bims-lysosi Biomed News
on Lysosomes and signaling
Issue of 2021‒02‒07
forty-three papers selected by
Stephanie Fernandes
Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

  1. Nature. 2021 Jan 27.
      Lysosomes have fundamental physiological roles and have previously been implicated in Parkinson's disease1-5. However, how extracellular growth factors communicate with intracellular organelles to control lysosomal function is not well understood. Here we report a lysosomal K+ channel complex that is activated by growth factors and gated by protein kinase B (AKT) that we term lysoKGF. LysoKGF consists of a pore-forming protein TMEM175 and AKT: TMEM175 is opened by conformational changes in, but not the catalytic activity of, AKT. The minor allele at rs34311866, a common variant in TMEM175, is associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease and reduces channel currents. Reduction in lysoKGF function predisposes neurons to stress-induced damage and accelerates the accumulation of pathological α-synuclein. By contrast, the minor allele at rs3488217-another common variant of TMEM175, which is associated with a decreased risk of developing Parkinson's disease-produces a gain-of-function in lysoKGF during cell starvation, and enables neuronal resistance to damage. Deficiency in TMEM175 leads to a loss of dopaminergic neurons and impairment in motor function in mice, and a TMEM175 loss-of-function variant is nominally associated with accelerated rates of cognitive and motor decline in humans with Parkinson's disease. Together, our studies uncover a pathway by which extracellular growth factors regulate intracellular organelle function, and establish a targetable mechanism by which common variants of TMEM175 confer risk for Parkinson's disease.
  2. J Biol Chem. 2020 May 22. pii: S0021-9258(17)50273-2. [Epub ahead of print]295(21): 7418-7430
      Autophagy and lysosomal activities play a key role in the cell by initiating and carrying out the degradation of misfolded proteins. Transcription factor EB (TFEB) functions as a master controller of lysosomal biogenesis and function during lysosomal stress, controlling most but, importantly, not all lysosomal genes. Here, we sought to better understand the regulation of lysosomal genes whose expression does not appear to be controlled by TFEB. Sixteen of these genes were screened for transactivation in response to diverse cellular insults. mRNA levels for lysosomal-associated membrane protein 3 (LAMP3), a gene that is highly up-regulated in many forms of cancer, including breast and cervical cancers, were significantly increased during the integrated stress response, which occurs in eukaryotic cells in response to accumulation of unfolded and misfolded proteins. Of note, results from siRNA-mediated knockdown of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and overexpression of exogenous ATF4 cDNA indicated that ATF4 up-regulates LAMP3 mRNA levels. Finally, ChIP assays verified an ATF4-binding site in the LAMP3 gene promoter, and a dual-luciferase assay confirmed that this ATF4-binding site is indeed required for transcriptional up-regulation of LAMP3. These results reveal that ATF4 directly regulates LAMP3, representing the first identification of a gene for a lysosomal component whose expression is directly controlled by ATF4. This finding may provide a key link between stresses such as accumulation of unfolded proteins and modulation of autophagy, which removes them.
    Keywords:  activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4); autophagy; cell stress; eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2); lysosomal-associated membrane protein 3 (LAMP3); lysosome; mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1); protein misfolding; transcription factor EB (TFEB); unfolded protein response (UPR)
  3. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 09. pii: e2011379118. [Epub ahead of print]118(6):
      TMEM39A encodes an evolutionarily conserved transmembrane protein and carries single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with increased risk of major human autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis. The exact cellular function of TMEM39A remains not well understood. Here, we report that TMEM-39, the sole Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) ortholog of TMEM39A, regulates lysosome distribution and accumulation. Elimination of tmem-39 leads to lysosome tubularization and reduced lysosome mobility, as well as accumulation of the lysosome-associated membrane protein LMP-1. In mammalian cells, loss of TMEM39A leads to redistribution of lysosomes from the perinuclear region to cell periphery. Mechanistically, TMEM39A interacts with the dynein intermediate light chain DYNC1I2 to maintain proper lysosome distribution. Deficiency of tmem-39 or the DYNC1I2 homolog in C. elegans impairs mTOR signaling and activates the downstream TFEB-like transcription factor HLH-30. We propose evolutionarily conserved roles of TMEM39 family proteins in regulating lysosome distribution and lysosome-associated signaling, dysfunction of which in humans may underlie aspects of autoimmune diseases.
    Keywords:  TMEM39A; autoimmune disorders; autoimmunity; dynein; lysosome
  4. EMBO J. 2021 Feb 02. e105268
      Mitochondrial translation dysfunction is associated with neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. Cells eliminate defective mitochondria by the lysosomal machinery via autophagy. The relationship between mitochondrial translation and lysosomal function is unknown. In this study, mitochondrial translation-deficient hearts from p32-knockout mice were found to exhibit enlarged lysosomes containing lipofuscin, suggesting impaired lysosome and autolysosome function. These mice also displayed autophagic abnormalities, such as p62 accumulation and LC3 localization around broken mitochondria. The expression of genes encoding for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ ) biosynthetic enzymes-Nmnat3 and Nampt-and NAD+ levels were decreased, suggesting that NAD+ is essential for maintaining lysosomal acidification. Conversely, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) administration or Nmnat3 overexpression rescued lysosomal acidification. Nmnat3 gene expression is suppressed by HIF1α, a transcription factor that is stabilized by mitochondrial translation dysfunction, suggesting that HIF1α-Nmnat3-mediated NAD+ production is important for lysosomal function. The glycolytic enzymes GAPDH and PGK1 were found associated with lysosomal vesicles, and NAD+ was required for ATP production around lysosomal vesicles. Thus, we conclude that NAD+ content affected by mitochondrial dysfunction is essential for lysosomal maintenance.
    Keywords:  GAPDH; NAD+; Nmnat3; lysosome; mitochondria
  5. J Biochem. 2021 Feb 04. pii: mvab013. [Epub ahead of print]
    Keywords:  Erk; Lysosomes; Phagocytosis; Phosphorylation; TMEM55B
  6. J Biol Chem. 2020 Jul 03. pii: S0021-9258(17)50333-6. [Epub ahead of print]295(27): 9121-9133
      Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease is a lysosomal storage disorder arising from mutations in the cholesterol-trafficking protein NPC1 (95%) or NPC2 (5%). These mutations result in accumulation of low-density lipoprotein-derived cholesterol in late endosomes/lysosomes, disruption of endocytic trafficking, and stalled autophagic flux. Additionally, NPC disease results in sphingolipid accumulation, yet it is unique among the sphingolipidoses because of the absence of mutations in the enzymes responsible for sphingolipid degradation. In this work, we examined the cause for sphingosine and sphingolipid accumulation in multiple cellular models of NPC disease and observed that the activity of sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1), one of the two isoenzymes that phosphorylate sphingoid bases, was markedly reduced in both NPC1 mutant and NPC1 knockout cells. Conversely, SphK1 inhibition with the isotype-specific inhibitor SK1-I in WT cells induced accumulation of cholesterol and reduced cholesterol esterification. Of note, a novel SphK1 activator (SK1-A) that we have characterized decreased sphingoid base and complex sphingolipid accumulation and ameliorated autophagic defects in both NPC1 mutant and NPC1 knockout cells. Remarkably, in these cells, SK1-A also reduced cholesterol accumulation and increased cholesterol ester formation. Our results indicate that a SphK1 activator rescues aberrant cholesterol and sphingolipid storage and trafficking in NPC1 mutant cells. These observations highlight a previously unknown link between SphK1 activity, NPC1, and cholesterol trafficking and metabolism.
