bims-apauto Biomed News
on Apoptosis and autophagy
Issue of 2021‒07‒18
seven papers selected by
Su Hyun Lee
Seoul National University

  1. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Jul 10. 12(7): 693
      Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) is aberrantly activated in about 93% of pancreatic cancers. Activated NRF2 regulates multiple downstream molecules involved in cancer cell metabolic reprogramming, translational control, and treatment resistance; however, targeting NRF2 for pancreatic cancer therapy remains largely unexplored. In this study, we used the online computational tool CellMinerTM to explore the NCI-60 drug databases for compounds with anticancer activities correlating most closely with the mRNA expression of NQO1, a marker for NRF2 pathway activity. Among the >100,000 compounds analyzed, NSC84167, termed herein as NRF2 synthetic lethality compound-01 (NSLC01), was one of the top hits (r = 0.71, P < 0.001) and selected for functional characterization. NSLC01 selectively inhibited the viabilities of four out of seven conventional pancreatic cancer cell lines and induced dramatic apoptosis in the cells with high NRF2 activation. The selective anticancer activity of NSLC01 was further validated with a panel of nine low-passage pancreatic patient-derived cell lines, and a significant reverse correlation between log(IC50) of NSLC01 and NQO1 expression was confirmed (r = -0.5563, P = 0.024). Notably, screening of a panel of nine patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) revealed six PDXs with high NQO1/NRF2 activation, and NSLC01 dramatically inhibited the viabilities and induced apoptosis in ex vivo cultures of PDX tumors. Consistent with the ex vivo results, NSLC01 inhibited the tumor growth of two NRF2-activated PDX models in vivo (P < 0.01, n = 7-8) but had no effects on the NRF2-low counterpart. To characterize the mechanism of action, we employed a metabolomic isotope tracer assay that demonstrated that NSLC01-mediated inhibition of de novo synthesis of multiple amino acids, including asparagine and methionine. Importantly, we further found that NSLC01 suppresses the eEF2K/eEF2 translation elongation cascade and protein translation of asparagine synthetase. In summary, this study identified a novel compound that selectively targets protein translation and induces synthetic lethal effects in NRF2-activated pancreatic cancers.
  2. Nat Commun. 2021 07 09. 12(1): 4227
      Glycine decarboxylase (GLDC) is a key enzyme of glycine cleavage system that converts glycine into one-carbon units. GLDC is commonly up-regulated and plays important roles in many human cancers. Whether and how GLDC is regulated by post-translational modifications is unknown. Here we report that mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signal inhibits GLDC acetylation at lysine (K) 514 by inducing transcription of the deacetylase sirtuin 3 (SIRT3). Upon inhibition of mTORC1, the acetyltransferase acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase 1 (ACAT1) catalyzes GLDC K514 acetylation. This acetylation of GLDC impairs its enzymatic activity. In addition, this acetylation of GLDC primes for its K33-linked polyubiquitination at K544 by the ubiquitin ligase NF-X1, leading to its degradation by the proteasomal pathway. Finally, we find that GLDC K514 acetylation inhibits glycine catabolism, pyrimidines synthesis and glioma tumorigenesis. Our finding reveals critical roles of post-translational modifications of GLDC in regulation of its enzymatic activity, glycine metabolism and tumorigenesis, and provides potential targets for therapeutics of cancers such as glioma.
  3. Cell Death Differ. 2021 Jul 13.
      As a core kinase of antiviral immunity, the activity and stability of TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) is tightly controlled by multiple post-translational modifications. Although it has been demonstrated that TBK1 stability can be regulated by ubiquitin-dependent proteasome pathway, it is unclear whether another important protein degradation pathway, autophagosome pathway, can specifically affect TBK1 degradation by cargo receptors. Here we report that E3 ubiquitin ligase NEDD4 functions as a negative regulator of type I interferon (IFN) signaling by targeting TBK1 for degradation at the late stage of viral infection, to prevent the host from excessive immune response. Mechanically NEDD4 catalyzes the K27-linked poly-ubiquitination of TBK1 at K344, which serves as a recognition signal for cargo receptor NDP52-mediated selective autophagic degradation. Taken together, our study reveals the regulatory role of NEDD4 in balancing TBK1-centered type I IFN activation and provides insights into the crosstalk between selective autophagy and antiviral signaling.
