Publications by authors named "Pamela J McFie"

18 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

DGAT2 stability is increased in response to DGAT1 inhibition in gene edited HepG2 cells.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids 2021 Sep 9;1866(9):158991. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5E5, Canada. Electronic address:

In eukaryotic organisms, two unrelated acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) enzymes, DGAT1 and DGAT2, catalyze the final step of the triacylglycerol biosynthetic pathway. Both enzymes are highly expressed in lipogenic tissues, such as adipose tissue, small intestine and the liver. DGAT2 has a prominent role in hepatocyte lipid metabolism synthesizing triacylglycerols that are utilized for very low-density lipoprotein assembly. However, due to the lack of useful antibodies to detect endogenous DGAT2 protein, it has been difficult to determine how this enzyme functions at the cellular level. We have unsuccessfully tested many commercial antibodies as well as our own "in-house" antibodies. There is currently no evidence that DGAT2 undergoes processing such that antigenic epitopes to these antibodies are removed. As an alternative, many studies have utilized epitope tagged versions of DGAT2 overexpressed in cells. These approaches can provide valuable information about a protein, but can be subject to artifacts, such as mislocalization, misregulation, protein aggregation and abnormal protein-protein interactions. In this study, we used gene editing with CRISPR/Cas9 to add three consecutive FLAG epitopes to the C-terminus of endogenous DGAT2 in HepG2 cells. HepG2 cells, derived from a human hepatocellular carcinoma, have been routinely used as a cell model to study human hepatocyte lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. Using this system allowed us to successfully detect DGAT2 expressed from its endogenous locus in HepG2 cells by immunoblotting with anti-FLAG antibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbalip.2021.158991DOI Listing
September 2021

Identification of calnexin as a diacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 interacting protein.

PLoS One 2019 7;14(1):e0210396. Epub 2019 Jan 7.

Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Triacylglycerol synthesis is catalyzed by acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 (DGAT2). DGAT2 is an integral membrane protein that is localized to the endoplasmic reticulum and interacts with lipid droplets. Using BioId, a method to detect proximal and interacting proteins, we identified calnexin as a DGAT2-interacting protein. Co-immunoprecipitation and proximity ligation assays confirmed this finding. We found that calnexin-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts had reduced intracellular triacylglycerol levels and fewer large lipid droplets (>1.0 μm2 area). Despite the alterations in triacylglycerol metabolism, in vitro DGAT2 activity, localization and protein stability were not affected by the absence of calnexin.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0210396PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6322727PMC
October 2019

Diacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 contains a c-terminal sequence that interacts with lipid droplets.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids 2018 09 11;1863(9):1068-1081. Epub 2018 Jun 11.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5E5, Canada. Electronic address:

Diacylglycerol acyltranferase-2 (DGAT2) is a resident protein of the endoplasmic reticulum that catalyzes the synthesis of triacylglycerol. When lipid droplet formation is stimulated by incubating cells with fatty acids, DGAT2 becomes concentrated around the surface of cytosolic lipid droplets. Using confocal microscopy and directed mutagenesis, we have identified a 17-amino acid sequence in the C-terminal region of DGAT2 that is necessary and sufficient for targeting DGAT2 to lipid droplets. When this region was deleted, DGAT2 remained in the ER and did not target to lipid droplets. Fusing this sequence to mCherry directed the fluorescent reporter to lipid droplets. Similarly, when the corresponding region of monoacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 (MGAT2) was replaced with this sequence, MGAT2 was also targeted to lipid droplets. Lastly, we demonstrated that DGAT2 in ER membranes is continuous with lipid droplets. We propose a new model whereby DGAT2 remains in the ER during lipid droplet formation via it's transmembrane domains and interacts with nascent lipid droplets via its C-terminal lipid droplet interacting domain as they expand.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbalip.2018.06.008DOI Listing
September 2018

Diacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 and monoacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 are ubiquitinated proteins that are degraded by the 26S proteasome.

