Publications by authors named "Sylvia Varland"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Human NAA30 can rescue yeast mak3∆ mutant growth phenotypes.

Biosci Rep 2021 Mar;41(3)

Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, N-5020 Bergen, Norway.

N-terminal acetylation is an irreversible protein modification that primarily occurs co-translationally, and is catalyzed by a highly conserved family of N-terminal acetyltransferases (NATs). The NatC complex (NAA30-NAA35-NAA38) is a major NAT enzyme, which was first described in yeast and estimated to N-terminally acetylate ∼20% of the proteome. The activity of NatC is crucial for the correct functioning of its substrates, which include translocation to the Golgi apparatus, the inner nuclear membrane as well as proper mitochondrial function. We show in comparative viability and growth assays that yeast cells lacking MAK3/NAA30 grow poorly in non-fermentable carbon sources and other stress conditions. By using two different experimental approaches and two yeast strains, we show that liquid growth assays are the method of choice when analyzing subtle growth defects, keeping loss of information to a minimum. We further demonstrate that human NAA30 can functionally replace yeast MAK3/NAA30. However, this depends on the genetic background of the yeast strain. These findings indicate that the function of MAK3/NAA30 is evolutionarily conserved from yeast to human. Our yeast system provides a powerful approach to study potential human NAA30 variants using a high-throughput liquid growth assay with various stress conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BSR20202828DOI Listing
March 2021

Mechanisms of Congenital Heart Disease Caused by NAA15 Haploinsufficiency.

Circ Res 2021 Feb 9. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Genetics, Harvard Medical School, UNITED STATES.

NAA15 is a component of the N-terminal (Nt) acetyltransferase complex, NatA. The mechanism by which NAA15 haploinsufficiency causes congenital heart disease (CHD) remains unknown. To better understand molecular processes by which NAA15 haploinsufficiency perturbs cardiac development, we introduced NAA15 variants into human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and assessed the consequences of these mutations on RNA and protein expression. We aim to understand the role of NAA15 haploinsufficiency in cardiac development by investigating proteomic effects on NatA complex activity, and identifying proteins dependent upon a full amount of NAA15. We introduced heterozygous LoF, compound heterozygous and missense residues (R276W) in iPS cells using CRISPR/Cas9. Haploinsufficient NAA15 iPS cells differentiate into cardiomyocytes, unlike NAA15-null iPS cells, presumably due to altered composition of NatA. Mass spectrometry (MS) analyses reveal ~80% of identified iPS cell NatA targeted proteins displayed partial or complete Nt-acetylation. Between null and haploinsufficient NAA15 cells Nt-acetylation levels of 32 and 9 NatA-specific targeted proteins were reduced, respectively. Similar acetylation loss in few proteins occurred in NAA15 R276W iPSCs. In addition, steady-state protein levels of 562 proteins were altered in both null and haploinsufficient NAA15 cells; eighteen were ribosomal-associated proteins. At least four proteins were encoded by genes known to cause autosomal dominant CHD. These studies define a set of human proteins that requires a full NAA15 complement for normal synthesis and development. A 50% reduction in the amount of NAA15 alters levels of at least 562 proteins and Nt-acetylation of only 9 proteins. One or more modulated proteins are likely responsible for NAA15-haploinsufficiency mediated CHD. Additionally, genetically engineered iPS cells provide a platform for evaluating the consequences of amino acid sequence variants of unknown significance on NAA15 function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.120.316966DOI Listing
February 2021

PFN2 and NAA80 cooperate to efficiently acetylate the N-terminus of actin.

J Biol Chem 2020 Dec 25;295(49):16713-16731. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

The actin cytoskeleton is of profound importance to cell shape, division, and intracellular force generation. Profilins bind to globular (G-)actin and regulate actin filament formation. Although profilins are well-established actin regulators, the distinct roles of the dominant profilin, profilin 1 (PFN1), the less abundant profilin 2 (PFN2) remain enigmatic. In this study, we use interaction proteomics to discover that PFN2 is an interaction partner of the actin N-terminal acetyltransferase NAA80, and further confirm this by analytical ultracentrifugation. Enzyme assays with NAA80 and different profilins demonstrate that PFN2 binding specifically increases the intrinsic catalytic activity of NAA80. NAA80 binds PFN2 through a proline-rich loop, deletion of which abrogates PFN2 binding. Small-angle X-ray scattering shows that NAA80, actin, and PFN2 form a ternary complex and that NAA80 has partly disordered regions in the N-terminus and the proline-rich loop, the latter of which is partly ordered upon PFN2 binding. Furthermore, binding of PFN2 to NAA80 via the proline-rich loop promotes binding between the globular domains of actin and NAA80, and thus acetylation of actin. However, the majority of cellular NAA80 is stably bound to PFN2 and not to actin, and we propose that this complex acetylates G-actin before it is incorporated into filaments. In conclusion, we reveal a functionally specific role of PFN2 as a stable interactor and regulator of the actin N-terminal acetyltransferase NAA80, and establish the modus operandi for NAA80-mediated actin N-terminal acetylation, a modification with a major impact on cytoskeletal dynamics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA120.015468DOI Listing
December 2020

Actin Post-translational Modifications: The Cinderella of Cytoskeletal Control.

