Publications by authors named "Serena Camerini"

43 Publications

Structural basis of ubiquitination mediated by protein splicing in early Eukarya.

Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj 2021 May 11;1865(5):129844. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology of The National Research Council of Italy (CNR), P.le A. Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Inteins are intervening proteins, which are known to perform protein splicing. The reaction results in the production of an intein domain and an inteinless protein, which shows no trace of the insertion. BIL2 is part of the polyubiquitin locus of Tetrahymena thermophila (BUBL), where two bacterial-intein-like (BIL) domains lacking the C + 1 nucleophile, are flanked by two independent ubiquitin-like domains (ubl4/ubl5).

Methods: We solved the X-ray structures of BIL2 in both the inactive and unprecedented, zinc-induced active, forms. Then, we characterized by mass spectrometry the BUBL splicing products in the absence and in the presence of T.thRas-GTPase. Finally, we investigated the effect of ubiquitination on T.thRas-GTPase by molecular dynamics simulations.

Results: The structural analysis demonstrated that zinc-induced conformational change activates protein splicing. Moreover, mass spectrometry characterization of the splicing products shed light on the possible function of BIL2, which operates as a "single-ubiquitin-dispensing-platform", allowing the conjugation, via isopeptide bond formation (K(εNH)-C-ter), of ubl4 to either ubl5 or T.thRas-GTPase. Lastly, we demonstrated that T.thRas-GTPase ubiquitination occurs in proximity of the nucleotide binding pocket and stabilizes the protein active state.

Conclusions: We demonstrated that BIL2 is activated by zinc and that protein splicing induced by this intein does not take place through classical or aminolysis mechanisms but via formation of a covalent isopeptide bond, causing the ubiquitination of endogenous substrates such as T.thRas-GTPase.

General Significance: In this "enzyme-free" ubiquitination mechanism the isopeptide formation, which canonically requires E1-E2-E3 enzymatic cascade and constitutes the alphabet of ubiquitin biology, is achieved in a single, concerted step without energy consumption.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbagen.2021.129844DOI Listing
May 2021

Natural-Killer-Derived Extracellular Vesicles: Immune Sensors and Interactors.

Front Immunol 2020 13;11:262. Epub 2020 Mar 13.

Department of Oncology and Molecular Medicine, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

Natural killer (NK) cells contribute to immunosurveillance and first-line defense in the control of tumor growth and metastasis diffusion. NK-cell-derived extracellular vesicles (NKEVs) are constitutively secreted and biologically active. They reflect the protein and genetic repertoire of originating cells, and exert antitumor activity and . Cancer can compromise NK cell functions, a status potentially reflected by their extracellular vesicles. Hence, NKEVs could, on the one hand, contribute to improve cancer therapy by interacting with tumor and/or immune cells and on the other hand, sense the actual NK cell status in cancer patients. Here, we investigated the composition of healthy donors' NKEVs, including NK microvesicles and exosomes, and their interaction with uncompromised cells of the immune system. To sense the systemic NK cell status in cancer patients, we developed an immune enzymatic test (NKExoELISA) that measures plasma NK-cell-derived exosomes, captured as tsg101CD56 nanovesicles. NKEV mass spectrometry and cytokine analysis showed the expression of NK cell markers, i.e., NKG2D and CD94, perforin, granzymes, CD40L, and other molecules involved in cytotoxicity, homing, cell adhesion, and immune activation, together with EV markers tsg101, CD81, CD63, and CD9 in both NK-derived exosomes and microvesicles. Data are available via Proteome Xchange with identifier PXD014894. Immunomodulation studies revealed that NKEVs displayed main stimulatory functions in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), inducing the expression of human leukocyte antigen DR isotype (HLA-DR) and costimulatory molecules on monocytes and CD25 expression on T cells, which was maintained in the presence of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interleukin (IL)-10/transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ), respectively. Furthermore, NKEVs increased the CD56 NK cell fraction, suggesting that effects mediated by NKEVs might be potentially exploited in support of cancer therapy. The measurement of circulating NK exosomes in the plasma of melanoma patients and healthy donors evidenced lower levels of tsg101CD56 exosomes in patients with respect to donors. Likewise, we detected lower frequencies of NK cells in PBMCs of these patients. These data highlight the potential of NKExoELISA to sense alterations of the NK cell immune status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00262DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7082405PMC
March 2020

A novel disorder involving dyshematopoiesis, inflammation, and HLH due to aberrant CDC42 function.

J Exp Med 2019 12 10;216(12):2778-2799. Epub 2019 Oct 10.

Genetics and Rare Diseases Research Division, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Rome, Italy

Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is characterized by immune dysregulation due to inadequate restraint of overactivated immune cells and is associated with a variable clinical spectrum having overlap with more common pathophysiologies. HLH is difficult to diagnose and can be part of inflammatory syndromes. Here, we identify a novel hematological/autoinflammatory condition (NOCARH syndrome) in four unrelated patients with superimposable features, including neonatal-onset cytopenia with dyshematopoiesis, autoinflammation, rash, and HLH. Patients shared the same de novo mutation (Chr1:22417990C>T, p.R186C) and altered hematopoietic compartment, immune dysregulation, and inflammation. mutations had been associated with syndromic neurodevelopmental disorders. In vitro and in vivo assays documented unique effects of p.R186C on CDC42 localization and function, correlating with the distinctiveness of the trait. Emapalumab was critical to the survival of one patient, who underwent successful bone marrow transplantation. Early recognition of the disorder and establishment of treatment followed by bone marrow transplant are important to survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20190147DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6888978PMC
December 2019

HIPK2 Phosphorylates the Microtubule-Severing Enzyme Spastin at S268 for Abscission.

Cells 2019 07 5;8(7). Epub 2019 Jul 5.

Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology (IBPM), National Research Council (CNR), c/o Sapienza University, 00185 Rome, Italy.

