bims-lysosi Biomed News
on Lysosomes and signaling
Issue of 2021‒03‒14
thirty papers selected by
Stephanie Fernandes
Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

  1. Nat Cell Biol. 2021 Mar 08.
      Lysosomes must maintain the integrity of their limiting membrane to ensure efficient fusion with incoming organelles and degradation of substrates within their lumen. Pancreatic cancer cells upregulate lysosomal biogenesis to enhance nutrient recycling and stress resistance, but it is unknown whether dedicated programmes for maintaining the integrity of the lysosome membrane facilitate pancreatic cancer growth. Using proteomic-based organelle profiling, we identify the Ferlin family plasma membrane repair factor Myoferlin as selectively and highly enriched on the membrane of pancreatic cancer lysosomes. Mechanistically, lysosomal localization of Myoferlin is necessary and sufficient for the maintenance of lysosome health and provides an early acting protective system against membrane damage that is independent of the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT)-mediated repair network. Myoferlin is upregulated in human pancreatic cancer, predicts poor survival and its ablation severely impairs lysosome function and tumour growth in vivo. Thus, retargeting of plasma membrane repair factors enhances the pro-oncogenic activities of the lysosome.
  2. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 639231
      The regulation of luminal ion concentrations is critical for the function of, and transport between intracellular organelles. The importance of the acidic pH in the compartments of the endosomal-lysosomal pathway has been well-known for decades. Besides the V-ATPase, which pumps protons into their lumen, a variety of ion transporters and channels is involved in the regulation of the organelles' complex ion homeostasis. Amongst these are the intracellular members of the CLC family, ClC-3 through ClC-7. They localize to distinct but overlapping compartments of the endosomal-lysosomal pathway, partially with tissue-specific expression. Functioning as 2Cl-/H+ exchangers, they can support the vesicular acidification and accumulate luminal Cl-. Mutations in the encoding genes in patients and mouse models underlie severe phenotypes including kidney stones with CLCN5 and osteopetrosis or hypopigmentation with CLCN7. Dysfunction of those intracellular CLCs that are expressed in neurons lead to neuronal defects. Loss of endosomal ClC-3, which heteromerizes with ClC-4, results in neurodegeneration. Mutations in ClC-4 are associated with epileptic encephalopathy and intellectual disability. Mice lacking the late endosomal ClC-6 develop a lysosomal storage disease with reduced pain sensitivity. Human gene variants have been associated with epilepsy, and a gain-of-function mutation causes early-onset neurodegeneration. Dysfunction of the lysosomal ClC-7 leads to a lysosomal storage disease and neurodegeneration in mice and humans. Reduced luminal chloride, as well as altered calcium regulation, has been associated with lysosomal storage diseases in general. This review discusses the properties of endosomal and lysosomal Cl-/H+ exchange by CLCs and how various alterations of ion transport by CLCs impact organellar ion homeostasis and function in neurodegenerative disorders.
    Keywords:  autophagy; chloride transport; endosome; ion homeostasis; lysosome; neurodegeneration
  3. Autophagy. 2021 Mar 11. 1-13
      The autophagy-lysosome system is an important cellular degradation pathway that recycles dysfunctional organelles and cytotoxic protein aggregates. A decline in this system is pathogenic in many human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders, fatty liver disease, and atherosclerosis. Thus there is intense interest in discovering therapeutics aimed at stimulating the autophagy-lysosome system. Trehalose is a natural disaccharide composed of two glucose molecules linked by a ɑ-1,1-glycosidic bond with the unique ability to induce cellular macroautophagy/autophagy and with reported efficacy on mitigating several diseases where autophagy is dysfunctional. Interestingly, the mechanism by which trehalose induces autophagy is unknown. One suggested mechanism is its ability to activate TFEB (transcription factor EB), the master transcriptional regulator of autophagy-lysosomal biogenesis. Here we describe a potential mechanism involving direct trehalose action on the lysosome. We find trehalose is endocytically taken up by cells and accumulates within the endolysosomal system. This leads to a low-grade lysosomal stress with mild elevation of lysosomal pH, which acts as a potent stimulus for TFEB activation and nuclear translocation. This process appears to involve inactivation of MTORC1, a known negative regulator of TFEB which is sensitive to perturbations in lysosomal pH. Taken together, our data show the trehalose can act as a weak inhibitor of the lysosome which serves as a trigger for TFEB activation. Our work not only sheds light on trehalose action but suggests that mild alternation of lysosomal pH can be a novel method of inducing the autophagy-lysosome system.Abbreviations: ASO: antisense oligonucleotide; AU: arbitrary units; BMDM: bone marrow-derived macrophages; CLFs: crude lysosomal fractions; CTSD: cathepsin D; LAMP: lysosomal associated membrane protein; LIPA/LAL: lipase A, lysosomal acid type; MAP1LC3: microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3; MFI: mean fluorescence intensity; MTORC1: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase complex 1; pMAC: peritoneal macrophages; SLC2A8/GLUT8: solute carrier family 2, (facilitated glucose transporter), member 8; TFEB: transcription factor EB; TMR: tetramethylrhodamine; TREH: trehalase.
