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Parhizkar, S., Arzberger, T., Brendel, M., Kleinberger, G., Deussing, M., Focke, C., Nuscher, B., Xiong, M., Ghasemigharagoz, A., Katzmarski, N., Krasemann, S., Lichtenthaler, S.F., Muller, S.A., Colombo, A., Monasor, L.S., Tahirovic, S., Herms, J., Willem, M., Pettkus, N., Butovsky, O., Bartenstein, P., Edbauer, D., Rominger, A., Erturk, A., Grathwohl, S.A., Neher, J.J., Holtzman, D.M., Meyer-Luehmann, M., and Haass, C.
Nat Neurosci, 2019, [Epub ahead of print].
doi: 10.1038/s41593-018-0296-9


Loss of TREM2 function increases amyloid seeding but reduces plaque-associated ApoE

Coding variants in the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) are associated with late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). We demonstrate that amyloid plaque seeding is increased in the absence of functional Trem2. Increased seeding is accompanied by decreased microglial clustering around newly seeded plaques and reduced plaque-associated apolipoprotein E (ApoE). Reduced ApoE deposition in plaques is also observed in brains of AD patients carrying TREM2 coding variants. Proteomic analyses and microglia depletion experiments revealed microglia as one origin of plaque-associated ApoE. Longitudinal amyloid small animal positron emission tomography demonstrates accelerated amyloidogenesis in Trem2 loss-of-function mutants at early stages, which progressed at a lower rate with aging. These findings suggest that in the absence of functional Trem2, early amyloidogenesis is accelerated due to reduced phagocytic clearance of amyloid seeds despite reduced plaque-associated ApoE.


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Glock, P., Ramm, B., Heermann, T., Kretschmer, S., Schweizer, J., Mucksch, J., Alagoz, G., and Schwille, P.
ACS Synth Biol, 2018, [Epub ahead of print].
(IMPRS-LS students are in bold)
doi: 10.1021/acssynbio.8b00415

Stationary patterns in a two-protein reaction-diffusion system.

Patterns formed by reaction-diffusion mechanisms are crucial for the development or sustenance of most organisms in nature. Patterns include dynamic waves, but are more often found as static distributions, such as animal skin patterns. Yet, a simplistic biological model system to reproduce and quantitatively investigate static reaction-diffusion patterns has been missing so far. Here, we demonstrate that the Escherichia coli Min system, known for its oscillatory behavior between the cell poles, is under certain conditions capable of transitioning to quasi-stationary protein distributions on membranes closely resembling Turing patterns. We systematically titrated both proteins, MinD and MinE, and found that removing all purification tags and linkers from the N-terminus of MinE was critical for static patterns to occur. At small bulk heights, dynamic patterns dominate, such as in rod-shaped microcompartments. We see implications of this work for studying pattern formation in general, but also for creating artificial gradients as downstream cues in synthetic biology applications.


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Sonal, Ganzinger, K.A., Vogel, S.K., Mucksch, J., Blumhardt, P., and Schwille, P.
J Cell Sci, 2018, 132, [Epub ahead of print].
(IMPRS-LS students are in bold)
doi: 10.1242/jcs.219899

Myosin-II activity generates a dynamic steady state with continuous actin turnover in a minimal actin cortex.

Dynamic reorganization of the actomyosin cytoskeleton allows fast modulation of the cell surface, which is vital for many cellular functions. Myosin-II motors generate the forces required for this remodeling by imparting contractility to actin networks. However, myosin-II activity might also have a more indirect contribution to cytoskeletal dynamics; it has been proposed that myosin activity increases actin turnover in various cellular contexts, presumably by enhancing disassembly. In vitro reconstitution of actomyosin networks has confirmed the role of myosin in actin network disassembly, but the reassembly of actin in these assays was limited by factors such as diffusional constraints and the use of stabilized actin filaments. Here, we present the reconstitution of a minimal dynamic actin cortex, where actin polymerization is catalyzed on the membrane in the presence of myosin-II activity. We demonstrate that myosin activity leads to disassembly and redistribution in this simplified cortex. Consequently, a new dynamic steady state emerges in which the actin network undergoes constant turnover. Our findings suggest a multifaceted role of myosin-II in the dynamics of the eukaryotic actin cortex. This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.


