Whole-organism chemical screening can circumvent bottlenecks that impede drug discovery. However, in vivo screens have not attained throughput capacities possible with in vitro assays. We therefore developed a method enabling in vivo high-throughput screening (HTS) in zebrafish, termed automated reporter quantification in vivo (ARQiv). Here, ARQiv was combined with robotics to fully actualize whole-organism HTS (ARQiv-HTS). In a primary screen, this platform quantified cell-specific fluorescent reporters in >500,000 transgenic zebrafish larvae to identify FDA-approved drugs that increased the number of insulin-producing β cells in the pancreas. Twenty-four drugs were confirmed as inducers of endocrine differentiation and/or stimulators of β-cell proliferation. Further, we discovered novel roles for NF-κB signaling in regulating endocrine differentiation and for serotonergic signaling in selectively stimulating β-cell proliferation. These studies demonstrate the power of ARQiv-HTS for drug discovery and provide unique insights into signaling pathways controlling β-cell mass, potential therapeutic targets for treating diabetes.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved animal care and use committee (ACUC) protocols of Johns Hopkins University and Georgia Regents University
- Tanya T Whitfield, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
© 2015, Wang et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The phagocytic receptor CED-1 mediates apoptotic cell recognition by phagocytic cells, enabling cell corpse clearance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Whether appropriate levels of CED-1 are maintained for executing the engulfment function remains unknown. Here, we identified the C. elegans E3 ubiquitin ligase tripartite motif containing-21 (TRIM-21) as a component of the CED-1 pathway for apoptotic cell clearance. When the NPXY motif of CED-1 was bound to the adaptor protein CED-6 or the YXXL motif of CED-1 was phosphorylated by tyrosine kinase SRC-1 and subsequently bound to the adaptor protein NCK-1 containing the SH2 domain, TRIM-21 functioned in conjunction with UBC-21 to catalyze K48-linked poly-ubiquitination on CED-1, targeting it for proteasomal degradation. In the absence of TRIM-21, CED-1 accumulated post-translationally and drove cell corpse degradation defects, as evidenced by direct binding to VHA-10. These findings reveal a unique mechanism for the maintenance of appropriate levels of CED-1 to regulate apoptotic cell clearance.
Key protein adapters couple translation to mRNA decay on specific classes of problematic mRNAs in eukaryotes. Slow decoding on non-optimal codons leads to codon-optimality-mediated decay (COMD) and prolonged arrest at stall sites leads to no-go decay (NGD). The identities of the decay factors underlying these processes and the mechanisms by which they respond to translational distress remain open areas of investigation. We use carefully designed reporter mRNAs to perform genetic screens and functional assays in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We characterize the roles of Hel2, Syh1, and Smy2 in coordinating translational repression and mRNA decay on NGD reporter mRNAs, finding that Syh1 and, to a lesser extent its paralog Smy2, act in a distinct pathway from Hel2. This Syh1/Smy2-mediated pathway acts as a redundant, compensatory pathway to elicit NGD when Hel2-dependent NGD is impaired. Importantly, we observe that these NGD factors are not involved in the degradation of mRNAs enriched in non-optimal codons. Further, we establish that a key factor previously implicated in COMD, Not5, contributes modestly to the degradation of an NGD-targeted mRNA. Finally, we use ribosome profiling to reveal distinct ribosomal states associated with each reporter mRNA that readily rationalize the contributions of NGD and COMD factors to degradation of these reporters. Taken together, these results provide new insight into the role of Syh1 and Smy2 in NGD and into the ribosomal states that correlate with the activation of distinct pathways targeting mRNAs for degradation in yeast.