bims-auttor Biomed News
on Autophagy and mTOR
Issue of 2022‒04‒17
forty-five papers selected by
Viktor Korolchuk
Newcastle University

  1. Cells. 2022 Mar 28. pii: 1132. [Epub ahead of print]11(7):
      The elimination of intracellular components by autophagy maintains metabolic homeostasis and is a quality-control pathway that enables organelle regeneration. Mitophagy is a type of selective autophagy that regulates mitochondrial turnover, and the dysregulation of mitophagy has been implicated in the pathogenesis of liver diseases. However, the detailed molecular mechanism underlying mitophagy regulation in liver cells remains unclear, and the small molecules that may potentially modulate hepatic mitophagy are still unavailable. Here, we report that baicalein, a flavonoid extracted from Scutellaria baicalensis, induces the entire autophagy that proceeds through the autolysosome maturation stage in human hepatoma cells. In addition, baicalein-induced autophagy is demonstrated to target mitochondria for degradation. Further studies show that baicalein triggers the translocation of Parkin and TBK1 to mitochondria to induce mitophagy. Moreover, the phosphorylation of TBK1 at Ser172 and ubiquitin at Ser65 is shown to trigger mitophagy in baicalein-treated cells. Furthermore, two specific autophagy cargo receptors, NDP52 and OPTN, that function in baicalein-activated mitophagy are identified. Taken together, these findings not only delineate the molecular process of Parkin-dependent mitophagy in liver cells, but also reveal baicalein as a novel inducer of hepatic mitophagy.
    Keywords:  autophagy; baicalein; cargo receptor; mitophagy; parkin; selective autophagy
  2. Cells. 2022 Mar 24. pii: 1086. [Epub ahead of print]11(7):
      Autophagy is a conserved process that delivers cytoplasmic components to the vacuole/lysosome. It plays important roles in maintaining cellular homeostasis and conferring stress resistance. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, autophagy is important for cell survival under nutrient depletion and ER stress conditions. Experimental analyses of fission yeast autophagy machinery in the last 10 years have unveiled both similarities and differences in autophagosome biogenesis mechanisms between fission yeast and other model eukaryotes for autophagy research, in particular, the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. More recently, selective autophagy pathways that deliver hydrolytic enzymes, the ER, and mitochondria to the vacuole have been discovered in fission yeast, yielding novel insights into how cargo selectivity can be achieved in autophagy. Here, we review the progress made in understanding the autophagy machinery in fission yeast.
    Keywords:  Schizosaccharomyces pombe; autophagy; autophagy machinery; fission yeast; selective autophagy
  3. Autophagy. 2022 Apr 12. 1-3
      LC3 lipidation-mediated selective macroautophagy/autophagy helps eukaryotes to defend against endogenous dangers and foreign invaders. However, LC3 activation mechanisms of selective autophagy are still elusive. We previously determined that the V-ATPase-ATG16L1 axis is critical for LC3 recruitment to bacteria-residing vacuoles, whereas the Salmonella effector SopF directly targets V-ATPase to disrupt ATG16L1 interaction. Here we show that host ARF GTPase binding causes SopF-dependent ADP-ribosylation of the Gln124 site of the ATP6V0C/V0C subunit of V-ATPase. Furthermore, LC3 activation by pH perturbation of endolysosomes and the Golgi apparatus is also abolished by SopF or a ATP6V0CQ124A mutation, illustrating that disruption of the proton gradient in acidic compartments is a universal signal that triggers V-ATPase-ATG16L1-induced LC3 lipidation.
    Keywords:  ARF; ATG16L1; SopF; V-ATPase; VAIL; endomembrane damage; pH disturbance; selective autophagy
  4. Autophagy. 2022 Apr 15. 1-9
      Atg11 is an adaptor protein required for the induction of selective autophagy via receptor binding. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which it regulates selective autophagy remains incomplete. Here, we show that Atg11 is phosphorylated by Atg1. Rapamycin treatment or starvation conditions induced slower electrophoretic mobility of Atg11 in an Atg1 kinase activity-dependent manner. Through in vitro kinase assays combined with mutagenesis, we determined that Atg1 phosphorylates S949, S1057, and S1064 residues in CC4 domain of Atg11. Replacing the three residues with alanine suppressed the cleavage of selective autophagy substrates for the cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway, mitophagy, reticulophagy, and pexophagy. The Atg11 mutant was defective in binding to related selective autophagy receptors. These results demonstrate a previously unknown function of Atg1 in regulation of selective autophagy via Atg11 phosphorylation.Abbreviations: AMPK: AMP-activated protein kinase; ATG: autophagy-related; Cvt: cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting; FUNDC1: FUN14 domain-containing protein 1; GFP: green fluorescent protein; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; PAS: phagophore assembly site; PIK3C3: phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit type 3; PRKAC/PKA: protein kinase cAMP-activated; SD-G: glucose starvation; SD-N: nitrogen starvation; ULK1: unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1; λ-PPase: lambda protein phosphatase.
    Keywords:  Atg1; Atg11; phosphorylation; receptor; selective autophagy
  5. Elife. 2022 Apr 11. pii: e74531. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Autophagy receptor (or adaptor) proteins facilitate lysosomal destruction of various organelles in response to cellular stress, including nutrient deprivation. To what extent membrane-resident autophagy receptors also respond to organelle-restricted cues to induce selective autophagy remains poorly understood. We find that latent activation of the yeast pexophagy receptor Atg36 by the casein kinase Hrr25 in rich media is repressed by the ATPase activity of Pex1/6, the catalytic subunits of the exportomer AAA+ transmembrane complex enabling protein import into peroxisomes. Quantitative proteomics of purified Pex3, an obligate Atg36 coreceptor, support a model in which the exportomer tail anchored to the peroxisome membrane represses Atg36 phosphorylation on Pex3 without assistance from additional membrane factors. Indeed, we reconstitute inhibition of Atg36 phosphorylation in vitro using soluble Pex1/6 and define an N-terminal unstructured region of Atg36 that enables regulation by binding to Pex1. Our findings uncover a mechanism by which a compartment-specific AAA+ complex mediating organelle biogenesis and protein quality control staves off induction of selective autophagy.
    Keywords:  Atg36; Hrr25; Pex1/6; S. cerevisiae; cell biology; pexophagy; receptor; selective autophagy
  6. EMBO Rep. 2022 Apr 13. e54801
      Selective autophagy cargos are recruited to autophagosomes primarily by interacting with autophagosomal ATG8 family proteins via the LC3-interacting region (LIR). The upstream sequence of most LIRs contains negatively charged residues such as Asp, Glu, and phosphorylated Ser and Thr. However, the significance of LIR phosphorylation (compared with having acidic amino acids) and the structural basis of phosphorylated LIR-ATG8 binding are not entirely understood. Here, we show that the serine residues upstream of the core LIR of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-phagy receptor TEX264 are phosphorylated by casein kinase 2, which is critical for its interaction with ATG8s, autophagosomal localization, and ER-phagy. Structural analysis shows that phosphorylation of these serine residues increases binding affinity by producing multiple hydrogen bonds with ATG8s that cannot be mimicked by acidic residues. This binding mode is different from those of other ER-phagy receptors that utilize a downstream helix, which is absent from TEX264, to increase affinity. These results suggest that phosphorylation of the LIR is critically important for strong LIR-ATG8 interactions, even in the absence of auxiliary interactions.
