ResearchPad - immunoblotting Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Staurosporine and NEM mainly impair WNK-SPAK/OSR1 mediated phosphorylation of KCC2 and NKCC1]]> The pivotal role of KCC2 and NKCC1 in development and maintenance of fast inhibitory neurotransmission and their implication in severe human diseases arouse interest in posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms such as (de)phosphorylation. Staurosporine (broad kinase inhibitor) and N-ethylmalemide (NEM) that modulate kinase and phosphatase activities enhance KCC2 and decrease NKCC1 activity. Here, we investigated the regulatory mechanism for this reciprocal regulation by mass spectrometry and immunoblot analyses using phospho-specific antibodies. Our analyses revealed that application of staurosporine or NEM dephosphorylates Thr1007 of KCC2, and Thr203, Thr207 and Thr212 of NKCC1. Dephosphorylation of Thr1007 of KCC2, and Thr207 and Thr212 of NKCC1 were previously demonstrated to activate KCC2 and to inactivate NKCC1. In addition, application of the two agents resulted in dephosphorylation of the T-loop and S-loop phosphorylation sites Thr233 and Ser373 of SPAK, a critical kinase in the WNK-SPAK/OSR1 signaling module mediating phosphorylation of KCC2 and NKCC1. Taken together, these results suggest that reciprocal regulation of KCC2 and NKCC1 via staurosporine and NEM is based on WNK-SPAK/OSR1 signaling. The key regulatory phospho-site Ser940 of KCC2 is not critically involved in the enhanced activation of KCC2 upon staurosporine and NEM treatment, as both agents have opposite effects on its phosphorylation status. Finally, NEM acts in a tissue-specific manner on Ser940, as shown by comparative analysis in HEK293 cells and immature cultured hippocampal neurons. In summary, our analyses identified phospho-sites that are responsive to staurosporine or NEM application. This provides important information towards a better understanding of the cooperative interactions of different phospho-sites.

<![CDATA[A modified arginine-depleting enzyme NEI-01 inhibits growth of pancreatic cancer cells]]> Arginine deprivation cancer therapy targets certain types of malignancies with positive result in many studies and clinical trials. NEI-01 was designed as a novel arginine-depleting enzyme comprising an albumin binding domain capable of binding to human serum albumin to lengthen its half-life. In the present work, NEI-01 is shown to bind to serum albumin from various species, including mice, rat and human. Single intraperitoneal administration of NEI-01 to mice reduced plasma arginine to undetectable level for at least 9 days. Treatment of NEI-01 specifically inhibited cell viability of MIA PaCa-2 and PANC-1 cancer cell lines, which were ASS1 negative. Using a human pancreatic mouse xenograft model, NEI-01 treatment significantly reduced tumor volume and weight. Our data provides proof of principle for a cancer treatment strategy using NEI-01.

<![CDATA[Proteomic analysis of protein composition of rat hippocampus exposed to morphine for 10 days; comparison with animals after 20 days of morphine withdrawal]]>

Opioid addiction is recognized as a chronic relapsing brain disease resulting from repeated exposure to opioid drugs. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the ability of organism to return back to the physiological norm after cessation of drug supply are not fully understood. The aim of this work was to extend our previous studies of morphine-induced alteration of rat forebrain cortex protein composition to the hippocampus. Rats were exposed to morphine for 10 days and sacrificed 24 h (groups +M10 and −M10) or 20 days after the last dose of morphine (groups +M10/−M20 and −M10/−M20). The six altered proteins (≥2-fold) were identified in group (+M10) when compared with group (−M10) by two-dimensional fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE). The number of differentially expressed proteins was increased to thirteen after 20 days of the drug withdrawal. Noticeably, the altered level of α-synuclein, β-synuclein, α-enolase and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) was also determined in both (±M10) and (±M10/−M20) samples of hippocampus. Immunoblot analysis of 2D gels by specific antibodies oriented against α/β-synucleins and GAPDH confirmed the data obtained by 2D-DIGE analysis. Label-free quantification identified nineteen differentially expressed proteins in group (+M10) when compared with group (−M10). After 20 days of morphine withdrawal (±M10/−M20), the number of altered proteins was increased to twenty. We conclude that the morphine-induced alteration of protein composition in rat hippocampus after cessation of drug supply proceeds in a different manner when compared with the forebrain cortex. In forebrain cortex, the total number of altered proteins was decreased after 20 days without morphine, whilst in hippocampus, it was increased.

