bims-lysosi Biomed News
on Lysosomes and signaling
Issue of 2021‒01‒03
twenty-five papers selected by
Stephanie Fernandes
Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

  1. Hum Mol Genet. 2020 Nov 06. pii: ddaa243. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutations in the GDAP1 gene cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) neuropathy. GDAP1 is an atypical glutathione S-transferase (GST) of the outer mitochondrial membrane and the mitochondrial membrane contacts with the endoplasmic reticulum (MAMs). Here, we investigate the role of this GST in the autophagic flux and the membrane contact sites (MCSs) between mitochondria and lysosomes in the cellular pathophysiology of GDAP1 deficiency. We demonstrate that GDAP1 participates in basal autophagy and that its depletion affects LC3 and PI3P biology in autophagosome biogenesis and membrane trafficking from MAMs. GDAP1 also contributes to the maturation of lysosome by interacting with PYKfyve kinase, a pH-dependent master lysosomal regulator. GDAP1 deficiency causes giant lysosomes with hydrolytic activity, a delay in the autophagic lysosome reformation, and TFEB activation. Notably, we found that GDAP1 interacts with LAMP-1, which supports that GDAP1-LAMP-1 is a new tethering pair of mitochondria and lysosome membrane contacts. We observed mitochondria-lysosome MCSs in soma and axons of cultured mouse embryonic motor neurons and human neuroblastoma cells. GDAP1 deficiency reduces the MCSs between these organelles, causes mitochondrial network abnormalities, and decreases levels of cellular glutathione (GSH). The supply of GSH-MEE suffices to rescue the lysosome membranes and the defects of the mitochondrial network, but not the interorganelle MCSs nor early autophagic events. Overall, we show that GDAP1 enables the proper function of mitochondrial MCSs in both degradative and nondegradative pathways, which could explain primary insults in GDAP1-related CMT pathophysiology, and highlights new redox-sensitive targets in axonopathies where mitochondria and lysosomes are involved.
  2. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Dec 22. pii: E23. [Epub ahead of print]22(1):
      The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) integrates signals from growth factors and nutrients to control biosynthetic processes, including protein, lipid, and nucleic acid synthesis. Dysregulation in the mTORC1 network underlies a wide array of pathological states, including metabolic diseases, neurological disorders, and cancer. Tumor cells are characterized by uncontrolled growth and proliferation due to a reduced dependency on exogenous growth factors. The genetic events underlying this property, such as mutations in the PI3K-Akt and Ras-Erk signaling networks, lead to constitutive activation of mTORC1 in nearly all human cancer lineages. Aberrant activation of mTORC1 has been shown to play a key role for both anabolic tumor growth and resistance to targeted therapeutics. While displaying a growth factor-independent mTORC1 activity and proliferation, tumors cells remain dependent on exogenous nutrients such as amino acids (AAs). AAs are an essential class of nutrients that are obligatory for the survival of any cell. Known as the building blocks of proteins, AAs also act as essential metabolites for numerous biosynthetic processes such as fatty acids, membrane lipids and nucleotides synthesis, as well as for maintaining redox homeostasis. In most tumor types, mTORC1 activity is particularly sensitive to intracellular AA levels. This dependency, therefore, creates a targetable vulnerability point as cancer cells become dependent on AA transporters to sustain their homeostasis. The following review will discuss the role of AA transporters for mTORC1 signaling in cancer cells and their potential as therapeutic drug targets.
    Keywords:  ASCT2; LAT1; SNAT2; amino acid transporters; cancer; growth factors; mTORC1; nutrients; xCT
  3. Cell Calcium. 2020 Dec 08. pii: S0143-4160(20)30170-6. [Epub ahead of print]93 102328
      LC3-lipidation is activated by lysosomal damage by mechanisms that are unknown and divergent from canonical autophagy. In this study, Nakamura et al, show that lysosomal damage induced by lysosomotropic agents or oxalate in renal proximal tubule cells causes lipidated LC3 to insert into the lysosomal membrane to activate TRPML1 channels and release Ca2+ from lysosomes. This leads to TFEB dephosphorylation and translocation into the nucleus which results in clearance of damaged lysosomes and their contents which may reduce the deleterious effects of crystal nephropathy.