Biochem J 2016 10 16;473(20):3621-3637. Epub 2016 Aug 16.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, 107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5E5, Canada.

Acyl-CoA:1,2-diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT)-2 is one of the two DGAT enzymes that catalyzes the synthesis of triacylglycerol, which is an important form of stored energy for eukaryotic organisms. There is currently limited information available regarding how DGAT2 and triacylglycerol synthesis are regulated. Recent studies have indicated that DGAT2 can be regulated by changes in gene expression. How DGAT2 is regulated post-transcriptionally remains less clear. In this study, we demonstrated that DGAT2 is a very unstable protein and is rapidly degraded in an ubiquitin-dependent manner via the proteasome. Many of the 25 lysines present in DGAT2 appeared to be involved in promoting its degradation. However, the six C-terminal lysines were the most important in regulating stability. We also demonstrated that acyl-CoA:monoacylglycerol acyltransferase (MGAT)-2, an enzyme with extensive sequence homology to DGAT2 that catalyzes the synthesis of diacylglycerol, was also ubiquitinated. However, MGAT2 was found to be much more stable than DGAT2. Interestingly, when co-expressed, MGAT2 appeared to stabilize DGAT2. Finally, we found that both DGAT2 and MGAT2 are substrates of the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BCJ20160418DOI Listing
October 2016

Endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondrial interaction mediated by mitofusin-1 or mitofusin-2 is not required for lipid droplet formation or adipocyte differentiation.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2016 09 9;478(1):392-397. Epub 2016 Jul 9.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5E5, Canada. Electronic address:

Organelles in cells physically interact with each other. Specifically, the interaction of ER and mitochondria has been shown to be important for transporting lipids between these two organelles. Lipid droplets are also closely associated with both the ER and mitochondria suggesting the interaction of ER and mitochondria may be important for triacylglycerol storage in lipid droplets. We tested the hypothesis that the efficient synthesis and storage of triacylglycerol in lipid droplets is dependent on the interaction of the ER and mitochondria using mouse embryonic fibroblasts lacking mitofusin-2 (Mfn2). Mfn2 is a GTPase that is present in mitochondrial-associated membranes (MAM) and is also present in the outer mitochondrial membrane. Mfn2 in MAM and mitochondria interact forming an interorganellar bridge. Cells lacking Mfn2 have loose ER-mitochondria contact. We found that mouse embryonic fibroblasts lacking Mfn2 have altered lipid droplet morphology. However, triacylglycerol biosynthesis was not dependent on ER-mitochondrial tethering mediated by mitofusins. Lastly, Mfn2 does not have a role in adipocyte differentiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.07.040DOI Listing
September 2016

Membrane topology of human monoacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 and identification of regions important for its localization to the endoplasmic reticulum.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2016 09 1;1861(9 Pt A):1192-1204. Epub 2016 Jul 1.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5E5, Canada. Electronic address:

Acyl CoA:2-monoacylglycerol acyltransferase (MGAT)-2 has an important role in dietary fat absorption in the intestine. MGAT2 resides in the endoplasmic reticulum and catalyzes the synthesis of diacylglycerol which is then utilized as a substrate for triacylglycerol synthesis. This triacylglycerol is then incorporated into chylomicrons which are released into the circulation. In this study, we determined the membrane topology of human MGAT2. Protease protection experiments showed that the C-terminus is exposed to the cytosol, while the N-terminus is partially buried in the ER membrane. MGAT2, like murine DGAT2, was found to have two transmembrane domains. We also identified a region of MGAT2 associated with the ER membrane that contains the histidine-proline-histidine-glycine sequence present in all DGAT2 family members that is thought to comprise the active site. Proteolysis experiments demonstrated that digestion of total cellular membranes from cells expressing MGAT2 with trypsin abolished MGAT activity, indicating that domains that are important for catalysis face the cytosol. We also explored the role that the five cysteines residues present in MGAT2 have in catalysis. MGAT activity was sensitive to two thiol modifiers, N-ethylmaleimide and 5,5'-dithiobis-(2-nitrobenzoic acid). Furthermore, mutation of four cysteines resulted in a reduction in MGAT activity. However, when the C-terminal cysteine (C334) was mutated, MGAT activity was actually higher than that of wild-type FL-MGAT2. Lastly, we determined that both transmembrane domains of MGAT2 are important for its ER localization, and that MGAT2 is present in mitochondrial-associated membranes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbalip.2016.06.021DOI Listing
September 2016

