Biochemistry and Pharmacology - Research Publications

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    Inhibitors of c-Jun N-terminal kinases-JuNK no more?
    Bogoyevitch, MA ; Arthur, PG (ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2008-01-01)
    The c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) have been the subject of intense interest since their discovery in the early 1990s. Major research programs have been directed to the screening and/or design of JNK-selective inhibitors and testing their potential as drugs. We begin this review by considering the first commercially-available JNK ATP-competitive inhibitor, SP600125. We focus on recent studies that have evaluated the actions of SP600125 in lung, brain, kidney and liver following exposure to a range of stress insults including ischemia/reperfusion. In many but not all cases, SP600125 administration has proved beneficial. JNK activation can also follow infection, and we next consider recent examples that demonstrate the benefits of SP600125 administration in viral infection. Additional ATP-competitive JNK inhibitors have now been described following high throughput screening of small molecule libraries, but information on their use in biological systems remains limited and thus these inhibitors will require further evaluation. Peptide substrate-competitive ATP-non-competitive inhibitors of JNK have also now been described, and we discuss the recent advances in the use of JNK inhibitory peptides in the treatment of neuronal death, diabetes and viral infection. We conclude by raising a number of questions that should be considered in the quest for JNK-specific inhibitors.
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    p32 protein levels are integral to mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum morphology, cell metabolism and survival
    Hu, M ; Crawford, SA ; Henstridge, DC ; Ng, IHW ; Boey, EJH ; Xu, Y ; Febbraio, MA ; Jans, DA ; Bogoyevitch, MA (PORTLAND PRESS LTD, 2013-08-01)
    p32 [also known as HABP1 (hyaluronan-binding protein 1), gC1qR (receptor for globular head domains complement 1q) or C1qbp (complement 1q-binding protein)] has been shown previously to have both mitochondrial and non-mitochondrial localization and functions. In the present study, we show for the first time that endogenous p32 protein is a mitochondrial protein in HeLa cells under control and stress conditions. In defining the impact of altering p32 levels in these cells, we demonstrate that the overexpression of p32 increased mitochondrial fibrils. Conversely, siRNA-mediated p32 knockdown enhanced mitochondrial fragmentation accompanied by a loss of detectable levels of the mitochondrial fusion mediator proteins Mfn (mitofusin) 1 and Mfn2. More detailed ultrastructure analysis by transmission electron microscopy revealed aberrant mitochondrial structures with less and/or fragmented cristae and reduced mitochondrial matrix density as well as more punctate ER (endoplasmic reticulum) with noticeable dissociation of their ribosomes. The analysis of mitochondrial bioenergetics showed significantly reduced capacities in basal respiration and oxidative ATP turnover following p32 depletion. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated p32 knockdown resulted in differential stress-dependent effects on cell death, with enhanced cell death observed in the presence of hyperosmotic stress or cisplatin treatment, but decreased cell death in the presence of arsenite. Taken together, our studies highlight the critical contributions of the p32 protein to the morphology of mitochondria and ER under normal cellular conditions, as well as important roles of the p32 protein in cellular metabolism and various stress responses.
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    Quantifying the dynamics of the oligomeric transcription factor STAT3 by pair correlation of molecular brightness
    Hinde, E ; Pandzic, E ; Yang, Z ; Ng, IHW ; Jans, DA ; Bogoyevitch, MA ; Gratton, E ; Gaus, K (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2016-03-01)
    Oligomerization of transcription factors controls their translocation into the nucleus and DNA-binding activity. Here we present a fluorescence microscopy analysis termed pCOMB (pair correlation of molecular brightness) that tracks the mobility of different oligomeric species within live cell nuclear architecture. pCOMB amplifies the signal from the brightest species present and filters the dynamics of the extracted oligomeric population based on arrival time between two locations. We use this method to demonstrate a dependence of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) mobility on oligomeric state. We find that on entering the nucleus STAT3 dimers must first bind DNA to form STAT3 tetramers, which are also DNA-bound but exhibit a different mobility signature. Examining the dimer-to-tetramer transition by a cross-pair correlation analysis (cpCOMB) reveals that chromatin accessibility modulates STAT3 tetramer formation. Thus, the pCOMB approach is suitable for mapping the impact oligomerization on transcription factor dynamics.
