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Taipei, Taiwan

Yang J.Y.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Nature communications | Year: 2013

Eukaryotic cells maintain mitochondrial integrity through mitophagy, an autophagic process by which dysfunctional mitochondria are selectively sequestered into double-layered membrane structures, termed phagophores, and delivered to lysosomes for degradation. Here we show that small fragments of parkin-labelled mitochondria at omegasome-marked sites are engulfed by autophagic membranes one at a time. Using a light-activation scheme to impair long mitochondrial tubules, we demonstrate that sites undergoing bit-by-bit mitophagy display preferential ubiquitination, and are situated where parkin-labelled mitochondrial tubules and endoplasmic reticulum intersect. Our observations suggest contact regions between the endoplasmic reticulum and impaired mitochondria are initiation sites for local LC3 recruitment and mitochondrial remodelling that support bit-by-bit, parkin-mediated mitophagy. These results help in understanding how cells manage to fit large and morphologically heterogeneous mitochondria into micron-sized autophagic membranes during mitophagy. Source

Yip S.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics | Year: 2014

Physics of noncentrosymmetric superconductors is reviewed. We explain the mixing between singlet and triplet superconducting order parameters when parity symmetry is absent. Some exotic properties are summarized, including magnetoelectric effects, the helical phase, topological properties, and unusual surface states. © Copyright 2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved. Source

Wu S.-H.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Annual Review of Plant Biology | Year: 2014

Depending on the environment a young seedling encounters, the developmental program following seed germination could be skotomorphogenesis in the dark or photomorphogenesis in the light. Light signals are interpreted by a repertoire of photoreceptors followed by sophisticated gene expression networks, eventually resulting in developmental changes. The expression and functions of photoreceptors and key signaling molecules are highly coordinated and regulated at multiple levels of the central dogma in molecular biology. Light activates gene expression through the actions of positive transcriptional regulators and the relaxation of chromatin by histone acetylation. Small regulatory RNAs help attenuate the expression of light-responsive genes. Alternative splicing, protein phosphorylation/dephosphorylation, the formation of diverse transcriptional complexes, and selective protein degradation all contribute to proteome diversity and change the functions of individual proteins. Copyright © 2014 by Annual Reviews. Source

The functional activities of the tumor suppressor promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) are mostly associated with its nuclear location. In the present study, we discovered an unexpected role of PML in NLRP3 inflammasome activation. In PML-deficient macrophages, the production of IL-1β was strongly impaired. The expression of pro-IL-1β, NLRP3, ASC, and procaspase-1 was not affected in Pml(-/-) macrophages. PML deficiency selectively reduced the processing of procaspase-1. We further showed that PML is required for the assembly of the NLRP3 inflammasome in reconstitution experiment. All PML isoforms were capable of stimulating NLRP3 inflammasome activation. In Pml(-/-) macrophages, the generation of reactive oxygen species and release of mitochondrial DNA were decreased. The involvement of PML in inflammasome activation constitutes an important activity of PML and reveals a new mechanism underlying the inflammasome activation. In addition, downregulation of PML by arsenic trioxide suppressed monosodium urate (MSU)-induced IL-1β production, suggesting that targeting to PML could be used to treat NLRP3 inflammasome-associated diseases. Source

Protein palmitoylation has emerged as an important mechanism for regulating protein trafficking, stability, and protein-protein interactions; however, its relevance to disease processes is not clear. Using a genome-wide, phenotype driven N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea-mediated mutagenesis screen, we identified mice with failure to thrive, shortened life span, skin and hair abnormalities including alopecia, severe osteoporosis, and systemic amyloidosis (both AA and AL amyloids depositions). Whole-genome homozygosity mapping with 295 SNP markers and fine mapping with an additional 50 SNPs localized the disease gene to chromosome 7 between 53.9 and 56.3 Mb. A nonsense mutation (c.1273A>T) was located in exon 12 of the Zdhhc13 gene (Zinc finger, DHHC domain containing 13), a gene coding for palmitoyl transferase. The mutation predicted a truncated protein (R425X), and real-time PCR showed markedly reduced Zdhhc13 mRNA. A second gene trap allele of Zdhhc13 has the same phenotypes, suggesting that this is a loss of function allele. This is the first report that palmitoyl transferase deficiency causes a severe phenotype, and it establishes a direct link between protein palmitoylation and regulation of diverse physiologic functions where its absence can result in profound disease pathology. This mouse model can be used to investigate mechanisms where improper palmitoylation leads to disease processes and to understand molecular mechanisms underlying human alopecia, osteoporosis, and amyloidosis and many other neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding and amyloidosis. Source

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