bims-auttor Biomed News
on Autophagy and mTOR
Issue of 2021‒01‒24
forty papers selected by
Viktor Korolchuk
Newcastle University

  1. J Cell Sci. 2021 Jan 19. pii: jcs.250670. [Epub ahead of print]
      Late endosomes and lysosomes (endolysosomes) receive proteins and cargo from the secretory, endocytic and autophagic pathways. Whereas these pathways and the degradative processes of endolysosomes are well characterized, less is understood about protein traffic from these organelles. In this study, we demonstrate the direct involvement of the phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PI3P) binding SNX4 protein in membrane protein recycling from endolysosomes, and show that SNX4 is required for proper autophagic flux. We show that SNX4 mediates recycling of the lipid scramblase ATG9A, which drives expansion of nascent autophagosome membranes, from endolysosomes to early endosomes, from where ATG9A is recycled to the trans-Golgi network in a retromer-dependent manner. Upon siRNA-mediated depletion of SNX4 or the retromer component VPS35, we observed accumulation of ATG9A on endolysosomes and early endosomes, respectively. Moreover, starvation-induced autophagosome biogenesis and autophagic flux were inhibited when SNX4 was downregulated. We propose that proper ATG9A recycling by SNX4 sustains autophagy by preventing exhaustion of the available ATG9A pool.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Endosome; Phosphoinositide; Recycling
  2. Cell Death Differ. 2021 Jan 18.
      In eukaryotic cells, macromolecular homeostasis requires selective degradation of damaged units by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and autophagy. Thus, dysfunctional degradation systems contribute to multiple pathological processes. Ferroptosis is a type of iron-dependent oxidative cell death driven by lipid peroxidation. Various antioxidant systems, especially the system xc--glutathione-GPX4 axis, play a significant role in preventing lipid peroxidation-mediated ferroptosis. The endosomal sorting complex required for transport-III (ESCRT-III)-dependent membrane fission machinery counteracts ferroptosis by repairing membrane damage. Moreover, cellular degradation systems play a dual role in regulating the ferroptotic response, depending on the cargo they degrade. The key ferroptosis repressors, such as SLC7A11 and GPX4, are degraded by the UPS. In contrast, the overactivation of selective autophagy, including ferritinophagy, lipophagy, clockophagy and chaperone-mediated autophagy, promotes ferroptotic death by degrading ferritin, lipid droplets, circadian proteins, and GPX4, respectively. Autophagy modulators (e.g., BECN1, STING1/TMEM173, CTSB, HMGB1, PEBP1, MTOR, AMPK, and DUSP1) also determine the ferroptotic response in a context-dependent manner. In this review, we provide an updated overview of the signals and mechanisms of the degradation system regulating ferroptosis, opening new horizons for disease treatment strategies.
  3. Autophagy. 2021 Jan 21. 1-2
      Mitophagy is a selective type of autophagy in which damaged or unnecessary mitochondria are sequestered by double-membranous structures called phagophores and delivered to vacuoles/lysosomes for degradation. The molecular mechanisms underlying mitophagy have been studied extensively in budding yeast and mammalian cells. To gain more diverse insights, our recent study identified Atg43 as a mitophagy receptor in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Atg43 is localized on the mitochondrial outer membrane through the Mim1-Mim2 complex and binds to Atg8, a ubiquitin-like protein conjugated to phagophore membranes. Artificial tethering of Atg8 to mitochondria can bypass the requirement of Atg43 for mitophagy, suggesting that the main role of Atg43 in mitophagy is to stabilize phagophore expansion on mitochondria by interacting with Atg8. Atg43 shares no sequence similarity with mitophagy receptors in other organisms and has a mitophagy-independent function, raising the possibility that Atg43 has acquired the mitophagic function by convergent evolution.
    Keywords:  Atg43; Atg8; MIM complex; autophagy; mitochondria; mitophagy; selective autophagy; yeast
  4. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jan 05. pii: E453. [Epub ahead of print]22(1):
      Silicosis is an urgent public health problem in many countries. Alveolar macrophage (AM) plays an important role in silicosis progression. Autophagy is a balanced mechanism for regulating the cycle of synthesis and degradation of cellular components. Our previous study has shown that silica engulfment results in lysosomal rupture, which may lead to the accumulation of autophagosomes in AMs of human silicosis. The excessive accumulation of autophagosomes may lead to apoptosis in AMs. Herein, we addressed some assumptions concerning the complex function of autophagy-related proteins on the silicosis pathogenesis. We also recapped the molecular mechanism of several critical proteins targeting macrophage autophagy in the process of silicosis fibrosis. Furthermore, we summarized several exogenous chemicals that may cause an aggravation or alleviation for silica-induced pulmonary fibrosis by regulating AM autophagy. For example, lipopolysaccharides or nicotine may have a detrimental effect combined together with silica dust via exacerbating the blockade of AM autophagic degradation. Simultaneously, some natural product ingredients such as atractylenolide III, dioscin, or trehalose may be the potential AM autophagy regulators, protecting against silicosis fibrosis. In conclusion, the deeper molecular mechanism of these autophagy targets should be explored in order to provide feasible clues for silicosis therapy in the clinical setting.
    Keywords:  alveolar macrophage; autophagy; silicosis
  5. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Jan 26. pii: e2022120118. [Epub ahead of print]118(4):
      In mammalian cells, nutrients and growth factors signal through an array of upstream proteins to regulate the mTORC1 growth control pathway. Because the full complement of these proteins has not been systematically identified, we developed a FACS-based CRISPR-Cas9 genetic screening strategy to pinpoint genes that regulate mTORC1 activity. Along with almost all known positive components of the mTORC1 pathway, we identified many genes that impact mTORC1 activity, including DCAF7, CSNK2B, SRSF2, IRS4, CCDC43, and HSD17B10 Using the genome-wide screening data, we generated a focused sublibrary containing single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) targeting hundreds of genes and carried out epistasis screens in cells lacking nutrient- and stress-responsive mTORC1 modulators, including GATOR1, AMPK, GCN2, and ATF4. From these data, we pinpointed mitochondrial function as a particularly important input into mTORC1 signaling. While it is well appreciated that mitochondria signal to mTORC1, the mechanisms are not completely clear. We find that the kinases AMPK and HRI signal, with varying kinetics, mitochondrial distress to mTORC1, and that HRI acts through the ATF4-dependent up-regulation of both Sestrin2 and Redd1. Loss of both AMPK and HRI is sufficient to render mTORC1 signaling largely resistant to mitochondrial dysfunction induced by the ATP synthase inhibitor oligomycin as well as the electron transport chain inhibitors piericidin and antimycin. Taken together, our data reveal a catalog of genes that impact the mTORC1 pathway and clarify the multifaceted ways in which mTORC1 senses mitochondrial dysfunction.
    Keywords:  CRISPR-Cas9 screen; mTORC1; mitochondria
  6. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2021 Jan 19. pii: S0006-291X(21)00068-1. [Epub ahead of print]541 84-89
      Tuberous sclerosis complex 2 (TSC2) is a tumor-suppressor protein that is partially regulated by insulin, energy, oxygen, and growth factors. Mutations in the TSC2 gene and loss of TSC2 promote cell growth by the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) activation. Furthermore, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) sensor upstream of mTORC1 indirectly inhibits mTORC1 activity via the methionine metabolite SAM. Here, we investigated the effects of methionine on insulin/TSC2/mTORC1 activity. Our results showed that methionine affected TSC2 stability and abolished TSC2 localization to the lysosome. Moreover, activation of insulin signaling contributed to TSC2 degradation in a methionine deprivation-dependent manner. Thus, methionine and insulin crosstalk occurred via TSC2.
