Publications by authors named "Sokol V Todi"

54 Publications

The protective role of exercise against age-related neurodegeneration.

Ageing Res Rev 2022 Feb 17;74:101543. Epub 2021 Dec 17.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, USA; Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, USA. Electronic address:

Endurance exercise is a widely accessible, low-cost intervention with a variety of benefits to multiple organ systems. Exercise improves multiple indices of physical performance and stimulates pronounced health benefits reducing a range of pathologies including metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative disorders. Endurance exercise delays brain aging, preserves memory and cognition, and improves symptoms of neurodegenerative pathologies like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and various ataxias. Potential mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of exercise include neuronal survival and plasticity, neurogenesis, epigenetic modifications, angiogenesis, autophagy, and the synthesis and release of neurotrophins and cytokines. In this review, we discuss shared benefits and molecular pathways driving the protective effects of endurance exercise on various neurodegenerative diseases in animal models and in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2021.101543DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8761166PMC
February 2022

Targeting the VCP-binding motif of ataxin-3 improves phenotypes in Drosophila models of Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3.

Neurobiol Dis 2021 Dec 24;160:105516. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA; Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA. Electronic address:

Of the family of polyglutamine (polyQ) neurodegenerative diseases, Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3 (SCA3) is the most common. Like other polyQ diseases, SCA3 stems from abnormal expansions in the CAG triplet repeat of its disease gene resulting in elongated polyQ repeats within its protein, ataxin-3. Various ataxin-3 protein domains contribute to its toxicity, including the valosin-containing protein (VCP)-binding motif (VBM). We previously reported that VCP, a homo-hexameric protein, enhances pathogenic ataxin-3 aggregation and exacerbates its toxicity. These findings led us to explore the impact of targeting the SCA3 protein by utilizing a decoy protein comprising the N-terminus of VCP (N-VCP) that binds ataxin-3's VBM. The notion was that N-VCP would reduce binding of ataxin-3 to VCP, decreasing its aggregation and toxicity. We found that expression of N-VCP in Drosophila melanogaster models of SCA3 ameliorated various phenotypes, coincident with reduced ataxin-3 aggregation. This protective effect was specific to pathogenic ataxin-3 and depended on its VBM. Increasing the amount of N-VCP resulted in further phenotype improvement. Our work highlights the protective potential of targeting the VCP-ataxin-3 interaction in SCA3, a key finding in the search for therapeutic opportunities for this incurable disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2021.105516DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8693084PMC
December 2021

Adipocyte-driven unfolded protein response is a shared transcriptomic signature of metastatic prostate carcinoma cells.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res 2021 10 16;1868(11):119101. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, United States of America; Department of Oncology, Wayne State University School of Medicine and Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI, United States of America. Electronic address:

A critical unknown in the field of skeletal metastases is how cancer cells find a way to thrive under harsh conditions, as exemplified by metastatic colonization of adipocyte-rich bone marrow by prostate carcinoma cells. To begin understanding molecular processes that enable tumor cells to survive and progress in difficult microenvironments such as bone, we performed unbiased examination of the transcriptome of two different prostate cancer cell lines in the absence or presence of bone marrow adipocytes. Our RNAseq analyses and subsequent quantitative PCR and protein-based assays reveal that upregulation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and unfolded protein response (UPR) genes is a shared signature between metastatic prostate carcinoma cell lines of different origin. Pathway analyses and pharmacological examinations highlight the ER chaperone BIP as an upstream coordinator of this transcriptomic signature. Additional patient-based data support our overall conclusion that ER stress and UPR induction are shared, important factors in the response and adaptation of metastatic tumor cells to their micro-environment. Our studies pave the way for additional mechanistic investigations and offer new clues towards effective therapeutic interventions in metastatic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamcr.2021.119101DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8475945PMC
October 2021

Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (4th edition).

Autophagy 2021 Jan 8;17(1):1-382. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

University of Crete, School of Medicine, Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, Voutes, Heraklion, Crete, Greece; Foundation for Research and Technology, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB), Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

In 2008, we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, this topic has received increasing attention, and many scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Thus, it is important to formulate on a regular basis updated guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Despite numerous reviews, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to evaluate autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. Here, we present a set of guidelines for investigators to select and interpret methods to examine autophagy and related processes, and for reviewers to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of reports that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a dogmatic set of rules, because the appropriateness of any assay largely depends on the question being asked and the system being used. Moreover, no individual assay is perfect for every situation, calling for the use of multiple techniques to properly monitor autophagy in each experimental setting. Finally, several core components of the autophagy machinery have been implicated in distinct autophagic processes (canonical and noncanonical autophagy), implying that genetic approaches to block autophagy should rely on targeting two or more autophagy-related genes that ideally participate in distinct steps of the pathway. Along similar lines, because multiple proteins involved in autophagy also regulate other cellular pathways including apoptosis, not all of them can be used as a specific marker for autophagic responses. Here, we critically discuss current methods of assessing autophagy and the information they can, or cannot, provide. Our ultimate goal is to encourage intellectual and technical innovation in the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2020.1797280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7996087PMC
January 2021

Unanchored Ubiquitin Chains, Revisited.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2020 26;8:582361. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, United States.