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    TrawlerWeb: an online de novo motif discovery tool for next-generation sequencing datasets
    Dang, LT ; Tondl, M ; Chiu, MHH ; Revote, J ; Paten, B ; Tano, V ; Tokolyi, A ; Besse, F ; Quaife-Ryan, G ; Cumming, H ; Drvodelic, MJ ; Eichenlaub, MP ; Hallab, JC ; Stolper, JS ; Rossello, FJ ; Bogoyevitch, MA ; Jans, DA ; Nim, HT ; Porrello, ER ; Hudson, JE ; Ramialison, M (BMC, 2018-04-05)
    BACKGROUND: A strong focus of the post-genomic era is mining of the non-coding regulatory genome in order to unravel the function of regulatory elements that coordinate gene expression (Nat 489:57-74, 2012; Nat 507:462-70, 2014; Nat 507:455-61, 2014; Nat 518:317-30, 2015). Whole-genome approaches based on next-generation sequencing (NGS) have provided insight into the genomic location of regulatory elements throughout different cell types, organs and organisms. These technologies are now widespread and commonly used in laboratories from various fields of research. This highlights the need for fast and user-friendly software tools dedicated to extracting cis-regulatory information contained in these regulatory regions; for instance transcription factor binding site (TFBS) composition. Ideally, such tools should not require prior programming knowledge to ensure they are accessible for all users. RESULTS: We present TrawlerWeb, a web-based version of the Trawler_standalone tool (Nat Methods 4:563-5, 2007; Nat Protoc 5:323-34, 2010), to allow for the identification of enriched motifs in DNA sequences obtained from next-generation sequencing experiments in order to predict their TFBS composition. TrawlerWeb is designed for online queries with standard options common to web-based motif discovery tools. In addition, TrawlerWeb provides three unique new features: 1) TrawlerWeb allows the input of BED files directly generated from NGS experiments, 2) it automatically generates an input-matched biologically relevant background, and 3) it displays resulting conservation scores for each instance of the motif found in the input sequences, which assists the researcher in prioritising the motifs to validate experimentally. Finally, to date, this web-based version of Trawler_standalone remains the fastest online de novo motif discovery tool compared to other popular web-based software, while generating predictions with high accuracy. CONCLUSIONS: TrawlerWeb provides users with a fast, simple and easy-to-use web interface for de novo motif discovery. This will assist in rapidly analysing NGS datasets that are now being routinely generated. TrawlerWeb is freely available and accessible at: http://trawler.erc.monash.edu.au .
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    Dynamic microtubule association of Doublecortin X (DCX) is regulated by its C-terminus
    Moslehi, M ; Ng, DCH ; Bogoyevitch, MA (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2017-07-12)
    Doublecortin X (DCX), known to be essential for neuronal migration and cortical layering in the developing brain, is a 40 kDa microtubule (MT)-associated protein. DCX directly interacts with MTs via its two structured doublecortin (DC) domains, but the dynamics of this association and the possible regulatory roles played by the flanking unstructured regions remain poorly defined. Here, we employ quantitative fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) protocols in living cells to reveal that DCX shows remarkably rapid and complete exchange within the MT network but that the removal of the C-terminal region significantly slows this exchange. We further probed how MT organization or external stimuli could additionally modulate DCX exchange dynamics. MT depolymerisation (nocodazole treatment) or stabilization (taxol treatment) further enhanced DCX exchange rates, however the exchange rates for the C-terminal truncated DCX protein were resistant to the impact of taxol-induced stabilization. Furthermore, in response to a hyperosmotic stress stimulus, DCX exchange dynamics were slowed, and again the C-terminal truncated DCX protein was resistant to the stimulus. Thus, the DCX dynamically associates with MTs in living cells and its C-terminal region plays important roles in the MT-DCX association.
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    The ataxin-1 interactome reveals direct connection with multiple disrupted nuclear transport pathways
    Zhang, S ; Williamson, NA ; Duvick, L ; Lee, A ; Orr, HT ; Korlin-Downs, A ; Yang, P ; Mok, Y-F ; Jans, DA ; Bogoyevitch, MA (Nature Research, 2020-07-03)
    The expanded polyglutamine (polyQ) tract form of ataxin-1 drives disease progression in spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1). Although known to form distinctive intranuclear bodies, the cellular pathways and processes that polyQ-ataxin-1 influences remain poorly understood. Here we identify the direct and proximal partners constituting the interactome of ataxin-1[85Q] in Neuro-2a cells, pathways analyses indicating a significant enrichment of essential nuclear transporters, pointing to disruptions in nuclear transport processes in the presence of elevated levels of ataxin-1. Our direct assessments of nuclear transporters and their cargoes confirm these observations, revealing disrupted trafficking often with relocalisation of transporters and/or cargoes to ataxin-1[85Q] nuclear bodies. Analogous changes in importin-β1, nucleoporin 98 and nucleoporin 62 nuclear rim staining are observed in Purkinje cells of ATXN1[82Q] mice. The results highlight a disruption of multiple essential nuclear protein trafficking pathways by polyQ-ataxin-1, a key contribution to furthering understanding of pathogenic mechanisms initiated by polyQ tract proteins.
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    Respiratory syncytial virus co-opts host mitochondrial function to favour infectious virus production
    Hu, M ; Schulze, KE ; Ghildyal, R ; Henstridge, DC ; Kolanowski, JL ; New, EJ ; Hong, Y ; Hsu, AC ; Hansbro, PM ; Wark, PAB ; Bogoyevitch, MA ; Jans, DA (ELIFE SCIENCES PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2019-06-27)
    Although respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is responsible for more human deaths each year than influenza, its pathogenic mechanisms are poorly understood. Here high-resolution quantitative imaging, bioenergetics measurements and mitochondrial membrane potential- and redox-sensitive dyes are used to define RSV's impact on host mitochondria for the first time, delineating RSV-induced microtubule/dynein-dependent mitochondrial perinuclear clustering, and translocation towards the microtubule-organizing centre. These changes are concomitant with impaired mitochondrial respiration, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and increased production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). Strikingly, agents that target microtubule integrity the dynein motor protein, or inhibit mitochondrial ROS production strongly suppresses RSV virus production, including in a mouse model with concomitantly reduced virus-induced lung inflammation. The results establish RSV's unique ability to co-opt host cell mitochondria to facilitate viral infection, revealing the RSV-mitochondrial interface for the first time as a viable target for therapeutic intervention.