    Keywords:  AKT; Amino acid; Mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1; Methionine; S-adenosylmethionine; Tuberous sclerosis complex 2
  7. J Biol Chem. 2020 Dec 18. pii: S0021-9258(17)50636-5. [Epub ahead of print]295(51): 17497-17513
      Neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD) can be recapitulated in animals by administration of α-synuclein preformed fibrils (PFFs) into the brain. However, the mechanism by which these PFFs induce toxicity is unknown. Iron is implicated in PD pathophysiology, so we investigated whether α-synuclein PFFs induce ferroptosis, an iron-dependent cell death pathway. A range of ferroptosis inhibitors were added to a striatal neuron-derived cell line (STHdhQ7/7 cells), a dopaminergic neuron-derived cell line (SN4741 cells), and WT primary cortical neurons, all of which had been intoxicated with α-synuclein PFFs. Viability was not recovered by these inhibitors except for liproxstatin-1, a best-in-class ferroptosis inhibitor, when used at high doses. High-dose liproxstatin-1 visibly enlarged the area of a cell that contained acidic vesicles and elevated the expression of several proteins associated with the autophagy-lysosomal pathway similarly to the known lysosomal inhibitors, chloroquine and bafilomycin A1. Consistent with high-dose liproxstatin-1 protecting via a lysosomal mechanism, we further de-monstrated that loss of viability induced by α-synuclein PFFs was attenuated by chloroquine and bafilomycin A1 as well as the lysosomal cysteine protease inhibitors, leupeptin, E-64D, and Ca-074-Me, but not other autophagy or lysosomal enzyme inhibitors. We confirmed using immunofluorescence microscopy that heparin prevented uptake of α-synuclein PFFs into cells but that chloroquine did not stop α-synuclein uptake into lysosomes despite impairing lysosomal function and inhibiting α-synuclein toxicity. Together, these data suggested that α-synuclein PFFs are toxic in functional lysosomes in vitro. Therapeutic strategies that prevent α-synuclein fibril uptake into lysosomes may be of benefit in PD.
    Keywords:  Parkinson disease; Parkinson's disease; alpha-synuclein; alpha-synuclein (a-synuclein); cell death; cell viability; iron; lysosome; lysosomes
  8. J Biol Chem. 2020 Dec 25. pii: S0021-9258(17)50684-5. [Epub ahead of print]295(52): 18091-18104
      Akt3 regulates mitochondrial content in endothelial cells through the inhibition of PGC-1α nuclear localization and is also required for angiogenesis. However, whether there is a direct link between mitochondrial function and angiogenesis is unknown. Here we show that Akt3 depletion in primary endothelial cells results in decreased uncoupled oxygen consumption, increased fission, decreased membrane potential, and increased expression of the mitochondria-specific protein chaperones, HSP60 and HSP10, suggesting that Akt3 is required for mitochondrial homeostasis. Direct inhibition of mitochondrial homeostasis by the model oxidant paraquat results in decreased angiogenesis, showing a direct link between angiogenesis and mitochondrial function. Next, in exploring functional links to PGC-1α, the master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, we searched for compounds that induce this process. We found that, sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor, induced mitochondrial biogenesis as measured by increased uncoupled oxygen consumption, mitochondrial DNA content, and voltage-dependent anion channel protein expression. Sildenafil rescued the effects on mitochondria by Akt3 depletion or pharmacological inhibition and promoted angiogenesis, further supporting that mitochondrial homeostasis is required for angiogenesis. Sildenafil also induces the expression of PGC-1 family member PRC and can compensate for PGC-1α activity during mitochondrial stress by an Akt3-independent mechanism. The induction of PRC by sildenafil depends upon cAMP and the transcription factor CREB. Thus, PRC can functionally substitute during Akt3 depletion for absent PGC-1α activity to restore mitochondrial homeostasis and promote angiogenesis. These findings show that mitochondrial homeostasis as controlled by the PGC family of transcriptional activators is required for angiogenic responses.
    Keywords:  Akt PKB; Akt3; Akt3/PKBγ; PGC-1α; PPARGC1A; PRC; angiogenesis; endothelial cells; mitochondria; peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ coactivator-1 α; phosphodiesterases
  9. Matrix Biol. 2021 Jan 14. pii: S0945-053X(21)00005-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) is a druggable multifunctional kinase that exerts a broad spectrum of functions in cells. These range from innate immunity, inflammation and interferon (IFN) signaling, through selective autophagy, specifically mitophagy and xenophagy, to energy homeostasis. Thus, it is not surprising that TBK1 is involved in many cellular signaling pathways that contribute to diverse pathologies. In this review the role of TBK1 in autophagic signaling, especially mitophagy and xenophagy, and its contribution to oncogenesis or neurodegenerative diseases will be discussed.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Cancer; Mitophagy; Neurodegeneration; TBK1; Xenophagy
  10. J Lipid Res. 2020 Dec;pii: S0022-2275(20)60023-2. [Epub ahead of print]61(12): 1617-1628
      The rise of drug-resistant tuberculosis poses a major risk to public health. Statins, which inhibit both cholesterol biosynthesis and protein prenylation branches of the mevalonate pathway, increase anti-tubercular antibiotic efficacy in animal models. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. In this study, we used an in vitro macrophage infection model to investigate simvastatin's anti-tubercular activity by systematically inhibiting each branch of the mevalonate pathway and evaluating the effects of the branch-specific inhibitors on mycobacterial growth. The anti-tubercular activity of simvastatin used at clinically relevant doses specifically targeted the cholesterol biosynthetic branch rather than the prenylation branches of the mevalonate pathway. Using Western blot analysis and AMP/ATP measurements, we found that simvastatin treatment blocked activation of mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), activated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) through increased intracellular AMP:ATP ratios, and favored nuclear translocation of transcription factor EB (TFEB). These mechanisms all induce autophagy, which is anti-mycobacterial. The biological effects of simvastatin on the AMPK-mTORC1-TFEB-autophagy axis were reversed by adding exogenous cholesterol to the cells. Our data demonstrate that the anti-tubercular activity of simvastatin requires inhibiting cholesterol biosynthesis, reveal novel links between cholesterol homeostasis, the AMPK-mTORC1-TFEB axis, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection control, and uncover new anti-tubercular therapy targets.
