bims-auttor Biomed News
on Autophagy and mTOR
Issue of 2022‒07‒17
forty-four papers selected by
Viktor Korolchuk
Newcastle University

  1. Autophagy. 2022 Jul 15. 1-2
      Parkinson disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain. The majority of early onset forms of Parkinson disease are a result of autosomal mutations in PRKN (parkin RBR E3 ubiquitin protein ligase) and PINK1 (PTEN induced kinase 1), which together regulate the clearance of damaged mitochondria from cells through selective autophagy of mitochondria (mitophagy). In a pair of recent papers, we characterized a secondary mechanism of activation of PRKN by PINK1 that is responsible for approximately a quarter of mitophagy in a cellular model. Our deepening understanding of PRKN-PINK1 signaling affords hope for the development of small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of Parkinson disease.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Parkinson disease; kinase; mitochondria; neurodegenerative disease; protein phosphorylation; ubiquitin
  2. Front Aging. 2021 ;2 761333
      The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) kinase is a master regulator of metabolism and aging. A complex signaling network converges on mTORC1 and integrates growth factor, nutrient and stress signals. Aging is a dynamic process characterized by declining cellular survival, renewal, and fertility. Stressors elicited by aging hallmarks such as mitochondrial malfunction, loss of proteostasis, genomic instability and telomere shortening impinge on mTORC1 thereby contributing to age-related processes. Stress granules (SGs) constitute a cytoplasmic non-membranous compartment formed by RNA-protein aggregates, which control RNA metabolism, signaling, and survival under stress. Increasing evidence reveals complex crosstalk between the mTORC1 network and SGs. In this review, we cover stressors elicited by aging hallmarks that impinge on mTORC1 and SGs. We discuss their interplay, and we highlight possible links in the context of aging and age-related diseases.
    Keywords:  MTOR; aging hallmarks; amino acids; autophagy; cellular signaling; insulin; stress; stress granules (SGs)
  3. Front Aging. 2021 ;2 707372
      The mechanistic Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) is a growth-related kinase that, in the context of the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1), touches upon most fundamental cellular processes. Consequently, its activity is a critical determinant for cellular and organismal physiology, while its dysregulation is commonly linked to human aging and age-related disease. Presumably the most important stimulus that regulates mTORC1 activity is nutrient sufficiency, whereby amino acids play a predominant role. In fact, mTORC1 functions as a molecular sensor for amino acids, linking the cellular demand to the nutritional supply. Notably, dietary restriction (DR), a nutritional regimen that has been shown to extend lifespan and improve healthspan in a broad spectrum of organisms, works via limiting nutrient uptake and changes in mTORC1 activity. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of mTORC1, using rapamycin or its analogs (rapalogs), can mimic the pro-longevity effects of DR. Conversely, nutritional amino acid overload has been tightly linked to aging and diseases, such as cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Similar effects can also be recapitulated by mutations in upstream mTORC1 regulators, thus establishing a tight connection between mTORC1 signaling and aging. Although the role of growth factor signaling upstream of mTORC1 in aging has been investigated extensively, the involvement of signaling components participating in the nutrient sensing branch is less well understood. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that signal nutrient availability to mTORC1, and summarize the role that nutrients, nutrient sensors, and other components of the nutrient sensing machinery play in cellular and organismal aging.
    Keywords:  aging; amino acids; dietary restriction; mTORC1; nutrient sensing
  4. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Jul 12. 13(7): 603
      Autophagy is a biological process that maintains cellular homeostasis and regulates the internal cellular environment. Hyperactivating autophagy to trigger cell death has been a suggested therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment. Mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a crucial protein kinase that regulates autophagy; therefore, using a structure-based virtual screen analysis, we identified lomitapide, a cholesterol-lowering drug, as a potential mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) inhibitor. Our results showed that lomitapide directly inhibits mTORC1 in vitro and induces autophagy-dependent cancer cell death by decreasing mTOR signaling, thereby inhibiting the downstream events associated with increased LC3 conversion in various cancer cells (e.g., HCT116 colorectal cancer cells) and tumor xenografts. Lomitapide also significantly suppresses the growth and viability along with elevated autophagy in patient-derived colorectal cancer organoids. Furthermore, a combination of lomitapide and immune checkpoint blocking antibodies synergistically inhibits tumor growth in murine MC38 or B16-F10 preclinical syngeneic tumor models. These results elucidate the direct, tumor-relevant immune-potentiating benefits of mTORC1 inhibition by lomitapide, which complement the current immune checkpoint blockade. This study highlights the potential repurposing of lomitapide as a new therapeutic option for cancer treatment.
  5. Autophagy. 2022 Jul 09.
      The conjugation of Atg8-family proteins with phospholipids on the double-membrane phagophore is one of the hallmarks of macroautopahgy/autophagy. However, in the past decades, Atg8-family proteins are also found on single-membrane structures, including the phagosome, endosome and lysosome. While the physiological importance of the non-canonical Atg8-family protein conjugation has been demonstrated, the mechanism of this process and the underlying regulation are still not very clear. In a recent paper, Hooper et al. found that during LC3-associated phagocytosis, reactive oxygen species are required for V-ATPase assembly, which is essential for the subsequent LC3 conjugation to the phagosome. Enhanced V-ATPase assembly and the direct engagement of ATG16L1 are also observed in a wide range of non-canonical Atg8-family protein conjugation processes, defining the V-ATPase and ATG16L1 as taking part in a common mechanism.
    Keywords:  ATG16L1; Atg8 conjugation; LAP; ROS; V-ATPase; non-canonical autophagy
  6. Autophagy. 2022 Jul 12. 1-2
      The LIR motif-docking site (LDS) of Atg8/LC3 proteins is essential for the binding of LC3-interacting region (LIR)-containing proteins and their subsequent degradation by macroautophagy/autophagy. In our recent study, we created a mutated LDS site in Atg8a, the Drosophila homolog of Atg8/LC3 and found that LDS mutants accumulate known autophagy substrates and have reduced lifespan. We also conducted quantitative proteomics analyses and identified several proteins that are enriched in the LDS mutants, including Gmap (Golgi microtubule-associated protein). Gmap contains a LIR motif and accumulates in LDS mutants. We showed that Gmap and Atg8a interact in a LIR-LDS dependent manner and that the Golgi size and morphology are altered in Atg8a-LDS and Gmap-LIR motif mutants. Our findings highlight a role for Gmap in the regulation of Golgiphagy.