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    Nuclear bodies formed by polyQ-ataxin-1 protein are liquid RNA/protein droplets with tunable dynamics
    Zhang, S ; Hinde, E ; Schneider, MP ; Jans, DA ; Bogoyevitch, MA (Nature Publishing Group, 2020-01-31)
    A mutant form of the ataxin-1 protein with an expanded polyglutamine (polyQ) tract is the underlying cause of the inherited neurodegenerative disease spinocerebellar ataxia 1 (SCA1). In probing the biophysical features of the nuclear bodies (NBs) formed by polyQ-ataxin-1, we defined ataxin-1 NBs as spherical liquid protein/RNA droplets capable of rapid fusion. We observed dynamic exchange of the ataxin-1 protein into these NBs; notably, cell exposure to a pro-oxidant stress could trigger a transition to slower ataxin-1 exchange, typical of a hydrogel state, which no longer showed the same dependence on RNA or sensitivity to 1,6-hexanediol. Furthermore, we could alter ataxin-1 exchange dynamics either through modulating intracellular ATP levels, RNA helicase inhibition, or siRNA-mediated depletion of select RNA helicases. Collectively, these findings reveal the tunable dynamics of the liquid RNA/protein droplets formed by polyQ-ataxin-1.
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    Complementary proteomics strategies capture an ataxin-1 interactome in Neuro-2a cells
    Zhang, S ; Williamson, NA ; Bogoyevitch, MA (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018-11-20)
    Ataxin-1 mutation, arising from a polyglutamine (polyQ) tract expansion, is the underlying genetic cause of the late-onset neurodegenerative disease Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1). To identify protein partners of polyQ-ataxin-1 in neuronal cells under control or stress conditions, here we report our complementary proteomics strategies of proximity-dependent biotin identification (BioID) and affinity purification (via GFP-Trap pulldown) in Neuro-2a cells expressing epitope-tagged forms of ataxin-1[85Q]. These approaches allowed our enrichment of proximal proteins and interacting partners, respectively, with the subsequent protein identification performed by liquid chromatography-MS/MS. Background proteins, not dependent on the presence of the polyQ-ataxin-1 protein, were additionally defined by their endogenous biotinylation (for the BioID protocol) or by their non-specific interaction with GFP only (in the GFP-Trap protocol). All datasets were generated from biological replicates. Following the removal of the identified background proteins from the acquired protein lists, our experimental design has captured a comprehensive polyQ-ataxin-1 proximal and direct protein partners under normal and stress conditions. Data are available via ProteomeXchange, with identifier PXD010352.
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    C-Jun N-terminal kinase controls TDP-43 accumulation in stress granules induced by oxidative stress
    Meyerowitz, J ; Parker, SJ ; Vella, LJ ; Ng, DCH ; Price, KA ; Liddell, JR ; Caragounis, A ; Li, Q-X ; Masters, CL ; Nonaka, T ; Hasegawa, M ; Bogoyevitch, MA ; Kanninen, KM ; Crouch, PJ ; White, AR (BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2011-08-08)
    BACKGROUND: TDP-43 proteinopathies are characterized by loss of nuclear TDP-43 expression and formation of C-terminal TDP-43 fragmentation and accumulation in the cytoplasm. Recent studies have shown that TDP-43 can accumulate in RNA stress granules (SGs) in response to cell stresses and this could be associated with subsequent formation of TDP-43 ubiquinated protein aggregates. However, the initial mechanisms controlling endogenous TDP-43 accumulation in SGs during chronic disease are not understood. In this study we investigated the mechanism of TDP-43 processing and accumulation in SGs in SH-SY5Y neuronal-like cells exposed to chronic oxidative stress. Cell cultures were treated overnight with the mitochondrial inhibitor paraquat and examined for TDP-43 and SG processing. RESULTS: We found that mild stress induced by paraquat led to formation of TDP-43 and HuR-positive SGs, a proportion of which were ubiquitinated. The co-localization of TDP-43 with SGs could be fully prevented by inhibition of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). JNK inhibition did not prevent formation of HuR-positive SGs and did not prevent diffuse TDP-43 accumulation in the cytosol. In contrast, ERK or p38 inhibition prevented formation of both TDP-43 and HuR-positive SGs. JNK inhibition also inhibited TDP-43 SG localization in cells acutely treated with sodium arsenite and reduced the number of aggregates per cell in cultures transfected with C-terminal TDP-43 162-414 and 219-414 constructs. CONCLUSIONS: Our studies are the first to demonstrate a critical role for kinase control of TDP-43 accumulation in SGs and may have important implications for development of treatments for FTD and ALS, targeting cell signal pathway control of TDP-43 aggregation.