    Keywords:  Calcium; Crystal nephropathy; LC3; TFEB; TRPML1; mTORC1
  4. Acta Neuropathol. 2021 Jan 01.
      TMEM106B, encoding a lysosome membrane protein, has been recently associated with brain aging, hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and multiple neurodegenerative diseases, such as frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE). During the past decade, considerable progress has been made towards our understanding of the cellular and physiological functions of TMEM106B. TMEM106B regulates many aspects of lysosomal function, including lysosomal pH, lysosome movement, and lysosome exocytosis. Both an increase and decrease in TMEM106B levels result in lysosomal abnormalities. In mouse models, TMEM106B deficiency leads to lysosome trafficking and myelination defects and FTLD related pathology. In humans, alterations in TMEM106B levels or function are intimately linked to neuronal proportions, brain aging, and brain disorders. Further elucidation of the physiological function of TMEM106B and changes in TMEM106B under pathological conditions will facilitate therapeutic development to treat brain disorders associated with TMEM106B.
    Keywords:  Aging; FTLD; Lysosome; Myelination; Progranulin; TDP-43; TMEM106B
  5. J Clin Invest. 2020 Dec 29. pii: 143173. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lysosomal dysfunction caused by mutations in lysosomal genes results in lysosomal storage disorder (LSD), characterized by accumulation of damaged proteins and organelles in cells and functional abnormalities in major organs, including the heart, skeletal muscle and liver. In LSD, autophagy is inhibited at the lysosomal degradation step and accumulation of autophagosomes is observed. Enlargement of the left ventricle (LV) and contractile dysfunction were observed in RagA/B cardiac-specific knockout (cKO) mice, a mouse model of LSD in which lysosomal acidification is impaired irreversibly. YAP, a downstream effector of the Hippo pathway, was accumulated in RagA/B cKO mouse hearts. Inhibition of YAP ameliorated cardiac hypertrophy and contractile dysfunction and attenuated accumulation of autophagosomes without affecting lysosomal function, suggesting that YAP plays an important role in mediating cardiomyopathy in RagA/B cKO mice. Cardiomyopathy was also alleviated by downregulation of Atg7, an intervention to inhibit autophagy, whereas it was exacerbated by stimulation of autophagy. YAP physically interacted with transcription factor EB (TFEB), a master transcription factor that controls autophagic and lysosomal gene expression, thereby facilitating accumulation of autophagosomes without degradation. These results indicate that accumulation of YAP in the presence of LSD promotes cardiomyopathy by stimulating accumulation of autophagosomes through activation of TFEB.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Cardiology; Signal transduction
  6. Cell Metab. 2020 Dec 17. pii: S1550-4131(20)30656-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      In response to cold exposure, thermogenic adipocytes internalize large amounts of fatty acids after lipoprotein lipase-mediated hydrolysis of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRL) in the capillary lumen of brown adipose tissue (BAT) and white adipose tissue (WAT). Here, we show that in cold-exposed mice, vascular endothelial cells in adipose tissues endocytose substantial amounts of entire TRL particles. These lipoproteins subsequently follow the endosomal-lysosomal pathway, where they undergo lysosomal acid lipase (LAL)-mediated processing. Endothelial cell-specific LAL deficiency results in impaired thermogenic capacity as a consequence of reduced recruitment of brown and brite/beige adipocytes. Mechanistically, TRL processing by LAL induces proliferation of endothelial cells and adipocyte precursors via beta-oxidation-dependent production of reactive oxygen species, which in turn stimulates hypoxia-inducible factor-1α-dependent proliferative responses. In conclusion, this study demonstrates a physiological role for TRL particle uptake into BAT and WAT and establishes endothelial lipoprotein processing as an important determinant of adipose tissue remodeling during thermogenic adaptation.