    Keywords:  NPC1; Niemann–Pick type C; cholesterol; genetic disorder; lipid metabolism; lysosomal storage disease; neurodegeneration; sphingolipid; sphingolipids; sphingosine kinase; sphingosine kinase (SphK); sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P)
  7. J Biol Chem. 2020 Jan 03. pii: S0021-9258(17)49565-2. [Epub ahead of print]295(1): 263-274
      Mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) promotes cell growth and proliferation in response to nutrients and growth factors. Amino acids induce lysosomal translocation of mTORC1 via the Rag GTPases. Growth factors activate Ras homolog enriched in brain (Rheb), which in turn activates mTORC1 at the lysosome. Amino acids and growth factors also induce the phospholipase D (PLD)-phosphatidic acid (PA) pathway, required for mTORC1 signaling through mechanisms that are not fully understood. Here, using human and murine cell lines, along with immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, endocytosis, PLD activity, and cell viability assays, we show that exogenously supplied PA vesicles deliver mTORC1 to the lysosome in the absence of amino acids, Rag GTPases, growth factors, and Rheb. Of note, pharmacological or genetic inhibition of endogenous PLD prevented mTORC1 lysosomal translocation. We observed that precancerous cells with constitutive Rheb activation through loss of tuberous sclerosis complex subunit 2 (TSC2) exploit the PLD-PA pathway and thereby sustain mTORC1 activation at the lysosome in the absence of amino acids. Our findings indicate that sequential inputs from amino acids and growth factors trigger PA production required for mTORC1 translocation and activation at the lysosome.
    Keywords:  amino acid; cancer biology; cancer therapy; growth factor; lysosome; mTOR complex (mTORC); phosphatidic acid; phospholipase D; phospholipid vesicle
  8. J Biol Chem. 2020 Jul 03. pii: S0021-9258(17)50339-7. [Epub ahead of print]295(27): 9192-9210
      Intracellular pathogens commonly manipulate the host lysosomal system for their survival. However, whether this pathogen-induced alteration affects the organization and functioning of the lysosomal system itself is not known. Here, using in vitro and in vivo infections and quantitative image analysis, we show that the lysosomal content and activity are globally elevated in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb)-infected macrophages. We observed that this enhanced lysosomal state is sustained over time and defines an adaptive homeostasis in the infected macrophage. Lysosomal alterations are caused by mycobacterial surface components, notably the cell wall-associated lipid sulfolipid-1 (SL-1), which functions through the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1)-transcription factor EB (TFEB) axis in the host cells. An Mtb mutant lacking SL-1, MtbΔpks2, shows attenuated lysosomal rewiring compared with the WT Mtb in both in vitro and in vivo infections. Exposing macrophages to purified SL-1 enhanced the trafficking of phagocytic cargo to lysosomes. Correspondingly, MtbΔpks2 exhibited a further reduction in lysosomal delivery compared with the WT. Reduced trafficking of this mutant Mtb strain to lysosomes correlated with enhanced intracellular bacterial survival. Our results reveal that global alteration of the host lysosomal system is a defining feature of Mtb-infected macrophages and suggest that this altered lysosomal state protects host cell integrity and contributes to the containment of the pathogen.
    Keywords:  Mycobacterium tuberculosis; adaptive lysosomal homeostasis; cell wall lipid; homeostasis; host-pathogen interaction; innate immunity; lysosomes; mTOR complex (mTORC); macrophage; mycobacteria; pathogenesis; phagocytosis; sulfolipid-1 (SL-1); tuberculosis
  9. Biochem Soc Trans. 2021 Feb 05. pii: BST20190730. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cells have evolved highly intertwined kinase networks to finely tune cellular homeostasis to the environment. The network converging on the mechanistic target of rapamycin (MTOR) kinase constitutes a central hub that integrates metabolic signals and adapts cellular metabolism and functions to nutritional changes and stress. Feedforward and feedback loops, crosstalks and a plethora of modulators finely balance MTOR-driven anabolic and catabolic processes. This complexity renders it difficult - if not impossible - to intuitively decipher signaling dynamics and network topology. Over the last two decades, systems approaches have emerged as powerful tools to simulate signaling network dynamics and responses. In this review, we discuss the contribution of systems studies to the discovery of novel edges and modulators in the MTOR network in healthy cells and in disease.
    Keywords:  amino acids; computational models; mechanistic target of rapamycin; protein kinase B; signaling; systems biology
  10. Cells. 2021 Feb 02. pii: 305. [Epub ahead of print]10(2):
      Cells have developed response systems to constantly monitor environmental changes and accordingly adjust growth, differentiation, and cellular stress programs. The evolutionarily conserved, nutrient-responsive, mechanistic target of rapamycin signaling (mTOR) pathway coordinates basic anabolic and catabolic cellular processes such as gene transcription, protein translation, autophagy, and metabolism, and is directly implicated in cellular and organismal aging as well as age-related diseases. mTOR mediates these processes in response to a broad range of inputs such as oxygen, amino acids, hormones, and energy levels, as well as stresses, including DNA damage. Here, we briefly summarize data relating to the interplays of the mTOR pathway with DNA damage response pathways in fission yeast, a favorite model in cell biology, and how these interactions shape cell decisions, growth, and cell-cycle progression. We, especially, comment on the roles of caffeine-mediated DNA-damage override. Understanding the biology of nutrient response, DNA damage and related pharmacological treatments can lead to the design of interventions towards improved cellular and organismal fitness, health, and survival.
    Keywords:  Rad3; TORC1; TORC2; caffeine; nutrients; rapamycin
  11. J Lipid Res. 2020 Dec;pii: S0022-2275(20)60023-2. [Epub ahead of print]61(12): 1617-1628
      The rise of drug-resistant tuberculosis poses a major risk to public health. Statins, which inhibit both cholesterol biosynthesis and protein prenylation branches of the mevalonate pathway, increase anti-tubercular antibiotic efficacy in animal models. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. In this study, we used an in vitro macrophage infection model to investigate simvastatin's anti-tubercular activity by systematically inhibiting each branch of the mevalonate pathway and evaluating the effects of the branch-specific inhibitors on mycobacterial growth. The anti-tubercular activity of simvastatin used at clinically relevant doses specifically targeted the cholesterol biosynthetic branch rather than the prenylation branches of the mevalonate pathway. Using Western blot analysis and AMP/ATP measurements, we found that simvastatin treatment blocked activation of mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), activated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) through increased intracellular AMP:ATP ratios, and favored nuclear translocation of transcription factor EB (TFEB). These mechanisms all induce autophagy, which is anti-mycobacterial. The biological effects of simvastatin on the AMPK-mTORC1-TFEB-autophagy axis were reversed by adding exogenous cholesterol to the cells. Our data demonstrate that the anti-tubercular activity of simvastatin requires inhibiting cholesterol biosynthesis, reveal novel links between cholesterol homeostasis, the AMPK-mTORC1-TFEB axis, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection control, and uncover new anti-tubercular therapy targets.
