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Kohler M.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Kohler M.,Center for Biological Systems Analysis | Roring M.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Roring M.,Center for Biological Systems Analysis | And 34 more authors.
EMBO Journal | Year: 2016

Despite being mutated in cancer and RASopathies, the role of the activation segment (AS) has not been addressed for B-Raf signaling in vivo. Here, we generated a conditional knock-in mouse allowing the expression of the B-RafAVKA mutant in which the AS phosphoacceptor sites T599 and S602 are replaced by alanine residues. Surprisingly, despite producing a kinase-impaired protein, the BrafAVKA allele does not phenocopy the lethality of Braf-knockout or paradoxically acting knock-in alleles. However, BrafAVKA mice display abnormalities in the hematopoietic system, a distinct facial morphology, reduced ERK pathway activity in the brain, and an abnormal gait. This phenotype suggests that maximum B-Raf activity is required for the proper development, function, and maintenance of certain cell populations. By establishing conditional murine embryonic fibroblast cultures, we further show that MEK/ERK phosphorylation and the immediate early gene response toward growth factors are impaired in the presence of B-RafAVKA. Importantly, alanine substitution of T599/S602 impairs the transformation potential of oncogenic non-V600E B-Raf mutants and a fusion protein, suggesting that blocking their phosphorylation could represent an alternative strategy to ATP-competitive inhibitors. Synopsis B-Raf activation loop phosphorylation is required for ERK/MAPK signalling and transformation by oncogenic BRAF, but it is dispensable for murine development. Blocking phosphorylation could represent an alternative strategy for treating tumours with BRAF fusion oncogenes. Activation loop phosphorylation sites T599 and S602 are required for maximum B-Raf activity and MEK/ERK signaling in vivo. Phospho-site mutant (B-RafAVKA) animals are viable. Unlike truly kinase-dead B-Raf mutants, B-RafAVKA does not provoke paradoxical ERK pathway activation. Phospho-site mutants abrogate the transformation potential of non-V600E B-Raf mutants incl. the astrocytoma associated FAM131B-B-Raf fusion protein. B-Raf activation loop phosphorylation is required for ERK/MAPK signalling and transformation by oncogenic BRAF, but it is dispensable for murine development. Blocking phosphorylation could represent an alternative strategy for treating tumours with BRAF fusion oncogenes. © 2015 The Authors.


Teperino R.,Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics | Amann S.,Medical University of Vienna | Bayer M.,Medical University of Vienna | McGee S.L.,Deakin University | And 17 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2012

Diabetes, obesity, and cancer affect upward of 15% of the world's population. Interestingly, all three diseases juxtapose dysregulated intracellular signaling with altered metabolic state. Exactly which genetic factors define stable metabolic set points in vivo remains poorly understood. Here, we show that hedgehog signaling rewires cellular metabolism. We identify a cilium-dependent Smo-Ca2+-Ampk axis that triggers rapid Warburg-like metabolic reprogramming within minutes of activation and is required for proper metabolic selectivity and flexibility. We show that Smo modulators can uncouple the Smo-Ampk axis from canonical signaling and identify cyclopamine as one of a new class of "selective partial agonists," capable of concomitant inhibition of canonical and activation of noncanonical hedgehog signaling. Intriguingly, activation of the Smo-Ampk axis in vivo drives robust insulin-independent glucose uptake in muscle and brown adipose tissue. These data identify multiple noncanonical endpoints that are pivotal for rational design of hedgehog modulators and provide a new therapeutic avenue for obesity and diabetes. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Metzger E.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Willmann D.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | McMillan J.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | McMillan J.,Diamond Light Source | And 21 more authors.
Nature Structural and Molecular Biology | Year: 2016