    Keywords:  angiogenesis; beige adipocytes; brown adipose tissue; endothelial cells; hypoxia-inducible factor 1α; lipoproteins; lysosomal acid lipase; thermogenesis; triglycerides; white adipose tissue
  7. Cell Rep. 2020 Dec 29. pii: S2211-1247(20)31553-9. [Epub ahead of print]33(13): 108564
      The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) controls cell metabolism and survival in response to environmental inputs. Dysregulation of mTORC2 signaling has been linked to diverse human diseases, including cancer and metabolic disorders, highlighting the importance of a tightly controlled mTORC2. While mTORC2 assembly is a critical determinant of its activity, the factors regulating this event are not well understood, and it is unclear whether this process is regulated by growth factors. Here, we present data, from human cell lines and mice, describing a mechanism by which growth factors regulate ubiquitin-specific protease 9X (USP9X) deubiquitinase to stimulate mTORC2 assembly and activity. USP9X removes Lys63-linked ubiquitin from RICTOR to promote its interaction with mTOR, thereby facilitating mTORC2 signaling. As mTORC2 is central for cellular homeostasis, understanding the mechanisms regulating mTORC2 activation toward its downstream targets is vital for our understanding of physiological processes and for developing new therapeutic strategies in pathology.
    Keywords:  RICTOR; USP9X; growth factor signaling; mTORC2; mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 2; posttranslational modification; ubiquitin-specific protease 9X
  8. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2021 Jan 02. 55(S1): 1-24
      The regulation of cellular volume in response to osmotic change has largely been studied at the whole cell level. Such regulation occurs by the inhibition or activation of ionic and organic solute transport pathways at the cell surface and is coincident with remodelling of the plasma membrane. However, it is only in rare instances that osmotic insults are experienced by cells and tissues. By contrast, the relatively minute luminal volumes of membrane-bound organelles are constantly subject to shifts in their solute concentrations as exemplified in the endocytic pathway where these evolve alongside with maturation. In this review, we summarize recent evidence that suggests trafficking events are in fact orchestrated by the solute fluxes of organelles that briefly impose osmotic gradients. We first describe how hydrostatic pressure and the resultant tension on endomembranes can be readily dissipated by controlled solute efflux since water is obliged to exit. In such cases, the relief of tension on the limiting membrane of the organelle can promote its remodelling by coat proteins, ESCRT machinery, and motors. Second, and reciprocally, we propose that osmotic gradients between organellar lumens and the cytosol may persist or be created. Such gradients impose osmotic pressure and tension on the endomembrane that prevent its remodelling. The control of endomembrane tension is dysregulated in lysosomal storage disorders and can be usurped by pathogens in endolysosomes. Since trafficking and signaling pathways conceivably sense and respond to endomembrane tension, we anticipate that understanding how cells control organellar volumes and the movement of endocytic fluid in particular will be an exciting new area of research.
    Keywords:  Endocytosis; Lysosomes; Membrane tension; pH; TPC; TRPML; VRAC; NHE; TMEM175
  9. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2020 Dec 28. pii: S0167-4889(20)30302-5. [Epub ahead of print] 118944
      To sustain their proliferative and metastatic capacity, tumor cells increase the activity of energy-producing pathways and lysosomal compartment, resorting to autophagolysosomal degradation when nutrients are scarce. Consequently, large fragile lysosomes and enhanced energy metabolism may serve as targets for anticancer therapy. A simultaneous induction of energy stress (by caloric restriction, serum deprivation, and inhibition of glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, Krebs cycle, or amino acid/fatty acid metabolism) and lysosomal stress (by lysosomotropic detergents, vacuolar ATPase inhibitors, or cationic amphiphilic drugs) is an efficient anti-cancer strategy demonstrated in a number of studies. However, the mechanisms of lysosomal/energy stress co-amplification, apart from the protective autophagy inhibition, are poorly understood. We here summarize the established and suggest potential mechanisms and candidates for anticancer therapy based on the dual targeting of lysosomes and energy metabolism.