    Keywords:  Mycobacterium tuberculosis; adenosine 5′-monophosphate-activated protein kinase-mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1-transcription factor EB axis; immunology; lipids; macrophages/monocytes; mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 regulation; statins
  12. Mol Metab. 2021 Jan 28. pii: S2212-8778(21)00013-2. [Epub ahead of print] 101173
      OBJECTIVE: Brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis offers the potential to improve metabolic health in mice and men. However, humans predominantly live under thermoneutral conditions, leading to BAT whitening - a reduction in BAT mitochondrial content and metabolic activity. Recent studies have established mitophagy as a major driver of mitochondrial degradation in the whitening of thermogenic brite/beige adipocytes, yet the pathways mediating mitochondrial breakdown in whitening of classical BAT remain largely elusive. The transcription factor EB (TFEB), a master regulator of lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy belonging to the MIT family of transcription factors, is the only member of this family that is upregulated during whitening, pointing towards a role of TFEB in whitening-associated mitochondrial breakdown.METHODS: We generated brown adipocyte-specific TFEB knockout mice, and induced BAT whitening by thermoneutral housing. We characterized gene and protein expression patterns, BAT metabolic activity, systemic metabolism as well as mitochondrial localization using in vivo and in vitro approaches.
    RESULTS: Under conditions of low thermogenic activation, deletion of TFEB preserved mitochondrial mass independently of mitochondriogenesis in BAT and primary brown adipocytes. This did however not translate into elevated thermogenic capacity or protection from diet-induced obesity. Autophagosomal/lysosomal marker levels were altered in TFEB-deficient BAT and primary adipocytes, and lysosomal markers co-localized and co-purified with mitochondria in TFEB-deficient BAT, indicating trapping of mitochondria in late stages of mitophagy.
    CONCLUSION: We here identify TFEB as a driver of BAT whitening, mediating mitochondrial degradation via the autophagosomal and lysosomal machinery. This study provides proof of concept that interfering with the mitochondrial degradation machinery can increase mitochondrial mass in classical BAT under human-relevant conditions. It must however be considered that interfering with autophagy may result in accumulation of non-functional mitochondria. Future studies targeting earlier steps of mitophagy or target recognition are therefore warranted.
    Keywords:  TFEB; UCP1; brown adipose tissue; mitophagy; thermogenesis; whitening
  13. Proteomes. 2021 Jan 26. pii: 4. [Epub ahead of print]9(1):
      In eukaryotic cells, lysosomes play a crucial role in the breakdown of a variety of components ranging from small molecules to complex structures, ascertaining the continuous turnover of cellular building blocks. Furthermore, they act as a regulatory hub for metabolism, being crucially involved in the regulation of major signaling pathways. Currently, ~450 lysosomal proteins can be reproducibly identified in a single cell line by mass spectrometry, most of which are low-abundant, restricting their unbiased proteomic analysis to lysosome-enriched fractions. In the current study, we applied two strategies for the targeted investigation of the lysosomal proteome in complex samples: data-independent acquisition (DIA) and parallel reaction monitoring (PRM). Using a lysosome-enriched fraction, mouse embryonic fibroblast whole cell lysate, and mouse liver whole tissue lysate, we investigated the capabilities of DIA and PRM to investigate the lysosomal proteome. While both approaches identified and quantified lysosomal proteins in all sample types, and their data largely correlated, DIA identified on average more proteins, especially for lower complex samples and longer chromatographic gradients. For the highly complex tissue sample and shorter gradients, however, PRM delivered a better performance regarding both identification and quantification of lysosomal proteins. All data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXDD023278.
    Keywords:  data-independent acquisition; label-free quantification; lysosomes; parallel reaction monitoring; targeted proteomics
  14. Elife. 2021 Feb 03. pii: e60969. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1) is controlled by the GATOR complex composed of the GATOR1 subcomplex and its inhibitor, the GATOR2 subcomplex, sensitive to amino acid starvation. Previously, we identified fission yeast GATOR1 that prevents deregulated activation of TORC1 (Chia et al., 2017). Here, we report identification and characterization of GATOR2 in fission yeast. Unexpectedly, the GATOR2 subunit Sea3, an ortholog of mammalian WDR59, is physically and functionally proximal to GATOR1, rather than GATOR2, attenuating TORC1 activity. The fission yeast GATOR complex is dispensable for TORC1 regulation in response to amino acid starvation, which instead activates the Gcn2 pathway to inhibit TORC1 and induce autophagy. On the other hand, nitrogen starvation suppresses TORC1 through the combined actions of the GATOR1-Sea3 complex, the Gcn2 pathway, and the TSC complex, another conserved TORC1 inhibitor. Thus, multiple, parallel signaling pathways implement negative regulation of TORC1 to ensure proper cellular starvation responses.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; GATOR1; GATOR2; Gcn2; Rag GTPase; S. pombe; TORC1; cell biology
  15. Neurobiol Dis. 2021 Jan 28. pii: S0969-9961(21)00028-0. [Epub ahead of print] 105279
      Sialidosis is a neuropathic lysosomal storage disease caused by a deficiency in the NEU1 gene-encoding lysosomal neuraminidase and characterized by abnormal accumulation of undigested sialyl-oligoconjugates in systemic organs including brain. Although patients exhibit neurological symptoms, the underlying neuropathological mechanism remains unclear. Here, we generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from skin fibroblasts with sialidosis and induced the differentiation into neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and neurons. Sialidosis NPCs and neurons mimicked the disease-like phenotypes including reduced neuraminidase activity, accumulation of sialyl-oligoconjugates and lysosomal expansions. Functional analysis also revealed that sialidosis neurons displayed two distinct abnormalities, defective exocytotic glutamate release and augmented α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate receptor (AMPAR)-mediated Ca2+ influx. These abnormalities were restored by overexpression of the wild-type NEU1 gene, demonstrating causative role of neuraminidase deficiency in functional impairments of disease neurons. Comprehensive proteomics analysis revealed the significant reduction of SNARE proteins and glycolytic enzymes in synaptosomal fraction, with downregulation of ATP production. Bypassing the glycolysis by treatment of pyruvate, which is final metabolite of glycolysis pathway, improved both the synaptsomal ATP production and the exocytotic function. We also found that upregulation of AMPAR and L-type voltage dependent Ca2+ channel (VDCC) subunits in disease neurons, with the restoration of AMPAR-mediated Ca2+ over-load by treatment of antagonists for the AMPAR and L-type VDCC. Our present study provides new insights into both the neuronal pathophysiology and potential therapeutic strategy for sialidosis.