Abscission is the final step of cell division, mediating the physical separation of the two daughter cells. A key player in this process is the microtubule-severing enzyme spastin that localizes at the midbody where its activity is crucial to cut microtubules and culminate the cytokinesis. Recently, we demonstrated that HIPK2, a multifunctional kinase involved in several cellular pathways, contributes to abscission and prevents tetraploidization. Here, we show that HIPK2 binds and phosphorylates spastin at serine 268. During cytokinesis, the midbody-localized spastin is phosphorylated at S268 in HIPK2-proficient cells. In contrast, no spastin is detectable at the midbody in HIPK2-depleted cells. The non-phosphorylatable spastin-S268A mutant does not localize at the midbody and cannot rescue HIPK2-depleted cells from abscission defects. In contrast, the phosphomimetic spastin-S268D mutant localizes at the midbody and restores successful abscission in the HIPK2-depleted cells. These results show that spastin is a novel target of HIPK2 and that HIPK2-mediated phosphorylation of spastin contributes to its midbody localization for successful abscission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells8070684DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6678495PMC
July 2019

Type E Botulinum Neurotoxin-Producing Clostridium butyricum Strains Are Aerotolerant during Vegetative Growth.

mSystems 2019 Mar-Apr;4(2). Epub 2019 Apr 30.

Department of Food Safety, Nutrition and Veterinary Public Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

Clostridium butyricum, the type species of the genus , is considered an obligate anaerobe, yet it has been shown to grow in the presence of oxygen. strains atypically producing the botulinum neurotoxin type E are the leading cause of type E human botulism in Italy. Here, we show that type E botulinum neurotoxin-producing strains growing exponentially were able to keep growing and producing toxin upon exposure to air, although less efficiently than under ideal oxygen-depleted conditions. Bacterial growth in air was maintained when the initial cell density was higher than 10 cells/ml. No spores were detected in the cultures aerated for 5 h. To understand the biological mechanisms allowing the adaptation of vegetative cells of type E to oxygen, we compared the proteome and metabolome profiles of the clostridial cultures grown for 5 h under either aerated or anaerobic conditions. The results indicated that bacterial cells responded to oxygen stress by slowing growth and modulating the expression of proteins involved in carbohydrate uptake and metabolism, redox homeostasis, DNA damage response, and bacterial motility. Moreover, the ratio of acetate to butyrate was significantly higher under aeration. This study demonstrates for the first time that a botulinum neurotoxin-producing can withstand oxygen during vegetative growth. Botulinum neurotoxins, the causative agents of the potentially fatal disease of botulism, are produced by certain strains during vegetative growth, usually in anaerobic environments. Our findings indicate that, contrary to current understanding, the growth of neurotoxigenic strains and botulinum neurotoxin type E production can continue upon transfer from anaerobic to aerated conditions and that adaptation of strains to oxygenated environments requires global changes in proteomic and metabolic profiles. We hypothesize that aerotolerance might constitute an unappreciated factor conferring physiological advantages on some botulinum toxin-producing clostridial strains, allowing them to adapt to otherwise restrictive environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mSystems.00299-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6495232PMC
April 2019

HIPK2 and extrachromosomal histone H2B are separately recruited by Aurora-B for cytokinesis.

Oncogene 2018 06 22;37(26):3562-3574. Epub 2018 Mar 22.

Unit of Cellular Networks and Molecular Therapeutic Targets, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute-IRCCS, Rome, 00144, Italy.

Cytokinesis, the final phase of cell division, is necessary to form two distinct daughter cells with correct distribution of genomic and cytoplasmic materials. Its failure provokes genetically unstable states, such as tetraploidization and polyploidization, which can contribute to tumorigenesis. Aurora-B kinase controls multiple cytokinetic events, from chromosome condensation to abscission when the midbody is severed. We have previously shown that HIPK2, a kinase involved in DNA damage response and development, localizes at the midbody and contributes to abscission by phosphorylating extrachromosomal histone H2B at Ser14. Of relevance, HIPK2-defective cells do not phosphorylate H2B and do not successfully complete cytokinesis leading to accumulation of binucleated cells, chromosomal instability, and increased tumorigenicity. However, how HIPK2 and H2B are recruited to the midbody during cytokinesis is still unknown. Here, we show that regardless of their direct (H2B) and indirect (HIPK2) binding of chromosomal DNA, both H2B and HIPK2 localize at the midbody independently of nucleic acids. Instead, by using mitotic kinase-specific inhibitors in a spatio-temporal regulated manner, we found that Aurora-B kinase activity is required to recruit both HIPK2 and H2B to the midbody. Molecular characterization showed that Aurora-B directly binds and phosphorylates H2B at Ser32 while indirectly recruits HIPK2 through the central spindle components MgcRacGAP and PRC1. Thus, among different cytokinetic functions, Aurora-B separately recruits HIPK2 and H2B to the midbody and these activities contribute to faithful cytokinesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41388-018-0191-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6021368PMC
June 2018

The enzymatic processing of α-dystroglycan by MMP-2 is controlled by two anchoring sites distinct from the active site.

PLoS One 2018 15;13(2):e0192651. Epub 2018 Feb 15.

CNR Institute for Molecular Recognition, Roma Italy.

Dystroglycan (DG) is a membrane receptor, belonging to the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC) and formed by two subunits, α-dystroglycan (α-DG) and β-dystroglycan (β -DG). The C-terminal domain of α-DG and the N-terminal extracellular domain of β -DG are connected, providing a link between the extracellular matrix and the cytosol. Under pathological conditions, such as cancer and muscular dystrophies, DG may be the target of metalloproteinases MMP-2 and MMP-9, contributing to disease progression. Previously, we reported that the C-terminal domain α-DG (483-628) domain is particularly susceptible to the catalytic activity of MMP-2; here we show that the α-DG 621-628 region is required to carry out its complete digestion, suggesting that this portion may represent a MMP-2 anchoring site. Following this observation, we synthesized an α-DG based-peptide, spanning the (613-651) C-terminal region. The analysis of the kinetic and thermodynamic parameters of the whole and the isolated catalytic domain of MMP-2 (cdMMP-2) has shown its inhibitory properties, indicating the presence of (at least) two binding sites for the peptide, both located within the catalytic domain, only one of the two being topologically distinct from the catalytic active groove. However, the different behavior between whole MMP-2 and cdMMP-2 envisages the occurrence of an additional binding site for the peptide on the hemopexin-like domain of MMP-2. Interestingly, mass spectrometry analysis has shown that α-DG (613-651) peptide is cleavable even though it is a very poor substrate of MMP-2, a feature that renders this molecule a promising template for developing a selective MMP-2 inhibitor.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0192651PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5813964PMC
April 2018

Separase prevents genomic instability by controlling replication fork speed.