    Keywords:  ER-phagy; LC3-interacting region; crystal structure; phosphorylation; selective autophagy
  7. Autophagy. 2022 Apr 10. 1-21
      Selective macroautophagy/autophagy maintains cellular homeostasis through the lysosomal degradation of specific cellular proteins or organelles. The pro-survival effect of selective autophagy has been well-characterized, but the mechanism by which it drives cell death is still poorly understood. Here, we use a quantitative proteomic approach to identify HPCAL1 (hippocalcin like 1) as a novel autophagy receptor for the selective degradation of CDH2 (cadherin 2) during ferroptosis. HPCAL1-dependent CDH2 depletion increases susceptibility to ferroptotic death by reducing membrane tension and favoring lipid peroxidation. Site-directed mutagenesis aided by bioinformatic analyses revealed that the autophagic degradation of CDH2 requires PRKCQ (protein kinase C theta)-mediated HPCAL1 phosphorylation on Thr149, as well as a non-classical LC3-interacting region motif located between amino acids 46-51. An unbiased drug screening campaign involving 4208 small molecule compounds led to the identification of a ferroptosis inhibitor that suppressed HPCAL1 expression. The genetic or pharmacological inhibition of HPCAL1 prevented ferroptosis-induced tumor suppression and pancreatitis in suitable mouse models. These findings provide a framework for understanding how selective autophagy promotes ferroptotic cell death.Abbreviations: ANXA7: annexin A7; ARNTL: aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator like; CCK8: cell counting kit-8; CDH2: cadherin 2; CETSAs: cellular thermal shift assays; CPT2: carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2; DAMP, danger/damage-associated molecular pattern; DPPH: 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl; DFO: deferoxamine; EBNA1BP2: EBNA1 binding protein 2; EIF4G1: eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4 gamma 1; FBL: fibrillarin; FKBP1A: FKBP prolyl isomerase 1A; FTH1: ferritin heavy chain 1; GPX4: glutathione peroxidase 4; GSDMs: gasdermins; HBSS: Hanks' buffered salt solution; HMGB1: high mobility group box 1; HNRNPUL1: heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein U like 1; HPCAL1: hippocalcin like 1; H1-3/HIST1H1D: H1.3 linker histone, cluster member; IKE: imidazole ketone erastin; KD: knockdown; LDH: lactate dehydrogenase; LIR: LC3-interacting region; MAGOH: mago homolog, exon junction complex subunit; MAP1LC3B: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta; MDA: malondialdehyde; MLKL: mixed lineage kinase domain like pseudokinase; MPO: myeloperoxidase; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; OE: overexpressing; OSTM1: osteoclastogenesis associated transmembrane protein 1; PRKC/PKC: protein kinase C; PRKAR1A: protein kinase cAMP-dependent type I regulatory subunit alpha; PRDX3: peroxiredoxin 3; PTGS2: prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2; ROS: reactive oxygen species; SLC7A11: solute carrier family 7 member 11; SLC40A1: solute carrier family 40 member 1; SPTAN1: spectrin alpha, non-erythrocytic 1; STS: staurosporine; UBE2M: ubiquitin conjugating enzyme E2 M; ZYX: zyxin.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; degradation; ferroptosis; inhibitor; mechanotransduction; pancreas; phosphorylation
  8. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 836196
      Neurons are post-mitotic cells that allocate huge amounts of energy to the synthesis of new organelles and molecules, neurotransmission and to the maintenance of redox homeostasis. In neurons, autophagy is not only crucial to ensure organelle renewal but it is also essential to balance nutritional needs through the mobilization of internal energy stores. A delicate crosstalk between the pathways that sense nutritional status of the cell and the autophagic processes to recycle organelles and macronutrients is fundamental to guarantee the proper functioning of the neuron in times of energy scarcity. This review provides a detailed overview of the pathways and processes involved in the balance of cellular energy mediated by autophagy, which when defective, precipitate the neurodegenerative cascade of Parkinson's disease, frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Alzheimer's disease.
    Keywords:  AMPK; autophagy; glucose metabolism; lipid metabolism; mTORC1 (mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1); mitochondrial metabolism; neurodegenerative diseases; nutrient sensing pathways
  9. Science. 2022 Apr 15. 376(6590): eabf8271
      Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) remain without effective therapies. The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway is a potential therapeutic target, but conflicting interpretations have been proposed for how mTORC1 controls lipid homeostasis. We show that selective inhibition of mTORC1 signaling in mice, through deletion of the RagC/D guanosine triphosphatase-activating protein folliculin (FLCN), promotes activation of transcription factor E3 (TFE3) in the liver without affecting other mTORC1 targets and protects against NAFLD and NASH. Disease protection is mediated by TFE3, which both induces lipid consumption and suppresses anabolic lipogenesis. TFE3 inhibits lipogenesis by suppressing proteolytic processing and activation of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) and by interacting with SREBP-1c on chromatin. Our data reconcile previously conflicting studies and identify selective inhibition of mTORC1 as a potential approach to treat NASH and NAFLD.
  10. Cells. 2022 Apr 02. pii: 1205. [Epub ahead of print]11(7):
      Autophagy is an important function that mediates the degradation of intracellular proteins and organelles. Chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) degrades selected proteins and has a crucial role in cellular proteostasis under various physiological and pathological conditions. CMA dysfunction leads to the accumulation of toxic protein aggregates in the central nervous system (CNS) and is involved in the pathogenic process of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Previous studies have suggested that the activation of CMA to degrade aberrant proteins can provide a neuroprotective effect in the CNS. Recent studies have shown that CMA activity is upregulated in damaged neural tissue following acute neurological insults, such as cerebral infarction, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury. It has been also suggested that various protein degradation mechanisms are important for removing toxic aberrant proteins associated with secondary damage after acute neurological insults in the CNS. Therefore, enhancing the CMA pathway may induce neuroprotective effects not only in neurogenerative diseases but also in acute neurological insults. We herein review current knowledge concerning the biological mechanisms involved in CMA and highlight the role of CMA in neurodegenerative diseases and acute neurological insults. We also discuss the possibility of developing CMA-targeted therapeutic strategies for effective treatments.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; Hsc70; LAMP2A; Parkinson’s disease; autophagy; central nervous system; chaperone-mediated autophagy; neurodegenerative disease; spinal cord injury; traumatic brain injury
  11. Front Plant Sci. 2022 ;13 867486
      Autophagy is an intracellular degradation process that is highly conserved among eukaryotes at the molecular level. The process was originally revealed in the budding yeast, but the physiological role of autophagy in yeast cells had remained unknown as autophagy-deficient yeast mutants did now show a clear growth phenotype in laboratory conditions. In this review, we introduce the role of autophagy in the methylotrophic yeast Candida boidinii grown on the leaf surface of Arabidopsis thaliana. Autophagy is shown to be required for proliferation in the phyllosphere, and selective autophagic pathways such as pexophagy and cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway are strictly regulated during both the daily cycle and the host plant life cycle. This review describes our current understanding of the role of autophagy as a survival strategy for phyllosphere fungi. Critical functions of autophagy for pathogen invasions are also discussed.