The small modifier protein, ubiquitin, holds a special place in eukaryotic biology because of its myriad post-translational effects that control normal cellular processes and are implicated in various diseases. By being covalently conjugated onto other proteins, ubiquitin changes their interaction landscape - fostering new interactions as well as inhibiting others - and ultimately deciding the fate of its substrates and controlling pathways that span most cell physiology. Ubiquitin can be attached onto other proteins as a monomer or as a poly-ubiquitin chain of diverse structural topologies. Among the types of poly-ubiquitin species generated are ones detached from another substrate - comprising solely ubiquitin as their constituent - referred to as unanchored, or free chains. Considered to be toxic byproducts, these species have recently emerged to have specific physiological functions in immune pathways and during cell stress. Free chains also do not appear to be detrimental to multi-cellular organisms; they can be active members of the ubiquitination process, rather than corollary species awaiting disassembly into mono-ubiquitin. Here, we summarize past and recent studies on unanchored ubiquitin chains, paying special attention to their emerging roles as second messengers in several signaling pathways. These investigations paint complex and flexible outcomes for free ubiquitin chains, and present a revised model of unanchored poly-ubiquitin biology that is in need of additional investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2020.582361DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7659471PMC
October 2020

The Deubiquitinating Enzyme Ataxin-3 Regulates Ciliogenesis and Phagocytosis in the Retina.

Cell Rep 2020 11;33(6):108360

Departament de Genètica, Microbiologia i Estadística, Avda. Diagonal 643, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona 08028, Spain; CIBERER, ISCIII, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; Institute of Biomedicine (IBUB, IBUB-IRSJD), Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Expansion of a CAG repeat in ATXN3 causes the dominant polyglutamine disease spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3), yet the physiological role of ATXN3 remains unclear. Here, we focus on unveiling the function of Ataxin-3 (ATXN3) in the retina, a neurological organ amenable to morphological and physiological studies. Depletion of Atxn3 in zebrafish and mice causes morphological and functional retinal alterations and, more precisely, photoreceptor cilium and outer segment elongation, cone opsin mislocalization, and cone hyperexcitation. ATXN3 localizes at the basal body and axoneme of the cilium, supporting its role in regulating ciliary length. Abrogation of Atxn3 expression causes decreased levels of the regulatory protein KEAP1 in the retina and delayed phagosome maturation in the retinal pigment epithelium. We propose that ATXN3 regulates two relevant biological processes in the retina, namely, ciliogenesis and phagocytosis, by modulating microtubule polymerization and microtubule-dependent retrograde transport, thus positing ATXN3 as a causative or modifier gene in retinal/macular dystrophies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108360DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8738964PMC
November 2020

Deubiquitinase USP7 contributes to the pathogenicity of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

J Clin Invest 2021 01;131(1)

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases are devastating, slowly progressing neurodegenerative conditions caused by expansion of polyQ-encoding CAG repeats within the coding regions of distinct, unrelated genes. In spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), polyQ expansion within the androgen receptor (AR) causes progressive neuromuscular toxicity, the molecular basis of which is unclear. Using quantitative proteomics, we identified changes in the AR interactome caused by polyQ expansion. We found that the deubiquitinase USP7 preferentially interacts with polyQ-expanded AR and that lowering USP7 levels reduced mutant AR aggregation and cytotoxicity in cell models of SBMA. Moreover, USP7 knockdown suppressed disease phenotypes in SBMA and spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) fly models, and monoallelic knockout of Usp7 ameliorated several motor deficiencies in transgenic SBMA mice. USP7 overexpression resulted in reduced AR ubiquitination, indicating the direct action of USP7 on AR. Using quantitative proteomics, we identified the ubiquitinated lysine residues on mutant AR that are regulated by USP7. Finally, we found that USP7 also differentially interacts with mutant Huntingtin (HTT) protein in striatum and frontal cortex of a knockin mouse model of Huntington's disease. Taken together, our findings reveal a critical role for USP7 in the pathophysiology of SBMA and suggest a similar role in SCA3 and Huntington's disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI134565DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7773404PMC
January 2021

Ubiquitin-interacting motifs of ataxin-3 regulate its polyglutamine toxicity through Hsc70-4-dependent aggregation.

Elife 2020 09 21;9. Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University, Detroit, United States.

Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) belongs to the family of polyglutamine neurodegenerations. Each disorder stems from the abnormal lengthening of a glutamine repeat in a different protein. Although caused by a similar mutation, polyglutamine disorders are distinct, implicating non-polyglutamine regions of disease proteins as regulators of pathogenesis. SCA3 is caused by polyglutamine expansion in ataxin-3. To determine the role of ataxin-3's non-polyglutamine domains in disease, we utilized a new, allelic series of . We found that ataxin-3 pathogenicity is saliently controlled by polyglutamine-adjacent ubiquitin-interacting motifs (UIMs) that enhance aggregation and toxicity. UIMs function by interacting with the heat shock protein, Hsc70-4, whose reduction diminishes ataxin-3 toxicity in a UIM-dependent manner. Hsc70-4 also enhances pathogenicity of other polyglutamine proteins. Our studies provide a unique insight into the impact of ataxin-3 domains in SCA3, identify Hsc70-4 as a SCA3 enhancer, and indicate pleiotropic effects from HSP70 chaperones, which are generally thought to suppress polyglutamine degeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.60742DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7505662PMC
September 2020

TMPRSS13 promotes cell survival, invasion, and resistance to drug-induced apoptosis in colorectal cancer.

Sci Rep 2020 08 17;10(1):13896. Epub 2020 Aug 17.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, 48201, MI, USA.