<![CDATA[Toscana virus non-structural protein NSs acts as E3 ubiquitin ligase promoting RIG-I degradation]]>

It is known that the non-structural protein (NSs) of Toscana virus (TOSV), an emergent sandfly-borne virus causing meningitis or more severe central nervous system injuries in humans, exerts its function triggering RIG-I for degradation in a proteasome-dependent manner, thus breaking off the IFN-β production. The non-structural protein of different members of Bunyavirales has recently appeared as a fundamental protagonist in immunity evasion through ubiquitination-mediated protein degradation targets. We showed that TOSV NSs has an E3 ubiquitin ligase activity, mapping at the carboxy-terminal domain and also involving the amino-terminal of the protein. Indeed, neither the amino- (NSsΔN) nor the carboxy- (NSsΔC) terminal-deleted mutants of TOSV NSs were able to cause ubiquitin-mediated proteasome degradation of RIG-I. Moreover, the addition of the C-terminus of TOSV NSs to the homologous protein of the Sandfly Fever Naples Virus, belonging to the same genus and unable to inhibit IFN-β activity, conferred new properties to this protein, favoring RIG-I ubiquitination and its degradation. NSs lost its antagonistic activity to IFN when one of the terminal residues was missing. Therefore, we showed that NSs could behave as an atypical RING between RING (RBR) E3 ubiquitin ligases. This is the first report which identified the E3 ubiquitin ligase activity in a viral protein among negative strand RNA viruses.

<![CDATA[IL-11 prevents IFN-γ-induced hepatocyte death through selective downregulation of IFN-γ/STAT1 signaling and ROS scavenging]]>


Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) exhibits hepatotoxicity through signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) activation. On the contrary, interleukin-11 (IL-11) shows tissue-protective effects on various organs including the liver through STAT3 activation. Here, we found that IL-11 pretreatment protects hepatocytes from IFN-γ-induced death and investigated the molecular mechanisms, particularly focusing on signal crosstalk.

Methods and results

Primary culture mouse hepatocytes were treated with IL-11 prior to IFN-γ, and cell death was evaluated by lactate dehydrogenase release into media. As a result, IL-11 pretreatment effectively suppressed IFN-γ-induced hepatocyte death. Since IFN-γ-induced hepatocyte death requires STAT1 signaling, the activity of STAT1 was analyzed. IFN-γ robustly activated STAT1 with its peak at 1 hr after stimulation, which was significantly attenuated by IL-11 pretreatment. Consistently, IL-11 pretreatment impeded mRNA increase of STAT1-downstream molecules promoting cell death, i.e., IRF-1, caspase 1, bak, and bax. IL-11-mediated suppression of STAT1 signaling was presumably due to upregulation of the suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) genes, which are well-known negative feedback regulators of the JAK/STAT pathway. Interestingly, however, IFN-γ pretreatment failed to affect the following IL-11-induced STAT3 activation, although IFN-γ also upregulated SOCSs. Finally, we demonstrated that IL-11 pretreatment mitigated oxidative stress through increasing expression of ROS scavengers.


IL-11 protects hepatocytes from IFN-γ-induced death via STAT1 signal suppression and ROS scavenging. Further investigation into the mechanisms underlying selective negative feedback regulation of IFN-γ/STAT1 signaling compared to IL-11/STAT3 signaling may shed new light on the molecular biology of hepatocytes.