Biochemical characterization of human acyl coenzyme A: 2-monoacylglycerol acyltransferase-3 (MGAT3).

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2016 07 13;475(3):264-70. Epub 2016 May 13.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5E5, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: MGAT3 catalyzes the synthesis of 1,2-diacylglycerol from 2-monoacylglycerol in an acyl CoA-dependent reaction. Although initially identified as an MGAT enzyme, MGAT3 is more closely related to DGAT2 than to MGAT1 and MGAT2. Furthermore, MGAT3 possesses both DGAT and MGAT activities, in vitro. MGAT3 is almost exclusively expressed in the small intestine in humans, suggesting that it has a role in dietary fat absorption. Although identified many years ago, little information is available regarding the contribution of MGAT3 to triacylglycerol biosynthesis.

Results: This study confirmed the initial observations that MGAT3 possessed both MGAT and DGAT activities. When expressed in cells in culture, MGAT3 stimulated lipid droplet growth, but unlike DGAT2, does not become concentrated around the lipid droplet surface. We also characterized the MGAT activity of an MGAT3 mutant in which a conserved cysteine was changed to a tyrosine residue. Lastly, although they share significant sequence identity, MGAT3 is a much more stable protein than DGAT2, yet they are both polyubiquitinated and degraded through ER-associated degradation by the proteasome.

Conclusion: Our findings provide additional evidence that MGAT3 likely functions as a TG synthase in cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.05.071DOI Listing
July 2016

The Mitochondrial Metallochaperone SCO1 Is Required to Sustain Expression of the High-Affinity Copper Transporter CTR1 and Preserve Copper Homeostasis.

Cell Rep 2015 Feb 13;10(6):933-943. Epub 2015 Feb 13.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5, Canada. Electronic address:

Human SCO1 fulfills essential roles in cytochrome c oxidase (COX) assembly and the regulation of copper (Cu) homeostasis, yet it remains unclear why pathogenic mutations in this gene cause such clinically heterogeneous forms of disease. Here, we establish a Sco1 mouse model of human disease and show that ablation of Sco1 expression in the liver is lethal owing to severe COX and Cu deficiencies. We further demonstrate that the Cu deficiency is explained by a functional connection between SCO1 and CTR1, the high-affinity transporter that imports Cu into the cell. CTR1 is rapidly degraded in the absence of SCO1 protein, and we show that its levels are restored in Sco1 mouse embryonic fibroblasts upon inhibition of the proteasome. These data suggest that mitochondrial signaling through SCO1 provides a post-translational mechanism to regulate CTR1-dependent Cu import into the cell, and they further underpin the importance of mitochondria in cellular Cu homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2015.01.019DOI Listing
February 2015

Diacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 (DGAT2) and monoacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 (MGAT2) interact to promote triacylglycerol synthesis.

J Biol Chem 2014 Oct 27;289(41):28237-48. Epub 2014 Aug 27.