Trends Biochem Sci 2019 06 2;44(6):502-516. Epub 2019 Jan 2.

Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, Jonas Lies vei 91, N-5020 Bergen, Norway. Electronic address:

Actin is one of the most abundant proteins in eukaryotic cells and the main component of the microfilament system. It plays essential roles in numerous cellular activities, including muscle contraction, maintenance of cell integrity, and motility, as well as transcriptional regulation. Besides interacting with various actin-binding proteins (ABPs), proper actin function is regulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs), such as acetylation, arginylation, oxidation, and others. Here, we explain how actin PTMs can contribute to filament formation and stability, and may have additional actin regulatory functions, which potentially contribute to disease development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tibs.2018.11.010DOI Listing
June 2019

N-terminal Acetylation Levels Are Maintained During Acetyl-CoA Deficiency in .

Mol Cell Proteomics 2018 12 27;17(12):2309-2323. Epub 2018 Aug 27.

From the ‡Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, N-5020 Bergen, Norway.

N-terminal acetylation (Nt-acetylation) is a highly abundant protein modification in eukaryotes and impacts a wide range of cellular processes, including protein quality control and stress tolerance. Despite its prevalence, the mechanisms regulating Nt-acetylation are still nebulous. Here, we present the first global study of Nt-acetylation in yeast cells as they progress to stationary phase in response to nutrient starvation. Surprisingly, we found that yeast cells maintain their global Nt-acetylation levels upon nutrient depletion, despite a marked decrease in acetyl-CoA levels. We further observed two distinct sets of protein N termini that display differential and opposing Nt-acetylation behavior upon nutrient starvation, indicating a dynamic process. The first protein cluster was enriched for annotated N termini showing increased Nt-acetylation in stationary phase compared with exponential growth phase. The second protein cluster was conversely enriched for alternative nonannotated N termini ( N termini indicative of shorter N-terminal proteoforms) and, like histones, showed reduced acetylation levels in stationary phase when acetyl-CoA levels were low. Notably, the degree of Nt-acetylation of Pcl8, a negative regulator of glycogen biosynthesis and two components of the pre-ribosome complex (Rsa3 and Rpl7a) increased during starvation. Moreover, the steady-state levels of these proteins were regulated both by starvation and NatA activity. In summary, this study represents the first comprehensive analysis of metabolic regulation of Nt-acetylation and reveals that specific, rather than global, Nt-acetylation events are subject to metabolic regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/mcp.RA118.000982DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6283290PMC
December 2018

Spotlight on protein N-terminal acetylation.

Exp Mol Med 2018 07 27;50(7):1-13. Epub 2018 Jul 27.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Bergen, Thormøhlensgate 55, N-5020, Bergen, Norway.

N-terminal acetylation (Nt-acetylation) is a widespread protein modification among eukaryotes and prokaryotes alike. By appending an acetyl group to the N-terminal amino group, the charge, hydrophobicity, and size of the N-terminus is altered in an irreversible manner. This alteration has implications for the lifespan, folding characteristics and binding properties of the acetylated protein. The enzymatic machinery responsible for Nt-acetylation has been largely described, but significant knowledge gaps remain. In this review, we provide an overview of eukaryotic N-terminal acetyltransferases (NATs) and the impact of Nt-acetylation. We also discuss other functions of known NATs and outline methods for studying Nt-acetylation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s12276-018-0116-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6063853PMC
July 2018

Investigating the functionality of a ribosome-binding mutant of NAA15 using Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

BMC Res Notes 2018 Jun 22;11(1):404. Epub 2018 Jun 22.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Bergen, 5006, Bergen, Norway.

Objective: N-terminal acetylation is a common protein modification that occurs preferentially co-translationally as the substrate N-terminus is emerging from the ribosome. The major N-terminal acetyltransferase complex A (NatA) is estimated to N-terminally acetylate more than 40% of the human proteome. To form a functional NatA complex the catalytic subunit NAA10 must bind the auxiliary subunit NAA15, which properly folds NAA10 for correct substrate acetylation as well as anchors the entire complex to the ribosome. Mutations in these two genes are associated with various neurodevelopmental disorders in humans. The aim of this study was to investigate the in vivo functionality of a Schizosaccharomyces pombe NAA15 mutant that is known to prevent NatA from associating with ribosomes, but retains NatA-specific activity in vitro.