    Keywords:  Mycobacterium tuberculosis; adenosine 5′-monophosphate-activated protein kinase-mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1-transcription factor EB axis; immunology; lipids; macrophages/monocytes; mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 regulation; statins
  11. Nature. 2020 Dec 09.
      Compartmentalization of cellular material in droplet-like structures is a hallmark of liquid-liquid phase separation1,2, but the mechanisms of droplet removal are poorly understood. Evidence suggests that droplets can be degraded by autophagy3,4, a highly conserved degradation system in which membrane sheets bend to isolate portions of the cytoplasm within double-membrane autophagosomes5-7. Here we examine how autophagosomes sequester droplets that contain the protein p62 (also known as SQSTM1) in living cells, and demonstrate that double-membrane, autophagosome-like vesicles form at the surface of protein-free droplets in vitro through partial wetting. A minimal physical model shows that droplet surface tension supports the formation of membrane sheets. The model also predicts that bending sheets either divide droplets for piecemeal sequestration or sequester entire droplets. We find that autophagosomal sequestration is robust to variations in the droplet-sheet adhesion strength. However, the two sides of partially wetted sheets are exposed to different environments, which can determine the bending direction of autophagosomal sheets. Our discovery of this interplay between the material properties of droplets and membrane sheets enables us to elucidate the mechanisms that underpin droplet autophagy, or 'fluidophagy'. Furthermore, we uncover a switching mechanism that allows droplets to act as liquid assembly platforms for cytosol-degrading autophagosomes8 or as specific autophagy substrates9-11. We propose that droplet-mediated autophagy represents a previously undescribed class of processes that are driven by elastocapillarity, highlighting the importance of wetting in cytosolic organization.
  12. J Biol Chem. 2020 Nov 27. pii: S0021-9258(20)00094-0. [Epub ahead of print]296 100104
      ABHD5 is an essential coactivator of ATGL, the rate-limiting triglyceride (TG) lipase in many cell types. Importantly, ABHD5 also functions as a tumor suppressor, and ABHD5 mRNA expression levels correlate with patient survival for several cancers. Nevertheless, the mechanisms involved in ABHD5-dependent tumor suppression are not known. We found that overexpression of ABHD5 induces cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase and causes growth retardation in a panel of prostate cancer cells. Transcriptomic profiling and biochemical analysis revealed that genetic or pharmacological activation of lipolysis by ABHD5 potently inhibits mTORC1 signaling, leading to a significant downregulation of protein synthesis. Mechanistically, we found that ABHD5 elevates intracellular AMP content, which activates AMPK, leading to inhibition of mTORC1. Interestingly, ABHD5-dependent suppression of mTORC1 was abrogated by pharmacological inhibition of DGAT1 or DGAT2, isoenzymes that re-esterify fatty acids in a process that consumes ATP. Collectively, this study maps out a novel molecular pathway crucial for limiting cancer cell proliferation, in which ABHD5-mediated lipolysis creates an energy-consuming futile cycle between TG hydrolysis and resynthesis, leading to inhibition of mTORC1 and cancer cell growth arrest.
    Keywords:  AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK); cancer metabolism; lipolysis; mTOR; αβ hydrolase domain containing 5 (ABHD5)
  13. J Biol Chem. 2020 Aug 21. pii: S0021-9258(17)50066-6. [Epub ahead of print]295(34): 12028-12044
      The endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) mediate evolutionarily conserved membrane remodeling processes. Here, we used budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) to explore how the ESCRT machinery contributes to plasma membrane (PM) homeostasis. We found that in response to reduced membrane tension and inhibition of TOR complex 2 (TORC2), ESCRT-III/Vps4 assemblies form at the PM and help maintain membrane integrity. In turn, the growth of ESCRT mutants strongly depended on TORC2-mediated homeostatic regulation of sphingolipid (SL) metabolism. This was caused by calcineurin-dependent dephosphorylation of Orm2, a repressor of SL biosynthesis. Calcineurin activity impaired Orm2 export from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and thereby hampered its subsequent endosome and Golgi-associated degradation (EGAD). The ensuing accumulation of Orm2 at the ER in ESCRT mutants necessitated TORC2 signaling through its downstream kinase Ypk1, which repressed Orm2 and prevented a detrimental imbalance of SL metabolism. Our findings reveal compensatory cross-talk between the ESCRT machinery, calcineurin/TORC2 signaling, and the EGAD pathway important for the regulation of SL biosynthesis and the maintenance of PM homeostasis.
    Keywords:  ORMDL family; ORMDL-family; TORC2; calcineurin; endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT); endosome and Golgi-associated degradation (EGAD); mTOR complex (mTORC); membrane; membrane stress; sphingolipid; stress
  14. Exp Mol Med. 2021 Jan 22.
      Posttranslational modifications of proteins, such as acetylation, are essential for the regulation of diverse physiological processes, including metabolism, development and aging. Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic process that involves the highly regulated sequestration of intracytoplasmic contents in double-membrane vesicles called autophagosomes, which are subsequently degraded after fusing with lysosomes. The roles and mechanisms of acetylation in autophagy control have emerged only in the last few years. In this review, we describe key molecular mechanisms by which previously identified acetyltransferases and deacetylases regulate autophagy. We highlight how p300 acetyltransferase controls mTORC1 activity to regulate autophagy under starvation and refeeding conditions in many cell types. Finally, we discuss how altered acetylation may impact various neurodegenerative diseases in which many of the causative proteins are autophagy substrates. These studies highlight some of the complexities that may need to be considered by anyone aiming to perturb acetylation under these conditions.
  15. J Biol Chem. 2020 Aug 21. pii: S0021-9258(17)50067-8. [Epub ahead of print]295(34): 12045-12057
      Ambra1 is considered an autophagy and trafficking protein with roles in neurogenesis and cancer cell invasion. Here, we report that Ambra1 also localizes to the nucleus of cancer cells, where it has a novel nuclear scaffolding function that controls gene expression. Using biochemical fractionation and proteomics, we found that Ambra1 binds to multiple classes of proteins in the nucleus, including nuclear pore proteins, adaptor proteins such as FAK and Akap8, chromatin-modifying proteins, and transcriptional regulators like Brg1 and Atf2. We identified biologically important genes, such as Angpt1, Tgfb2, Tgfb3, Itga8, and Itgb7, whose transcription is regulated by Ambra1-scaffolded complexes, likely by altering histone modifications and Atf2 activity. Therefore, in addition to its recognized roles in autophagy and trafficking, Ambra1 scaffolds protein complexes at chromatin, regulating transcriptional signaling in the nucleus. This novel function for Ambra1, and the specific genes impacted, may help to explain the wider role of Ambra1 in cancer cell biology.
    Keywords:  Akap8; Ambra1; Atf2; Cdk9; DNA transcription; autophagy; chromatin; nucleus; trafficking; transcription
  16. Mov Disord. 2021 Jan 18.
      BACKGROUND: Autophagy is intensively studied in cancer, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases, but little is known about its role in pathological conditions linked to altered neurotransmission. We examined the involvement of autophagy in levodopa (l-dopa)-induced dyskinesia, a frequent motor complication developed in response to standard dopamine replacement therapy in parkinsonian patients.METHODS: We used mouse and non-human primate models of Parkinson's disease to examine changes in autophagy associated with chronic l-dopa administration and to establish a causative link between impaired autophagy and dyskinesia.
    RESULTS: We found that l-dopa-induced dyskinesia is associated with accumulation of the autophagy-specific substrate p62, a marker of autophagy deficiency. Increased p62 was observed in a subset of projection neurons located in the striatum and depended on l-dopa-mediated activation of dopamine D1 receptors, and mammalian target of rapamycin. Inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 with rapamycin counteracted the impairment of autophagy produced by l-dopa, and reduced dyskinesia. The anti-dyskinetic effect of rapamycin was lost when autophagy was constitutively suppressed in D1 receptor-expressing striatal neurons, through inactivation of the autophagy-related gene protein 7.
    CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that augmented responsiveness at D1 receptors leads to dysregulated autophagy, and results in the emergence of l-dopa-induced dyskinesia. They further suggest the enhancement of autophagy as a therapeutic strategy against dyskinesia. © 2021 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
    Keywords:   l-dopa; Parkinson's disease; autophagy; p62; striatum
  17. J Biol Chem. 2020 Dec 04. pii: S0021-9258(17)50485-8. [Epub ahead of print]295(49): 16691-16699
      Autophagy plays critical roles in the maintenance of endothelial cells in response to cellular stress caused by blood flow. There is growing evidence that both cell adhesion and cell detachment can modulate autophagy, but the mechanisms responsible for this regulation remain unclear. Immunoglobulin and proline-rich receptor-1 (IGPR-1) is a cell adhesion molecule that regulates angiogenesis and endothelial barrier function. In this study, using various biochemical and cellular assays, we demonstrate that IGPR-1 is activated by autophagy-inducing stimuli, such as amino acid starvation, nutrient deprivation, rapamycin, and lipopolysaccharide. Manipulating the IκB kinase β activity coupled with in vivo and in vitro kinase assays demonstrated that IκB kinase β is a key serine/threonine kinase activated by autophagy stimuli and that it catalyzes phosphorylation of IGPR-1 at Ser220. The subsequent activation of IGPR-1, in turn, stimulates phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase, which leads to phosphorylation of the major pro-autophagy proteins ULK1 and Beclin-1 (BECN1), increased LC3-II levels, and accumulation of LC3 punctum. Thus, our data demonstrate that IGPR-1 is activated by autophagy-inducing stimuli and in response regulates autophagy, connecting cell adhesion to autophagy. These findings may have important significance for autophagy-driven pathologies such cardiovascular diseases and cancer and suggest that IGPR-1 may serve as a promising therapeutic target.
    Keywords:  AMP-activated kinase (AMPK); IGPR-1; IKKβ; autophagy; cell adhesion molecule; cell surface receptor; cell–cell interaction; immunoglobulin-like domain; nutrient deprivation; post-translational modification (PTM); serine phosphorylation of IGPR-1; serine/threonine protein kinase
  18. J Biol Chem. 2020 Dec 04. pii: S0021-9258(17)50493-7. [Epub ahead of print]295(49): 16797-16812
      The extracellular matrix encompasses a reservoir of bioactive macromolecules that modulates a cornucopia of biological functions. A prominent body of work posits matrix constituents as master regulators of autophagy and angiogenesis and provides molecular insight into how these two processes are coordinated. Here, we review current understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying hyaluronan and HAS2 regulation and the role of soluble proteoglycan in affecting autophagy and angiogenesis. Specifically, we assess the role of proteoglycan-evoked autophagy in regulating angiogenesis via the HAS2-hyaluronan axis and ATG9A, a novel HAS2 binding partner. We discuss extracellular hyaluronan biology and the post-transcriptional and post-translational modifications that regulate its main synthesizer, HAS2. We highlight the emerging group of proteoglycans that utilize outside-in signaling to modulate autophagy and angiogenesis in cancer microenvironments and thoroughly review the most up-to-date understanding of endorepellin signaling in vascular endothelia, providing insight into the temporal complexities involved.
    Keywords:  AMP-activated kinase (AMPK); angiogenesis; autophagy; cell signaling; decorin; endothelial cell; extracellular matrix; hyaluronan; hyaluronan synthase 2; perlecan; proteoglycan; vascular biology
  19. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2021 Jan 19. pii: S0006-291X(21)00058-9. [Epub ahead of print]542 17-23
      Nickel, the most frequent contact allergy cause, is widely used for various metallic materials and medical devices. Autophagy is an intracellular protein degradation system and contributes to metal recycling. However, it is unclear the functions of nickel in autophagy. We here demonstrated that NiCl2 induced microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3)-II and LC3 puncta, markers of autophagosomes. Bafilomycin A1 (BafA1) treatment did not enhance LC3 puncta under NiCl2 stimulation, suggesting that NiCl2 did not induce autophagic flux. In addition, NiCl2 promotes the accumulation of SQSTM1/p62 and increased SQSTM1/p62 colocalization with lysosomal-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP1). These data indicated that NiCl2 attenuates autophagic flux. Interestingly, NiCl2 induced the expression of the high-molecular-weight (MW) form of SQSTM1/p62. Inhibition of NiCl2-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) reduced the high-MW SQSTM1/p62. We also showed that NiCl2-induced ROS activate transglutaminase (TG) activity. We found that transglutaminase 2 (TG2) inhibition reduced high-MW SQSTM1/p62 and SQSTM1/p62 puncta under NiCl2 stimulation, indicating that TG2 regulates SQSTM1/p62 protein homeostasis under NiCl2 stimulation. Our study demonstrated that nickel ion regulates autophagy flux and TG2 restricted nickel-dependent proteostasis.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Lysosome; Nickel; Post-translational modification; SQSTM1/p62; Transglutaminase 2 (TG2)
  20. Autophagy. 2021 Jan 20. 1-15
      Macroautophagy/autophagy is known to be important for intracellular quality control in the lens. GJA8 is a major gap junction protein in vertebrate lenses. Mutations in GJA8 cause cataracts in humans. The well-known cataractogenesis mechanism is that mutated GJA8 leads to abnormal assembly of gap junctions, resulting in defects in intercellular communication among lens cells. In this study, we observed that ablation of Gja8b (a homolog of mammalian GJA8) in zebrafish led to severe defects in organelle degradation, an important cause of cataractogenesis in developing lens. The role of autophagy in organelle degradation in lens remains disputable. Intriguingly, we also observed that ablation of Gja8b induced deficient autophagy in the lens. More importantly, in vivo treatment of zebrafish with rapamycin, an autophagy activator that inhibits MAPK/JNK and MTORC1 signaling, stimulated autophagy in the lens and relieved the defects in organelle degradation, resulting in the mitigation of cataracts in gja8b mutant zebrafish. Conversely, inhibition of autophagy by treatment with the chemical reagent 3-MA blocked these recovery effects, suggesting the important roles of autophagy in organelle degradation in the lens in gja8b mutant zebrafish. Further studies in HLE cells revealed that GJA8 interacted with ATG proteins. Overexpression of GJA8 stimulated autophagy in HLE cells. These data suggest an unrecognized cataractogenesis mechanism caused by ablation of Gja8b and a potential treatment for cataracts by stimulating autophagy in the lens. Abbreviations: 3-MA: 3-methyladenine; ATG: autophagy related; AV: autophagic vacuoles; Dpf: days post fertilization; GJA1: gap junction protein alpha 1; GJA3: gap junction protein alpha 3; GJA8: gap junction protein alpha 8; Hpf: hours post fertilization; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; PtdIns3K: class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; WT: wild type.
