Echinococcus multilocularis causes alveolar echinococcosis (AE), a rising zoonotic disease in the northern hemisphere. Treatment of this fatal disease is limited to chemotherapy using benzimidazoles and surgical intervention, with frequent disease recurrence in cases without radical surgery. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying E. multilocularis infections and host-parasite interactions ultimately aids developing novel therapeutic options. This study explored an involvement of unfolded protein response (UPR) and endoplasmic reticulum-stress (ERS) during E. multilocularis infection in mice.
E. multilocularis- and mock-infected C57BL/6 mice were subdivided into vehicle, albendazole (ABZ) and anti-programmed death ligand 1 (αPD-L1) treated groups. To mimic a chronic infection, treatments of mice started six weeks post i.p. infection and continued for another eight weeks. Liver tissue was then collected to examine inflammatory cytokines and the expression of UPR- and ERS-related genes.
E. multilocularis infection led to an upregulation of UPR- and ERS-related proteins in the liver, including ATF6, CHOP, GRP78, ERp72, H6PD and calreticulin, whilst PERK and its target eIF2α were not affected, and IRE1α and ATF4 were downregulated. ABZ treatment in E. multilocularis infected mice reversed, or at least tended to reverse, these protein expression changes to levels seen in mock-infected mice. Furthermore, ABZ treatment reversed the elevated levels of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interferon (IFN)-γ in the liver of infected mice. Similar to ABZ, αPD-L1 immune-treatment tended to reverse the increased CHOP and decreased ATF4 and IRE1α expression levels.
Conclusions and significance
AE caused chronic inflammation, UPR activation and ERS in mice. The E. multilocularis-induced inflammation and consecutive ERS was ameliorated by ABZ and αPD-L1 treatment, indicating their effectiveness to inhibit parasite proliferation and downregulate its activity status. Neither ABZ nor αPD-L1 themselves affected UPR in control mice. Further research is needed to elucidate the link between inflammation, UPR and ERS, and if these pathways offer potential for improved therapies of patients with AE.
Drugs of abuse can cause local and systemic hyperthermia, a known trigger of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR). Another trigger of ER stress and UPR is ER calcium depletion which causes ER exodosis, the secretion of ER resident proteins. Club drugs such as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) can create hyperthermic conditions in the brain and cause toxicity that is affected by the environmental temperature and the presence of other drugs, such as caffeine. Here we examine the secretion of ER resident proteins and activation of the UPR under combined exposure to MDMA and caffeine in a cellular model of hyperthermia. We show that hyperthermia triggers the secretion of normally ER resident proteins and that this aberrant protein secretion is potentiated by the presence of MDMA, caffeine, or a combination of the two drugs. Hyperthermia activates the UPR but the addition of MDMA or caffeine does not alter canonical UPR gene expression despite the drug effects on ER exodosis of UPR-related proteins. One exception was increased BiP/Grp78 mRNA levels in MDMA-treated cells exposed to hyperthermia. These findings suggest that club drug use under hyperthermic conditions exacerbates disruption of ER proteostasis contributing to cellular toxicity.
Plants are sensitive to a variety of stresses that cause various diseases throughout their life cycle. However, they have the ability to cope with these stresses using different defense mechanisms. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an important subcellular organelle, primarily recognized as a checkpoint for protein folding. It plays an essential role in ensuring the proper folding and maturation of newly secreted and transmembrane proteins. Different processes are activated when around one-third of newly synthesized proteins enter the ER in the eukaryote cells, such as glycosylation, folding, and/or the assembling of these proteins into protein complexes. However, protein folding in the ER is an error-prone process whereby various stresses easily interfere, leading to the accumulation of unfolded/misfolded proteins and causing ER stress. The unfolded protein response (UPR) is a process that involves sensing ER stress. Many strategies have been developed to reduce ER stress, such as UPR, ER-associated degradation (ERAD), and autophagy. Here, we discuss the ER, ER stress, UPR signaling and various strategies for reducing ER stress in plants. In addition, the UPR signaling in plant development and different stresses have been discussed.
AbstractAdverse environmental and pathophysiological situations can overwhelm the biosynthetic capacity of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), igniting a potentially lethal condition known as ER stress. ER stress hampers growth and triggers a conserved cytoprotective signaling cascade, the unfolded protein response (UPR) for ER homeostasis. As ER stress subsides, growth is resumed. Despite the pivotal role of the UPR in growth restoration, the underlying mechanisms for growth resumption are yet unknown. To discover these, we undertook a genomics approach in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana and mined the gene reprogramming roles of the UPR modulators, basic leucine zipper28 (bZIP28) and bZIP60, in ER stress resolution. Through a network modeling and experimental validation, we identified key genes downstream of the UPR bZIP-transcription factors (bZIP-TFs), and demonstrated their functional roles. Our analyses have set up a critical pipeline for functional gene discovery in ER stress resolution with broad applicability across multicellular eukaryotes.