    Keywords:  Cvt pathway; autophagy; environmental adaptation; methylotrophic yeast; nutrient utilization; pexophagy; phyllosphere
  12. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Apr 01. pii: 1806. [Epub ahead of print]14(7):
      Esophageal cancer (EC) is a highly aggressive disease with a poor prognosis. Therapy resistance and early recurrences are major obstacles in reaching a better outcome. Esophageal cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) seem tightly related with chemoradiation resistance, initiating new tumors and metastases. Several oncogenic pathways seem to be involved in the regulation of esophageal CSCs and might harbor novel therapeutic targets to eliminate CSCs. Previously, we identified a subpopulation of EC cells that express high levels of CD44 and low levels of CD24 (CD44+/CD24-), show CSC characteristics and reside in hypoxic niches. Here, we aim to clarify the role of the hypoxia-responding mammalian target of the rapamycin (mTOR) pathway in esophageal CSCs. We showed that under a low-oxygen culture condition and nutrient deprivation, the CD44+/CD24- population is enriched. Since both low oxygen and nutrient deprivation may inhibit the mTOR pathway, we next chemically inhibited the mTOR pathway using Torin-1. Torin-1 upregulated SOX2 resulted in an enrichment of the CD44+/CD24- population and increased sphere formation potential. In contrast, stimulation of the mTOR pathway using MHY1485 induced the opposite effects. In addition, Torin-1 increased autophagic activity, while MHY1485 suppressed autophagy. Torin-1-mediated CSCs upregulation was significantly reduced in cells treated with autophagy inhibitor, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Finally, a clearly defined CD44+/CD24- CSC population was detected in EC patients-derived organoids (ec-PDOs) and here, MHY1485 also reduced this population. These data suggest that autophagy may play a crucial role in mTOR-mediated CSCs repression. Stimulation of the mTOR pathway might aid in the elimination of putative esophageal CSCs.
    Keywords:  autophagy; cancer stem cells; esophageal cancer; hypoxia; mTOR
  13. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Apr 11. 13(4): 334
      Autophagy-mediated mitochondrial degradation plays pivotal roles in both the acquisition and maintenance of pluripotency, but the molecular mechanisms that link autophagy-mediated mitochondrial homeostasis to pluripotency regulation are unclear. Here, we identified that the mitophagy receptor BNIP3 regulates pluripotency. In mouse ESCs, depletion of BNIP3 caused accumulation of aberrant mitochondria accompanied by decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and reduced ATP generation, which led to compromised self-renewal and differentiation. Impairment of mitophagy by knockdown of BNIP3 inhibited mitochondrial clearance during pluripotency induction, resulting in decreased reprogramming efficiency. These defects were rescued by reacquisition of wild-type but not LIR-deficient BNIP3 expression. Taken together, our findings highlight a critical role of BNIP3-mediated mitophagy in the induction and maintenance of pluripotency.
  14. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 858286
      The Mitofusin 2 protein (MFN2), encoded by the MFN2 gene, was first described for its role in mediating mitochondrial fusion. However, MFN2 is now recognized to play additional roles in mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy), mitochondrial motility, lipid transfer, and as a tether to other organelles including the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and lipid droplets. The tethering role of MFN2 is an important mediator of mitochondrial-ER contact sites (MERCs), which themselves have many important functions that regulate mitochondria, including calcium homeostasis and lipid metabolism. Exemplifying the importance of MFN2, pathogenic variants in MFN2 are established to cause the peripheral neuropathy Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease Subtype 2A (CMT2A). However, the mechanistic basis for disease is not clear. Moreover, additional pathogenic phenotypes such as lipomatosis, distal myopathy, optic atrophy, and hearing loss, can also sometimes be present in patients with CMT2A. Given these variable patient phenotypes, and the many cellular roles played by MFN2, the mechanistic underpinnings of the cellular impairments by which MFN2 dysfunction leads to disease are likely to be complex. Here, we will review what is known about the various functions of MFN2 that are impaired by pathogenic variants causing CMT2A, with a specific emphasis on the ties between MFN2 variants and MERCs.
    Keywords:  CMT2A; MFN2; lipid homeostasis; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial endoplasmic reticulum contact sites; mitophagy; mtDNA
  15. Autophagy. 2022 Apr 11.
      Macroautophagy/autophagy is a cellular and energy homeostatic mechanism that contributes to maintain the number of primordial follicles, germ cell survival, and anti-ovarian aging. However, it remains unknown whether autophagy in granulosa cells affects oocyte maturation. Here, we show a clear tendency of reduced autophagy level in human granulosa cells from women of advanced maternal age, implying a potential negative correlation between autophagy levels and oocyte quality. We therefore established a co-culture system and show that either pharmacological inhibition or genetic ablation of autophagy in granulosa cells negatively affect oocyte quality and fertilization ability. Moreover, our metabolomics analysis indicates that the adverse impact of autophagy impairment on oocyte quality is mediated by downregulated citrate levels, while exogenous supplementation of citrate can significantly restore the oocyte maturation. Mechanistically, we found that ACLY (ATP citrate lyase), which is a crucial enzyme catalyzing the cleavage of citrate, was preferentially associated with K63-linked ubiquitin chains and recognized by the autophagy receptor protein SQSTM1/p62 for selective autophagic degradation. In human follicles, the autophagy level in granulosa cells was downregulated with maternal aging, accompanied by decreased citrate in the follicular fluid, implying a potential correlation between citrate metabolism and oocyte quality. We also show that elevated citrate levels in porcine follicular fluid promote oocyte maturation. Collectively, our data reveal that autophagy in granulosa cells is a beneficial mechanism to maintain a certain degree of citrate by selectively targeting ACLY during oocyte maturation.
    Keywords:  ACLY; SQSTM1/p62; citrate; oocyte maturation; selective autophagy
  16. Science. 2022 Apr 15. 376(6590): 247-248
      Hepatic lipogenesis is fine-tuned by mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling.