From the Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5E5, Canada and

Acyl CoA:1,2-diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT)-2 is an integral membrane protein that catalyzes triacylglycerol (TG) synthesis using diacylglycerol and fatty acyl CoA as substrates. DGAT2 resides in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but when cells are incubated with fatty acids, DGAT2 interacts with lipid droplets presumably to catalyze localized TG synthesis for lipid droplet expansion. Previous studies have shown that DGAT2 interacts with proteins that synthesize its fatty acyl CoA substrates. In this study, we provide additional evidence that DGAT2 is present in a protein complex. Using a chemical cross-linker, disuccinimidyl suberate (DSS), we demonstrated that DGAT2 formed a dimer and was also part of a protein complex of ∼ 650 kDa, both in membranes and on lipid droplets. Using co-immunoprecipitation experiments and an in situ proximity ligation assay, we found that DGAT2 interacted with monoacylglycerol acyltransferase (MGAT)-2, an enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of diacylglycerol. Deletion mutagenesis showed that the interaction with MGAT2 was dependent on the two transmembrane domains of DGAT2. No significant interaction of DGAT2 with lipin1, another enzyme that synthesizes diacylglycerol, could be detected. When co-expressed in cells, DGAT2 and MGAT2 co-localized in the ER and on lipid droplets. Co-expression also resulted in increased TG storage compared with expression of DGAT2 or MGAT2 alone. Incubating McArdle rat hepatoma RH7777 cells with 2-monoacylglycerol caused DGAT2 to translocate to lipid droplets. This also led to the formation of large cytosolic lipid droplets, characteristic of DGAT2, but not DGAT1, and indicated that DGAT2 can utilize monoacylglycerol-derived diacylglycerol. These findings suggest that the interaction of DGAT2 and MGAT2 serves to channel lipid substrates efficiently for TG biosynthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M114.571190DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4192479PMC
October 2014

Characterization of the interaction of diacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 with the endoplasmic reticulum and lipid droplets.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2014 Sep 19;1841(9):1318-28. Epub 2014 Jun 19.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5E5, Canada. Electronic address:

Acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 (DGAT2) is an integral membrane protein that catalyzes the synthesis of triacylglycerol (TG). DGAT2 is present in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and also localizes to lipid droplets when cells are stimulated with oleate. Previous studies have shown that DGAT2 can interact with membranes and lipid droplets independently of its two transmembrane domains, suggesting the presence of an additional membrane binding domain. In order to identify additional membrane binding regions, we confirmed that DGAT2 has only two transmembrane domains and demonstrated that the loop connecting them is present in the ER lumen. Increasing the length of this short loop from 5 to 27 amino acids impaired the ability of DGAT2 to localize to lipid droplets. Using a mutagenesis approach, we were able to identify a stretch of amino acids that appears to have a role in binding DGAT2 to the ER membrane. Our results confirm that murine DGAT2 has only two transmembrane domains but also can interact with membranes via a previously unidentified helical domain containing its active site.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbalip.2014.06.004DOI Listing
September 2014

Murine diacylglycerol acyltransferase-2 (DGAT2) can catalyze triacylglycerol synthesis and promote lipid droplet formation independent of its localization to the endoplasmic reticulum.

J Biol Chem 2011 Aug 16;286(32):28235-46. Epub 2011 Jun 16.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5E5, Canada.

Triacylglycerol (TG) is the major form of stored energy in eukaryotic organisms and is synthesized by two distinct acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) enzymes, DGAT1 and DGAT2. Both DGAT enzymes reside in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but DGAT2 also co-localizes with mitochondria and lipid droplets. In this report, we demonstrate that murine DGAT2 is part of a multimeric complex consisting of several DGAT2 subunits. We also identified the region of DGAT2 responsible for its localization to the ER. A DGAT2 mutant lacking both its transmembrane domains, although still associated with membranes, was absent from the ER and instead localized to mitochondria. Unexpectedly, this mutant was still active and capable of interacting with lipid droplets to promote TG storage. Additional experiments indicated that the ER targeting signal was present in the first transmembrane domain (TMD1) of DGAT2. When fused to a fluorescent reporter, TMD1, but not TMD2, was sufficient to target mCherry to the ER. Finally, the interaction of DGAT2 with lipid droplets was dependent on the C terminus of DGAT2. DGAT2 mutants, in which regions of the C terminus were either truncated or specific regions were deleted, failed to co-localize with lipid droplets when cells were oleate loaded to stimulate TG synthesis. Our findings demonstrate that DGAT2 is capable of catalyzing TG synthesis and promote its storage in cytosolic lipid droplets independent of its localization in the ER.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M111.256008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3151068PMC
August 2011

