In a previous study, it was reported that Yap1 and Wwtr1 in zebrafish regulates the morphogenesis of the posterior body and epidermal fin fold (Kimelman, D., et al. 2017). We report here that DNA damage induces apoptosis of epidermal basal cells (EBCs) in zebrafish yap1-/-;wwtr1-/- embryos. Specifically, these mutant EBCs exhibit active Caspase-3, Caspase-8 and γH2AX, consistent with DNA damage serving as a stimulus of the extrinsic apoptotic pathway in epidermal cells. Live imaging of zebrafish epidermal cells reveals a steady growth of basal cell size in the developing embryo, but this growth is inhibited in mutant basal cells followed by apoptosis, leading to the hypothesis that factors underscoring cell size play a role in this DNA damage-induced apoptosis phenotype. We tested two of these factors using cell stretching and substrate stiffness assays, and found that HaCaT cells cultured on stiff substrates exhibit more numerous γH2AX foci compared to ones cultured on soft substrates. Thus, our experiments suggest that substrate rigidity may modulate genomic stress in epidermal cells, and that Yap1 and Wwtr1 promotes their survival.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting file; Source Data files have been provided for Figures 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
- Jason KH Lai
- Pearlyn JY Toh
- Hamizah A Cognart
- Timothy E Saunders
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All zebrafish husbandry was performed under standard conditions in accordance with institutional (Biological Resource Center, A*Star, Singapore, and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India) and national ethical and animal welfare guidelines (Singapore IACUC: 181323 and GMAC: Res-21-034). All users were trained in ethical handling of zebrafish.
- Marianne E Bronner, California Institute of Technology, United States
© 2022, Lai 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.
Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) variants associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Crohn’s disease lead to increased phosphorylation of its Rab substrates. While it has been recently shown that perturbations in cellular homeostasis including lysosomal damage can increase LRRK2 activity and localization to lysosomes, the molecular mechanisms by which LRRK2 activity is regulated have remained poorly defined. We performed a targeted siRNA screen to identify regulators of LRRK2 activity and identified Rab12 as a novel modulator of LRRK2-dependent phosphorylation of one of its substrates, Rab10. Using a combination of imaging and immunopurification methods to isolate lysosomes, we demonstrated that Rab12 is actively recruited to damaged lysosomes and leads to a local and LRRK2-dependent increase in Rab10 phosphorylation. PD-linked variants, including LRRK2 R1441G and VPS35 D620N, lead to increased recruitment of LRRK2 to the lysosome and a local elevation in lysosomal levels of pT73 Rab10. Together, these data suggest a conserved mechanism by which Rab12, in response to damage or expression of PD-associated variants, facilitates the recruitment of LRRK2 and phosphorylation of its Rab substrate(s) at the lysosome.
Activating mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) cause Parkinson’s disease. LRRK2 phosphorylates a subset of Rab GTPases, particularly Rab10 and Rab8A, and we showed previously that these phosphoRabs play an important role in LRRK2 membrane recruitment and activation (Vides et al., 2022). To learn more about LRRK2 pathway regulation, we carried out an unbiased, CRISPR-based genome-wide screen to identify modifiers of cellular phosphoRab10 levels. A flow cytometry assay was developed to detect changes in phosphoRab10 levels in pools of mouse NIH-3T3 cells harboring unique CRISPR guide sequences. Multiple negative and positive regulators were identified; surprisingly, knockout of the Rab12 gene was especially effective in decreasing phosphoRab10 levels in multiple cell types and knockout mouse tissues. Rab-driven increases in phosphoRab10 were specific for Rab12, LRRK2-dependent and PPM1H phosphatase-reversible, and did not require Rab12 phosphorylation; they were seen with wild type and pathogenic G2019S and R1441C LRRK2. As expected for a protein that regulates LRRK2 activity, Rab12 also influenced primary cilia formation. AlphaFold modeling revealed a novel Rab12 binding site in the LRRK2 Armadillo domain, and we show that residues predicted to be essential for Rab12 interaction at this site influence phosphoRab10 and phosphoRab12 levels in a manner distinct from Rab29 activation of LRRK2. Our data show that Rab12 binding to a new site in the LRRK2 Armadillo domain activates LRRK2 kinase for Rab phosphorylation and could serve as a new therapeutic target for a novel class of LRRK2 inhibitors that do not target the kinase domain.