bims-lysosi Biomed News
on Lysosomes and signaling
Issue of 2020‒11‒29
thirty papers selected by
Stephanie Fernandes
Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

  1. Curr Biol. 2020 Nov 14. pii: S0960-9822(20)31614-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Long-range movement of organelles within the cytoplasm relies on coupling to microtubule motors, a process that is often mediated by adaptor proteins. In many cases, this coupling involves organelle- or adaptor-induced activation of the microtubule motors by conformational reversal of an autoinhibited state. Herein, we show that a similar regulatory mechanism operates for an adaptor protein named SKIP (also known as PLEKHM2). SKIP binds to the small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) ARL8 on the lysosomal membrane to couple lysosomes to the anterograde microtubule motor kinesin-1. Structure-function analyses of SKIP reveal that the C-terminal region comprising three pleckstrin homology (PH) domains interacts with the N-terminal region comprising ARL8- and kinesin-1-binding sites. This interaction inhibits coupling of lysosomes to kinesin-1 and, consequently, lysosome movement toward the cell periphery. We also find that ARL8 does not just recruit SKIP to the lysosomal membrane but also relieves SKIP autoinhibition, promoting kinesin-1-driven, anterograde lysosome transport. Finally, our analyses show that the largely disordered middle region of SKIP mediates self-association and that this self-association enhances the interaction of SKIP with kinesin-1. These findings indicate that SKIP is not just a passive connector of lysosome-bound ARL8 to kinesin-1 but is itself subject to intra- and inter-molecular interactions that regulate its function. We anticipate that similar organelle- or GTPase-induced conformational changes could regulate the activity of other kinesin adaptors.
    Keywords:  lysosome, kinesin, ARL8, SKIP, regulation, autoinhibition, cargo, activation, organelle transport, positioning
  2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Nov 23. pii: 201922342. [Epub ahead of print]
      Recessive loss-of-function mutations in ATP13A2 (PARK9) are associated with a spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD). We recently revealed that the late endo-lysosomal transporter ATP13A2 pumps polyamines like spermine into the cytosol, whereas ATP13A2 dysfunction causes lysosomal polyamine accumulation and rupture. Here, we investigate how ATP13A2 provides protection against mitochondrial toxins such as rotenone, an environmental PD risk factor. Rotenone promoted mitochondrial-generated superoxide (MitoROS), which was exacerbated by ATP13A2 deficiency in SH-SY5Y cells and patient-derived fibroblasts, disturbing mitochondrial functionality and inducing toxicity and cell death. Moreover, ATP13A2 knockdown induced an ATF4-CHOP-dependent stress response following rotenone exposure. MitoROS and ATF4-CHOP were blocked by MitoTEMPO, a mitochondrial antioxidant, suggesting that the impact of ATP13A2 on MitoROS may relate to the antioxidant properties of spermine. Pharmacological inhibition of intracellular polyamine synthesis with α-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) also increased MitoROS and ATF4 when ATP13A2 was deficient. The polyamine transport activity of ATP13A2 was required for lowering rotenone/DFMO-induced MitoROS, whereas exogenous spermine quenched rotenone-induced MitoROS via ATP13A2. Interestingly, fluorescently labeled spermine uptake in the mitochondria dropped as a consequence of ATP13A2 transport deficiency. Our cellular observations were recapitulated in vivo, in a Caenorhabditis elegans strain deficient in the ATP13A2 ortholog catp-6 These animals exhibited a basal elevated MitoROS level, mitochondrial dysfunction, and enhanced stress response regulated by atfs-1, the C. elegans ortholog of ATF4, causing hypersensitivity to rotenone, which was reversible with MitoTEMPO. Together, our study reveals a conserved cell protective pathway that counters mitochondrial oxidative stress via ATP13A2-mediated lysosomal spermine export.
    Keywords:  P5B-type ATPase; antioxidant; mitochondria; neurodegeneration; polyamine transport
  3. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Nov 23. pii: 202017152. [Epub ahead of print]
      Ferroptosis, a form of regulated necrosis driven by iron-dependent peroxidation of phospholipids, is regulated by cellular metabolism, redox homeostasis, and various signaling pathways related to cancer. In this study, we found that activating mutation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) or loss of phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) function, highly frequent events in human cancer, confers ferroptosis resistance in cancer cells, and that inhibition of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling axis sensitizes cancer cells to ferroptosis induction. Mechanistically, this resistance requires sustained activation of mTORC1 and the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR)C1-dependent induction of sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP1), a central transcription factor regulating lipid metabolism. Furthermore, stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1), a transcriptional target of SREBP1, mediates the ferroptosis-suppressing activity of SREBP1 by producing monounsaturated fatty acids. Genetic or pharmacologic ablation of SREBP1 or SCD1 sensitized ferroptosis in cancer cells with PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway mutation. Conversely, ectopic expression of SREPB1 or SCD1 restored ferroptosis resistance in these cells, even when mTORC1 was inhibited. In xenograft mouse models for PI3K-mutated breast cancer and PTEN-defective prostate cancer, the combination of mTORC1 inhibition with ferroptosis induction resulted in near-complete tumor regression. In conclusion, hyperactive mutation of PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling protects cancer cells from oxidative stress and ferroptotic death through SREBP1/SCD1-mediated lipogenesis, and combination of mTORC1 inhibition with ferroptosis induction shows therapeutic promise in preclinical models.