Cancer progression is often accompanied by increased levels of extracellular proteases capable of remodeling the extracellular matrix and promoting pro-cancerous signaling pathways by activating growth factors and receptors. The type II transmembrane serine protease (TTSP) family encompasses several proteases that play critical roles in cancer progression; however, the expression or function of the TTSP TMPRSS13 in carcinogenesis has not been examined. In the present study, we found TMPRSS13 to be differentially expressed at both the transcript and protein levels in human colorectal cancer (CRC). Immunohistochemical analyses revealed consistent high expression of TMPRSS13 protein on the cancer cell surface in CRC patient samples; in contrast, the majority of normal colon samples displayed no detectable expression. On a functional level, TMPRSS13 silencing in CRC cell lines increased apoptosis and impaired invasive potential. Importantly, transgenic overexpression of TMPRSS13 in CRC cell lines increased tolerance to apoptosis-inducing agents, including paclitaxel and HA14-1. Conversely, TMPRSS13 silencing rendered CRC cells more sensitive to these agents. Together, our findings suggest that TMPRSS13 plays an important role in CRC cell survival and in promoting resistance to drug-induced apoptosis; we also identify TMPRSS13 as a potential new target for monotherapy or combination therapy with established chemotherapeutics to improve treatment outcomes in CRC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-70636-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7431588PMC
August 2020

Degron capability of the hydrophobic C-terminus of the polyglutamine disease protein, ataxin-3.

J Neurosci Res 2020 10 9;98(10):2096-2108. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA.

Ataxin-3 is a deubiquitinase and polyglutamine disease protein whose cellular properties and functions are not entirely understood. Mutations in ataxin-3 cause spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3), a neurodegenerative disorder that is a member of the polyglutamine family of diseases. Two major isoforms arise from alternative splicing of ATXN3 and are differently toxic in vivo as a result of faster proteasomal degradation of one isoform compared to the other. The isoforms vary only at their C-termini, suggesting that the hydrophobic C-terminus of the more quickly degraded form of ataxin-3 (here referred to as isoform 2) functions as a degron-that is, a peptide sequence that expedites the degradation of its host protein. We explored this notion in this study and present evidence that: (a) the C-terminus of ataxin-3 isoform 2 signals its degradation in a proteasome-dependent manner, (b) this effect from the C-terminus of isoform 2 does not require the ubiquitination of ataxin-3, and (c) the isolated C-terminus of isoform 2 can enhance the degradation of an unrelated protein. According to our data, the C-terminus of ataxin-3 isoform 2 is a degron, increasing overall understanding of the cellular properties of the SCA3 protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jnr.24684DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8693082PMC
October 2020

Isoleucine 44 Hydrophobic Patch Controls Toxicity of Unanchored, Linear Ubiquitin Chains through NF-κB Signaling.

Cells 2020 06 22;9(6). Epub 2020 Jun 22.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 540 East Canfield St., Scott Hall Rm. 3108, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.

Ubiquitination is a post-translational modification that regulates cellular processes by altering the interactions of proteins to which ubiquitin, a small protein adduct, is conjugated. Ubiquitination yields various products, including mono- and poly-ubiquitinated substrates, as well as unanchored poly-ubiquitin chains whose accumulation is considered toxic. We previously showed that transgenic, unanchored poly-ubiquitin is not problematic in . In the fruit fly, free chains exist in various lengths and topologies and are degraded by the proteasome; they are also conjugated onto other proteins as one unit, eliminating them from the free ubiquitin chain pool. Here, to further explore the notion of unanchored chain toxicity, we examined when free poly-ubiquitin might become problematic. We found that unanchored chains can be highly toxic if they resemble linear poly-ubiquitin that cannot be modified into other topologies. These species upregulate NF-κB signaling, and modulation of the levels of NF-κB components reduces toxicity. In additional studies, we show that toxicity from untethered, linear chains is regulated by isoleucine 44, which anchors a key interaction site for ubiquitin. We conclude that free ubiquitin chains can be toxic, but only in uncommon circumstances, such as when the ability of cells to modify and regulate them is markedly restricted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9061519DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7348737PMC
June 2020

Alpha- and beta-adrenergic octopamine receptors in muscle and heart are required for Drosophila exercise adaptations.

PLoS Genet 2020 06 24;16(6):e1008778. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Department of Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, United States of America.

Endurance exercise has broadly protective effects across organisms, increasing metabolic fitness and reducing incidence of several age-related diseases. Drosophila has emerged as a useful model for studying changes induced by chronic endurance exercise, as exercising flies experience improvements to various aspects of fitness at the cellular, organ and organismal level. The activity of octopaminergic neurons is sufficient to induce the conserved cellular and physiological changes seen following endurance training. All 4 octopamine receptors are required in at least one target tissue, but only one, Octβ1R, is required for all of them. Here, we perform tissue- and adult-specific knockdown of alpha- and beta-adrenergic octopamine receptors in several target tissues. We find that reduced expression of Octβ1R in adult muscles abolishes exercise-induced improvements in endurance, climbing speed, flight, cardiac performance and fat-body catabolism in male Drosophila. Importantly, Octβ1R and OAMB expression in the heart is also required cell-nonautonomously for adaptations in other tissues, such as skeletal muscles in legs and adult fat body. These findings indicate that activation of distinct octopamine receptors in skeletal and cardiac muscle are required for Drosophila exercise adaptations, and suggest that cell non-autonomous factors downstream of octopaminergic activation play a key role.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008778DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7351206PMC
June 2020

Targeting alpha synuclein and amyloid beta by a multifunctional, brain-penetrant dopamine D2/D3 agonist D-520: Potential therapeutic application in Parkinson's disease with dementia.