    Keywords:  Drosophila; Golgi; Golgiphagy; LIR motif; LIR-motif docking site; autophagy
  7. Autophagy. 2022 Jul 12. 1-2
      Impaired autophagosome formation and reduced flux through the macroautophagy/autophagy pathway occurs outside the brain as part of normal aging in various species. We recently identified autophagic decline in mouse brain tissue dependent on aging. This sits alongside significantly increased expression of the Sorbs3/SORBS3/vinexin (sorbin and SH3 domain containing 3) gene in older mouse and human brains. We found that SORBS3 negatively regulates autophagy in several cell lines, including mouse primary neurons. SORBS3 depletion increases F-actin structures, which compete with YAP1-WWTR1/TAZ to bind AMOT (angiomotin) proteins in the cytosol. Unbound YAP1-WWTR1/TAZ is free to move into the nucleus and upregulate YAP1-WWTR1/TAZ target gene expression. This upregulates autophagosome formation, in part through increased expression of myosin- and actin-related genes. Moreover, we have shown these YAP1-WWTR1/TAZ target genes are downregulated in older mouse and human brains. Taken together, our findings suggest that increased SORBS3 expression contributes to autophagic decline in normal brain aging across species.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; SORBS3; YAP1-WWTR1/TAZ; brain aging; vinexin
  8. Nucleic Acids Res. 2022 Jul 13. pii: gkac584. [Epub ahead of print]
      Autophagy is a catabolic pathway that maintains cellular homeostasis under various stress conditions, including conditions of nutrient deprivation. To elevate autophagic flux to a sufficient level under stress conditions, transcriptional activation of autophagy genes occurs to replenish autophagy components. Thus, the transcriptional and epigenetic control of the genes regulating autophagy is essential for cellular homeostasis. Here, we applied integrated transcriptomic and epigenomic profiling to reveal the roles of plant homeodomain finger protein 20 (PHF20), which is an epigenetic reader possessing methyl binding activity, in controlling the expression of autophagy genes. Phf20 deficiency led to impaired autophagic flux and autophagy gene expression under glucose starvation. Interestingly, the genome-wide characterization of chromatin states by Assay for Transposase-Accessible Chromatin (ATAC)-sequencing revealed that the PHF20-dependent chromatin remodelling occurs in enhancers that are co-occupied by dimethylated lysine 36 on histone H3 (H3K36me2). Importantly, the recognition of H3K36me2 by PHF20 was found to be highly correlated with increased levels of H3K4me1/2 at the enhancer regions. Collectively, these results indicate that PHF20 regulates autophagy genes through enhancer activation via H3K36me2 recognition as an epigenetic reader. Our findings emphasize the importance of nuclear events in the regulation of autophagy.
  9. Nature. 2022 Jul 13.
      Mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) controls growth by regulating anabolic and catabolic processes in response to environmental cues, including nutrients1,2. Amino acids signal to mTORC1 through the Rag GTPases, which are regulated by several protein complexes, including GATOR1 and GATOR2. GATOR2, which has five components (WDR24, MIOS, WDR59, SEH1L and SEC13), is required for amino acids to activate mTORC1 and interacts with the leucine and arginine sensors SESN2 and CASTOR1, respectively3-5. Despite this central role in nutrient sensing, GATOR2 remains mysterious as its subunit stoichiometry, biochemical function and structure are unknown. Here we used cryo-electron microscopy to determine the three-dimensional structure of the human GATOR2 complex. We found that GATOR2 adopts a large (1.1 MDa), two-fold symmetric, cage-like architecture, supported by an octagonal scaffold and decorated with eight pairs of WD40 β-propellers. The scaffold contains two WDR24, four MIOS and two WDR59 subunits circularized via two distinct types of junction involving non-catalytic RING domains and α-solenoids. Integration of SEH1L and SEC13 into the scaffold through β-propeller blade donation stabilizes the GATOR2 complex and reveals an evolutionary relationship to the nuclear pore and membrane-coating complexes6. The scaffold orients the WD40 β-propeller dimers, which mediate interactions with SESN2, CASTOR1 and GATOR1. Our work reveals the structure of an essential component of the nutrient-sensing machinery and provides a foundation for understanding the function of GATOR2 within the mTORC1 pathway.
  10. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 15. 13(1): 4107
      Unrestrained ketogenesis leads to life-threatening ketoacidosis whose incidence is high in patients with diabetes. While insulin therapy reduces ketogenesis this approach is sub-optimal. Here, we report an insulin-independent pathway able to normalize diabetic ketogenesis. By generating insulin deficient male mice lacking or re-expressing Toll-Like Receptor 4 (TLR4) only in liver or hepatocytes, we demonstrate that hepatic TLR4 in non-parenchymal cells mediates the ketogenesis-suppressing action of S100A9. Mechanistically, S100A9 acts extracellularly to activate the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) in a TLR4-dependent manner. Accordingly, hepatic-restricted but not hepatocyte-restricted loss of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 1 (TSC1, an mTORC1 inhibitor) corrects insulin-deficiency-induced hyperketonemia. Therapeutically, recombinant S100A9 administration restrains ketogenesis and improves hyperglycemia without causing hypoglycemia in diabetic mice. Also, circulating S100A9 in patients with ketoacidosis is only marginally increased hence unveiling a window of opportunity to pharmacologically augment S100A9 for preventing unrestrained ketogenesis. In summary, our findings reveal the hepatic S100A9-TLR4-mTORC1 axis in non-parenchymal cells as a promising therapeutic target for restraining diabetic ketogenesis.
  11. Int J Biol Macromol. 2022 Jul 12. pii: S0141-8130(22)01456-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Macroautophagy, or autophagy, is a process in which cell macromolecules, or even organelles, are engulfed in a double-membrane vesicle, the autophagosome, and directed to a lysosome. Among autophagy-related proteins, LC3/GABARAP constitute a protein family derived from yeast Atg8. They play important roles in autophagosome formation, binding future cargo organelles and promoting autophagosome growth. The involvement of specific lipids in this process is poorly understood. The present study explores the interaction of LC3/GABARAP proteins with phospholipid monolayers and bilayers based on phosphatidylcholine or on sphingomyelin. Cardiolipin is found to be essential for the protein interaction with such bilayers, as measured through gradient centrifugation experiments, while ceramide markedly increases binding. Giant unilamellar vesicles examined under confocal fluorescence microscopy reveal that ceramide segregates laterally into very rigid domains, while GABARAP binds only the more fluid regions, suggesting that the enhancing role of ceramide is exerted by the minority of ceramide molecules dispersed in the fluid phase. Although in further autophagy steps the LC3/GABARAP proteins are covalently bound to a phospholipid, this is not the case in our system, thus it is proposed that the observed ceramide effects would correspond to very early stages in the process, such as cargo recognition.