    Keywords:  SREBP1; cancer; ferroptosis; lipogenesis; mTOR
  4. Neurooncol Adv. 2020 Jan-Dec;2(1):2(1): vdaa138
      Background: RAS effector signaling pathways such as PI3K/mTOR and ERK are frequently dysregulated in glioblastoma. While small molecule targeted therapies against these pathways have appeared promising in preclinical studies, they have been disappointing in clinical trials due to toxicity and de novo and adaptive resistance. To identify predictors of glioblastoma sensitivity to dual pathway inhibition with mTORC1/2 and MEK inhibitors, we tested these agents, alone and in combination, in a cohort of genomically characterized glioblastoma cell lines.Methods: Seven genomically characterized, patient-derived glioblastoma neurosphere cell lines were evaluated for their sensitivity to the dual mTORC1/2 kinase inhibitor sapanisertib (MLN0128, TAK-228) alone or in combination with the MEK1/2 inhibitor trametinib (GSK1120212), using assessment of proliferation and evaluation of the downstream signaling consequences of these inhibitors.
    Results: Sapanisertib inhibited cell growth in neurosphere lines, but induced apoptosis only in a subset of lines, and did not completely inhibit downstream mTOR signaling via ribosomal protein S6 (RPS6). Growth sensitivity to MEK inhibitor monotherapy was observed in a subset of lines defined by loss of NF1, was predicted by an ERK-dependent expression signature, and was associated with effective phospho-RPS6 inhibition. In these lines, combined MEK/mTOR treatment further inhibited growth and induced apoptosis. Combined MEK and mTOR inhibition also led to modest antiproliferative effects in lines with intact NF1 and insensitivity to MEK inhibitor monotherapy.
    Conclusions: These data demonstrate that combined MEK/mTOR inhibition is synergistic in glioblastoma cell lines and may be more potent in NF1-deficient glioblastoma.
    Keywords:  MEK inhibitor; MTOR inhibitor; glioblastoma; neurosphere; targeted therapy
  5. Cell Signal. 2020 Nov 22. pii: S0898-6568(20)30319-3. [Epub ahead of print] 109842
      The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is a central modulator of inflammation and tumorigenesis in the gastrointestinal tract. Growth factors upregulate mTORC1 via the PI3K/AKT and/or Ras/MAPK signal pathways. Curcumin (CUR), a polyphenol found in turmeric roots (Curcuma longa) can repress mTORC1 kinase activity in colon cancer cell lines; however, key aspects of CUR mechanism of action remain to be elucidated including its primary cellular target. We investigated the molecular effects of physiologically attainable concentration of CUR (20 μM) in the intestinal lumen on mTORC1 signaling in Caco-2 cells. CUR markedly inhibited mTORC1 kinase activity as determined by the decreased phosphorylation of p70S6K (Thr389, -99%, P < 0.0001) and S6 (Ser235/236, -92%, P < 0.0001). Mechanistically, CUR decreased IRS-1 protein abundance (-80%, P < 0.0001) thereby downregulating AKT phosphorylation (Ser473, -94%, P < 0.0001) and in turn PRAS40 phosphorylation (Thr246, -99%, P < 0.0001) while total PRAS40 abundance was unchanged. The use of proteasome inhibitor MG132 showed that CUR-mediated loss of IRS-1 involved proteasomal degradation. CUR lowered Raptor protein abundance, which combined with PRAS40 hypophosphorylation, suggests CUR repressed mTORC1 activity by inducing compositional changes that hinder the complex assembly. In addition, CUR activated AMPK (Thr172 phosphorylation, P < 0.0001), a recognized repressor of mTORC1, and AMPK upstream regulator LKB1. Although cargo adapter protein p62 was decreased by CUR (-49%, P < 0.004), CUR did not significantly induce autophagy. Inhibition of AKT/mTORC1 signaling by CUR may have lifted the cross-inhibition onto MAPK signaling, which became induced; p-ERK1/2 (+670%, P < 0.0001), p-p38 (+1433%, P < 0.0001). By concomitantly targeting IRS-1 and AMPK, CUR's mechanism of mTORC1 inhibition is distinct from that of rapamycin.
    Keywords:  ERK; Nutrient signaling; PRAS40; Raptor; Turmeric; p38
  6. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 ;8 566090
      The mechanistic target of Rapamycin (mTOR) is essential for multiple cellular processes. The unique roles of mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) or mTOR2 in regulating immune functions are emerging. NK cells are the major lymphocyte subset of innate immunity, and their development and effector functions require metabolic reprogramming. Recent studies demonstrate that in NK cells, conditionally disrupting the formation of mTORC1 or mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2) alters their development significantly. Transcriptomic profiling of NK cells at the single-cell level demonstrates that mTORC1 was critical for the early developmental progression, while mTORC2 regulated the terminal maturation. In this review, we summarize the essential roles of mTOR complexes in NK development and functions.
