reality, enzymes are not strictly specific, they often display weak side activities on intracellular metabolites (substrate promiscuity) that resemble their physiological substrate or slowly catalyse abnormal reactions on their physiological substrate (catalytic promiscuity). They thereby produce non-classical metabolites that are not efficiently metabolised by conventional enzymes. In an increasing number of cases, metabolite repair enzymes are being discovered that serve to eliminate these non-classical metabolites and prevent their accumulation. Metabolite repair enzymes also eliminate non-classical metabolites that are formed through spontaneous (ie, not enzyme-catalysed) reactions. Importantly, genetic deficiencies in several metabolite repair enzymes lead to 'inborn errors of metabolite repair', such as L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria, D-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria, 'ubiquitous glucose-6-phosphatase' (G6PC3) deficiency, the neutropenia present in Glycogen Storage Disease type Ib or defects in the enzymes that repair the hydrated forms of NADH or NADPH. Metabolite repair defects may be difficult to identify as such, because the mutated enzymes are non-classical enzymes that act on non-classical metabolites, which in some cases accumulate only inside the cells, and at rather low, yet toxic, concentrations. It is therefore likely that many additional metabolite repair enzymes remain to be discovered and that many diseases of metabolite repair still await elucidation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jimd.12187DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7041631PMC
January 2020

Pyridoxamine-phosphate oxidases and pyridoxamine-phosphate oxidase-related proteins catalyze the oxidation of 6-NAD(P)H to NAD(P).

Biochem J 2019 10;476(20):3033-3052

Laboratory of Physiological Chemistry, de Duve Institute, UCLouvain, Brussels B-1200, Belgium.

6-NADH and 6-NADPH are strong inhibitors of several dehydrogenases that may form spontaneously from NAD(P)H. They are known to be oxidized to NAD(P)+ by mammalian renalase, an FAD-linked enzyme mainly present in heart and kidney, and by related bacterial enzymes. We partially purified an enzyme oxidizing 6-NADPH from rat liver, and, surprisingly, identified it as pyridoxamine-phosphate oxidase (PNPO). This was confirmed by the finding that recombinant mouse PNPO oxidized 6-NADH and 6-NADPH with catalytic efficiencies comparable to those observed with pyridoxine- and pyridoxamine-5'-phosphate. PNPOs from Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis thaliana also displayed 6-NAD(P)H oxidase activity, indicating that this 'side-activity' is conserved. Remarkably, 'pyridoxamine-phosphate oxidase-related proteins' (PNPO-RP) from Nostoc punctiforme, A. thaliana and the yeast S. cerevisiae (Ygr017w) were not detectably active on pyridox(am)ine-5'-P, but oxidized 6-NADH, 6-NADPH and 2-NADH suggesting that this may be their main catalytic function. Their specificity profiles were therefore similar to that of renalase. Inactivation of renalase and of PNPO in mammalian cells and of Ygr017w in yeasts led to the accumulation of a reduced form of 6-NADH, tentatively identified as 4,5,6-NADH3, which can also be produced in vitro by reduction of 6-NADH by glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. As 4,5,6-NADH3 is not a substrate for renalase, PNPO or PNPO-RP, its accumulation presumably reflects the block in the oxidation of 6-NADH. These findings indicate that two different classes of enzymes using either FAD (renalase) or FMN (PNPOs and PNPO-RPs) as a cofactor play an as yet unsuspected role in removing damaged forms of NAD(P).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BCJ20190602DOI Listing
October 2019

Metabolite Repair Enzymes Control Metabolic Damage in Glycolysis.

Trends Biochem Sci 2020 03 28;45(3):228-243. Epub 2019 Aug 28.

de Duve Institute, Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), Avenue Hippocrate 75, 1200 Bruxelles, Belgium. Electronic address:

Hundreds of metabolic enzymes work together smoothly in a cell. These enzymes are highly specific. Nevertheless, under physiological conditions, many perform side-reactions at low rates, producing potentially toxic side-products. An increasing number of metabolite repair enzymes are being discovered that serve to eliminate these noncanonical metabolites. Some of these enzymes are extraordinarily conserved, and their deficiency can lead to diseases in humans or embryonic lethality in mice, indicating their central role in cellular metabolism. We discuss how metabolite repair enzymes eliminate glycolytic side-products and prevent negative interference within and beyond this core metabolic pathway. Extrapolating from the number of metabolite repair enzymes involved in glycolysis, hundreds more likely remain to be discovered that protect a wide range of metabolic pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tibs.2019.07.004DOI Listing
March 2020

The synthesis of branched-chain fatty acids is limited by enzymatic decarboxylation of ethyl- and methylmalonyl-CoA.

Biochem J 2019 08 30;476(16):2427-2447. Epub 2019 Aug 30.