Missense mutation in APOC3 within the C-terminal lipid binding domain of human ApoC-III results in impaired assembly and secretion of triacylglycerol-rich very low density lipoproteins: evidence that ApoC-III plays a major role in the formation of lipid precursors within the microsomal lumen.

J Biol Chem 2011 Aug 15;286(31):27769-80. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai Diabetes Institute, Shanghai Clinical Center of Diabetes, Shanghai 200233, China.

Hepatic assembly of triacylglycerol (TAG)-rich very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) is achieved through recruitment of bulk TAG (presumably in the form of lipid droplets within the microsomal lumen) into VLDL precursor containing apolipoprotein (apo) B-100. We determined protein/lipid components of lumenal lipid droplets (LLD) in cells expressing recombinant human apoC-III (C3wt) or a mutant form (K58E, C3KE) initially identified in humans that displayed hypotriglyceridemia. Although expression of C3wt markedly stimulated secretion of TAG and apoB-100 as VLDL(1), the K58E mutation (located at the C-terminal lipid binding domain) abolished the effect in transfected McA-RH7777 cells and in apoc3-null mice. Metabolic labeling studies revealed that accumulation of TAG in LLD was decreased (by 50%) in cells expressing C3KE. A Fat Western lipid protein overlay assay showed drastically reduced lipid binding of the mutant protein. Substituting Lys(58) with Arg demonstrated that the positive charge at position 58 is crucial for apoC-III binding to lipid and for promoting TAG secretion. On the other hand, substituting both Lys(58) and Lys(60) with Glu resulted in almost entire elimination of lipid binding and loss of function in promoting TAG secretion. Thus, the lipid binding domain of apoC-III plays a key role in the formation of LLD for hepatic VLDL assembly and secretion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M110.203679DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3149367PMC
August 2011

A fluorescent assay to quantitatively measure in vitro acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase activity.

J Lipid Res 2011 Sep 8;52(9):1760-4. Epub 2011 Jun 8.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.

Triacylglycerols (TG) are the major storage form of energy in eukaryotic organisms and are synthesized primarily by acyl CoA:1,2-diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) enzymes. In vitro DGAT activity has previously been quantified by measuring the incorporation of either radiolabeled fatty acyl CoA or diacylglycerol (DG) into TG. We developed a modified acyltransferase assay using a fluorescent fatty acyl CoA substrate to accurately quantify in vitro DGAT activity. In the modified assay, radioactive fatty acyl CoA is replaced with fluorescent NBD-palmitoyl CoA, which is used as a substrate by DGAT with DG to produce NBD-TG. After extraction with organic solvents and separation by thin layer chromatography, NBD-TG formation can be detected and accurately quantified using a fluorescent imaging system. We demonstrate that this method can be adapted to detect other acyltransferase activities. Because NBD-palmitoyl CoA is commercially available at a much lower cost compared with radioactive acyl CoA substrates, it is a more economical alternative to radioactive tracers. In addition, the exposure of laboratory personnel to radioactivity is greatly reduced.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1194/jlr.D016626DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3151697PMC
September 2011

Topological orientation of acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase-1 (DGAT1) and identification of a putative active site histidine and the role of the n terminus in dimer/tetramer formation.

J Biol Chem 2010 Nov 27;285(48):37377-87. Epub 2010 Sep 27.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5E5, Canada.

Acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) is an integral membrane protein of the endoplasmic reticulum that catalyzes the synthesis of triacylglycerols. Two DGAT enzymes have been identified (DGAT1 and DGAT2) with unique roles in lipid metabolism. DGAT1 is a multifunctional acyltransferase capable of synthesizing diacylglycerol, retinyl, and wax esters in addition to triacylglycerol. Here, we report the membrane topology for murine DGAT1 using protease protections assays and indirect immunofluorescence in conjunction with selective permeabilization of cellular membranes. Topology models based on prediction algorithms suggested that DGAT1 had eight transmembrane domains. In contrast, our data indicate that DGAT1 has three transmembrane domains with the N terminus oriented toward the cytosol. The C-terminal region of DGAT1, which accounts for ∼50% of the protein, is present in the endoplasmic reticulum lumen and contains a highly conserved histidine residue (His-426) that may be part of the active site. Mutagenesis of His-426 to alanine impaired the ability of DGAT1 to synthesize triacylglycerols as well as retinyl and wax esters in an in vitro acyltransferase assay. Finally, we show that the N-terminal domain of DGAT1 is not required for the catalytic activity of DGAT1 but, instead, may be involved in regulating enzyme activity and dimer/tetramer formation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M110.163691DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2988343PMC
November 2010

Nuclear redistribution of TCERG1 is required for its ability to inhibit the transcriptional and anti-proliferative activities of C/EBPalpha.

J Cell Biochem 2010 Jan;109(1):140-51

Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada SK S7N 5E5.

Transcription elongation regulator 1 (TCERG1) is an inhibitor of transcriptional elongation, and interacts with transcription and splicing factors, suggesting that it assists in coupling and coordinating these two processes. Recently we showed that TCERG1 possesses an additional activity, that being to repress the transactivation and anti-proliferative activities of the transcription factor CCAAT/Enhancer Binding Protein alpha (C/EBPalpha). In the present study, we provide evidence that TCERG1 functions as an inhibitor of C/EBPalpha rather than a transcriptional co-repressor. This conclusion was based on reporter gene experiments demonstrating that TCERG1 was able to reverse not only C/EBPalpha-mediated transactivation of promoter activity, but also C/EBPalpha-mediated transrepression of a promoter which is inhibited by C/EBPalpha. These observations, along with our previous findings that TCERG1 inhibits cellular proliferation conferred by C/EBPalpha, support the relabeling of TCERG1 as an inhibitor C/EBPalpha. Using mutants of TCERG1, we showed that the inhibitory activity lies in the amino terminal region. Because C/EBPalpha and TCERG1 have been shown to occupy different subnuclear compartments, we examined whether nuclear relocalization of either protein was involved in the inhibition of C/EBPalpha by TCERG1. Using confocal microscopy, we showed that TCERG1 localizes to nuclear speckles in the absence of C/EBPalpha. However, when co-expressed with C/EBPalpha, TCERG1 localizes to pericentromeric sites where C/EBPalpha resides. Nuclear redistribution of TCERG1 is required for its inhibitory activity, since mutants that did not display nuclear relocalization also lacked C/EBPalpha-inhibitory activity. We propose that TCERG1 inhibits C/EBPalpha activity by keeping it retained in inactive, pericentromeric heterochromatin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcb.22391DOI Listing
January 2010

Identification of a co-repressor that inhibits the transcriptional and growth-arrest activities of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha.

J Biol Chem 2006 Jun 27;281(26):18069-80. Epub 2006 Apr 27.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, 107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5E5, Canada.