    Keywords:  NK cell development; mTORC1; mTORC2; raptor; rictor
  7. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids. 2020 Nov 19. pii: S1388-1981(20)30248-1. [Epub ahead of print]1866(2): 158856
      Podocytopathy and associated nephrotic syndrome (NS) have been reported in a knockout mouse strain (Asah1fl/fl/PodoCre) with a podocyte-specific deletion of α subunit (the main catalytic subunit) of acid ceramidase (Ac). However, the pathogenesis of podocytopathy of these mice remains unknown. The present study tested whether exosome release from podocytes is enhanced due to Asah1 gene knockout, which may serve as a pathogenic mechanism switching on podocytopathy and associated NS in Asah1fl/fl/PodoCre mice. We first demonstrated the remarkable elevation of urinary exosome excretion in Asah1fl/fl/PodoCre mice compared with WT/WT mice, which was accompanied by significant Annexin-II (an exosome marker) accumulation in glomeruli of Asah1fl/fl/PodoCre mice, as detected by immunohistochemistry. In cell studies, we also confirmed that Asah1 gene knockout enhanced exosome release in the primary cultures of podocyte isolated from Asah1fl/fl/PodoCre mice compared to WT/WT mice. In the podocytes from Asah1fl/fl/PodoCre mice, the interactions of lysosome and multivesicular body (MVB) were demonstrated to be decreased in comparison with those from their control littermates, suggesting reduced MVB degradation that may lead to increase in exosome release. Given the critical role of transient receptor potential mucolipin 1 (TRPML1) channel in Ca2+-dependent lysosome trafficking and consequent lysosome-MVB interaction, we tested whether lysosomal Ca2+ release through TRPML1 channels is inhibited in the podocytes of Asah1fl/fl/PodoCre mice. By GCaMP3 Ca2+ imaging, it was found that lysosomal Ca2+ release through TRPML1 channels was substantially suppressed in podocytes with Asah1 gene deletion. As an Ac product, sphingosine was found to rescue TRPML1 channel activity and thereby recover lysosome-MVB interaction and reduce exosome release of podocytes from Asah1fl/fl/PodoCre mice. Combination of N, N-dimethylsphingosine (DMS), a potent sphingosine kinase inhibitor, and sphingosine significantly inhibited urinary exosome excretion of Asah1fl/fl/PodoCre mice. Moreover, rescue of Aash1 gene expression in podocytes of Asah1fl/fl/PodoCre mice showed normal ceramide metabolism and exosome secretion. Based on these results, we conclude that the normal expression of Ac importantly contributes to the control of TRPML1 channel activity, lysosome-MVB interaction, and consequent exosome release from podocytes. Asah1 gene defect inhibits TRPML1 channel activity and thereby enhances exosome release, which may contribute to the development of podocytopathy and associated NS.
    Keywords:  Acid ceramidase; Exosome; Lysosome; Multivesicular body; Podocyte; TRPML1 channel
  8. Drugs. 2020 Nov 26.
      Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCLs) is a group of inherited neurodegenerative lysosomal storage diseases that together represent the most common cause of dementia in children. Phenotypically, patients have visual impairment, cognitive and motor decline, epilepsy, and premature death. A primary challenge is to halt and/or reverse these diseases, towards which developments in potential effective therapies are encouraging. Many treatments, including enzyme replacement therapy (for CLN1 and CLN2 diseases), stem-cell therapy (for CLN1, CLN2, and CLN8 diseases), gene therapy vector (for CLN1, CLN2, CLN3, CLN5, CLN6, CLN7, CLN10, and CLN11 diseases), and pharmacological drugs (for CLN1, CLN2, CLN3, and CLN6 diseases) have been evaluated for safety and efficacy in pre-clinical and clinical studies. Currently, cerliponase alpha for CLN2 disease is the only approved therapy for NCL. Lacking is any study of potential treatments for CLN4, CLN9, CLN12, CLN13 or CLN14 diseases. This review provides an overview of genetics for each CLN disease, and we discuss the current understanding from pre-clinical and clinical study of potential therapeutics. Various therapeutic interventions have been studied in many experimental animal models. Combination of treatments may be useful to slow or even halt disease progression; however, few therapies are unlikely to even partially reverse the disease and a complete reversal is currently improbable. Early diagnosis to allow initiation of therapy, when indicated, during asymptomatic stages is more important than ever.
  9. Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 26. 10(1): 20719
      Transient receptor potential channel M2 (TRPM2) is a Ca2+-permeable channel that is activated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). In many cell types, ROS activate TRPM2 to induce excessive Ca2+ influx, resulting in Ca2+ overload and consequent cell death. Recent studies suggest that TRPM2 may also regulate autophagy in pericytes and cancer cells by acting on the early step of autophagy, i.e. autophagic induction. However, there is no report on the role of TRPM2 in autophagic degradation, which is the late stage of autophagy. In the present study, we found abundant TRPM2 expression in lysosomes/autolysosomes in the primary cultured mouse aortic smooth muscle cells (mASMCs). Nutrient starvation stimulated autophagic flux in mASMCs mainly by promoting autophagic degradation. This starvation-induced autophagic degradation was reduced by TRPM2 knockout. Importantly, starvation-induced lysosomal/autolysosomal acidification and cell death were also substantially reduced by TRPM2 knockout. Taken together, the present study uncovered a novel mechanism that lysosomal TRPM2 facilitates lysosomal acidification to stimulate excessive autolysosome degradation and consequent cell death.