    Keywords:  Endocytosis; MTORC1; TFEB; lysosome; trehalose
  4. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2021 Mar 05. pii: S0955-0674(21)00024-7. [Epub ahead of print]71 29-37
      Lysosomal membrane permeabilization and subsequent leakage of lysosomal hydrolases into the cytosol are considered as the major hallmarks of evolutionarily conserved lysosome-dependent cell death. Contradicting this postulate, new sensitive methods that can detect a minimal lysosomal membrane damage have demonstrated that lysosomal leakage does not necessarily equal cell death. Notably, cells are not only able to survive minor lysosomal membrane permeabilization, but some of their normal functions actually depend on leaked lysosomal hydrolases. Here we discuss emerging data suggesting that spatially and temporally controlled lysosomal leakage delivers lysosomal hydrolases to specific subcellular sites of action and controls at least three essential cellular processes, namely mitotic chromosome segregation, inflammatory signaling, and cellular motility.
    Keywords:  Adhesion; Cathepsins; Chromosome segregation; Inflammation; Lysosomal membrane permeabilization; Lysosomal storage disorders; Lysosome; Mitosis; Motility; NLRP3 inflammasome
  5. Cancer Res. 2021 Mar 08. pii: canres.3371.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      In nutrient-poor conditions, autophagy buffers metabolic stress and counteracts the effects of chemotherapy and radiation on cancer cells, which depend on autophagy for survival. However, clinical trials targeting autophagy have failed to produce successful anti-cancer treatments using currently available inhibitors. Recent studies have shown that PIKfyve kinase inhibitors disrupt lysosome function in autophagy and can selectively kill certain cancer cells. Analysis of biochemical changes caused by PIKfyve inhibition revealed that resistant cells contain significantly higher levels of cellular p38MAPK protein and phosphorylation. Expression of the lysosomal LAMP2 protein carrying phosphomimetic mutations of the p38MAPK phosphorylation sites prevented all effects caused by PIKfyve inhibition-induced lysosome dysfunction. Thus, the activation of p38MAPK in response to PIKfyve inhibition revealed a novel compensatory role in maintaining lysosome function in autophagy. The functional cooperation between the cellular PIKfyve and p38MAPK pathways in regulating lysosome homeostasis was especially important in cancer cells. Combined inhibition of PIKfyve and p38MAPK activities synergistically blocked autophagy-mediated protein degradation, prevented cathepsin maturation, and markedly reduced the viability of multiple cancer cell types without affecting the viability of normal cells. Furthermore, combined PIKfyve and p38MAPK inhibitors synergistically reduced tumor growth in mice bearing xenografts of human colorectal adenocarcinoma, suggesting a novel way to target cancer cells by prolonged inhibition of autophagy using lower drug concentrations.
  6. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 581805
      Cathepsin D (CTSD) is a lysosomal protease important for the degradation of various substrates, including disease-associated proteins like α-synuclein (a-syn), amyloid precursor protein (APP) and tau, all of which tend to aggregate if not efficiently degraded. Hence, it is not surprising that genetic variants within the CTSD gene have been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease (PD, AD), as well as the lysosomal storage disorder neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type-10 (NCL10). Although recent studies have shown the molecular dependence of substrate degradation via CTSD within autophagic pathways, only little is known about the precise role of lysosomal CTSD function in disease development. We here performed biochemical, cellular and structural analyses of eleven disease-causing CTSD point mutations found in genomic sequencing data of patients to understand their role in neurodegeneration. These CTSD variants were analyzed for cellular localization, maturation and enzymatic activity in overexpression analyses. Moreover, for PD-associated mutants, intracellular degradation of a-syn was monitored. In summary, our results suggest that NCL10-associated CTSD variants are significantly impaired in lysosomal maturation and enzymatic activity, whereas the AD- and PD-associated variants seemed rather unaffected, indicating normal maturation, and lysosomal presence. Interestingly, a PD-associated CTSD variant (A239V) exhibited increased enzymatic activity accompanied by enhanced a-syn degradation. By structural analyses of this mutant utilizing molecular dynamics simulation (MDS), we identified a structural change within a loop adjacent to the catalytic center leading to a higher flexibility and potentially accelerated substrate exchange rates. Our data sheds light onto the role of CTSD in disease development and helps to understand the structural regulation of enzymatic function, which could be utilized for targeted CTSD activation. Because of the degradative function of CTSD, this enzyme is especially interesting for therapeutic strategies tackling protein aggregates in neurodegenerative disorders.
    Keywords:  Parkinson’s disease; alpha-synuclein; cathepsin D; lysosomal degradation; lysosomes; molecular dynamics simulation; neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses
  7. Cancer Res. 2021 Mar 08. pii: canres.3232.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      PI3Kα inhibitors have shown clinical activity in PIK3CA-mutated estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer patients. Using whole genome CRISPR/Cas9 sgRNA knockout screens, we identified and validated several negative regulators of mTORC1 whose loss confers resistance to PI3Kα inhibition. Among the top candidates were TSC1, TSC2, TBC1D7, AKT1S1, STK11, MARK2, PDE7A, DEPDC5, NPRL2, NPRL3, C12orf66, SZT2 and ITFG2. Loss of these genes invariably results in sustained mTOR signaling under pharmacological inhibition of the PI3K-AKT pathway. Moreover, resistance could be prevented or overcome by mTOR inhibition, confirming the causative role of sustained mTOR activity in limiting the sensitivity to PI3Kα inhibition. Cumulatively, genomic alterations affecting these genes are identified in about 15% of PIK3CA-mutated breast tumors and appear to be mutually exclusive. This study improves our understanding of the role of mTOR signaling restoration in leading to resistance to PI3Kα inhibition and proposes therapeutic strategies to prevent or revert this resistance.
