This collection showcases journal articles and other publications authored by researchers in the Thompson Lab in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology at UMass Chan Medical School.


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Recently Published

  • Peptidylarginine deiminase 2 regulates expression of DGCR8 affecting miRNA biogenesis in gonadotrope cells

    Ralston, Brett A; Khan, Lamia; DeVore, Stanley B; Bronnenberg, Trent A; Flock, Joseph W; Sequoia, Ari O; Thompson, Paul R; Navratil, Amy M; Cherrington, Brian D (2023-07-03)
    In brief: DGCR8 microprocessor complex, which is important for miRNA biogenesis, is regulated by peptidylarginine deiminase 2 and expression fluctuates in gonadotrope cells across the mouse estrous cycle. Abstract: Canonical miRNA biogenesis requires DGCR8 microprocessor complex subunit, which helps cleave pri-miRNAs into pre-miRNAs. Previous studies found that inhibiting peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD) enzyme activity results in increased DGCR8 expression. PADs are expressed in mouse gonadotrope cells, which play a central role in reproduction by synthesizing and secreting the luteinizing and follicle stimulating hormones. Given this, we tested whether inhibiting PADs alters expression of DGCR8, DROSHA, and DICER in the gonadotrope-derived LβT2 cell line. To test this, LβT2 cells were treated with vehicle or 1 µM pan-PAD inhibitor for 12 h. Our results show that PAD inhibition leads to an increase in DGCR8 mRNA and protein. To corroborate our results, dispersed mouse pituitaries were also treated with 1 µM pan-PAD inhibitor for 12 h which increases DGCR8 expression in gonadotropes. Since PADs epigenetically regulate gene expression, we hypothesized that histone citrullination alters Dgcr8 expression thereby affecting miRNA biogenesis. LβT2 samples were subjected to ChIP using an antibody to citrullinated histone H3, which shows that citrullinated histones are directly associated with Dgcr8. Next, we found that when DGCR8 expression is elevated in LβT2 cells, pri-miR-132 and -212 are reduced, while mature miR-132 and -212 are increased suggesting heightened miRNA biogenesis. In mouse gonadotropes, DGCR8 expression is higher in diestrus as compared to estrus, which is the inverse of PAD2 expression. Supporting this idea, treatment of ovariectomized mice with 17β-estradiol results in an increase in PAD2 expression in gonadotropes with a corresponding decrease in DGCR8. Collectively, our work suggests that PADs regulate DGCR8 expression leading to changes in miRNA biogenesis in gonadotropes.
  • SARM1, an Enzyme Involved in Axon Degeneration, Catalyzes Multiple Activities through a Ternary Complex Mechanism

    Icso, Janneke D; Barasa, Leonard; Thompson, Paul R (2023-06-12)
    Sterile alpha and toll/interleukin receptor (TIR) motif containing protein 1 (SARM1) is an NAD+ hydrolase and cyclase involved in axonal degeneration. In addition to NAD+ hydrolysis and cyclization, SARM1 catalyzes a base exchange reaction between nicotinic acid (NA) and NADP+ to generate NAADP, which is a potent calcium signaling molecule. Herein, we describe efforts to characterize the hydrolysis, cyclization, and base exchange activities of TIR-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog of SARM1; TIR-1 also catalyzes NAD(P)+ hydrolysis and/or cyclization and regulates axonal degeneration in worms. We show that the catalytic domain of TIR-1 undergoes a liquid-to-solid phase transition that regulates not only the hydrolysis and cyclization reactions but also the base exchange reaction. We define the substrate specificities of the reactions, demonstrate that cyclization and base exchange reactions occur within the same pH range, and establish that TIR-1 uses a ternary complex mechanism. Overall, our findings will aid drug discovery efforts and provide insight into the mechanism of recently described inhibitors.
  • Current insights into the role of citrullination in thrombosis

    Green, R Madison; Thompson, Paul R (2023-05-04)
    Protein citrullination is a post-translational modification of arginine that controls a diverse array of cellular processes, including gene regulation, protein stability, and neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation. Histone citrullination promotes chromatin decondensation and NET formation, a pro-inflammatory form of cell death that is aberrantly increased in numerous immune disorders. This review will provide insights into NETosis and how this novel form of cell death contributes to inflammatory diseases, with a particular emphasis on its role in thrombosis. We will also discuss recent efforts to develop PAD-specific inhibitors.
  • Dual Inhibitors of Main Protease (M) and Cathepsin L as Potent Antivirals against SARS-CoV2