Sci Rep 2019 12 23;9(1):19648. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 48202, USA.

A significant number of people with Parkinson's disease (PD) develop dementia in addition to cognitive dysfunction and are diagnosed as PD with dementia (PDD). This is characterized by cortical and limbic alpha synuclein (α-syn) accumulation, and high levels of diffuse amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques in the striatum and neocortical areas. In this regard, we evaluated the effect of a brain-penetrant, novel multifunctional dopamine D2/D3 agonist, D-520 on the inhibition of Aβ aggregation and disintegration of α-syn and Aβ aggregates in vitro using purified proteins and in a cell culture model that produces intracellular Aβ-induced toxicity. We further evaluated the effect of D-520 in a Drosophila model of Aβ toxicity. We report that D-520 inhibits the formation of Aβ aggregates in vitro and promotes the disaggregation of both α-syn and Aβ aggregates. Finally, in an in vivo Drosophila model of Aβ dependent toxicity, D-520 exhibited efficacy by rescuing fly eyes from retinal degeneration caused by Aβ toxicity. Our data indicate the potential therapeutic applicability of D-520 in addressing motor dysfunction and neuroprotection in PD and PDD, as well as attenuating dementia in people with PDD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-55830-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6927976PMC
December 2019

Druggable genome screen identifies new regulators of the abundance and toxicity of ATXN3, the Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 3 disease protein.

Neurobiol Dis 2020 04 26;137:104697. Epub 2019 Nov 26.

Department of Neurology, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Electronic address:

Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 3 (SCA3, also known as Machado-Joseph disease) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion encoding an abnormally long polyglutamine (polyQ) tract in the disease protein, ataxin-3 (ATXN3). No preventive treatment is yet available for SCA3. Because SCA3 is likely caused by a toxic gain of ATXN3 function, a rational therapeutic strategy is to reduce mutant ATXN3 levels by targeting pathways that control its production or stability. Here, we sought to identify genes that modulate ATXN3 levels as potential therapeutic targets in this fatal disorder. We screened a collection of siRNAs targeting 2742 druggable human genes using a cell-based assay based on luminescence readout of polyQ-expanded ATXN3. From 317 candidate genes identified in the primary screen, 100 genes were selected for validation. Among the 33 genes confirmed in secondary assays, 15 were validated in an independent cell model as modulators of pathogenic ATXN3 protein levels. Ten of these genes were then assessed in a Drosophila model of SCA3, and one was confirmed as a key modulator of physiological ATXN3 abundance in SCA3 neuronal progenitor cells. Among the 15 genes shown to modulate ATXN3 in mammalian cells, orthologs of CHD4, FBXL3, HR and MC3R regulate mutant ATXN3-mediated toxicity in fly eyes. Further mechanistic studies of one of these genes, FBXL3, encoding a F-box protein that is a component of the SKP1-Cullin-F-box (SCF) ubiquitin ligase complex, showed that it reduces levels of normal and pathogenic ATXN3 in SCA3 neuronal progenitor cells, primarily via a SCF complex-dependent manner. Bioinformatic analysis of the 15 genes revealed a potential molecular network with connections to tumor necrosis factor-α/nuclear factor-kappa B (TNF/NF-kB) and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) pathways. Overall, we identified 15 druggable genes with diverse functions to be suppressors or enhancers of pathogenic ATXN3 abundance. Among identified pathways highlighted by this screen, the FBXL3/SCF axis represents a novel molecular pathway that regulates physiological levels of ATXN3 protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2019.104697DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7050396PMC
April 2020

Differential toxicity of ataxin-3 isoforms in Drosophila models of Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3.

Neurobiol Dis 2019 12 13;132:104535. Epub 2019 Jul 13.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA; Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA. Electronic address:

The most commonly inherited dominant ataxia, Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3 (SCA3), is caused by a CAG repeat expansion that encodes an abnormally long polyglutamine (polyQ) repeat in the disease protein ataxin-3, a deubiquitinase. Two major full-length isoforms of ataxin-3 exist, both of which contain the same N-terminal portion and polyQ repeat, but differ in their C-termini; one (denoted here as isoform 1) contains a motif that binds ataxin-3's substrate, ubiquitin, whereas the other (denoted here as isoform 2) has a hydrophobic tail. Most SCA3 studies have focused on isoform 1, the predominant version in mammalian brain, yet both isoforms are present in brain and a better understanding of their relative pathogenicity in vivo is needed. We took advantage of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster to model SCA3 and to examine the toxicity of each ataxin-3 isoform. Our assays reveal isoform 1 to be markedly more toxic than isoform 2 in all fly tissues. Reduced toxicity from isoform 2 is due to much lower protein levels as a result of its expedited degradation. Additional studies indicate that isoform 1 is more aggregation-prone than isoform 2 and that the C-terminus of isoform 2 is critical for its enhanced proteasomal degradation. According to our results, although both full-length, pathogenic ataxin-3 isoforms are toxic, isoform 1 is likely the primary contributor to SCA3 due to its presence at higher levels. Isoform 2, as a result of rapid degradation that is dictated by its tail, is unlikely to be a key player in this disease. Our findings provide new insight into the biology of this ataxia and the cellular processing of the underlying disease protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2019.104535DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6834911PMC
December 2019

Unanchored ubiquitin chains do not lead to marked alterations in gene expression in .

