Table of contents

Volume 1, Issue 11, pp. 352 - 392, November 2014

Issue cover
Cover: The network picture shows a model of the supergenomic network which was used to predict the function of Plasmodum falciparum exported protein 1 (EXP1), a new membrane glutathione-S transferase and a drug target of artesunate. Image acquired by Andreas Martin Lisewski (Baylor College of Medicine, USA). The cover is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. Enlarge issue cover

Research Articles

Angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers increase tolerance of cells to copper and cisplatin

Pieter Spincemaille, Gursimran Chandhok, Andree Zibert, Hartmut Schmidt, Jef Verbeek, Patrick Chaltin, Bruno P.A. Cammue, David Cassiman, Karin Thevissen

page 352-364 | 10.15698/mic2014.11.175 | Full text | PDF | Abstract

The human pathology Wilson disease (WD) is characterized by toxic copper (Cu) accumulation in brain and liver, resulting in, among other indications, mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis of hepatocytes. In an effort to identify novel compounds that can alleviate Cu-induced toxicity, we screened the Pharmakon 1600 repositioning library using a Cu-toxicity yeast screen. We identified 2 members of the drug class of Angiotensin II Type 1 receptor blockers (ARBs) that could increase yeast tolerance to Cu, namely Candesartan and Losartan. Subsequently, we show that specific ARBs can increase yeast tolerance to Cu and/or the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin (Cp). The latter also induces mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis in mammalian cells. We further demonstrate that specific ARBs can prevent the prevalence of Cu-induced apoptotic markers in yeast, with Candesartan Cilexetil being the ARB which demonstrated most pronounced reduction of apoptosis-related markers. Next, we tested the sensitivity of a selection of yeast knockout mutants affected in detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Cu for Candesartan Cilexetil rescue in presence of Cu. These data indicate that Candesartan Cilexetil increases yeast tolerance to Cu irrespectively of major ROS-detoxifying proteins. Finally, we show that specific ARBs can increase mammalian cell tolerance to Cu, as well as decrease the prevalence of Cu-induced apoptotic markers. All the above point to the potential of ARBs in preventing Cu-induced toxicity in yeast and mammalian cells.

Functional analysis of lipid metabolism genes in wine yeasts during alcoholic fermentation at low temperature

María López-Malo, Estéfani García-Ríos, Rosana Chiva and José Manuel Guillamon

page 365-375 | 10.15698/mic2014.11.174 | Full text | PDF | Abstract

Wine produced by low-temperature fermentation is mostly considered to have improved sensory qualities. However few commercial wine strains available on the market are well-adapted to ferment at low temperature (10 – 15°C). The lipid metabolism of Saccharomyces cerevisiae plays a central role in low temperature adaptation. One strategy to modify lipid composition is to alter transcriptional activity by deleting or overexpressing the key genes of lipid metabolism. In a previous study, we identified the genes of the phospholipid, sterol and sphingolipid pathways, which impacted on growth capacity at low temperature. In the present study, we aimed to determine the influence of these genes on fermentation performance and growth during low-temperature wine fermentations. We analyzed the phenotype during fermentation at the low and optimal temperature of the lipid mutant and overexpressing strains in the background of a derivative commercial wine strain. The increase in the gene dosage of some of these lipid genes, e.g., PSD1, LCB3, DPL1 and OLE1, improved fermentation activity during low-temperature fermentations, thus confirming their positive role during wine yeast adaptation to cold. Genes whose overexpression improved fermentation activity at 12°C were overexpressed by chromosomal integration into commercial wine yeast QA23. Fermentations in synthetic and natural grape must were carried out by this new set of overexpressing strains. The strains overexpressing OLE1 and DPL1 were able to finish fermentation before commercial wine yeast QA23. Only the OLE1 gene overexpression produced a specific aroma profile in the wines produced with natural grape must.