Laboratory of Physiological Chemistry, de Duve Institute, UCLouvain, Brussels B-1200, Belgium

Most fatty acids (FAs) are straight chains and are synthesized by fatty acid synthase (FASN) using acetyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA units. Yet, FASN is known to be promiscuous as it may use methylmalonyl-CoA instead of malonyl-CoA and thereby introduce methyl-branches. We have recently found that the cytosolic enzyme ECHDC1 degrades ethylmalonyl-CoA and methylmalonyl-CoA, which presumably result from promiscuous reactions catalyzed by acetyl-CoA carboxylase on butyryl- and propionyl-CoA. Here, we tested the hypothesis that ECHDC1 is a metabolite repair enzyme that serves to prevent the formation of methyl- or ethyl-branched FAs by FASN. Using the purified enzyme, we found that FASN can incorporate not only methylmalonyl-CoA but also ethylmalonyl-CoA, producing methyl- or ethyl-branched FAs. Using a combination of gas-chromatography and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, we observed that inactivation of ECHDC1 in adipocytes led to an increase in several methyl-branched FAs (present in different lipid classes), while its overexpression reduced them below wild-type levels. In contrast, the formation of ethyl-branched FAs was observed almost exclusively in ECHDC1 knockout cells, indicating that ECHDC1 and the low activity of FASN toward ethylmalonyl-CoA efficiently prevent their formation. We conclude that ECHDC1 performs a typical metabolite repair function by destroying methyl- and ethylmalonyl-CoA. This reduces the formation of methyl-branched FAs and prevents the formation of ethyl-branched FAs by FASN. The identification of ECHDC1 as a key modulator of the abundance of methyl-branched FAs opens the way to investigate their function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BCJ20190500DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6717113PMC
August 2019

Phosphoglycolate has profound metabolic effects but most likely no role in a metabolic DNA response in cancer cell lines.

Biochem J 2019 02 19;476(4):629-643. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

De Duve Institute and WELBIO, UCLouvain, Avenue Hippocrate 75, 1200 Bruxelles, Belgium

Repair of a certain type of oxidative DNA damage leads to the release of phosphoglycolate, which is an inhibitor of triose phosphate isomerase and is predicted to indirectly inhibit phosphoglycerate mutase activity. Thus, we hypothesized that phosphoglycolate might play a role in a metabolic DNA damage response. Here, we determined how phosphoglycolate is formed in cells, elucidated its effects on cellular metabolism and tested whether DNA damage repair might release sufficient phosphoglycolate to provoke metabolic effects. Phosphoglycolate concentrations were below 5 µM in wild-type U2OS and HCT116 cells and remained unchanged when we inactivated phosphoglycolate phosphatase (PGP), the enzyme that is believed to dephosphorylate phosphoglycolate. Treatment of PGP knockout cell lines with glycolate caused an up to 500-fold increase in phosphoglycolate concentrations, which resulted largely from a side activity of pyruvate kinase. This increase was much higher than in glycolate-treated wild-type cells and was accompanied by metabolite changes consistent with an inhibition of phosphoglycerate mutase, most likely due to the removal of the priming phosphorylation of this enzyme. Surprisingly, we found that phosphoglycolate also inhibits succinate dehydrogenase with a value of <10 µM. Thus, phosphoglycolate can lead to profound metabolic disturbances. In contrast, phosphoglycolate concentrations were not significantly changed when we treated PGP knockout cells with Bleomycin or ionizing radiation, which are known to lead to the release of phosphoglycolate by causing DNA damage. Thus, phosphoglycolate concentrations due to DNA damage are too low to cause major metabolic changes in HCT116 and U2OS cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BCJ20180435DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380167PMC
February 2019

Failure to eliminate a phosphorylated glucose analog leads to neutropenia in patients with G6PT and G6PC3 deficiency.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 01 9;116(4):1241-1250. Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Walloon Excellence in Lifesciences and Biotechnology, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium;

Neutropenia represents an important problem in patients with genetic deficiency in either the glucose-6-phosphate transporter of the endoplasmic reticulum (G6PT/SLC37A4) or G6PC3, an endoplasmic reticulum phosphatase homologous to glucose-6-phosphatase. While affected granulocytes show reduced glucose utilization, the underlying mechanism is unknown and causal therapies are lacking. Using a combination of enzymological, cell-culture, and in vivo approaches, we demonstrate that G6PT and G6PC3 collaborate to destroy 1,5-anhydroglucitol-6-phosphate (1,5AG6P), a close structural analog of glucose-6-phosphate and an inhibitor of low- hexokinases, which catalyze the first step in glycolysis in most tissues. We show that 1,5AG6P is made by phosphorylation of 1,5-anhydroglucitol, a compound normally present in human plasma, by side activities of ADP-glucokinase and low- hexokinases. Granulocytes from patients deficient in G6PC3 or G6PT accumulate 1,5AG6P to concentrations (∼3 mM) that strongly inhibit hexokinase activity. In a model of G6PC3-deficient mouse neutrophils, physiological concentrations of 1,5-anhydroglucitol caused massive accumulation of 1,5AG6P, a decrease in glucose utilization, and cell death. Treating G6PC3-deficient mice with an inhibitor of the kidney glucose transporter SGLT2 to lower their blood level of 1,5-anhydroglucitol restored a normal neutrophil count, while administration of 1,5-anhydroglucitol had the opposite effect. In conclusion, we show that the neutropenia in patients with G6PC3 or G6PT mutations is a metabolite-repair deficiency, caused by a failure to eliminate the nonclassical metabolite 1,5AG6P.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1816143116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6347702PMC
January 2019

NAT6 acetylates the N-terminus of different forms of actin.

