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Recent publications

Yamamoto M, Cid E, Yamamoto F

ABO blood group A transferases catalyze the biosynthesis of FORS blood group FORS1 antigen upon deletion of exon 3 or 4.

Blood Adv 26 Dec 2017, 1 (27) 2756-2766. Epub 20 Dec 2017
Evolutionarily related ABO and GBGT1 genes encode, respectively, A and B glycosyltransferases (AT and BT) and Forssman glycolipid synthase (FS), which catalyze the biosynthesis of A and B, and Forssman (FORS1) oligosaccharide antigens responsible for the ABO and FORS blood group systems. Humans are a Forssman antigen-negative species; however, rare individuals with Apae phenotype express FORS1 on their red blood cells. We previously demonstrated that the replacement of the LeuGlyGly tripeptide sequence at codons 266 to 268 of human AT with GBGT1-encoded FS-specific GlyGlyAla enabled the enzyme to produce FORS1 antigen, although the FS activity was weak. We searched for additional molecular mechanisms that might allow human AT to express FORS1. A variety of derivative expression constructs of human AT were prepared. DNA was transfected into COS1 (B3GALNT1) cells, and cell-surface expression of FORS1 was immunologically monitored. To our surprise, the deletion of exon 3 or 4, but not of exon 2 or 5, of human AT transcripts bestowed moderate FS activity, indicating that the A allele is inherently capable of producing a protein with FS activity. Because RNA splicing is frequently altered in cancer, this mechanism may explain, at least partially, the appearance of FORS1 in human cancer. Furthermore, strong FS activity was attained, in addition to AT and BT activities, by cointroducing 1 of those deletions and the GlyGlyAla substitution, possibly by the synergistic effects of altered intra-Golgi localization/conformation by the former and modified enzyme specificity by the latter.
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Van de Sompele S, Pécheux L, Couso J, Meunier A, Sanchez M, De Baere E

Functional characterization of a novel non-coding mutation "Ghent +49A > G" in the iron-responsive element of L-ferritin causing hereditary hyperferritinaemia-cataract syndrome.

Sci Rep 21 Dec 2017, 7 (1) 18025. Epub 21 Dec 2017
Hereditary hyperferritinaemia-cataract syndrome (HHCS) is a rare disorder usually caused by heterozygous mutations in the iron-responsive element (IRE) in the 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) of the L-ferritin gene (FTL), disturbing the binding of iron regulatory proteins (IRPs) and the post-transcriptional regulation of ferritin expression. Here, the proband of a consanguineous family displayed moderate bilateral cataracts and elevated serum ferritin in the absence of iron overload. The parents and siblings showed variable degrees of mild bilateral cataracts combined with elevated levels of circulating ferritin. Sequencing of FTL identified a novel 5'UTR mutation c.-151A > G, also named "Ghent +49A > G". The zygosity of the mutation, occurring in homozygous and heterozygous state in the proband and other affected family members respectively, correlated well with severity of ophthalmological and hematological manifestations. The substitution is expected to impair the secondary structure of the upper IRE stem. Functional characterization of +49A > G by electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated a reduced binding affinity for IRP1 compared to the wild-type IRE of FTL. Overall, we have expanded the repertoire of deleterious biallelic FTL IRE mutations in HHCS with this novel +49A > G mutation, the zygosity of which correlated well with the disease expression.
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Luscieti S, Galy B, Gutierrez L, Reinke M, Couso J, Shvartsman M, Di Pascale A, Witke W, Hentze MW, Pilo Boyl P, Sanchez M

The actin-binding protein profilin 2 is a novel regulator of iron homeostasis.