    Keywords:  AMPA receptor; Exocytosis; Glycolysis; Lysosomal storage disease; Neuraminidase; Neurotransmission; SNARE protein; Sialidosis; Voltage dependent Ca(2+) channel; iPSC
  16. Sci Adv. 2021 Jan;pii: eabb1703. [Epub ahead of print]7(2):
      Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) results from loss of a tumor suppressor gene - TSC1 or TSC2, encoding hamartin and tuberin, respectively. These proteins formed a complex to inhibit mTORC1-mediated cell growth and proliferation. Loss of either protein leads to overgrowth lesions in many vital organs. Gene therapy was evaluated in a mouse model of TSC2 using an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector carrying the complementary for a "condensed" form of human tuberin (cTuberin). Functionality of cTuberin was verified in culture. A mouse model of TSC2 was generated by AAV-Cre recombinase disruption of Tsc2-floxed alleles at birth, leading to a shortened lifespan (mean 58 days) and brain pathology consistent with TSC. When these mice were injected intravenously on day 21 with AAV9-cTuberin, the mean survival was extended to 462 days with reduction in brain pathology. This demonstrates the potential of treating life-threatening TSC2 lesions with a single intravenous injection of AAV9-cTuberin.
  17. J Biol Chem. 2020 Apr 24. pii: S0021-9258(17)50289-6. [Epub ahead of print]295(17): 5577-5587
      Fabry disease is a heritable lipid disorder caused by the low activity of α-galactosidase A and characterized by the systemic accumulation of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3). Recent studies have reported a structural heterogeneity of Gb3 in Fabry disease, including Gb3 isoforms with different fatty acids and Gb3 analogs with modifications on the sphingosine moiety. However, Gb3 assays are often performed only on the selected Gb3 isoforms. To precisely determine the total Gb3 concentration, here we established two methods for determining both Gb3 isoforms and analogs. One was the deacylation method, involving Gb3 treatment with sphingolipid ceramide N-deacylase, followed by an assay of the deacylated products, globotriaosylsphingosine (lyso-Gb3) and its analogs, by ultra-performance LC coupled to tandem MS (UPLC-MS/MS). The other method was a direct assay established in the present study for 37 Gb3 isoforms and analogs/isoforms by UPLC-MS/MS. Gb3s from the organs of symptomatic animals of a Fabry disease mouse model were mainly Gb3 isoforms and two Gb3 analogs, such as Gb3(+18) containing the lyso-Gb3(+18) moiety and Gb3(-2) containing the lyso-Gb3(-2) moiety. The total concentrations and Gb3 analog distributions determined by the two methods were comparable. Gb3(+18) levels were high in the kidneys (24% of total Gb3) and the liver (13%), and we observed Gb3(-2) in the heart (10%) and the kidneys (5%). These results indicate organ-specific expression of Gb3 analogs, insights that may lead to a deeper understanding of the pathophysiology of Fabry disease.
    Keywords:  Fabry disease; Fabry mouse model; GlatmTg(CAG-A4GALT); N-deacylase; X-linked disease; alpha-galactosidase A; ceramide; genetic disease; globotriaosylceramide; globotriaosylceramide analogs; glycosphingolipid; lipid disorder; lysosomal storage disease; lysosomal storage disorder; mouse; sphingolipid
  18. Commun Biol. 2021 Feb 05. 4(1): 161
      Mutations in CLN3 lead to photoreceptor cell loss in CLN3 disease, a lysosomal storage disorder characterized by childhood-onset vision loss, neurological impairment, and premature death. However, how CLN3 mutations cause photoreceptor cell death is not known. Here, we show that CLN3 is required for phagocytosis of photoreceptor outer segment (POS) by retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells, a cellular process essential for photoreceptor survival. Specifically, a proportion of CLN3 in human, mouse, and iPSC-RPE cells localized to RPE microvilli, the site of POS phagocytosis. Furthermore, patient-derived CLN3 disease iPSC-RPE cells showed decreased RPE microvilli density and reduced POS binding and ingestion. Notably, POS phagocytosis defect in CLN3 disease iPSC-RPE cells could be rescued by wild-type CLN3 gene supplementation. Altogether, these results illustrate a novel role of CLN3 in regulating POS phagocytosis and suggest a contribution of primary RPE dysfunction for photoreceptor cell loss in CLN3 disease that can be targeted by gene therapy.
  19. Mol Cell. 2021 Jan 28. pii: S1097-2765(21)00009-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Autophagy deficiency in fed conditions leads to the formation of protein inclusions highlighting the contribution of this lysosomal delivery route to cellular proteostasis. Selective autophagy pathways exist that clear accumulated and aggregated ubiquitinated proteins. Receptors for this type of autophagy (aggrephagy) include p62, NBR1, TOLLIP, and OPTN, which possess LC3-interacting regions and ubiquitin-binding domains (UBDs), thus working as a bridge between LC3/GABARAP proteins and ubiquitinated substrates. However, the identity of aggrephagy substrates and the redundancy of aggrephagy and related UBD-containing receptors remains elusive. Here, we combined proximity labeling and organelle enrichment with quantitative proteomics to systematically map the autophagic degradome targeted by UBD-containing receptors under basal and proteostasis-challenging conditions in human cell lines. We identified various autophagy substrates, some of which were differentially engulfed by autophagosomal and endosomal membranes via p62 and TOLLIP, respectively. Overall, this resource will allow dissection of the proteostasis contribution of autophagy to numerous individual proteins.
    Keywords:  APEX2; SQSTM1/p62; TOLLIP; aggrephagy; autophagosomes; autophagy; endosomal microautophagy; proteostasis imbalance; proximity labeling; selective autophagy receptors
  20. Cell Calcium. 2021 Jan 23. pii: S0143-4160(21)00014-2. [Epub ahead of print]94 102360
      Ion channels are necessary for correct lysosomal function including degradation of cargoes originating from endocytosis. Almost all enveloped viruses, including coronaviruses (CoVs), enter host cells via endocytosis, and do not escape endosomal compartments into the cytoplasm (via fusion with the endolysosomal membrane) unless the virus-encoded envelope proteins are cleaved by lysosomal proteases. With the ongoing outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2, endolysosomal two-pore channels represent an exciting and emerging target for antiviral therapies. This review focuses on the latest knowledge of the effects of lysosomal ion channels on the cellular entry and uncoating of enveloped viruses, which may aid in development of novel therapies against emerging infectious diseases such as SARS-CoV-2.