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Blumhardt, P., Stein, J., Mucksch, J., Stehr, F., Bauer, J., Jungmann, R., and Schwille, P.
Molecules, 2018, 23, [Epub ahead of print].
(IMPRS-LS students are in bold)
doi: 10.3390/molecules23123165

Photo-Induced Depletion of Binding Sites in DNA-PAINT Microscopy

The limited photon budget of fluorescent dyes is the main limitation for localization precision in localization-based super-resolution microscopy. Points accumulation for imaging in nanoscale topography (PAINT)-based techniques use the reversible binding of fluorophores and can sample a single binding site multiple times, thus elegantly circumventing the photon budget limitation. With DNA-based PAINT (DNA-PAINT), resolutions down to a few nanometers have been reached on DNA-origami nanostructures. However, for long acquisition times, we find a photo-induced depletion of binding sites in DNA-PAINT microscopy that ultimately limits the quality of the rendered images. Here we systematically investigate the loss of binding sites in DNA-PAINT imaging and support the observations with measurements of DNA hybridization kinetics via surface-integrated fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (SI-FCS). We do not only show that the depletion of binding sites is clearly photo-induced, but also provide evidence that it is mainly caused by dye-induced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We evaluate two possible strategies to reduce the depletion of binding sites: By addition of oxygen scavenging reagents, and by the positioning of the fluorescent dye at a larger distance from the binding site.


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Scacchetti, A., Brueckner, L., Jain, D., Schauer, T., Zhang, X., Schnorrer, F., van Steensel, B., Straub, T., and Becker, P.B.
Life Sci Alliance, 2018, 1, e201800024.
(IMPRS-LS students are in bold)
doi: 10.26508/lsa.201800024

CHRAC/ACF contribute to the repressive ground state of chromatin

Telomeres and the shelterin complex cap and protect the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres are flanked by the subtelomeric sequences that have also been implicated in telomere regulation, although their role is not well defined. Here, we show that, in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the telomere-associated sequences (TAS) present on most subtelomeres are hyper-recombinogenic, have metastable nucleosomes, and unusual low levels of H3K9 methylation. Ccq1, a subunit of shelterin, protects TAS from nucleosome loss by recruiting the heterochromatic repressor complexes CLRC and SHREC, thereby linking nucleosome stability to gene silencing. Nucleosome instability at TAS is independent of telomeric repeats and can be transmitted to an intrachromosomal locus containing an ectopic TAS fragment, indicating that this is an intrinsic property of the underlying DNA sequence. When telomerase recruitment is compromised in cells lacking Ccq1, DNA sequences present in the TAS promote recombination between chromosomal ends, independent of nucleosome abundance, implying an active function of these sequences in telomere maintenance. We propose that Ccq1 and fragile subtelomeres co-evolved to regulate telomere plasticity by controlling nucleosome occupancy and genome stability.


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van Emden, T.S., Forn, M., Forne, I., Sarkadi, Z., Capella, M., Martin Caballero, L., Fischer-Burkart, S., Bronner, C., Simonetta, M., Toczyski, D., Halic, M., Imhof, A., and Braun, S.
EMBO Rep, 2018, [Epub ahead of print].
(IMPRS-LS students are in bold)
doi: 10.15252/embr.201847181

Shelterin and subtelomeric DNA sequences control nucleosome maintenance and genome stability.

Telomeres and the shelterin complex cap and protect the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres are flanked by the subtelomeric sequences that have also been implicated in telomere regulation, although their role is not well defined. Here, we show that, in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the telomere-associated sequences (TAS) present on most subtelomeres are hyper-recombinogenic, have metastable nucleosomes, and unusual low levels of H3K9 methylation. Ccq1, a subunit of shelterin, protects TAS from nucleosome loss by recruiting the heterochromatic repressor complexes CLRC and SHREC, thereby linking nucleosome stability to gene silencing. Nucleosome instability at TAS is independent of telomeric repeats and can be transmitted to an intrachromosomal locus containing an ectopic TAS fragment, indicating that this is an intrinsic property of the underlying DNA sequence. When telomerase recruitment is compromised in cells lacking Ccq1, DNA sequences present in the TAS promote recombination between chromosomal ends, independent of nucleosome abundance, implying an active function of these sequences in telomere maintenance. We propose that Ccq1 and fragile subtelomeres co-evolved to regulate telomere plasticity by controlling nucleosome occupancy and genome stability.


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De Oliveira, T., Ramakrishnan, M., Diamanti, M.A., Ziegler, P.K., Brombacher, F., and Greten, F.R.
Oncogene, 2018, [Epub ahead of print].
doi: 10.1038/s41388-018-0551-2

Loss of Stat6 affects chromatin condensation in intestinal epithelial cells causing diverse outcome in murine models of inflammation-associated and sporadic colon carcinogenesis.