Biol Open 2019 May 30;8(5). Epub 2019 May 30.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA

The small protein modifier ubiquitin regulates various aspects of cellular biology through its chemical conjugation onto proteins. Ubiquitination of proteins presents itself in numerous iterations, from a single mono-ubiquitination event to chains of poly-ubiquitin. Ubiquitin chains can be attached onto other proteins or can exist as unanchored species, i.e. free from another protein. Unanchored ubiquitin chains are thought to be deleterious to the cell and rapidly disassembled into mono-ubiquitin. We recently examined the toxicity and utilization of unanchored poly-ubiquitin in We found that free poly-ubiquitin species are largely innocuous to flies and that free poly-ubiquitin can be controlled by being degraded by the proteasome or by being conjugated onto another protein as a single unit. Here, to explore whether an organismal defense is mounted against unanchored chains, we conducted RNA-Seq analyses to examine the transcriptomic impact of free poly-ubiquitin in the fly. We found ∼90 transcripts whose expression is altered in the presence of different types of unanchored poly-ubiquitin. The set of genes identified was essentially devoid of ubiquitin-, proteasome-, or autophagy-related components. The seeming absence of a large and multipronged response to unanchored poly-ubiquitin supports the conclusion that these species need not be toxic and underscores the need to re-examine the role of free ubiquitin chains in the cell.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/bio.043372DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6550069PMC
May 2019

Opioid Deaths: Trends, Biomarkers, and Potential Drug Interactions Revealed by Decision Tree Analyses.

Front Neurosci 2018 23;12:728. Epub 2018 Oct 23.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, United States.

Opioid abuse is now the primary cause of accidental deaths in the United States. Studies over several decades established the cyclical nature of abused drugs of choice, with a current resurgence of heroin abuse and, more recently, fentanyl's emergence as a major precipitant of drug-related deaths. To better understand abuse trends and to explore the potential lethality of specific drug-drug interactions, we conducted statistical analyses of forensic toxicological data from the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office from 2012-2016. We observed clear changes in opioid abuse over this period, including the rapid emergence of fentanyl and its analogs as highly significant causes of lethality starting in 2014. We then used Chi-square Automatic Interaction Detector (CHAID)-based decision tree analyses to obtain insights regarding specific drugs, drug combinations, and biomarkers in blood most predictive of cause of death or circumstances surrounding death. The presence of the non-opioid drug acetaminophen was highly predictive of drug-related deaths, likely reflecting the abuse of various combined acetaminophen-opioid formulations. The short-lived cocaine adulterant levamisole was highly predictive of a short post-cocaine survival time preceding sudden non-drug-related death. The combination of the opioid methadone and the antidepressant citalopram was uniformly linked to drug death, suggesting a potential drug-drug interaction at the level of a pathophysiological effect on the heart and/or drug metabolism. The presence of fentanyl plus the benzodiazepine midazolam was diagnostic for in-hospital deaths following serious medical illness and interventions that included these drugs. These data highlight the power of decision tree analyses not only in the determination of cause of death, but also as a key surveillance tool to inform drug abuse treatment and public health policies for combating the opioid crisis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2018.00728DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6206231PMC
October 2018

Expression and Regulation of Deubiquitinase-Resistant, Unanchored Ubiquitin Chains in Drosophila.

Sci Rep 2018 05 31;8(1):8513. Epub 2018 May 31.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA.

The modifier protein, ubiquitin (Ub) regulates various cellular pathways by controlling the fate of substrates to which it is conjugated. Ub moieties are also conjugated to each other, forming chains of various topologies. In cells, poly-Ub is attached to proteins and also exists in unanchored form. Accumulation of unanchored poly-Ub is thought to be harmful and quickly dispersed through dismantling by deubiquitinases (DUBs). We wondered whether disassembly by DUBs is necessary to control unanchored Ub chains in vivo. We generated Drosophila melanogaster lines that express Ub chains non-cleavable into mono-Ub by DUBs. These chains are rapidly modified with different linkages and represent various types of unanchored species. We found that unanchored poly-Ub is not devastating in Drosophila, under normal conditions or during stress. The DUB-resistant, free Ub chains are degraded by the proteasome, at least in part through the assistance of VCP and its cofactor, p47. Also, unanchored poly-Ub that cannot be cleaved by DUBs can be conjugated en bloc, in vivo. Our results indicate that unanchored poly-Ub species need not be intrinsically toxic; they can be controlled independently of DUB-based disassembly by being degraded, or through conjugation onto other proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-26364-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5981470PMC
May 2018

Androgen receptor polyglutamine expansion drives age-dependent quality control defects and muscle dysfunction.

J Clin Invest 2018 08 23;128(8):3630-3641. Epub 2018 Jul 23.

Department of Pathology.