Blood 26 Oct 2017, 130 (17) 1934-1945. Epub 3 Aug 2017
Cellular iron homeostasis is controlled by the iron regulatory proteins (IRPs) 1 and 2 that bind cis-regulatory iron-responsive elements (IRE) on target messenger RNAs (mRNA). We identified profilin 2 (Pfn2) mRNA, which encodes an actin-binding protein involved in endocytosis and neurotransmitter release, as a novel IRP-interacting transcript, and studied its role in iron metabolism. A combination of electrophoretic mobility shift assay experiments and bioinformatic analyses led to the identification of an atypical and conserved IRE in the 3' untranslated region of Pfn2 mRNA. Pfn2 mRNA levels were significantly reduced in duodenal samples from mice with intestinal IRP ablation, suggesting that IRPs exert a positive effect on Pfn2 mRNA expression in vivo. Overexpression of Pfn2 in HeLa and Hepa1-6 cells reduced their metabolically active iron pool. Importantly, Pfn2-deficient mice showed iron accumulation in discrete areas of the brain (olfactory bulb, hippocampus, and midbrain) and reduction of the hepatic iron store without anemia. Despite low liver iron levels, hepatic hepcidin expression remained high, likely because of compensatory activation of hepcidin by mild inflammation. Splenic ferroportin was increased probably to sustain hematopoiesis. Overall, our results indicate that Pfn2 expression is controlled by the IRPs in vivo and that Pfn2 contributes to maintaining iron homeostasis in cell lines and mice.
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Marjanović MP, Hurtado-Bagès S, Lassi M, Valero V, Malinverni R, Delage H, Navarro M, Corujo D, Guberovic I, Douet J, Gama-Perez P, Garcia-Roves PM, Ahel I, Ladurner AG, Yanes O, Bouvet P, Suelves M, Teperino R, Pospisilik JA, Buschbeck M

MacroH2A1.1 regulates mitochondrial respiration by limiting nuclear NAD(+) consumption.

Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 9 Oct 2017, . Epub 9 Oct 2017
Histone variants are structural components of eukaryotic chromatin that can replace replication-coupled histones in the nucleosome. The histone variant macroH2A1.1 contains a macrodomain capable of binding NAD(+)-derived metabolites. Here we report that macroH2A1.1 is rapidly induced during myogenic differentiation through a switch in alternative splicing, and that myotubes that lack macroH2A1.1 have a defect in mitochondrial respiratory capacity. We found that the metabolite-binding macrodomain was essential for sustained optimal mitochondrial function but dispensable for gene regulation. Through direct binding, macroH2A1.1 inhibits basal poly-ADP ribose polymerase 1 (PARP-1) activity and thus reduces nuclear NAD(+) consumption. The resultant accumulation of the NAD(+) precursor NMN allows for maintenance of mitochondrial NAD(+) pools that are critical for respiration. Our data indicate that macroH2A1.1-containing chromatin regulates mitochondrial respiration by limiting nuclear NAD(+) consumption and establishing a buffer of NAD(+) precursors in differentiated cells.
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Manils J, Fischer H, Climent J, Casas E, García-Martínez C, Bas J, Sukseree S, Vavouri T, Ciruela F, de Anta JM, Tschachler E, Eckhart L, Soler C

Double deficiency of Trex2 and DNase1L2 nucleases leads to accumulation of DNA in lingual cornifying keratinocytes without activating inflammatory responses.

Sci Rep 19 Sep 2017, 7 (1) 11902. Epub 19 Sep 2017
The cornification of keratinocytes on the surface of skin and oral epithelia is associated with the degradation of nuclear DNA. The endonuclease DNase1L2 and the exonuclease Trex2 are expressed specifically in cornifying keratinocytes. Deletion of DNase1L2 causes retention of nuclear DNA in the tongue epithelium but not in the skin. Here we report that lack of Trex2 results in the accumulation of DNA fragments in the cytoplasm of cornifying lingual keratinocytes and co-deletion of DNase1L2 and Trex2 causes massive accumulation of DNA fragments throughout the cornified layers of the tongue epithelium. By contrast, cornification-associated DNA breakdown was not compromised in the epidermis. Aberrant retention of DNA in the tongue epithelium was associated neither with enhanced expression of DNA-driven response genes, such as Ifnb, Irf7 and Cxcl10, nor with inflammation. Of note, the expression of Tlr9, Aim2 and Tmem173, key DNA sensor genes, was markedly lower in keratinocytes and keratinocyte-built tissues than in macrophages and immune tissues, and DNA-driven response genes were not induced by introduction of DNA in keratinocytes. Altogether, our results indicate that DNase1L2 and Trex2 cooperate in the breakdown and degradation of DNA during cornification of lingual keratinocytes and aberrant DNA retention is tolerated in the oral epithelium.
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