  8. Autophagy. 2021 Mar 10. 1-15
      Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) is a prevalent etiological agent for viral myocarditis and neurological disorders, particularly in infants and young children. Virus-encoded proteinases have emerged as cytopathic factors that contribute to disease pathogenesis in part through targeting the cellular recycling machinery of autophagy. Although it is appreciated that CVB3 can usurp cellular macroautophagy/autophagy for pro-viral functions, the precise mechanisms by which viral proteinases disrupt autophagy remain incompletely understood. Here we identified TFEB (transcription factor EB), a master regulator of autophagy and lysosome biogenesis, as a novel target of CVB3 proteinase 3 C. Time-course infections uncovered a significant loss of full-length TFEB and the emergence of a lower-molecular mass (~63 kDa) fragment. Cellular and in vitro cleavage assays revealed the involvement of viral proteinase 3 C in the proteolytic processing of TFEB, while site-directed mutagenesis identified the site of cleavage after glutamine 60. Assessment of TFEB transcriptional activity using a reporter construct discovered a loss of function of the cleavage fragment despite nuclear localization and retaining of the ability of DNA and protein binding. Furthermore, we showed that CVB3 infection was also able to trigger cleavage-independent nuclear translocation of TFEB that relied on the serine-threonine phosphatase PPP3/calcineurin. Finally, we demonstrated that both TFEB and TFEB [Δ60] serve roles in viral egress albeit through differing mechanisms. Collectively, this study reveals that CVB3 targets TFEB for proteolytic processing to disrupt host lysosomal function and enhance viral infection.Abbreviations:ACTB: actin beta; CLEAR: coordinated lysosomal enhancement and regulation; CVB3: coxsackievirus B3; DAPI: 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole; GFP: green fluorescent protein; LAMP1: lysosomal associated membrane protein 1; LTR: LysoTracker Red; PPP3/calcineurin: protein phosphatase 3; PPP3CA: protein phosphatase 3 catalytic subunit A; p-TFEB: phospho-Ser211 TFEB; si-CON: scramble control siRNA; TFEB: transcription factor EB; TFEB [Δ60]: TFEB cleavage fragment that lacks the first 60 amino acids; VP1: viral capsid protein 1.
    Keywords:  3C proteinase; Coxsackievirus B3; TFEB; autophagy; enterovirus; lysosome
  9. Autophagy. 2021 Mar 08. 1-27
      Autophagosome formation requires PROPPIN/WIPI proteins and monophosphorylated phosphoinositides, such as phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PtdIns3P) or PtdIns5P. This process occurs in association with mammalian endosomes, where the PROPPIN WIPI1 has additional, undefined roles in vesicular traffic. To explore whether these functions are interconnected, we dissected routes and subreactions of endosomal trafficking requiring WIPI1. WIPI1 specifically acts in the formation and fission of tubulo-vesicular endosomal transport carriers. This activity supports the PtdIns(3,5)P2-dependent transport of endosomal cargo toward the plasma membrane, Golgi, and lysosomes, suggesting a general role of WIPI1 in endosomal protein exit. Three features differentiate the endosomal and macroautophagic/autophagic activities of WIPI1: phosphoinositide binding site II, the requirement for PtdIns(3,5)P2, and bilayer deformation through a conserved amphipathic α-helix. Their inactivation preserves autophagy but leads to a strong enlargement of endosomes, which accumulate micrometer-long endosomal membrane tubules carrying cargo proteins. WIPI1 thus supports autophagy and protein exit from endosomes by different modes of action. We propose that the type of phosphoinositides occupying its two lipid binding sites, the most unusual feature of PROPPIN/WIPI family proteins, switches between these effector functions.AbbreviationsEGF: epidermal growth factorEGFR: epidermal growth factor receptorKD: knockdownKO: knockoutPtdIns3P: phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphatePtdIns5P: phosphatidylinositol-5-phosphatePtdIns(3,5)P2: phosphatidylinositol-3,5-bisphosphateTF: transferrinTFRC: transferrin receptorWT: wildtype.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; EGF receptor; PROPPIN; WIPI proteins; autophagosome; endosomal transport carrier; endosome; lysosome; transferrin receptor; vacuole
  10. Genetics. 2021 Mar 03. 217(1): 1-12
      Glycolysis and fatty acid (FA) synthesis directs the production of energy-carrying molecules and building blocks necessary to support cell growth, although the absolute requirement of these metabolic pathways must be deeply investigated. Here, we used Drosophila genetics and focus on the TOR (Target of Rapamycin) signaling network that controls cell growth and homeostasis. In mammals, mTOR (mechanistic-TOR) is present in two distinct complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2; the former directly responds to amino acids and energy levels, whereas the latter sustains insulin-like-peptide (Ilp) response. The TORC1 and Ilp signaling branches can be independently modulated in most Drosophila tissues. We show that TORC1 and Ilp-dependent overgrowth can operate independently in fat cells and that ubiquitous over-activation of TORC1 or Ilp signaling affects basal metabolism, supporting the use of Drosophila as a powerful model to study the link between growth and metabolism. We show that cell-autonomous restriction of glycolysis or FA synthesis in fat cells retrains overgrowth dependent on Ilp signaling but not TORC1 signaling. Additionally, the mutation of FASN (Fatty acid synthase) results in a drop in TORC1 but not Ilp signaling, whereas, at the cell-autonomous level, this mutation affects none of these signals in fat cells. These findings thus reveal differential metabolic sensitivity of TORC1- and Ilp-dependent growth and suggest that cell-autonomous metabolic defects might elicit local compensatory pathways. Conversely, enzyme knockdown in the whole organism results in animal death. Importantly, our study weakens the use of single inhibitors to fight mTOR-related diseases and strengthens the use of drug combination and selective tissue-targeting.
    Keywords:  cell-autonomous effect; fatty acid synthesis; glycolysis; homeostasis
  11. Nat Commun. 2021 03 10. 12(1): 1564
      The lipid phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PI3P) is a regulator of two fundamental but distinct cellular processes, endocytosis and autophagy, so its generation needs to be under precise temporal and spatial control. PI3P is generated by two complexes that both contain the lipid kinase VPS34: complex II on endosomes (VPS34/VPS15/Beclin 1/UVRAG), and complex I on autophagosomes (VPS34/VPS15/Beclin 1/ATG14L). The endosomal GTPase Rab5 binds complex II, but the mechanism of VPS34 activation by Rab5 has remained elusive, and no GTPase is known to bind complex I. Here we show that Rab5a-GTP recruits endocytic complex II to membranes and activates it by binding between the VPS34 C2 and VPS15 WD40 domains. Electron cryotomography of complex II on Rab5a-decorated vesicles shows that the VPS34 kinase domain is released from inhibition by VPS15 and hovers over the lipid bilayer, poised for catalysis. We also show that the GTPase Rab1a, which is known to be involved in autophagy, recruits and activates the autophagy-specific complex I, but not complex II. Both Rabs bind to the same VPS34 interface but in a manner unique for each. These findings reveal how VPS34 complexes are activated on membranes by specific Rab GTPases and how they are recruited to unique cellular locations.
  12. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2021 Mar 12.
      INTRODUCTION: The past decades have witnessed a remarkable improvement in the health of patients with Gaucher disease, the inherited deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme glucocerebrosidase, resulting from the availability of enzyme replacement and substrate reduction therapies. Especially in pediatric populations, early diagnosis and initiation of treatment is essential to achieving optimal outcomes.AREAS COVERED: The authors review the literature pertaining to the effectiveness of currently available therapies and describe new pharmacotherapies under development, especially for young patients.
    EXPERT OPINION: For pediatric patients with non-neuronopathic Gaucher disease, there may be new therapeutic options on the horizon in the form of gene therapy or small molecule glucocerebrosidase chaperones. These have the potential to result in a cure for systemic disease manifestations and/or to reduce the cost and convenience of treatment. For children with neuronopathic Gaucher disease, the challenge of targeting therapy to the central nervous system is being explored through new modalities including brain targeted gene therapy, in-utero therapy, brain-penetrant small molecule chaperones, and other methods that convey enzyme across the blood-brain barrier. Indeed, these are exciting times for both pediatric patients with Gaucher disease and those with other lysosomal storage disorders.
    Keywords:  Enzyme replacement therapy; Gaucher disease; Gene therapy; Glucocerebrosidase; Neuronopathic; Small molecule chaperones; Substrate reduction therapy
  13. Sci Transl Med. 2021 Mar 10. pii: eabe1433. [Epub ahead of print]13(584):
      Macrophages play a central role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The inflammatory properties of these cells are dictated by their metabolism, of which the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway is a key regulator. Using myeloid cell-specific nanobiologics in apolipoprotein E-deficient (Apoe -/-) mice, we found that targeting the mTOR and ribosomal protein S6 kinase-1 (S6K1) signaling pathways rapidly diminished plaque macrophages' inflammatory activity. By investigating transcriptome modifications, we identified Psap, a gene encoding the lysosomal protein prosaposin, as closely related with mTOR signaling. Subsequent in vitro experiments revealed that Psap inhibition suppressed both glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation. Transplantation of Psap -/- bone marrow to low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout (Ldlr -/-) mice led to a reduction in atherosclerosis development and plaque inflammation. Last, we confirmed the relationship between PSAP expression and inflammation in human carotid atherosclerotic plaques. Our findings provide mechanistic insights into the development of atherosclerosis and identify prosaposin as a potential therapeutic target.