    Keywords:  anticancer therapy; autophagy; energy metabolism; lysosomal membrane permeabilization; lysosomal stress
  10. Cells. 2020 Dec 22. pii: E8. [Epub ahead of print]10(1):
      Pompe disease is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by autosomal recessive mutations in the acid alpha-glucosidase (GAA) gene. Acid alpha-glucosidase deficiency leads to abnormal glycogen accumulation in patient cells. Given the increasing evidence of central nervous system (CNS) involvement in classic infantile Pompe disease, we used neural stem cells, differentiated from patient induced pluripotent stem cells, to model the neuronal phenotype of Pompe disease. These Pompe neural stem cells exhibited disease-related phenotypes including glycogen accumulation, increased lysosomal staining, and secondary lipid buildup. These morphological phenotypes in patient neural stem cells provided a tool for drug efficacy evaluation. Two potential therapeutic agents, hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin and δ-tocopherol, were tested along with recombinant human acid alpha-glucosidase (rhGAA) in this cell-based Pompe model. Treatment with rhGAA reduced LysoTracker staining in Pompe neural stem cells, indicating reduced lysosome size. Additionally, treatment of diseased neural stem cells with the combination of hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin and δ-tocopherol significantly reduced the disease phenotypes. These results demonstrated patient-derived Pompe neural stem cells could be used as a model to study disease pathogenesis, to evaluate drug efficacy, and to screen compounds for drug discovery in the context of correcting CNS defects.
    Keywords:  Pompe disease; cell-based disease model; induced pluripotent stem cells; lysosomal storage disease; neural stem cells
  11. STAR Protoc. 2020 Dec 18. 1(3): 100132
      Lysosomes are the catabolic center of the cell. Limitations of many lysosomal tracers include low specificity and lack of reliable physiological readouts for changes in growth factor-regulated lysosomal activity. The imaging-based protocols described here provide insights at the cellular level to quantify functions essential to lysosomal biology, including β-glucosidase enzymatic cleavage, active Cathepsin D, and pH regulation in real time. These optimized protocols, applied in different cell types and pathophysiologic contexts, provide useful tools to study lysosome function in cultured living cells. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Albrecht et al. (2020).
  12. STAR Protoc. 2020 Dec 18. 1(3): 100122
      Lysosomes are dynamic organelles that serve as regulatory hubs in cellular homeostasis. Changes in lysosome morphology, composition, and turnover are typically linked to disease. These characteristics make enrichment protocols based on biophysical parameters challenging. However, organelle enrichment methods are essential to facilitate their biomolecular analysis. We describe the synthesis and use of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) for high-yield purification of lysosomes compatible with "omics" analysis. NANOLYSE (Nanoparticles for Lysosome Isolation) provides a reliable strategy in fingerprinting the biomolecular composition of lysosomes. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Tharkeshwar et al. (2017).
  13. J Neurochem. 2020 Dec 28.
      Neurons, because of their elaborate morphology and the long distances between distal axons and the soma as well as their longevity, pose special challenges to autophagy and to the endolysosomal system, two of the main degradative routes for turnover of defective proteins and organelles. Autophagosomes sequester cytoplasmic or organellar cargos by engulfing them into their lumen before fusion with degradative lysosomes enriched in neuronal somata and participate in retrograde signaling to the soma. Endosomes are mainly involved in the sorting, recycling, or lysosomal turnover of internalized or membrane-bound macromolecules to maintain axonal membrane homeostasis. Lysosomes and the multiple shades of lysosome-related organelles also serve non-degradative roles, for example in nutrient signaling and in synapse formation. Recent years have begun to shed light on the distinctive organization of the autophagy and endo-lysosomal systems in neurons, in particular their roles in axons. We review here our current understanding of the localization, distribution, and growing list of functions of these organelles in the axon in health and disease and outline perspectives for future research.