Prostate cancer evolution is driven by a combination of epigenetic and genetic alterations such as coordinated chromosomal rearrangements, termed chromoplexy. TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusions found in human prostate tumors are a hallmark of chromoplexy. TMPRSS2-ERG fusions have been linked to androgen signaling and depend on androgen receptor (AR)-coupled gene transcription. Here, we show that dimethylation of KDM1A at K114 (to form K114me2) by the histone methyltransferase EHMT2 is a key event controlling androgen-dependent gene transcription and TMPRSS2-ERG fusion. We identified CHD1 as a KDM1A K114me2 reader and characterized the KDM1A K114me2-CHD1 recognition mode by solving the cocrystal structure. Genome-wide analyses revealed chromatin colocalization of KDM1A K114me2, CHD1 and AR in prostate tumor cells. Together, our data link the assembly of methylated KDM1A and CHD1 with AR-dependent transcription and genomic translocations, thereby providing mechanistic insight into the formation of TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusions during prostate-tumor evolution. © 2016 Nature America, Inc.


Sobrero P.,National University of Quilmes | Schluter J.-P.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Schluter J.-P.,Center for Synthetic Microbiology | Lanner U.,Center for Biological Systems Analysis | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Riboregulation stands for RNA-based control of gene expression. In bacteria, small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) are a major class of riboregulatory elements, most of which act at the post-transcriptional level by base-pairing target mRNA genes. The RNA chaperone Hfq facilitates antisense interactions between target mRNAs and regulatory sRNAs, thus influencing mRNA stability and/or translation rate. In the α-proteobacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti strain 2011, the identification and detection of multiple sRNAs genes and the broadly pleitropic phenotype associated to the absence of a functional Hfq protein both support the existence of riboregulatory circuits controlling gene expression to ensure the fitness of this bacterium in both free living and symbiotic conditions. In order to identify target mRNAs subject to Hfq-dependent riboregulation, we have compared the proteome of an hfq mutant and the wild type S. meliloti by quantitative proteomics following protein labelling with 15N. Among 2139 univocally identified proteins, a total of 195 proteins showed a differential abundance between the Hfq mutant and the wild type strain; 65 proteins accumulated ≥2-fold whereas 130 were downregulated (≤0.5-fold) in the absence of Hfq. This profound proteomic impact implies a major role for Hfq on regulation of diverse physiological processes in S. meliloti, from transport of small molecules to homeostasis of iron and nitrogen. Changes in the cellular levels of proteins involved in transport of nucleotides, peptides and amino acids, and in iron homeostasis, were confirmed with phenotypic assays. These results represent the first quantitative proteomic analysis in S. meliloti. The comparative analysis of the hfq mutant proteome allowed identification of novel strongly Hfq-regulated genes in S. meliloti. © 2012 Sobrero et al.


Nystrom A.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Thriene K.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Thriene K.,Center for Biological Systems Analysis | Thriene K.,FRIAS Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies | And 8 more authors.
EMBO Molecular Medicine | Year: 2015

Genetic loss of collagen VII causes recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB)-a severe skin fragility disorder associated with lifelong blistering and disabling progressive soft tissue fibrosis. Causative therapies for this complex disorder face major hurdles, and clinical implementation remains elusive. Here, we report an alternative evidence-based approach to ameliorate fibrosis and relieve symptoms in RDEB. Based on the findings that TGF-β activity is elevated in injured RDEB skin, we targeted TGF-β activity with losartan in a preclinical setting. Long-term treatment of RDEB mice efficiently reduced TGF-β signaling in chronically injured forepaws and halted fibrosis and subsequent fusion of the digits. In addition, proteomics analysis of losartan- vs. vehicle-treated RDEB skin uncovered changes in multiple proteins related to tissue inflammation. In line with this, losartan reduced inflammation and diminished TNF-α and IL-6 expression in injured forepaws. Collectively, the data argue that RDEB fibrosis is a consequence of a cascade encompassing tissue damage, TGF-β-mediated inflammation, and matrix remodeling. Inhibition of TGF-β activity limits these unwanted outcomes and thereby substantially ameliorates long-term symptoms. © 2015 EMBO.