    Mondal, Santanu; Chen, Yongzhi; Lockbaum, Gordon J; Sen, Sudeshna; Chaudhuri, Sauradip; Reyes, Archie C; Lee, Jeong Min; Kaur, Arshia N; Sultana, Nadia; Cameron, Michael D; et al. (2022-11-10)
    Given the current impact of SARS-CoV2 and COVID-19 on human health and the global economy, the development of direct acting antivirals is of paramount importance. Main protease (MPro), a cysteine protease that cleaves the viral polyprotein, is essential for viral replication. Therefore, MPro is a novel therapeutic target. We identified two novel MPro inhibitors, D-FFRCMKyne and D-FFCitCMKyne, that covalently modify the active site cysteine (C145) and determined cocrystal structures. Medicinal chemistry efforts led to SM141 and SM142, which adopt a unique binding mode within the MPro active site. Notably, these inhibitors do not inhibit the other cysteine protease, papain-like protease (PLPro), involved in the life cycle of SARS-CoV2. SM141 and SM142 block SARS-CoV2 replication in hACE2 expressing A549 cells with IC50 values of 8.2 and 14.7 nM. Detailed studies indicate that these compounds also inhibit cathepsin L (CatL), which cleaves the viral S protein to promote viral entry into host cells. Detailed biochemical, proteomic, and knockdown studies indicate that the antiviral activity of SM141 and SM142 results from the dual inhibition of MPro and CatL. Notably, intranasal and intraperitoneal administration of SM141 and SM142 lead to reduced viral replication, viral loads in the lung, and enhanced survival in SARS-CoV2 infected K18-ACE2 transgenic mice. In total, these data indicate that SM141 and SM142 represent promising scaffolds on which to develop antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV2.
  • Phomoxanthone A Targets ATP Synthase

    Ali, Rameez; Parelkar, Sangram S; Thompson, Paul R; Mitroka-Batsford, Susan; Yerramilli, Siddartha; Scarlata, Suzanne F; Mistretta, Katelyn S; Coburn, Jeannine M; Mattson, Anita E (2022-09-09)
    Phomoxanthone A is a naturally occurring molecule and a powerful anti-cancer agent, although its mechanism of action is unknown. To facilitate the determination of its biological target(s), we used affinity-based labelling using a phomoxanthone A probe. Labelled proteins were pulled down, subjected to chemoproteomics analysis using LC-MS/MS and ATP synthase was identified as a likely target. Mitochondrial ATP synthase was validated in cultured cells lysates and in live intact cells. Our studies show sixty percent inhibition of ATP synthase by 260 μM phomoxanthone A.
  • Protein citrullination marks myelin protein aggregation and disease progression in mouse ALS models

    Yusuf, Issa O; Qiao, Tao; Parsi, Sepideh; Tilvawala, Ronak; Thompson, Paul R; Xu, Zuoshang (2022-09-08)
    Increased protein citrullination (PC) and dysregulated protein arginine deiminase (PAD) activity have been observed in several neurodegenerative diseases. PC is a posttranslational modification catalyzed by the PADs. PC converts peptidyl-arginine to peptidyl-citrulline, thereby reducing the positive charges and altering structure and function of proteins. Of the five PADs, PAD2 is the dominant isoform in the central nervous system (CNS). Abnormal PC and PAD dysregulation are associated with numerous pathological conditions, including inflammatory diseases and neurodegeneration. Animal model studies have shown therapeutic efficacy from inhibition of PADs, thus suggesting a role of PC in pathogenesis. To determine whether PC contribute to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a deadly neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of motor neurons, paralysis, and eventual death, we investigated alterations of PC and PAD2 in two different transgenic mouse models of ALS expressing human mutant SOD1G93A and PFN1C71G, respectively. PC and PAD2 expression are altered dynamically in the spinal cord during disease progression in both models. PC and PAD2 increase progressively in astrocytes with the development of reactive astrogliosis, while decreasing in neurons. Importantly, in the spinal cord white matter, PC accumulates in protein aggregates that contain the myelin proteins PLP and MBP. PC also accumulates progressively in insoluble protein fractions during disease progression. Finally, increased PC and PAD2 expression spatially correlate with areas of the CNS with the most severe motor neuron degeneration. These results suggest that altered PC is an integral part of the neurodegenerative process and potential biomarkers for disease progression in ALS. Moreover, increased PC may contribute to disease-associated processes such as myelin protein aggregation, myelin degeneration, and astrogliosis.
  • Carbamylation of Integrin αIIbβ3: The Mechanistic Link to Platelet Dysfunction in ESKD