Nucleic Acids Res 2018 01;46(1):267-278

Institute for Biomedical and Genetic Research, National Research Council, Pisa, Italy.

Proper chromosome segregation is crucial for preserving genomic integrity, and errors in this process cause chromosome mis-segregation, which may contribute to cancer development. Sister chromatid separation is triggered by Separase, an evolutionary conserved protease that cleaves the cohesin complex, allowing the dissolution of sister chromatid cohesion. Here we provide evidence that Separase participates in genomic stability maintenance by controlling replication fork speed. We found that Separase interacted with the replication licensing factors MCM2-7, and genome-wide data showed that Separase co-localized with MCM complex and cohesin. Unexpectedly, the depletion of Separase increased the fork velocity about 1.5-fold and caused a strong acetylation of cohesin's SMC3 subunit and altered checkpoint response. Notably, Separase silencing triggered genomic instability in both HeLa and human primary fibroblast cells. Our results show a novel mechanism for fork progression mediated by Separase and thus the basis for genomic instability associated with tumorigenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkx1172DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5758895PMC
January 2018

Proteomic and functional analyses reveal pleiotropic action of the anti-tumoral compound NBDHEX in Giardia duodenalis.

Int J Parasitol Drugs Drug Resist 2017 08 29;7(2):147-158. Epub 2017 Mar 29.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy. Electronic address:

Giardiasis, a parasitic diarrheal disease caused by Giardia duodenalis, affects one billion people worldwide. Treatment relies only on a restricted armamentarium of drugs. The disease burden and the increase in treatment failure highlight the need for novel, safe and well characterized drug options. The antitumoral compound NBDHEX is effective in vitro against Giardia trophozoites and inhibits glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. Aim of this work was to search for additional NBDHEX protein targets. The intrinsic NBDHEX fluorescence was exploited in a proteomic analysis to select and detect modified proteins in drug treated Giardia. In silico structural analysis, intracellular localization and functional assays were further performed to evaluate drug effects on the identified targets. A small subset of Giardia proteins was covalently bound to the drug at specific cysteine residues. These proteins include metabolic enzymes, e.g. thioredoxin reductase (gTrxR), as well as elongation factor 1B-γ (gEF1Bγ), and structural proteins, e.g. α-tubulin. We showed that NBDHEX in vitro binds to recombinant gEF1Bγ and gTrxR, but only the last one could nitroreduce NBDHEX leading to drug modification of gTrxR catalytic cysteines, with concomitant disulphide reductase activity inhibition and NADPH oxidase activity upsurge. Our results indicate that NBDHEX reacts with multiple targets whose roles and/or functions are specifically hampered. In addition, NBDHEX is in turn converted to reactive intermediates extending its toxicity. The described NBDHEX pleiotropic action accounts for its antigiardial activity and encourages the use of this drug as a promising alternative for the future treatment of giardiasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpddr.2017.03.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5377010PMC
August 2017

Anti-GAPDH Autoantibodies as a Pathogenic Determinant and Potential Biomarker of Neuropsychiatric Diseases.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2016 11 9;68(11):2708-2716. Epub 2016 Oct 9.

Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

Objective: To investigate the potential role of circulating autoantibodies specific to neuronal cell surface antigens in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Methods: Two different kinds of immunoscreening approaches were used to identify autoantigens associated with neuropsychiatric disorders in the serum of patients with schizophrenia. The presence of autoantibodies specific to the identified autoantigens was then tested in patients with various psychiatric disorders and in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and concomitant neuropsychiatric manifestations. Furthermore, the potential pathogenic role of these autoantibodies was assessed both in vitro and in vivo.

Results: GAPDH was identified as a novel autoantigen associated with neuropsychiatric disorders. Serum anti-GAPDH IgG was detected in the serum of 51% of patients with schizophrenia and 50% of patients with major depression. Moreover, SLE patients with comorbid psychiatric manifestations presented significantly higher serum levels of anti-GAPDH antibodies than did SLE patients without psychiatric manifestations (P = 0.004 by chi-square test). Of note, a significant positive correlation (R = 0.48, P = 0.0049, by Spearman's rank correlation test) was found between the levels of serum anti-GAPDH antibodies and cognitive dysfunction in patients with SLE. In vitro analysis of the effects of purified human anti-GAPDH autoantibodies on SH-SY5Y cells showed an immediate neurite retraction. Finally, in vivo administration of anti-GAPDH autoantibodies in the right cerebral ventricle of C57BL/6J mice resulted in specific behavioral changes associated with a detrimental cognitive and emotional profile.

Conclusion: Overall, these data suggest that anti-GAPDH autoantibodies play a role in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders, thus representing a potentially promising tool for the screening of individual vulnerability to these disabling conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.39750DOI Listing
November 2016

Exogenous Alpha-Synuclein Alters Pre- and Post-Synaptic Activity by Fragmenting Lipid Rafts.

EBioMedicine 2016 May 5;7:191-204. Epub 2016 Apr 5.

Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genoa, Italy. Electronic address:

Alpha-synuclein (αSyn) interferes with multiple steps of synaptic activity at pre-and post-synaptic terminals, however the mechanism/s by which αSyn alters neurotransmitter release and synaptic potentiation is unclear. By atomic force microscopy we show that human αSyn, when incubated with reconstituted membrane bilayer, induces lipid rafts' fragmentation. As a consequence, ion channels and receptors are displaced from lipid rafts with consequent changes in their activity. The enhanced calcium entry leads to acute mobilization of synaptic vesicles, and exhaustion of neurotransmission at later stages. At the post-synaptic terminal, an acute increase in glutamatergic transmission, with increased density of PSD-95 puncta, is followed by disruption of the interaction between N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) and PSD-95 with ensuing decrease of long term potentiation. While cholesterol loading prevents the acute effect of αSyn at the presynapse; inhibition of casein kinase 2, which appears activated by reduction of cholesterol, restores the correct localization and clustering of NMDARs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2016.03.038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4909369PMC
May 2016

Mass spectrometry detection of fraudulent use of cow whey in water buffalo, sheep, or goat Italian ricotta cheese.

Food Chem 2016 Apr 14;197 Pt B:1240-8. Epub 2015 Nov 14.

Ministry of Agriculture Food and Forest Policies, Department of Central Inspectorate for Food and Feed Quality Protection and Fraud Repression, Central Laboratory of Rome, Via del Fornetto, 85, 00149 Rome, Italy. Electronic address:

Ricotta cheese is a typical Italian product, made with whey from various species, including cow, buffalo, sheep, and goat. Ricotta cheese nominally manufactured from the last three species may be fraudulently produced using the comparatively cheaper cow whey. Exposing such food frauds requires a reliable analytical method. Despite the extensive similarities shared by whey proteins of the four species, a mass spectrometry-based analytical method was developed that exploits three species-specific peptides derived from β-lactoglobulin and α-lactalbumin. This method can detect as little as 0.5% bovine whey in ricotta cheese from the other three species. Furthermore, a tight correlation was found (R(2)>0.99) between cow whey percentages and mass spectrometry measurements throughout the 1-50% range. Thus, this method can be used for forensic detection of ricotta cheese adulteration and, if properly validated, to provide quantitative evaluations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.11.073DOI Listing
April 2016

The FAD-dependent glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase of Giardia duodenalis: an unconventional enzyme that interacts with the g14-3-3 and it is a target of the antitumoral compound NBDHEX.

Front Microbiol 2015 1;6:544. Epub 2015 Jun 1.

Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità Rome, Italy.

The flagellated protozoan Giardia duodenalis is a worldwide parasite causing giardiasis, an acute and chronic diarrheal disease. Metabolism in G. duodenalis has a limited complexity thus making metabolic enzymes ideal targets for drug development. However, only few metabolic pathways (i.e., carbohydrates) have been described so far. Recently, the parasite homolog of the mitochondrial-like glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gG3PD) has been identified among the interactors of the g14-3-3 protein. G3PD is involved in glycolysis, electron transport, glycerophospholipids metabolism, and hyperosmotic stress response, and is emerging as promising target in tumor treatment. In this work, we demonstrate that gG3PD is a functional flavoenzyme able to convert glycerol-3-phosphate into dihydroxyacetone phosphate and that its activity and the intracellular glycerol level increase during encystation. Taking advantage of co-immunoprecipitation assays and deletion mutants, we provide evidence that gG3PD and g14-3-3 interact at the trophozoite stage, the intracellular localization of gG3PD is stage dependent and it partially co-localizes with mitosomes during cyst development. Finally, we demonstrate that the gG3PD activity is affected by the antitumoral compound 6-(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-ylthio)hexanol, that results more effective in vitro at killing G. duodenalis trophozoites than the reference drug metronidazole. Overall, our results highlight the involvement of gG3PD in processes crucial for the parasite survival thus proposing this enzyme as target for novel antigiardial interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2015.00544DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4450592PMC
June 2015

Src inhibitors modulate frataxin protein levels.

Hum Mol Genet 2015 Aug 6;24(15):4296-305. Epub 2015 May 6.

Laboratory of Signal Transduction, Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy,

Defective expression of frataxin is responsible for the inherited, progressive degenerative disease Friedreich's Ataxia (FRDA). There is currently no effective approved treatment for FRDA and patients die prematurely. Defective frataxin expression causes critical metabolic changes, including redox imbalance and ATP deficiency. As these alterations are known to regulate the tyrosine kinase Src, we investigated whether Src might in turn affect frataxin expression. We found that frataxin can be phosphorylated by Src. Phosphorylation occurs primarily on Y118 and promotes frataxin ubiquitination, a signal for degradation. Accordingly, Src inhibitors induce accumulation of frataxin but are ineffective on a non-phosphorylatable frataxin-Y118F mutant. Importantly, all the Src inhibitors tested, some of them already in the clinic, increase frataxin expression and rescue the aconitase defect in frataxin-deficient cells derived from FRDA patients. Thus, Src inhibitors emerge as a new class of drugs able to promote frataxin accumulation, suggesting their possible use as therapeutics in FRDA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddv162DOI Listing
August 2015

MLC1 protein: a likely link between leukodystrophies and brain channelopathies.

Front Cell Neurosci 2015 1;9:66. Epub 2015 Apr 1.

Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Istituto Superiore di Sanità Rome, Italy.

Megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts (MLCs) disease is a rare inherited, autosomal recessive form of childhood-onset spongiform leukodystrophy characterized by macrocephaly, deterioration of motor functions, epileptic seizures and mental decline. Brain edema, subcortical fluid cysts, myelin and astrocyte vacuolation are the histopathological hallmarks of MLC. Mutations in either the MLC1 gene (>75% of patients) or the GlialCAM gene (<20% of patients) are responsible for the disease. Recently, the GlialCAM adhesion protein was found essential for the membrane expression and function of the chloride channel ClC-2 indicating MLC disease caused by mutation in GlialCAM as the first channelopathy among leukodystrophies. On the contrary, the function of MLC1 protein, which binds GlialCAM, its functional relationship with ClC-2 and the molecular mechanisms underlying MLC1 mutation-induced functional defects are not fully understood yet. The human MLC1 gene encodes a 377-amino acid membrane protein with eight predicted transmembrane domains which shows very low homology with voltage-dependent potassium (K(+)) channel subunits. The high expression of MLC1 in brain astrocytes contacting blood vessels and meninges and brain alterations observed in MLC patients have led to hypothesize a role for MLC1 in the regulation of ion and water homeostasis. Recent studies have shown that MLC1 establishes structural and/or functional interactions with several ion/water channels and transporters and ion channel accessory proteins, and that these interactions are affected by MLC1 mutations causing MLC. Here, we review data on MLC1 functional properties obtained in in vitro and in vivo models and discuss evidence linking the effects of MLC1 mutations to brain channelopathies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2015.00106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4381631PMC
April 2015

Autoantibodies specific to D4GDI modulate Rho GTPase mediated cytoskeleton remodeling and induce autophagy in T lymphocytes.