    Keywords:  Autophagy proteins; Cardiolipin; Ceramide; LC3/GABARAP; Mitochondria
  12. J Vis Exp. 2022 Jun 23.
      Lysosomes frequently communicate with a variety of biomolecules to achieve the degradation and other diverse cellular functions. Lysosomes are critical to human brain function, as neurons are postmitotic and rely heavily on the autophagy-lysosome pathway to maintain cellular homeostasis. Despite advancements in the understanding of various lysosomal functions, capturing the highly dynamic communications between lysosomes and other cellular components is technically challenging, particularly in a high-throughput fashion. Here, a detailed protocol is provided for the recently published endogenous (knock-in) lysosome proximity labeling proteomic method in human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived neurons. Both lysosomal membrane proteins and proteins surrounding lysosomes within a 10-20 nm radius can be confidently identified and accurately quantified in live human neurons. Each step of the protocol is described in detail, i.e., hiPSC-neuron culture, proximity labeling, neuron harvest, fluorescence microscopy, biotinylated protein enrichment, protein digestion, LC-MS analysis, and data analysis. In summary, this unique endogenous lysosomal proximity labeling proteomics method provides a high-throughput and robust analytical tool to study the highly dynamic lysosomal activities in live human neurons.
  13. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Jul 15. 13(7): 615
      Aggresome formation is a protective cellular response to counteract proteasome dysfunction by sequestering misfolded proteins and reducing proteotoxic stress. Autophagic degradation of the protein aggregates is considered to be a key compensating mechanism for balancing proteostasis. However, the precise role of autophagy in proteasome inhibition-induced aggresome biogenesis remains unclear. Herein, we demonstrate that in the early stage of proteasome inhibition, the maturation of the autophagosome is suppressed, which facilitates aggresome formation of misfolded proteins. Proteasome inhibition-induced phosphorylation of SQSTM1 T269/S272 inhibits its autophagic receptor activity and promotes aggresome formation of misfolded proteins. Inhibiting SQSTM1 T269/S272 phosphorylation using Doramapimod aggravates proteasome inhibitor-mediated cell damage and tumor suppression. Taken together, our data reveal a negative effect of autophagy on aggresome biogenesis and cell damage upon proteasome inhibition. Our study suggests a novel therapeutic intervention for proteasome inhibitor-mediated tumor treatment.
  14. Cancer Commun (Lond). 2022 Jul 15.
      BACKGROUND: Autophagy is elevated in metastatic tumors and is often associated with active epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, the extent to which EMT is dependent on autophagy is largely unknown. This study aimed to identify the mechanisms by which autophagy facilitates EMT.METHODS: We employed a liquid chromatography-based metabolomic approach with kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene (KRAS) and liver kinase B1 (LKB1) gene co-mutated (KL) cells that represent an autophagy/EMT-coactivated invasive lung cancer subtype for the identification of metabolites linked to autophagy-driven EMT activation. Molecular mechanisms of autophagy-driven EMT activation were further investigated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), Western blotting analysis, immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence staining, and metabolite assays. The effects of chemical and genetic perturbations on autophagic flux were assessed by two orthogonal approaches: microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (LC3) turnover analysis by Western blotting and monomeric red fluorescent protein-green fluorescent protein (mRFP-GFP)-LC3 tandem fluorescent protein quenching assay. Transcription factor EB (TFEB) activity was measured by coordinated lysosomal expression and regulation (CLEAR) motif-driven luciferase reporter assay. Experimental metastasis (tail vein injection) mouse models were used to evaluate the impact of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase 2 (CAMKK2) or ATP citrate lyase (ACLY) inhibitors on lung metastasis using IVIS luciferase imaging system.
    RESULTS: We found that autophagy in KL cancer cells increased acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA), which facilitated the acetylation and stabilization of the EMT-inducing transcription factor Snail. The autophagy/acetyl-CoA/acetyl-Snail axis was further validated in tumor tissues and in autophagy-activated pancreatic cancer cells. TFEB acetylation in KL cancer cells sustained pro-metastatic autophagy in a mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1)-independent manner. Pharmacological inhibition of this axis via CAMKK2 inhibitors or ACLY inhibitors consistently reduced the metastatic capacity of KL cancer cells in vivo.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that autophagy-derived acetyl-CoA promotes Snail acetylation and thereby facilitates invasion and metastasis of KRAS-LKB1 co-mutated lung cancer cells and that inhibition of the autophagy/acetyl-CoA/acetyl-Snail axis using CAMKK2 or ACLY inhibitors could be a potential therapeutic strategy to suppress metastasis of KL lung cancer.
    Keywords:  ACLY; CAMKK2; KRAS inhibitor; acetyl-coenzyme A; acetyl-snail; autophagy; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; metastasis; non-small-cell lung cancer; pancreatic cancer; snail
  15. Front Aging. 2022 ;3 888190
      Ageing is a progressive physiological process mediated by changes in biological pathways, resulting in a decline in tissue and cellular function. It is a driving factor in numerous age-related diseases including cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Cardiomyopathies, hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, and heart failure are some of the age-related CVDs that are the leading causes of death worldwide. Although individual CVDs have distinct clinical and pathophysiological manifestations, a disturbance in cellular homeostasis underlies the majority of diseases which is further compounded with aging. Three key evolutionary conserved signalling pathways, namely, autophagy, mitophagy and the unfolded protein response (UPR) are involved in eliminating damaged and dysfunctional organelle, misfolded proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, together these molecular processes protect and preserve cellular homeostasis. However, amongst the numerous molecular changes during ageing, a decline in the signalling of these key molecular processes occurs. This decline also increases the susceptibility of damage following a stressful insult, promoting the development and pathogenesis of CVDs. In this review, we discuss the role of autophagy, mitophagy and UPR signalling with respect to ageing and cardiac disease. We also highlight potential therapeutic strategies aimed at restoring/rebalancing autophagy and UPR signalling to maintain cellular homeostasis, thus mitigating the pathological effects of ageing and CVDs. Finally, we highlight some limitations that are likely hindering scientific drug research in this field.