FEBS J 2018 09 13;285(17):3299-3316. Epub 2018 Aug 13.

Walloon Excellence in Lifesciences and Biotechnology (WELBIO), Brussels, Belgium.

All forms of mammalian actin comprise at their N-terminus a negatively charged region consisting of an N-acetylated aspartate or glutamate followed by two or three acidic residues. This structural feature is unique to actins and important for their interaction with other proteins. The enzyme catalyzing the acetylation of the N-terminal acidic residue is thought to be NAA10, an enzyme that acetylates multiple intracellular proteins. We report here that this acetylation is essentially carried out by NAT6 (Fus2), a protein of unknown function. Tests of the activity of human recombinant NAT6 on a series of purified proteins showed that the best substrate had several acidic residues near its N-terminus. Accordingly NAT6 was particularly active on highly acidic peptides with sequences corresponding to the N-terminus of different forms of mammalian actins. Knocking out of NAT6 in two human cell lines led to absence of acetylation of the first residue of mature beta-actin (Asp2) and gamma-actin-1 (Glu2). Complete acetylation of these two actins was restored by re-expression of NAT6, or by incubation of extracts of NAT6-deficient cells with low concentrations of recombinant NAT6, while NAA10 showed much less or no activity in such assays. Alpha-actin-1 expressed in NAT6-knockout cells was not acetylated at its N-terminus, indicating that the requirement of NAT6 for acetylation of actin N-termini also applies to the skeletal muscle actin isoform. Taken together, our findings reveal that NAT6 plays a critical role in the maturation of actins by carrying out the acetylation of their N-terminal acidic residue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/febs.14605DOI Listing
September 2018

Nit1 is a metabolite repair enzyme that hydrolyzes deaminated glutathione.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017 04 3;114(16):E3233-E3242. Epub 2017 Apr 3.

Walloon Excellence in Lifesciences and Biotechnology, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium;

The mammalian gene (nitrilase-like protein 1) encodes a protein that is highly conserved in eukaryotes and is thought to act as a tumor suppressor. Despite being ∼35% sequence identical to ω-amidase (Nit2), the Nit1 protein does not hydrolyze efficiently α-ketoglutaramate (a known physiological substrate of Nit2), and its actual enzymatic function has so far remained a puzzle. In the present study, we demonstrate that both the mammalian Nit1 and its yeast ortholog are amidases highly active toward deaminated glutathione (dGSH; i.e., a form of glutathione in which the free amino group has been replaced by a carbonyl group). We further show that -KO mutants of both human and yeast cells accumulate dGSH and the same compound is excreted in large amounts in the urine of -KO mice. Finally, we show that several mammalian aminotransferases (transaminases), both cytosolic and mitochondrial, can form dGSH via a common (if slow) side-reaction and provide indirect evidence that transaminases are mainly responsible for dGSH formation in cultured mammalian cells. Altogether, these findings delineate a typical instance of metabolite repair, whereby the promiscuous activity of some abundant enzymes of primary metabolism leads to the formation of a useless and potentially harmful compound, which needs a suitable "repair enzyme" to be destroyed or reconverted into a useful metabolite. The need for a dGSH repair reaction does not appear to be limited to eukaryotes: We demonstrate that Nit1 homologs acting as excellent dGSH amidases also occur in and other glutathione-producing bacteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1613736114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5402446PMC
April 2017

Accumulation of metabolic side products might favor the production of ethanol in Pho13 knockout strains.

Microb Cell 2016 Sep 23;3(10):495-499. Epub 2016 Sep 23.

Walloon Excellence in Lifesciences and Biotechnology (WELBIO) and Laboratory of Physiological Chemistry, de Duve Institute, Université Catholique de Louvain, 1200 Brussels, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.15698/mic2016.10.532DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5348983PMC
September 2016

A conserved phosphatase destroys toxic glycolytic side products in mammals and yeast.

Nat Chem Biol 2016 08 13;12(8):601-7. Epub 2016 Jun 13.

Walloon Excellence in Lifesciences and Biotechnology (WELBIO), Brussels, Belgium.