  10. Mol Biol Cell. 2020 Nov 25. mbcE20060383
      Many lysosome functions are determined by a lumenal pH of ∼5.0, including the activity of resident acid-activated hydrolases. Lysosome pH (pHlys) is often increased in neurodegenerative disorders and predicted to be decreased in cancers, making it a potential target for therapeutics to limit the progression of these diseases. Accurately measuring pHlys, however, is limited by currently used dyes that accumulate in multiple intracellular compartments and cannot be propagated in clonal cells for longitudinal studies or used for in vivo determinations. To resolve this limitation, we developed a genetically encoded ratiometric pHlys biosensor, pHLARE (pHLysosomal Activity REporter), which localizes predominantly in lysosomes, has a dynamic range of pH 4.0 to 6.5, and can be stably expressed in cells. Using pHLARE we show decreased pHlys with inhibiting activity of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), in breast, pancreatic, colon, and glioblastoma cancer cells compared with untransformed cells, and with the activated oncogenes H-RasV12 and R-RasV12. pHLARE is a new tool to accurately measure pHlys, for improved understanding of lysosome dynamics that could be a promising therapeutic target.
  11. Traffic. 2020 Nov 22.
      In eukaryotic cells, clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) is a central pathway for the internalization of proteins from the cell surface, thereby contributing to the maintenance of the plasma membrane protein composition. A key component for the formation of endocytic clathrin-coated vesicles (CCVs) is AP-2, as it sequesters cargo membrane proteins, recruits a multitude of other endocytic factors and initiates clathrin polymerization. Here, we inhibited CME by depletion of AP-2 and explored the consequences for the plasma membrane proteome. Quantitative analysis revealed accumulation of major constituents of the endosomal-lysosomal system reflecting a block in retrieval by compensatory CME. The noticeable enrichment of integrins and blockage of their turnover resulted in severely impaired cell migration. Rare proteins such as the anti-cancer drug target CA9 and tumor markers (CD73, CD164, CD302) were significantly enriched. The AP-2 knockdown attenuated the global endocytic capacity, but clathrin-independent entry pathways were still operating, as indicated by persistent internalization of specific membrane-spanning and GPI-anchored receptors (PVR, IGF1R, CD55, TNAP). We hypothesize that blocking AP-2 function and thus inhibiting CME may be a novel approach to identify new druggable targets, or to increase their residence time at the plasma membrane, thereby increasing the probability for efficient therapeutic intervention. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  ADAM10; Alzheimer; BACE1; Surface proteomics; blood-brain-barrier; endosome; lysosome; receptor internalization; surfaceome; transcytosis
  12. Mol Neurobiol. 2020 Nov 26.
      Recently, it was reported that mechanistic/mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) activity during memory retrieval is required for normal expression of aversive and non-aversive long-term memories. Here we used inhibitory-avoidance task to evaluate the potential mechanisms by which mTORC1 signaling pathway participates in memory retrieval. First, we studied the role of GluA-subunit trafficking during memory recall and its relationship with mTORC1 pathway. We found that pretest intrahippocampal infusion of GluR23ɣ, a peptide that selectively blocks GluA2-containing AMPA receptor (AMPAR) endocytosis, prevented the amnesia induced by the inhibition of mTORC1 during retrieval. Additionally, we found that GluA1 levels decreased and GluA2 levels increased at the hippocampal postsynaptic density subcellular fraction of rapamycin-infused animals during memory retrieval. GluA2 levels remained intact while GluA1 decreased at the synaptic plasma membrane fraction. Then, we evaluated the requirement of AMPAR subunit expression during memory retrieval. Intrahippocampal infusion of GluA1 or GluA2 antisense oligonucleotides (ASO) 3 h before testing impaired memory retention. The memory impairment induced by GluA2 ASO before retrieval was reverted by GluA23ɣ infusion 1 h before testing. However, AMPAR endocytosis blockade was not sufficient to compensate GluA1 synthesis inhibition. Our work indicates that de novo GluA1 and GluA2 AMPAR subunit expression is required for memory retrieval with potential different roles for each subunit and suggests that mTORC1 might regulate AMPAR trafficking during retrieval. Our present results highlight the role of mTORC1 as a key determinant of memory retrieval that impacts the recruitment of different AMPAR subunits.
    Keywords:  AMPA receptor trafficking; AMPA receptor-hippocampus; mTORC1-memory retrieval; protein synthesis
  13. J Clin Neurosci. 2020 Nov 24. pii: S0967-5868(20)31623-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIB (MPSIIIB) is one of the lysosomal storage diseases, clinically related to developmental delay in the early phase and loss of skills in the late phases of the disease. The disease is caused by homozygous mutations in the NAGLU gene. Spastic paraplegia54 (SPG54) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by homozygous mutations in the DDHD2 gene. Clinical features are progressive spasticity and weakness in the lower limbs and corpus callosum agenesis. We report on two siblings in a consanguineous family, presenting both the clinical and molecular diagnoses of MPSIIIB and SPG54 with novel mutations by using whole exome sequencing (WES). This interesting finding shows that we should be aware of the importance of using WES for diagnosing rare diseases in consanguineous families.