Skeletal muscle has emerged as a critical, disease-relevant target tissue in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a degenerative disorder of the neuromuscular system caused by a CAG/polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion in the androgen receptor (AR) gene. Here, we used RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) to identify pathways that are disrupted in diseased muscle using AR113Q knockin mice. This analysis unexpectedly identified substantially diminished expression of numerous ubiquitin/proteasome pathway genes in AR113Q muscle, encoding approximately 30% of proteasome subunits and 20% of E2 ubiquitin conjugases. These changes were age, hormone, and glutamine length dependent and arose due to a toxic gain of function conferred by the mutation. Moreover, altered gene expression was associated with decreased levels of the proteasome transcription factor NRF1 and its activator DDI2 and resulted in diminished proteasome activity. Ubiquitinated ADRM1 was detected in AR113Q muscle, indicating the occurrence of stalled proteasomes in mutant mice. Finally, diminished expression of Drosophila orthologues of NRF1 or ADRM1 promoted the accumulation of polyQ AR protein and increased toxicity. Collectively, these data indicate that AR113Q muscle develops progressive proteasome dysfunction that leads to the impairment of quality control and the accumulation of polyQ AR protein, key features that contribute to the age-dependent onset and progression of this disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI99042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6063498PMC
August 2018

Toxicity and aggregation of the polyglutamine disease protein, ataxin-3 is regulated by its binding to VCP/p97 in Drosophila melanogaster.

Neurobiol Dis 2018 08 26;116:78-92. Epub 2018 Apr 26.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA; Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA. Electronic address:

Among the nine dominantly inherited, age-dependent neurodegenerative diseases caused by abnormal expansion in the polyglutamine (polyQ) repeat of otherwise unrelated proteins is Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3 (SCA3). SCA3 is caused by polyQ expansion in the deubiquitinase (DUB), ataxin-3. Molecular sequelae related to SCA3 remain unclear. Here, we sought to understand the role of protein context in SCA3 by focusing on the interaction between this DUB and Valosin-Containing Protein (VCP). VCP is bound directly by ataxin-3 through an arginine-rich area preceding the polyQ repeat. We examined the importance of this interaction in ataxin-3-dependent degeneration in Drosophila melanogaster. Our assays with new isogenic fly lines expressing pathogenic ataxin-3 with an intact or mutated VCP-binding site show that disrupting the ataxin-3-VCP interaction delays the aggregation of the toxic protein in vivo. Importantly, early on flies that express pathogenic ataxin-3 with a mutated VCP-binding site are indistinguishable from flies that do not express any SCA3 protein. Also, reducing levels of VCP through RNA-interference has a similar, protective effect to mutating the VCP-binding site of pathogenic ataxin-3. Based on in vivo pulse-chases, aggregated species of ataxin-3 are highly stable, in a manner independent of VCP-binding. Collectively, our results highlight an important role for the ataxin-3-VCP interaction in SCA3, based on a model that posits a seeding effect from VCP on pathogenic ataxin-3 aggregation and subsequent toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2018.04.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7721245PMC
August 2018

Phosphorylation of the type II transmembrane serine protease, TMPRSS13, in hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor-1 and -2-mediated cell-surface localization.

J Biol Chem 2017 09 14;292(36):14867-14884. Epub 2017 Jul 14.

From the Departments of Pharmacology,

TMPRSS13 is a member of the type II transmembrane serine protease (TTSP) family. Although various TTSPs have been characterized in detail biochemically and functionally, the basic properties of TMPRSS13 remain unclear. Here, we investigate the activation, inhibition, post-translational modification, and localization of TMPRSS13. We show that TMPRSS13 is a glycosylated, active protease and that its own proteolytic activity mediates zymogen cleavage. Full-length, active TMPRSS13 exhibits impaired cell-surface expression in the absence of the cognate Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors, hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor (HAI)-1 or HAI-2. Concomitant presence of TMPRSS13 with either HAI-1 or -2 mediates phosphorylation of residues in the intracellular domain of the protease, and it coincides with efficient transport of the protease to the cell surface and its subsequent shedding. Cell-surface labeling experiments indicate that the dominant form of TMPRSS13 on the cell surface is phosphorylated, whereas intracellular TMPRSS13 is predominantly non-phosphorylated. These data provide novel insight into the cellular properties of TMPRSS13 and highlight phosphorylation of TMPRSS13 as a novel post-translational modification of this TTSP family member and potentially other members of this family of proteases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M117.775999DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5592667PMC
September 2017

A novel iron (II) preferring dopamine agonist chelator D-607 significantly suppresses α-syn- and MPTP-induced toxicities in vivo.

Neuropharmacology 2017 Sep 19;123:88-99. Epub 2017 May 19.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA. Electronic address:

Here, we report the characterization of a novel hybrid D/D agonist and iron (II) specific chelator, D-607, as a multi-target-directed ligand against Parkinson's disease (PD). In our previously published report, we showed that D-607 is a potent agonist of dopamine (DA) D/D receptors, exhibits efficacy in a reserpinized PD animal model and preferentially chelates to iron (II). As further evidence of its potential as a neuroprotective agent in PD, the present study reveals D-607 to be protective in neuronal PC12 cells against 6-OHDA toxicity. In an in vivo Drosophila melanogaster model expressing a disease-causing variant of α-synuclein (α-Syn) protein in fly eyes, the compound was found to significantly suppress toxicity compared to controls, concomitant with reduced levels of aggregated α-Syn. Furthermore, D-607 was able to rescue DAergic neurons from MPTP toxicity in mice, a well-known PD neurotoxicity model, following both sub-chronic and chronic MPTP administration. Mechanistic studies indicated that possible protection of mitochondria, up-regulation of hypoxia-inducible factor, reduction in formation of α-Syn aggregates and antioxidant activity may underlie the observed neuroprotection effects. These observations strongly suggest that D-607 has potential as a promising multifunctional lead molecule for viable symptomatic and disease-modifying therapy for PD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2017.05.019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5542047PMC
September 2017

Interaction of the polyglutamine protein ataxin-3 with Rad23 regulates toxicity in Drosophila models of Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3.