Results: Here, we show that Schizosaccharomyces pombe NatA can functionally replace Saccharomyces cerevisiae NatA. We further demonstrate that the NatA ribosome-binding mutant Naa15 ΔN K6E is unable to rescue the temperature-sensitive growth phenotype of budding yeast lacking NatA. This finding indicates the in vivo importance of the co-translational nature of NatA-mediated N-terminal acetylation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13104-018-3513-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6013942PMC
June 2018

Truncating Variants in NAA15 Are Associated with Variable Levels of Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Congenital Anomalies.

Am J Hum Genet 2018 05 12;102(5):985-994. Epub 2018 Apr 12.

Stanley Institute for Cognitive Genomics, 1Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY 11724, USA. Electronic address:

N-alpha-acetylation is a common co-translational protein modification that is essential for normal cell function in humans. We previously identified the genetic basis of an X-linked infantile lethal Mendelian disorder involving a c.109T>C (p.Ser37Pro) missense variant in NAA10, which encodes the catalytic subunit of the N-terminal acetyltransferase A (NatA) complex. The auxiliary subunit of the NatA complex, NAA15, is the dimeric binding partner for NAA10. Through a genotype-first approach with whole-exome or genome sequencing (WES/WGS) and targeted sequencing analysis, we identified and phenotypically characterized 38 individuals from 33 unrelated families with 25 different de novo or inherited, dominantly acting likely gene disrupting (LGD) variants in NAA15. Clinical features of affected individuals with LGD variants in NAA15 include variable levels of intellectual disability, delayed speech and motor milestones, and autism spectrum disorder. Additionally, mild craniofacial dysmorphology, congenital cardiac anomalies, and seizures are present in some subjects. RNA analysis in cell lines from two individuals showed degradation of the transcripts with LGD variants, probably as a result of nonsense-mediated decay. Functional assays in yeast confirmed a deleterious effect for two of the LGD variants in NAA15. Further supporting a mechanism of haploinsufficiency, individuals with copy-number variant (CNV) deletions involving NAA15 and surrounding genes can present with mild intellectual disability, mild dysmorphic features, motor delays, and decreased growth. We propose that defects in NatA-mediated N-terminal acetylation (NTA) lead to variable levels of neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, supporting the importance of the NatA complex in normal human development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.03.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986698PMC
May 2018

Structural determinants and cellular environment define processed actin as the sole substrate of the N-terminal acetyltransferase NAA80.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 04 26;115(17):4405-4410. Epub 2018 Mar 26.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Bergen, N-5020 Bergen, Norway;

N-terminal (Nt) acetylation is a major protein modification catalyzed by N-terminal acetyltransferases (NATs). Methionine acidic N termini, including actin, are cotranslationally Nt acetylated by NatB in all eukaryotes, but animal actins containing acidic N termini, are additionally posttranslationally Nt acetylated by NAA80. Actin Nt acetylation was found to regulate cytoskeletal dynamics and motility, thus making NAA80 a potential target for cell migration regulation. In this work, we developed potent and selective bisubstrate inhibitors for NAA80 and determined the crystal structure of NAA80 in complex with such an inhibitor, revealing that NAA80 adopts a fold similar to other NAT enzymes but with a more open substrate binding region. Furthermore, in contrast to most other NATs, the substrate specificity of NAA80 is mainly derived through interactions between the enzyme and the acidic amino acids at positions 2 and 3 of the actin substrate and not residues 1 and 2. A yeast model revealed that ectopic expression of NAA80 in a strain lacking NatB activity partially restored Nt acetylation of NatB substrates, including yeast actin. Thus, NAA80 holds intrinsic capacity to posttranslationally Nt acetylate NatB-type substrates in vivo. In sum, the presence of a dominant cotranslational NatB in all eukaryotes, the specific posttranslational actin methionine removal in animals, and finally, the unique structural features of NAA80 leave only the processed actins as in vivo substrates of NAA80. Together, this study reveals the molecular and cellular basis of NAA80 Nt acetylation and provides a scaffold for development of inhibitors for the regulation of cytoskeletal properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1719251115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5924903PMC
April 2018

NAA80 is actin's N-terminal acetyltransferase and regulates cytoskeleton assembly and cell motility.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 04 26;115(17):4399-4404. Epub 2018 Mar 26.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Bergen, N-5020 Bergen, Norway;

