bims-auttor Biomed News
on Autophagy and mTOR
Issue of 2019‒06‒02
seven papers selected by
Viktor Korolchuk
Newcastle University

  1. Autophagy. 2019 May 29. 1-17
      Adaptor protein (AP) complexes mediate key sorting decisions in the cell through selective incorporation of transmembrane proteins into vesicles. Little is known of the roles of AP-4, despite its loss of function leading to a severe early onset neurological disorder, AP-4 deficiency syndrome. Here we demonstrate an AP-4 epsilon subunit knockout mouse model that recapitulates characteristic neuroanatomical phenotypes of AP-4 deficiency patients. We show that ATG9A, critical for autophagosome biogenesis, is an AP-4 cargo, which is retained within the trans-Golgi network (TGN) in vivo and in culture when AP-4 function is lost. TGN retention results in depletion of axonal ATG9A, leading to defective autophagosome generation and aberrant expansions of the distal axon. The reduction in the capacity to generate axonal autophagosomes leads to defective axonal extension and de novo generation of distal axonal swellings containing accumulated ER, underlying the impaired axonal integrity in AP-4 deficiency syndrome. Abbreviations: AP: adaptor protein; AP4B1: adaptor-related protein complex AP-4, beta 1; AP4E1: adaptor-related protein complex AP-4, epsilon 1; ATG: autophagy-related; EBSS: Earle's balanced salt solution; ER: endoplasmic reticulum; GFAP: glial fibrillary acidic protein; GOLGA1/Golgin-97/GOLG97: golgi autoantigen, golgin subfamily a, 1; GOLGA2/GM130: golgi autoantigen, golgin subfamily a, 2; HSP: hereditary spastic paraplegia; LC3/MAP1LC3B: microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta; MAP2: microtubule-associated protein 2; MAPK8IP1/JIP1: mitogen-acitvated protein kinase 8 interacting protein 1; NEFH/NF200: neurofilament, heavy polypeptide; RBFOX3/NeuN (RNA binding protein, fox-1 homolog [C. elegans] 3); SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; TGN: trans-Golgi network; WIPI2: WD repeat domain, phosphoinositide interacting protein 2.
    Keywords:  AP4B1; AP4E1; AP4M1; AP4S1; ER-phagy; SPG47; SPG51; mAtg9; reticulophagy; swelling; varicosities
  2. Nat Commun. 2019 May 30. 10(1): 2370
      FAM134B/RETREG1 is a selective ER-phagy receptor that regulates the size and shape of the endoplasmic reticulum. The structure of its reticulon-homology domain (RHD), an element shared with other ER-shaping proteins, and the mechanism of membrane shaping remain poorly understood. Using molecular modeling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we assemble a structural model for the RHD of FAM134B. Through MD simulations of FAM134B in flat and curved membranes, we relate the dynamic RHD structure with its two wedge-shaped transmembrane helical hairpins and two amphipathic helices to FAM134B functions in membrane-curvature induction and curvature-mediated protein sorting. FAM134B clustering, as expected to occur in autophagic puncta, amplifies the membrane-shaping effects. Electron microscopy of in vitro liposome remodeling experiments support the membrane remodeling functions of the different RHD structural elements. Disruption of the RHD structure affects selective autophagy flux and leads to disease states.
  3. Hum Genet. 2019 May 30.
      Our understanding of the process of autophagy and its role in health and diseases has grown remarkably in the last two decades. Early work established autophagy as a general bulk recycling process which involves the sequestration and transport of intracellular material to the lysosome for degradation. Currently, autophagy is viewed as a nexus of metabolic and proteostatic signalling that can determine key physiological decisions from cell fate to organismal lifespan. Here, we review the latest literature on the role of autophagy and lysosomes in stress response and longevity. We highlight the connections between autophagy and metabolic processes, the network associated with its regulation, and the links between autophagic dysfunction, neurodegenerative diseases, and aging.
