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Concept: Cytoplasm


The human deubiquitinase USP1 plays important roles in cancer-related processes, such as the DNA damage response, and the maintenance of the undifferentiated state of osteosarcoma cells. USP1 deubiquitinase activity is critically regulated by its interaction with the WD40 repeat-containing protein UAF1. Inhibiting the function of the USP1/UAF1 complex sensitizes cancer cells to chemotherapy, suggesting that this complex is a relevant anticancer target. Intriguingly, whereas UAF1 has been reported to locate in the cytoplasm, USP1 is a nuclear protein, although the sequence motifs that mediate its nuclear import have not been functionally characterized. Here, we identify two nuclear localization signals (NLSs) in USP1 and show that these NLSs mediate the nuclear import of the USP1/UAF1 complex. Using a cellular relocation assay based on these results, we map the UAF1-binding site to a highly conserved 100 amino acid motif in USP1. Our data support a model in which USP1 and UAF1 form a complex in the cytoplasm that subsequently translocates to the nucleus through import mediated by USP1 NLSs. Importantly, our findings have practical implications for the development of USP1-directed therapies. First, the UAF1-interacting region of USP1 identified here might be targeted to disrupt the USP1/UAF1 interaction with therapeutic purposes. On the other hand, we describe a cellular relocation assay that can be easily implemented in a high throughput setting to search for drugs that may dissociate the USP1/UAF1 complex.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Gene, Cell nucleus, Cell, Cell biology, Cytoplasm, Nuclear localization signal


As an important factor affecting meat quality, intramuscular fat (IMF) content is a topic of worldwide concern. Emerging evidences indicate that microRNAs play important roles in adipocyte differentiation. However, miRNAome has neither been studied during porcine intramuscular preadipocyte differentiation, nor compared with subcutaneous preadipocytes. The objectives of this study were to identify porcine miRNAs involved in adipogenesis in primary preadipocytes, and to determine whether intramuscular and subcutaneous adipocytes differ in the expression and regulation of miRNAs.

Concepts: Gene expression, Mesenchymal stem cell, Cytoplasm, Cellular differentiation, Fat, Adipose tissue, Adipocyte


Type IV P-type ATPases (P4-ATPases) and CDC50 family proteins form a putative phospholipid flippase complex that mediates the translocation of aminophospholipids such as phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) from the outer to inner leaflets of the plasma membrane. In Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, at least eight members of P4-ATPases were identified, while only a single CDC50 family protein, CDC50A, was expressed. We demonstrated that CDC50A associated with and recruited P4-ATPase ATP8A1 to the plasma membrane. Overexpression of CDC50A induced extensive cell spreading and greatly enhanced cell migration. Depletion of either CDC50A or ATP8A1 caused a severe defect in the formation of membrane ruffles, thereby inhibiting cell migration. Analyses of phospholipid translocation at the plasma membrane revealed that the depletion of CDC50A inhibited the inward translocation of both PS and PE, while the depletion of ATP8A1 inhibited the translocation of PE but not that of PS, suggesting that the inward translocation of cell-surface PE is involved in cell migration. This hypothesis was further examined by using a PE-binding peptide and a mutant cell line with defective PE synthesis; either cell-surface immobilization of PE by the PE-binding peptide or reduction in the cell-surface content of PE inhibited the formation of membrane ruffles, causing a severe defect in cell migration. These results indicate that the phospholipid flippase complex of ATP8A1 and CDC50A plays a major role in cell migration and suggest that the flippase-mediated translocation of PE at the plasma membrane is involved in the formation of membrane ruffles to promote cell migration.

