bims-apauto Biomed News
on Apoptosis and autophagy
Issue of 2021‒10‒10
seven papers selected by
Su Hyun Lee
Seoul National University

  1. Autophagy. 2021 Oct 06. 1-12
      Macroautophagy/autophagy, a highly conserved lysosome-dependent degradation pathway, has been intensively studied in regulating cell metabolism by degradation of intracellular components. In this study, we link autophagy to RNA metabolism by uncovering a regulatory role of autophagy in ribosomal RNA (rRNA) synthesis. Autophagy-deficient cells exhibit much higher 47S precursor rRNA level, which is caused by the accumulation of SQSTM1/p62 (sequestosome 1) but not other autophagy receptors. Mechanistically, SQSTM1 accumulation potentiates the activation of MTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase) complex 1 (MTORC1) signaling and promotes the assembly of RNA polymerase I pre-initiation complex at ribosomal DNA (rDNA) promoters, which leads to an increase of 47S rRNA transcribed from rDNA. Functionally, autophagy deficiency promotes protein synthesis, cell growth and cell proliferation, both of which are dependent on SQSTM1 accumulation. Taken together, our findings suggest that autophagy deficiency is involved in RNA metabolism by activating rDNA transcription and provide novel mechanisms for the reprogramming of cell metabolism in autophagy-related diseases including multiple types of cancers.Abbreviations: 5-FUrd: 5-fluorouridine; AMPK: AMP-activated protein kinase; ATG: autophagy related; CALCOCO2/NDP52: calcium binding and coiled-coil domain 2; ChIP: chromatin immunoprecipitation; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; MAPK/ERK: mitogen-activated protein kinase; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; NBR1: NBR1 autophagy cargo receptor; NFKB/NF-κB: nuclear factor kappa B; NFE2L2/NRF2: nuclear factor, erythroid 2 like 2; OPTN: optineurin; PIC: pre-initiation complex; POLR1: RNA polymerase I; POLR1A/RPA194: RNA polymerase I subunit A; POLR2A: RNA polymerase II subunit A; rDNA: ribosomal DNA; RPS6KB1/S6K1: ribosomal protein S6 kinase B1; rRNA: ribosomal RNA; RUBCN/Rubicon: rubicon autophagy regulator; SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; STX17: syntaxin 17; SUnSET: surface sensing of translation; TAX1BP1: Tax1 binding protein 1; UBTF/UBF1: upstream binding transcription factor; WIPI2: WD repeat domain, phosphoinositide interacting 2; WT: wild-type.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; MTORC1; SQSTM1/p62; rDNA; rRNA
  2. FEBS Open Bio. 2021 Oct 06.
      HECT-type E3 ubiquitin ligase Smurf1 was originally identified to ubiquitinate Smad protein in the TGF-β/BMP signaling pathway. Recently, Smurf1 has been reported to promote tumorigenesis by regulating multiple biological processes. High expression of Smurf1 plays a vital role in brain tumor progression by mediating aberrant cell signaling pathways. Previous reports have shown that Smurf1 is degraded mainly through the ubiquitin proteasome system, but it remains unclear whether Smurf1 is degraded by autophagy in tumor cells. In this study, we show that autophagy activators promote Smurf1 degradation in glioblastoma cells. The autophagy receptor p62 co-localizes with ubiquitinated substrates to promote sequestration of cytoplasm cargo into the autophagosome. We report that autophagic degradation of Smurf1 is dependent on p62. Moreover, the autophagic degradation of Smurf1 is prevented in the absence of the HECT domain or E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. We further proved that activation of autophagy leads to a decrease of Smurf1 and the inhibition of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in glioblastoma cells. Our results suggest that enhancement of autophagic degradation of Smurf1 may be a potential approach to treating glioblastoma.
    Keywords:  E3 ubiquitin ligase activity; PI3K/Akt signaling; Smurf1; autophagy; degradation; p62
  3. Mol Cell Oncol. 2021 ;8(4): 1945895
      TRK-fused gene (TFG) is a protein implicated in multiple neurodegenerative diseases and oncogenesis. We have recently shown that, under starvation conditions, TFG contributes to spatial control of autophagy by facilitating Unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1 (ULK1)-microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 gamma (MAP1LC3C) interaction to modulate omegasome and autophagosome formation. Defective TFG-mediated autophagy could thus be postulated as a possible contributor to ontogenesis or progression of TFG-related diseases.