    Keywords:  Enveloped viruses; Lysosome; PI(3,5)P2; SARS-CoV-2; TPC2; TRPML2
  21. Biomed Res Int. 2021 ;2021 8621464
      In addition to serving as the building blocks for protein synthesis, amino acids can be used as an energy source, through catabolism. The transamination, oxidative deamination, and decarboxylation processes that occur during amino acid catabolism are catalyzed by specific enzymes, including aspartate aminotransferase (AST), glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), and ornithine decarboxylase (ODC); however, the overall molecular mechanisms through which amino acid catabolism occurs remain largely unknown. To examine the role of mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) on amino acid catabolism, mTORC1 was inactivated by rapamycin or shRNA targeting Raptor, versus activated by overexpressing Rheb or amino acids in human hepatocytes. The expression of amino acid catabolic genes and related transcription factor was investigated by RT/real-time PCR and western blot analysis. A few types of amino acid metabolite were examined by ELISA and HPLC analysis. The data showed that inactivated mTORC1 resulted in inhibition of NF-κB and the expression of AST, GDH, GAD, and ODC, whereas activated mTORC1 enhanced NF-κB activation and the expression levels of the catabolism-associated genes. Further, inhibition of NF-κB reduced the expression levels of AST, GDH, GAD, and ODC. mTORC1 upregulated NF-κB activation and the expression of AST and ODC in response to glutamate and ornithine treatments, whereas rapamycin inhibited the utilization of glutamate and ornithine in hepatocytes. Taken together, these results indicated that the mTORC1/NF-κB axis modulates the rate of amino acid catabolism by regulating the expression of key catabolic enzymes in hepatocytes.
  22. Eur J Pharmacol. 2021 Jan 24. pii: S0014-2999(21)00060-1. [Epub ahead of print]896 173907
      Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is caused by a loss of function of either NPC1 or NPC2 protein, resulting in the accumulation of unesterified, free-cholesterol (free-C) in cells/tissues and thus leading to cell/tissue damage. In the brain of patients/animals with NPC, as a consequence of the accumulation of free-C in late endosomes/lysosomes (LE/LY) in cells, multiple lipids including complex sphingolipids are accumulated, and almost all patients/animals ultimately develop progressive/fatal neurodegeneration. Several reagents that are considered to act in the brain show beneficial effects on NPC-model animals. In the present study, we investigated the effects of antiepileptic drugs, such as primidone and valproic acid, on the accumulation of free-C in NPC1-null CHO cells and NPC1* fibroblasts, human fibroblasts established from a patient with NPC1 mutation. Like valproic acid, treatment with primidone reduced free-C levels in LE/LY in NPC1-null/mutant cells. Down-regulation of cholesterol ester levels in NPC1-null cells and up-regulation of HMG-CoA reductase and low-density lipoprotein receptor mRNA levels in NPC1* cells were partially recovered by primidone treatment. Thus, primidone was suggested to enhance free-C trafficking from LE/LY to endoplasmic reticulum in NPC1-null/mutant cells. In NPC1-null mice, oral application of primidone (100 mg/kg/day) extended lifespan by approximately 5 days, although the first days showing ataxia, a typical symptom of neuromotor dysfunction, were not affected. Our findings suggest the potential of primidone for the treatment of NPC.
    Keywords:  Antiepileptic drugs; Cholesterol trafficking; Endoplasmic reticulum; Late endosomes/lysosomes; Lifespan; NPC1-Null mice
  23. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 09. pii: e2021475118. [Epub ahead of print]118(6):
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and is highly refractory to current therapies. We had previously shown that PDAC can utilize its high levels of basal autophagy to support its metabolism and maintain tumor growth. Consistent with the importance of autophagy in PDAC, autophagy inhibition significantly enhances response of PDAC patients to chemotherapy in two randomized clinical trials. However, the specific metabolite(s) that autophagy provides to support PDAC growth is not yet known. In this study, we demonstrate that under nutrient-replete conditions, loss of autophagy in PDAC leads to a relatively restricted impairment of amino acid pools, with cysteine levels showing a significant drop. Additionally, we made the striking discovery that autophagy is critical for the proper membrane localization of the cystine transporter SLC7A11. Mechanistically, autophagy impairment results in the loss of SLC7A11 on the plasma membrane and increases its localization at the lysosome in an mTORC2-dependent manner. Our results demonstrate a critical link between autophagy and cysteine metabolism and provide mechanistic insights into how targeting autophagy can cause metabolic dysregulation in PDAC.
    Keywords:  SLC7A11; autophagy; lysosome; pancreatic cancer; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  24. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021 ;1275 395-405
      The tryptophan catabolizing enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO-1) has gained major attention due the immunoregulatory nature of this pathway. Both depletion of tryptophan concentrations as well as the accumulation of downstream metabolites are relevant for the mediation of the manifold consequences of increased tryptophan metabolism. Increased tryptophan catabolism is indicative for several chronic inflammatory disorders such as infections, autoimmune diseases or cancer. Low tryptophan availability is likely to be involved in the manifestation of a variety of comorbidities such as anemia, cachexia, depression and neurocognitive disturbances.Several nutrient sensing kinases are implicated in the downstream effects of dysregulated tryptophan metabolism. These include mechanisms that were conserved during evolution but have gained special features in multicellular eukaryotes, such as pathways regulated by eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF-2)-alpha kinase (GCN2, also named general control nonderepressible 2 kinase), 5'-adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and target of rapamycin (TOR).The interplay between IDO-1 and above-mentioned pathway seems to be highly context dependent. A better understanding of the crosstalk is necessary to support the search for druggable targets for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.
    Keywords:  5′-adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK); Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF-2)-alpha kinase (GCN2); General control nonderepressible 2 kinase; Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO-1); Kynurenine; Nutrient sensing; Target of rapamycin (TOR); Tryptophan
  25. J Biol Chem. 2020 May 22. pii: S0021-9258(17)50274-4. [Epub ahead of print]295(21): 7431-7441
      Lytic replication of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is not only essential for its cell-to-cell spread and host-to-host transmission, but it also contributes to EBV-induced oncogenesis. Thus, blocking EBV lytic replication could be a strategy for managing EBV-associated diseases. Previously, we identified a series of natural lignans isolated from the roots of Saururus chinensis (Asian lizard's tail) that efficiently block EBV lytic replication and virion production with low cytotoxicity. In this study, we attempted to elucidate the molecular mechanism by which these lignans inhibit EBV lytic replication. We found that a representative compound, CSC27 (manassantin B), inhibits EBV lytic replication by suppressing the expression of EBV immediate-early gene BZLF1 via disruption of AP-1 signal transduction. Further analysis revealed that manassantin B specifically blocks the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2)-mediated phosphorylation of AKT Ser/Thr protein kinase at Ser-473 and protein kinase Cα (PKCα) at Ser-657. Using phosphoinositide 3-kinase-AKT-specific inhibitors for kinase mapping and shRNA-mediated gene silencing, we validated that manassantin B abrogates EBV lytic replication by inhibiting mTORC2 activity and thereby blocking the mTORC2-PKC/AKT-signaling pathway. These results suggest that mTORC2 may have utility as an antiviral drug target against EBV infections and also reveal that manassantin B has potential therapeutic value for managing cancers that depend on mTORC2 signaling for survival.