Hum Mol Genet 2017 04;26(8):1419-1431

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University, Detroit MI, USA.

Polyglutamine (polyQ) repeat expansion in the deubiquitinase ataxin-3 causes neurodegeneration in Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3 (SCA3), one of nine inherited, incurable diseases caused by similar mutations. Ataxin-3's degradation is inhibited by its binding to the proteasome shuttle Rad23 through ubiquitin-binding site 2 (UbS2). Disrupting this interaction decreases levels of ataxin-3. Since reducing levels of polyQ proteins can decrease their toxicity, we tested whether genetically modulating the ataxin-3-Rad23 interaction regulates its toxicity in Drosophila. We found that exogenous Rad23 increases the toxicity of pathogenic ataxin-3, coincident with increased levels of the disease protein. Conversely, reducing Rad23 levels alleviates toxicity in this SCA3 model. Unexpectedly, pathogenic ataxin-3 with a mutated Rad23-binding site at UbS2, despite being present at markedly lower levels, proved to be more pathogenic than a disease-causing counterpart with intact UbS2. Additional studies established that the increased toxicity upon mutating UbS2 stems from disrupting the autoprotective role that pathogenic ataxin-3 has against itself, which depends on the co-chaperone, DnaJ-1. Our data reveal a previously unrecognized balance between pathogenic and potentially therapeutic properties of the ataxin-3-Rad23 interaction; they highlight this interaction as critical for the toxicity of the SCA3 protein, and emphasize the importance of considering protein context when pursuing suppressive avenues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddx039DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6075452PMC
April 2017

Polyglutamine length-dependent toxicity from α1ACT in Drosophila models of spinocerebellar ataxia type 6.

Biol Open 2016 Dec 15;5(12):1770-1775. Epub 2016 Dec 15.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201, USA

Spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6) is a neurodegenerative disease that results from abnormal expansion of a polyglutamine (polyQ) repeat. SCA6 is caused by CAG triplet repeat expansion in the gene CACNA1A, resulting in a polyQ tract of 19-33 in patients. CACNA1A, a bicistronic gene, encodes the α1A calcium channel subunit and the transcription factor, α1ACT. PolyQ expansion in α1ACT causes degeneration in mice. We recently described the first Drosophila models of SCA6 that express α1ACT with a normal (11Q) or hyper-expanded (70Q) polyQ. Here, we report additional α1ACT transgenic flies, which express full-length α1ACT with a 33Q repeat. We show that α1ACT33Q is toxic in Drosophila, but less so than the 70Q version. When expressed everywhere, α1ACT33Q-expressing adults die earlier than flies expressing the normal allele. α1ACT33Q causes retinal degeneration and leads to aggregated species in an age-dependent manner, but at a slower pace than the 70Q counterpart. According to western blots, α1ACT33Q localizes less readily in the nucleus than α1ACT70Q, providing clues into the importance of polyQ tract length on α1ACT localization and its site of toxicity. We expect that these new lines will be highly valuable for future work on SCA6.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/bio.021667DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5200913PMC
December 2016

Inhibition of alpha-synuclein aggregation by multifunctional dopamine agonists assessed by a novel in vitro assay and an in vivo Drosophila synucleinopathy model.

Sci Rep 2016 12 5;6:38510. Epub 2016 Dec 5.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202,USA.

Aggregation of alpha synuclein (α-syn) leading to dopaminergic neuronal death has been recognized as one of the main pathogenic factors in the initiation and progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). Consequently, α-syn has been targeted for the development of therapeutics for PD. We have developed a novel assay to screen compounds with α-syn modulating properties by mimicking recent findings from in vivo animal studies involving intrastriatal administration of pre-formed fibrils in mice, resulting in increased α-syn pathology accompanying the formation of Lewy-body (LB) type inclusions. We found that in vitro generated α-syn pre-formed fibrils induce seeding of α-syn monomers to produce aggregates in a dose-and time-dependent manner under static conditions in vitro. These aggregates were toxic towards rat pheochromocytoma cells (PC12). Our novel multifunctional dopamine agonists D-519 and D-520 exhibited significant neuroprotection in this assay, while their parent molecules did not. The neuroprotective properties of our compounds were further evaluated in a Drosophila model of synucleinopathy. Both of our compounds showed protective properties in fly eyes against the toxicity caused by α-syn. Thus, our in vitro results on modulation of aggregation and toxicity of α-syn by our novel assay were further validated with the in vivo experiments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep38510DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5137034PMC
December 2016

Unbiased screen identifies aripiprazole as a modulator of abundance of the polyglutamine disease protein, ataxin-3.

Brain 2016 11;139(11):2891-2908

Department of Neurology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

No disease-modifying treatment exists for the fatal neurodegenerative polyglutamine disease known both as Machado-Joseph disease and spinocerebellar ataxia type 3. As a potential route to therapy, we identified small molecules that reduce levels of the mutant disease protein, ATXN3. Screens of a small molecule collection, including 1250 Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs, in a novel cell-based assay, followed by secondary screens in brain slice cultures from transgenic mice expressing the human disease gene, identified the atypical antipsychotic aripiprazole as one of the hits. Aripiprazole increased longevity in a Drosophila model of Machado-Joseph disease and effectively reduced aggregated ATXN3 species in flies and in brains of transgenic mice treated for 10 days. The aripiprazole-mediated decrease in ATXN3 abundance may reflect a complex response culminating in the modulation of specific components of cellular protein homeostasis. Aripiprazole represents a potentially promising therapeutic drug for Machado-Joseph disease and possibly other neurological proteinopathies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/aww228DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5840879PMC
November 2016

Inter-isoform-dependent Regulation of the Drosophila Master Transcriptional Regulator SIN3.

