The cereblon modulating agents (CMs) including lenalidomide, pomalidomide and CC-220 repurpose the Cul4-RBX1-DDB1-CRBN (CRL4CRBN) E3 ubiquitin ligase complex to induce the degradation of specific neomorphic substrates via polyubiquitination in conjunction with E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes, which have until now remained elusive. Here we show that the ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes UBE2G1 and UBE2D3 cooperatively promote the K48-linked polyubiquitination of CRL4CRBN neomorphic substrates via a sequential ubiquitination mechanism. Blockade of UBE2G1 diminishes the ubiquitination and degradation of neomorphic substrates, and consequent antitumor activities elicited by all tested CMs. For example, UBE2G1 inactivation significantly attenuated the degradation of myeloma survival factors IKZF1 and IKZF3 induced by lenalidomide and pomalidomide, hence conferring drug resistance. UBE2G1-deficient myeloma cells, however, remained sensitive to a more potent IKZF1/3 degrader CC-220. Collectively, it will be of fundamental interest to explore if loss of UBE2G1 activity is linked to clinical resistance to drugs that hijack the CRL4CRBN to eliminate disease-driving proteins.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files
No external funding was received for this work
- Wade Harper, Harvard Medical School, United States
© 2018, Lu 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.
Pancreatic a-cells secrete glucagon, an insulin counter-regulatory peptide hormone critical for the maintenance of glucose homeostasis. Investigation of the function of human a-cells remains a challenge due to the lack of cost-effective purification methods to isolate high-quality a-cells from islets. Here, we use the reaction-based probe diacetylated Zinpyr1 (DA-ZP1) to introduce a novel and simple method for enriching live a-cells from dissociated human islet cells with ~ 95% purity. The a-cells, confirmed by sorting and immunostaining for glucagon, were cultured up to 10 days to form a-pseudoislets. The a-pseudoislets could be maintained in culture without significant loss of viability, and responded to glucose challenge by secreting appropriate levels of glucagon. RNA-sequencing analyses (RNA-seq) revealed that expression levels of key a-cell identity genes were sustained in culture while some of the genes such as DLK1, GSN, SMIM24 were altered in a-pseudoislets in a time-dependent manner. In conclusion, we report a method to sort human primary a-cells with high purity that can be used for downstream analyses such as functional and transcriptional studies.
Eukaryotic cells control inorganic phosphate to balance its role as essential macronutrient with its negative bioenergetic impact on reactions liberating phosphate. Phosphate homeostasis depends on the conserved INPHORS signaling pathway that utilizes inositol pyrophosphates and SPX receptor domains. Since cells synthesize various inositol pyrophosphates and SPX domains bind them promiscuously, it is unclear whether a specific inositol pyrophosphate regulates SPX domains in vivo, or whether multiple inositol pyrophosphates act as a pool. In contrast to previous models, which postulated that phosphate starvation is signaled by increased production of the inositol pyrophosphate 1-IP7, we now show that the levels of all detectable inositol pyrophosphates of yeast, 1-IP7, 5-IP7, and 1,5-IP8, strongly decline upon phosphate starvation. Among these, specifically the decline of 1,5-IP8 triggers the transcriptional phosphate starvation response, the PHO pathway. 1,5-IP8 inactivates the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor Pho81 through its SPX domain. This stimulates the cyclin-dependent kinase Pho85-Pho80 to phosphorylate the transcription factor Pho4 and repress the PHO pathway. Combining our results with observations from other systems, we propose a unified model where 1,5-IP8 signals cytosolic phosphate abundance to SPX proteins in fungi, plants, and mammals. Its absence triggers starvation responses.