    Keywords:  DDHD2; MPSIIIB; NAGLU; Novel; SPG54; WES
  14. Traffic. 2020 Nov 23.
      AP-3 (adaptor complex 3) mediates traffic from the late Golgi or early endosomes to late endosomal compartments. In mammals, mutations in AP-3 cause Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome type 2, cyclic neutropenias, and a form of epileptic encephalopathy. In budding yeast, AP-3 carries cargo directly from the trans-Golgi to the lysosomal vacuole. Despite the pathway's importance and its discovery two decades ago, rapid screens and selections for AP-3 mutants have not been available. We now report GNSI, a synthetic, genetically-encoded reporter that allows rapid plate-based assessment of AP-3 functional deficiency, using either chromogenic or growth phenotype readouts. This system identifies defects in both the formation and consumption of AP-3 carrier vesicles and is adaptable to high-throughput screening or selection in both plate array and liquid batch culture formats. Episomal and integrating plasmids encoding GNSI have been submitted to the Addgene repository. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Saccharomyces; Traffic, Intracellular Transport, vesicle coat; invertase; lysosome; organelle
  15. Oncogene. 2020 Nov 23.
      Despite significant progression in the study of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the role of the proteasome in regulating cross talk between mTOR signaling and glycolysis in liver cancer progression is not fully understood. Here, we demonstrate that deficiency of REGγ, a proteasome activator, in mice significantly attenuates DEN-induced liver tumor formation. Ablation of REGγ increases the stability of PP2Ac (protein phosphatase 2 catalytic subunit) in vitro and in vivo, which dephosphorylates PRAS40 (AKT1 substrate 1) and stabilizes the interaction between PRAS40 and Raptor to inactive mTORC1-mediated hyper-glycolytic metabolism. In the DEN-induced animal model and clinical hepato-carcinoma samples, high levels of REGγ in HCC tumor regions contribute to reduced expression of PP2Ac, leading to accumulation of phosphorylated PRAS40 and mTORC1-mediated activation of HIF1α. Interestingly, mTORC1 enhances REGγ activity in HCC, forming a positive feedback regulatory loop. In conclusion, our study identifies REGγ-PP2Ac-PRAS40 axis as a new layer in regulating mTORC1 activity and downstream glycolytic alterations during HCC development, highlighting the REGγ-proteasome as a potential target for personalized HCC therapy.
  16. Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 23. 10(1): 20365
      Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIB (MPS IIIB; Sanfilippo syndrome B) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder caused by the deficiency of alpha-N-acetylglucosaminidase activity, leading to increased levels of nondegraded heparan sulfate (HS). A mouse model has been useful to evaluate novel treatments for MPS IIIB, but has limitations. In this study, we evaluated the naturally occurring canine model of MPS IIIB for the onset and progression of biochemical and neuropathological changes during the preclinical stages (onset approximately 24-30 months of age) of canine MPS IIIB disease. Even by 1 month of age, MPS IIIB dogs had elevated HS levels in brain and cerebrospinal fluid. Analysis of histopathology of several disease-relevant regions of the forebrain demonstrated progressive lysosomal storage and microglial activation despite a lack of cerebrocortical atrophy in the oldest animals studied. More pronounced histopathology changes were detected in the cerebellum, where progressive lysosomal storage, astrocytosis and microglial activation were observed. Microglial activation was particularly prominent in cerebellar white matter and within the deep cerebellar nuclei, where neuron loss also occurred. The findings in this study will form the basis of future assessments of therapeutic efficacy in this large animal disease model.
  17. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2020 Nov 24.
      AIM: Cardiac aging, which causes cardiac diastolic dysfunction, frequently occurs in older people. The role of autophagy in cardiac aging is the subject of intensive research. Autophagy comprises steps called the autophagosome formation and autophagosome-lysosome fusion. Caloric restriction (CR) is the gold standard used to induce autophagosome formation, and autophagosome-lysosome fusion is reduced by aging. However, few studies are available that survey and compare signaling during CR (autophagosome formation induced status) and old (potentially autophagosome-lysosome fusion-reduced status). Here we aimed to identify the rate-limiting step of autophagic disorders during cardiac aging.METHODS: We employed bioinformatics to analyze publicly available DNA microarray datasets. The first dataset compared the hearts of young and old C57BL6 mice (OLD). The second dataset compared the hearts of young C57BL6 mice fed a normal diet with those of young C57BL6 mice subjected to CR.
    RESULTS: We analyzed OLD-upregulated genes that were significantly associated with the Gene Ontogeny term "Autophagy," indicating that autophagic genes were upregulated in OLD mice. The autophagy-related gene Atg5 and Atg5-related genes were upregulated in OLD and CR mice. The identified hub and bottleneck genes are autophagic autophagosome formation suppressors such as Sirt2, Ilk and Islr, as well as the autophagosome-lysosome fusion inducer Snapin.
    CONCLUSIONS: Autophagosome formation genes were upregulated in aging mice subjected to CR, indicating that an upregulated autophagosome formation is not a change specific to cardiac aging. However, autophagosome-lysosome fusion genes, particularly the lysosome transportation-related gene Snapin, were downregulated in aging, indicating that autophagosome-lysosome fusion may cause autophagic disorders in cardiac aging. Geriatr Gerontol Int ••; ••: ••-•• Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020; ••: ••-••.