J Biol Chem 2016 May 20;291(22):11566-71. Epub 2016 Apr 20.

From the Department of Biological Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48202 and

SIN3 is a transcriptional corepressor that acts as a scaffold for a histone deacetylase (HDAC) complex. The SIN3 complex regulates various biological processes, including organ development, cell proliferation, and energy metabolism. Little is known, however, about the regulation of SIN3 itself. There are two major isoforms of Drosophila SIN3, 187 and 220, which are differentially expressed. Intrigued by the developmentally timed exchange of SIN3 isoforms, we examined whether SIN3 187 controls the fate of the 220 counterpart. Here, we show that in developing tissue, there is interplay between SIN3 isoforms: when SIN3 187 protein levels increase, SIN3 220 protein decreases concomitantly. SIN3 187 has a dual effect on SIN3 220. Expression of 187 leads to reduced 220 transcript, while also increasing the turnover of SIN3 220 protein by the proteasome. These data support the presence of a novel, inter-isoform-dependent mechanism that regulates the amount of SIN3 protein, and potentially the level of specific SIN3 complexes, during distinct developmental stages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.C116.724799DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4882427PMC
May 2016

USP5 Is Dispensable for Monoubiquitin Maintenance in Drosophila.

J Biol Chem 2016 Apr 25;291(17):9161-72. Epub 2016 Feb 25.

From the Departments of Pharmacology and Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan 48201 and

Ubiquitination is a post-translational modification that regulates most cellular pathways and processes, including degradation of proteins by the proteasome. Substrate ubiquitination is controlled at various stages, including through its reversal by deubiquitinases (DUBs). A critical outcome of this process is the recycling of monoubiquitin. One DUB whose function has been proposed to include monoubiquitin recycling is USP5. Here, we investigated whether Drosophila USP5 is important for maintaining monoubiquitin in vivo We found that the fruit fly orthologue of USP5 has catalytic preferences similar to its human counterpart and that this DUB is necessary during fly development. Our biochemical and genetic experiments indicate that reduction of USP5 does not lead to monoubiquitin depletion in developing flies. Also, introduction of exogenous ubiquitin does not suppress developmental lethality caused by loss of endogenous USP5. Our work indicates that a primary physiological role of USP5 is not to recycle monoubiquitin for reutilization, but that it may involve disassembly of conjugated ubiquitin to maintain proteasome function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M115.703504DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4861482PMC
April 2016

The deubiquitinase ataxin-3 requires Rad23 and DnaJ-1 for its neuroprotective role in Drosophila melanogaster.

Neurobiol Dis 2015 Oct 22;82:12-21. Epub 2015 May 22.

Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA; Cancer Biology Graduate Program, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA; Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.

Ataxin-3 is a deubiquitinase and polyglutamine (polyQ) disease protein with a protective role in Drosophila melanogaster models of neurodegeneration. In the fruit fly, wild-type ataxin-3 suppresses toxicity from several polyQ disease proteins, including a pathogenic version of itself that causes spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 and pathogenic huntingtin, which causes Huntington's disease. The molecular partners of ataxin-3 in this protective function are unclear. Here, we report that ataxin-3 requires its direct interaction with the ubiquitin-binding and proteasome-associated protein, Rad23 (known as hHR23A/B in mammals) in order to suppress toxicity from polyQ species in Drosophila. According to additional studies, ataxin-3 does not rely on autophagy or the proteasome to suppress polyQ-dependent toxicity in fly eyes. Instead this deubiquitinase, through its interaction with Rad23, leads to increased protein levels of the co-chaperone DnaJ-1 and depends on it to protect against degeneration. Through DnaJ-1, our data connect ataxin-3 and Rad23 to protective processes involved with protein folding rather than increased turnover of toxic polyQ species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2015.05.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4710962PMC
October 2015

Allosteric regulation of deubiquitylase activity through ubiquitination.

Front Mol Biosci 2015 5;2. Epub 2015 Feb 5.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience, King's College London London, UK.

Ataxin-3, the protein responsible for spinocerebellar ataxia type-3, is a cysteine protease that specifically cleaves poly-ubiquitin chains and participates in the ubiquitin proteasome pathway. The enzymatic activity resides in the N-terminal Josephin domain. An unusual feature of ataxin-3 is its low enzymatic activity especially for mono-ubiquitinated substrates and short ubiquitin chains. However, specific ubiquitination at lysine 117 in the Josephin domain activates ataxin-3 through an unknown mechanism. Here, we investigate the effects of K117 ubiquitination on the structure and enzymatic activity of the protein. We show that covalently linked ubiquitin rests on the Josephin domain, forming a compact globular moiety and occupying a ubiquitin binding site previously thought to be essential for substrate recognition. In doing so, ubiquitination enhances enzymatic activity by locking the enzyme in an activated state. Our results indicate that ubiquitin functions both as a substrate and as an allosteric regulatory factor. We provide a novel example in which a conformational switch controls the activity of an enzyme that mediates deubiquitination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmolb.2015.00002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4428445PMC
May 2015
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