  17. EMBO J. 2022 Apr 12. e109390
      Mitophagy removes defective mitochondria via lysosomal elimination. Increased mitophagy coincides with metabolic reprogramming, yet it remains unknown whether mitophagy is a cause or consequence of such state changes. The signalling pathways that integrate with mitophagy to sustain cell and tissue integrity also remain poorly defined. We performed temporal metabolomics on mammalian cells treated with deferiprone, a therapeutic iron chelator that stimulates PINK1/PARKIN-independent mitophagy. Iron depletion profoundly rewired the metabolome, hallmarked by remodelling of lipid metabolism within minutes of treatment. DGAT1-dependent lipid droplet biosynthesis occurred several hours before mitochondrial clearance, with lipid droplets bordering mitochondria upon iron chelation. We demonstrate that DGAT1 inhibition restricts mitophagy in vitro, with impaired lysosomal homeostasis and cell viability. Importantly, genetic depletion of DGAT1 in vivo significantly impaired neuronal mitophagy and locomotor function in Drosophila. Our data define iron depletion as a potent signal that rapidly reshapes metabolism and establishes an unexpected synergy between lipid homeostasis and mitophagy that safeguards cell and tissue integrity.
    Keywords:  DGAT1; iron; lipid droplet; metabolism; mitophagy
  18. Autophagy. 2022 Apr 13. 1-19
      Externalization of the phospholipid cardiolipin (CL) to the outer mitochondrial membrane has been proposed to act as a mitophagy trigger. CL would act as a signal for binding the LC3 macroautophagy/autophagy proteins. As yet, the behavior of the LC3-subfamily members has not been directly compared in a detailed way. In the present contribution, an analysis of LC3A, LC3B and LC3C interaction with CL-containing model membranes, and of their ability to translocate to mitochondria, is described. Binding of LC3A to CL was stronger than that of LC3B; both proteins showed a similar ability to colocalize with mitochondria upon induction of CL externalization in SH-SY5Y cells. Besides, the double silencing of LC3A and LC3B proteins was seen to decrease CCCP-induced mitophagy. Residues 14 and 18 located in the N-terminal region of LC3A were shown to be important for its recognition of damaged mitochondria during rotenone- or CCCP-induced mitophagy. Moreover, the in vitro results suggested a possible role of LC3A, but not of LC3B, in oxidized-CL recognition as a counterweight to excessive apoptosis activation. In the case of LC3C, even if this protein showed a stronger CL binding than LC3B or LC3A, the interaction was less specific, and colocalization of LC3C with mitochondria was not rotenone dependent. These results suggest that, at variance with LC3A, LC3C does not participate in cargo recognition during CL-mediated-mitophagy. The data support the notion that the various LC3-subfamily members might play different roles during autophagy initiation, identifying LC3A as a novel stakeholder in CL-mediated mitophagy. Abbreviations: ACTB/β-actin: actin beta; Atg8: autophagy-related 8; CL: cardiolipin; CCCP: carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazone; DMSO: dimethyl sulfoxide; DOPE: 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine; DTT: DL-dithiothreitol; FKBP8: FKBP prolyl isomerase 8; GABARAP: GABA type A receptor associated protein; GABARAPL1: GABA type A receptor associated protein like 1; GABARAPL2: GABA type A receptor associated protein like 2; GFP: green fluorescent protein; IMM: inner mitochondrial membrane; LUV/LUVs: large unilamellar vesicle/s; MAP1LC3A/LC3A: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 alpha; MAP1LC3B/LC3B: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta; MAP1LC3C/LC3C: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 gamma; NME4/NDPK-D/Nm23-H4: NME/NM23 nucleoside diphosphate kinase 4; O/A: oligomycin A + antimycin A; OMM: outer mitochondrial membrane; PA: phosphatidic acid; PC: phosphatidylcholine; PG: phosphatidylglycerol; PINK1: PTEN induced putative kinase 1; PtdIns4P: phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate; Rho-PE: lissamine rhodamine phosphatidylethanolamine; SUV/SUVs: small unilamellar vesicle/s.
    Keywords:  Atg8; LC3/GABARAP-protein family; autophagosome; autophagy cargo recognition; lipid oxidation; lipid-protein interaction; membrane curvature; mitochondria; negatively charged phospholipids
  19. Autophagy. 2022 Apr 15. 1-2
      Dysfunction of macroautophagy/autophagy has been implicated in homeostasis maintenance and contributes to various diseases. Yet the mechanisms that regulate autophagy have not been fully understood. In a recent study, we uncovered a coherent FOXO3-SNAI2 feed-forward regulatory loop in mammals that reinforces autophagy gene induction upon energy stress. Strikingly, a foxo-sna (snail) feed-forward circuit also exists in Drosophila, suggesting this regulating loop is evolutionarily conserved. Moreover, our results highlight that binding of FOXO3 to the DNA appears to be both necessary and sufficient to antagonize CRM1-dependent nuclear export, illustrating a critical role of DNA in regulating protein nuclear localization.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; FOXO; conserved; feed-forward loop; nuclear export; snail
  20. Autophagy. 2022 Apr 15. 1-16
      Two autophagy-related (ATG) ubiquitin-like conjugation systems, the ATG12 and ATG8 systems, play important roles in macroautophagy. While multiple duplications and losses of the ATG conjugation system proteins are found in different lineages, the extent to which the underlying systems diversified across eukaryotes is not fully understood. Here, in order to understand the evolution of the ATG conjugation systems, we constructed a transcriptome database consisting of 94 eukaryotic species covering major eukaryotic clades and systematically identified ATG conjugation system components. Both ATG10 and the C-terminal glycine of ATG12 are essential for the canonical ubiquitin-like conjugation of ATG12 and ATG5. However, loss of ATG10 or the C-terminal glycine of ATG12 occurred at least 16 times in a wide range of lineages, suggesting that possible covalent-to-non-covalent transition is not limited to the species that we previously reported such as Alveolata and some yeast species. Some species have only the ATG8 system (with conjugation enzymes) or only ATG8 (without conjugation enzymes). More than 10 species have ATG8 homologs without the conserved C-terminal glycine, and Tetrahymena has an ATG8 homolog with a predicted transmembrane domain, which may be able to anchor to the membrane independent of the ATG conjugation systems. We discuss the possibility that the ancestor of the ATG12 and ATG8 systems is more similar to ATG8. Overall, our study offers a whole picture of the evolution and diversity of the ATG conjugation systems among eukaryotes, and provides evidence that functional diversifications of the systems are more common than previously thought.Abbreviations: APEAR: ATG8-PE association region; ATG: autophagy-related; LIR: LC3-interacting region; NEDD8: neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally down-regulated gene 8; PE: phosphatidylethanolamine; SAMP: small archaeal modifier protein; SAR: Stramenopiles, Alveolata, and Rhizaria; SMC: structural maintenance of chromosomes; SUMO: small ubiquitin like modifier; TACK: Thaumarchaeota, Aigarchaeota, Crenarchaeota, and Korarchaeota; UBA: ubiquitin like modifier activating enzyme; UFM: ubiquitin fold modifier; URM: ubiquitin related modifier.