  14. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Dec 28. pii: E226. [Epub ahead of print]22(1):
      Mucopolysaccharidosis type IVA (MPS IVA) is a lysosomal storage disease caused by mutations in the N-acetylgalactosamine-6-sulfatase (GALNS) gene. Skeletal dysplasia and the related clinical features of MPS IVA are caused by disruption of the cartilage and its extracellular matrix, leading to a growth imbalance. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with recombinant human GALNS has yielded positive results in activity of daily living and endurance tests. However, no data have demonstrated improvements in bone lesions and bone grow thin MPS IVA after ERT, and there is no correlation between therapeutic efficacy and urine levels of keratan sulfate, which accumulates in MPS IVA patients. Using qualitative and quantitative proteomics approaches, we analyzed leukocyte samples from healthy controls (n = 6) and from untreated (n = 5) and ERT-treated (n = 8, sampled before and after treatment) MPS IVA patients to identify potential biomarkers of disease. Out of 690 proteins identified in leukocytes, we selected a group of proteins that were dysregulated in MPS IVA patients with ERT. From these, we identified four potential protein biomarkers, all of which may influence bone and cartilage metabolism: lactotransferrin, coronin 1A, neutral alpha-glucosidase AB, and vitronectin. Further studies of cartilage and bone alterations in MPS IVA will be required to verify the validity of these proteins as potential biomarkers of MPS IVA.
    Keywords:  biomarkers; enzyme replacement therapy; lysosomal disorders; proteomics
  15. Cells. 2020 12 13. pii: E2682. [Epub ahead of print]9(12):
      The mucolipin-1 (TRPML1) channel maintains lysosomal ionic homeostasis and regulates autophagic flux. Defects of TRPML1 lead to lysosomal storage diseases and neurodegeneration. In this report, we discuss emerging evidence pertaining to differential regulation of TRPML1 signaling pathways in cancer progression with the goal of leveraging the oncogenic potential of TRPML1 to inspire therapeutic interventions.
    Keywords:  TRPML1; cancer; lysosomes; mitochondria
  16. Cell Cycle. 2020 Dec 28. 1-16
      Palbociclib, a selective CDK4/6 kinase inhibitor, is approved in combination with endocrine therapies for the treatment of advanced estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer. In pre-clinical cancer models, CDK4/6 inhibitors act primarily as cytostatic agents. In two commonly studied ER+ breast cancer cell lines (MCF7 and T47D), CDK4/6 inhibition drives G1-phase arrest and the acquisition of a senescent-like phenotype, both of which are reversible upon palbociclib withdrawal (incomplete senescence). Here we identify an ER+ breast cancer cell line, CAMA1, in which palbociclib treatment induces irreversible cell cycle arrest and senescence (complete senescence). In stark contrast to T47D and MCF7 cells, mTORC1 activity is not stably suppressed in CAMA1 cells during palbociclib treatment. Importantly, inhibition of mTORC1 signaling either by the mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin or by knockdown of Raptor, a unique component of mTORC1, during palbociclib treatment of CAMA1 cells blocks the induction of complete senescence. These results indicate that sustained mTORC1 activity promotes complete senescence in ER+ breast cancer cells during CDK4/6 inhibitor-induced cell cycle arrest. Consistent with this mechanism, genetic depletion of TSC2, a negative regulator of mTORC1, in MCF7 cells resulted in sustained mTORC1 activity during palbociclib treatment and evoked a complete senescence response. These findings demonstrate that persistent mTORC1 signaling during palbociclib-induced G1 arrest is a potential liability for ER+ breast cancer cells, and suggest a strategy for novel drug combinations with palbociclib.