    Keywords:  aging; autophagy; cardiology; computational biologyly; sosomes
  18. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2020 11 23. 15(1): 328
      BACKGROUND: Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is a rare, progressive, neurodegenerative disease associated with neurovisceral manifestations resulting from lysosomal dysfunction and aberrant lipid accumulation. A multicentre, prospective observational study (Clinical ID: NCT02435030) of individuals with genetically confirmed NPC1 or NPC2 receiving routine clinical care was conducted, to prospectively characterize and measure NPC disease progression and to investigate potential NPC-related biomarkers versus healthy individuals. Progression was measured using the abbreviated 5-domain NPC Clinical Severity Scale (NPCCSS), 17-domain NPCCSS and NPC clinical database (NPC-cdb) score. Cholesterol esterification and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) levels were assessed from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), cholestane-3β,5α-,6β-triol (cholestane-triol) from serum, and unesterified cholesterol from both PBMCs and skin biopsy samples. The inter- and intra-rater reliability of the 5-domain NPCCSS was assessed by 13 expert clinicians' rating of four participants via video recordings, repeated after ≥ 3 weeks. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were calculated.RESULTS: Of the 36 individuals with NPC (2-18 years) enrolled, 31 (86.1%) completed the 6-14-month observation period; 30/36 (83.3%) were receiving miglustat as part of routine clinical care. A mean (± SD) increase in 5-domain NPCCSS scores of 1.4 (± 2.9) was observed, corresponding to an annualized progression rate of 1.5. On the 17-domain NPCCSS, a mean (± SD) progression of 2.7 (± 4.0) was reported. Compared with healthy individuals, the NPC population had significantly lower levels of cholesterol esterification (p < 0.0001), HSP70 (p < 0.0001) and skin unesterified cholesterol (p = 0.0006). Cholestane-triol levels were significantly higher in individuals with NPC versus healthy individuals (p = 0.008) and correlated with the 5-domain NPCCSS (Spearman's correlation coefficient = 0.265, p = 0.0411). The 5-domain NPCCSS showed high ICC agreement in inter-rater reliability (ICC = 0.995) and intra-rater reliability (ICC = 0.937).
    CONCLUSIONS: Progression rates observed were consistent with other reports on disease progression in NPC. The 5-domain NPCCSS reliability study supports its use as an abbreviated alternative to the 17-domain NPCCSS that focuses on the most relevant domains of the disease. The data support the use of cholestane-triol as a disease monitoring biomarker and the novel methods of measuring unesterified cholesterol could be applicable to support NPC diagnosis. Levels of HSP70 in individuals with NPC were significantly decreased compared with healthy individuals.
    TRIAL REGISTRATION: CT-ORZY-NPC-001: NCT02435030, Registered 6 May 2015, ; EudraCT 2014-005,194-37, Registered 28 April 2015, . OR-REL-NPC-01: Unregistered.
    Keywords:  Biomarkers; Cholestane-triol; Heat shock protein; Lysosomal storage disease; NPC Clinical Severity Scale (NPCCSS); Natural history of disease; Niemann–Pick type C (NPC) disease; Observational study; Reliability
  19. Cell Rep. 2020 Nov 24. pii: S2211-1247(20)31416-9. [Epub ahead of print]33(8): 108427
      The activation of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) leads to the activation of mTORC2 in cell migration and metabolism. However, the mechanism that links GPCRs to mTORC2 remains unknown. Here, using Dictyostelium cells, we show that GPCR-mediated chemotactic stimulation induces hetero-oligomerization of phosphorylated GDP-bound Rho GTPase and GTP-bound Ras GTPase in directed cell migration. The Rho-Ras hetero-oligomers directly and specifically stimulate mTORC2 activity toward AKT in cells and after biochemical reconstitution using purified proteins in vitro. The Rho-Ras hetero-oligomers do not activate ERK/MAPK, another kinase that functions downstream of GPCRs and Ras. Human KRas4B functionally replace Dictyostelium Ras in mTORC2 activation. In contrast to GDP-Rho, GTP-Rho antagonizes mTORC2-AKT signaling by inhibiting the oligomerization of GDP-Rho with GTP-Ras. These data reveal that GPCR-stimulated hetero-oligomerization of Rho and Ras provides a critical regulatory step that controls mTORC2-AKT signaling.
    Keywords:  AKT; Dictyostelium; G protein-coupled receptors; KRas; Rho; cell migration; mTORC2; small GTPases
  20. Mol Cell Oncol. 2020 Aug 18. 7(6): 1803029
      We reported that RAC1 is a master regulator of cell migration and anchorage-independent growth, downstream of the oncogenic Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (RTK) MET. RAC1 growth-promoting role is guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase)- and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-independent but promotes mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling through triggering its plasma membrane localization.
    Keywords:  MET; PI3K; RAC1; mTOR
  21. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 ;8 560266
      Cholesterol biosynthesis is a multi-step process involving several subcellular compartments, including peroxisomes. Cells adjust their sterol content by both transcriptional and post-transcriptional feedback regulation, for which sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) are essential; such homeostasis is dysregulated in peroxisome-deficient Pex2 knockout mice. Here, we compared the regulation of cholesterol biosynthesis in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-K1) cells and in three isogenic peroxisome-deficient CHO cell lines harboring Pex2 gene mutations. Peroxisome deficiency activated expression of cholesterogenic genes, however, cholesterol levels were unchanged. 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR) protein levels were increased in mutant cells, whereas HMGCR activity was significantly decreased, resulting in reduced cholesterol synthesis. U18666A, an inhibitor of lysosomal cholesterol export, induced cholesterol biosynthetic enzymes; yet, cholesterol synthesis was still reduced. Interestingly, peroxisome deficiency promoted ER-to-Golgi SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP) trafficking even when cells were cholesterol-loaded. Restoration of functional peroxisomes normalized regulation of cholesterol synthesis and SCAP trafficking. These results highlight the importance of functional peroxisomes for maintaining cholesterol homeostasis and efficient cholesterol synthesis.