    Keywords:  ATG conjugation system; autophagy; eukaryotes; evolution; ubiquitin
  21. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 26. pii: 3625. [Epub ahead of print]23(7):
      Dietary supplements and nutraceuticals have entered the mainstream. Especially in the media, they are strongly advertised as safe and even recommended for certain diseases. Although they may support conventional therapy, sometimes these substances can have unexpected side effects. This review is particularly focused on the modulation of autophagy by selected vitamins and nutraceuticals, and their relevance in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, especially Parkinson's disease (PD). Autophagy is crucial in PD; thus, the induction of autophagy may alleviate the course of the disease by reducing the so-called Lewy bodies. Hence, we believe that those substances could be used in prevention and support of conventional therapy of neurodegenerative diseases. This review will shed some light on their ability to modulate the autophagy.
    Keywords:  Parkinson’s disease; autophagy; neurodegeneration; nutraceuticals; vitamins
  22. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2022 ;12 858953
      Autophagy is a process of degradation to maintain cellular homeostatic by lysosomes, which ensures cellular survival under various stress conditions, including nutrient deficiency, hypoxia, high temperature, and pathogenic infection. Xenophagy, a form of selective autophagy, serves as a defense mechanism against multiple intracellular pathogen types, such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Recent years have seen a growing list of animal viruses with autophagy machinery. Although the relationship between autophagy and human viruses has been widely summarized, little attention has been paid to the role of this cellular function in the veterinary field, especially today, with the growth of serious zoonotic diseases. The mechanisms of the same virus inducing autophagy in different species, or different viruses inducing autophagy in the same species have not been clarified. In this review, we examine the role of autophagy in important animal viral infectious diseases and discuss the regulation mechanisms of different animal viruses to provide a potential theoretical basis for therapeutic strategies, such as targets of new vaccine development or drugs, to improve industrial production in farming.
    Keywords:  animal virus; autophagy; avian; porcine; zoonotic diseases
  23. Cells. 2022 Apr 05. pii: 1230. [Epub ahead of print]11(7):
      Chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) is a pathway in the autophagy-lysosome protein degradation system. CMA impairment has been implicated to play a role in spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) pathogenesis. D-cysteine is metabolized by D-amino acid oxidase (DAO), leading to hydrogen sulfide generation in the cerebellum. Although D-cysteine alleviates the disease phenotypes in SCA-model mice, it remains unknown how hydrogen sulfide derived from D-cysteine exerts this effect. In the present study, we investigated the effects of D-cysteine and hydrogen sulfide on CMA activity using a CMA activity marker that we have established. D-cysteine activated CMA in Purkinje cells (PCs) of primary cerebellar cultures where DAO was expressed, while it failed to activate CMA in DAO-deficient AD293 cells. In contrast, Na2S, a hydrogen sulfide donor, activated CMA in both PCs and AD293 cells. Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is known to be activated by hydrogen sulfide and regulate CMA activity. An Nrf2 inhibitor, ML385, prevented CMA activation triggered by D-cysteine and Na2S. Additionally, long-term treatment with D-cysteine increased the amounts of Nrf2 and LAMP2A, a CMA-related protein, in the mouse cerebellum. These findings suggest that hydrogen sulfide derived from D-cysteine enhances CMA activity via Nrf2 activation.
    Keywords:  Nrf2; aromatic-turmerone; dopaminergic neurons; microglia
  24. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 844297
      Niemann-Pick type A (NPA) disease is a fatal lysosomal neurodegenerative disorder caused by the deficiency in acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) activity. NPA patients present severe and progressive neurodegeneration starting at an early age. Currently, there is no effective treatment for this disease and NPA patients die between 2 and 3 years of age. NPA is characterized by an accumulation of sphingomyelin in lysosomes and dysfunction in the autophagy-lysosomal pathway. Recent studies show that c-Abl tyrosine kinase activity downregulates autophagy and the lysosomal pathway. Interestingly, this kinase is also activated in other lysosomal neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we describe that c-Abl activation contributes to the mechanisms of neuronal damage and death in NPA disease. Our data demonstrate that: 1) c-Abl is activated in-vitro as well as in-vivo NPA models; 2) imatinib, a clinical c-Abl inhibitor, reduces autophagy-lysosomal pathway alterations, restores autophagy flux, and lowers sphingomyelin accumulation in NPA patient fibroblasts and NPA neuronal models and 3) chronic treatment with nilotinib and neurotinib, two c-Abl inhibitors with differences in blood-brain barrier penetrance and target binding mode, show further benefits. While nilotinib treatment reduces neuronal death in the cerebellum and improves locomotor functions, neurotinib decreases glial activation, neuronal disorganization, and loss in hippocampus and cortex, as well as the cognitive decline of NPA mice. Our results support the participation of c-Abl signaling in NPA neurodegeneration and autophagy-lysosomal alterations, supporting the potential use of c-Abl inhibitors for the clinical treatment of NPA patients.
    Keywords:  Niemann-Pick disease; autophay-lysosomal pathway; c-Abl kinase; lysosomal storage disorder (LSD); neurodegeneration
  25. Cells. 2022 Apr 02. pii: 1203. [Epub ahead of print]11(7):
      Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species produced at low levels under normal cellular metabolism act as important signal molecules. However, at increased production, they cause damage associated with oxidative stress, which can lead to the development of many diseases, such as cardiovascular, metabolic, neurodegenerative, diabetes, and cancer. The defense systems used to maintain normal redox homeostasis plays an important role in cellular responses to oxidative stress. The key players here are Nrf2-regulated redox signaling and autophagy. A tight interface has been described between these two processes under stress conditions and their role in oxidative stress-induced diseases progression. In this review, we focus on the role of Nrf2 as a key player in redox regulation in cell response to oxidative stress. We also summarize the current knowledge about the autophagy regulation and the role of redox signaling in this process. In line with the focus of our review, we describe in more detail information about the interplay between Nrf2 and autophagy pathways in myocardium and the role of these processes in cardiovascular disease development.
    Keywords:  Nrf2; autophagy; cardiovascular disease; heart; redox signaling
  26. J Cell Biol. 2022 May 02. pii: e202109084. [Epub ahead of print]221(5):
      The endomembrane system of eukaryotic cells is essential for cellular homeostasis during growth and proliferation. Previous work showed that a central regulator of growth, namely the target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1), binds both membranes of vacuoles and signaling endosomes (SEs) that are distinct from multivesicular bodies (MVBs). Interestingly, the endosomal TORC1, which binds membranes in part via the EGO complex, critically defines vacuole integrity. Here, we demonstrate that SEs form at a branch point of the biosynthetic and endocytic pathways toward the vacuole and depend on MVB biogenesis. Importantly, function of the HOPS tethering complex is essential to maintain the identity of SEs and proper endosomal and vacuolar TORC1 activities. In HOPS mutants, the EGO complex redistributed to the Golgi, which resulted in a partial mislocalization of TORC1. Our study uncovers that SE function requires a functional HOPS complex and MVBs, suggesting a tight link between trafficking and signaling along the endolysosomal pathway.