    Keywords:  Palbociclib; cdk4/6; er+ Breast Cancer; mTORC1; senescence
  17. ACS Sens. 2020 Dec 30.
      Visualizing and tracking lysosomal dynamic changes is crucially important in the fields of physiology and pathology. Most currently used pH-dependent small-molecule lysotrackers and sensors usually fail to visualize and track the changes due to (1) their leakage from lysosomes when the lysosomal pH increases and (2) their low photostability. Therefore, it is of significant interest to develop lysosomal probes for visualizing and tracking lysosomal dynamics independent of pH fluctuations and with high photostability. Herein, we found that the popular dicyanomethylene-4H-pyran (DCM) derivative DCM-NH2 can selectively target and label lysosomes with bright red fluorescence regardless of pH changes. The fluorescence enhancement in lysosomes has probably resulted from their microenvironment of polarity and viscosity. Compared with the commonly used commercial lysosomal molecular probes (LysoTracker Deep Red (LTDR) and LysoTracker Red DND-99), DCM-NH2 was demonstrated to exhibit a much stronger tolerance in lysosomes against various treatments and microenvironmental changes, and lysosomal membrane permeability could not cause DCM-NH2 to lose imaging of their targets as well. Moreover, DCM-NH2 exhibited a superior anti-photobleaching ability and low (photo-) cytotoxicity, which, along with pH-insensitivity, ensured its capability of long-term visualizing and tracking lysosomal dynamics. Lysosomal dynamic events such as the kiss-and-run process, fusion-fission, and mitophagy were successfully recorded with DCM-NH2. Our study thus confirms that DCM-NH2 is highly competitive for lysosomal imaging by overcoming the limitations of the commercial LysoTrackers and highlights the unexplored application of DCM-NH2 in bioimaging.
    Keywords:  fluorescence tracker; long-term tracking; lysosomal dynamics; pH-insensitivity; superior photostability
  18. Cell Rep. 2020 Dec 22. pii: S2211-1247(20)31533-3. [Epub ahead of print]33(12): 108544
      N6 methylation at adenosine 1832 (m6A1832) of mammalian 18S rRNA, occupying a critical position within the decoding center, is modified by a conserved methyltransferase, METTL5. Here, we find that METTL5 shows strong substrate preference toward the 18S A1832 motif but not the other reported m6A motifs. Comparison with a yeast ribosome structural model unmodified at this site indicates that the modification may facilitate mRNA binding by inducing conformation changes in the mammalian ribosomal decoding center. METTL5 promotes p70-S6K activation and proper translation initiation, and the loss of METTL5 significantly reduces the abundance of polysome. METTL5 expression is elevated in breast cancer patient samples and is required for growth of several breast cancer cell lines. We further find that Caenorhabditis elegans lacking the homolog metl-5 develop phenotypes known to be associated with impaired translation. Altogether, our findings uncover critical and conserved roles of METTL5 in the regulation of translation.
    Keywords:  18S; ER-UPR; METTL5; S6K; decoding center; lifespan; m6A1832; rRNA modification; ribosome; translation initiation
  19. Neuromuscul Disord. 2020 Nov 09. pii: S0960-8966(20)30646-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Pompe disease is a rare inherited metabolic and neuromuscular disorder, presenting as a spectrum, with the classic infantile form on one end and the more slowly progressive non-classic form on the other end. While being a hallmark in classic infantile Pompe disease, cardiac involvement in non-classic Pompe disease seems rare. Vascular abnormalities, such as aneurysms and arterial dolichoectasia, likely caused by glycogen accumulation in arterial walls, have been reported in non-classic Pompe patients. With this first systematic review on cardiovascular disease in non-classic Pompe disease, we aim to gain insight in the prevalence and etiology of cardiovascular disease in these patients. Forty-eight studies (eight case-control studies, 15 cohort studies and 25 case reports/series) were included. Fourteen studies reported cardiac findings, 25 studies described vascular findings, and nine studies reported both cardiac and vascular findings. Severe cardiac involvement in non-classic Pompe disease patients has rarely been reported, particularly in adult-onset patients carrying the common IVS1 mutation. There are indications that intracranial dolichoectasia and aneurysms are more prevalent in non-classic Pompe patients compared to the general population. To further investigate the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in non-classic Pompe patients, larger case-control studies that also study established cardiovascular risk factors should be conducted.