  14. Adv Pharmacol. 2021 ;pii: S1054-3589(20)30066-1. [Epub ahead of print]90 239-251
      Presenilin 1 (PS1) is an intramembrane protease, the active subunit of the γ-secretase complex. Its well-studied function is the amyloidogenic cleavage of the C-terminal fragment of the amyloid precursor protein, also known as C99, to produce the Abeta peptide. Recent findings from the Greengard laboratory suggest that PS1 also have anti-amyloidogenic activities, which reduce Abeta levels. First, it redirects APP-C99 toward autophagic degradation, lowering the amount that can be converted into Abeta. The protein kinase CK1γ2 phosphorylates PS1 at Ser367. Phosphorylated PS1 at this position interacts with Annexin A2, which, in turn, interacts with the lysosomal N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) Vamp8. Annexin A2 facilitates the binding of Vamp8 to the autophagosomal SNARE Syntaxin 17 to modulate the fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes. Thus, PS1 phosphorylated at Ser367 has an anti-amyloidogenic function, promoting autophagosome-lysosome fusion and increasing C99 degradation. Second, it enhances the ability of microglia to phagocyte and degrade extracellular Abeta oligomer, through regulating the expression of the lysosomal master regulator TFEB. Thus, PS1 has a role in both the production and the clearance of Abeta. Drugs designed to activate CK1γ2 and increase the level of PS1 phosphorylated at Ser367 should be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer's disease; Amyloidogenic; Autophagy; Microglia; Phosphorylation; Presenilin
  15. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2021 Mar 08. pii: S0955-0674(21)00027-2. [Epub ahead of print]71 77-86
      Endocytic traffic is a complex and elegant operation involving cargo sorting, membrane budding and tubulation, generation of force, and the formation of organellar contacts. The role of specific proteins and lipids in these processes has been studied extensively. By comparison, precious little is understood about the contribution of the endocytic fluid to these events, despite much evidence that alteration of the contents can severely affect membrane traffic along the endocytic pathway. In particular, it has long been appreciated that dissipation of ionic gradients arrests endosome-to-lysosome maturation. How cells sense inorganic ions and transmit this information have remained largely enigmatic. Herein, we review the experimental findings that reveal an intimate association between luminal ions, their transport, and endocytic traffic. We then discuss the ionic sensors and the mechanisms proposed to convert ion concentrations into protein-based trafficking events, highlighting the current paucity of convincing explanations.
    Keywords:  Calcium; Endosome; Lysosome; Membrane tension; Osmolarity; Traffic; Tubulation; V-ATPase; pH
  16. Mol Neurodegener. 2021 03 08. 16(1): 15
      BACKGROUND: Emerging evidence indicates that impaired mitophagy-mediated clearance of defective mitochondria is a critical event in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Amyloid-beta (Aβ) metabolism and the microtubule-associated protein tau have been reported to regulate key components of the mitophagy machinery. However, the mechanisms that lead to mitophagy dysfunction in AD are not fully deciphered. We have previously shown that intraneuronal cholesterol accumulation can disrupt the autophagy flux, resulting in low Aβ clearance. In this study, we examine the impact of neuronal cholesterol changes on mitochondrial removal by autophagy.METHODS: Regulation of PINK1-parkin-mediated mitophagy was investigated in conditions of acute (in vitro) and chronic (in vivo) high cholesterol loading using cholesterol-enriched SH-SY5Y cells, cultured primary neurons from transgenic mice overexpressing active SREBF2 (sterol regulatory element binding factor 2), and mice of increasing age that express the amyloid precursor protein with the familial Alzheimer Swedish mutation (Mo/HuAPP695swe) and mutant presenilin 1 (PS1-dE9) together with active SREBF2.
    RESULTS: In cholesterol-enriched SH-SY5Y cells and cultured primary neurons, high intracellular cholesterol levels stimulated mitochondrial PINK1 accumulation and mitophagosomes formation triggered by Aβ while impairing lysosomal-mediated clearance. Antioxidant recovery of cholesterol-induced mitochondrial glutathione (GSH) depletion prevented mitophagosomes formation indicating mitochondrial ROS involvement. Interestingly, when brain cholesterol accumulated chronically in aged APP-PSEN1-SREBF2 mice the mitophagy flux was affected at the early steps of the pathway, with defective recruitment of the key autophagy receptor optineurin (OPTN). Sustained cholesterol-induced alterations in APP-PSEN1-SREBF2 mice promoted an age-dependent accumulation of OPTN into HDAC6-positive aggresomes, which disappeared after in vivo treatment with GSH ethyl ester (GSHee). The analyses in post-mortem brain tissues from individuals with AD confirmed these findings, showing OPTN in aggresome-like structures that correlated with high mitochondrial cholesterol levels in late AD stages.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that accumulation of intracellular cholesterol reduces the clearance of defective mitochondria and suggest recovery of the cholesterol homeostasis and the mitochondrial scavenging of ROS as potential therapeutic targets for AD.