Schlicher L.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Schlicher L.,Center for Biological Signaling Studies | Wissler M.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Preiss F.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | And 10 more authors.
EMBO Reports | Year: 2016

K63- and Met1-linked ubiquitylation are crucial posttranslational modifications for TNF receptor signaling. These non-degradative ubiquitylations are counteracted by deubiquitinases (DUBs), such as the enzyme CYLD, resulting in an appropriate signal strength, but the regulation of this process remains incompletely understood. Here, we describe an interaction partner of CYLD, SPATA2, which we identified by a mass spectrometry screen. We find that SPATA2 interacts via its PUB domain with CYLD, while a PUB interaction motif (PIM) of SPATA2 interacts with the PUB domain of the LUBAC component HOIP. SPATA2 is required for the recruitment of CYLD to the TNF receptor signaling complex upon TNFR stimulation. Moreover, SPATA2 acts as an allosteric activator for the K63- and M1-deubiquitinase activity of CYLD. In consequence, SPATA2 substantially attenuates TNF-induced NF-κB and MAPK signaling. Conversely, SPATA2 is required for TNF-induced complex II formation, caspase activation, and apoptosis. Thus, this study identifies SPATA2 as an important factor in the TNF signaling pathway with a substantial role for the effects mediated by the cytokine. © 2016 The Authors


Fatouros C.,Institute of Biology III | Fatouros C.,Center for Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Research | Fatouros C.,Center for Biological Systems Analysis | Fatouros C.,International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cell Biology IMPRS MCB | And 15 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2012

Increased Tau protein amyloidogenicity has been causatively implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases, collectively called tauopathies. In pathological conditions, Tau becomes hyperphosphorylated and forms intracellular aggregates. The deletion of K280, which is a mutation that commonly appears in patients with frontotemporal dementia with Parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17, enhances Tau aggregation propensity (pro-aggregation). In contrast, introduction of the I277P and I308P mutations prevents β-sheet formation and subsequent aggregation (anti-aggregation). In this study, we created a tauopathy model by expressing pro- or anti-aggregant Tau species in the nervous system of Caenorhabditis elegans. Animals expressing the highly amyloidogenic Tau species showed accelerated Tau aggregation and pathology manifested by severely impaired motility and evident neuronal dysfunction. In addition, we observed that the axonal transport of mitochondria was perturbed in these animals. Control animals expressing the anti-aggregant combination had rather mild phenotype. We subsequently tested several Tau aggregation inhibitor compounds and observed a mitigation of Tau proteotoxicity. In particular, a novel compound that crosses the blood-brain barrier of mammals proved effective in ameliorating the motility as well as delaying the accumulation of neuronal defects. Our study establishes a new C. elegans model of Tau aggregation-mediated toxicity and supports the emerging notion that inhibiting the nucleation of Tau aggregation can be neuroprotective. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


PubMed | German Cancer Research Center, University Graduate Center, Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, University of Ulm and Center for Biological Systems Analysis
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The EMBO journal | Year: 2016

Despite being mutated in cancer and RASopathies, the role of the activation segment (AS) has not been addressed for B-Raf signaling in vivo. Here, we generated a conditional knock-in mouse allowing the expression of the B-Raf(AVKA) mutant in which the AS phosphoacceptor sites T599 and S602 are replaced by alanine residues. Surprisingly, despite producing a kinase-impaired protein, the Braf(AVKA) allele does not phenocopy the lethality of Braf-knockout or paradoxically acting knock-in alleles. However, Braf(AVKA) mice display abnormalities in the hematopoietic system, a distinct facial morphology, reduced ERK pathway activity in the brain, and an abnormal gait. This phenotype suggests that maximum B-Raf activity is required for the proper development, function, and maintenance of certain cell populations. By establishing conditional murine embryonic fibroblast cultures, we further show that MEK/ERK phosphorylation and the immediate early gene response toward growth factors are impaired in the presence of B-Raf(AVKA). Importantly, alanine substitution of T599/S602 impairs the transformation potential of oncogenic non-V600E B-Raf mutants and a fusion protein, suggesting that blocking their phosphorylation could represent an alternative strategy to ATP-competitive inhibitors.

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