    Keywords:  ageing; autophagy; cardiovascular disease; endoplasmic reticulum stress; mitophagy
  16. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2022 Jul 07. pii: S0925-4439(22)00155-7. [Epub ahead of print] 166484
      Exosomal release pathway and autophagy together maintain homeostasis and survival of cells under stressful conditions. Autophagy is a catabolic process through which cell entities, such as malformed biomacromolecules and damaged organelles, are degraded and recycled via the lysosomal-dependent pathway. Exosomes, a sub-type of extracellular vesicles (EVs) formed by the inward budding of multivesicular bodies (MVBs), are mostly involved in mediating communication between cells. The unfolded protein response (UPR) is an adaptive response that is activated to sustain survival in the cells faced with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress through a complex network that involves protein synthesis, exosomes secretion and autophagy. Disruption of the critical crosstalk between EVs, UPR and autophagy may be implicated in various human diseases, including cancers and neurodegenerative diseases, yet the molecular mechanism(s) behind the coordination of these communication pathways remains obscure. Here, we review the available information on the mechanisms that control autophagy, ER stress and EV pathways, with the view that a better understanding of their crosstalk and balance may improve our knowledge on the pathogenesis and treatment of human diseases, where these pathways are dysregulated.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Cancer; Crosstalk; ER stress; Exosomes; Extracellular vesicles; Secretory autophagy; Unfolded protein response
  17. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 834561
      Autophagy is a highly conserved process that mediates the targeting and degradation of intracellular components to lysosomes, contributing to the maintenance of cellular homeostasis and to obtaining energy, which ensures viability under stress conditions. Therefore, autophagy defects are common to different neurodegenerative disorders. Rnd3 belongs to the family of Rho GTPases, involved in the regulation of actin cytoskeleton dynamics and important in the modulation of cellular processes such as migration and proliferation. Murine models have shown that Rnd3 is relevant for the correct development and function of the Central Nervous System and lack of its expression produces several motor alterations and neural development impairment. However, little is known about the molecular events through which Rnd3 produces these phenotypes. Interestingly we have observed that Rnd3 deficiency correlates with the appearance of autophagy impairment profiles and irregular mitochondria. In this work, we have explored the impact of Rnd3 loss of expression in mitochondrial function and autophagy, using a Rnd3 KO CRISPR cell model. Rnd3 deficient cells show no alterations in autophagy and mitochondria turnover is not impaired. However, Rnd3 KO cells have an altered mitochondria oxidative metabolism, resembling the effect caused by oxidative stress. In fact, lack of Rnd3 expression makes these cells strictly dependent on glycolysis to obtain energy. Altogether, our results demonstrate that Rnd3 is relevant to maintain mitochondria function, suggesting a possible relationship with neurodegenerative diseases.
    Keywords:  OXPHOS (oxidative phosphorylation); Rnd3/RhoE; autophagy; mitochondrial dysfunction (MtD); neurodisorders
  18. Front Pharmacol. 2022 ;13 912688
      Rheb is a small GTPase member of the Ras superfamily and an activator of mTORC1, a protein complex master regulator of cell metabolism, growth, and proliferation. Rheb/mTORC1 pathway is hyperactivated in proliferative diseases, such as Tuberous Sclerosis Complex syndrome and cancer. Therefore, targeting Rheb-dependent signaling is a rational strategy for developing new drug therapies. Rheb activates mTORC1 in the cytosolic surface of lysosomal membranes. Rheb's farnesylation allows its anchorage on membranes, while its proper localization depends on the prenyl-binding chaperone PDEδ. Recently, the use of PDEδ inhibitors has been proposed as anticancer agents because they interrupted KRas signaling leading to antiproliferative effects in KRas-dependent pancreatic cancer cells. However, the effect of PDEδ inhibition on the Rheb/mTORC1 pathway has been poorly investigated. Here, we evaluated the impact of a new PDEδ inhibitor, called Deltasonamide 1, in Tsc2-null MEFs, a Rheb-dependent overactivated mTORC1 cell line. By using a yeast two-hybrid assay, we first validated that Deltasonamide 1 disrupts Rheb-PDEδ interaction. Accordingly, we found that Deltasonamide 1 reduces mTORC1 targets activation. In addition, our results showed that Deltasonamide 1 has antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects on Tsc2-null MEFs but has less effect on Tsc2-wild type MEFs viability. This work proposes the pharmacological PDEδ inhibition as a new approach to target the abnormal Rheb/mTORC1 activation in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex cells.
    Keywords:  Deltasonamide 1; PDEδ inhibitor; Rheb; Tsc2-null cells; mTORC1 signaling
  19. Trends Cell Biol. 2022 Jul 12. pii: S0962-8924(22)00151-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Autophagy is a multistage, intracellular process. Here, we highlight a recently identified autophagosomal components recycling (ACR) stage and the recycler complex (SNX4-SNX5-SNX17), which mediates recycling of autophagosomal outer membrane proteins on the autolysosome surface immediately following autophagosome-lysosome fusion. This discovery opens numerous research directions into the postfusion fate of autophagosomes.
    Keywords:  ATG9A; STX17; autophagosomal components recycling; autophagy; lysosome
  20. Front Aging. 2021 ;2 670267
      Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has long been an important technique, capable of high degree resolution and visualization of subcellular structures and organization. Over the last 20 years, TEM has gained popularity in the cardiovascular field to visualize changes at the nanometer scale in cardiac ultrastructure during cardiovascular development, aging, and a broad range of pathologies. Recently, the cardiovascular TEM enabled the studying of several signaling processes impacting mitochondrial function, such as mitochondrial fission/fusion, autophagy, mitophagy, lysosomal degradation, and lipophagy. The goals of this review are to provide an overview of the current usage of TEM to study cardiac ultrastructural changes; to understand how TEM aided the visualization of mitochondria, autophagy, and mitophagy under normal and cardiovascular disease conditions; and to discuss the overall advantages and disadvantages of TEM and potential future capabilities and advancements in the field.
    Keywords:  aging; autophagy; heart; heart failure; mitochondria; mitophagy; myocardial infarction; transmission electron microscopy
  21. Life Sci Alliance. 2022 Nov;pii: e202201531. [Epub ahead of print]5(11):
      Mitochondria-ER contact sites (MERCs) orchestrate many important cellular functions including regulating mitochondrial quality control through mitophagy and mediating mitochondrial calcium uptake. Here, we identify and functionally characterize the Drosophila ortholog of the recently identified mammalian MERC protein, Pdzd8. We find that reducing pdzd8-mediated MERCs in neurons slows age-associated decline in locomotor activity and increases lifespan in Drosophila. The protective effects of pdzd8 knockdown in neurons correlate with an increase in mitophagy, suggesting that increased mitochondrial turnover may support healthy aging of neurons. In contrast, increasing MERCs by expressing a constitutive, synthetic ER-mitochondria tether disrupts mitochondrial transport and synapse formation, accelerates age-related decline in locomotion, and reduces lifespan. Although depletion of pdzd8 prolongs the survival of flies fed with mitochondrial toxins, it is also sufficient to rescue locomotor defects of a fly model of Alzheimer's disease expressing Amyloid β42 (Aβ42). Together, our results provide the first in vivo evidence that MERCs mediated by the tethering protein pdzd8 play a critical role in the regulation of mitochondrial quality control and neuronal homeostasis.