    Binder, Veronika; Chruścicka-Smaga, Barbara; Bergum, Brith; Jaisson, Stéphane; Gillery, Philippe; Sivertsen, Joar; Hervig, Tor; Kaminska, Marta; Tilvawala, Ronak; Nemmara, Venkatesh V; et al. (2022-08-29)
    To investigate carbamylation as a potential mechanistic link between uremia and platelet dysfunction in ESKD, we used liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) to quantify total homocitrulline, and biotin-conjugated phenylglyoxal labeling and Western blot to detect carbamylated integrin α IIb β 3 (a receptor required for platelet aggregation). Flow cytometry was used to study activation of isolated platelets and platelet-rich plasma. In a transient transfection system, we tested activity and fibrinogen binding of different mutated forms of the receptor. We assessed platelet adhesion and aggregation in microplate assays.
  • The chemical biology of NAD regulation in axon degeneration

    Icso, Janneke; Thompson, Paul R (2022-07-01)
    During axon degeneration, NAD+ levels are largely controlled by two enzymes: nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 2 (NMNAT2) and sterile alpha and toll interleukin motif containing protein 1 (SARM1). NMNAT2, which catalyzes the formation of NAD+ from NMN and ATP, is actively degraded leading to decreased NAD+ levels. SARM1 activity further decreases the concentration of NAD+ by catalyzing its hydrolysis to form nicotinamide and a mixture of ADPR and cADPR. Notably, SARM1 knockout mice show decreased neurodegeneration in animal models of axon degeneration, highlighting the therapeutic potential of targeting this novel NAD+ hydrolase. This review discusses recent advances in the SARM1 field, including SARM1 structure, regulation, and catalysis as well as the identification of the first SARM1 inhibitors.
  • Pathogen infection and cholesterol deficiency activate the C. elegans p38 immune pathway through a TIR-1/SARM1 phase transition

    Peterson, Nicholas D.; Icso, Janneke D.; Salisbury, J. Elizabeth; Thompson, Paul R; Pukkila-Worley, Read (2022-01-31)
    Intracellular signaling regulators can be concentrated into membrane-free, higher ordered protein assemblies to initiate protective responses during stress - a process known as phase transition. Here, we show that a phase transition of the Caenorhabditis elegans Toll/interleukin-1 receptor domain protein (TIR-1), an NAD(+) glycohydrolase homologous to mammalian sterile alpha and TIR motif-containing 1 (SARM1), underlies p38 PMK-1 immune pathway activation in C. elegans intestinal epithelial cells. Through visualization of fluorescently labeled TIR-1/SARM1 protein, we demonstrate that physiologic stresses, both pathogen and non-pathogen, induce multimerization of TIR-1/SARM1 into visible puncta within intestinal epithelial cells. In vitro enzyme kinetic analyses revealed that, like mammalian SARM1, the NAD(+) glycohydrolase activity of C. elegans TIR-1 is dramatically potentiated by protein oligomerization and a phase transition. Accordingly, C. elegans with genetic mutations that specifically block either multimerization or the NAD(+) glycohydrolase activity of TIR-1/SARM1 fail to induce p38 PMK phosphorylation, are unable to increase immune effector expression, and are dramatically susceptible to bacterial infection. Finally, we demonstrate that a loss-of-function mutation in nhr-8, which alters cholesterol metabolism and is used to study conditions of sterol deficiency, causes TIR-1/SARM1 to oligomerize into puncta in intestinal epithelial cells. Cholesterol scarcity increases p38 PMK-1 phosphorylation, primes immune effector induction in a manner that requires TIR-1/SARM1 oligomerization and its intrinsic NAD(+) glycohydrolase activity, and reduces pathogen accumulation in the intestine during a subsequent infection. These data reveal a new adaptive response that allows a metazoan host to anticipate pathogen threats during cholesterol deprivation, a time of relative susceptibility to infection. Thus, a phase transition of TIR-1/SARM1 as a prerequisite for its NAD(+) glycohydrolase activity is strongly conserved across millions of years of evolution and is essential for diverse physiological processes in multiple cell types.
  • The role of SERPIN citrullination in thrombosis

