• Understanding and Engineering the Stereoselectivity of Humulene Synthase.

      Schotte, Carsten; Lukat, Peer; Deuschmann, Adrian; Blankenfeldt, Wulf; Cox, Russell J; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Wiley-VCH, 2021-06-28)
      The non-canonical terpene cyclase AsR6 is responsible for the formation of 2E,6E,9E-humulene during the biosynthesis of the tropolone sesquiterpenoid (TS) xenovulene A. The structures of unliganded AsR6 and of AsR6 in complex with an in crystallo cyclized reaction product and thiolodiphosphate reveal a new farnesyl diphosphate binding motif that comprises a unique binuclear Mg2+ -cluster and an essential K289 residue that is conserved in all humulene synthases involved in TS formation. Structure-based site-directed mutagenesis of AsR6 and its homologue EupR3 identify a single residue, L285/M261, that controls the production of either 2E,6E,9E- or 2Z,6E,9E-humulene. A possible mechanism for the observed stereoselectivity was investigated using different isoprenoid precursors and results demonstrate that M261 has gatekeeping control over product formation.
    • YBX1 Indirectly Targets Heterochromatin-Repressed Inflammatory Response-Related Apoptosis Genes through Regulating CBX5 mRNA.

      Kloetgen, Andreas; Duggimpudi, Sujitha; Schuschel, Konstantin; Hezaveh, Kebria; Picard, Daniel; Schaal, Heiner; Remke, Marc; Klusmann, Jan-Henning; Borkhardt, Arndt; McHardy, Alice C; et al. (MDPI, 2020-06-23)
      Medulloblastomas arise from undifferentiated precursor cells in the cerebellum and account for about 20% of all solid brain tumors during childhood; standard therapies include radiation and chemotherapy, which oftentimes come with severe impairment of the cognitive development of the young patients. Here, we show that the posttranscriptional regulator Y-box binding protein 1 (YBX1), a DNA- and RNA-binding protein, acts as an oncogene in medulloblastomas by regulating cellular survival and apoptosis. We observed different cellular responses upon YBX1 knockdown in several medulloblastoma cell lines, with significantly altered transcription and subsequent apoptosis rates. Mechanistically, PAR-CLIP for YBX1 and integration with RNA-Seq data uncovered direct posttranscriptional control of the heterochromatin-associated gene CBX5; upon YBX1 knockdown and subsequent CBX5 mRNA instability, heterochromatin-regulated genes involved in inflammatory response, apoptosis and death receptor signaling were de-repressed. Thus, YBX1 acts as an oncogene in medulloblastoma through indirect transcriptional regulation of inflammatory genes regulating apoptosis and represents a promising novel therapeutic target in this tumor entity.