Accumulation of misfolded proteins is a common phenomenon of several neurodegenerative diseases. The misfolding of proteins due to abnormal polyglutamine (PolyQ) expansions are linked to the development of PolyQ diseases including Huntington’s disease (HD). Though the genetic basis of PolyQ repeats in HD remains prominent, the primary molecular basis mediated by PolyQ toxicity remains elusive. Accumulation of misfolded proteins in the ER or disruption of ER homeostasis causes ER stress and activates an evolutionarily conserved pathway called Unfolded protein response (UPR). Protein homeostasis disruption at organelle level involving UPR or ER stress response pathways are found to be linked to HD. Due to dynamic intricate connections between ER and mitochondria, proteins at ER-mitochondria contact sites (mitochondria associated ER membranes or MAMs) play a significant role in HD development. The current review aims at highlighting the most updated information about different UPR pathways and their involvement in HD disease progression. Moreover, the role of MAMs in HD progression has also been discussed. In the end, the review has focused on the therapeutic interventions responsible for ameliorating diseased states via modulating either ER stress response proteins or modulating the expression of ER-mitochondrial contact proteins.
AbstractWe provide a descriptive characterization of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in skeletal muscle of human patients with peritoneal sepsis and a sepsis model of C57BL/6J mice. Patients undergoing open surgery were included in a cross-sectional study and blood and skeletal muscle samples were taken. Key markers of the UPR and cluster of differentiation 68 (CD68) as surrogate of inflammatory injury were evaluated by real-time PCR and histochemical staining. CD68 mRNA increased with sepsis in skeletal muscle of patients and animals (p < 0.05). Mainly the inositol-requiring enzyme 1α branch of the UPR was upregulated as shown by elevated X-box binding-protein 1 (XBP1u) and its spliced isoform (XBP1s) mRNA (p < 0.05, respectively). Increased expression of Gadd34 indicated activation of PRKR-Like Endoplasmic Reticulum Kinase (PERK) branch of the UPR, and was only observed in mice (p < 0.001) but not human study subjects. Selected cell death signals were upregulated in human and murine muscle, demonstrated by increased bcl-2 associated X protein mRNA and TUNEL staining (p < 0.05). In conclusion we provide a first characterization of the UPR in skeletal muscle in human sepsis.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) belongs to a group of diseases, called spondyloarthropathies (SpA), that are strongly associated with the genetic marker HLA-B27. AS is characterized by inflammation of joints and primarily affects the spine. Over 160 subtypes of HLA-B27 are known, owing to high polymorphism. Some are strongly associated with disease (e.g., B*2704), whereas others are not (e.g., B*2709). Misfolding of HLA-B27 molecules [as dimers, or as high-molecular-weight (HMW) oligomers] is one of several hypotheses proposed to explain the link between HLA-B27 and AS. Our group has previously established the existence of HMW species of HLA-B27 in AS patients. Still, very little is known about the mechanisms underlying differences in pathogenic outcomes of different HLA-B27 subtypes. We conducted a proteomics-based evaluation of the differential disease association of HLA B*2704 and B*2709, using stable transfectants of genes encoding the two proteins. A clear difference was observed in protein clearance mechanisms: whereas unfolded protein response (UPR), autophagy, and aggresomes were involved in the degradation of B*2704, the endosome–lysosome machinery was primarily involved in B*2709 degradation. These differences offer insights into the differential disease association of B*2704 and B*2709.
HIV-Associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) is one of the major concerns since it persists in 40% of this population. Nowadays, HAND neuropathogenesis is considered to be caused by the infected cells that cross the brain–blood barrier and produce viral proteins that can be secreted and internalized into neurons leading to disruption of cellular processes. The evidence points to viral proteins such as Tat as the causal agent for neuronal alteration and thus HAND. The hallmarks in Tat-induced neurodegeneration are endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. Sirtuins (SIRTs) are NAD+-dependent deacetylases involved in mitochondria biogenesis, unfolded protein response, and intrinsic apoptosis pathway. Tat interaction with these deacetylases causes inhibition of SIRT1 and SIRT3. Studies revealed that SIRTs activation promotes neuroprotection in neurodegenerative diseases such Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, this review focuses on Tat-induced neurotoxicity mechanisms that involve SIRTs as key regulators and their modulation as a therapeutic strategy for tackling HAND and thereby improving the quality of life of people living with HIV.
AbstractTREX1 is an exonuclease that degrades extranuclear DNA species in mammalian cells. Herein, we show a novel mechanism by which TREX1 interacts with the BiP/GRP78 and TREX1 deficiency triggers ER stress through the accumulation of single-stranded DNA and activates unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling via the disruption of the TREX1-BiP/GRP78 interaction. In TREX1 knockdown cells, the activation of ER stress signaling disrupted ER Ca2+ homeostasis via the ERO1α-IP3R1-CaMKII pathway, leading to neuronal cell death. Moreover, TREX1 knockdown dysregulated the Golgi-microtubule network through Golgi fragmentation and decreased Ac-α-tubulin levels, contributing to neuronal injury. These alterations were also observed in neuronal cells harboring a TREX1 mutation (V91M) that has been identified in hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) patients in Korea. Notably, this mutation leads to defects in the TREX1-BiP/GRP78 interaction and mislocalization of TREX1 from the ER and possible disruption of the Golgi-microtubule network. In summary, the current study reveals TREX1 as a novel regulator of the BiP/GRP78 interaction and shows that TREX1 deficiency promotes ER stress-mediated neuronal cell death, which indicates that TREX1 may hold promise as a therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases such as HSP.