    Tilvawala, Ronak; Nemmara, Venkatesh V.; Reyes, Archie C.; Sorvillo, Nicoletta; Salinger, Ari J.; Cherpokova, Deya; Fukui, Saeko; Gutch, Sarah; Wagner, Denisa; Thompson, Paul R (2021-12-16)
    Aberrant protein citrullination is associated with many pathologies; however, the specific effects of this modification remain unknown. We have previously demonstrated that serine protease inhibitors (SERPINs) are highly citrullinated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. These citrullinated SERPINs include antithrombin, antiplasmin, and t-PAI, which regulate the coagulation and fibrinolysis cascades. Notably, citrullination eliminates their inhibitory activity. Here, we demonstrate that citrullination of antithrombin and t-PAI impairs their binding to their cognate proteases. By contrast, citrullination converts antiplasmin into a substrate. We recapitulate the effects of SERPIN citrullination using in vitro plasma clotting and fibrinolysis assays. Moreover, we show that citrullinated antithrombin and antiplasmin are increased and decreased in a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) model, accounting for how SERPIN citrullination shifts the equilibrium toward thrombus formation. These data provide a direct link between increased citrullination and the risk of thrombosis in autoimmunity and indicate that aberrant SERPIN citrullination promotes pathological thrombus formation.
  • Proximity-Dependent Labeling of Cysteines

    Sen, Sudeshna; Sultana, Nadia; Shaffer, Scott A.; Thompson, Paul R (2021-11-24)
    Mapping protein-protein interactions is crucial for understanding various signaling pathways in living cells, and developing new techniques for this purpose has attracted significant interest. Classic methods (e.g., the yeast two-hybrid) have been supplanted by more sophisticated chemical approaches that label proximal proteins (e.g., BioID, APEX). Herein we describe a proximity-based approach that uniquely labels cysteines. Our approach exploits the nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT)-catalyzed methylation of an alkyne-substituted 4-chloropyridine (SS6). Upon methylation of the pyridinium nitrogen, this latent electrophile diffuses out of the active site and labels proximal proteins on short time scales ( < /=5 min). We validated this approach by identifying known (and novel) interacting partners of protein arginine deiminase 2 (PAD2) and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1). To our knowledge, this technology uniquely exploits a suicide substrate to label proximal cysteines in live cells.
  • Applicability of Small-Molecule Inhibitors in the Study of Peptidyl Arginine Deiminase 2 (PAD2) and PAD4

    Martin Monreal, Maria Teresa.; Rebak, Alexandra Stripp; Massarenti, Laura; Mondal, Santanu; Senolt, Ladislav; Odum, Niels; Nielsen, Michael L.; Thompson, Paul R; Nielsen, Claus H.; Damgaard, Dres (2021-10-19)
    Citrullination, the conversion of peptidyl-arginine into peptidyl-citrulline, is involved in the breakage of self-tolerance in anti-CCP-positive rheumatoid arthritis. This reaction is catalyzed by peptidyl arginine deiminases (PADs), of which PAD2 and PAD4 are thought to play key pathogenic roles. Small-molecule PAD inhibitors such as the pan-PAD inhibitor BB-Cl-amidine, the PAD2-specific inhibitor AFM-30a, and the PAD4-specific inhibitor GSK199 hold therapeutic potential and are useful tools in studies of citrullination. Using an ELISA based on the citrullination of fibrinogen, we found that AFM-30a inhibited the catalytic activity of PADs derived from live PMNs or lysed PBMCs and PMNs and of PADs in cell-free synovial fluid samples from RA patients, while GSK199 had minor effects. In combination, AFM-30a and GSK199 inhibited total intracellular citrullination and citrullination of histone H3 in PBMCs, as determined by Western blotting. They were essentially nontoxic to CD4(+) T cells, CD8(+) T cells, B cells, NK cells, and monocytes at concentrations ranging from 1 to 20 muM, while BB-Cl-amidine was cytotoxic at concentrations above 1 muM, as assessed by flow cytometric viability staining and by measurement of lactate dehydrogenase released from dying cells. In conclusion, AFM-30a is an efficient inhibitor of PAD2 derived from PBMCs, PMNs, or synovial fluid. AFM-30a and GSK199 can be used in combination for inhibition of PAD activity associated with PBMCs but without the cytotoxic effect of BB-Cl-amidine. This suggests that AFM-30a and GSK199 may have fewer off-target effects than BB-Cl-amidine and therefore hold greater therapeutic potential.
  • Pan-3C Protease Inhibitor Rupintrivir Binds SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease in a Unique Binding Mode

