Center for Biological Systems Analysis

Freiburg, Germany

Center for Biological Systems Analysis

Freiburg, Germany
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Li Y.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Seidel K.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Marschall P.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Klein M.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | And 26 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2012

Genetic factors strongly contribute to the pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). Nevertheless, genome-wide association studies only yielded single nucleotide polymorphism loci of moderate importance. In contrast, microsatellite repeats are functionally less characterized structures within our genomes. Previous work has shown that endothelin-converting enzyme-1 (ECE-1) is able to reduce amyloid β content. Here we demonstrate that a CpG-CA repeat within the human ECE-1c promoter is highly polymorphic, harbors transcriptional start sites, is able to recruit the transcription factors poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 and splicing factor proline and glutamine-rich, and is functional regarding haplotype-specific promoter activity. Furthermore, genotyping of 403 AD patients and 444 controls for CpG-CA repeat length indicated shifted allelic frequency distributions. Sequencing of 245 haplotype clones demonstrated that the overall CpG-CA repeat composition of AD patients and controls is distinct. Finally, we show that human and chimpanzee [CpG]m-[CA]n ECE-1c promoter repeats are genetically and functionally distinct. Our data indicate that a short genomic repeat structure constitutes a novel core promoter element, coincides with human evolution, and contributes to the pathogenesis of AD. © 2012 the authors.


Gallon M.,University of Bristol | Clairfeuille T.,University of Queensland | Steinberg F.,University of Bristol | Steinberg F.,Center for Biological Systems Analysis | And 8 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2014

The sorting nexin 27 (SNX27)-retromer complex is amajor regulator of endosome-to-plasma membrane recycling of transmembrane cargos that contain a PSD95, Dlg1, zo-1 (PDZ)-binding motif. Here we describe the core interaction in SNX27-retromer assembly and its functional relevance for cargo sorting. Crystal structures and NMR experiments reveal that an exposed β-hairpin in the SNX27 PDZ domain engages a groove in the arrestin-like structure of the vacuolar protein sorting 26A (VPS26A) retromer subunit. The structure establishes how the SNX27 PDZ domain simultaneously binds PDZ-binding motifs and retromer-associated VPS26. Importantly, VPS26A binding increases the affinity of the SNX27 PDZ domain for PDZ- binding motifs by an order of magnitude, revealing cooperativity in cargo selection. With disruption of SNX27 and retromer function linked to synaptic dysfunction and neurodegenerative disease, our work provides the first step, to our knowledge, in themolecular description of this important sorting complex, andmore broadly describes a unique interaction between a PDZ domain and an arrestin-like fold.


Lienkamp S.,University Hospital Freiburg | Ganner A.,University Hospital Freiburg | Boehlke C.,University Hospital Freiburg | Schmidt T.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | And 23 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2010

Mutations of inversin cause type II nephronophthisis, an infantile autosomal recessive disease characterized by cystic kidney disease and developmental defects. Inversin regulates Wnt signaling and is required for convergent extension movements during early embryogenesis. We now show that Inversin is essential for Xenopus pronephros formation, involving two distinct and opposing forms of cell movements. Knockdown of Inversin abrogated both proximal pronephros extension and distal tubule differentiation, phenotypes similar to that of Xenopus deficient in Frizzled-8. Exogenous Inversin rescued the pronephric defects caused by lack of Frizzled-8, indicating that Inversin acts downstream of Frizzled-8 in pronephros morphogenesis. Depletion of Inversin prevents the recruitment of Dishevelled in response to Frizzled-8 and impeded the accumulation of Dishevelled at the apical membrane of tubular epithelial cells in vivo. Thus, defective tubule morphogenesis seems to contribute to the renal pathology observed in patients with nephronophthisis type II.


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.


Schunter S.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Villa R.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Flynn V.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Heidelberger J.B.,Institute of Molecular Biology IMB | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

The nuclear acetyltransferase MOF (KAT8 in mammals) is a subunit of at least two multi-component complexes involved in transcription regulation. In the context of complexes of the 'Non-Specific-Lethal' (NSL) type it controls transcription initiation of many nuclear housekeeping genes and of mitochondrial genes. While this function is conserved in metazoans, MOF has an additional, specific function in Drosophila in the context of dosage compensation. As a subunit of the male-specific-lethal dosage compensation complex (MSL-DCC) it contributes to the doubling of transcription output from the single male X chromosome by acetylating histone H4. Proper dosage compensation requires finely tuned levels of MSL-DCC and an appropriate distribution of MOF between the regulatory complexes. The amounts of DCC formed depends directly on the levels of the male-specific MSL2, which orchestrates the assembly of the DCC, including MOF recruitment. We found earlier that MSL2 is an E3 ligase that ubiquitylates most MSL proteins, including MOF, suggesting that ubiquitylation may contribute to a quality control of MOF's overall levels and folding state as well as its partitioning between the complex entities. We now used mass spectrometry to map the lysines in MOF that are ubiquitylated by MSL2 in vitro and identified in vivo ubiquitylation sites of MOF in male and female cells. MSL2-specific ubiquitylation in vivo could not be traced due to the dominance of other, sex-independent ubiquitylation events and conceivably may be rare or transient. Expressing appropriately mutated MOF derivatives we assessed the importance of the ubiquitylated lysines for dosage compensation by monitoring DCC formation and X chromosome targeting in cultured cells, and by genetic complementation of the male-specific-lethal mof2 allele in flies. Our study provides a comprehensive analysis of MOF ubiquitylation as a reference for future studies. © 2017 Schunter et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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.


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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