  27. Cardiovasc Res. 2022 Apr 14. pii: cvac061. [Epub ahead of print]
      AIM: The importance of endothelial cell (EC) autophagy to vascular homeostasis in the context of health and disease is evolving. Earlier we reported that intact EC autophagy is requisite to maintain shear-stress-induced nitric oxide (NO) generation via glycolysis-dependent purinergic signaling to eNOS. Here we illustrate the translational and functional significance of these findings.METHODS AND RESULTS: First, we assessed translational relevance using older male humans and mice that exhibit blunted EC autophagy and impaired arterial function vs. adult controls. Active hyperemia evoked by RHE elevated radial artery shear rate similarly from baseline in adult and older subjects for 60-min. Compared to baseline, indexes of autophagy initiation, p-eNOSS1177 activation, and NO generation, occurred in radial artery ECs obtained from adult but not older volunteers. Regarding mice, indexes of autophagy and p-eNOSS1177 activation were robust in ECs from adult but not older animals that completed 60-min treadmill-running. Further, 20 dyne • cm2 laminar shear stress x 45-min increased autophagic flux, glycolysis, ATP production, and p-eNOSS1177 in primary arterial ECs obtained from adult but not older mice. Concerning functional relevance, we next questioned whether the inability to initiate EC autophagy, glycolysis, and p-eNOSS1177in vitro precipitates arterial dysfunction ex vivo. Compromised intraluminal flow-mediated vasodilation displayed by arteries from older vs. adult mice was recapitulated in vessels from adult mice by : (i) NO synthase inhibition; (ii) acute autophagy impairment using 3-methyladenine (3-MA); (iii) EC Atg3 depletion (iecAtg3KO mice); (iv) purinergic 2Y1-receptor (P2Y1-R) blockade; and (v) germline depletion of P2Y1-Rs. Importantly, P2Y1-R activation using 2-methylthio-ADP (2-Me-ADP) improved vasodilatory capacity in arteries from : (i) adult mice treated with 3-MA; (ii) adult iecAtg3KO mice; and (iii) older animals with repressed EC autophagy.
    CONCLUSIONS: Arterial dysfunction concurrent with pharmacological, genetic, and age-associated EC autophagy compromise is improved by activating P2Y1-Rs.
  28. Cell Death Discov. 2022 Apr 09. 8(1): 186
      We previously reported that ibandronate (IBAN) could improve endothelial function in spontaneously hypertensive rats. However, the mechanism by which IBAN improves endothelial function is unclear. The IBAN-induced autophagic process in vitro experiments were determined by detection of LC3, Beclin1, and P62 protein levels via western blotting. The autophagy flux was detected by confocal microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. For in vivo experiments, spontaneously hypertensive rats were orally administered with IBAN. Utilizing angiotensin II (Ang II) to stimulate the human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMECs) as a model of endothelial cell injury in hypertension, we found that IBAN promoted autophagy and protected cell viability in Ang II-treated-endothelial cells while these effects could be reversed by autophagy inhibitor. In terms of mechanism, IBAN treatment decreased the levels of Rac1 and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. Activating either Rac1 or mTOR could reverse IBAN-induced autophagy. Furthermore, the in vivo experiments also indicated that IBAN promotes autophagy by downregulating Rac1-mTOR. Taken together, our results firstly revealed that IBAN enhances autophagy via inhibiting Rac1-mTOR signaling pathway, and thus alleviates Ang II-induced injury in endothelial cells.
  29. Biochemistry. 2022 Apr 14.
      The sorting nexin (SNX) proteins, Atg20 and Atg24, are involved in nonselective autophagy, are necessary for efficient selective autophagy, and are required for the cytoplasm-to-vacuole transport pathway. However, the specific roles of these proteins in autophagy are not well understood. Atg20 and Atg24 each contain a Phox homology domain that facilitates phosphoinositide binding. They also each contain an SNX-Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs domain that forms a cup-shaped dimer, capable of binding to curved membranes and remodeling those membranes in some cases. Atg20 and Atg24 form two distinct complexes, an Atg24/Atg24 homodimer and an Atg20/Atg24 heterodimer. Despite the presence of Atg24 in both complexes, it is currently unclear if these complexes have different membrane binding and remodeling properties. Therefore, in this study, we explored the membrane binding and shaping properties of these two dimeric complexes. We found that Atg24/Atg24 and Atg20/Atg24 have distinct membrane binding preferences. Both dimers recognized membranes containing phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate [PI(3)P] and phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate, but Atg20/Atg24 bound to a broader array of liposomes, including those lacking phosphorylated phosphatidylinositol. In addition, we discovered that while both complexes bound to autophagosomal-like liposomes containing at least 5% PI(3)P, Atg20/Atg24 was capable of binding to autophagosomal-like liposomes lacking PI(3)P. Lastly, we observed that the Atg20/Atg24 heterodimer tubulates PI(3)P-containing and autophagosomal-like liposomes, but the Atg24/Atg24 homodimer could not tubulate these liposomes. Our findings suggest that these two dimers contain distinct membrane binding and shaping properties.
  30. Sci Rep. 2022 Apr 11. 12(1): 6063
      The E3 ubiquitin ligase HERC2 has been linked to neurological diseases and cancer, however it remains a poorly characterized human protein. Here, we show that the ZZ domain of HERC2 (HERC2ZZ) recognizes a mimetic of the Nt-R cargo degradation signal. NMR titration experiments and mutagenesis results reveal that the Nt-R mimetic peptide occupies a well-defined binding site of HERC2ZZ comprising of the negatively charged aspartic acids. We report the crystal structure of the DOC domain of HERC2 (HERC2DOC) that is adjacent to HERC2ZZ and show that a conformational rearrangement in the protein may occur when the two domains are linked. Immunofluorescence microscopy data suggest that the stimulation of autophagy promotes targeting of HERC2 to the proteasome. Our findings suggest a role of cytosolic HERC2 in the ubiquitin-dependent degradation pathways.
  31. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 25. pii: 3609. [Epub ahead of print]23(7):
      Eukaryotic cells possess a plethora of regulatory mechanisms to maintain homeostasis and ensure proper biochemical functionality. Autophagy, a central, conserved self-consuming process of the cell, ensures the timely degradation of damaged cellular components. Several studies have demonstrated the important roles of autophagy activation in mitigating neurodegenerative diseases, especially Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, surprisingly, activation of macroautophagy has not shown clinical efficacy. Hence, alternative strategies are urgently needed for AD therapy. In recent years, selective autophagy has been reported to be involved in AD pathology, and different subtypes have been identified, such as aggrephagy, mitophagy, reticulophagy, lipophagy, pexophagy, nucleophagy, lysophagy and ribophagy. By clarifying the underlying mechanisms governing these various subtypes, we may come to understand how to control autophagy to treat AD. In this review, we summarize the latest findings concerning the role of selective autophagy in the pathogenesis of AD. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that selective autophagy is an active mechanism in AD pathology, and that regulating selective autophagy would be an effective strategy for controlling this pathogenesis.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; aggrephagy; lipophagy; lysophagy; mitophagy; nucleophagy; pexophagy; reticulophagy; ribophagy; selective autophagy
  32. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Apr 06. pii: 4035. [Epub ahead of print]23(7):
      Autophagy is a complex process of degradation of senescent or dysfunctional organelles in cells. Dysfunctional autophagy is associated with many diseases such as cancers, immune dysfunction, and aging. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is considered to be the third gas signal molecule after nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide. In recent years, H2S has been found to have a variety of important biological functions, and plays an important role in a variety of physiological and pathological processes. In this review, we review the recent role and mechanism of H2S in regulating autophagy in liver disorders, in order to provide a basis for further research in the future.