J Autoimmun 2015 Apr 24;58:78-89. Epub 2015 Jan 24.

Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy; San Raffaele Pisana Institute, Rome, Italy. Electronic address:

T lymphocytes from patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) display multiple abnormalities, including increased cell activation, abnormal cell death by apoptosis and impairment of autophagy pathway. In the present study we report the presence of specific antibodies to D4GDI, a small GTPase family inhibitor, in a significant percentage (46%) of SLE patient sera. We also found a significant association between the presence of these autoantibodies and hematologic manifestations occurring in these patients. Investigating the possible implication of anti-D4GDI autoantibodies in SLE pathogenesis or progression, we found that these antibodies were capable of binding D4GDI expressed at the lymphocyte surface and triggering a series of subcellular events, including Rho GTPase activation. These antibodies were also able to induce autophagy in T cells from both healthy donors and SLE patients, but only those negative to these antibodies. We can conclude that anti-D4GDI autoantibodies could be capable of triggering important responses in T cells such as cytoskeleton remodeling and autophagy pathway and that, in SLE patients, the chronic exposure to these specific autoantibodies could lead to the selection of autophagy-resistant T cell clones contributing to the pathogenesis of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2015.01.005DOI Listing
April 2015

The role of protein and peptide separation before mass spectrometry analysis in clinical proteomics.

J Chromatogr A 2015 Feb 18;1381:1-12. Epub 2014 Dec 18.

Institute for Biomedical Technologies (ITB-CNR), Segrate, and Institute of Life Science - Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy. Electronic address:

The purpose of clinical proteomics is to characterise protein profiles of a plethora of diseases with the aim of finding specific biomarkers. These are particularly valuable for early diagnosis, and represent key molecules suitable to elucidate pathogenic mechanisms. Samples deriving from patients (i.e. blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, biopsies) are the sources for clinical proteomics. Due to the complexity of the extracted samples their direct analysis is unachievable. Any analytical clinical proteomics study should start with the choice of the optimal combination of strategies with respect to both sample preparations and MS approaches. Protein or peptide fractionation (off-line or on-line) is essential to reduce complexity of biological samples and to achieve the most complete and reproducible analysis. The aim of this review is to introduce the readers to a functional range of strategies to help scientists in their proteomics set up. In particular, the separation approaches of proteins or peptides (both gel-based and gel-free) are reviewed with special attention paid to their advantages and limitations, and to the different liquid chromatography techniques used to peptide fractionation after protein enzymatic digestion and before their detection. Finally, the role of mass spectrometry (MS) for protein identification and quantification is discussed including emerging MS data acquisition strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2014.12.035DOI Listing
February 2015

Inactivation of human salivary glutathione transferase P1-1 by hypothiocyanite: a post-translational control system in search of a role.

PLoS One 2014 13;9(11):e112797. Epub 2014 Nov 13.

Department of Chemical Sciences and Technologies, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", 00133 Rome, Italy.

Glutathione transferases (GSTs) are a superfamily of detoxifying enzymes over-expressed in tumor tissues and tentatively proposed as biomarkers for localizing and monitoring injury of specific tissues. Only scarce and contradictory reports exist about the presence and the level of these enzymes in human saliva. This study shows that GSTP1-1 is the most abundant salivary GST isoenzyme, mainly coming from salivary glands. Surprisingly, its activity is completely obscured by the presence of a strong oxidizing agent in saliva that causes a fast and complete, but reversible, inactivation. Although salivary α-defensins are also able to inhibit the enzyme causing a peculiar half-site inactivation, a number of approaches (mass spectrometry, site directed mutagenesis, chromatographic and spectrophotometric data) indicated that hypothiocyanite is the main salivary inhibitor of GSTP1-1. Cys47 and Cys101, the most reactive sulfhydryls of GSTP1-1, are mainly involved in a redox interaction which leads to the formation of an intra-chain disulfide bridge. A reactivation procedure has been optimized and used to quantify GSTP1-1 in saliva of 30 healthy subjects with results of 42±4 mU/mg-protein. The present study represents a first indication that salivary GSTP1-1 may have a different and hitherto unknown function. In addition it fulfills the basis for future investigations finalized to check the salivary GSTP1-1 as a diagnostic biomarker for diseases.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0112797PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4231102PMC
December 2015

Native metastable prefibrillar oligomers are the most neurotoxic species among amyloid aggregates.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2014 Sep 14;1842(9):1622-9. Epub 2014 Jun 14.

Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Roma, Italy.