    Keywords:  EBV reactivation; Epstein-Barr virus (EBV); inhibition mechanism; inhibitor; lignan; mTOR complex (mTORC); mTORC2 inhibitor; manassantin B; protein kinase C (PKC); viral DNA; viral replication; virology
  26. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2021 Feb 02. pii: S0167-4889(21)00029-X. [Epub ahead of print] 118975
      The Salt-inducible kinase (SIKs) belongs to an AMPK- related family kinase, an isoform of the SIK family, SIK1 gets frequently downregulated in various types of cancer contribute to tumorigenesis. However, its precise role in breast cancer and the relevant molecular mechanism remains unclear. Herein, analysis of the clinical data reveals that SIK1 expression was significantly downregulated in breast cancer tissues, and closely associated with poor survival rate in breast cancer. SIK1 is functionally stimulating oxidative phosphorylation, which in turn inhibits aerobic glycolysis and cell proliferation in breast cancer cells. Mechanistically, SIK1 directly interacted with p53 and positively regulates its transcriptional activity, thereby facilitates oxidative phosphorylation in breast cancer cells. The knockdown of SIK1 downregulates p53 transcriptional activity, leading to stimulation of aerobic glycolysis and cell proliferation. Moreover, high expression of SIK3 stimulates mTOR-mediated aerobic glycolysis and cell proliferation of breast cancer cells. These findings suggest that SIK isoforms plays distinct role in aerobic glycolysis and cell growth of breast cancer, attenuated SIK1/p53 signaling suppresses oxidative phosphorylation and growth inhibitory effect in breast cancer cells, while enhanced SIK3/mTOR signaling potentiates aerobic glycolysis mediated cell growth in breast cancer cells.
    Keywords:  SIK1; SIK3; aerobic glycolysis; breast cancer; cell proliferation; p53
  27. J Cell Sci. 2021 Feb 03. pii: jcs.253682. [Epub ahead of print]
      Under starvation conditions, cells degrade their own components via autophagy in order to provide sufficient nutrients to ensure their survival. However, even if starvation persists, the cell is not completely degraded by autophagy, implying the existence of some kind of termination mechanism. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, autophagy is terminated after 10-12 hr of nitrogen starvation. In this study, we found that termination is mediated by re-phosphorylation of Atg13 by the Atg1 protein kinase, which is also affected by PP2C phosphatases, and the eventual dispersion of the PAS (pre-autophagosomal structure/phagophore assembly site). In a genetic screen, we identified an uncharacterized vacuolar membrane protein, Tag1, as a factor responsible for termination of autophagy. Re-phosphorylation of Atg13 and eventual PAS dispersal were defective in the Δtag1 mutant. The vacuolar luminal domain of Tag1 and autophagic progression are important for the behaviors of Tag1. Together, our findings reveal the mechanism and factors responsible for termination of autophagy in yeast.
    Keywords:  Atg1; Autophagy; Yeast
  28. Oncogene. 2021 Feb 02.
      Previous work has suggested androgen receptor (AR) signaling mediates prostate cancer progression in part through the modulation of autophagy. However, clinical trials testing autophagy inhibition using chloroquine derivatives in men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) have yet to yield promising results, potentially due to the side effects of this class of compounds. We hypothesized that identification of the upstream activators of autophagy in prostate cancer could highlight alternative, context-dependent targets for blocking this important cellular process during disease progression. Here, we used molecular, genetic, and pharmacological approaches to elucidate an AR-mediated autophagy cascade involving Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase 2 (CAMKK2; a kinase with a restricted expression profile), 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and Unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1 (ULK1), but independent of canonical mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) activity. Increased CAMKK2-AMPK-ULK1 signaling correlated with disease progression in genetic mouse models and patient tumor samples. Importantly, CAMKK2 disruption impaired tumor growth and prolonged survival in multiple CRPC preclinical mouse models. Similarly, an inhibitor of AMPK-ULK1 blocked autophagy, cell growth, and colony formation in prostate cancer cells. Collectively, our findings converge to demonstrate that AR can co-opt the CAMKK2-AMPK-ULK1 signaling cascade to promote prostate cancer by increasing autophagy. Thus, this pathway may represent an alternative autophagic target in CRPC.
  29. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021 ;1275 357-382
      While protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) play an initiative role in growth factor-mediated cellular processes, protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) negatively regulates these processes, acting as tumor suppressors. Besides selective tyrosine dephosphorylation of PTKs via PTPs may affect oncogenic pathways during carcinogenesis. The PTP family contains a group of dual-specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) that regulate the activity of Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), which are key effectors in the control of cell growth, proliferation and survival. Abnormal MAPK signaling is critical for initiation and progression stages of carcinogenesis. Since depletion of DUSP-MAPK phosphatases (MKPs) can reduce tumorigenicity, altering MAPK signaling by DUSP-MKP inhibitors could be a novel strategy in anti-cancer therapy. Moreover, Cdc25A is, a DUSP and a key regulator of the cell cycle, promotes cell cycle progression by dephosphorylating and activating cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK). Cdc25A-CDK pathway is a novel mechanism in carcinogenesis. Besides the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase inhibitors or mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) inhibition in combination with the dual phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K)/mTOR or AKT kinase inhibitors are more effective in inhibiting the phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) and cap-dependent translation. Dual targeting of the Akt and mTOR signaling pathways regulates cellular growth, proliferation and survival. Like the Cdc2-like kinases (CLK), dual-specific tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinases (DYRKs) are essential for the regulation of cell fate. The crosstalk between dual-specific phosphatases and dual- specific protein kinases is a novel drug target for anti-cancer therapy. Therefore, the focus of this chapter involves protein kinase modules, critical biochemical checkpoints of cancer therapy and the synergistic effects of protein kinases and anti-cancer molecules.
    Keywords:  AKT; CDK; Carcinogenesis; Cdc25A; DUSP; Kinases; MAPK; PI3K; Phosphatases; mTOR
  30. Reproduction. 2021 Feb 01. pii: REP-20-0603.R1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is essential for embryo development by acting as a nutrient sensor to regulate cell growth, proliferation and metabolism. Folate is required for embryonic ribosomal protein S6, a downstream target of mTOR Complex1, markedly reduced embryonic folate incorporation (-84%, p<0.01) and induced embryo normal embryonic development and it was recently reported that mTOR functions as a folate sensor. In this work we tested the hypothesis that mTOR functions as a folate sensor in the embryo and its inhibition results in embryonic developmental delay affecting neural tube closure and that these effects can be rescued by folate supplementation. Administration of rapamycin (0.5 mg/kg) to rats during early organogenesis inhibited developmental impairments, as shown by an increased resorption rate, reduced embryo somite number and delayed neural tube closure. These alterations were prevented by folic acid administered to the dams. Differently, although an increased rate of embryonic rotation defects were observed in the rapamycin treated dams, this alteration was not prevented by maternal folic acid supplementation. In conclusion, mTOR inhibition during organogenesis in the rat resulted in decreased folate levels in the embryo, increased embryo resorption rate and impaired embryo development. These data suggest that mTOR signaling influences embryo folate availability, possibly by regulating transfer of folate across the maternal-embryonic interface.