  4. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Jul 13. 12(7): 697
      The tripartite motif-containing protein 21 (TRIM21) plays important roles in autophagy and innate immunity. Here, we found that HECT and RLD domain containing E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 5 (HERC5), as an interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) E3 ligase, catalyzes the ISGylation of TRIM21 at the Lys260 and Lys279 residues. Moreover, IFN-β also induces TRIM21 ISGylation at multiple lysine residues, thereby enhancing its E3 ligase activity for K63-linkage-specific ubiquitination and resulting in increased levels of TRIM21 and p62 K63-linked ubiquitination. The K63-linked ubiquitination of p62 at Lys7 prevents its self-oligomerization and targeting to the autophagosome. Taken together, our study suggests that the ISGylation of TRIM21 plays a vital role in regulating self-oligomerization and localization of p62 in the autophagy induced by IFN-β.
  5. Autophagy. 2021 Jul 12. 1-3
      Atg8-family protein lipidation is the most commonly used marker for monitoring autophagy. During macroautophagy, Atg8-family proteins are specifically conjugated to phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) in forming, double-membrane autophagosomes. A distinct, non-canonical autophagy pathway also operates, characterized by the Conjugation of ATG8s to endolysosomal Single Membranes (CASM). In our new study, we show that CASM is associated with the alternative conjugation of Atg8-family proteins to phosphatidylserine (PS), and PE, in response to various cellular stimuli. We also discover differences in the regulation of conjugation to PE and PS by ATG4s, and altered dynamics between the two species. The identification of alternative Atg8-family protein PS lipidation opens up exciting new questions on the roles, regulation and biology of Atg8-family proteins during non-canonical autophagy.
    Keywords:  ATG4; ATG8; LC3-associated phagocytosis; endolysosome; lipidation; non-canonical autophagy; phosphatidylserine
  6. Autophagy. 2021 Jul 12. 1-3
      ATG16L1 is a critical mediator of macroautophagy/autophagy required for LC3 lipidation and autophagosome formation. However, ATG16L1 has a C-terminal domain including 7 WD40-type repetitions (WD40 domain, WDD) that is unnecessary for the conventional autophagic pathway. Instead, this domain mediates unconventional activities where LC3 is lipidated in atypical subcellular localizations unrelated to canonical double-membrane autophagosomes. The WDD provides a docking surface for molecules including a specific amino acid motif, thus engaging the LC3 lipidation capabilities of ATG16L1 in single-membrane structures. The physiological implications of such atypical activities are poorly characterized. In a recent report we described the improvement of the WDD-binding motif and the identification of transmembrane molecules that harbor this element in their intracellular region. One of them, IL10RB (interleukin 10 receptor subunit beta), binds the WDD after IL10 activation to facilitate endocytosis, early trafficking and signaling of IL10-IL10R complexes without influencing their degradation rate. These results reveal a novel unconventional role of ATG16L1 in cytokine signaling that does not entail a degradative purpose, thus contributing to catalog the physiological roles played by unconventional activities of the autophagic machinery.
    Keywords:  ATG16L1; IL10R endocytosis and signaling; WD40 domain; cytokine receptor trafficking; cytokine signaling; endocytosis; unconventional autophagy
  7. Nat Cell Biol. 2021 Jul 12.
      The integral membrane protein ATG9A plays a key role in autophagy. It displays a broad intracellular distribution and is present in numerous compartments, including the plasma membrane (PM). The reasons for the distribution of ATG9A to the PM and its role at the PM are not understood. Here, we show that ATG9A organizes, in concert with IQGAP1, components of the ESCRT system and uncover cooperation between ATG9A, IQGAP1 and ESCRTs in protection from PM damage. ESCRTs and ATG9A phenocopied each other in protection against PM injury. ATG9A knockouts sensitized the PM to permeabilization by a broad spectrum of microbial and endogenous agents, including gasdermin, MLKL and the MLKL-like action of coronavirus ORF3a. Thus, ATG9A engages IQGAP1 and the ESCRT system to maintain PM integrity.