<![CDATA[The Cdk8/19-cyclin C transcription regulator functions in genome replication through metazoan Sld7]]>

Accurate genome duplication underlies genetic homeostasis. Metazoan Mdm2 binding protein (MTBP) forms a main regulatory platform for origin firing together with Treslin/TICRR and TopBP1 (Topoisomerase II binding protein 1 (TopBP1)–interacting replication stimulating protein/TopBP1-interacting checkpoint and replication regulator). We report the first comprehensive analysis of MTBP and reveal conserved and metazoa-specific MTBP functions in replication. This suggests that metazoa have evolved specific molecular mechanisms to adapt replication principles conserved with yeast to the specific requirements of the more complex metazoan cells. We uncover one such metazoa-specific process: a new replication factor, cyclin-dependent kinase 8/19–cyclinC (Cdk8/19-cyclin C), binds to a central domain of MTBP. This interaction is required for complete genome duplication in human cells. In the absence of MTBP binding to Cdk8/19-cyclin C, cells enter mitosis with incompletely duplicated chromosomes, and subsequent chromosome segregation occurs inaccurately. Using remote homology searches, we identified MTBP as the metazoan orthologue of yeast synthetic lethal with Dpb11 7 (Sld7). This homology finally demonstrates that the set of yeast core factors sufficient for replication initiation in vitro is conserved in metazoa. MTBP and Sld7 contain two homologous domains that are present in no other protein, one each in the N and C termini. In MTBP the conserved termini flank the metazoa-specific Cdk8/19-cyclin C binding region and are required for normal origin firing in human cells. The N termini of MTBP and Sld7 share an essential origin firing function, the interaction with Treslin/TICRR or its yeast orthologue Sld3, respectively. The C termini may function as homodimerisation domains. Our characterisation of broadly conserved and metazoa-specific initiation processes sets the basis for further mechanistic dissection of replication initiation in vertebrates. It is a first step in understanding the distinctions of origin firing in higher eukaryotes.

<![CDATA[Merkel cell polyomavirus Tumor antigens expressed in Merkel cell carcinoma function independently of the ubiquitin ligases Fbw7 and β-TrCP]]>

Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) accounts for 80% of all Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) cases through expression of two viral oncoproteins: the truncated large T antigen (LT-t) and small T antigen (ST). MCPyV ST is thought to be the main driver of cellular transformation and has also been shown to increase LT protein levels through the activity of its Large-T Stabilization Domain (LSD). The ST LSD was reported to bind and sequester several ubiquitin ligases, including Fbw7 and β-TrCP, and thereby stabilize LT-t and several other Fbw7 targets including c-Myc and cyclin E. Therefore, the ST LSD is thought to contribute to transformation by promoting the accumulation of these oncoproteins. Targets of Fbw7 and β-TrCP contain well-defined, conserved, phospho-degrons. However, as neither MCPyV LT, LT-t nor ST contain the canonical Fbw7 phospho-degron, we sought to further investigate the proposed model of ST stabilization of LT-t and transformation. In this study, we provide several lines of evidence that fail to support a specific interaction between MCPyV T antigens and Fbw7 or β-TrCP by co-immunoprecipitation or functional consequence. Although MCPyV ST does indeed increase LT protein levels through its Large-T Stabilization domain (LSD), this is accomplished independently of Fbw7. Therefore, our study indicates a need for further investigation into the role and mechanism(s) of MCPyV T antigens in viral replication, latency, transformation, and tumorigenesis.

<![CDATA[Characterisation of a type II functionally-deficient variant of alpha-1-antitrypsin discovered in the general population]]>

Lung disease in alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) results from dysregulated proteolytic activity, mainly by neutrophil elastase (HNE), in the lung parenchyma. This is the result of a substantial reduction of circulating alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) and the presence in the plasma of inactive polymers of AAT. Moreover, some AAT mutants have reduced intrinsic activity toward HNE, as demonstrated for the common Z mutant, as well as for other rarer variants. Here we report the identification and characterisation of the novel AAT reactive centre loop variant Gly349Arg (p.G373R) present in the ExAC database. This AAT variant is secreted at normal levels in cellular models of AATD but shows a severe reduction in anti-HNE activity. Biochemical and molecular dynamics studies suggest it exhibits unfavourable RCL presentation to cognate proteases and compromised insertion of the RCL into β-sheet A. Identification of a fully dysfunctional AAT mutant that does not show a secretory defect underlines the importance of accurate genotyping of patients with pulmonary AATD manifestations regardless of the presence of normal levels of AAT in the circulation. This subtype of disease is reminiscent of dysfunctional phenotypes in anti-thrombin and C1-inibitor deficiencies so, accordingly, we classify this variant as the first pure functionally-deficient (type II) AATD mutant.