  22. Mol Biol Rep. 2022 Jul 09.
      Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation pathway that depends on various evolutionarily conserved autophagy-related genes (ATGs). Dysregulation of autophagy plays an important role in the occurrence and development of cancer. Chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy are important treatment options for cancer, which can significantly improve the survival rate of cancer patients. However, the occurrence of therapy resistance results in therapeutic failure and poor prognosis of cancer. Accumulating studies have found that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are well known as crucial regulators to control autophagy through regulating ATGs and autophagy-associated signaling pathways, including the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, ultimately mediating chemoresistance and radioresistance. Taken together, this review systematically summarizes and elucidates the pivotal role of lncRNAs in cancer chemoresistance and radioresistance via regulating autophagy. Understanding the specific mechanism of which may provide autophagy-related therapeutic targets for cancer in the future.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Cancer therapy resistance; Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA)
  23. Curr Opin Physiol. 2022 Apr;pii: 100532. [Epub ahead of print]26
      The brain is one of the most energetically demanding tissues in the human body, and mitochondrial pathology is strongly implicated in chronic neurodegenerative diseases. In contrast to acute brain injuries in which bioenergetics and cell death play dominant roles, studies modeling familial neurodegeneration implicate a more complex and nuanced relationship involving the entire mitochondrial life cycle. Recent literature on mitochondrial mechanisms in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, Huntington's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is reviewed with an emphasis on mitochondrial quality control, transport and synaptodendritic calcium homeostasis. Potential neuroprotective interventions include targeting the mitochondrial kinase PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1), which plays a role in regulating not only multiple facets of mitochondrial biology, but also neuronal morphogenesis and dendritic arborization.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer disease; PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1); Parkinson disease; drug discovery; mitochondrial calcium; mitochondrial proteases; mitophagy; synaptic degeneration
  24. Commun Biol. 2022 Jul 14. 5(1): 698
      Prohibitins are highly conserved eukaryotic proteins in mitochondria that function in various cellular processes. The roles of prohibitins in fungal virulence and their regulatory mechanisms are still unknown. Here, we identified the prohibitins ChPhb1 and ChPhb2 in a plant pathogenic fungus Colletotrichum higginsianum and investigated their roles in the virulence of this anthracnose fungus attacking crucifers. We demonstrate that ChPhb1 and ChPhb2 are required for the proper functioning of mitochondria, mitophagy and virulence. ChPhb1 and ChPhb2 interact with the autophagy-related protein ChATG24 in mitochondria, and ChATG24 shares similar functions with these proteins in mitophagy and virulence, suggesting that ChATG24 is involved in prohibitin-dependent mitophagy. ChPhb1 and ChPhb2 modulate the translocation of ChATG24 into mitochondria during mitophagy. The role of ChATG24 in mitophagy is further confirmed to be conserved in plant pathogenic fungi. Our study presents that prohibitins regulate fungal virulence by mediating ATG24-assisted mitophagy.
  25. Int J Neurosci. 2022 Jul 11. 1-11
      Background: Parkinson's disease (PD), as a chronic and progressive neurodegenerative disease, is associated with autophagy. This study focused on the regulation of sinomenine (SN) on autophagy in PD and its related mechanism.Methods: The PD mouse model was constructed by MPTP inducement, and the mouse motor function after modeling and SN treatment was examined by rotarod, grip strength, and foot printing tests. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)/LC3B-positive neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta of mouse brains were detected by immunofluorescence. The expressions of proteins related to autophagy (Beclin1, p62, LC3-I and LC3-II) and phosphorylated phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase (mTOR) signaling pathway were measured by western blot. Rescue experiments were performed to determine the effects of MHY1485 (mTOR activator) on SN-treated PD mice.Results: SN potentiated the inhibited motor ability in PD mice, promoted the survival of dopaminergic neurons, increased the protein expression level of Beclin1, LC3-II/LC3-I ratio and LC3B-positive neurons, lowered the protein expression level of p62 and inactivated PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in the substantia nigra tissue of mouse brains. Moreover, MHY1485 reversed the above effects of SN on PD mice via reactivating PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway.Conclusion: SN augments the autophagy of dopaminergic neurons via inhibiting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway and exerts a neuroprotective effect on PD mice.
    Keywords:  PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway; Parkinson's disease; autophagy; sinomenine
  26. STAR Protoc. 2022 Jul 11. pii: S2666-1667(22)00419-1. [Epub ahead of print]3(3): 101539
      Senescent cells accumulation is associated with aging and age-related diseases, and recent findings suggest that autophagy, the activity of the intracellular degradation system, decreases during senescence. In this protocol, we detail steps to induce cellular senescence in response to DNA damage, evaluate the senescent state using SA-β-gal staining and western blot for p21, LAMP1, and Lamin B1, and detect autophagy via LC3 western blotting. This protocol can be used in most cell lines and for various types of senescent cells. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Yamamoto-Imoto et al. (2022).
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Cell culture; Cell-based Assays
  27. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2473 285-306
      Lysosomes are membrane-bound organelles that degrade diverse biomolecules and regulate a multitude of other essential processes including cell growth and metabolism, signaling, plasma membrane repair and infection. Such diverse functions of lysosomes are highly coordinated in space and time and are therefore tightly coupled to the directional transport of the organelles within the cytoplasm. Thus, robust quantitative assessments of lysosome positioning within the cell provide a valuable tool for researchers interested in understanding these multifunctional organelles. Here, we present point-by-point methodology to measure lysosome positioning by two straight forward and widely used techniques: shell analysis and line scan.
    Keywords:  ImageJ analysis; Line scan; Lysosome distribution; Lysosome positioning measurements; Lysosome transport; Organelle positioning; Shell analysis
  28. Autophagy. 2022 Jul 15. 1-14
      ABBREVIATIONS: BCL2: BCL2 apoptosis regulator; BCL10: BCL10 immune signaling adaptor; CARD11: caspase recruitment domain family member 11; CBM: CARD11-BCL10-MALT1; CR2: complement C3d receptor 2; EBNA: Epstein Barr nuclear antigen; EBV: Epstein-Barr virus; FCGR3A; Fc gamma receptor IIIa; GLILD: granulomatous-lymphocytic interstitial lung disease; HV: healthy volunteer; IKBKB/IKB kinase: inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B kinase subunit beta; IL2RA: interleukin 2 receptor subunit alpha; MALT1: MALT1 paracaspase; MS4A1: membrane spanning 4-domain A1; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; MYC: MYC proto-oncogene, bHLH: transcription factor; NCAM1: neural cell adhesion molecule 1; NFKB: nuclear factor kappa B; NIAID: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; NK: natural killer; PTPRC: protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type C; SELL: selectin L; PBMCs: peripheral blood mononuclear cells; TR: T cell receptor; Tregs: regulatory T cells; WT: wild-type.
    Keywords:  ATG9A; MTOR; NFKB; T-cell signaling; cellular proliferation; rapamycin
  29. Nat Biomed Eng. 2022 Jul 11.
      Autophagy-the lysosomal degradation of cytoplasmic components via their sequestration into double-membraned autophagosomes-has not been detected non-invasively. Here we show that the flux of autophagosomes can be measured via magnetic resonance imaging or serial near-infrared fluorescence imaging of intravenously injected iron oxide nanoparticles decorated with cathepsin-cleavable arginine-rich peptides functionalized with the near-infrared fluorochrome Cy5.5 (the peptides facilitate the uptake of the nanoparticles by early autophagosomes, and are then cleaved by cathepsins in lysosomes). In the heart tissue of live mice, the nanoparticles enabled quantitative measurements of changes in autophagic flux, upregulated genetically, by ischaemia-reperfusion injury or via starvation, or inhibited via the administration of a chemotherapeutic or the antibiotic bafilomycin. In mice receiving doxorubicin, pre-starvation improved cardiac function and overall survival, suggesting that bursts of increased autophagic flux may have cardioprotective effects during chemotherapy. Autophagy-detecting nanoparticle probes may facilitate the further understanding of the roles of autophagy in disease.
  30. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 891332
      With great sadness, the scientific community received the news of the loss of Beth Levine on 15 June 2020. Dr. Levine was a pioneer in the autophagy field and work in her lab led not only to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating the pathway, but also its implications in multiple physiological and pathological conditions, including its role in development, host defense, tumorigenesis, aging or metabolism. This review does not aim to provide a comprehensive view of autophagy, but rather an outline of some of the discoveries made by the group of Beth Levine, from the perspective of some of her own mentees, hoping to honor her legacy in science.
    Keywords:  BECN1; Beth Levine; aging; cancer; infectious diseases; macroautophagy; metabolism; selective autophagy
  31. J Clin Invest. 2022 Jul 14. pii: e156501. [Epub ahead of print]
      Human-β-defensin (hBD)-3 exhibits antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activities; however, its contribution to autophagy regulation remains unclear, and the role of autophagy in the regulation of the epidermal barrier in atopic dermatitis (AD) is poorly understood. Here, keratinocyte autophagy was restrained in the skin lesions of patients with AD and murine models of AD. Interestingly, hBD-3 alleviated the interleukin-4- and interleukin-13-mediated impairment of the tight junction (TJ) barrier through keratinocyte autophagy activation, which involved aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) signaling. While autophagy deficiency impaired the epidermal barrier and exacerbated inflammation, hBD-3 attenuated skin inflammation and enhanced the TJ barrier in AD. Importantly, hBD-3-mediated improvement of the TJ barrier was abolished in autophagy-deficient AD mice and in AhR-suppressed AD mice, suggesting a role for hBD-3-mediated autophagy in the regulation of the epidermal barrier and inflammation in AD. Thus, autophagy contributes to the pathogenesis of AD, and hBD-3 could be used for therapeutic purposes.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Defensins; Dermatology; Inflammation; Tight junctions
  32. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 912470
      What lies at the basis of the mechanisms that regulate the maintenance and self-renewal of pluripotent stem cells is still an open question. The control of stemness derives from a fine regulation between transcriptional and metabolic factors. In the last years, an emerging topic has concerned the involvement of Chaperone-Mediated Autophagy (CMA) as a key mechanism in stem cell pluripotency control acting as a bridge between epigenetic, transcriptional and differentiation regulation. This review aims to clarify this new and not yet well-explored horizon discussing the recent studies regarding the CMA impact on embryonic, mesenchymal, and haematopoietic stem cells. The review will discuss how CMA influences embryonic stem cell activity promoting self-renewal or differentiation, its involvement in maintaining haematopoietic stem cell function by increasing their functionality during the normal ageing process and its effects on mesenchymal stem cells, in which modulation of CMA regulates immunosuppressive and differentiation properties. Finally, the importance of these new discoveries and their relevance for regenerative medicine applications, from transplantation to cell rejuvenation, will be addressed.
    Keywords:  Chaperone-Mediated Autophagy (CMA); adult stem cells; aging; embryonic stem cells; haematopoietic stem cells; mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC); pluripotent stem cell; rejuvenation
  33. Mol Biol Rep. 2022 Jul 12.
      Autophagy is a cellular process that eliminates damaged components of cytoplasm via the lysosome. Autophagy supports cells and tissues to remain healthy by recycling old or damaged cellular organelles and proteins with new ones. The breakdown products that follow are directed into cellular metabolism, where they are utilized to produce energy as well as for maintaining homeostasis and stability of the genome. In many cancers, autophagy modulation carries out a dual role in cancer development and suppression. Autophagy suppresses the proliferation of cancer cells by bringing about cell death and limiting cancer cell development, although it also promotes tumorigenesis by encouraging cancer cell growth and formation. Nevertheless, autophagy's implication in cancer remains a paradox. While several autophagy activators, and inhibitors, such as SAH-EJ2, Gefitinib, Ampelopsin hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, are utilized to regulate autophagy in chemoprevention, the exact intrinsic system of autophagy in cancer deserves further investigation. Despite improved treatment regimens, the incidence rate of both breast and lung cancer has grown, as has the number of recurrence cases. Hence, this review offers a wide overview of autophagy's underlying role in lung and breast cancer, particularly focusing on the various autophagy activators and inhibitors in both cancers, as well as the use of various organic compounds, regular drugs, and natural products in cancer prevention and treatment.
    Keywords:  Activators; Autophagy; Breast Cancer; Inhibitors; Lung Cancer
  34. Acta Myol. 2022 Jun;41(2): 59-75
      Bcl2-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) is a multifunctional cochaperone responsible for protein quality control within cells. BAG3 interacts with chaperones HSPB8 and Hsp70 to transport misfolded proteins to the Microtubule Organizing Center (MTOC) and degrade them in autophagosomes in a process known as Chaperone Assisted Selective Autophagy (CASA). Mutations in the second conserved IPV motif of BAG3 are known to cause Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) by inhibiting adequate removal of non-native proteins. The proline 209 to leucine (P209L) BAG3 mutant in particular causes the aggregation of BAG3 and misfolded proteins as well as the sequestration of essential chaperones. The exact mechanisms of protein aggregation in DCM are unknown. However, the similar presence of insoluble protein aggregates in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2 (CMT2) induced by the proline 182 to leucine (P182L) HSPB1 mutant points to a possible avenue for future research: IPV motif. In this review, we summarize the molecular mechanisms of CASA and the currently known pathological effects of mutated BAG3 in DCM. Additionally, we will provide insight on the importance of the IPV motif in protein aggregation by analyzing a potential association between DCM and CMT2.
