PERK is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) transmembrane sensor that phosphorylates eIF2a to initiate the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR). eIF2a phosphorylation promotes stress-responsive gene expression most notably through the transcription factor ATF4 that contains a regulatory 5' leader. Possible PERK effectors other than ATF4 remain poorly understood. Here, we report that the bZIP transcription factor Xrp1 is required for ATF4-independent PERK signaling. Cell type-specific gene expression profiling in Drosophila indicated that delta-family glutathione-S-transferases (gstD) are prominently induced by the UPR-activating transgene Rh1G69D. Perk was necessary and sufficient for such gstD induction, but ATF4 was not required. Instead, Perk and other regulators of eIF2a phosphorylation regulated Xrp1 protein levels to induce gstDs. The Xrp1 5' leader has a conserved upstream Open Reading Frame (uORF) analogous to those that regulate ATF4 translation. The gstD-GFP reporter induction required putative Xrp1 binding sites. These results indicate that antioxidant genes are highly induced by a previously unrecognized UPR signaling axis consisting of PERK and Xrp1.
Sequencing data have been deposited in GEO under the accession code GSE150058. Source Data files have been provided for Figures 2-6 and 8.
Transcriptional changes associated with endoplasmic reticulum stress in the eye imaginal disc of Drosophila melanogasterNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE150058.
- Hyung Don Ryoo
- Hyung Don Ryoo
- Brian Brown
- Brian Brown
- Deepika Vasudevan
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Julie Hollien, University of Utah, United States
© 2021, Brown 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.
In many species, meiotic recombination events tend to occur in narrow intervals of the genome, known as hotspots. In humans and mice, double strand break (DSB) hotspot locations are determined by the DNA-binding specificity of the zinc finger array of the PRDM9 protein, which is rapidly evolving at residues in contact with DNA. Previous models explained this rapid evolution in terms of the need to restore PRDM9 binding sites lost to gene conversion over time, under the assumption that more PRDM9 binding always leads to more DSBs. This assumption, however, does not align with current evidence. Recent experimental work indicates that PRDM9 binding on both homologs facilitates DSB repair, and that the absence of sufficient symmetric binding disrupts meiosis. We therefore consider an alternative hypothesis: that rapid PRDM9 evolution is driven by the need to restore symmetric binding because of its role in coupling DSB formation and efficient repair. To this end, we model the evolution of PRDM9 from first principles: from its binding dynamics to the population genetic processes that govern the evolution of the zinc finger array and its binding sites. We show that the loss of a small number of strong binding sites leads to the use of a greater number of weaker ones, resulting in a sharp reduction in symmetric binding and favoring new PRDM9 alleles that restore the use of a smaller set of strong binding sites. This decrease, in turn, drives rapid PRDM9 evolutionary turnover. Our results therefore suggest that the advantage of new PRDM9 alleles is in limiting the number of binding sites used effectively, rather than in increasing net PRDM9 binding. By extension, our model suggests that the evolutionary advantage of hotspots may have been to increase the efficiency of DSB repair and/or homolog pairing.
Thymus-originated tTregs and in vitro induced iTregs are subsets of regulatory T cells. While they share the capacity of immune suppression, their stabilities are different, with iTregs losing their phenotype upon stimulation or under inflammatory milieu. Epigenetic differences, particularly methylation state of Foxp3 CNS2 region, provide an explanation for this shift. Whether additional regulations, including cellular signaling, could directly lead phenotypical instability requires further analysis. Here, we show that upon TCR (T cell receptor) triggering, SOCE (store-operated calcium entry) and NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T cells) nuclear translocation are blunted in tTregs, yet fully operational in iTregs, similar to Tconvs. On the other hand, tTregs show minimal changes in their chromatin accessibility upon activation, in contrast to iTregs that demonstrate an activated chromatin state with highly accessible T cell activation and inflammation related genes. Assisted by several cofactors, NFAT driven by strong SOCE signaling in iTregs preferentially binds to primed-opened T helper (TH) genes, resulting in their activation normally observed only in Tconv activation, ultimately leads to instability. Conversely, suppression of SOCE in iTregs can partially rescue their phenotype. Thus, our study adds two new layers, cellular signaling and chromatin accessibility, of understanding in Treg stability, and may provide a path for better clinical applications of Treg cell therapy.