<![CDATA[SENP3-mediated host defense response contains HBV replication and restores protein synthesis]]>

Certain organs are capable of containing the replication of various types of viruses. In the liver, infection of Hepatitis B virus (HBV), the etiological factor of Hepatitis B and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), often remains asymptomatic and leads to a chronic carrier state. Here we investigated how hepatocytes contain HBV replication and promote their own survival by orchestrating a translational defense mechanism via the stress-sensitive SUMO-2/3-specific peptidase SENP3. We found that SENP3 expression level decreased in HBV-infected hepatocytes in various models including HepG2-NTCP cell lines and a humanized mouse model. Downregulation of SENP3 reduced HBV replication and boosted host protein translation. We also discovered that IQGAP2, a Ras GTPase-activating-like protein, is a key substrate for SENP3-mediated de-SUMOylation. Downregulation of SENP3 in HBV infected cells facilitated IQGAP2 SUMOylation and degradation, which leads to suppression of HBV gene expression and restoration of global translation of host genes via modulation of AKT phosphorylation. Thus, The SENP3-IQGAP2 de-SUMOylation axis is a host defense mechanism of hepatocytes that restores host protein translation and suppresses HBV gene expression.

<![CDATA[Formation of high molecular weight p62 by CORM-3]]>

CORM-3 is a water-soluble carbon monoxide (CO)-releasing molecule developed for possible therapeutic use of CO. CORM-3 belongs to a group of metal carbonyl compounds that contain transition metals and carbonyls as the central scaffold and coordinated ligands, respectively. CORM-3 has been reported to be reactive with many proteins in eukaryotes including mammals. Among them, several extracellular proteins, such as lysozyme, as well as plasma albumin and fibronectin, have been shown to interact directly with CORM-3. p62 is an intracellular adaptor protein required for targeting ubiquitinated (Ub) proteins to lysosomal degradation through autophagy. p62 has been shown to undergo self-oligomerization via covalent crosslinking in response to treatment with verteporfin, a benzoporphyrin derivative used for photodynamic therapy. Here we show that CORM-3 also interacts directly with p62. When applied to mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) at a high concentration (1 mM), CORM-3 causes the formation of reduction- and detergent-resistant high molecular weight (HMW)-p62. HMW-p62 accumulates more in atg5-/- MEFs than in wild type (WT) MEFs, showing the elimination of HMW-p62 through autophagy. HMW-p62 is also generated in H9c2 rat cardiomyoblastoma as well as A549 human alveolar epithelial cells, suggesting that HMW-p62 formation is not specific to MEFs, but, rather, is a general event in mammalian cells. HMW-p62 formation by CORM-3 can be reproduced using purified p62 in vitro, demonstrating the direct interaction between CORM-3 and p62. These results show that p62 is a CORM-3-interactive intracellular protein.

<![CDATA[EspL is essential for virulence and stabilizes EspE, EspF and EspH levels in Mycobacterium tuberculosis]]>

The ESX-1, type VII, secretion system represents the major virulence determinant of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, one of the most successful intracellular pathogens. Here, by combining genetic and high-throughput approaches, we show that EspL, a protein of 115 amino acids, is essential for mediating ESX-1-dependent virulence and for stabilization of EspE, EspF and EspH protein levels. Indeed, an espL knock-out mutant was unable to replicate intracellularly, secrete ESX-1 substrates or stimulate innate cytokine production. Moreover, proteomic studies detected greatly reduced amounts of EspE, EspF and EspH in the espL mutant as compared to the wild type strain, suggesting a role for EspL as a chaperone. The latter conclusion was further supported by discovering that EspL interacts with EspD, which was previously demonstrated to stabilize the ESX-1 substrates and effector proteins, EspA and EspC. Loss of EspL also leads to downregulation in M. tuberculosis of WhiB6, a redox-sensitive transcriptional activator of ESX-1 genes. Overall, our data highlight the importance of a so-far overlooked, though conserved, component of the ESX-1 secretion system and begin to delineate the role played by EspE, EspF and EspH in virulence and host-pathogen interaction.