Many proteins belonging to the amyloid family share the tendency to misfold and aggregate following common steps, and display similar neurotoxicity. In the aggregation pathway different kinds of species are formed, including several types of oligomers and eventually mature fibers. It is now suggested that the pathogenic aggregates are not the mature fibrils, but the intermediate, soluble oligomers. Many kinds of aggregates have been described to exist in a metastable state and in equilibrium with monomers. Up to now it is not clear whether a specific structure is at the basis of the neurotoxicity. Here we characterized, starting from the early aggregation stages, the oligomer populations formed by an amyloid protein, salmon calcitonin (sCT), chosen due to its very slow aggregation rate. To prepare different oligomer populations and characterize them by means of photoinduced cross-linking SDS-PAGE, Energy Filtered-Transmission Electron Microscopy (EF-TEM) and Circular Dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, we used Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC), a technique that does not influence the aggregation process leaving the protein in the native state. Taking advantage of sCT low aggregation rate, we characterized the neurotoxic potential of the SEC-separated, non-crosslinked fractions in cultured primary hippocampal neurons, analyzing intracellular Ca(2+) influx and apoptotic trend. We provide evidence that native, globular, metastable, prefibrillar oligomers (dimers, trimers and tetramers) were the toxic species and that low concentrations of these aggregates in the population was sufficient to render the sample neurotoxic. Monomers and other kind of aggregates, such as annular or linear protofibers and mature fibers, were totally biologically inactive.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbadis.2014.06.006DOI Listing
September 2014

Gaucher disease due to saposin C deficiency is an inherited lysosomal disease caused by rapidly degraded mutant proteins.

Hum Mol Genet 2014 Nov 12;23(21):5814-26. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

Department of Haematology, Oncology and Molecular Medicine,

Saposin (Sap) C is an essential cofactor for the lysosomal degradation of glucosylceramide (GC) by glucosylceramidase (GCase) and its functional impairment underlies a rare variant form of Gaucher disease (GD). Sap C promotes rearrangement of lipid organization in lysosomal membranes favoring substrate accessibility to GCase. It is characterized by six invariantly conserved cysteine residues involved in three intramolecular disulfide bonds, which make the protein remarkably stable to acid environment and degradation. Five different mutations (i.e. p.C315S, p.342_348FDKMCSKdel, p.L349P, p.C382G and p.C382F) have been identified to underlie Sap C deficiency. The molecular mechanism by which these mutations affect Sap C function, however, has not been delineated in detail. Here, we characterized biochemically and functionally four of these gene lesions. We show that all Sap C mutants are efficiently produced, and exhibit lipid-binding properties, modulatory behavior on GCase activity and subcellular localization comparable with those of the wild-type protein. We then delineated the structural rearrangement of these mutants, documenting that most proteins assume diverse aberrant disulfide bridge arrangements, which result in a substantial diminished half-life, and rapid degradation via autophagy. These findings further document the paramount importance of disulfide bridges in the stability of Sap C and provide evidence that accelerated degradation of the Sap C mutants is the underlying pathogenetic mechanism of Sap C deficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddu299DOI Listing
November 2014

The crystal structure of Giardia duodenalis 14-3-3 in the apo form: when protein post-translational modifications make the difference.

PLoS One 2014 21;9(3):e92902. Epub 2014 Mar 21.

Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

The 14-3-3s are a family of dimeric evolutionary conserved pSer/pThr binding proteins that play a key role in multiple biological processes by interacting with a plethora of client proteins. Giardia duodenalis is a flagellated protozoan that affects millions of people worldwide causing an acute and chronic diarrheal disease. The single giardial 14-3-3 isoform (g14-3-3), unique in the 14-3-3 family, needs the constitutive phosphorylation of Thr214 and the polyglycylation of its C-terminus to be fully functional in vivo. Alteration of the phosphorylation and polyglycylation status affects the parasite differentiation into the cyst stage. To further investigate the role of these post-translational modifications, the crystal structure of the g14-3-3 was solved in the unmodified apo form. Oligomers of g14-3-3 were observed due to domain swapping events at the protein C-terminus. The formation of filaments was supported by TEM. Mutational analysis, in combination with native PAGE and chemical cross-linking, proved that polyglycylation prevents oligomerization. In silico phosphorylation and molecular dynamics simulations supported a structural role for the phosphorylation of Thr214 in promoting target binding. Our findings highlight unique structural features of g14-3-3 opening novel perspectives on the evolutionary history of this protein family and envisaging the possibility to develop anti-giardial drugs targeting g14-3-3.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0092902PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3962474PMC
November 2014

Megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts protein-1 modulates endosomal pH and protein trafficking in astrocytes: relevance to MLC disease pathogenesis.

Neurobiol Dis 2014 Jun 19;66:1-18. Epub 2014 Feb 19.

Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy. Electronic address:

Megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts (MLC) is a rare leukodystrophy caused by mutations in the gene encoding MLC1, a membrane protein mainly expressed in astrocytes in the central nervous system. Although MLC1 function is unknown, evidence is emerging that it may regulate ion fluxes. Using biochemical and proteomic approaches to identify MLC1 interactors and elucidate MLC1 function we found that MLC1 interacts with the vacuolar ATPase (V-ATPase), the proton pump that regulates endosomal acidity. Because we previously showed that in intracellular organelles MLC1 directly binds Na, K-ATPase, which controls endosomal pH, we studied MLC1 endosomal localization and trafficking and MLC1 effects on endosomal acidity and function using human astrocytoma cells overexpressing wild-type (WT) MLC1 or MLC1 carrying pathological mutations. We found that WT MLC1 is abundantly expressed in early (EEA1(+), Rab5(+)) and recycling (Rab11(+)) endosomes and uses the latter compartment to traffic to the plasma membrane during hyposmotic stress. We also showed that WT MLC1 limits early endosomal acidification and influences protein trafficking in astrocytoma cells by stimulating protein recycling, as revealed by FITC-dextran measurement of endosomal pH and transferrin protein recycling assay, respectively. WT MLC1 also favors recycling to the plasma-membrane of the TRPV4 cation channel which cooperates with MLC1 to activate calcium influx in astrocytes during hyposmotic stress. Although MLC disease-causing mutations differentially affect MLC1 localization and trafficking, all the mutated proteins fail to influence endosomal pH and protein recycling. This study demonstrates that MLC1 modulates endosomal pH and protein trafficking suggesting that alteration of these processes contributes to MLC pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2014.02.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003525PMC
June 2014

Interkingdom complementation reveals structural conservation and functional divergence of 14-3-3 proteins.