    Keywords:  3-MA; GJA8; Gja8b; autophagy; cataract; lens; organelle degradation; rapamycin
  21. EMBO Mol Med. 2021 Jan 18. e12836
      Lysosomal storage diseases are a group of metabolic disorders caused by deficiencies of several components of lysosomal function. Most commonly affected are lysosomal hydrolases, which are involved in the breakdown and recycling of a variety of complex molecules and cellular structures. The understanding of lysosomal biology has progressively improved over time. Lysosomes are no longer viewed as organelles exclusively involved in catabolic pathways, but rather as highly dynamic elements of the autophagic-lysosomal pathway, involved in multiple cellular functions, including signaling, and able to adapt to environmental stimuli. This refined vision of lysosomes has substantially impacted on our understanding of the pathophysiology of lysosomal disorders. It is now clear that substrate accumulation triggers complex pathogenetic cascades that are responsible for disease pathology, such as aberrant vesicle trafficking, impairment of autophagy, dysregulation of signaling pathways, abnormalities of calcium homeostasis, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Novel technologies, in most cases based on high-throughput approaches, have significantly contributed to the characterization of lysosomal biology or lysosomal dysfunction and have the potential to facilitate diagnostic processes, and to enable the identification of new therapeutic targets.
    Keywords:  autophagy; lysosomal biology; lysosomal storage diseases; lysosomes
  22. J Cell Biol. 2021 Feb 01. pii: e202002075. [Epub ahead of print]220(2):
      Adaptor protein complex 5 (AP-5) and its partners, SPG11 and SPG15, are recruited onto late endosomes and lysosomes. Here we show that recruitment of AP-5/SPG11/SPG15 is enhanced in starved cells and occurs by coincidence detection, requiring both phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PI3P) and Rag GTPases. PI3P binding is via the SPG15 FYVE domain, which, on its own, localizes to early endosomes. GDP-locked RagC promotes recruitment of AP-5/SPG11/SPG15, while GTP-locked RagA prevents its recruitment. Our results uncover an interplay between AP-5/SPG11/SPG15 and the mTORC1 pathway and help to explain the phenotype of AP-5/SPG11/SPG15 deficiency in patients, including the defect in autophagic lysosome reformation.
  23. Biochem J. 2021 Jan 18. pii: BCJ20200937. [Epub ahead of print]
      Autosomal dominant mutations in LRRK2 that enhance kinase activity cause Parkinson's disease. LRRK2 phosphorylates a subset of Rab GTPases including Rab8A and Rab10 within its effector binding motif. Here, we explore whether LRRK1, a less studied homologue of LRRK2 that regulates growth factor receptor trafficking and osteoclast biology might also phosphorylate Rab proteins. Using mass spectrometry, we found that in LRRK1 knock-out cells, phosphorylation of Rab7A at Ser72 was most impacted. This residue lies at the equivalent site targeted by LRRK2 on Rab8A and Rab10. Accordingly, recombinant LRRK1 efficiently phosphorylated Rab7A at Ser72, but not Rab8A or Rab10. Employing a novel phospho-specific antibody, we found that phorbol ester stimulation of mouse embryonic fibroblasts markedly enhanced phosphorylation of Rab7A at Ser72 via LRRK1. We identify two LRRK1 mutations (K746G and I1412T), equivalent to the LRRK2 R1441G and I2020T Parkinson's mutations, that enhance LRRK1 mediated phosphorylation of Rab7A. We demonstrate that two regulators of LRRK2 namely Rab29 and VPS35[D620N], do not influence LRRK1. Widely used LRRK2 inhibitors do not inhibit LRRK1, but we identify a promiscuous inhibitor termed GZD-824 that inhibits both LRRK1 and LRRK2. The PPM1H Rab phosphatase when overexpressed dephosphorylates Rab7A. Finally, interaction of Rab7A with its effector RILP is not affected by LRRK1 phosphorylation and we were unable to confirm previous data suggesting that Rab7A phosphorylation is regulated by the PINK1/TBK1 axis. Altogether, these finding reinforce the idea that the LRRK enzymes have evolved as major regulators of Rab biology with distinct substrate specificity.
    Keywords:  Kinase; Rab GTPase; leucine rich repeat kinase; phosphorylation
  24. Cell Death Differ. 2021 Jan 18.
      The DNA-PK maintains cell survival when DNA damage occurs. In addition, aberrant activation of the DNA-PK induces centrosome amplification, suggesting additional roles for this kinase. Here, we showed that the DNA-PK-p53 cascade induced primary cilia formation (ciliogenesis), thus maintaining the DNA damage response under genotoxic stress. Treatment with genotoxic drugs (etoposide, neocarzinostatin, hydroxyurea, or cisplatin) led to ciliogenesis in human retina (RPE1), trophoblast (HTR8), lung (A459), and mouse Leydig progenitor (TM3) cell lines. Upon genotoxic stress, several DNA damage signaling were activated, but only the DNA-PK-p53 cascade contributed to ciliogenesis, as pharmacological inhibition or genetic depletion of this pathway decreased genotoxic stress-induced ciliogenesis. Interestingly, in addition to localizing to the nucleus, activated DNA-PK localized to the base of the primary cilium (mother centriole) and daughter centriole. Genotoxic stress also induced autophagy. Inhibition of autophagy initiation or lysosomal degradation or depletion of ATG7 decreased genotoxic stress-induced ciliogenesis. Besides, inhibition of ciliogenesis by depletion of IFT88 or CEP164 attenuated the genotoxic stress-induced DNA damage response. Thus, our study uncovered the interplay among genotoxic stress, the primary cilium, and the DNA damage response.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; DNA damage response; DNA-PK; Genotoxic stress; Primary cilium; p53
  25. Nat Commun. 2021 01 21. 12(1): 513
      Missense mutations in Valosin-Containing Protein (VCP) are linked to diverse degenerative diseases including IBMPFD, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), muscular dystrophy and Parkinson's disease. Here, we characterize a VCP-binding co-factor (SVIP) that specifically recruits VCP to lysosomes. SVIP is essential for lysosomal dynamic stability and autophagosomal-lysosomal fusion. SVIP mutations cause muscle wasting and neuromuscular degeneration while muscle-specific SVIP over-expression increases lysosomal abundance and is sufficient to extend lifespan in a context, stress-dependent manner. We also establish multiple links between SVIP and VCP-dependent disease in our Drosophila model system. A biochemical screen identifies a disease-causing VCP mutation that prevents SVIP binding. Conversely, over-expression of an SVIP mutation that prevents VCP binding is deleterious. Finally, we identify a human SVIP mutation and confirm the pathogenicity of this mutation in our Drosophila model. We propose a model for VCP disease based on the differential, co-factor-dependent recruitment of VCP to intracellular organelles.