Concepts: Protein, Gene, Cell, Signal transduction, Cell membrane, Cytoplasm, Phospholipid, Flippase


Prolonged hypothermic storage causes ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) in the renal graft, which is considered to contribute to the occurrence of the delayed graft function (DGF) and chronic graft failure. Strategies are required to protect the graft and to prolong renal graft survival. We demonstrated that xenon exposure to human proximal tubular cells (HK-2) led to activation of range of protective proteins. Xenon treatment prior to or after hypothermia-hypoxia challenge stabilized the HK-2 cellular structure, diminished cytoplasmic translocation of high-mobility group box (HMGB) 1 and suppressed NF-κB activation. In the syngeneic Lewis-to-Lewis rat model of kidney transplantation, xenon exposure to donors before graft retrieval or to recipients after engraftment decreased caspase-3 expression, localized HMGB-1 within nuclei and prevented TLR-4/NF-κB activation in tubular cells; serum pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α were reduced and renal function was preserved. Xenon treatment of graft donors or of recipients prolonged renal graft survival following IRI in both Lewis-to-Lewis isografts and Fischer-to-Lewis allografts. Xenon induced cell survival or graft functional recovery was abolished by HIF-1α siRNA. Our data suggest that xenon treatment attenuates DGF and enhances graft survival. This approach could be translated into clinical practice leading to a considerable improvement in long-term graft survival.

Concepts: Protein, Kidney, Nephrology, Cell nucleus, Cell, Cytoplasm, Organ transplant, Protection


Activity-guided isolation of a methanolic extract of Galla Rhois using pancreatic lipase and 3T3-L1 adipocytes led to the isolation of seven phenolic compounds: protoaphin-fb (1), 2-O-digalloyl-1,3,4,6-tetra-O-galloyl-b-D-glucose (2), 1,2,3,4,6-penta-O-galloyl-b-D-glucose (3), 1,2,4,6-tetra-O-galloyl-b-D-glucose (4), 3-hydroxy-5-methoxy-phenol 1-O-b-D-glucoside (5), methylgallate (6), and gallic acid (7). Their structures were established on the basis of NMR and MS spectroscopic data interpretation. All isolates were evaluated for their inhibitory effects on pancreatic lipase, and compounds 1-5 exhibited potent inhibitory effects on this enzyme, with IC50 values ranging from 30.6 ± 2.4 to 3.5 ± 0.5 mM. In addition, the highly galloylated compound 2 was also found to induce potent inhibition of adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells.

Concepts: Enzyme, Pancreas, Cytoplasm, Fat, Adipocyte, Lipase, Gallic acid, Pancreatic lipase


Ionizing radiation is a universal tool in tumor therapy but may also cause secondary cancers or cell invasiveness. These negative side effects could be causally related to the human-intermediate-conductance Ca(2+)-activated-K(+)-channel (hIK), which is activated by X-ray irradiation and affects cell proliferation and migration. To analyze the signaling cascade downstream of ionizing radiation we use genetically encoded reporters for H2O2 (HyPer) and for the dominant redox-buffer glutathione (Grx1-roGFP2) to monitor with high spatial and temporal resolution, radiation-triggered excursions of H2O2 in A549 and HEK293 cells. The data show that challenging cells with ≥1 Gy X-rays or with UV-A laser micro-irradiation causes a rapid rise of H2O2 in the nucleus and in the cytosol. This rise, which is determined by the rate of H2O2 production and glutathione-buffering, is sufficient for triggering a signaling cascade that involves an elevation of cytosolic Ca(2+) and eventually an activation of hIK channels.

Concepts: DNA, Cell nucleus, Cancer, Ionizing radiation, X-ray, Cytosol, Cytoplasm, Electromagnetic spectrum