Metabolic enzymes are very specific. However, most of them show weak side activities toward compounds that are structurally related to their physiological substrates, thereby producing side products that may be toxic. In some cases, 'metabolite repair enzymes' eliminating side products have been identified. We show that mammalian glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase and pyruvate kinase, two core glycolytic enzymes, produce 4-phosphoerythronate and 2-phospho-L-lactate, respectively. 4-Phosphoerythronate strongly inhibits an enzyme of the pentose phosphate pathway, whereas 2-phospho-L-lactate inhibits the enzyme producing the glycolytic activator fructose 2,6-bisphosphate. We discovered that a single, widely conserved enzyme, known as phosphoglycolate phosphatase (PGP) in mammals, dephosphorylates both 4-phosphoerythronate and 2-phospho-L-lactate, thereby preventing a block in the pentose phosphate pathway and glycolysis. Its yeast ortholog, Pho13, similarly dephosphorylates 4-phosphoerythronate and 2-phosphoglycolate, a side product of pyruvate kinase. Our work illustrates how metabolite repair enzymes can make up for the limited specificity of metabolic enzymes and permit high flux in central metabolic pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchembio.2104DOI Listing
August 2016

ISPD produces CDP-ribitol used by FKTN and FKRP to transfer ribitol phosphate onto α-dystroglycan.

Nat Commun 2016 05 19;7:11534. Epub 2016 May 19.

WELBIO and de Duve Institute, Biological Chemistry, Université Catholique de Louvain, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium.

Mutations in genes required for the glycosylation of α-dystroglycan lead to muscle and brain diseases known as dystroglycanopathies. However, the precise structure and biogenesis of the assembled glycan are not completely understood. Here we report that three enzymes mutated in dystroglycanopathies can collaborate to attach ribitol phosphate onto α-dystroglycan. Specifically, we demonstrate that isoprenoid synthase domain-containing protein (ISPD) synthesizes CDP-ribitol, present in muscle, and that both recombinant fukutin (FKTN) and fukutin-related protein (FKRP) can transfer a ribitol phosphate group from CDP-ribitol to α-dystroglycan. We also show that ISPD and FKTN are essential for the incorporation of ribitol into α-dystroglycan in HEK293 cells. Glycosylation of α-dystroglycan in fibroblasts from patients with hypomorphic ISPD mutations is reduced. We observe that in some cases glycosylation can be partially restored by addition of ribitol to the culture medium, suggesting that dietary supplementation with ribitol should be evaluated as a therapy for patients with ISPD mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11534DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4873967PMC
May 2016

Identification of TP53-induced glycolysis and apoptosis regulator (TIGAR) as the phosphoglycolate-independent 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate phosphatase.

Biochem J 2014 Mar;458(3):439-48

*WELBIO and the Laboratory of Physiological Chemistry, de Duve Institute, Université Catholique de Louvain, Avenue Hippocrate 75, 1200 Bruxelles, Belgium.

The p53-induced protein TIGAR [TP53 (tumour protein 53)-induced glycolysis and apoptosis regulator] is considered to be a F26BPase (fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase) with an important role in cancer cell metabolism. The reported catalytic efficiency of TIGAR as an F26BPase is several orders of magnitude lower than that of the F26BPase component of liver or muscle PFK2 (phosphofructokinase 2), suggesting that F26BP (fructose 2,6-bisphosphate) might not be the physiological substrate of TIGAR. We therefore set out to re-evaluate the biochemical function of TIGAR. Phosphatase activity of recombinant human TIGAR protein was tested on a series of physiological phosphate esters. The best substrate was 23BPG (2,3-bisphosphoglycerate), followed by 2PG (2-phosphoglycerate), 2-phosphoglycolate and PEP (phosphoenolpyruvate). In contrast the catalytic efficiency for F26BP was approximately 400-fold lower than that for 23BPG. Using genetic and shRNA-based cell culture models, we show that loss of TIGAR consistently leads to an up to 5-fold increase in the levels of 23BPG. Increases in F26BP levels were also observed, albeit in a more limited and cell-type dependent manner. The results of the present study challenge the concept that TIGAR acts primarily on F26BP. This has significant implications for our understanding of the metabolic changes downstream of p53 as well as for cancer cell metabolism in general. It also suggests that 23BPG might play an unrecognized function in metabolic control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20130841DOI Listing
March 2014

Sox9 induction, ectopic Paneth cells, and mitotic spindle axis defects in mouse colon adenomatous epithelium arising from conditional biallelic Apc inactivation.

Am J Pathol 2013 Aug 13;183(2):493-503. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.