    Lockbaum, Gordon J.; Henes, Mina; Lee, Jeong Min.; Timm, Jennifer; Nalivaika, Ellen A.; Thompson, Paul R; Yilmaz, Nese Kurt; Schiffer, Celia A. (2021-10-05)
    Rupintrivir targets the 3C cysteine proteases of the picornaviridae family, which includes rhinoviruses and enteroviruses that cause a range of human diseases. Despite being a pan-3C protease inhibitor, rupintrivir activity is extremely weak against the homologous 3C-like protease of SARS-CoV-2. In this study, the crystal structures of rupintrivir were determined bound to enterovirus 68 (EV68) 3C protease and the 3C-like main protease (M(pro)) from SARS-CoV-2. While the EV68 3C protease-rupintrivir structure was similar to previously determined complexes with other picornavirus 3C proteases, rupintrivir bound in a unique conformation to the active site of SARS-CoV-2 M(pro) splitting the catalytic cysteine and histidine residues. This bifurcation of the catalytic dyad may provide a novel approach for inhibiting cysteine proteases.
  • A Streamlined Data Analysis Pipeline for the Identification of Sites of Citrullination

    Maurais, Aaron J.; Salinger, Ari J.; Tobin, Micaela; Shaffer, Scott A.; Weerapana, Eranthie; Thompson, Paul R (2021-09-28)
    Citrullination is an enzyme-catalyzed post-translational modification (PTM) that is essential for a host of biological processes, including gene regulation, programmed cell death, and organ development. While this PTM is required for normal cellular functions, aberrant citrullination is a hallmark of autoimmune disorders as well as cancer. Although aberrant citrullination is linked to human pathology, the exact role of citrullination in disease remains poorly characterized, in part because of the challenges associated with identifying the specific arginine residues that are citrullinated. Tandem mass spectrometry is the most precise method for uncovering sites of citrullination; however, due to the small mass shift (+0.984 Da) that results from citrullination, current database search algorithms commonly misannotate spectra, leading to a high number of false-positive assignments. To address this challenge, we developed an automated workflow to rigorously and rapidly mine proteomic data to unambiguously identify the sites of citrullination from complex peptide mixtures. The crux of this streamlined workflow is the ionFinder software program, which classifies citrullination sites with high confidence on the basis of the presence of diagnostic fragment ions. These diagnostic ions include the neutral loss of isocyanic acid, which is a dissociative event that is unique to citrulline residues. Using the ionFinder program, we have mapped the sites of autocitrullination on purified protein arginine deiminases (PAD1-4) and mapped the global citrullinome in a PAD2-overexpressing cell line. The ionFinder algorithm is a highly versatile, user-friendly, and open-source program that is agnostic to the type of instrument and mode of fragmentation that are used.
  • PAD2-mediated citrullination of Fibulin-5 promotes elastogenesis