    Keywords:  APP-PSEN1 mice; Aggressomes; Glutathione; Mitochondria; Optineurin; Oxidative stress; PINK1; Parkin
  17. Autophagy. 2021 Mar 11. 1-18
      Preconditioning with a mild stressor such as fasting is a promising way to reduce severe side effects from subsequent chemo- or radiotherapy. However, the underlying mechanisms have been largely unexplored. Here, we demonstrate that the TP53/p53-FBXO22-TFEB (transcription factor EB) axis plays an essential role in this process through upregulating basal macroautophagy/autophagy. Mild stress-activated TP53 transcriptionally induced FBXO22, which in turn ubiquitinated KDM4B (lysine-specific demethylase 4B) complexed with MYC-NCOR1 suppressors for degradation, leading to transcriptional induction of TFEB. Upregulation of autophagy-related genes by increased TFEB dramatically enhanced autophagic activity and cell survival upon following a severe stressor. Mitogen-induced AKT1 activation counteracted this process through the phosphorylation of KDM4B, which inhibited FBXO22-mediated ubiquitination. Additionally, fbxo22-/- mice died within 10 h of birth, and their mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) showed a lowered basal autophagy, whereas FBXO22-overexpressing mice were resistant to chemotherapy. Taken together, these results suggest that TP53 upregulates basal autophagy through the FBXO22-TFEB axis, which governs the hormetic effect in chemotherapy.Abbreviations: BBC3/PUMA: BCL2 binding component 3; CDKN1A/p21: cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor 1A; ChIP-seq: chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing; DDB2: damage specific DNA binding protein 2; DRAM: DNA damage regulated autophagy modulator; ESR/ER: estrogen receptor 1; FMD: fasting mimicking diet; HCQ: hydroxychloroquine; KDM4B: lysine-specific demethylase 4B; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 alpha; MEFs: mouse embryonic fibroblasts; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; NCOR1: nuclear receptor corepressor 1; SCF: SKP1-CUL-F-box protein; SQSTM1: sequestosome 1; TFEB: transcription factor EB.
    Keywords:  AKT1; FBXO22; KDM4B; MYC; TP53; autophagy; hormesis; ubiquitination
  18. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 619195
      Cell metabolism plays a pivotal role in regulating the effector functions of immune cells. Stimulatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-2 or IL-12 and IL-15, activate glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation in natural killer (NK) cells to support their enhanced effector functions. IL-10, a pleiotropic cytokine, is known to suppress macrophage activation but stimulate NK cells. However, it remains unclear if IL-10 has an effect on the metabolism of human NK cells and if so, what metabolic mechanisms are affected, and how these metabolic changes are regulated and contribute to the effector functions of NK cells. In this study, we demonstrate that IL-10 upregulates both glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation in human NK cells, and these metabolic changes are crucial for the enhanced effector functions of NK cells. Mechanistically, we unravel that IL-10 activates the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) to regulate metabolic reprogramming in human NK cells.
    Keywords:  IFN-γ; IL-10; NK cell; cytotoxicity; mTOR; metabolism
  19. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 635518
      The compartmentalisation achieved by confining cytoplasm into membrane-enclosed organelles in eukaryotic cells is essential for maintaining vital functions including ATP production, synthetic and degradative pathways. While intracellular organelles are highly specialised in these functions, the restricting membranes also impede exchange of molecules responsible for the synchronised and responsive cellular activities. The initial identification of contact sites between the ER and plasma membrane (PM) provided a potential candidate structure for communication between organelles without mixing by fusion. Over the past decades, research has revealed a far broader picture of the events. Membrane contact sites (MCSs) have been recognized as increasingly important actors in cell differentiation, plasticity and maintenance, and, upon dysfunction, responsible for pathological conditions such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Present in multiple organelles and cell types, MCSs promote transport of lipids and Ca2+ homoeostasis, with a range of associated protein families. Interestingly, each MCS displays a unique molecular signature, adapted to organelle functions. This review will explore the literature describing the molecular components and interactions taking place at ER-PM contact sites, their functions, and implications in eukaryotic cells, particularly neurons, with emphasis on lipid transfer proteins and emerging function of SNAREs.
    Keywords:  SNAREs; lipid transfer; membrane contact sites; neurons; tethers
  20. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2021 Jan 28. pii: zbab015. [Epub ahead of print]
      The Ygr125w was previously identified as a vacuolar membrane protein by a proteomic analysis. We found that vacuolar levels of basic amino acids drastically decreased in ygr125wΔ cells. Since N- or C-terminally tagged Ygr125w was not functional, an expression plasmid of YGR125w with HA3-tag inserted in its N-terminal hydrophilic region was constructed. Introduction of this plasmid into ygr125w∆ cells restored the vacuolar levels of basic amino acids. We successfully detected the uptake activity of arginine by the vacuolar membrane vesicles depending on HA3-YGR125w expression. A conserved aspartate residue in the predicted first transmembrane helix (D223) was indispensable for the accumulation of basic amino acids. YGR125w has been recently reported as a gene involved in vacuolar storage of arginine; and it is designated as VSB1. Taken together, our findings indicate that Ygr125w/Vsb1 contributes to the uptake of arginine into vacuoles and vacuolar compartmentalization of basic amino acids.