    Keywords:  ERGIC; TFG; ULK1; neurological disorders; omegasome
  4. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Oct 07. 12(10): 917
      We previously demonstrated that sulforaphane (SFN) inhibited autophagy leading to apoptosis in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells, but the underlying subcellular mechanisms were unknown. Hereby, high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry uncovered that SFN regulated the production of lipoproteins, and microtubule- and autophagy-associated proteins. Further, highly expressed fatty acid synthase (FASN) contributed to cancer malignancy and poor prognosis. Results showed that SFN depolymerized microtubules, downregulated FASN, and decreased its binding to α-tubulin; SFN downregulated FASN, acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACACA), and ATP citrate lyase (ACLY) via activating proteasomes and downregulating transcriptional factor SREBP1; SFN inhibited the interactions among α-tubulin and FASN, ACACA, and ACLY; SFN decreased the amount of intracellular fatty acid (FA) and mitochondrial phospholipids; and knockdown of FASN decreased mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and increased reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial abnormality, and apoptosis. Further, SFN downregulated mitophagy-associated proteins Bnip3 and NIX, and upregulated mitochondrial LC3 II/I. Transmission electron microscopy showed mitochondrial abnormality and accumulation of mitophagosomes in response to SFN. Combined with mitophagy inducer CCCP or autophagosome-lysosome fusion inhibitor Bafilomycin A1, we found that SFN inhibited mitophagosome-lysosome fusion leading to mitophagosome accumulation. SFN reduced the interaction between NIX and LC3 II/I, and reversed CCCP-caused FA increase. Furthermore, knockdown of α-tubulin downregulated NIX and BNIP3 production, and upregulated LC3 II/I. Besides, SFN reduced the interaction and colocalization between α-tubulin and NIX. Thus, SFN might cause apoptosis via inhibiting microtubule-mediated mitophagy. These results might give us a new insight into the mechanisms of SFN-caused apoptosis in the subcellular level.
  5. Eur J Pharmacol. 2021 Sep 30. pii: S0014-2999(21)00702-0. [Epub ahead of print]911 174546
      Inhibitors of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) are used in mono- or combination therapies for several malignancies. They are also used as maintenance therapy for some cancers after initial treatment. While the focus of this therapeutic approach is on the effect of PARP inhibition on the bulk tumour cells, in this review, we discuss their effect on the cancer stem cells. We identify key mediators and pathways in cancer stem cells whose response to PARP inhibition is not necessarily the same as the rest of the tumour cells. Since the cancer stem cells are known drivers of growth of tumours and their resistance to therapy, the clinical outcome might be drastically different than what is expected, if the effect of PARP inhibition on the cancer stem cells is not taken into account.
    Keywords:  Cancer stem cells; Cancer therapy; Cell death; Differentiation; PARP; PARP-Inhibitors (PARPi)
  6. Cell Death Differ. 2021 Oct 05.
      Autophagy is a highly conserved catabolic process to maintain cellular homeostasis. However, dysfunctional autophagy contributes to a context-dependent role in cancer. Here, we clarified the exact role of autophagy modulated by the scavenger receptor lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1) in esophageal cancer (EC). A comprehensive analysis in various cancers displayed that LOX-1 was upregulated the most in EC tissues and associated with poor prognosis of patients. Deletion of LOX-1 ex vivo and in vivo suppresses EC development by inducing autophagic cell death. Receptor for activated C kinase 1 (RACK1) was identified as a signal adapter of LOX-1, which incented RAS/MEK/ERK pathway and TFEB nuclear export signal and safeguarded tumorigenesis. A sulfated polysaccharide fucoidan extracted from brown seaweed was found to bind with LOX-1 and mediate its proteasomal degradation but not the lysosome pathway, leading to autophagy-related cell death in EC. These results reveal a central contribution of LOX-1 to EC development and provide genetic ablation or bioactive polysaccharide as an effective intervention for EC therapy.
  7. Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 08. 12(1): 5912
      Linear ubiquitination regulates inflammatory and cell death signalling. