All Publications


  • METTL13 Methylation of eEF1A Increases Translational Output to Promote Tumorigenesis. Cell Liu, S., Hausmann, S., Carlson, S. M., Fuentes, M. E., Francis, J. W., Pillai, R., Lofgren, S. M., Hulea, L., Tandoc, K., Lu, J., Li, A., Nguyen, N. D., Caporicci, M., Kim, M. P., Maitra, A., Wang, H., Wistuba, I. I., Porco, J. A., Bassik, M. C., Elias, J. E., Song, J., Topisirovic, I., Van Rechem, C., Mazur, P. K., Gozani, O. 2018

    Abstract

    Increased protein synthesis plays an etiologic role in diverse cancers. Here, we demonstrate that METTL13 (methyltransferase-like 13) dimethylation of eEF1A (eukaryotic elongation factor 1A) lysine 55 (eEF1AK55me2) is utilized by Ras-driven cancers to increase translational output and promote tumorigenesis invivo. METTL13-catalyzed eEF1A methylation increases eEF1A's intrinsic GTPase activity invitro and protein production in cells. METTL13 and eEF1AK55me2 levels are upregulated in cancer and negatively correlate with pancreatic and lung cancer patient survival. METTL13 deletion and eEF1AK55me2 loss dramatically reduce Ras-driven neoplastic growth in mouse models and in patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) from primary pancreatic and lung tumors. Finally, METTL13 depletion renders PDX tumors hypersensitive to drugs thattarget growth-signaling pathways. Together, our work uncovers a mechanism by which lethal cancers become dependent on the METTL13-eEF1AK55me2 axis to meet their elevated protein synthesis requirement and suggests that METTL13 inhibition may constitute a targetable vulnerability of tumors driven by aberrant Ras signaling.

    View details for PubMedID 30612740

  • Structure and function of the bacillithiol-S-transferase BstA from Staphylococcus aureus. Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society Francis, J. W., Royer, C. J., Cook, P. D. 2018; 27 (4): 898–902

    Abstract

    Bacillithiol is a low-molecular weight thiol produced by many gram-positive organisms, including Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis. It is the major thiol responsible for maintaining redox homeostasis and cellular detoxification, including inactivation of the antibiotic fosfomycin. The metal-dependent bacillithiol transferase BstA is likely involved in these sorts of detoxification processes, but the exact substrates and enzyme mechanism have not been identified. Here we report the 1.34 Å resolution X-ray crystallographic structure of BstA from S. aureus. Our structure confirms that BstA belongs to the YfiT-like metal-dependent hydrolase superfamily. Like YfiT, our structure contains nickel within its active site, but our functional data suggest that BstA utilizes zinc for activity. Although BstA and YfiT both contain a core four helix bundle and coordinate their metal ions in the same fashion, significant differences between the protein structures are described here.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pro.3384

    View details for PubMedID 29417696

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5866932