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postgraduate thesis: Towards specific DNA aptamers which bind and inhibit WWP1 HECT ubiquitin ligase in the osteoblast

TitleTowards specific DNA aptamers which bind and inhibit WWP1 HECT ubiquitin ligase in the osteoblast
Authors
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Tucker, W. O.. (2013). Towards specific DNA aptamers which bind and inhibit WWP1 HECT ubiquitin ligase in the osteoblast. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5108666
AbstractDNA aptamers have been studied since their inception in 1990, but have only targeted membrane and serum proteins in therapeutics. Their potential as inhibitors of protein function is hampered by their inability to efficiently enter cells in order to function. Surmounting this hurdle is worthwhile since the inhibition of protein-protein interactions is not achievable by small molecule pharmaceuticals alone. Herein we target an intracellular ubiquitin ligase WWP1, which is known to complex with Schnurri3 and polyubiquitinate Runx2, thus targeting it for proteosomal destruction. Since Runx2 is the key transcriptional regulator of osteoblast differentiation, WWP1 inhibition may encourage osteoblast differentiation, and by extension force bone deposition in osteoporosis sufferers. By targeting WWP1 we attempt to intervene in intracellular protein interactions with an aptamer for the first time. To begin this effort we cloned, expressed, and purified three functionally important truncations of WWP1. The final protein pools were highly concentrated above 2 mg/mL, approximately 95% pure, and were found to be acceptably soluble after assessment in various buffers. DNA aptamers were then selected against these WWP1 truncations using the established SELEX method while monitoring the progression of the enrichment with PCR. After 12 selection rounds of increasing stringency, pools were sequenced and assessed for homogeneity and secondary structure. Several groups of enriched and identical DNA sequences were obtained with no obvious pattern in secondary structure seen between them. While focusing on sequences specific for the active site containing C-lobe, we then evaluated the aptamers for their ability to bind key functional regions of WWP1 and inhibit its function as an enzyme. For the most potent aptamer from the C-lobe pool, an Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay (EMSA) estimated a Ki of around 2 μM. Furthermore, a HECT ubiquitin ligase activity assay was developed to evaluate inhibition, and an IC50 of around 100 μM was found for the most inhibitory of three C-lobe aptamers. This aptamer was then transfected into SaOS-2 osteoblastic cells so that localization could be assessed with fluorescence microscopy. Surprisingly, both the C-lobe specific aptamer and a control sequence were found to enter the cells with or without the employment of transfection reagent. Moreover, approximately 60% migrated to the nucleus and remained there over a period of days, which implies diffusion through the Nuclear Pore Complex. Taken together, this work introduces an alternative approach to disease therapy by targeting intracellular proteins with aptamers, and may have significant implications for expanding the therapeutic applications of nucleic acid aptamers in the future.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectOligonucleotides
Ubiquitin
Osteoblasts
Dept/ProgramBiochemistry
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/205640

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTucker, Wesley Owen-
dc.date.accessioned2014-09-20T23:13:18Z-
dc.date.available2014-09-20T23:13:18Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationTucker, W. O.. (2013). Towards specific DNA aptamers which bind and inhibit WWP1 HECT ubiquitin ligase in the osteoblast. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5108666-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/205640-
dc.description.abstractDNA aptamers have been studied since their inception in 1990, but have only targeted membrane and serum proteins in therapeutics. Their potential as inhibitors of protein function is hampered by their inability to efficiently enter cells in order to function. Surmounting this hurdle is worthwhile since the inhibition of protein-protein interactions is not achievable by small molecule pharmaceuticals alone. Herein we target an intracellular ubiquitin ligase WWP1, which is known to complex with Schnurri3 and polyubiquitinate Runx2, thus targeting it for proteosomal destruction. Since Runx2 is the key transcriptional regulator of osteoblast differentiation, WWP1 inhibition may encourage osteoblast differentiation, and by extension force bone deposition in osteoporosis sufferers. By targeting WWP1 we attempt to intervene in intracellular protein interactions with an aptamer for the first time. To begin this effort we cloned, expressed, and purified three functionally important truncations of WWP1. The final protein pools were highly concentrated above 2 mg/mL, approximately 95% pure, and were found to be acceptably soluble after assessment in various buffers. DNA aptamers were then selected against these WWP1 truncations using the established SELEX method while monitoring the progression of the enrichment with PCR. After 12 selection rounds of increasing stringency, pools were sequenced and assessed for homogeneity and secondary structure. Several groups of enriched and identical DNA sequences were obtained with no obvious pattern in secondary structure seen between them. While focusing on sequences specific for the active site containing C-lobe, we then evaluated the aptamers for their ability to bind key functional regions of WWP1 and inhibit its function as an enzyme. For the most potent aptamer from the C-lobe pool, an Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay (EMSA) estimated a Ki of around 2 μM. Furthermore, a HECT ubiquitin ligase activity assay was developed to evaluate inhibition, and an IC50 of around 100 μM was found for the most inhibitory of three C-lobe aptamers. This aptamer was then transfected into SaOS-2 osteoblastic cells so that localization could be assessed with fluorescence microscopy. Surprisingly, both the C-lobe specific aptamer and a control sequence were found to enter the cells with or without the employment of transfection reagent. Moreover, approximately 60% migrated to the nucleus and remained there over a period of days, which implies diffusion through the Nuclear Pore Complex. Taken together, this work introduces an alternative approach to disease therapy by targeting intracellular proteins with aptamers, and may have significant implications for expanding the therapeutic applications of nucleic acid aptamers in the future.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshOligonucleotides-
dc.subject.lcshUbiquitin-
dc.subject.lcshOsteoblasts-
dc.titleTowards specific DNA aptamers which bind and inhibit WWP1 HECT ubiquitin ligase in the osteoblast-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5108666-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineBiochemistry-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5108666-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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