To date, the exact targets and mechanism of action of curcumin, a natural product with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, remain elusive. Here we synthesized a cell permeable curcumin probe (Cur-P) with an alkyne moiety, which can be tagged with biotin for affinity enrichment, or with a fluorescent dye for visualization of the direct-binding protein targets of curcumin in situ. iTRAQ™ quantitative proteomics approach was applied to distinguish the specific binding targets from the non-specific ones. In total, 197 proteins were confidently identified as curcumin binding targets from HCT116 colon cancer cell line. Gene Ontology analysis showed that the targets are broadly distributed and enriched in the nucleus, mitochondria and plasma membrane, and they are involved in various biological functions including metabolic process, regulation, response to stimulus and cellular process. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis™ (IPA) suggested that curcumin may exert its anticancer effects over multiple critical biological pathways including the EIF2, eIF4/p70S6K, mTOR signaling and mitochondrial dysfunction pathways. Functional validations confirmed that curcumin downregulates cellular protein synthesis, and induces autophagy, lysosomal activation and increased ROS production, thus leading to cell death.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Gene, Cell, Metabolism, Mitochondrion, Cell biology, Cytoplasm


Previous research has demonstrated that ClC-3 is responsible for volume-regulated Cl(-)current (ICl.vol) in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). However, it is still not clear whether and how ClC-3 is transported to cell membranes, resulting in alteration ofICl.vol.Methods and Results:Volume-regulated chloride current (ICl.vol) was recorded by whole-cell patch clamp recording, and Western blotting and co-immunoprecipitation were performed to examine protein expression and protein-protein interaction. Live cell imaging was used to observe ClC-3 transporting. The results showed that an overexpression of endophilin A2 could increaseICl.vol, while endophilin A2 knockdown decreasedICl.vol. In addition, the SH3 domain of endophilin A2 mediated its interaction with ClC-3 and promotes ClC-3 transportation from the cytoplasm to cell membranes. The regulation of ClC-3 channel activity was also verified in basilar arterial smooth muscle cells (BASMCs) isolated from endophilin A2 transgenic mice. Moreover, endophilin A2 increase VSMCs proliferation induced by endothelin-1 or hypo-osmolarity.

Concepts: Protein, Gene expression, Molecular biology, Cell membrane, Cytoplasm, Ion channel, Smooth muscle, Vascular smooth muscle


p53 tumor suppressor responds to various cellular stresses and regulates cell fate. Here, we show that peptidase D (PEPD) binds and suppresses over half of nuclear and cytoplasmic p53 under normal conditions, independent of its enzymatic activity. Eliminating PEPD causes cell death and tumor regression due to p53 activation. PEPD binds to the proline-rich domain in p53, which inhibits phosphorylation of nuclear p53 and MDM2-mediated mitochondrial translocation of nuclear and cytoplasmic p53. However, the PEPD-p53 complex is critical for p53 response to stress, as stress signals doxorubicin and H2O2 each must free p53 from PEPD in order to achieve robust p53 activation, which is mediated by reactive oxygen species. Thus, PEPD stores p53 for the stress response, but this also renders cells dependent on PEPD for survival, as it suppresses p53. This finding provides further understanding of p53 regulation and may have significant implications for the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

Concepts: DNA, Oxygen, Cancer, Adenosine triphosphate, Mitochondrion, Oxidative phosphorylation, Cytoplasm, P53


Techniques such as Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM) and Structured Illumination Microscopy (SIM) have increased the achievable resolution of optical imaging, but few fluorescent proteins are suitable for super-resolution microscopy, particularly in the far-red and near-infrared emission range. Here we demonstrate the applicability of CpcA, a subunit of the photosynthetic antenna complex in cyanobacteria, for STORM and SIM imaging. The periodicity and width of fabricated nanoarrays of CpcA, with a covalently attached phycoerythrobilin (PEB) or phycocyanobilin (PCB) chromophore, matched the lines in reconstructed STORM images. SIM and STORM reconstructions of Escherichia coli cells harbouring CpcA-labelled cytochrome bd 1 ubiquinol oxidase in the cytoplasmic membrane show that CpcA-PEB and CpcA-PCB are suitable for super-resolution imaging in vivo. The stability, ease of production, small size and brightness of CpcA-PEB and CpcA-PCB demonstrate the potential of this largely unexplored protein family as novel probes for super-resolution microscopy.

Concepts: Protein, Cell, Bacteria, Metabolism, Cell membrane, Cytoplasm, Escherichia coli