PLoS One 2013 11;8(10):e78090. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

The 14-3-3s are small acidic cytosolic proteins that interact with multiple clients and participate in essential cellular functions in all eukaryotes. Available structural and functional information about 14-3-3s is largely derived from higher eukaryotes, which contain multiple members of this protein family suggesting functional specialization. The exceptional sequence conservation among 14-3-3 family members from diverse species suggests a common ancestor for 14-3-3s, proposed to have been similar to modern 14-3-3ε isoforms. Structural features of the sole family member from the protozoan Giardia duodenalis (g14-3-3), are consistent with this hypothesis, but whether g14-3-3 is functionally homologous to the epsilon isoforms is unknown. We use inter-kingdom reciprocal functional complementation and biochemical methods to determine whether g14-3-3 is structurally and functionally homologous with members of the two 14-3-3 conservation groups of the metazoan Drosophila melanogaster. Our results indicate that although g14-3-3 is structurally homologous to D14-3-3ε, functionally it diverges presenting characteristics of other 14-3-3s. Given the basal position of Giardia in eukaryotic evolution, this finding is consistent with the hypothesis that 14-3-3ε isoforms are ancestral to other family members.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0078090PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3795638PMC
June 2014

The nebulin SH3 domain is dispensable for normal skeletal muscle structure but is required for effective active load bearing in mouse.

J Cell Sci 2013 Dec 17;126(Pt 23):5477-89. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

Institute of Biomedical Technologies, National Research Council, 20090 Milan, Italy.

Nemaline myopathy (NM) is a congenital myopathy with an estimated incidence of 150,000 live births. It is caused by mutations in thin filament components, including nebulin, which accounts for about 50% of the cases. The identification of NM cases with nonsense mutations resulting in loss of the extreme C-terminal SH3 domain of nebulin suggests an important role of the nebulin SH3 domain, which is further supported by the recent demonstration of its role in IGF-1-induced sarcomeric actin filament formation through targeting of N-WASP to the Z-line. To provide further insights into the functional significance of the nebulin SH3 domain in the Z-disk and to understand the mechanisms by which truncations of nebulin lead to NM, we took two approaches: (1) an affinity-based proteomic screening to identify novel interaction partners of the nebulin SH3 domain; and (2) generation and characterization of a novel knockin mouse model with a premature stop codon in the nebulin gene, eliminating its C-terminal SH3 domain (NebΔSH3 mouse). Surprisingly, detailed analyses of NebΔSH3 mice revealed no structural or histological skeletal muscle abnormalities and no changes in gene expression or localization of interaction partners of the nebulin SH3 domain, including myopalladin, palladin, zyxin and N-WASP. Also, no significant effect on peak isometric stress production, passive tensile stress or Young's modulus was found. However, NebΔSH3 muscle displayed a slightly altered force-frequency relationship and was significantly more susceptible to eccentric contraction-induced injury, suggesting that the nebulin SH3 domain protects against eccentric contraction-induced injury and possibly plays a role in fine-tuning the excitation-contraction coupling mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jcs.137026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3843138PMC
December 2013

Carbon monoxide signaling in human red blood cells: evidence for pentose phosphate pathway activation and protein deglutathionylation.

Antioxid Redox Signal 2014 Jan 2;20(3):403-16. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

1 Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences, Sections of Biomarkers in Degenerative Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità , Rome, Italy .

Aims: The biochemistry underlying the physiological, adaptive, and toxic effects of carbon monoxide (CO) is linked to its affinity for reduced transition metals. We investigated CO signaling in the vasculature, where hemoglobin (Hb), the CO most important metal-containing carrier is highly concentrated inside red blood cells (RBCs).

Results: By combining NMR, MS, and spectrophotometric techniques, we found that CO treatment of whole blood increases the concentration of reduced glutathione (GSH) in RBC cytosol, which is linked to a significant Hb deglutathionylation. In addition, this process (i) does not activate glycolytic metabolism, (ii) boosts the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), (iii) increases glutathione reductase activity, and (iv) decreases oxidized glutathione concentration. Moreover, GSH concentration was partially decreased in the presence of 2-deoxyglucose and the PPP antagonist dehydroepiandrosterone. Our MS results show for the first time that, besides Cys93, Hb glutathionylation occurs also at Cys112 of the β-chain, providing a new potential GSH source hitherto unknown.

Innovation: This work provides new insights on the signaling and antioxidant-boosting properties of CO in human blood, identifying Hb as a major source of GSH release and the PPP as a metabolic mechanism supporting Hb deglutathionylation.

Conclusions: CO-dependent GSH increase is a new RBC process linking a redox-inactive molecule, CO, to GSH redox signaling. This mechanism may be involved in the adaptive responses aimed to counteract stress conditions in mammalian tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ars.2012.5102DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3894680PMC
January 2014

Genotype-phenotype analysis of S326C OGG1 polymorphism: a risk factor for oxidative pathologies.

Free Radic Biol Med 2013 Oct 28;63:401-9. Epub 2013 May 28.

Department of Environment and Primary Prevention, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Rome, Italy.

8-Oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG) activity was measured by an in vitro assay in lymphocytes of healthy volunteers genotyped for various OGG1 polymorphisms. Only homozygous carriers of the polymorphic C326 allele showed a significantly lower OGG activity compared to the homozygous S326 genotype. The purified S326C OGG1 showed a decreased ability to complete the repair synthesis step in a base excision repair reaction reconstituted in vitro. The propensity of this variant to dimerize as well as its catalytic impairment were shown to be enhanced under oxidizing conditions. Mass spectrometry revealed that the extra cysteine of the variant protein is involved in disulfide bonds compatible with significant conformational changes and/or dimerization. We propose that the S326C OGG1 catalytic impairment and its susceptibility to dimerization and disulfide bond formation in an oxidizing environment all concur to decrease repair capacity. Consequently, the C326 homozygous carriers may be at increased risk of oxidative pathologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2013.05.031DOI Listing
October 2013

HIPK2 catalytic activity and subcellular localization are regulated by activation-loop Y354 autophosphorylation.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2013 Jun 26;1833(6):1443-53. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

Dipartimento di Oncologia Sperimentale, Istituto Nazionale Tumori Regina Elena, Roma, Italy.

