Certain mutations affecting central metabolism cause accumulation of the oncometabolite D-2-hydroxyglutarate which promotes progression of certain tumors. High levels of D-2-hydroxyglutarate inhibit the TET family of DNA demethylases and Jumonji family of histone demethylases and cause epigenetic changes that lead to altered gene expression. The link between inhibition of DNA demethylation and changes in expression is strong in some cancers, but not in others. To determine whether D-2-hydroxyglutarate can affect gene expression through inhibiting histone demethylases, orthologous mutations to those known to cause accumulation of D-2-hydroxyglutarate in tumors were generated in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which has histone demethylases but not DNA methylases or demethylases. Accumulation of D-2-hydroxyglutarate caused inhibition of several histone demethylases. Inhibition of two of the demethylases that act specifically on histone H3K36me2,3 led to enhanced gene silencing. These observations pinpointed a new mechanism by which this oncometabolite can alter gene expression, perhaps repressing critical inhibitors of proliferation.
- Ryan Janke
- Anthony Iavarone
- Jasper Rine
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Alan G Hinnebusch, National Institutes of Health, United States
© 2017, Janke 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.
Hemocytes, similar to vertebrate blood cells, play important roles in insect development and immunity, but it is not well understood how they perform their tasks. New technology, in particular single-cell transcriptomic analysis in combination with Drosophila genetics, may now change this picture. This review aims to make sense of recently published data, focusing on Drosophila melanogaster and comparing to data from other drosophilids, the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, and the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Basically, the new data support the presence of a few major classes of hemocytes: (1) a highly heterogenous and plastic class of professional phagocytes with many functions, called plasmatocytes in Drosophila and granular cells in other insects. (2) A conserved class of cells that control melanin deposition around parasites and wounds, called crystal cells in D. melanogaster, and oenocytoids in other insects. (3) A new class of cells, the primocytes, so far only identified in D. melanogaster. They are related to cells of the so-called posterior signaling center of the larval hematopoietic organ, which controls the hematopoiesis of other hemocytes. (4) Different kinds of specialized cells, like the lamellocytes in D. melanogaster, for the encapsulation of parasites. These cells undergo rapid evolution, and the homology relationships between such cells in different insects are uncertain. Lists of genes expressed in the different hemocyte classes now provide a solid ground for further investigation of function.
The p97 / Cdc48 ATPase and its ubiquitin receptors Ufd1-Npl4 are essential to unfold ubiquitylated proteins in many areas of eukaryotic cell biology. In yeast, Cdc48-Ufd1-Npl4 is controlled by a quality control mechanism, whereby substrates must be conjugated to at least five ubiquitins. Here we show that mammalian p97-UFD1-NPL4 is governed by a complex interplay between additional p97 cofactors and the number of conjugated ubiquitins. Using reconstituted assays for the disassembly of ubiquitylated CMG (Cdc45-MCM-GINS) helicase by human p97-UFD1-NPL4, we show that the unfoldase has a high ubiquitin threshold for substrate unfolding, which can be reduced by the UBX proteins UBXN7, FAF1 or FAF2. Our data indicate that the UBX proteins function by binding to p97-UFD1-NPL4 and stabilising productive interactions between UFD1-NPL4 and K48-linked chains of at least five ubiquitins. Stimulation by UBXN7 is dependent upon known ubiquitin binding motifs, whereas FAF1 and FAF2 use a previously uncharacterised coiled-coil domain to reduce the ubiquitin threshold of p97-UFD1-NPL4. We show that deleting the Ubnx7 and Faf1 genes impairs CMG disassembly during S-phase and mitosis and sensitises cells to reduced ubiquitin ligase activity. These findings indicate that multiple UBX proteins are important for the efficient unfolding of ubiquitylated proteins by p97-UFD1-NPL4 in mammalian cells.