  26. Autophagy. 2021 Jan 19. 1-20
      Increasing evidence suggests that induction of lethal macroautophagy/autophagy carries potential significance for the treatment of glioblastoma (GBM). In continuation of previous work, we demonstrate that pimozide and loperamide trigger an ATG5- and ATG7 (autophagy related 5 and 7)-dependent type of cell death that is significantly reduced with cathepsin inhibitors and the lipid reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger α-tocopherol in MZ-54 GBM cells. Global proteomic analysis after treatment with both drugs also revealed an increase of proteins related to lipid and cholesterol metabolic processes. These changes were accompanied by a massive accumulation of cholesterol and other lipids in the lysosomal compartment, indicative of impaired lipid transport/degradation. In line with these observations, pimozide and loperamide treatment were associated with a pronounced increase of bioactive sphingolipids including ceramides, glucosylceramides and sphingoid bases measured by targeted lipidomic analysis. Furthermore, pimozide and loperamide inhibited the activity of SMPD1/ASM (sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase 1) and promoted induction of lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP), as well as release of CTSB (cathepsin B) into the cytosol in MZ-54 wild-type (WT) cells. Whereas LMP and cell death were significantly attenuated in ATG5 and ATG7 knockout (KO) cells, both events were enhanced by depletion of the lysophagy receptor VCP (valosin containing protein), supporting a pro-survival function of lysophagy under these conditions. Collectively, our data suggest that pimozide and loperamide-driven autophagy and lipotoxicity synergize to induce LMP and cell death. The results also support the notion that simultaneous overactivation of autophagy and induction of LMP represents a promising approach for the treatment of GBM. Abbreviations: ACD: autophagic cell death; AKT1: AKT serine/threonine kinase 1; ATG5: autophagy related 5; ATG7: autophagy related 7; ATG14: autophagy related 14; CERS1: ceramide synthase 1; CTSB: cathepsin B; CYBB/NOX2: cytochrome b-245 beta chain; ER: endoplasmatic reticulum; FBS: fetal bovine serum; GBM: glioblastoma; GO: gene ontology; HTR7/5-HT7: 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 7; KD: knockdown; KO: knockout; LAMP1: lysosomal associated membrane protein 1; LAP: LC3-associated phagocytosis; LMP: lysosomal membrane permeabilization; MAP1LC3B: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; RB1CC1: RB1 inducible coiled-coil 1; ROS: reactive oxygen species; RPS6: ribosomal protein S6; SMPD1/ASM: sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase 1; VCP/p97: valosin containing protein; WT: wild-type.
    Keywords:  Acid sphingomyelinase; autophagy-dependent cell death; brain tumors; cholesterol metabolism; drug repurposing; er stress; lysophagy
  27. J Biol Chem. 2020 Dec 09. pii: S0021-9258(20)00150-7. [Epub ahead of print]296 100157
      Meningiomas (MNs), arising from the arachnoid/meningeal layer, are nonresponsive to chemotherapies, with ∼50% showing loss of the Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) tumor suppressor gene. Previously, we established NF2 loss activates mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) signaling, leading to clinical trials for NF2 and MN. Recently our omics studies identified activated ephrin (EPH) receptor and Src family kinases upon NF2 loss. Here, we report increased expression of several ligands in NF2-null human arachnoidal cells (ACs) and the MN cell line Ben-Men-1, particularly neuregulin-1/heregulin (NRG1), and confirm increased NRG1 secretion and activation of V-ERB-B avian erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene homolog 3 (ERBB3) receptor kinase. Conditioned-medium from NF2-null ACs or exogenous NRG1 stimulated ERBB3, EPHA2, and mTORC1/2 signaling, suggesting pathway crosstalk. NF2-null cells treated with an ERBB3-neutralizing antibody partially downregulated mTOR pathway activation but showed no effect on viability. mTORC1/2 inhibitor treatment decreased NRG1 expression and downregulated ERBB3 while re-activating pAkt T308, suggesting a mechanism independent of NRG1-ERBB3 but likely involving activation of another upstream receptor kinase. Transcriptomics after mTORC1/2 inhibition confirmed decreased ERBB3/ERBB4 while revealing increased expression of insulin-like growth factor receptor 1 (IGF1R). Drug treatment co-targeting mTORC1/2 and IGF1R/insulin receptor attenuated pAkt T308 and showed synergistic effects on viability. Our findings indicate potential autocrine signaling where NF2 loss leads to secretion/activation of NRG1-ERBB3 signaling. mTORC1/2 inhibition downregulates NRG1-ERBB3, while upregulating pAkt T308 through an adaptive response involving IGF1R/insulin receptor and co-targeting these pathways may prove effective for treatment of NF2-deficient MN.
    Keywords:  Akt PKB; NF2; NRG1-ERBB3; brain tumor; dual mTORC1/mTORC2 inhibition; insulin-like growth factor (IGF) receptor 1; mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR); meningioma; signaling; tumor suppressor gene
  28. J Diabetes Res. 2020 ;2020 8872639
      The purpose of this review is to integrate the role of nutrient-sensing pathways into β-cell organelle dysfunction prompted by nutrient excess during type 2 diabetes (T2D). T2D encompasses chronic hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and inflammation, which each contribute to β-cell failure. These factors can disrupt the function of critical β-cell organelles, namely, the ER, mitochondria, lysosomes, and autophagosomes. Dysfunctional organelles cause defects in insulin synthesis and secretion and activate apoptotic pathways if homeostasis is not restored. In this review, we will focus on mTORC1 and OGT, two major anabolic nutrient sensors with important roles in β-cell physiology. Though acute stimulation of these sensors frequently improves β-cell function and promotes adaptation to cell stress, chronic and sustained activity disturbs organelle homeostasis. mTORC1 and OGT regulate organelle function by influencing the expression and activities of key proteins, enzymes, and transcription factors, as well as by modulating autophagy to influence clearance of defective organelles. In addition, mTORC1 and OGT activity influence islet inflammation during T2D, which can further disrupt organelle and β-cell function. Therapies for T2D that fine-tune the activity of these nutrient sensors have yet to be developed, but the important role of mTORC1 and OGT in organelle homeostasis makes them promising targets to improve β-cell function and survival.
  29. J Cell Sci. 2021 Jan 22. pii: jcs247056. [Epub ahead of print]134(2):
      Autophagy is deregulated in many cancers and represents an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. However, the precise contributions of autophagy to metastatic progression, the principle cause of cancer-related mortality, is only now being uncovered. While autophagy promotes primary tumor growth, metabolic adaptation and resistance to therapy, recent studies have unexpectedly revealed that autophagy suppresses the proliferative outgrowth of disseminated tumor cells into overt and lethal macrometastases. These studies suggest autophagy plays unexpected and complex roles in the initiation and progression of metastases, which will undoubtedly impact therapeutic approaches for cancer treatment. Here, we discuss the intricacies of autophagy in metastatic progression, highlighting and integrating the pleiotropic roles of autophagy on diverse cell biological processes involved in metastasis.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Cancer; Metastasis; Selective Autophagy
  30. J Neurosci Res. 2021 Jan 22.
      α-Synuclein oligomers are thought to have a pivotal role in sporadic and familial Parkinson's disease (PD) and related α-synucleinopathies, causing dysregulation of protein trafficking, autophagy/lysosomal function, and protein clearance, as well as synaptic function impairment underlying motor and cognitive symptoms of PD. Moreover, trans-synaptic spread of α-synuclein oligomers is hypothesized to mediate disease progression. Therapeutic approaches that effectively block α-synuclein oligomer-induced pathogenesis are urgently needed. Here, we show for the first time that α-synuclein species isolated from human PD patient brain and recombinant α-synuclein oligomers caused similar deficits in lipid vesicle trafficking rates in cultured rat neurons and glia, while α-synuclein species isolated from non-PD human control brain samples did not. Recombinant α-synuclein oligomers also increased neuronal expression of lysosomal-associated membrane protein-2A (LAMP-2A), the lysosomal receptor that has a critical role in chaperone-mediated autophagy. Unbiased screening of several small molecule libraries (including the NIH Clinical Collection) identified sigma-2 receptor antagonists as the most effective at blocking α-synuclein oligomer-induced trafficking deficits and LAMP-2A upregulation in a dose-dependent manner. These results indicate that antagonists of the sigma-2 receptor complex may alleviate α-synuclein oligomer-induced neurotoxicity and are a novel therapeutic approach for disease modification in PD and related α-synucleinopathies.