    Keywords:  basic amino acids; compartmentalization; vacuolar transporter; yeast
  21. FEBS J. 2021 Mar 13.
      Mass spectrometry is gaining momentum as a method of choice to de novo sequence antibodies (Abs). Adequate sequence coverage of the hypervariable regions remains one of the toughest identification challenges by either bottom-up or top-down workflows. Methods that efficiently generate mid-size Ab fragments would further facilitate top-down MS and decrease data complexity. Here, we explore the proteases Cathepsin L and D for forming protein fragments from three IgG1s, one IgG2, and one bispecific, knob-and-hole IgG1. We demonstrate that high-resolution native MS provides a sensitive method for the detection of clipping sites. Both Cathepsins produced multiple, albeit specific cleavages. The Abs were cleaved immediately after the CDR3 region, yielding ~12 kDa fragments, i.e. ideal-sequencing sized. Cathepsin D, but not L, also cleaved directly below the Ab hinge, releasing the F(ab')2. When constrained by the different disulfide bonds found in the IgG2 subtype or by the tertiary structure of the hole-containing bispecific IgG1, the hinge-region digest product was not produced. The Cathepsin L and D clipping motifs were related to sequences of neutral amino acids and the tertiary structure of the Ab. A single pot (L + D) digestion protocol was optimized to achieve 100% efficiency. Nine protein fragments, corresponding to the VL, VH, CL, CH1, CH2, CH3, CL+CH1, and F(ab')2, constituted ~70% of the summed intensities of all deconvolved proteolytic products. Cleavage sites were confirmed by Edman degradation and validated with top-down sequencing. The described work offers a complementary method for middle-down analysis that may be applied to top-down Ab sequencing.
    Keywords:  Cathepsin; antibodies; high-resolution native mass spectrometry; middle-down sequencing; top-down sequencing
  22. Nat Commun. 2021 03 11. 12(1): 1589
      Glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) utilizes glutathione (GSH) to detoxify lipid peroxidation and plays an essential role in inhibiting ferroptosis. As a selenoprotein, GPX4 protein synthesis is highly inefficient and energetically costly. How cells coordinate GPX4 synthesis with nutrient availability remains unclear. In this study, we perform integrated proteomic and functional analyses to reveal that SLC7A11-mediated cystine uptake promotes not only GSH synthesis, but also GPX4 protein synthesis. Mechanistically, we find that cyst(e)ine activates mechanistic/mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and promotes GPX4 protein synthesis at least partly through the Rag-mTORC1-4EBP signaling axis. We show that pharmacologic inhibition of mTORC1 decreases GPX4 protein levels, sensitizes cancer cells to ferroptosis, and synergizes with ferroptosis inducers to suppress patient-derived xenograft tumor growth in vivo. Together, our results reveal a regulatory mechanism to coordinate GPX4 protein synthesis with cyst(e)ine availability and suggest using combinatorial therapy of mTORC1 inhibitors and ferroptosis inducers in cancer treatment.
  23. J Cell Biol. 2021 May 03. pii: e202007112. [Epub ahead of print]220(5):
      Mutations in the human ALS2 gene cause recessive juvenile-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and related motor neuron diseases. Although the ALS2 protein has been identified as a guanine-nucleotide exchange factor for the small GTPase Rab5, its physiological roles remain largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the Drosophila homologue of ALS2 (dALS2) promotes postsynaptic development by activating the Frizzled nuclear import (FNI) pathway. dALS2 loss causes structural defects in the postsynaptic subsynaptic reticulum (SSR), recapitulating the phenotypes observed in FNI pathway mutants. Consistently, these developmental phenotypes are rescued by postsynaptic expression of the signaling-competent C-terminal fragment of Drosophila Frizzled-2 (dFz2). We further demonstrate that dALS2 directs early to late endosome trafficking and that the dFz2 C terminus is cleaved in late endosomes. Finally, dALS2 loss causes age-dependent progressive defects resembling ALS, including locomotor impairment and brain neurodegeneration, independently of the FNI pathway. These findings establish novel regulatory roles for dALS2 in endosomal trafficking, synaptic development, and neuronal survival.
  24. J Cell Biol. 2021 Apr 05. pii: e202102130. [Epub ahead of print]220(4):
      Endosome-to-cell surface recycling is mediated by retromer and Snx27. In this issue, Mao et al. (2021. J. Cell Biol. detail how endosomal protein sorting responds to external stimuli and reveal that phosphorylation of Snx27 regulates its cargo-binding function resulting in reduced endosome-to-cell surface recycling.
  25. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2021 Mar 04. pii: S0955-0674(21)00018-1. [Epub ahead of print]71 15-20
      The generation of phosphoinositides (PIs) with spatial and temporal control is a key mechanism in cellular organization and signaling. The synthesis of PIs is mediated by PI kinases, proteins that are able to phosphorylate unique substrates at specific positions on the inositol headgroup to generate signaling molecules. Phosphatidylinositol 5 phosphate 4 kinase (PIP4K) is one such lipid kinase that is able to specifically phosphorylate phosphatidylinositol 5 phosphate, the most recently discovered PI to generate the well-known and abundant PI, phosphatidylinositol 4,5 bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2]. PIP4K appears to be encoded only in metazoan genomes, and several genetic studies indicate important physiological functions for these enzymes in metabolism, immune function, and growth control. PIP4K has recently been reported to localize to multiple cellular compartments, including the nucleus, plasma membrane, endosomal systems, and autophagosome. However, the biochemical activity of these enzymes that is relevant to these physiological functions remains elusive. We review recent developments in this area and highlight emerging roles for these enzymes in cellular organization.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Class I PI3K; Endocytosis; PI5P; PIP4K; Receptor tyrosine kinase signaling
  26. Biochem J. 2021 Mar 12. 478(5): 1175-1178
      Promiscuous catalysis is a common property of enzymes, particularly those using pyridoxal 5'-phosphate as a cofactor. In a recent issue of this journal, Katane et al. Biochem. J. 477, 4221-4241 demonstrate the synthesis and accumulation of d-glutamate in mammalian cells by promiscuous catalysis mediated by a pyridoxal 5'-phosphate enzyme, the serine/threonine dehydratase-like (SDHL). The mechanism of SDHL resembles that of serine racemase, which synthesizes d-serine, a well-established signaling molecule in the mammalian brain. d-Glutamate is present in body fluids and is degraded by the d-glutamate cyclase at the mitochondria. This study demonstrates a biochemical pathway for d-glutamate synthesis in mammalian cells and advances our knowledge on this little-studied d-amino acid in mammals. d-Amino acids may still surprise us by their unique roles in biochemistry, intercellular signaling, and as potential biomarkers of disease.