<![CDATA[STAT6 degradation and ubiquitylated TRIML2 are essential for activation of human oncogenic herpesvirus]]>

Aberrations in STAT6-mediated signaling are linked to the development of multiple cancer types. Increasing evidence has shown that activation of human oncogenic herpesvirus lytic replication is crucial for viral tumorigenesis. However, the role of STAT6 in herpesvirus lytic replication remains elusive. Here, by using Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) as a model, we revealed that RTA, the master regulator of lytic replication, interacts with STAT6 and promotes lysine 48 (K48) and K63-linked ubiquitylation of STAT6 for degradation via the proteasome and lysosome systems. Moreover, degradation of STAT6 is dramatically associated with the increased ubiquitylated form of tripartite motif family like 2 (TRIML2, a tumor suppressor) for prolonged cell survival and virion production, which is also commonly observed in lytic activation of Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex virus 1 and cytomegalovirus. These results suggest that degradation of STAT6 is important for the lytic activation of KSHV and as such, may be an attractive therapeutic target.

<![CDATA[NF-κB p65 and p105 implicate in interleukin 1β-mediated COX-2 expression in melanoma cells]]>

Inflammatory and microenvironmental factors produced by cancer cells are thought to directly or indirectly promote cancer cell growth. Prostaglandins, including prostaglandin E2, have key roles as a microenvironment factor in influencing the development of tumors, and are produced by the rate limiting enzyme cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2). In this study, we used canine melanoma cells treated with the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and investigated the transcriptional factor nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling in IL-1β-induced COX-2 expression. IL-1β induced prostaglandin E2 release and COX-2 mRNA expression in a time- and dose-dependent manner. In the cells treated with the NF-κB inhibitors BAY11-7082 and TPC-1, IL-1β-mediated prostaglandin E2 release and COX-2 mRNA expression were inhibited. IL-1β also provoked phosphorylation of p65/RelA and p105/NF-κB1, which are members of the NF-κB families. The IL-1β-induced phosphorylation of p65 and p105 was attenuated in the presence of both NF-κB inhibitors. In melanoma cells transfected with siRNA of p65 or p105, IL-1β-mediated COX-2 mRNA expression was inhibited. These findings suggest that canonical activation of NF-κB signaling plays a crucial role for inflammatory states in melanoma cells.

<![CDATA[Developmental and tissue specific changes of ubiquitin forms in Drosophila melanogaster]]>

In most Eukaryotes, ubiquitin either exists as free monoubiquitin or as a molecule that is covalently linked to other proteins. These two forms cycle between each other and due to the concerted antagonistic activity of ubiquitylating and deubiquitylating enzymes, an intracellular ubiquitin equilibrium is maintained that is essential for normal biological function. However, measuring the level and ratio of these forms of ubiquitin has been difficult and time consuming. In this paper, we have adapted a simple immunoblotting technique to monitor ubiquitin content and equilibrium dynamics in different developmental stages and tissues of Drosophila. Our data show that the level of total ubiquitin is distinct in different developmental stages, lowest at the larval-pupal transition and in three days old adult males, and highest in first instar larvae. Interestingly, the ratio of free mono-ubiquitin remains within 30–50% range of the total throughout larval development, but peaks to 70–80% at the larval-pupal and the pupal-adult transitions. It stays within the 70–80% range in adults. In developmentally and physiologically active tissues, the ratio of free ubiquitin is similarly high, most likely reflecting a high demand for ubiquitin availability. We also used this method to demonstrate the disruption of the finely tuned ubiquitin equilibrium by the abolition of proteasome function or the housekeeping deubiquitylase, Usp5. Our data support the notion that the ubiquitin equilibrium is regulated by tissue- and developmental stage-specific mechanisms.

<![CDATA[Involvement of C-terminal truncation mutation of kinesin-5 in resistance to kinesin-5 inhibitor]]>

Cultured cells easily develop resistance to kinesin-5 inhibitors (K5Is) often by overexpressing a related motor protein, kinesin-12/KIF15, or by acquiring mutations in the N-terminal motor domain of kinesin-5/KIF11 itself. We aimed to identify novel mechanisms responsible for resistance to S-trityl L-cysteine (STLC), one of the K5Is, using human osteosarcoma cell lines. Among six lines examined, U-2OS and HOS survived chronic STLC treatment and gave rise to resistant cells with IC50s at least 10-fold higher than those of the respective parental lines. Depletion of KIF15 largely eliminated the acquired K5I resistance in both cases, consistent with the proposed notion that KIF15 is indispensable for it. In contrast to the KIF11-independent property of the cells derived from HOS, those derived from U-2OS still required KIF11 for their growth and, intriguingly, expressed a C-terminal truncated variant of KIF11 resulting from a frame shift mutation (S1017fs). All of the isolated clones harbored the same mutation, suggesting its clonal expansion in the cell population due to the growth advantage during chronic STLC treatment. Transgenic expression of KIF11S1017fs in the parental U-2OS cells, as well as in HeLa cells, conferred a moderate but reproducible STLC resistance, probably owing to STLC-resistant localization of the mutant KIF11 on mitotic spindle. Our observations indicate that both KIF15 and the C-terminal-truncated KIF11 contributes to the STLC resistance of the U-2OS derived cells.

<![CDATA[Human antibody reaction against recombinant salivary proteins of Phlebotomus orientalis in Eastern Africa]]>


Phlebotomus orientalis is a vector of Leishmania donovani, the causative agent of life threatening visceral leishmaniasis spread in Eastern Africa. During blood-feeding, sand fly females salivate into the skin of the host. Sand fly saliva contains a large variety of proteins, some of which elicit specific antibody responses in the bitten hosts. To evaluate the exposure to sand fly bites in human populations from disease endemic areas, we tested the antibody reactions of volunteers' sera against recombinant P. orientalis salivary antigens.

Methodology/Principal findings

Recombinant proteins derived from sequence data on P. orientalis secreted salivary proteins, were produced using either bacterial (five proteins) or mammalian (four proteins) expression systems and tested as antigens applicable for detection of anti-P. orientalis IgG in human sera. Using these recombinant proteins, human sera from Sudan and Ethiopia, countries endemic for visceral leishmaniasis, were screened by ELISA and immunoblotting to identify the potential markers of exposure to P. orientalis bites. Two recombinant proteins; mAG5 and mYEL1, were identified as the most promising antigens showing high correlation coefficients as well as good specificity in comparison to the whole sand fly salivary gland homogenate. Combination of both proteins led to a further increase of correlation coefficients as well as both positive and negative predictive values of P. orientalis exposure.


This is the first report of screening human sera for anti-P. orientalis antibodies using recombinant salivary proteins. The recombinant salivary proteins mYEL1 and mAG5 proved to be valid antigens for screening human sera from both Sudan and Ethiopia for exposure to P. orientalis bites. The utilization of equal amounts of these two proteins significantly increased the capability to detect anti-P. orientalis antibody responses.

<![CDATA[NRF2-regulated cell cycle arrest at early stage of oxidative stress response mechanism]]>

Oxidative stress results in activation of several signal transduction pathways controlled by the PERK-substrate NRF2 (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2); meanwhile the ongoing cell division cycle has to be blocked. It has been recently shown that Cyclin D1 got immediately down-regulated via PERK pathway in response to oxidative stress leading to cell cycle arrest. However, the effect of NRF2 on cell cycle regulation has not been explored yet. We aimed to reveal a crosstalk between PERK-substrate NRF2 and the key elements of cell cycle regulatory network upon oxidative stress using molecular biological techniques- Although Cyclin D1 level remained constant, its activity was blocked by various stoichiometric inhibitors (such as p15, p21 and p27) even at low level of oxidative stress. The activity of these CDK inhibitors completely disappeared, when the addition of oxidative agent was combined with silencing of either PERK or NRF2.This further confirms the important role of NRF2 in blocking Cyclin D1 with stoichiometric inhibitors at early stage of oxidative stress.