    Sun, Bo; Tomita, Beverly; Salinger, Ari J.; Tilvawala, Ronak; Li, Ling; Hakami, Hana; Liu, Tao; Tsoyi, Konstantin; Rosas, Ivan O.; Reinhardt, Dieter P.; et al. (2021-08-01)
    The formation of elastic fibers is active only in the perinatal period. How elastogenesis is developmentally regulated is not fully understood. Citrullination is a unique form of post-translational modification catalyzed by peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs), including PAD1-4. Its physiological role is largely unknown. By using an unbiased proteomic approach of lung tissues, we discovered that FBLN5 and LTBP4, two key elastogenic proteins, were temporally modified in mouse and human lungs. We further demonstrated that PAD2 citrullinated FBLN5 preferentially in young lungs compared to adult lungs. Genetic ablation of PAD2 resulted in attenuated elastogenesis in vitro and age-dependent emphysema in vivo. Mechanistically, citrullination protected FBLN5 from proteolysis and subsequent inactivation of its elastogenic activity. Furthermore, citrullinated but not native FBLN5 partially rescued in vitro elastogenesis in the absence of PAD activity. Our data uncover a novel function of citrullination, namely promoting elastogenesis, and provide additional insights to how elastogenesis is regulated.
  • Progesterone stimulates histone citrullination to increase IGFBP1 expression in uterine cells

    Young, Coleman H.; Snow, Bryce; DeVore, Stanley B.; Mohandass, Adithya; Nemmara, Venkatesh V.; Thompson, Paul R; Thyagarajan, Baskaran; Navratil, Amy M.; Cherrington, Brian D. (2021-07-08)
    Peptidylarginine deiminases (PAD) enzymes were initially characterized in uteri, but since then little research has examined their function in this tissue. PADs post-translationally convert arginine residues in target proteins to citrulline and are highly expressed in ovine caruncle epithelia and ovine uterine luminal epithelial (OLE)-derived cell line. Progesterone (P4) not only maintains the uterine epithelia but also regulates the expression of endometrial genes that code for proteins that comprise the histotroph and are critical during early pregnancy. Given this, we tested whether P4 stimulates PAD-catalyzed histone citrullination to epigenetically regulate expression of the histotroph gene insulin-like growth factor binding protein 1 (IGFBP1) in OLE cells. 100 nM P4 significantly increases IGFBP1 mRNA expression; however, this increase is attenuated by pre-treating OLE cells with 100 nM progesterone receptor antagonist RU486 or 2 microM of a pan-PAD inhibitor. P4 treatment of OLE cells also stimulates citrullination of histone H3 arginine residues 2, 8, and 17 leading to enrichment of the ovine IGFBP1 gene promoter. Since PAD2 nuclear translocation and catalytic activity require calcium, we next investigated whether P4 triggers calcium influx in OLE cells. OLE cells were pre-treated with 10 nM nicardipine, an L-type calcium channel blocker, followed by stimulation with P4. Using fura2-AM imaging, we found that P4 initiates a rapid calcium influx through L-type calcium channels in OLE cells. Furthermore, this influx is necessary for PAD2 nuclear translocation and resulting citrullination of histone H3 arginine residues 2, 8, and 17. Our work suggests that P4 stimulates rapid calcium influx through L-type calcium channels initiating PAD-catalyzed histone citrullination and an increase in IGFBP1 expression.
  • A phase transition enhances the catalytic activity of SARM1, an NAD(+) glycohydrolase involved in neurodegeneration

    Loring, Heather S.; Czech, Victoria L.; Icso, Janneke D.; O'Connor, Lauren C; Parelkar, Sangram; Byrne, Alexandra B.; Thompson, Paul R (2021-06-29)
    Sterile alpha and toll/interleukin receptor (TIR) motif-containing protein 1 (SARM1) is a neuronally expressed NAD(+) glycohydrolase whose activity is increased in response to stress. NAD(+) depletion triggers axonal degeneration, which is a characteristic feature of neurological diseases. Notably, loss of SARM1 is protective in murine models of peripheral neuropathy and traumatic brain injury. Herein, we report that citrate induces a phase transition that enhances SARM1 activity by ~2000-fold. This phase transition can be disrupted by mutating a residue involved in multimerization, G601P. This mutation also disrupts puncta formation in cells. We further show that citrate induces axonal degeneration in C. elegans that is dependent on the C. elegans orthologue of SARM1 (TIR-1). Notably, citrate induces the formation of larger puncta indicating that TIR-1/SARM1 multimerization is essential for degeneration in vivo. These findings provide critical insights into SARM1 biology with important implications for the discovery of novel SARM1-targeted therapeutics.
  • Human cytomegalovirus-induced host protein citrullination is crucial for viral replication