We generated transgenic mice in which human CDX2 gene elements control expression of a tamoxifen-regulated Cre protein (CDX2P-CreER(T2)) to allow for inducible gene targeting in intestinal epithelium. After tamoxifen dosing of CDX2P-CreER(T2) mice, Cre activity was detected in the distal ileal, cecal, colonic, and rectal epithelium, with selected crypt base, transit amplifying, and surface cells all capable of activating Cre function. Four weeks after tamoxifen dosing of CDX2P-CreER(T2) mice carrying a Cre-activated fluorescent reporter, single crypts were uniformly fluorescence positive or negative, reflecting Cre activation in crypt stem cells. Biallelic inactivation of the Apc tumor suppressor gene via the CDX2P-CreER(T2) transgene in colon epithelium led to acute alterations in cell proliferation, apoptosis, and morphology, along with mitotic spindle misorientation, β-catenin nuclear localization, and induction of the intestinal stem cell markers Lgr5 and Musashi-1 and the Sox9 transcription factor. Normal mouse colon epithelium lacks Paneth cells, a key small intestine niche cell type, and Paneth cell differentiation is dependent on Sox9 function. In Apc-deficient colon epithelium, ectopic Paneth-like cells were seen outside the crypt base, such as new crypt budding sites. Our data indicate Apc inactivation via CDX2P-CreER(T2) targeting in mouse colon epithelium is sufficient to induce adenomatous changes and the generation of Paneth-like cells from neoplastic progenitors, with potentially significant roles in colon adenoma development and progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2013.04.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3730784PMC
August 2013

Prebiotic approach alleviates hepatic steatosis: implication of fatty acid oxidative and cholesterol synthesis pathways.

Mol Nutr Food Res 2013 Feb 2;57(2):347-59. Epub 2012 Dec 2.

Metabolism and Nutrition Research Group, Louvain Drug Research Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Scope: Recent data suggest that gut microbiota contributes to the regulation of host lipid metabolism. We report how fermentable dietary fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) control hepatic steatosis induced by n-3 PUFA depletion, which leads to hepatic alterations similar to those observed in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients.

Methods And Results: C57Bl/6J mice fed an n-3 PUFA-depleted diet for 3 months were supplemented with FOS during the last 10 days of treatment. FOS-treated mice exhibited higher caecal Bifidobacterium spp. and lower Roseburia spp. content. Microarray analysis of hepatic mRNA revealed that FOS supplementation reduced hepatic triglyceride accumulation through a proliferator-activated receptor α-stimulation of fatty acid oxidation and lessened cholesterol accumulation by inhibiting sterol regulatory element binding protein 2-dependent cholesterol synthesis. Cultured precision-cut liver slices confirmed the inhibition of fatty acid oxidation. FOS effects were related to a decreased hepatic micro-RNA33 expression and to an increased colonic glucagon-like peptide 1 production.

Conclusions: The changes in gut microbiota composition by n-3 PUFA-depletion and prebiotics modulate hepatic steatosis by changing gene expression in the liver, a phenomenon that could implicate micro-RNA and gut-derived hormones. Our data underline the advantage of targeting the gut microbiota by colonic nutrients in the management of liver disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201200364DOI Listing
February 2013

Ethylmalonyl-CoA decarboxylase, a new enzyme involved in metabolite proofreading.

J Biol Chem 2011 Dec 20;286(50):42992-3003. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Welbio and the Laboratory of Physiological Chemistry, Université Catholique de Louvain, 1200 Brussels, Belgium.

A limited number of enzymes are known that play a role analogous to DNA proofreading by eliminating non-classical metabolites formed by side activities of enzymes of intermediary metabolism. Because few such "metabolite proofreading enzymes" are known, our purpose was to search for an enzyme able to degrade ethylmalonyl-CoA, a potentially toxic metabolite formed at a low rate from butyryl-CoA by acetyl-CoA carboxylase and propionyl-CoA carboxylase, two major enzymes of lipid metabolism. We show that mammalian tissues contain a previously unknown enzyme that decarboxylates ethylmalonyl-CoA and, at lower rates, methylmalonyl-CoA but that does not act on malonyl-CoA. Ethylmalonyl-CoA decarboxylase is particularly abundant in brown adipose tissue, liver, and kidney in mice, and is essentially cytosolic. Because Escherichia coli methylmalonyl-CoA decarboxylase belongs to the family of enoyl-CoA hydratase (ECH), we searched mammalian databases for proteins of uncharacterized function belonging to the ECH family. Combining this database search approach with sequencing data obtained on a partially purified enzyme preparation, we identified ethylmalonyl-CoA decarboxylase as ECHDC1. We confirmed this identification by showing that recombinant mouse ECHDC1 has a substantial ethylmalonyl-CoA decarboxylase activity and a lower methylmalonyl-CoA decarboxylase activity but no malonyl-CoA decarboxylase or enoyl-CoA hydratase activity. Furthermore, ECHDC1-specific siRNAs decreased the ethylmalonyl-CoA decarboxylase activity in human cells and increased the formation of ethylmalonate, most particularly in cells incubated with butyrate. These findings indicate that ethylmalonyl-CoA decarboxylase may correct a side activity of acetyl-CoA carboxylase and suggest that its mutation may be involved in the development of certain forms of ethylmalonic aciduria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M111.281527DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3234807PMC
December 2011

Mutant KRAS promotes hyperplasia and alters differentiation in the colon epithelium but does not expand the presumptive stem cell pool.

Gastroenterology 2011 Sep 18;141(3):1003-1013.e1-10. Epub 2011 May 18.