HIPK2 (homeodomain-interacting protein kinase-2) binds to and phosphorylates, at Ser and Thr residues, a large number of targets involved in cell division and cell fate decision in response to different physiological or stress stimuli. Inactivation of HIPK2 has been observed in human and mouse cancers supporting its role as a tumor suppressor. Despite the biological relevance of this kinase, very little is known on how HIPK2 becomes catalytically active. Based on sequence homologies, HIPK2 has been taxonomically classified as a subfamily member of the dual-specificity tyrosine-regulated kinases (DYRKs) and the activation-loop Y354 of HIPK2 has been found phosphorylated in different cells; however, the relevance of this Y phosphorylation is presently unknown. Here, we show that HIPK2, which is extensively phosphorylated at S/T sites throughout its functional domains, becomes catalytically active by autophosphorylation at the activation-loop Y354. In particular, we found that, in analogy to DYRKs, HIPK2-Y354 phosphorylation is an autocatalytic event and its prevention, through Y354 substitution with non-phosphorylatable amino acids or by using the kinase inhibitor purvalanol A, induces a strong reduction of the HIPK2 S/T-kinase activity on different substrates. Interestingly, at variance from DYRKs, inhibition of HIPK2-Y354 phosphorylation induces a strong out-of-target Y-kinase activity in cis and a strong cytoplasmic relocalization of the kinase. Together, these results demonstrate that the catalytic activity, substrate specificity, and subcellular localization of HIPK2 are regulated by autophosphorylation of its activation-loop Y354.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamcr.2013.02.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3787740PMC
June 2013

Phosphorylation and nitration of tyrosine residues affect functional properties of Synaptophysin and Dynamin I, two proteins involved in exo-endocytosis of synaptic vesicles.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2013 Jan 25;1833(1):110-21. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

Phosphorylation and nitration of protein tyrosine residues are thought to play a role in signaling pathways at the nerve terminal and to affect functional properties of proteins involved in the synaptic vesicle (SV) exo-endocytotic cycle. We previously demonstrated that the tyrosine residues in the C-terminal domain of the SV protein Synaptophysin (SYP) are targets of peroxynitrite (PN). Here, we have characterized the association between SYP and c-src tyrosine kinase demonstrating that phosphorylation of Tyr(273) in the C-terminal domain of SYP is crucial in mediating SYP binding to and activation of c-src. SYP forms a complex with Dynamin I (DynI), a GTPase required for SV endocytosis, which may be regulated by tyrosine phosphorylation of SYP. We here report that, in rat brain synaptosomes treated with PN, the formation of SYP/DynI complex was impaired. Noteworthy, we found that DynI was also modified by PN. DynI tyrosine phosphorylation was down-regulated in a dose-dependent manner, while DynI tyrosine nitration increased. Using mass spectrometry analysis, we identified Tyr(354) as one nitration site in DynI. In addition, we tested DynI self-assembly and GTPase activity, which are enhanced by c-src-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation of DynI, and found that both were inhibited by PN. Our results suggest that the site-specific tyrosine residue modifications may modulate the association properties of SV proteins and serve as a regulator of DynI function via control of self-assembly, thus influencing the physiology of the exo-endocytotic cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamcr.2012.10.022DOI Listing
January 2013

Interaction network of the 14-3-3 protein in the ancient protozoan parasite Giardia duodenalis.

J Proteome Res 2012 May 11;11(5):2666-83. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Rome, Italy.

14-3-3s are phosphoserine/phosphotreonine binding proteins that play pivotal roles as regulators of multiple cellular processes in eukaryotes. The flagellated protozoan parasite Giardia duodenalis, the causing agent of giardiasis, is a valuable simplified eukaryotic model. A single 14-3-3 isoform (g14-3-3) is expressed in Giardia, and it is directly involved in the differentiation of the parasite into cyst. To define the overall functions of g14-3-3, the protein interactome has been investigated. A transgenic G. duodenalis strain was engineered to express a FLAG-tagged g14-3-3 under its own promoter. Affinity chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry analysis have been used to purify and identify FLAG-g14-3-3-associated proteins from trophozoites and encysting parasites. A total of 314 putative g14-3-3 interaction partners were identified, including proteins involved in several pathways. Some interactions seemed to be peculiar of one specific stage, while others were shared among the different stages. Furthermore, the interaction of g14-3-3 with the giardial homologue of the CDC7 protein kinase (gCDC7) was characterized, leading to the identification of a multiprotein complex containing not only g14-3-3 and gCDC7 but also a newly identified and highly divergent homologue of DBF4, the putative regulatory subunit of gCDC7. The relevance of g14-3-3 interactions in G. duodenalis biology was discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/pr3000199DOI Listing
May 2012

An insight into the abundant proteome of 46BR.1G1 fibroblasts deficient of DNA ligase I.

Electrophoresis 2012 Jan;33(2):307-15

Department of Biochemistry A. Castellani, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.

This work presents the proteome profile of cultured human skin fibroblasts established from a patient affected by DNA ligase I (Lig I) deficiency syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by immunodeficiency, growth retardation and sun sensitivity. 2-DE (in the 3-10 and 4-7 pH ranges) was the separation technique used for the production of maps. MALDI-TOF/MS and LC-MS/MS were the mass spectrometry platforms applied for the identification of proteins in gel spots. A total of 154 proteins, including 41 never detected before in skin fibroblasts with this approach, were identified in gel spots analyzed. This newly generated extensive database provides for the first time a global picture of abundant proteins in 46BR.1G1 skin fibroblasts. While being relevant to the particular disorder considered, these results may be regarded as an intriguing starting point on the way to achieve a reference map of the proteins highly expressed in an inherited syndrome with defect in DNA replication and repair pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/elps.201100332DOI Listing
January 2012