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Gabriela Chiriţoiu - Top 30 Publications

N-glycosylation of the transient receptor potential melastatin 8 channel is altered in pancreatic cancer cells.

Transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8), a membrane ion channel, is activated by thermal and chemical stimuli. In pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, TRPM8 is required for cell migration, proliferation, and senescence and is associated with tumor size and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma stages. Although the underlying mechanisms of these processes have yet to be described, this cation-permeable channel has been proposed as an oncological target. In this study, the glycosylation status of the TRPM8 channel was shown to affect cell proliferation, cell migration, and calcium uptake. TRPM8 expressed in the membrane of the Panc-1 pancreatic tumoral cell line is non-glycosylated, whereas human embryonic kidney cells transfected with human TRPM8 overexpress a glycosylated protein. Moreover, our data suggest that Ca(2+) uptake is modulated by the glycosylation status of the protein, thus affecting cell proliferation.

Inhibition of N-glycan processing modulates the network of EDEM3 interactors.

We present here data on EDEM3 network of ER resident interactors and the changes induced upon this network by perturbing the early ER N-glycan processing with mannosidase and glucosidase inhibitors. By coupling immunoprecipitation with mass spectrometry we identified EDEM3 interactors and assigned statistical significance to those most abundant ER-residents that might form functional complexes with EDEM3. We further show that this ER interaction network changes in both content and abundance upon treatment with kifunensine (kif) and N-butyldeoxynojirimycin (NB-DNJ) which suggests that when interfering with the N-glycan processing pathway, the functional complexes involving EDEM3 adapt to maintain the cellular homeostasis. In order to increase the scope of EDEM3 network contenders, the set of MS identified species was further supplemented with putative interactors derived from in silico simulations performed with STRING. Finally, the most interesting candidates to this network were further validated by immunoprecipitation coupled with Western Blotting, which strengthened the confidence in the inferred interactions. The data corroborated herein suggest that besides ER residents, EDEM3 interacts also with proteins involved in the ERAD cargo recognition and targeting to degradation translocation into the cytosol, including UBA1 and UBA2 ubiquitinating enzymes. In addition, the results indicate that this network of EDEM3 interactors is highly sensitive to interfering with early ER N-glycan processing.

Epitope located N-glycans impair the MHC-I epitope generation and presentation.

The degradation process of the antigens specific to MHC-I presentation depends mainly on the proteasomal proteases in the cytosol. However, since many antigens are glycoproteins, including tumor antigens or viruses envelope proteins, their glycosylation status could also affect their processing and presentation. Here, we investigate the processing of tyrosinase, a multiple glycosylated tumor antigen overexpressed in human malignant melanoma. By LC-MS/MS analysis of human tyrosinase expressed in a melanoma cell, we show that all seven sites of tyrosinase are at least partially N-glycosylated. Using human CD8+ T-cell clones specific for the tyrosinase epitope YMDGTMSQV (369-377), including an N-glycosylation site, we found that transfectants of single and triple N-glycosylation mutants are recognized by specific T cells. Importantly, single, triple, and the aglycosylated tyrosinase mutants lacking the epitope located N-glycosylation site (N371D) were able to trigger higher CD8+ T-cell activation. The LC/MS analysis showed significant increase of the amount of YMDGTMSQV peptide resulted from accelerated oligomerization and degradation of aglycosylated mutants. The generation of the antigenic peptide by the antigen processing machinery is therefore largely independent of tyrosinase N-glycosylation. However, while distal N-glycans had no effect on the epitope generation, the mutants lacking the N371 glycan generated the antigenic peptide more efficiently. We conclude that epitope located N-glycans limit the ability of human tyrosinase to provide HLA-A2-restricted antigen for recognition by specific CD8+ T cells.

Characterization of functional transient receptor potential melastatin 8 channels in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells.

Recently, the transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) channel has emerged as a putative biomarker for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA). This study aimed to evaluate the expression of TRPM8 and its modulation by specific agonists and antagonists in PDA cells.

Tyrosinase degradation is prevented when EDEM1 lacks the intrinsically disordered region.

EDEM1 is a mannosidase-like protein that recruits misfolded glycoproteins from the calnexin/calreticulin folding cycle to downstream endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation (ERAD) pathway. Here, we investigate the role of EDEM1 in the processing of tyrosinase, a tumour antigen overexpressed in melanoma cells. First, we analyzed and modeled EDEM1 major domains. The homology model raised on the crystal structures of human and Saccharomyces cerevisiae ER class I α1,2-mannosidases reveals that the major mannosidase domain located between aminoacids 121-598 fits with high accuracy. We have further identified an N-terminal region located between aminoacids 40-119, predicted to be intrinsically disordered (ID) and susceptible to adopt multiple conformations, hence facilitating protein-protein interactions. To investigate these two domains we have constructed an EDEM1 deletion mutant lacking the ID region and a triple mutant disrupting the glycan-binding domain and analyzed their association with tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is a glycoprotein partly degraded endogenously by ERAD and the ubiquitin proteasomal system. We found that the degradation of wild type and misfolded tyrosinase was enhanced when EDEM1 was overexpressed. Glycosylated and non-glycosylated mutants co-immunoprecipitated with EDEM1 even in the absence of its intact mannosidase-like domain, but not when the ID region was deleted. In contrast, calnexin and SEL 1L associated with the deletion mutant. Our data suggest that the ID region identified in the N-terminal end of EDEM1 is involved in the binding of glycosylated and non-glycosylated misfolded proteins. Accelerating tyrosinase degradation by EDEM1 overexpression may lead to an efficient antigen presentation and enhanced elimination of melanoma cells.