    Keywords:  Bcl2-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3); Chaperone Assisted Selective Autophagy (CASA); Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT); Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM); IPV motif; oligomerization; protein aggregation; protein quality control (PQC)
  35. Clin Transl Med. 2022 Jul;12(7): e935
      BACKGROUND: Exaggerated fibroblast proliferation is a well-known feature in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) which may be - in part - due to insufficient autophagy, a lysosome dependent cellular surveillance pathway. Bcl2-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) is a pivotal co-chaperone of the autophagy pathway. Here, we studied whether therapeutic modulation of BAG3-mediated autophagy can rescue insufficient autophagy and impact IPF fibroblast proliferation.METHODS: Primary interstitial fibroblasts or precision cut lung slices (PCLS) of IPF lungs were treated with (1) the antifibrotic drug pirfenidone (Pirf), (2) the demethylating agent 5-azacytidine (Aza), (3) the BAG3 modulator cantharidin (Ctd). Autophagy flux was measured following pretreatment with the autophagy inhibitors or by GFP-RFP-LC3B transfection followed by drug treatments. Proliferation was measured by 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine assay. BAG3, filamin C (FLNC), proliferating-cell-nuclear-antigen (PCNA), collagen1A1 (COL1A1) and autophagy proteins were assessed by immunoblotting or immunofluorescence. Loss of function experiments were performed by siRNA mediated knockdown of BAG3.
    RESULTS: In comparison with healthy donors, increased BAG3 protein was observed in IPF lung homogenates and IPF fibroblasts. In addition, the substrate of BAG3-mediated autophagy, FLNC, was increased in IPF fibroblasts, implying insufficient activation of BAG3-dependent autophagy. Therapeutic modulation of this pathway using Aza and Ctd alone or in combination with the IPF therapy drug Pirf rescued the insufficient BAG3-mediated autophagy and decreased fibroblast proliferation. Such effects were observed upon therapeutic modulation of BAG3 but not upon knock down of BAG3 per se in IPF fibroblasts. Similarly, PCLS of IPF patients showed a significant decrease in collagen deposition in response to these drugs, either alone or in a more potent form in combination with Pirf.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our study reveals that repurposing drugs that modulate autophagy regulating proteins render therapeutic benefits in IPF. Fine tuning of this pathway may hence signify a promising therapeutic strategy to ameliorate antifibrotic properties and augment the efficacy of current IPF therapy.
    Keywords:  5-azacytidine; BAG3; autophagy; cantharidin; fibroblasts; filamin C; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; pirfenidone
  36. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2022 Jun 30. pii: S0006-291X(22)00950-0. [Epub ahead of print]621 74-79
      T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive malignancy of immature T lymphocytes. Although various therapeutic approaches have been developed, refractoriness of chemotherapy and relapse cause a poor prognosis of the disease and further therapeutic strategies are required. Here, we report that Ras homolog enriched in brain (RHEB), a critical regulator of mTOR complex 1 activity, is a potential target for T-ALL therapy. In this study, we established an sgRNA library that comprehensively targeted mTOR upstream and downstream pathways, including autophagy. CRISPR/Cas9 dropout screening revealed critical roles of mTOR-related molecules in T-ALL cell survival. Among the regulators, we focused on RHEB because we previously found that it is dispensable for normal hematopoiesis in mice. Transcriptome and metabolic analyses revealed that RHEB deficiency suppressed de novo nucleotide biosynthesis, leading to human T-ALL cell death. Importantly, RHEB deficiency suppressed tumor growth in both mouse and xenograft models. Our data provide a potential strategy for efficient therapy of T-ALL by RHEB-specific inhibition.
    Keywords:  Nucleotide metabolism; RHEB; T-ALL; mTOR; mTORC1
  37. Sci Rep. 2022 Jul 13. 12(1): 11873
      Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is a common progressive disease of the spinal cord which can cause tetraplegia. Despite its prevalence, few studies have investigated the pathophysiology of DCM. Macroautophagy is a cellular process which degrades intracellular contents and its disruption is thought to contribute to many neurodegenerative diseases. The present study tests the hypothesis that macroautophagy is impaired in DCM. To address this, we utilised a collection of post-mortem cervical spinal cord samples and investigated seven DCM cases and five human controls. Immunohistochemical staining was used to visualise proteins involved in autophagy. This demonstrated significantly reduced numbers of LC3 puncta in cases versus controls (p = 0.0424). Consistent with reduced autophagy, we identified large aggregates of p62 in four of seven cases and no controls. Tau was increased in two of five cases compared to controls. BCL-2 was significantly increased in cases versus controls (p = 0.0133) and may explain this reduction in autophagy. Increased BCL-2 (p = 0.0369) and p62 bodies (p = 0.055) were seen in more severe cases of DCM. This is the first evidence that autophagy is impaired in DCM; the impairment appears greater in more severe cases. Further research is necessary to investigate whether macroautophagy has potential as a therapeutic target in DCM.
  38. BMC Biol. 2022 Jul 12. 20(1): 160
      BACKGROUND: In many organisms, aging is characterized by a loss of mitochondrial homeostasis. Multiple factors such as respiratory metabolism, mitochondrial fusion/fission, or mitophagy have been linked to cell longevity, but the exact impact of each one on the aging process is still unclear.RESULTS: Using the deletion mutant collection of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, we have developed a genome-wide screening for mutants with altered chronological lifespan. We have identified four mutants associated with proteolysis at the mitochondria that exhibit opposite effects on longevity. The analysis of the respiratory activity of these mutants revealed a positive correlation between increased respiration rate and prolonged lifespan. We also found that the phenotype of the long-lived protease mutants could not be explained by impaired mitochondrial fusion/fission activities, but it was dependent on mitophagy induction. The anti-aging role of mitophagy was supported by the effect of a mutant defective in degradation of mitochondria, which shortened lifespan of the long-lived mutants.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our characterization of the mitochondrial protease mutants demonstrates that mitophagy sustains the lifespan extension of long-lived mutants displaying a higher respiration potential.
    Keywords:  Chronological aging; Mitochondrial dynamics; Mitophagy; Mitoproteases; Respiratory capacity
  39. Neuronal Signal. 2022 Jun;6(2): NS20210063
      Synapses maintain their molecular composition, plasticity and function through the concerted action of protein synthesis and removal. The complex and polarized neuronal architecture poses specific challenges to the logistics of protein and organelle turnover since protein synthesis and degradation mainly happen in the cell soma. In addition, post-mitotic neurons accumulate damage over a lifetime, challenging neuronal degradative pathways and making them particularly susceptible to the effects of aging. This review will summarize the current knowledge on neuronal protein turnover mechanisms with a particular focus on the presynapse, including the proteasome, autophagy and the endolysosomal route and their roles in regulating presynaptic proteostasis and function. In addition, the author will discuss how physiological brain aging, which entails a progressive decline in cognitive functions, affects synapses and the degradative machinery.