Actin, one of the most abundant proteins in nature, participates in countless cellular functions ranging from organelle trafficking and pathogen motility to cell migration and regulation of gene transcription. Actin's cellular activities depend on the dynamic transition between its monomeric and filamentous forms, a process exquisitely regulated in cells by a large number of actin-binding and signaling proteins. Additionally, several posttranslational modifications control the cellular functions of actin, including most notably N-terminal (Nt)-acetylation, a prevalent modification throughout the animal kingdom. However, the biological role and mechanism of actin Nt-acetylation are poorly understood, and the identity of actin's N-terminal acetyltransferase (NAT) has remained a mystery. Here, we reveal that NAA80, a suggested NAT enzyme whose substrate specificity had not been characterized, is Nt-acetylating actin. We further show that actin Nt-acetylation plays crucial roles in cytoskeletal assembly in vitro and in cells. The absence of Nt-acetylation leads to significant differences in the rates of actin filament depolymerization and elongation, including elongation driven by formins, whereas filament nucleation by the Arp2/3 complex is mostly unaffected. -knockout cells display severely altered cytoskeletal organization, including an increase in the ratio of filamentous to globular actin, increased filopodia and lamellipodia formation, and accelerated cell motility. Together, the results demonstrate NAA80's role as actin's NAT and reveal a crucial role for actin Nt-acetylation in the control of cytoskeleton structure and dynamics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1718336115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5924898PMC
April 2018

Identification of an alternatively spliced nuclear isoform of human N-terminal acetyltransferase Naa30.

Gene 2018 Feb 13;644:27-37. Epub 2017 Dec 13.

Department of Molecular Biology, University of Bergen, Thormøhlensgate 55, 5006 Bergen, Norway; Department of Surgery, Haukeland University Hospital, Jonas Lies vei 87, 5021 Bergen, Norway. Electronic address:

N-terminal acetylation is a highly abundant and important protein modification in eukaryotes catalyzed by N-terminal acetyltransferases (NATs). In humans, six different NATs have been identified (NatA-NatF), each composed of individual subunits and acetylating a distinct set of substrates. Along with most NATs, NatC acts co-translationally at the ribosome. The NatC complex consists of the catalytic subunit Naa30 and the auxiliary subunits Naa35 and Naa38, and can potentially Nt-acetylate cytoplasmic proteins when the initiator methionine is followed by a bulky hydrophobic/amphipathic residue at position 2. Here, we have identified a splice variant of human NAA30, which encodes a truncated protein named Naa30. The splice variant was abundantly present in thyroid cancer tissues and in several different human cancer cell lines. Surprisingly, Naa30 localized predominantly to the nucleus, as opposed to annotated Naa30 which has a cytoplasmic localization. Full-length Naa30 acetylated a classical NatC substrate peptide in vitro, whereas no significant NAT activity was detected for Naa30 Due to the nuclear localization, we also examined acetyltransferase activity towards lysine residues. Neither full-length Naa30 nor Naa30 displayed any lysine acetyltransferase activity. Overexpression of full-length Naa30 increased cell viability via inhibition of apoptosis. In contrast, Naa30 did not exert an anti-apoptotic effect. In sum, we identified a novel and widely expressed Naa30 isoform with a potential non-catalytic role in the nucleus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2017.12.019DOI Listing
February 2018

N-terminal modifications of cellular proteins: The enzymes involved, their substrate specificities and biological effects.

Proteomics 2015 Jul 16;15(14):2385-401. Epub 2015 Jun 16.

Department of Molecular Biology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

The vast majority of eukaryotic proteins are N-terminally modified by one or more processing enzymes. Enzymes acting on the very first amino acid of a polypeptide include different peptidases, transferases, and ligases. Methionine aminopeptidases excise the initiator methionine leaving the nascent polypeptide with a newly exposed amino acid that may be further modified. N-terminal acetyl-, methyl-, myristoyl-, and palmitoyltransferases may attach an acetyl, methyl, myristoyl, or palmitoyl group, respectively, to the α-amino group of the target protein N-terminus. With the action of ubiquitin ligases, one or several ubiquitin molecules are transferred, and hence, constitute the N-terminal modification. Modifications at protein N-termini represent an important contribution to proteomic diversity and complexity, and are essential for protein regulation and cellular signaling. Consequently, dysregulation of the N-terminal modifying enzymes is implicated in human diseases. We here review the different protein N-terminal modifications occurring co- or post-translationally with emphasis on the responsible enzymes and their substrate specificities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pmic.201400619DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4692089PMC
July 2015