    Keywords:  autophagy; hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury; hydrogen sulfide; liver disorders; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  33. Oncogene. 2022 Apr 11.
      Metastatic progression is a major burden for breast cancer patients and is associated with the ability of cancer cells to overcome stressful conditions, such as nutrients deprivation and hypoxia, and to gain invasive properties. Autophagy and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition are critical contributors to these processes. Here, we show that the P2X4 purinergic receptor is upregulated in breast cancer biopsies from patients and it is primarily localised in endolysosomes. We demonstrate that P2X4 enhanced invasion in vitro, as well as mammary tumour growth and metastasis in vivo. The pro-malignant role of P2X4 was mediated by the regulation of lysosome acidity, the promotion of autophagy and cell survival. Furthermore, the autophagic activity was associated with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and this role of P2X4 was even more pronounced under metabolic challenges. Pharmacological and gene silencing of P2X4 inhibited both autophagy and EMT, whereas its rescue in knocked-down cells led to the restoration of the aggressive phenotype. Together, our results demonstrate a previously unappreciated role for P2X4 in regulating lysosomal functions and fate, promoting breast cancer progression and aggressiveness.
  34. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Mar 23. pii: 1637. [Epub ahead of print]14(7):
      Autophagy is an important cellular repair mechanism, aiming at sequestering misfolded and dysfunctional proteins and damaged cell organelles. Dysfunctions in the autophagy process have been linked to several diseases, like infectious and neurodegenerative diseases, type II diabetes mellitus and cancer. Living organisms are constantly subjected to some degree of oxidative stress, mainly induced by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. It has been shown that autophagy is readily induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon nutrient deprivation. In recent years, research has increasingly focused on outlining novel therapeutic targets related to the autophagy process. With this review of the literature, we want to give an overview about the link between autophagy, oxidative stress and carcinogenesis.
    Keywords:  autophagy; cancer; oxidative stress
  35. Bioessays. 2022 Apr 13. e2200008
      Selective protein degradation maintains cellular homeostasis, but this process is disrupted in many diseases. Targeted protein degradation (TPD) approaches, built upon existing cellular mechanisms, are promising methods for therapeutically regulating protein levels. Here, we review the diverse palette of tools that are now available for doing so throughout the gene expression pathway and in specific cellular compartments. These include methods for directly removing targeted proteins via the ubiquitin proteasome system with proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs) or dephosphorylation targeting chimeras (DEPTACs). Similar effects can also be achieved through the lysosomal system with autophagy-targeting chimeras (AUTACs), autophagosome tethering compounds (ATTECs), and lysosome targeting chimeras (LYTACs). Other methods act upstream to degrade RNAs (ribonuclease targeting chimeras; RIBOTACs) or transcription factors (transcription factor targeting chimeras; TRAFTACs), offering control throughout the gene expression process. We highlight the evolution and function of these methods and discuss their clinical implications in diverse disease contexts.
    Keywords:  lysosomal degradation; proteasome; targeted protein degradation; ubiquitin
  36. FEBS Lett. 2022 Apr 11.
      Autophagy is a conserved degradation pathway that delivers dysfunctional cellular organelles or other cytosol components to degradative vesicular structures (vacuoles in plants and yeasts, lysosomes in mammals) for degradation and recycling. Viruses are intracellular parasites that hijack their host to live. Research on regulation of the trade-off between plant cells and viruses has indicated that autophagy is an integral part of the host responses to virus infection. Meanwhile, plants have evolved a diverse array of defense responses to counter pathogenic viruses. In this review, we focus on the roles of autophagy in plant virus infection and offer a glimpse of recent advances about how plant viruses evade autophagy or manipulate host autophagy pathways to complete their replication cycle.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Counter-defense; Defense; Immunity; Interaction; Virus
  37. J Cell Biol. 2022 May 02. pii: e202203136. [Epub ahead of print]221(5):
      Target-of-rapamycin complex 1 resides on lysosomes/vacuoles and additionally on signaling endosomes. Gao et al. (2022. J. Cell Biol. set out to define the molecular identity of signaling endosomes, along with players required for the formation and maintenance of this endosomal subpopulation.
  38. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 28. pii: 3705. [Epub ahead of print]23(7):
      Ubiquitination (the covalent attachment of ubiquitin molecules to target proteins) is one of the main post-translational modifications of proteins. Historically, the type of polyubiquitination, which involves K48 lysine residues of the monomeric ubiquitin, was the first studied type of ubiquitination. It usually targets proteins for their subsequent proteasomal degradation. All the other types of ubiquitination, including monoubiquitination; multi-monoubiquitination; and polyubiquitination involving lysine residues K6, K11, K27, K29, K33, and K63 and N-terminal methionine, were defined as atypical ubiquitination (AU). Good evidence now exists that AUs, participating in the regulation of various cellular processes, are crucial for the development of Parkinson's disease (PD). These AUs target various proteins involved in PD pathogenesis. The K6-, K27-, K29-, and K33-linked polyubiquitination of alpha-synuclein, the main component of Lewy bodies, and DJ-1 (another PD-associated protein) is involved in the formation of insoluble aggregates. Multifunctional protein kinase LRRK2 essential for PD is subjected to K63- and K27-linked ubiquitination. Mitophagy mediated by the ubiquitin ligase parkin is accompanied by K63-linked autoubiquitination of parkin itself and monoubiquitination and polyubiquitination of mitochondrial proteins with the formation of both classical K48-linked ubiquitin chains and atypical K6-, K11-, K27-, and K63-linked polyubiquitin chains. The ubiquitin-specific proteases USP30, USP33, USP8, and USP15, removing predominantly K6-, K11-, and K63-linked ubiquitin conjugates, antagonize parkin-mediated mitophagy.
