MicroRNAs (miRNAs) exert a broad influence over gene expression by directing effector activities that impinge on translation and stability of mRNAs. We recently discovered that the cap-binding protein 4EHP is a key component of the mammalian miRNA-Induced Silencing Complex (miRISC), which mediates gene silencing. However, little is known about the mRNA repertoire that is controlled by the 4EHP/miRNA mechanism or its biological importance. Here, using ribosome profiling, we identify a subset of mRNAs that are translationally controlled by 4EHP. We show that the Dusp6 mRNA, which encodes an ERK1/2 phosphatase, is translationally repressed by 4EHP and a specific miRNA, miR-145. This promotes ERK1/2 phosphorylation, resulting in augmented cell growth and reduced apoptosis. Our findings thus empirically define the integral role of translational repression in miRNA-induced gene silencing and reveal a critical function for this process in the control of the ERK signalling cascade in mammalian cells.
Translational control of ERK signalling pathway by the mRNA cap-binding protein 4EHPPublicly available at the NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus (accession no: GSE107826).
- Nahum Sonenberg
- Thomas F Duchaine
- Anne-Claude Gingras
- Anne-Claude Gingras
- Thomas F Duchaine
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- David Ron, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
© 2018, Jafarnejad 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.
Activation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is an allosteric process. It involves conformational coupling between the orthosteric ligand binding site and the G protein binding site. Factors that bind at non-cognate ligand binding sites to alter the allosteric activation process are classified as allosteric modulators and represent a promising class of therapeutics with distinct modes of binding and action. For many receptors, how modulation of signaling is represented at the structural level is unclear. Here, we developed FRET sensors to quantify receptor modulation at each of the three structural domains of metabotropic glutamate receptor 2 (mGluR2). We identified the conformational fingerprint for several allosteric modulators in live cells. This approach enabled us to derive a receptor-centric representation of allosteric modulation and to correlate structural modulation to the standard signaling modulation metrics. Single-molecule FRET analysis revealed that a NAM increases the occupancy of one of the intermediate states while a PAM increases the occupancy of the active state. Moreover, we found that the effect of allosteric modulators on the receptor dynamics is complex and depend on the orthosteric ligand. Collectively, our findings provide a structural mechanism of allosteric modulation in mGluR2 and suggest possible strategies for design of future modulators.
Cataract is one of the most prevalent protein aggregation disorders and still the most common cause of vision loss worldwide. The metabolically quiescent core region of the human lens lacks cellular or protein turnover; it has therefore evolved remarkable mechanisms to resist light-scattering protein aggregation for a lifetime. We now report that one such mechanism involves an unusually abundant lens metabolite, myo-inositol, suppressing aggregation of lens crystallins. We quantified aggregation suppression using our previously well-characterized in vitro aggregation assays of oxidation-mimicking human γD-crystallin variants and investigated myo-inositol’s molecular mechanism of action using solution NMR, negative-stain TEM, differential scanning fluorometry, thermal scanning Raman spectroscopy, turbidimetry in redox buffers, and free thiol quantitation. Unlike many known chemical chaperones, myo-inositol’s primary target was not the native, unfolded, or final aggregated states of the protein; rather, we propose that it was the rate-limiting bimolecular step on the aggregation pathway. Given recent metabolomic evidence that it is severely depleted in human cataractous lenses compared to age-matched controls, we suggest that maintaining or restoring healthy levels of myo-inositol in the lens may be a simple, safe, and globally accessible strategy to prevent or delay lens opacification due to age-onset cataract.