We used a yeast two-hybrid screening approach to identify novel interactors of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPalpha) that may offer insight into its mechanism of action and regulation. One clone obtained was that for CA150, a nuclear protein previously characterized as a transcriptional elongation factor. In this report, we show that CA150 is a widely expressed co-repressor of C/EBP proteins. Two-hybrid and co-immunoprecipitation analyses indicated that CA150 interacts with C/EBPalpha. Overexpression of CA150 inhibited the transactivation produced by C/EBPalpha and was also able to reverse the enhancing effect of the co-activator p300 on C/EBPbeta-mediated transactivation. Analysis of C/EBPalpha mutants indicated that CA150 interacts with C/EBPalpha primarily through a domain spanning amino acids 135-150. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that CA150 was present on a promoter that is repressed by C/EBPalpha but not present on a promoter that is activated by C/EBPalpha. Finally, we showed that in cells in which growth arrest had been induced by ectopic expression of C/EBPalpha, CA150 was able to release them from growth arrest. Interestingly, CA150 could not reverse the growth arrest produced by the minimal growth-arrest domain of C/EBPalpha (amino acids 175-217), suggesting that the effect of CA150 was directed at a region of C/EBPalpha outside of this minimal domain, consistent with our two-hybrid analysis. Taken together, these data indicate that CA150 is a co-repressor of C/EBP proteins and provides a possible mechanism for how C/EBPalpha can repress transcription of specific genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M512734200DOI Listing
June 2006

Different transcription factor binding arrays modulate the cAMP responsivity of the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase gene promoter.

J Biol Chem 2002 Nov 16;277(46):43895-902. Epub 2002 Sep 16.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

The cAMP responsiveness of the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) gene promoter is mediated by a cAMP response unit, which includes three CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBPs) sites, and a cAMP response element (CRE). Because both the CRE-binding protein and several C/EBP isoforms can to bind to the CRE with similar affinity, a variety of transcription factor bindings arrays in the cAMP response unit are possible that may affect the protein kinase A (PKA) responsivity of the promoter. To explore this issue, we have designed PEPCK promoter variants that have the native cis-elements within the cAMP response unit replaced with one or more LexA- and/or GAL4-binding sites. We also engineered the corresponding C/EBP and CRE-binding protein chimeras, which have their basic region leucine zipper domains replaced with LexA or GAL4 DNA-binding domains. Using this approach, we have reconstituted the PKA responsiveness of permissive PEPCK promoters in hepatoma cells and have characterized the PKA responsivity of the promoter under defined transcription factor occupancy patterns. Furthermore, analysis of deletion mutants of C/EBPalpha indicated that the domains that mediate its constitutive and PKA-inducible activities vary depending on which cis-element it occupies on the PEPCK promoter. These results suggest that promoter context may influence which domains within a transcription factor are employed to mediate transactivation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M203169200DOI Listing
November 2002

Unique ability of troglitazone to up-regulate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma expression in hepatocytes.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2002 Jan;300(1):72-7

Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) is a nuclear receptor that is activated by the binding of an appropriate ligand. Several studies have demonstrated that certain ligands can also induce the expression of PPAR-gamma. In the present study, we examined the mechanism whereby this induction occurs by specifically addressing whether potentiation of the transactivation function of PPAR-gamma per se leads to induction of expression. We observed that thiazolidinediones, a group of insulin-sensitizing drugs, had differential effects, with troglitazone inducing protein levels of PPAR-gamma, while rosiglitazone, englitazone, and ciglitazone were without effect. Similarly, the prostaglandin metabolite 15-deoxy-Delta(12,14)-prostaglandin J(2) and the potent synthetic ligand GW1929 (N-(2-benzoyl phenyl)-L-tyrosine) also had no effect, as did ligands for other isoforms of PPAR. Since troglitazone has antioxidant properties, we also examined the effect of alpha-tocopherol and observed that it induced PPAR-gamma expression in a dose-dependent fashion. Finally, we found that mice fed troglitazone as a dietary admixture displayed an up-regulation of hepatic PPAR-gamma mRNA and protein, indicating that the mechanism of action is at the level of gene expression and not protein stability. These data indicate that 1) up-regulation of the transactivation function of PPAR-gamma does not alone account for the induction of expression of PPAR-gamma by troglitazone, and 2) an antioxidant-related mechanism may be involved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.300.1.72DOI Listing
January 2002
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