Cells2015, 4(4), 653-673; doi:10.3390/cells4040653 (registering DOI) - published 13 October 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: It is poorly understood how membrane proteins destined for the inner nuclear membrane pass the crowded environment of the Nuclear Pore Complex (NPC). For the Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteins Src1/Heh1 and Heh2, a transport mechanism was proposed where the transmembrane domains diffuse through the membrane while the extralumenal domains encoding a nuclear localization signal (NLS) and intrinsically disordered linker (L) are accompanied by transport factors and travel through the NPC. Here, we validate the proposed mechanism and explore and discuss alternative interpretations of the data. First, to disprove an interpretation where the membrane proteins become membrane embedded only after nuclear import, we present biochemical and localization data to support that the previously used, as well as newly designed reporter proteins are membrane-embedded irrespective of the presence of the sorting signals, the specific transmembrane domain (multipass or tail anchored), independent of GET, and also under conditions that the proteins are trapped in the NPC. Second, using the recently established size limit for passive diffusion of membrane proteins in yeast, and using an improved assay, we confirm active import of polytopic membrane protein with extralumenal soluble domains larger than those that can pass by diffusion on similar timescales. This reinforces that NLS-L dependent active transport is distinct from passive diffusion. Thirdly, we revisit the proposed route through the center of the NPC and conclude that the previously used trapping assay is, unfortunately, poorly suited to address the route through the NPC, and the route thus remains unresolved. Apart from the uncertainty about the route through the NPC, the data confirm active, transport factor dependent, nuclear transport of membrane-embedded mono- and polytopic membrane proteins in baker’s yeast.
Abstract: The pathophysiology of diabetic nephropathy (DN), one of the most serious complications in diabetic patients and the leading cause of end-stage renal disease worldwide, is complex and not fully elucidated. A typical hallmark of DN is the excessive deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in the glomerulus and in the renal tubulointerstitium, eventually leading to glomerulosclerosis and interstitial fibrosis. Although it is obvious that myofibroblasts play a major role in the synthesis and secretion of ECM, the origin of myofibroblasts in DN remains the subject of controversial debates. A number of studies have focused on epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) as one source of matrix-generating fibroblasts in the diseased kidney. EMT is characterized by the acquisition of mesenchymal properties by epithelial cells, preferentially proximal tubular cells and podocytes. In this review we comprehensively review the literature and discuss arguments both for and against a function of EMT in renal fibrosis in DN. While the precise extent of the contribution to nephrotic fibrosis is certainly arduous to quantify, the picture that emerges from this extensive body of literature suggests EMT as a major source of myofibroblasts in DN.
Abstract: The treatment of edema in patients with nephrotic syndrome is generally managed by dietary sodium restriction and loop diuretics. However, edema does not improve in some patients despite adequate sodium restriction and maximal dose of diuretics. In such patients, combination of albumin and a loop diuretic may improve edema by diuresis and natriuresis. The response to this combination of albumin and a diuretic has not been observed in all studies. The purpose of this review is to discuss the physiology of diuresis and natriuresis of this combination therapy, and provide a brief summary of various studies that have used albumin and a loop diuretic to improve diuretic-resistant edema. Also, the review suggests various reasons for not observing similar results by various investigators.
Abstract: Autophagy is an evolutionarily-conserved process that delivers diverse cytoplasmic components to the lysosomal compartment for either recycling or degradation. This involves the removal of protein aggregates, the turnover of organelles, as well as the elimination of intracellular pathogens. In this situation, when only specific cargoes should be targeted to the lysosome, the potential targets can be selectively marked by the attachment of ubiquitin in order to be recognized by autophagy-receptors. Ubiquitination plays a central role in this process, because it regulates early signaling events during the induction of autophagy and is also used as a degradation-tag on the potential autophagic cargo protein. Here, we review how the ubiquitin-dependent steps of autophagy are balanced or counteracted by deubiquitination events. Moreover, we highlight the functional role of the corresponding deubiquitinating enzymes and discuss how they might be involved in the occurrence of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases or infection with pathogenic bacteria.
Abstract: A key process in the regulation of protein activities and thus cellular signaling pathways is the modification of proteins by post-translational mechanisms. Knowledge about the enzymes (writers and erasers) that attach and remove post-translational modifications, the targets that are modified and the functional consequences elicited by specific modifications, is crucial for understanding cell biological processes. Moreover detailed knowledge about these mechanisms and pathways helps to elucidate the molecular causes of various diseases and in defining potential targets for therapeutic approaches. Intracellular adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribosylation refers to the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+)-dependent modification of proteins with ADP-ribose and is catalyzed by enzymes of the ARTD (ADP-ribosyltransferase diphtheria toxin like, also known as PARP) family as well as some members of the Sirtuin family. Poly-ADP-ribosylation is relatively well understood with inhibitors being used as anti-cancer agents. However, the majority of ARTD enzymes and the ADP-ribosylating Sirtuins are restricted to catalyzing mono-ADP-ribosylation. Although writers, readers and erasers of intracellular mono-ADP-ribosylation have been identified only recently, it is becoming more and more evident that this reversible post-translational modification is capable of modulating key intracellular processes and signaling pathways. These include signal transduction mechanisms, stress pathways associated with the endoplasmic reticulum and stress granules, and chromatin-associated processes such as transcription and DNA repair. We hypothesize that mono-ADP-ribosylation controls, through these different pathways, the development of cancer and infectious diseases.
Abstract: Recent studies have demonstrated the interference of nucleocytoplasmic trafficking with the establishment and maintenance of various cancers. Nucleocytoplasmic transport is highly regulated and coordinated, involving different nuclear transport factors or receptors, importins and exportins, that mediate cargo transport from the cytoplasm into the nucleus or the other way round, respectively. The exportin CRM1 (Chromosome region maintenance 1) exports a plethora of different protein cargoes and ribonucleoprotein complexes. Structural and biochemical analyses have enabled the deduction of individual steps of the CRM1 transport cycle. In addition, CRM1 turned out to be a valid target for anticancer drugs as it exports numerous proto-oncoproteins and tumor suppressors. Clearly, detailed understanding of the flexibility, regulatory features and cooperative binding properties of CRM1 for Ran and cargo is a prerequisite for the design of highly effective drugs. The first compound found to inhibit CRM1-dependent nuclear export was the natural drug Leptomycin B (LMB), which blocks export by competitively interacting with a highly conserved cleft on CRM1 required for nuclear export signal recognition. Clinical studies revealed serious side effects of LMB, leading to a search for alternative natural and synthetic drugs and hence a multitude of novel therapeutics. The present review examines recent progress in understanding the binding mode of natural and synthetic compounds and their inhibitory effects.