    Griffante, Gloria; Salinger, Ari J.; Mondal, Santanu; Thompson, Paul R; De Andrea, Marco; Landolfo, Santo (2021-06-23)
    Citrullination is the conversion of arginine-to-citrulline by protein arginine deiminases (PADs), whose dysregulation is implicated in the pathogenesis of various types of cancers and autoimmune diseases. Consistent with the ability of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) to induce post-translational modifications of cellular proteins to gain a survival advantage, we show that HCMV infection of primary human fibroblasts triggers PAD-mediated citrullination of several host proteins, and that this activity promotes viral fitness. Citrullinome analysis reveals significant changes in deimination levels of both cellular and viral proteins, with interferon (IFN)-inducible protein IFIT1 being among the most heavily deiminated one. As genetic depletion of IFIT1 strongly enhances HCMV growth, and in vitro IFIT1 citrullination impairs its ability to bind to 5'-ppp-RNA, we propose that viral-induced IFIT1 citrullination is a mechanism of HCMV evasion from host antiviral resistance. Overall, our findings point to a crucial role of citrullination in subverting cellular responses to viral infection.
  • Structures of human peptidylarginine deiminase type III provide insights into substrate recognition and inhibitor design

    Funabashi, Kazumasa; Sawata, Mizuki; Nagai, Anna; Akimoto, Megumi; Mashimo, Ryutaro; Takahara, Hidenari; Kizawa, Kenji; Thompson, Paul R; Ite, Kenji; Kitanishi, Kenichi; et al. (2021-05-07)
    Peptidylarginine deiminase type III (PAD3) is an isozyme belonging to the PAD enzyme family that converts arginine to citrulline residue(s) within proteins. PAD3 is expressed in most differentiated keratinocytes of the epidermis and hair follicles, while S100A3, trichohyalin, and filaggrin are its principal substrates. In this study, the X-ray crystal structures of PAD3 in six states, including its complex with the PAD inhibitor Cl-amidine, were determined. This structural analysis identified a large space around Gly374 in the PAD3-Ca(2+)-Cl-amidine complex, which may be used to develop novel PAD3-selective inhibitors. In addition, similarities between PAD3 and PAD4 were found based on the investigation of PAD4 reactivity with S100A3 in vitro. A comparison of the structures of PAD1, PAD2, PAD3, and PAD4 implied that the flexibility of the structures around the active site may lead to different substrate selectivity among these PAD isozymes.
  • Citrullinated vimentin mediates development and progression of lung fibrosis

    Li, Fu Jun; Mondal, Santanu; Thompson, Paul R; Antony, Veena B. (2021-03-17)
    The mechanisms by which environmental exposures contribute to the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis are unclear. Here, we demonstrate an increase in cadmium (Cd) and carbon black (CB), common components of cigarette smoke (CS) and environmental particulate matter (PM), in lung tissue from subjects with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Cd concentrations were directly proportional to citrullinated vimentin (Cit-Vim) amounts in lung tissue of subjects with IPF. Cit-Vim amounts were higher in subjects with IPF, especially smokers, which correlated with lung function and were associated with disease manifestations. Cd/CB induced the secretion of Cit-Vim in an Akt1- and peptidylarginine deiminase 2 (PAD2)-dependent manner. Cit-Vim mediated fibroblast invasion in a 3D ex vivo model of human pulmospheres that resulted in higher expression of CD26, collagen, and alpha-SMA. Cit-Vim activated NF-kappaB in a TLR4-dependent fashion and induced the production of active TGF-beta1, CTGF, and IL-8 along with higher surface expression of TLR4 in lung fibroblasts. To corroborate ex vivo findings, mice treated with Cit-Vim, but not Vim, independently developed a similar pattern of fibrotic tissue remodeling, which was TLR4 dependent. Moreover, wild-type mice, but not PAD2(-/-) and TLR4 mutant (MUT) mice, exposed to Cd/CB generated high amounts of Cit-Vim, in both plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and developed lung fibrosis in a stereotypic manner. Together, these studies support a role for Cit-Vim as a damage-associated molecular pattern molecule (DAMP) that is generated by lung macrophages in response to environmental Cd/CB exposure. Furthermore, PAD2 might represent a promising target to attenuate Cd/CB-induced fibrosis.

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