  31. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 09. pii: e2020190118. [Epub ahead of print]118(6):
      Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is caused by mutations in either TSC1 or TSC2 genes and affects multiple organs, including kidney, lung, and brain. In the kidney, TSC presents with the enlargement of benign tumors (angiomyolipomata) and cysts, which eventually leads to kidney failure. The factors promoting cyst formation and tumor growth in TSC are incompletely understood. Here, we report that mice with principal cell-specific inactivation of Tsc1 develop numerous cortical cysts, which are overwhelmingly composed of hyperproliferating A-intercalated (A-IC) cells. RNA sequencing and confirmatory expression studies demonstrated robust expression of Forkhead Transcription Factor 1 (Foxi1) and its downstream targets, apical H+-ATPase and cytoplasmic carbonic anhydrase 2 (CAII), in cyst epithelia in Tsc1 knockout (KO) mice but not in Pkd1 mutant mice. In addition, the electrogenic 2Cl-/H+ exchanger (CLC-5) is significantly up-regulated and shows remarkable colocalization with H+-ATPase on the apical membrane of cyst epithelia in Tsc1 KO mice. Deletion of Foxi1, which is vital to intercalated cells viability and H+-ATPase expression, completely abrogated the cyst burden in Tsc1 KO mice, as indicated by MRI images and histological analysis in kidneys of Foxi1/Tsc1 double-knockout (dKO) mice. Deletion of CAII, which is critical to H+-ATPase activation, caused significant reduction in cyst burden and increased life expectancy in CAII/Tsc1 dKO mice vs. Tsc1 KO mice. We propose that intercalated cells and their acid/base/electrolyte transport machinery (H+-ATPase/CAII/CLC-5) are critical to cystogenesis, and their inhibition or inactivation is associated with significant protection against cyst generation and/or enlargement in TSC.
    Keywords:  H+-ATPase; cortical collecting duct; cysts; intercalated cells; prorenin receptor
  32. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2021 Feb 03.
      Fluorescent flipper probes have been introduced recently to image membrane tension in live cells, and strategies to target these probes to specific membranes are emerging.   In this context, early endosomes (EE) targeting without use of protein engineering is especially appealing because it translates into a fascinating transport problem.   Weakly basic probes, commonly used to track inside acidic late endosomes and lysosomes, are poorly retained in EE because they are sufficiently neutralized in weakly acidic EE, thus able to diffuse out.   Here, we disclose a rational strategy to target EE using a substituted benzylamine with higher pK a as a head group of the flipper probe.   The resulting EE flippers are validated for preserved mechanosensitivity, ready for use in biology, particularly to elucidate the mechanics of endocytosis.
    Keywords:  early endosomes; fluorescent probes; mechanosensitivity; membrane penetration; pH gradient
  33. Autophagy. 2021 Feb 02.
      Mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) selectively degrades mitochondria and plays an important role in mitochondrial homeostasis. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the phosphorylation of the mitophagy receptor Atg32 by casein kinase 2 is essential for mitophagy, whereas this phosphorylation is counteracted by the protein phosphatase Ppg1. Although Ppg1 functions cooperatively with the Far complex (Far3, Far7, Far8, Vps64/Far9, Far10 and Far11), their relationship and the underlying phosphoregulatory mechanism of Atg32 remain unclear. Our recent study revealed: (i) the Far complex plays its localization-dependent roles, regulation of mitophagy and target of rapamycin complex 2 (TORC2) signaling, via the mitochondria- and endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-localized Far complexes, respectively; (ii) Ppg1 and Far11 form a subcomplex, and Ppg1 activity is required to assemble the sub- and core-Far complexes; (iii) association and dissociation between the Far complex and Atg32 are crucial determinants for mitophagy regulation. Here, we summarize our findings and discuss unsolved issues.
    Keywords:  Atg32; Far complex; Ppg1; mitochondria; mitophagy; yeast
  34. Parasitol Res. 2021 Feb 03.
      The mechanistic (or mammalian) target of rapamycin (mTOR) is considered as a critical regulatory enzyme involved in essential signaling pathways affecting cell growth, cell proliferation, protein translation, regulation of cellular metabolism, and cytoskeletal structure. Also, mTOR signaling has crucial roles in cell homeostasis via processes such as autophagy. Autophagy prevents many pathogen infections and is involved on immunosurveillance and pathogenesis. Immune responses and autophagy are therefore key host responses and both are linked by complex mTOR regulatory mechanisms. In recent years, the mTOR pathway has been highlighted in different diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and infectious and parasitic diseases including leishmaniasis, toxoplasmosis, and malaria. The current review underlines the implications of mTOR signals and intricate networks on pathogen infections and the modulation of this master regulator by parasites. Parasitic infections are able to induce dynamic metabolic reprogramming leading to mTOR alterations in spite of many other ways impacting this regulatory network. Accordingly, the identification of parasite effects and interactions over such a complex modulation might reveal novel information regarding the biology of the abovementioned parasites and might allow the development of therapeutic strategies against parasitic diseases. In this sense, the effects of inhibiting the mTOR pathways are also considered in this context in the light of their potential for the prevention and treatment of parasitic diseases.
    Keywords:  Modulation,; Parasites; Rapamycin; Signaling; Therapies; mTOR
  35. J Med Genet. 2021 Feb 05. pii: jmedgenet-2020-107086. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Fabry disease is a rare X-linked lysosomal storage disease caused by mutations in the galactosidase α gene. Deficient activity of α-galactosidase A leads to glycosphingolipid accumulations in multiple organs. Circular RNAs represent strong regulators of gene expression. Their circular structure ensures high stability in blood. We hypothesised that blood-based circular RNA profiles improve phenotypic assignment and therapeutic monitoring of Fabry disease.METHODS: A genome-wide circular RNA expression analysis was performed in blood of genetically diagnosed patients with Fabry disease (n=58), age-matched and sex-matched healthy volunteers (n=14) and disease control patients with acute kidney injury (n=109). Most highly dysregulated circular RNAs were validated by quantitative real-time PCR. Circular RNA biomarker sensitivity, specificity, predictive values and area under the curve (AUC) were determined. Linear regression analyses were conducted for validated circular RNA biomarkers and clinical patient characteristics.
    RESULTS: A distinct circular RNA transcriptome signature identified patients with Fabry disease. Level of circular RNAs hsa_circ_0006853 (AUC=0.73), hsa_circ_0083766 (AUC=0.8) and hsa_circ_0002397 (AUC=0.8) distinguished patients with Fabry disease from both healthy controls and patients with acute kidney injury. Hsa_circ_0002397 was, furthermore, female-specifically expressed. Circular RNA level were significantly related to galactosidase α gene mutations, early symptoms, phenotypes, disease severities, specific therapies and long-term complications of Fabry disease.
    CONCLUSION: The discovery of circular RNA-based and Fabry disease-specific biomarkers may advance future diagnosis of Fabry disease and help to distinguish related phenotypes.