    Keywords:  Cardiac involvement; Cardiovascular risk factors; Pompe disease; Vascular abnormalities
  20. ACS Sens. 2020 Dec 28.
      Lysosomes are membrane-bound organelles that regulate protein degradation and cellular organelle recycling. Homeostatic alteration by lysosomotropic compounds has been suggested as a potential approach for the treatment of cancer. However, because of the high false-negative rate resulting from strong fluorescent background noise, few luminescent high-throughput screening methods for lysosomotropic compounds have been developed for cancer therapy. Imidazole is a five-membered heterocycle that can act within the acidic interior of lysosomes. To develop an efficient lysosomotropic compound screening system, we introduced an imidazole group to iridium-based complexes and designed a long-lifetime lysosomal probe to monitor lysosomal activity in living cells. By integrating time-resolved emission spectroscopy (TRES) with the novel iridium-based lysosomal probe, a high-throughput screening platform capable of overcoming background fluorescent interference in living cells was developed for discovering lysosomotropic drugs. As a proof-of-concept, 400 FDA/EMA-approved drugs were screened using the TRES system, revealing five compounds as potential lysosomotropic agents. Significantly, the most promising potent lysosomotropic compound (mitoxantrone) identified in this work would have showed less activity if screened using a commercial lysosomal probe because of interference from the intrinsic fluorescence of mitoxantrone. We anticipate that this TRES-based high-throughput screening system could facilitate the development of more lysosomotropic drugs by avoiding false results arising from the intrinsic fluorescence of both bioactive compounds and/or the cell background.
    Keywords:  high-throughput screening; iridium-based pH probe; lysosomotropic compounds; mitoxantrone; time-resolved emission spectroscopy
  21. J Neurochem. 2020 Dec 25.
      Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a group of inherited childhood neurodegenerative disorders. In addition to the accumulation of auto-fluorescent storage material in lysosomes, NCLs are largely characterised by region-specific neuroinflammation that can predict neuron loss. These phenotypes suggest alterations in the extracellular environment - making the secretome an area of significant interest. This study investigated the secretome in the CLN6 (ceroid-lipofuscinosis neuronal protein 6) variant of NCL. To investigate the CLN6 secretome, we co-cultured neurons and glia isolated from Cln6nclf or Cln6+/- mice, and utilised mass spectrometry to compare protein constituents of conditioned media. The significant changes noted in cathepsin enzymes, were investigated further via western blotting and enzyme activity assays. Viral-mediated gene therapy was used to try and rescue the wild-type phenotype and restore the secretome - both in vitro in co-cultures and in vivo in mouse plasma. In Cln6nclf cells, proteomics revealed a marked increase in catabolic and cytoskeletal associated proteins - revealing new similarities between the pathogenic signatures of NCLs with other neurodegenerative disorders. These changes were, in part, corrected by gene therapy intervention, suggesting these proteins as candidate in vitro biomarkers. Importantly, these in vitro changes show promise for in vivo translation, with Cathepsin L (CTSL) activity reduced in both co-cultures and Cln6nclf plasma samples post gene-therapy. This work suggests the secretome plays a role in CLN6 pathogenesis and highlights its potential use as an in vitro model. Proteomic changes present a list of candidate biomarkers for monitoring disease and assessing potential therapeutics in future studies.
    Keywords:  Batten disease; CLN6; Gene therapy; Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis; Secretome
  22. Cells. 2020 12 10. pii: E2655. [Epub ahead of print]9(12):
      Ca2+ homeostasis is essential for multiple neuronal functions and thus, Ca2+ dyshomeostasis can lead to widespread impairment of cellular and synaptic signaling, subsequently contributing to dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD). While numerous studies implicate Ca2+ mishandling in AD, the cellular basis for loss of cognitive function remains under investigation. The process of synaptic degradation and degeneration in AD is slow, and constitutes a series of maladaptive processes each contributing to a further destabilization of the Ca2+ homeostatic machinery. Ca2+ homeostasis involves precise maintenance of cytosolic Ca2+ levels, despite extracellular influx via multiple synaptic Ca2+ channels, and intracellular release via organelles such as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) via ryanodine receptor (RyRs) and IP3R, lysosomes via transient receptor potential mucolipin channel (TRPML) and two pore channel (TPC), and mitochondria via the permeability transition pore (PTP). Furthermore, functioning of these organelles relies upon regulated inter-organelle Ca2+ handling, with aberrant signaling resulting in synaptic dysfunction, protein mishandling, oxidative stress and defective bioenergetics, among other consequences consistent with AD. With few effective treatments currently available to mitigate AD, the past few years have seen a significant increase in the study of synaptic and cellular mechanisms as drivers of AD, including Ca2+ dyshomeostasis. Here, we detail some key findings and discuss implications for future AD treatments.