    Keywords:  aging; autophagy; endolysosome; presynapse; proteostasis; ubiquitin proteasome system
  40. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2022 Jul 11.
      Zebrafish are an emerging model organism to study syndromic albinism disorder, Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome due to visible pigment development at 24 hours post fertilization, and conserved melanogenesis mechanisms. We describe crasher, a novel HPS type 10 (HPS10) zebrafish model, with a mutation in AP-3 complex delta subunit, ap3d1. Exon 14 of ap3d1 is overexpressed in crasher mutants, while the expression of ap3d1 as a whole is reduced. ap3d1 knockout in *AB zebrafish recapitulates the mutant crasher phenotype. We show ap3d1 loss-of-function mutations cause significant expression changes in the melanogenesis genes, dopachrome tautomerase (dct) and tyrosinase-related protein 1b (tyrp1b), but not tyrosinase (tyr). Last, Generally Applicable Gene set Enrichment (GAGE) analysis suggests autophagy pathway genes are upregulated together in crasher. Treatment with autophagy-inhibitor, Bafilomycin A1, significantly decreases melanophore number in crasher, suggesting ap3d1 promotes melanophore survival by limiting excessive autophagy. crasher is a valuable model to explore the regulation of melanogenesis gene expression and pigmentation disease.
    Keywords:  Hermanksy-Pudlak Syndrome; albinism; cell survival; differentiation; specification
  41. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2473 349-366
      Protein misfolding poses a significant threat to the fitness of eukaryotic cells, particularly for neurons facing environmental stress. To effectively triage and remove defective and unwanted proteins, cells have evolved diverse protein quality control (PQC) mechanisms relying on proteasome- and endolysosome-mediated degradation systems. Defects in PQC functions are linked to various human diseases including many aging-associated neurodegenerative diseases. Misfolding-associated protein secretion (MAPS) is a recently reported PQC mechanism that eliminates misfolded cytosolic proteins by an unconventional secretory pathway using an endo-vesiclular network. This process implicates DNAJC5, a chaperone that escorts misfolded cargos to intracellular vesicles to facilitate their secretion. Cargos of DNAJC5 include Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease-associated proteins known to undergo cell-to-cell transmission during disease progression. Thus, elucidating how these proteins are secreted may reveal novel therapeutic targets for these diseases. Here we describe a collection of methods used to detect either the basal or induced secretion of misfolded proteins from cell lines and cultured primary neurons.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; DNAJC5/CLN4/CSPα; Misfolding-associated protein secretion (MAPS); Parkinson’s disease; Primary murine hippocampal neurons; Protein quality control (PQC); Tau; Unconventional protein secretion (UPS); α-Synuclein; β-Galactosidase/LacZ assay
  42. J Neurosci Res. 2022 Jul 12.
      Parkinson's disease (PD) pathology is the most common motor neurodegenerative disease that occurs due to the progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal pathway of the brain. The histopathological hallmark of the disease is fibrillary aggregate called Lewy bodies which majorly contain α-synuclein, suggesting the critical implication of diminished protein degradation mechanisms in disease pathogenesis. This α-synuclein-containing Lewy bodies are evident in both experimental models as well as in postmortem PD brain and are speculated to be pathogenic but still, the lineal association between these aggregates and the complexity of disease pathology is not yet well established and needs further attention. However, it has been reported that α-synuclein aggregates have consorted with the declined proteasome and lysosome activities. Therefore, in this review, we reappraise intracellular protein degradation mechanisms during PD pathology. This article focused on the findings of the last two decades suggesting the implications of protein degradation mechanisms in disease pathogenesis and based on shreds of evidence, some of the approaches are also suggested which may be adopted to find out the novel therapeutic targets for the management of PD patients.
    Keywords:  Parkinson's disease; autophagy; proteostasis; proteotoxicity; therapeutics; ubiquitin proteasome system
  43. Front Aging. 2022 ;3 854157
      Protein homeostasis (proteostasis) is maintained by a tightly regulated and interconnected network of biological pathways, preventing the accumulation and aggregation of damaged or misfolded proteins. Thus, the proteostasis network is essential to ensure organism longevity and health, while proteostasis failure contributes to the development of aging and age-related diseases that involve protein aggregation. The model organism Caenorhabditis elegans has proved invaluable for the study of proteostasis in the context of aging, longevity and disease, with a number of pivotal discoveries attributable to the use of this organism. In this review, we discuss prominent findings from C. elegans across the many key aspects of the proteostasis network, within the context of aging and disease. These studies collectively highlight numerous promising therapeutic targets, which may 1 day facilitate the development of interventions to delay aging and prevent age-associated diseases.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; autophagy; chaperones; protein aggragation; protein translation; proteostasis; stress responses; ubiquitin-proteasome system
  44. Int J Biol Sci. 2022 ;18(9): 3859-3873
      Chemotherapy has been widely used as a clinical treatment for cancer over the years. However, its effectiveness is limited because of resistance of cancer cells to programmed cell death (PCD) after treatment with anticancer drugs. To elucidate the resistance mechanism, we initially focused on cancer cell-specific mitophagy, an autophagic degradation of damaged mitochondria. This is because mitophagy has been reported to provide cancer cells with high resistance to anticancer drugs. Our data showed that TRIP-Br1 oncoprotein level was greatly increased in the mitochondria of breast cancer cells after treatment with various anticancer drugs including staurosporine (STS), the main focus of this study. STS treatment increased cellular ROS generation in cancer cells, which triggered mitochondrial translocation of TRIP-Br1 from the cytosol via dephosphorylation of TRIP-Br1 by protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Up-regulated mitochondrial TRIP-Br1 suppressed cellular ROS levels. In addition, TRIP-Br1 rapidly removed STS-mediated damaged mitochondria by activating mitophagy. It eventually suppressed STS-mediated PCD via degradation of VDACI, TOMM20, and TIMM23 mitochondrial membrane proteins. TRIP-Br1 enhanced mitophagy by increasing expression levels of two crucial lysosomal proteases, cathepsins B and D. In conclusion, TRIP-Br1 can suppress the sensitivity of breast cancer cells to anticancer drugs by activating autophagy/mitophagy, eventually promoting cancer cell survival.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Cancer; Mitochondria; Mitophagy; TRIP-Br1