Division of Molecular Medicine & Genetics, Departments of Internal Medicine, Human Genetics, and Pathology, and the Cancer Center, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Background & Aims: Adenomatous polyps are precursors to colorectal cancer (CRC), whereas hyperplastic polyps (HPPs) have low risk of progression to CRC. Mutations in KRAS are found in ∼40% of CRCs and large adenomas and a subset of HPPs. We investigated the reasons why HPPs with KRAS mutations lack malignant potential and compared the effects of Kras/KRAS activation with those of Apc/APC inactivation, which promotes adenoma formation.

Methods: We activated a KrasG12D mutant allele or inactivated Apc alleles in mouse colon epithelium and analyzed phenotypes and expression of selected genes and proteins. The mouse data were validated using samples of human HPPs and adenomas. Signaling pathways and factors contributing to Kras/KRAS-induced phenotypes were studied in intestinal epithelial cells.

Results: Activation of Kras led to hyperplasia and serrated crypt architecture akin to that observed in human HPPs. We also observed loss of Paneth cells and increases in goblet cell numbers. Abnormalities in Kras-mediated differentiation and proliferation required mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling and were linked to activation of the Hes1 transcription factor. Human HPPs also had activation of HES1. In contrast to Apc/APC inactivation, Kras/KRAS activation did not increase expression of crypt stem cell markers in colon epithelium or colony formation in vitro. Kras/KRAS activation was not associated with substantial induction of p16(INK4a) protein expression in mouse colon epithelium or human HPPs.

Conclusions: Although Kras/KRAS mutation promotes serrated and hyperplastic morphologic features in colon epithelium, it is not able to initiate adenoma development, perhaps in part because activated Kras/KRAS signaling does not increase the number of presumptive stem cells in affected crypts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2011.05.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3163826PMC
September 2011

Regulation of lipid homeostasis by the bifunctional SREBF2-miR33a locus.

Cell Metab 2011 Mar;13(3):241-7

Laboratory of Physiological Chemistry, de Duve Institute, Université Catholique de Louvain, Avenue Hippocrate 75.39, 1200 Bruxelles, Belgium.

The sterol regulatory element-binding factor-2 (SREBF2) gene is a bifunctional locus encoding SREBP-2, a well-known transcriptional regulator of genes involved in cholesterol biosynthesis, and microRNA-33a, which has recently been shown to reduce expression of proteins involved in export of cholesterol and β-oxidation of fatty acids, thus adding an unexpected layer of complexity and fine-tuning to regulation of lipid homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2011.02.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3062104PMC
March 2011

Ancestries hidden in plain sight: methylation patterns for clonal analysis.

Gastroenterology 2011 Apr 23;140(4):1139-43. Epub 2011 Feb 23.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2011.02.027DOI Listing
April 2011

Expression of miR-33 from an SREBP2 intron inhibits cholesterol export and fatty acid oxidation.

J Biol Chem 2010 Oct 22;285(44):33652-61. Epub 2010 Aug 22.

Laboratory for Physiological Chemistry, de Duve Institute, Université Catholique de Louvain, 1200 Bruxelles, Belgium.

The regulation of synthesis, degradation, and distribution of lipids is crucial for homeostasis of organisms and cells. The sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) transcription factor family is post-translationally activated in situations of reduced lipid abundance and activates numerous genes involved in cholesterol, fatty acid, and phospholipid synthesis. In this study, we provide evidence that the primary transcript of SREBP2 contains an intronic miRNA (miR-33) that reduces cellular cholesterol export via inhibition of translation of the cholesterol export pump ABCA1. Notably, miR-33 also inhibits translation of several transcripts encoding proteins involved in fatty acid β-oxidation including CPT1A, HADHB, and CROT, thereby reducing fatty acid degradation. The genetic locus encoding SREBP2 and miR-33 therefore contains a protein that increases lipid synthesis and a miRNA that prevents export and degradation of newly synthesized lipids. These results add an additional layer of complexity to our understanding of lipid homeostasis and might open possibilities for future therapeutic intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M110.152090DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2962463PMC
October 2010

Loss of estrogen receptor 1 enhances cervical cancer invasion.

Am J Pathol 2010 Aug 25;177(2):884-95. Epub 2010 Jun 25.

Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2200, USA.

If left untreated, some cervical high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions will progress to invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), but the molecular events conferring invasive potential remain poorly defined. In prior work, we identified 48 genes that were down-regulated in SCCs compared with high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions and normal squamous epithelia. In this study, a functional screening strategy was used to identify which of these genes regulate cervical cancer cell invasion. Two independent squamous epithelial cell lines were transduced with a library of short hairpin RNAs targeting the differentially expressed genes and tested for invasion of the chick chorioallantoic membrane. PCR was used to recover specific short hairpin RNAs from cells that invaded the chorioallantoic membrane. Constructs targeting estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) were highly enriched in the invasive cells. The short hairpin RNA-mediated inhibition of ESR1 in SCC- and precancer-derived cell lines increased invasiveness in both in vivo and in vitro assays. Conversely, restoration of ESR1 expression in ESR1-negative cervical cancer cells reduced cell invasiveness. Loss of ESR1 expression was found to accompany cervical cancer progression in an analysis of primary normal cervix, low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, and SCC specimens. Molecular mechanisms underlying down-regulation of ESR1 in invasive cervical carcinomas appear to be complex and likely heterogeneous. Our findings indicate that loss of ESR1 has a major role in mediating cervical cancer invasion and progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2353/ajpath.2010.091166DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2913367PMC
August 2010

Roles for miRNA-378/378* in adipocyte gene expression and lipogenesis.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2010 Aug 18;299(2):E198-206. Epub 2010 May 18.

Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan, 1301 E. Catherine St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5622, USA.

In this study, we explored the roles of microRNAs in adipocyte differentiation and metabolism. We first knocked down Argonaute2 (Ago2), a key enzyme in the processing of micro-RNAs (miRNAs), to investigate a potential role for miRNAs in adipocyte differentiation and/or metabolism. Although we did not observe dramatic differences in adipogenesis between Ago2 knock-down and control 3T3-L1 cells, incorporation of [(14)C]glucose or acetate into triacylglycerol, and steady-state levels of triacyglycerol were all reduced, suggesting a role for miRNAs in adipocyte metabolism. To study roles of specific miRNAs in adipocyte biology, we screened for miRNAs that are differentially expressed between preadipocytes and adipocytes for the 3T3-L1 and ST2 cell lines. Distinct subsets of miRNAs decline or increase during adipocyte conversion, whereas most miRNAs are not regulated. One locus encoding two miRNAs, 378/378*, contained within the intron of PGC-1beta is highly induced during adipogenesis. When overexpressed in ST2 mesenchymal precursor cells, miRNA378/378* increases the size of lipid droplets and incorporation of [(14)C]acetate into triacylglycerol. Although protein and mRNA expression levels of C/EBPalpha, C/EBPbeta, C/EBPdelta, and PPARgamma1 are unchanged, microarray and quantitative RT-PCR analyses indicate that a set of lipogenic genes are upregulated, perhaps due to increased expression of PPARgamma2. Knock-down of miRNA378 and/or miRNA378* decreases accumulation of triacylglycerol. Interestingly, we made the unexpected finding that miRNA378/378* specifically increases transcriptional activity of C/EBPalpha and C/EBPbeta on adipocyte gene promoters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00179.2010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2928515PMC
August 2010

GSK3beta and beta-catenin modulate radiation cytotoxicity in pancreatic cancer.

Neoplasia 2010 May;12(5):357-65

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Background: Knowledge of factors and mechanisms contributing to the inherent radioresistance of pancreatic cancer may improve cancer treatment. Irradiation inhibits glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK3beta) by phosphorylation at serine 9. In turn, release of cytosolic membrane beta-catenin with subsequent nuclear translocation promotes survival. Both GSK3beta and beta-catenin have been implicated in cancer cell proliferation and resistance to death.

Methods: We investigated pancreatic cancer cell survival after radiation in vitro and in vivo, with a particular focus on the role of the function of the GSK3beta/beta-catenin axis.

Results: Lithium chloride, RNAi-medicated silencing of GSK3beta, or the expression of a kinase dead mutant GSK3beta resulted in radioresistance of Panc1 and BxPC3 pancreatic cancer cells. Conversely, ectopic expression of a constitutively active form of GSK3beta resulted in radiosensitization of Panc1 cells. GSK3beta silencing increased radiation-induced beta-catenin target gene expression as measured by studies of AXIN2 and LEF1 transcript levels. Western blot analysis of total and phosphorylated levels of GSK3beta and beta-catenin showed that GSK3beta inhibition resulted in stabilization of beta-catenin. Xenografts of both BxPC3 and Panc1 with targeted silencing of GSK3beta exhibited radioresistance in vivo. Silencing of beta-catenin resulted in radiosensitization, whereas a nondegradable beta-catenin construct induced radioresistance.

Conclusions: These data support the hypothesis that GSK3beta modulates the cellular response to radiation in a beta-catenin-dependent mechanism. Further understanding of this pathway may enhance the development of clinical trials combining drugs inhibiting beta-catenin activation with radiation and chemotherapy in locally advanced pancreatic cancer.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2864473PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1593/neo.92112DOI Listing
May 2010

IRS1 regulation by Wnt/beta-catenin signaling and varied contribution of IRS1 to the neoplastic phenotype.

J Biol Chem 2010 Jan 20;285(3):1928-38. Epub 2009 Oct 20.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.