    Keywords:  autophagy; calcium; glutamate; lysosome; mitochondria; nicotinic receptors; synaptic
  23. Stem Cell Res. 2020 Dec 15. pii: S1873-5061(20)30428-1. [Epub ahead of print]50 102127
      Niemann-Pick disease Type C (NPC) is a rare progressive neurodegenerative disorder with an incidence of 1:120,000 caused by mutations in the NPC1 or NPC2 gene leading to a massive cholesterol accumulation. Here, we describe the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) of an affected female adult individual carrying the NPC1 mutation p.Val1023Serfs*15/p.Gly992Arg and an iPSC line from an unrelated healthy female adult control individual. Human iPSCs were derived from fibroblasts using retroviruses carrying the four reprogramming factors OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 and C-MYC. These lines provide a valuable resource for studying the pathophysiology of NPC and for pharmacological intervention.
  24. J Cell Sci. 2020 Dec 29. pii: jcs249136. [Epub ahead of print]133(24):
      Calcium is the third most abundant metal on earth, and the fundaments of its homeostasis date back to pre-eukaryotic life forms. In higher organisms, Ca2+ serves as a cofactor for a wide array of (enzymatic) interactions in diverse cellular contexts and constitutes the most important signaling entity in excitable cells. To enable responsive behavior, cytosolic Ca2+ concentrations are kept low through sequestration into organellar stores, particularly the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but also mitochondria and lysosomes. Specific triggers are then used to instigate a local release of Ca2+ on demand. Here, communication between organelles comes into play, which is accomplished through intimate yet dynamic contacts, termed membrane contact sites (MCSs). The field of MCS biology in relation to cellular Ca2+ homeostasis has exploded in recent years. Taking advantage of this new wealth of knowledge, in this Review, we invite the reader on a journey of Ca2+ flux through the ER and its associated MCSs. New mechanistic insights and technological advances inform the narrative on Ca2+ acquisition and mobilization at these sites of communication between organelles, and guide the discussion of their consequences for cellular physiology.
    Keywords:  Calcium; ER; Endosome; Membrane contact sites; Mitochondria
  25. J Clin Med. 2020 Dec 28. pii: E78. [Epub ahead of print]10(1):
      Extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition in the trabecular meshwork (TM) is one of the hallmarks of glaucoma, a group of human diseases and leading cause of permanent blindness. The molecular mechanisms underlying ECM deposition in the glaucomatous TM are not known, but it is presumed to be a consequence of excessive synthesis of ECM components, decreased proteolytic degradation, or both. Targeting ECM deposition might represent a therapeutic approach to restore outflow facility in glaucoma. Previous work conducted in our laboratory identified the lysosomal enzyme cathepsin B (CTSB) to be expressed on the cellular surface and to be secreted into the culture media in trabecular meshwork (TM) cells. Here, we further investigated the role of CTSB on ECM remodeling and outflow physiology in vitro and in CSTBko mice. Our results indicate that CTSB localizes in the caveolae and participates in the pericellular degradation of ECM in TM cells. We also report here a novel role of CTSB in regulating the expression of PAI-1 and TGFβ/Smad signaling in TM cells vitro and in vivo in CTSBko mice. We propose enhancing CTSB activity as a novel therapeutic target to attenuate fibrosis and ECM deposition in the glaucomatous outflow pathway.
    Keywords:  ECM; PAI-1; TGFβ; cathepsin B; fibrosis; glaucoma; proteolytic cascade; trabecular meshwork