    Keywords:  Parkinson's disease; RRID:AB_1603277; RRID:AB_2109656; RRID:AB_2533900; RRID:AB_2629502; RRID:AB_2877641; RRID:AB_571049; RRID:RGD_1566440; TMEM97; autophagy; functional assay; lysosomal-associated membrane protein-2A; progesterone receptor membrane component 1
  31. Nat Commun. 2021 01 20. 12(1): 476
      Endonuclease G (ENDOG), a mitochondrial nuclease, is known to participate in many cellular processes, including apoptosis and paternal mitochondrial elimination, while its role in autophagy remains unclear. Here, we report that ENDOG released from mitochondria promotes autophagy during starvation, which we find to be evolutionally conserved across species by performing experiments in human cell lines, mice, Drosophila and C. elegans. Under starvation, Glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta-mediated phosphorylation of ENDOG at Thr-128 and Ser-288 enhances its interaction with 14-3-3γ, which leads to the release of Tuberin (TSC2) and Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit type 3 (Vps34) from 14-3-3γ, followed by mTOR pathway suppression and autophagy initiation. Alternatively, ENDOG activates DNA damage response and triggers autophagy through its endonuclease activity. Our results demonstrate that ENDOG is a crucial regulator of autophagy, manifested by phosphorylation-mediated interaction with 14-3-3γ, and its endonuclease activity-mediated DNA damage response.
  32. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Jan 22. 12(1): 116
      Vacuole membrane protein 1 (VMP1), the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-localized autophagy protein, plays a key role during the autophagy process in mammalian cells. To study the impact of VMP1-deficiency on midbrain dopaminergic (mDAergic) neurons, we selectively deleted VMP1 in the mDAergic neurons of VMP1fl/fl/DATCreERT2 bigenic mice using a tamoxifen-inducible CreERT2/loxp gene targeting system. The VMP1fl/fl/DATCreERT2 mice developed progressive motor deficits, concomitant with a profound loss of mDAergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) and a high presynaptic accumulation of α-synuclein (α-syn) in the enlarged terminals. Mechanistic studies showed that VMP1 deficiency in the mDAergic neurons led to the increased number of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-labeled (LC3) puncta and the accumulation of sequestosome 1/p62 aggregates in the SNc neurons, suggesting the impairment of autophagic flux in these neurons. Furthermore, VMP1 deficiency resulted in multiple cellular abnormalities, including large vacuolar-like structures (LVSs), damaged mitochondria, swollen ER, and the accumulation of ubiquitin+ aggregates. Together, our studies reveal a previously unknown role of VMP1 in modulating neuronal survival and maintaining axonal homeostasis, which suggests that VMP1 deficiency might contribute to mDAergic neurodegeneration via the autophagy pathway.
  33. J Biol Chem. 2020 Dec 25. pii: S0021-9258(17)50712-7. [Epub ahead of print]295(52): 18459-18473
      The amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD)-linked RNA-binding protein called FUS (fused in sarcoma) has been implicated in several aspects of RNA regulation, including mRNA translation. The mechanism by which FUS affects the translation of polyribosomes has not been established. Here we show that FUS can associate with stalled polyribosomes and that this association is sensitive to mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) kinase activity. Specifically, we show that FUS association with polyribosomes is increased by Torin1 treatment or when cells are cultured in nutrient-deficient media, but not when cells are treated with rapamycin, the allosteric inhibitor of mTORC1. Moreover, we report that FUS is necessary for efficient stalling of translation because deficient cells are refractory to the inhibition of mTOR-dependent signaling by Torin1. We also show that ALS-linked FUS mutants R521G and P525L associate abundantly with polyribosomes and decrease global protein synthesis. Importantly, the inhibitory effect on translation by FUS is impaired by mutations that reduce its RNA-binding affinity. These findings demonstrate that FUS is an important RNA-binding protein that mediates translational repression through mTOR-dependent signaling and that ALS-linked FUS mutants can cause a toxic gain of function in the cytoplasm by repressing the translation of mRNA at polyribosomes.
    Keywords:  RNA-binding protein; Torin1; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (Lou Gehrig disease); fragile X mental retardation (FMRP); frontotemporal degeneration (FTD); fused in sarcoma (FUS); mRNA translation; mTORC1; mTORC2; mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR); neurodegeneration; polyribosome; protein synthesis; rapamycin; ribosome; translation regulation
  34. Autophagy. 2021 Jan 17.
      Mitophagy formed the basis of the original description of autophagy by Christian de Duve when he demonstrated that GCG (glucagon) induced macroautophagic/autophagic turnover of mitochondria in the liver. However, the molecular basis of liver-specific activation of mitophagy by GCG, or its significance for metabolic stress responses in the liver is not understood. Here we show that BNIP3 is required for GCG-induced mitophagy in the liver through interaction with processed LC3B; an interaction that is also necessary to localize LC3B out of the nucleus to cytosolic mitophagosomes in response to nutrient deprivation. Loss of BNIP3-dependent mitophagy caused excess mitochondria to accumulate in the liver, disrupting metabolic zonation within the liver parenchyma, with expansion of zone 1 metabolism at the expense of zone 3 metabolism. These results identify BNIP3 as a regulator of metabolic homeostasis in the liver through its effect on mitophagy and mitochondrial mass distribution.
    Keywords:  BNIP3; LC3B; glucagon; hepatocyte; liver zonation; mitophagy; nutrient deprivation
  35. Life Sci. 2021 Jan 13. pii: S0024-3205(21)00016-3. [Epub ahead of print] 119031
      AIMS: Cadmium (Cd) is a prevalent environmental contaminant that incurs deleterious health effects, including testicular impairment. Sitagliptin, a selective dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, has demonstrated marked cardio-, hepato-, and reno-protective actions, however, its impact on Cd-triggered testicular dysfunction has not been formerly investigated. Hence, the present study aimed to explore the probable beneficial impact of sitagliptin against Cd-evoked testicular impairment which may add to its potential clinical utility. The underlying mechanisms pertaining to the balance between testicular autophagy and apoptosis were explored, including the AMPK/mTOR and Nrf2/HO-1 pathways.MATERIALS AND METHODS: The testicular tissues were examined using histopathology, immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, and ELISA. Sitagliptin (10 mg/kg/day, by gavage) was administered for 4 consecutive weeks.