    Keywords:  gene expression profiling; genetics; molecular biology; molecular diagnostic techniques; phenotype
  36. Cell Signal. 2021 Feb 02. pii: S0898-6568(21)00022-X. [Epub ahead of print] 109934
      BACKGROUND: Lung cancer has a poor prognosis partly due to a lack of response to treatments such as the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine. Combinations of chemotherapy drugs with signal transduction inhibitors may be more effective treatments. In this study we have investigated the impact of targeting the mTOR signalling pathway on the efficacy of gemcitabine in different cancer cell lines.METHODS: Time-lapse microscopy, immuno-staining, and western blot techniques were used to evaluate the efficacy of applied treatments either in measuring phosphorylation levels of mTOR down-stream targets or in tracking down the fate of targeted cells. Reactive oxygen species and relative levels of protein phosphorylation were also quantified. For comparison between treated groups t-test and analysis of variance test were applied.
    RESULTS: Our data showed that mTORC1 has no role in sensitising A549 lung cancer cells to gemcitabine. However, targeting mTORC1/2 with the pharmacological inhibitor torin1 or by over-expressing Deptor, the negative regulator of mTOR signalling, sensitised these cells to gemcitabine. Silencing mTORC2, but not mTORC1, induced apoptosis and significantly improved the apoptosis-inducing effects of gemcitabine. Results also suggest that Rictor is required to maintain cell survival through modulating p38α, ERK1/2, RSK1/2/3 and the transcription factor STAT3. Multiple cell line comparisons revealed that PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cells were also sensitive to mTOR inhibition, but MCF7 breast cancer, MCF10A breast epithelial and H727 lung cancer cell lines were more resistant to the treatment.
    CONCLUSIONS: Inhibition of mTORC2 may have benefits in the treatment of gemcitabine resistant cancers, and the genetic background of the cell line may determine its response to mTOR inhibition.
    Keywords:  Cell death; Chemotherapy resistance; Gemcitabine; Lung cancer; Reactive oxygen species; Torin1; mTOR; mTORC2
  37. Sci Rep. 2021 Feb 01. 11(1): 2731
      The human hepatoblastoma cell line, HepG2, has been used for investigating a wide variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes. However, less information is available about the phospholipid metabolism in HepG2 cells. In the present report, to clarify the relationship between cell growth and phospholipid metabolism in HepG2 cells, we examined the phospholipid class compositions of the cells and their intracellular organelles by using enzymatic fluorometric methods. In HepG2 cells, the ratios of all phospholipid classes, but not the ratio of cholesterol, markedly changed with cell growth. Of note, depending on cell growth, the phosphatidic acid (PA) ratio increased and phosphatidylcholine (PC) ratio decreased in the nuclear membranes, the sphingomyelin (SM) ratio increased in the microsomal membranes, and the phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) ratio increased and the phosphatidylserine (PS) ratio decreased in the mitochondrial membranes. Moreover, the mRNA expression levels of enzymes related to PC, PE, PS, PA, SM and cardiolipin syntheses changed during cell growth. We suggest that the phospholipid class compositions of organellar membranes are tightly regulated by cell growth. These findings provide a basis for future investigations of cancer cell growth and lipid metabolism.
  38. Mol Cell Biol. 2021 Feb 01. pii: MCB.00660-20. [Epub ahead of print]
      Point mutations in Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) are the most common cause of familial Parkinson's disease (PD) and are implicated in a significant portion of apparently sporadic PD. Clinically, LRRK2-driven PD is indistinguishable from sporadic PD, making it an attractive genetic model for the much more common sporadic PD. In this review, we highlight recent advances in understanding LRRK2's subcellular functions using LRRK2-PD models, while also considering some of the limitations of these model systems. Recent developments of particular importance include new evidence of key LRRK2 functions in the endolysosomal system and LRRK2's regulation of and by Rab GTPases. Additionally, LRRK2's interaction with the cytoskeleton allowed elucidation of the LRRK2 structure and appears relevant to LRRK2 protein degradation and LRRK2 kinase inhibitor therapies. We further discuss how LRRK2's interactions with other PD-driving genes, such as VPS35, GCase, and α-synuclein, may highlight cellular pathways more broadly disrupted in PD.
  39. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 ;8 641552
    Keywords:  AMPK; cell metabolism; mTOR; metformin; nucleus; post-translational modifications; rapamycin; transcriptional regulation
  40. J Cell Mol Med. 2021 Feb 01.
      Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4 gamma 1 (EIF4G1), as the key component of the transcription initiation factor complex EIF4F, is significantly upregulated in multiple solid tumours, including lung cancer. However, the function and mechanism of EIF4G1 in the regulation of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remain unclear. Here, using the clinical samples and the comprehensive survival analysis platforms Kaplan-Meier plotter, we observed aberrant upregulation of EIF4G1 in NSCLC tissues; furthermore, high expression of EIF4G1 showed association with low differentiation of lung cancer cells and poor overall survival in NSCLC patients. Non-small-cell lung cancer cell line A549 and H1703 stably infected with EIF4G1 shRNA were used to determine the function of EIF4G1 in regulating cell proliferation and tumorigenesis in vitro and in vivo. The results demonstrated that EIF4G1 promoted the G1/S transition of the cell cycle and tumour cell proliferation in non-small cell lung cancer. Mechanistically, EIF4G1 was found to regulate the expression and phosphorylation of mTOR (Ser2448), which mediates the tumorigenesis-promoting function of EIF4G1. The inhibition of mTOR attenuated the EIF4G1-induced development and progression of tumours. These findings demonstrated that EIF4G1 is a new potential molecular target for the clinical treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.
    Keywords:  EIF4G1; apoptosis; cell proliferation; mTOR; non-small-cell lung cancer
  41. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2019 Jun;pii: S1535-9476(20)31822-3. [Epub ahead of print]18(6): 1227-1241
      Krabbe disease is a rare, childhood lysosomal storage disorder caused by a deficiency of galactosylceramide beta-galactosidase (GALC). The major effect of GALC deficiency is the accumulation of psychosine in the nervous system and widespread degeneration of oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells, causing rapid demyelination. The molecular mechanisms of Krabbe disease are not yet fully elucidated and a definite cure is still missing. Here we report the first in-depth characterization of the proteome of the Twitcher mouse, a spontaneous mouse model of Krabbe disease, to investigate the proteome changes in the Central and Peripheral Nervous System. We applied a TMT-based workflow to compare the proteomes of the corpus callosum, motor cortex and sciatic nerves of littermate homozygous Twitcher and wild-type mice. More than 400 protein groups exhibited differences in expression and included proteins involved in pathways that can be linked to Krabbe disease, such as inflammatory and defense response, lysosomal proteins accumulation, demyelination, reduced nervous system development and cell adhesion. These findings provide new insights on the molecular mechanisms of Krabbe disease, representing a starting point for future functional experiments to study the molecular pathogenesis of Krabbe disease. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD010594.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Inflammation; Mass Spectrometry; Mouse models; Neurobiology*; Neurodegenerative diseases*; Pathway Analysis; Protein Identification*; Quantification; TMT labeling; laser capture microdissection
  42. Circulation. 2021 Feb 02. 143(5): 466-469
    Keywords:  Editorials; cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinases; lysosomes; myocardial infarction