    Keywords:  CHO cells; ER-to-Golgi transport; PEX2; SCAP; SREBP-2; Zellweger syndrome; cholesterol synthesis; peroxisomes
  22. Elife. 2020 Nov 25. pii: e62377. [Epub ahead of print]9
      Liver Kinase B1 (LKB1), also known as serine/threonine kinase 11 (STK11) is the major energy sensor for cells to respond to metabolic stress. Autophagy degrades and recycles proteins, macromolecules, and organelles for cells to survive starvation. To access the role and cross-talk between autophagy and Lkb1 in normal tissue homeostasis, we generated genetically engineered mouse models where we can conditionally delete Stk11 and autophagy essential gene, Atg7, respectively or simultaneously, throughout the adult mice. We found that Lkb1 was essential for the survival of adult mice, and autophagy activation could temporarily compensate for the acute loss of Lkb1 and extend mouse life span. We further found that acute deletion of Lkb1 in adult mice led to impaired intestinal barrier function, hypoglycemia, and abnormal serum metabolism, which was partly rescued by the Lkb1 loss-induced autophagy upregulation via inhibiting p53 induction. Taken together, we demonstrated that autophagy and Lkb1 work synergistically to maintain adult mouse homeostasis and survival.
    Keywords:  cell biology; infectious disease; microbiology; mouse
  23. Nat Commun. 2020 11 24. 11(1): 5959
      The ability of organisms to sense nutrient availability and tailor their metabolic states to withstand nutrient deficiency is critical for survival. To identify previously unknown regulators that couple nutrient deficiency to body fat utilization, we performed a cherry-picked RNAi screen in C. elegans and found that the transcription factor HLH-11 regulates lipid metabolism in response to food availability. In well-fed worms, HLH-11 suppresses transcription of lipid catabolism genes. Upon fasting, the HLH-11 protein level is reduced through lysosome- and proteasome-mediated degradation, thus alleviating the inhibitory effect of HLH-11, activating the transcription of lipid catabolism genes, and utilizing fat. Additionally, lipid profiling revealed that reduction in the HLH-11 protein level remodels the lipid landscape in C. elegans. Moreover, TFAP4, the mammalian homolog of HLH-11, plays an evolutionarily conserved role in regulating lipid metabolism in response to starvation. Thus, TFAP4 may represent a potential therapeutic target for lipid storage disorders.
  24. Biochim Biophys Acta Proteins Proteom. 2020 Nov 20. pii: S1570-9639(20)30214-4. [Epub ahead of print] 140567
      Human cathepsin X belongs to the cathepsin family of 11 lysosomal cysteine proteases. We expressed recombinant procathepsin X in Pichia pastoris in vitro and cleaved it into its active mature form using aspartic cathepsin E. We found, using size exclusion chromatography, X-ray crystallography, and small-angle X-ray scattering, that cathepsin X is a biologically active homodimer with a molecular weight of ~53 kDa. The novel finding that cathepsin X is a dimeric protein opens new horizons in the understanding of its function and the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of various diseases including neurodegenerative disorders in humans.
    Keywords:  Cathepsin X; Cathepsin Z; Homodimer; Procathepsin X; Protease; Small-angle X-ray scattering
  25. Mol Biol Cell. 2020 Nov 25. mbcE20030191
      Phosphoinositide signaling lipids are essential for several cellular processes. The requirement for a phosphoinositide is conventionally studied by depleting the corresponding lipid kinase. However, there are very few reports on the impact of elevating phosphoinositides. That phosphoinositides are dynamically elevated in response to stimuli suggests that, in addition to being required, phosphoinositides drive downstream pathways. To test this hypothesis, we elevated the levels of phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PI3P) by generating hyperactive alleles of the yeast phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, Vps34. We find that hyperactive Vps34 drives certain pathways, including PI(3,5)P2 synthesis and retrograde transport from the vacuole. This demonstrates that PI3P is rate limiting in some pathways. Interestingly, hyperactive Vps34 does not affect ESCRT function. Thus, elevating PI3P does not always increase the rate of PI3P-dependent pathways. Elevating PI3P can also delay a pathway. Elevating PI3P slowed late steps in autophagy, in part by delaying the disassembly of autophagy proteins from mature autophagosomes as well as delaying fusion of autophagosomes with the vacuole. This latter defect is likely due to a more general defect in vacuole fusion, as assessed by changes in vacuole morphology. These studies suggest that stimulus-induced elevation of phosphoinositides provides a way for these stimuli to selectively regulate downstream processes.