    KEY FINDINGS: Sitagliptin attenuated the testicular impairment via improvement of the relative testicular weight, sperm count/motility, sperm abnormalities, and serum testosterone. Additionally, sitagliptin counteracted Cd-induced histologic aberrations/disrupted spermatogenesis. Interestingly, sitagliptin augmented the defective autophagy as demonstrated by upregulating Beclin 1 protein expression and lowering p62 SQSTM1 protein accumulation. These effects were mediated via the activation of testicular AMPK/mTOR pathway proven by increasing p-AMPK (Ser485, Ser491)/total AMPK and diminishing p-mTOR (Ser2448)/total mTOR protein expression. Additionally, sitagliptin suppressed the testicular apoptotic events via downregulating Bax and upregulating Bcl-2 protein expression. In tandem, sitagliptin suppressed oxidative stress through lowering of lipid peroxides and activating Nrf2/HO-1 pathway by upregulating the protein expression of Nrf2, and the downstream effectors HO-1 and GPx.
    SIGNIFICANCE: Sitagliptin attenuated Cd-induced testicular injury via boosting the autophagy/apoptosis ratio through activation of AMPK/mTOR and Nrf2/HO-1 pathways.
    Keywords:  AMPK, Nrf2; Apoptosis; Autophagy; Sitagliptin; Testicular dysfunction
  36. Matrix Biol. 2021 Jan 14. pii: S0945-053X(21)00004-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Tissue repair and fibrosis, an abnormal form of repair, occur in most human organs in response to injury or inflammation. Fibroblasts play a major role in the normal repair process by differentiating into myofibroblasts that synthesize extracellular matrix (ECM) components and favor tissue remodeling to reestablish normal function and integrity. However, their persistent accumulation at the site of injury is a hallmark of fibrosis. Autophagy is a catabolic process that occurs in eukaryotic cells as a stress response to allow cell survival and maintenance of cellular homeostasis by degrading and recycling intracellular components. Recent advances identify autophagy as an important regulator of myofibroblast differentiation, tissue remodeling, and fibrogenesis. In this mini-review, we provide an overview of the interactions between autophagy, ECM, and fibrosis, and emphasize the molecular mechanisms involved in myofibroblast differentiation. We also describe the emerging concept of secretory autophagy as a new avenue for intercellular communication at the site of tissue injury and repair.
  37. J Neurosci Res. 2021 Jan 19.
      Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia and progressive neurodegenerative disease. The presence of β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques and phosphorylated Tau tangles are considered to be the two main hallmarks of AD. Recent findings have shown that different changes in the structure and dynamics of mitochondria play an important role in AD pathology progression. Mitochondrial changes in AD are expressed as enhanced mitochondrial fragmentation, altered mitochondrial dynamics, and changes in the expression of mitochondrial biogenesis genes in vitro and in vivo models. Therefore, targeting mitochondria and associated mitochondrial proteins seems to be a promising alternative instead of targeting Aβ and Tau in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. The dynamin-related protein (Drp1) is one such protein that plays an important role in the regulation of mitochondrial division and maintenance of mitochondrial structures. Few researchers have shown that inhibition of Drp1 GTPase activity in neuronal cells rescues excessive mitochondrial fragmentation. In addition, the growing evidence revealed that Drp1 can interact with both Aβ and Tau protein in human brain tissues and mouse models. In this review, we would like to update existing knowledge about various changes in and around mitochondria related to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, with particular emphasis on mitophagy and autophagy.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer's; Drp1; PINK1; Parkin; miRNAs; mitochondrial dysfunction; mitophagy; oxidative stress
  38. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jan 15. pii: E817. [Epub ahead of print]22(2):
      Cell can integrate the caspase family and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling in response to cellular stress triggered by environment. It is necessary here to elucidate the direct response and interaction mechanism between the two signaling pathways in regulating cell survival and determining cell fate under cellular stress. Members of the caspase family are crucial regulators of inflammation, endoplasmic reticulum stress response and apoptosis. mTOR signaling is known to mediate cell growth, nutrition and metabolism. For instance, over-nutrition can cause the hyperactivation of mTOR signaling, which is associated with diabetes. Nutrition deprivation can inhibit mTOR signaling via SH3 domain-binding protein 4. It is striking that Ras GTPase-activating protein 1 is found to mediate cell survival in a caspase-dependent manner against increasing cellular stress, which describes a new model of apoptosis. The components of mTOR signaling-raptor can be cleaved by caspases to control cell growth. In addition, mTOR is identified to coordinate the defense process of the immune system by suppressing the vitality of caspase-1 or regulating other interferon regulatory factors. The present review discusses the roles of the caspase family or mTOR pathway against cellular stress and generalizes their interplay mechanism in cell fate determination.
    Keywords:  cell fate; interplay; mTOR signaling; the caspase family
  39. FEBS J. 2021 Jan 18.
      Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), are characterized by progressive memory loss and motor impairment. Aging is a major risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. Neurodegenerative diseases and aging often develop in an irreversible manner and cause a significant socioeconomic burden. When considering their pathogenesis, many studies usually focus on mitochondrial dysfunction and DNA damage. More recently, neuroinflammation, autophagy dysregulation and SIRT1 inactivation were shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and aging. In addition, studies uncovered the role of poly (ADP-ribose)-polymerase-1 (PARP1) in neurodegenerative diseases and aging. PARP1 links to a cluster of stress signals, including those originated by inflammation and autophagy dysregulation. In this review, we summarized the recent research progresses on PARP1 in neurodegenerative diseases and aging, with an emphasis on the relationship among PARP1, neuroinflammation, mitochondria and autophagy. We discussed the possibilities of treating neurodegenerative diseases and aging through targeting PARP1.
    Keywords:  Aging; DNA damage; Neurodegenerative diseases; Neuroinflammation; PARP1
  40. Autophagy. 2021 Jan 18.
      Defects of autophagy-lysosomal protein degradation are thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases, and the accumulation of aggregation prone proteins such as MAPT/Tau in Alzheimer disease (AD). We previously showed the localization of the immunophilin FKBP4/FKBP52 in the lysosomal system of healthy human neurons suggesting its possible role in lysosome function. We also showed that decreased FKBP4 levels in AD brain neurons correlate with abnormal MAPT accumulation and aggregation. In this study, we demonstrate that FKBP4 decrease in a human neuronal cell line (SH-SY5Y) and in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons from human MAPTP301S transgenic mice affected the function of the autophagy-lysosomal system under MAPT induced proteotoxic stress conditions. We show that acute MAPT accumulation in SH-SY5Y cells induced perinuclear clustering of lysosomes, triggered FKBP4 localization around the clusters and its colocalization with MAPT and MAP1LC3/LC3-positive autophagic vesicles; a similar FKBP4 localization was detected in some AD brain neurons. We demonstrate that FKBP4 decrease altered lysosomal clustering along with MAPT and MAP1LC3 secretion increase. Although ectopic FKBP4 expression could not induce autophagy under our experimental conditions, it prevented MAPT secretion after MAPT accumulation in SH-SY5Y cells implying a regulatory role of FKBP4 on MAPT secretion. Finally, we observe that FKBP4 deficiency decreased MAP1LC3-II expression and provoked MAPT accumulation during long-term stress in mouse DRG neurons. We hypothesize that the abnormal FKBP4 decrease observed in AD brain neurons might hinder autophagy efficiency and contribute to the progression of the tauopathy by modulating MAPT secretion and accumulation during MAPT pathogenesis.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer disease; FKBP52; Tau; autophagy; lysosomes; proteotoxic stress