  4. PLoS Biol. 2019 May 31. 17(5): e3000301
      Chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) contributes to the lysosomal degradation of a selective subset of proteins. Selectivity lies in the chaperone heat shock cognate 71 kDa protein (HSC70) recognizing a pentapeptide motif (KFERQ-like motif) in the protein sequence essential for subsequent targeting and degradation of CMA substrates in lysosomes. Interest in CMA is growing due to its recently identified regulatory roles in metabolism, differentiation, cell cycle, and its malfunctioning in aging and conditions such as cancer, neurodegeneration, or diabetes. Identification of the subset of the proteome amenable to CMA degradation could further expand our understanding of the pathophysiological relevance of this form of autophagy. To that effect, we have performed an in silico screen for KFERQ-like motifs across proteomes of several species. We have found that KFERQ-like motifs are more frequently located in solvent-exposed regions of proteins, and that the position of acidic and hydrophobic residues in the motif plays the most important role in motif construction. Cross-species comparison of proteomes revealed higher motif conservation in CMA-proficient species. The tools developed in this work have also allowed us to analyze the enrichment of motif-containing proteins in biological processes on an unprecedented scale and discover a previously unknown association between the type and combination of KFERQ-like motifs in proteins and their participation in specific biological processes. To facilitate further analysis by the scientific community, we have developed a free web-based resource (KFERQ finder) for direct identification of KFERQ-like motifs in any protein sequence. This resource will contribute to accelerating understanding of the physiological relevance of CMA.
  5. Cell Rep. 2019 May 28. pii: S2211-1247(19)30579-0. [Epub ahead of print]27(9): 2636-2648.e4
      There is increasing evidence that the lysosome is involved in the pathogenesis of a variety of neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, mechanisms that link lysosome dysfunction to the disruption of neuronal homeostasis offer opportunities to understand the molecular underpinnings of neurodegeneration and potentially identify specific therapeutic targets. Here, using a monogenic neurodegenerative disorder, NPC1 disease, we demonstrate that reduced cholesterol efflux from lysosomes aberrantly modifies neuronal firing patterns. The molecular mechanism linking alterations in lysosomal cholesterol egress to intrinsic tuning of neuronal excitability is a transcriptionally mediated upregulation of the ABCA1 transporter, whose PtdIns(4,5)P2-floppase activity decreases plasma membrane PtdIns(4,5)P2. The consequence of reduced PtdIns(4,5)P2 is a parallel decrease in a key regulator of neuronal excitability, the voltage-gated KCNQ2/3 potassium channel, which leads to hyperexcitability in NPC1 disease neurons. Thus, cholesterol efflux from lysosomes regulates PtdIns(4,5)P2 to shape the electrical and functional identity of the plasma membrane of neurons in health and disease.
    Keywords:  ABCA1; KCNQ2/3 channels; NPC1; NPC1 disease; PtdIns(4,5)P(2); cholesterol; excitability; neurodegeneration; phosphoinositides
  6. Mol Cell. 2019 May 17. pii: S1097-2765(19)30362-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Growth factor signaling is initiated at the plasma membrane and propagated through the cytoplasm for eventual relay to intracellular organelles such as lysosomes. The serine/threonine kinase mTOR participates in growth factor signaling as a component of two multi-subunit complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2. mTORC1 associates with lysosomes, and its activity depends on the positioning of lysosomes within the cytoplasm, although there is no consensus regarding the exact effect of perinuclear versus peripheral distribution. mTORC2 and its substrate kinase AKT have a widespread distribution, but they are thought to act mainly at the plasma membrane. Using cell lines with knockout of components of the lysosome-positioning machinery, we show that perinuclear clustering of lysosomes delays reactivation of not only mTORC1, but also mTORC2 and AKT upon serum replenishment. These experiments demonstrate the existence of pools of mTORC2 and AKT that are sensitive to lysosome positioning.
  7. Cell Death Differ. 2019 May 29.
      The assembly and function of the primary cilium depends on multimolecular intraflagellar transport (IFT) complexes that shuttle their cargo along the axonemal microtubules through their interaction with molecular motors. The IFT system has been moreover recently implicated in a reciprocal interplay between autophagy and ciliogenesis. We have previously reported that IFT20 and other components of the IFT complexes participate in the assembly of the immune synapse in the non-ciliated T cell, suggesting that other cellular processes regulated by the IFT system in ciliated cells, including autophagy, may be shared by cells lacking a cilium. Starting from the observation of a defect in autophagic clearance and an accumulation of lipid droplets in IFT20-deficient T cells, we show that IFT20 is required for lysosome biogenesis and function by controlling the lysosomal targeting of acid hydrolases. This function involves its ability to regulate the retrograde traffic of the cation-independent mannose-6-phosphate receptor (CI-MPR) to the trans-Golgi network, which is achieved by coupling recycling CI-MPRs to the microtubule motor dynein. Consistent with the lysosomal defect, an upregulation of the TFEB-dependent expression of the lysosomal gene network can be observed in IFT20-deficient cells, which is associated with defective tonic T-cell antigen receptor signaling and mTOR activity. We additionally show that the lysosome-related function of IFT20 extends to non-ciliated cells other than T cells, as well as to ciliated cells. Our findings provide the first evidence that a component of the IFT system that controls ciliogenesis is implicated in the biogenesis of lysosomes.