  26. Aging (Albany NY). 2020 Nov 20. 12
      Autophagy is involved in degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis and disc degeneration. Although, tumor necrosis factor α-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3) is well-known as a key regulator of inflammation and autophagy, it is still not clear whether TNFAIP3 regulates autophagy to protect from human disc cells degeneration. We hypothesize that TNFAIP3 may also regulate autophagy to inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines expression in human nucleus pulposus cells (NPCs). In this study, TNFAIP3 expression was increased in degenerative disc tissue as well as LPS-stimulated human NPCs, and the effect of TNFAIP3 in LPS-induced NPCs was further explored. The results demonstrated that pro-inflammatory cytokines expression in TNFAIP3-His cells was decreased, while it was increased in TNFAIP3-siRNA cells. Further molecular mechanism research showed that TNFAIP3-siRNA cells enhanced the phosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and inhibited autophagy. Meanwhile, after treatment of TNFAIP3-siRNA cells with the mTOR inhibitor Torin1, the level of autophagy increased and the decrease of extracellular matrix was reversed. In summary, overexpressed TNFAIP3 can promote autophagy and reduce inflammation in LPS-induced human NPCs. Moreover, autophagy triggered by TNFAIP3 can ameliorate the degeneration of inflammatory human NPCs, providing a potential and an attractive therapeutic strategy for degenerative disease.
    Keywords:  TNFAIP3; extracellular matrix; human nucleus pulposus cells; inflammation; mTOR signaling
  27. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 Nov 22. pii: S0006-291X(20)32088-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by a mutant huntingtin (mHtt) protein that contains abnormally extended polyglutamine (polyQ) repeats. The process of autophagy has been implicated in clearing mHtt aggregates, and microRNAs (miRNAs) have been reported as new players to regulate autophagy. However, the autophagy-associated target molecule of let7b miRNA remains unclear in HD. The present study showed that extended polyQ in mouse striatal neurons increased lysosomal membrane-associated protein 2A (LAMP2A) levels and influenced the inflammatory conditions, and these augmented levels correlated to the let7b miRNA expression level. The upregulated let7b increased LAMP2A and reduced the extended polyQ in mouse striatal cells. The let7b level was highly expressed in the striatum of pre-onset HD mice, whereas it was significantly reduced in the post-onset HD striatum. Considering the level changing pattern of let7b, LAMP2A protein levels were increased in the striatum of pre-onset HD mice, but decreased in the striatum of post-onset HD mice. These results suggest that LAMP2A related to chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) capacity might play an important role in HD symptom onset and progression.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Huntingtin; LAMP2A; let7b; miRNA
  28. Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 25. 11(1): 5987
      Intracellular traffic between compartments of the secretory and endocytic pathways is mediated by vesicle-based carriers. The proteomes of carriers destined for many organelles are ill-defined because the vesicular intermediates are transient, low-abundance and difficult to purify. Here, we combine vesicle relocalisation with organelle proteomics and Bayesian analysis to define the content of different endosome-derived vesicles destined for the trans-Golgi network (TGN). The golgin coiled-coil proteins golgin-97 and GCC88, shown previously to capture endosome-derived vesicles at the TGN, were individually relocalised to mitochondria and the content of the subsequently re-routed vesicles was determined by organelle proteomics. Our findings reveal 45 integral and 51 peripheral membrane proteins re-routed by golgin-97, evidence for a distinct class of vesicles shared by golgin-97 and GCC88, and various cargoes specific to individual golgins. These results illustrate a general strategy for analysing intracellular sub-proteomes by combining acute cellular re-wiring with high-resolution spatial proteomics.
  29. iScience. 2020 Nov 20. 23(11): 101708
      AMFR/gp78 and USP13 are a pair of ubiquitin ligase and deubiquitinase that ensure the accuracy of endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD). Depletion of USP13 leads to caspase activation and cleavage of the ERAD chaperone BAG6, which is reversed by knockdown of AMFR. However, the mechanism and physiological relevance of this regulation are still unclear. Here, by using the NEDDylator system, we screened out TXN as a substrate of AMFR and USP13 and showed its involvement in regulating CASP3 activation and BAG6 cleavage. Furthermore, we showed that the cleaved N-terminal BAG6 is located in the cytosol and interacts with both LC3B-I and unprocessed form of LC3B (Pro-LC3B) through the LIR1 motif to suppress autophagy. An NMR approach verified the direct interaction between BAG6 LIR1 and LC3B-I or Pro-LC3B. Collectively, our findings uncover a mechanism that converts BAG6 from an ERAD regulator to an autophagy tuner and apoptosis inducer during ER stress.
    Keywords:  Biochemistry; Biological Sciences; Cell Biology; Molecular Biology
  30. ACS Omega. 2020 Nov 17. 5(45): 29222-29230
      Niemann-Pick type C1 (NPC1) is a large multidomain transmembrane protein essential for transporting cholesterol (CLR) from late endosomes and lysosomes to the endoplasmic reticulum and other cellular compartments. The lumen-facing N-terminal domain (NTD), involved in direct binding of CLR, is expected to have an optimum activity at acidic pH = 4.5. Here, we show that acidic pH is vital for the functionality of NPC1(NTD) and should be taken into account when studying the protein activity. We applied evolutionary, structural, and physicochemical analyses to decipher the consequences of a change in pH from acidic (pH = 4.5) to neutral (pH = 7.2) on the structural integrity of the NTD and its ability to bind CLR. We revealed that the change in pH from 4.5 to 7.2 increases the potential energy of the protein in both apo- and holo-states making the system less energetically favorable. At neutral pH, the flexibility of the protein in the apo-state is decreased caused by the alteration of specific interactions, which in turn might have a high impact on ligand recognition and binding. In contrast, neutral pH significantly exaggerates the flexibility of the protein with bound CLR that causes a partial exposure of the ligand to the water phase and its mislocation inside the ligand-binding pocket, which might obstruct CLR translocation through the membrane.