<![CDATA[Soil humic acids degrade CWD prions and reduce infectivity]]>

Chronic wasting disease (CWD), an environmentally transmissible, fatal prion disease is endemic in North America, present in South Korea and has recently been confirmed in northern Europe. The expanding geographic range of this contagious disease of free-ranging deer, moose, elk and reindeer has resulted in increasing levels of prion infectivity in the environment. Soils are involved in CWD horizontal transmission, acting as an environmental reservoir, and soil mineral and organic compounds have the ability to bind prions. Upper horizons of soils are usually enriched with soil organic matter (SOM), however, the role of SOM in prion conservation and mobility remains unclear. In this study, we show that incubation of PrPCWD with humic acids (HA), a major SOM compound, affects both the molecular weight and recovery of PrPCWD. Detection of PrPCWD is reduced as HA concentration increases. Native HA extracted from pristine soils also reduces or entirely eliminates PrPCWD signal. Incubation of CWD prions with HA significantly increased incubation periods in tgElk mice demonstrating that HA can reduce CWD infectivity.

<![CDATA[Multiple components of the nuclear pore complex interact with the amino-terminus of MX2 to facilitate HIV-1 restriction]]>

Human myxovirus resistance 2 (MX2/MXB) is an interferon-induced post-entry inhibitor of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) infection. While the precise mechanism of viral inhibition remains unclear, MX2 is localized to the nuclear envelope, and blocks the nuclear import of viral cDNAs. The amino-terminus of MX2 (N-MX2) is essential for anti-viral function, and mutation of a triple arginine motif at residues 11 to 13 abrogates anti-HIV-1 activity. In this study, we sought to investigate the role of N-MX2 in anti-viral activity by identifying functionally relevant host-encoded interaction partners through yeast-two-hybrid screening. Remarkably, five out of seven primary candidate interactors were nucleoporins or nucleoporin-like proteins, though none of these candidates were identified when screening with a mutant RRR11-13A N-MX2 fragment. Interactions were confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation, and RNA silencing experiments in cell lines and primary CD4+ T cells demonstrated that multiple components of the nuclear pore complex and nuclear import machinery can impact MX2 anti-viral activity. In particular, the phenylalanine-glycine (FG) repeat containing cytoplasmic filament nucleoporin NUP214, and transport receptor transportin-1 (TNPO1) were consistently required for full MX2, and interferon-mediated, anti-viral function. Both proteins were shown to interact with the triple arginine motif, and confocal fluorescence microscopy revealed that their simultaneous depletion resulted in diminished MX2 accumulation at the nuclear envelope. We therefore propose a model whereby multiple components of the nuclear import machinery and nuclear pore complex help position MX2 at the nuclear envelope to promote MX2-mediated restriction of HIV-1.

<![CDATA[The Hsp70 co-chaperone Ydj1/HDJ2 regulates ribonucleotide reductase activity]]>

Hsp70 is a well-conserved molecular chaperone involved in the folding, stabilization, and eventual degradation of many “client” proteins. Hsp70 is regulated by a suite of co-chaperone molecules that assist in Hsp70-client interaction and stimulate the intrinsic ATPase activity of Hsp70. While previous studies have shown the anticancer target ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) is a client of Hsp70, the regulatory co-chaperones involved remain to be determined. To identify co-chaperone(s) involved in RNR activity, 28 yeast co-chaperone knockout mutants were screened for sensitivity to the RNR-perturbing agent Hydroxyurea. Ydj1, an important cytoplasmic Hsp70 co-chaperone was identified to be required for growth on HU. Ydj1 bound the RNR subunit Rnr2 and cells lacking Ydj1 showed a destabilized RNR complex. Suggesting broad conservation from yeast to human, HDJ2 binds R2B and regulates RNR stability in human cells. Perturbation of the Ssa1-Ydj1 interaction through mutation or Hsp70-HDJ2 via the small molecule 116-9e compromised RNR function, suggesting chaperone dependence of this novel role. Mammalian cells lacking HDJ2 were significantly more sensitive to RNR inhibiting drugs such as hydroxyurea, gemcitabine and triapine. Taken together, this work suggests a novel anticancer strategy-inhibition of RNR by targeting Hsp70 co-chaperone function.