    Keywords:  Parkinson’s disease; atypical ubiquitination; deubiquitinase inhibitors; ubiquitin–proteasome system
  39. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 31. pii: 3891. [Epub ahead of print]23(7):
      Autophagy is an essential intracellular eukaryotic recycling mechanism, functioning in, among others, carbon starvation. Surprisingly, although autophagy-deficient plants (atg mutants) are hypersensitive to carbon starvation, metabolic analysis revealed that they accumulate sugars under such conditions. In plants, sugars serve as both an energy source and as signaling molecules, affecting many developmental processes, including root and shoot formation. We thus set out to understand the interplay between autophagy and sucrose excess, comparing wild-type and atg mutant seedlings. The presented work showed that autophagy contributes to primary root elongation arrest under conditions of exogenous sucrose and glucose excess but not during fructose or mannitol treatment. Minor or no alterations in starch and primary metabolites were observed between atg mutants and wild-type plants, indicating that the sucrose response relates to its signaling and not its metabolic role. Extensive proteomic analysis of roots performed to further understand the mechanism found an accumulation of proteins essential for ROS reduction and auxin maintenance, which are necessary for root elongation, in atg plants under sucrose excess. The analysis also suggested mitochondrial and peroxisomal involvement in the autophagy-mediated sucrose response. This research increases our knowledge of the complex interplay between autophagy and sugar signaling in plants.
    Keywords:  Arabidopsis thaliana; autophagy; mitochondria; peroxisome; reactive oxygen species (ROS); sucrose
  40. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 23. pii: 3498. [Epub ahead of print]23(7):
      Amyloidoses are characterized by the accumulation and aggregation of misfolded proteins into fibrils in different organs, leading to cell death and consequent organ dysfunction. The specific substitution of Leu 75 for Pro in Apolipoprotein A-I protein sequence (ApoA-I; L75P-ApoA-I) results in late onset amyloidosis, where deposition of extracellular protein aggregates damages the normal functions of the liver. In this work, we describe that the autophagic process is inhibited in the presence of the L75P-ApoA-I amyloidogenic variant in stably transfected human hepatocyte carcinoma cells. The L75P-ApoA-I amyloidogenic variant alters the redox status of the cells, resulting into excessive mitochondrial stress and consequent cell death. Moreover, L75P-ApoA-I induces an impairment of the autophagic flux. Pharmacological induction of autophagy or transfection-enforced overexpression of the pro-autophagic transcription factor EB (TFEB) restores proficient proteostasis and reduces oxidative stress in these experimental settings, suggesting that pharmacological stimulation of autophagy could be a promising target to alleviate ApoA-I amyloidosis.
    Keywords:  amyloidosis; apolipoprotein A-I; apoptosis; autophagy
  41. JACC Basic Transl Sci. 2022 Mar;7(3): 244-246
    Keywords:  E3 ligase; TLR9; TRAF2; mitophagy
  42. Sci Adv. 2022 Apr 15. 8(15): eabk2376
      Mitochondrial quality control plays an important role in maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis and function. Disruption of mitochondrial quality control degrades brain function. We found that flunarizine (FNZ), a drug whose chronic use causes parkinsonism, led to a parkinsonism-like motor dysfunction in mice. FNZ induced mitochondrial dysfunction and decreased mitochondrial mass specifically in the brain. FNZ decreased mitochondrial content in both neurons and astrocytes, without affecting the number of nigral dopaminergic neurons. In human neural progenitor cells, FNZ also induced mitochondrial depletion. Mechanistically, independent of ATG5- or RAB9-mediated mitophagy, mitochondria were engulfed by lysosomes, followed by a vesicle-associated membrane protein 2- and syntaxin-4-dependent extracellular secretion. A genome-wide CRISPR knockout screen identified genes required for FNZ-induced mitochondrial elimination. These results reveal not only a previously unidentified lysosome-associated exocytosis process of mitochondrial quality control that may participate in the FNZ-induced parkinsonism but also a drug-based method for generating mitochondria-depleted mammal cells.
  43. Eur J Immunol. 2022 Apr 15.
      NLRP3 inflammasome activation is regulated by autophagy, a process tightly controlled by the ATG16L family proteins. However, the inside mechanisms remain elusive. Although the autophagy-related protein ATG16L1 has been well characterized, regulation and biological functions of its close homolog ATG16L2 still remain elusive. Here we report that ATG16L2 deficiency attenuates LPS-induced autophagy flux in macrophages through mediating ATG5-12-16L1 complex assembly. Importantly, NLRP3 inflammasome activation is elevated in ATG16L2-deficient macrophages, which also have defect in mitochondrial integrity and respiration. Finally, ATG16L2 knockout mice are more susceptible to DSS-induced intestinal damage, which can be ameliorated by inhibition of NLRP3. Collectively, our data demonstrate that ATG16L2 positively regulates autophagy and ATG16L2 could be a potential target for manipulating aberrant NLRP3 inflammasome activation induced inflammatory diseases. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  ATG16L2; NLRP3; autophagy; colitis; mitochondria
  44. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 30. pii: 3825. [Epub ahead of print]23(7):
      Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) secretion from podocytes is crucial for maintaining endothelial integrity within the glomerular filtration barrier. However, until now, the molecular mechanisms underlying podocyte secretory function remained unclear. Through podocyte-specific deletion of BECLIN1 (ATG6 or Becn1), a key protein in autophagy initiation, we identified a major role for this molecule in anterograde Golgi trafficking. The Becn1-deficient podocytes displayed aberrant vesicle formation in the trans-Golgi network (TGN), leading to dramatic vesicle accumulation and complex disrupted patterns of intracellular vesicle trafficking and membrane dynamics. Phenotypically, podocyte-specific deletion of Becn1 resulted in early-onset glomerulosclerosis, which rapidly progressed and dramatically reduced mouse life span. Further, in vivo and in vitro studies clearly showed that VEGFA secretion, and thereby endothelial integrity, greatly depended on BECLIN1 availability and function. Being the first to demonstrate the importance of a secretory pathway for podocyte integrity and function, we identified BECLIN1 as a key component in this complex cellular process. Functionally, by promoting VEGFA secretion, a specific secretory pathway emerged as an essential component for the podocyte-endothelial crosstalk that maintains the glomerular filtration barrier.
    Keywords:  BECLIN1; Golgi network; VEGF; autophagy; glomerulosclerosis; podocyte; secretory pathway
  45. PLoS Genet. 2022 Apr 11. 18(4): e1010138
      The PALB2 tumor suppressor plays key roles in DNA repair and has been implicated in redox homeostasis. Autophagy maintains mitochondrial quality, mitigates oxidative stress and suppresses neurodegeneration. Here we show that Palb2 deletion in the mouse brain leads to mild motor deficits and that co-deletion of Palb2 with the essential autophagy gene Atg7 accelerates and exacerbates neurodegeneration induced by ATG7 loss. Palb2 deletion leads to elevated DNA damage, oxidative stress and mitochondrial markers, especially in Purkinje cells, and co-deletion of Palb2 and Atg7 results in accelerated Purkinje cell loss. Further analyses suggest that the accelerated Purkinje cell loss and severe neurodegeneration in the double deletion mice are due to excessive oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, rather than DNA damage, and partially dependent on p53 activity. Our studies uncover a role of PALB2 in mitochondrial homeostasis and a cooperation between PALB2 and ATG7/autophagy in maintaining redox and mitochondrial homeostasis essential for neuronal survival.