Peptide transport plays an important role in cellular homeostasis as a key route for nitrogen acquisition in mammalian cells. PepT1 and PepT2, the mammalian proton coupled peptide transporters (POTs), function to assimilate and retain diet-derived peptides and play important roles in drug pharmacokinetics. A key characteristic of the POT family is the mechanism of peptide selectivity, with members able to recognise and transport > 8000 different peptides. Here we present thermodynamic evidence that in the bacterial POT family transporter PepTSt, from Streptococcus thermophilus, at least two alternative transport mechanisms operate to move peptides into the cell. Whilst tri-peptides are transported with a proton:peptide stoichiometry of 3:1, di-peptides are co-transported with either 4 or 5 protons. This is the first thermodynamic study of proton:peptide stoichiometry in the POT family and reveals that secondary active transporters can evolve different coupling mechanisms to accommodate and transport chemically and physically diverse ligands across the membrane.
- John Kuriyan, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley, United States
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N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA modification impacts mRNA fate primarily via reader proteins, which dictate processes in development, stress, and disease. Yet little is known about m6A function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which occurs solely during early meiosis. Here we perform a multifaceted analysis of the m6A reader protein Pho92/Mrb1. Cross-linking immunoprecipitation analysis reveals that Pho92 associates with the 3’end of meiotic mRNAs in both an m6A-dependent and independent manner. Within cells, Pho92 transitions from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, and associates with translating ribosomes. In the nucleus Pho92 associates with target loci through its interaction with transcriptional elongator Paf1C. Functionally, we show that Pho92 promotes and links protein synthesis to mRNA decay. As such, the Pho92-mediated m6A-mRNA decay is contingent on active translation and the CCR4-NOT complex. We propose that the m6A reader Pho92 is loaded co-transcriptionally to facilitate protein synthesis and subsequent decay of m6A modified transcripts, and thereby promotes meiosis.
The tumor suppressor gene PTEN is the second most commonly deleted gene in cancer. Such deletions often include portions of the chromosome 10q23 locus beyond the bounds of PTEN itself, which frequently disrupts adjacent genes. Coincidental loss of PTEN-adjacent genes might impose vulnerabilities that could either affect patient outcome basally or be exploited therapeutically. Here we describe how the loss of ATAD1, which is adjacent to and frequently co-deleted with PTEN, predisposes cancer cells to apoptosis triggered by proteasome dysfunction and correlates with improved survival in cancer patients. ATAD1 directly and specifically extracts the pro-apoptotic protein BIM from mitochondria to inactivate it. Cultured cells and mouse xenografts lacking ATAD1 are hypersensitive to clinically used proteasome inhibitors, which activate BIM and trigger apoptosis. This work furthers our understanding of mitochondrial protein homeostasis and could lead to new therapeutic options for the hundreds of thousands of cancer patients who have tumors with chromosome 10q23 deletion.