Overexpression of the transcription factor Yap1 modifies intracellular redox conditions and enhances recombinant protein secretion

Marizela Delic, Alexandra B. Graf, Gunda Koellensperger, Christina Haberhauer-Troyer, Stephan Hann, Diethard Mattanovich, Brigitte Gasser

page 376-386 | 10.15698/mic2014.11.173 | Full text | PDF | Abstract

Oxidative folding of secretory proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a redox active process, which also impacts the redox conditions in the cytosol. As the transcription factor Yap1 is involved in the transcriptional response to oxidative stress, we investigate its role upon the production of secretory proteins, using the yeast Pichia pastoris as model, and report a novel important role of Yap1 during oxidative protein folding. Yap1 is needed for the detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS) caused by increased oxidative protein folding. Constitutive co-overexpression of PpYAP1 leads to increased levels of secreted recombinant protein, while a lowered Yap1 function leads to accumulation of ROS and strong flocculation. Transcriptional analysis revealed that more than 150 genes were affected by overexpression of YAP1, in particular genes coding for antioxidant enzymes or involved in oxidation-reduction processes. By monitoring intracellular redox conditions within the cytosol and the ER using redox-sensitive roGFP1 variants, we could show that overexpression of YAP1 restores cellular redox conditions of protein-secreting P. pastoris by reoxidizing the cytosolic redox state to the levels of the wild type. These alterations are also reflected by increased levels of oxidized intracellular glutathione (GSSG) in the YAP1 co-overexpressing strain. Taken together, these data indicate a strong impact of intracellular redox balance on the secretion of (recombinant) proteins without affecting protein folding per se. Re-establishing suitable redox conditions by tuning the antioxidant capacity of the cell reduces metabolic load and cell stress caused by high oxidative protein folding load, thereby increasing the secretion capacity.


Plasmodium spp. membrane glutathione S-transferases: detoxification units and drug targets

Andreas Martin Lisewski

page 387-389 | 10.15698/mic2014.11.177 | Full text | PDF | Abstract

Membrane glutathione S-transferases from the class of membrane-associated proteins in eicosanoid and glutathione metabolism (MAPEG) form a superfamily of detoxification enzymes that catalyze the conjugation of reduced glutathione (GSH) to a broad spectrum of xenobiotics and hydrophobic electrophiles. Evolutionarily unrelated to the cytosolic glutathione S-transferases, they are found across bacterial and eukaryotic domains, for example in mammals, plants, fungi and bacteria in which significant levels of glutathione are maintained. Species of genus Plasmodium, the unicellular protozoa that are commonly known as malaria parasites, do actively support glutathione homeostasis and maintain its metabolism throughout their complex parasitic life cycle. In humans and in other mammals, the asexual intraerythrocytic stage of malaria, when the parasite feeds on hemoglobin, grows and eventually asexually replicates inside infected red blood cells (RBCs), is directly associated with host disease symptoms and during this critical stage GSH protects the host RBC and the parasite against oxidative stress from parasite-induced hemoglobin catabolism. In line with these observations, several GSH-dependent Plasmodium enzymes have been characterized including glutathione reductases, thioredoxins, glyoxalases, glutaredoxins and glutathione S-transferases (GSTs); furthermore, GSH itself have been found to associate spontaneously and to degrade free heme and its hydroxide, hematin, which are the main cytotoxic byproducts of hemoglobin catabolism. However, despite the apparent importance of glutathione metabolism for the parasite, no membrane associated glutathione S-transferases of genus Plasmodium have been previously described. We recently reported the first examples of MAPEG members among Plasmodium spp.

Proline cis-trans isomerization is influenced by local lysine acetylation-deacetylation

Françoise S. Howe, Jane Mellor

page 390-392 | 10.15698/mic2014.11.176 | Full text | PDF | Abstract

Acetylation of lysine residues has several characterised functions in chromatin. These include neutralization of the lysine’s positive charge to directly influence histone tail-DNA/internucleosomal interactions or indirect effects via bromodomain-containing effector proteins. Recently, we described a novel function of lysine acetylation to influence proline isomerization and thus local protein conformation. We found that acetylation of lysine 14 in the histone H3 N-terminal tail (H3K14ac), an intrinsically disordered domain, increased the proportion of neighbouring proline 16 (H3P16) in the trans conformation. This conformation of the tail was associated with reduced tri-methylation on histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4me3) due to both decreased methylation by the Set1 methyltransferase (with the me3-specific subunit Spp1) and increased demethylation by the demethylase Jhd2. Interestingly, H3K4me3 on individual genes was differentially affected by substitution of H3K14 or H3P16, with ribosomal protein genes losing the least H3K4me3 and environmental stress-induced genes losing the most.