While great advances have been achieved regarding the genetic basis of colorectal cancer, the complex role of cell-cell communication and cytokine-induced signaling during its pathogenesis remains less understood. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (Stat6) is the main transcription factor of interleukin-4 (IL-4) signaling and its participation in the development of various tumor types has been already reported. Here we aimed to examine the contribution of Stat6 in intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) in mouse models of intestinal carcinogenesis. Wild-type (WT), Stat6 knockout (Stat6-/-), and intestinal epithelial cell-specific IL-4Rα knockout (Il-4rαΔIEC) mice were subjected to colitis-associated (AOM/DSS) and colitis-independent (sporadic) carcinogenesis. IEC proliferation, apoptosis and RNA expression were evaluated by immunohistochemical, immunoblot, and RT-PCR analysis. We found that Stat6-/- mice developed more tumors in the colitis-associated carcinogenesis model. This was accompanied by a more pronounced inflammatory response during colitis and an elevated Stat3-dependent proliferation of IEC. Increased sensitivity to DSS-induced colitis was caused by elevated cell death in response to the initial carcinogen exposure as Stat6 deficiency led to increased chromatin compaction affecting DNA damage response in IEC upon treatment with alkylating agents independently of IL-4Rα engagement. Thus, loss of Stat6 caused more severe colitis and increased tumor load, however loss-of-initiated Stat6-/- IEC prevented tumor formation in the absence of overt inflammation. Our data unravel unexpected IL-4-independent functions of Stat6 in chromatin compaction in intestinal epithelial cells ultimately providing both tumor suppressive as well as tumor promoting effects in different models of intestinal tumorigenesis.


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Galanti, L., and Pfander, B.
EMBO J, 2018, [Epub ahead of print].
doi: 10.15252/embj.2018100681

Right time, right place-DNA damage and DNA replication checkpoints collectively safeguard S phase

The DNA replication checkpoint (DRC) and the DNA damage checkpoint (DDC) are two closely linked signaling cascades that adjust S phase to the presence of DNA lesions and other replication impediments. Two recent studies published in The EMBO Journal shed new light on their relationship in budding yeast, collectively showing that the two pathways—while sharing several factors—differ in the location and kinetics of their activation, suggesting that they constitute different branches of an integrated cellular response to impaired DNA replication.


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Butryn, A., Woike, S., Shetty, S.J., Auble, D.T., and Hopfner, K.P.
Elife 7, 2018.
doi: 10.7554/eLife.37774

Crystal structure of the full Swi2/Snf2 remodeler Mot1 in the resting state.

Swi2/Snf2 ATPases remodel protein:DNA complexes in all of the fundamental chromosome‑associated processes. The single‑subunit remodeler Mot1 dissociates TATA box-binding protein (TBP):DNA complexes and provides a simple model for obtaining structural insights into the action of Swi2/Snf2 ATPases. Previously we reported how the N-terminal domain of Mot1 it binds TBP, NC2 and DNA, but the location of the C-terminal ATPase domain remained unclear (Butryn et al., 2015). Here, we report the crystal structure of the near full-length Mot1 from Chaetomium thermophilum. Our data show that Mot1 adopts a ring like structure with a catalytically inactive resting state of the ATPase. Biochemical analysis suggests that TBP binding switches Mot1 into an ATP hydrolysis-competent conformation. Combined with our previous results, these data significantly improve the structural model for the complete Mot1:TBP:DNA complex and suggest a general mechanism for Mot1 action.


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Coscia, F., Lengyel, E., Duraiswamy, J., Ashcroft, B., Bassani-Sternberg, M., Wierer, M., Johnson, A., Wroblewski, K., Montag, A., Yamada, S.D., Lopez-Mendez, B., Nilsson, J., Mund, A., Mann, M., and Curtis, M.
Cell 2018, 175, 159-170.e116.
doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.08.065

Multi-level Proteomics Identifies CT45 as a Chemosensitivity Mediator and Immunotherapy Target in Ovarian Cancer.

Most high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) patients develop resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy and recur, but 15% remain disease free over a decade. To discover drivers of long-term survival, we quantitatively analyzed the proteomes of platinum-resistant and -sensitive HGSOC patients from minute amounts of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumors. This revealed cancer/testis antigen 45 (CT45) as an independent prognostic factor associated with a doubling of disease-free survival in advanced-stage HGSOC. Phospho- and interaction proteomics tied CT45 to DNA damage pathways through direct interaction with the PP4 phosphatase complex. In vitro, CT45 regulated PP4 activity, and its high expression led to increased DNA damage and platinum sensitivity. CT45-derived HLA class I peptides, identified by immunopeptidomics, activate patient-derived cytotoxic T cells and promote tumor cell killing. This study highlights the power of clinical cancer proteomics to identify targets for chemo- and immunotherapy and illuminate their biological roles.