Dysregulation of beta-catenin levels and localization and constitutive activation of beta-catenin/TCF (T cell factor)-regulated gene expression occur in many cancers, including the majority of colorectal carcinomas and a subset of ovarian endometrioid adenocarcinomas. Based on the results of microarray-based gene expression profiling we found the insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) gene as one of the most highly up-regulated genes upon ectopic expression of a mutant, constitutively active form of beta-catenin in the rat kidney epithelial cell line RK3E. We demonstrate expression of IRS1 can be directly activated by beta-catenin, likely in part via beta-catenin/TCF binding to TCF consensus binding elements located in the first intron and downstream of the IRS1 transcriptional start site. Consistent with the proposal that beta-catenin is an important regulator of IRS1 expression in vivo, we observed that IRS1 is highly expressed in many cancers with constitutive stabilization of beta-catenin, such as colorectal carcinomas and ovarian endometrioid adenocarcinomas. Using a short hairpin RNA approach to abrogate IRS1 expression and function, we found that IRS1 function is required for efficient de novo neoplastic transformation by beta-catenin in RK3E cells. Our findings add to the growing body of data implicating IRS1 as a critical signaling component in cancer development and progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M109.060319DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2804351PMC
January 2010

MicroRNA miR-34 inhibits human pancreatic cancer tumor-initiating cells.

PLoS One 2009 Aug 28;4(8):e6816. Epub 2009 Aug 28.

Department of Radiation Oncolog, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America.

Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in cancer initiation and progression via their ability to affect expression of genes and proteins that regulate cell proliferation and/or cell death. Transcription of the three miRNA miR-34 family members was recently found to be directly regulated by p53. Among the target proteins regulated by miR-34 are Notch pathway proteins and Bcl-2, suggesting the possibility of a role for miR-34 in the maintenance and survival of cancer stem cells.

Methodology/principal Findings: We examined the roles of miR-34 in p53-mutant human pancreatic cancer cell lines MiaPaCa2 and BxPC3, and the potential link to pancreatic cancer stem cells. Restoration of miR-34 expression in the pancreatic cancer cells by either transfection of miR-34 mimics or infection with lentiviral miR-34-MIF downregulated Bcl-2 and Notch1/2. miR-34 restoration significantly inhibited clonogenic cell growth and invasion, induced apoptosis and G1 and G2/M arrest in cell cycle, and sensitized the cells to chemotherapy and radiation. We identified that CD44+/CD133+ MiaPaCa2 cells are enriched with tumorsphere-forming and tumor-initiating cells or cancer stem/progenitor cells with high levels of Notch/Bcl-2 and loss of miR-34. More significantly, miR-34 restoration led to an 87% reduction of the tumor-initiating cell population, accompanied by significant inhibition of tumorsphere growth in vitro and tumor formation in vivo.

Conclusions/significance: Our results demonstrate that miR-34 may restore, at least in part, the tumor suppressing function of the p53 in p53-deficient human pancreatic cancer cells. Our data support the view that miR-34 may be involved in pancreatic cancer stem cell self-renewal, potentially via the direct modulation of downstream targets Bcl-2 and Notch, implying that miR-34 may play an important role in pancreatic cancer stem cell self-renewal and/or cell fate determination. Restoration of miR-34 may hold significant promise as a novel molecular therapy for human pancreatic cancer with loss of p53-miR34, potentially via inhibiting pancreatic cancer stem cells.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0006816PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2729376PMC
August 2009

ITF-2 is disrupted via allelic loss of chromosome 18q21, and ITF-2B expression is lost at the adenoma-carcinoma transition.

Gastroenterology 2009 Aug 23;137(2):639-48, 648.e1-9. Epub 2009 Apr 23.

Department of Medicine II, University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

Background & Aims: The ubiquitously expressed basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor ITF-2B has an important role in differentiation processes, and its transcription is regulated by beta-catenin. The ITF-2 gene is located in the chromosomal region 18q21; allelic loss of this locus occurs in 70% of colorectal cancers. We analyzed the expression, regulation, and function of ITF-2B in colorectal carcinogenesis.

Methods: The loss-of-heterozygosity (LOH) status of 18q21 and expression of ITF-2B were studied in colorectal carcinomas using polymerase chain reaction-based methods and immunohistochemistry. The biologic effects of ITF-2B were studied in colorectal cancer cells. Reporter gene assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation were utilized to analyze effects of ITF-2B on gene transcription.

Results: ITF-2B is strongly expressed in colon adenomas but frequently down-regulated in carcinomas because of LOH at 18q21. ITF-2B induces cell cycle arrest and regulates the expression of p21(Cip1) via newly identified E-boxes in the CDKN1A gene, independently of p53. Loss of ITF-2B expression correlates with loss of p21(Cip1) expression in primary colon carcinomas.

Conclusions: Accumulation of mutations and allelic losses are driving forces of colorectal carcinogenesis. ITF-2B, which is up-regulated during early colorectal carcinogenesis because of loss of adenomatous polyposis coli, is a target for LOH on chromosome 18q, along with deleted in colorectal carcinoma and Smad4. This finding, along with the fact that ITF-2B is a regulator of the key cell cycle inhibitor p21(Cip1), indicates that ITF-2B is a tumor suppressor that has an important function at the adenoma to carcinoma transition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2009.04.049DOI Listing
August 2009
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