  27. PLoS Genet. 2021 Mar 09. 17(3): e1009414
      Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) is the most common, naturally occurring phytohormone that regulates cell division, differentiation, and senescence in plants. The capacity to synthesize IAA is also widespread among plant-associated bacterial and fungal species, which may use IAA as an effector molecule to define their relationships with plants or to coordinate their physiological behavior through cell-cell communication. Fungi, including many species that do not entertain a plant-associated life style, are also able to synthesize IAA, but the physiological role of IAA in these fungi has largely remained enigmatic. Interestingly, in this context, growth of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is sensitive to extracellular IAA. Here, we use a combination of various genetic approaches including chemical-genetic profiling, SAturated Transposon Analysis in Yeast (SATAY), and genetic epistasis analyses to identify the mode-of-action by which IAA inhibits growth in yeast. Surprisingly, these analyses pinpointed the target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1), a central regulator of eukaryotic cell growth, as the major growth-limiting target of IAA. Our biochemical analyses further demonstrate that IAA inhibits TORC1 both in vivo and in vitro. Intriguingly, we also show that yeast cells are able to synthesize IAA and specifically accumulate IAA upon entry into stationary phase. Our data therefore suggest that IAA contributes to proper entry of yeast cells into a quiescent state by acting as a metabolic inhibitor of TORC1.
  28. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2021 Mar 08. pii: S0955-0674(21)00023-5. [Epub ahead of print]71 69-76
      The dynamics and interactions of cellular organelles underlie many aspects of cellular functioning. Until recently, assessment of organelle dynamics has been primarily observational or required whole-cell perturbations to assess the implications of altered organelle motility and positioning. However, thanks to recently developed and optimized intervention strategies, we now have the ability to control organelles in their unperturbed state, altering organelle positioning, membrane trafficking pathways, as well as organelle interactions. This can be performed both globally and locally, giving fine control over the range, reversibility, and extent of organelle dynamics. Here, we describe how these tools are currently used for controlling organelles and give insight into the exciting future of this emerging field.
    Keywords:  Chemogenetics; Motor proteins; Optogenetics; Organelle contact sites.; Organelles
  29. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2021 Mar 08. pii: S0006-291X(21)00368-5. [Epub ahead of print]550 158-165
      Chromosomes have their own territories and dynamically translocate in response to internal and external cues. However, whether and how territories and the relocation of chromosomes are controlled by other intracellular organelles remains unknown. Upon nutrient starvation and target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1) inactivation, micronucleophagy, which preferentially degrades nucleolar proteins, occurs at the nucleus-vacuole junction (NVJ) in budding yeast. Ribosomal DNA (rDNA) is condensed and relocated against the NVJ, whereas nucleolar proteins move towards the NVJ for micronucleophagic degradation, causing dissociation of nucleolar proteins from rDNA. These findings imply that the NVJ is the critical platform in the directional movements of rDNA and nucleolar proteins. Here, we show that cells lacking the NVJ (NVJΔ cells) largely lost rDNA condensation and rDNA-nucleolar protein separation after TORC1 inactivation. The macronucleophagy receptor Atg39, an outer nuclear membrane protein, accumulated at the NVJ and was degraded by micronucleophagy. These suggested that macronucleophagy is also dependent on the presence of the NVJ. However, micronucleophagy, but not macronucleophagy, was abolished in NVJΔ cells. This study clearly demonstrated that vacuoles controls intranuclear events, nucleolar dynamics, from outside of the nucleus via the NVJ under the control of TORC1.
    Keywords:  Microautophagy; Nucleolus; Nucleus–vacuole junction; Ribosomal DNA; Target of rapamycin complex 1
  30. Cell Cycle. 2021 Mar 10. 1-10
      Accurate and complete DNA replication and separation are essential for genetic information inheritance and organism maintenance. Errors in DNA duplication are the main source of genetic instability. Understanding DNA duplication regulation is the key to elucidate the mechanisms and find treatment strategies for human genetic disorders, especially cancer. The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a central regulator of cell growth and proliferation by integrating and processing extracellular and intracellular signals to monitor the well-being of cell physiology. mTOR signaling dysregulation is associated with many human diseases including cancer and diabetes. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that mTOR signaling plays a key role in DNA duplication. We herein review the current knowledge of mTOR signaling in the regulation of DNA replication origin licensing, replication fork progression, and stabilization.
    Keywords:  DNA repair; cell cycle; mTOR; DNA replication origin licensing; replication fork progression; replication fork stabilization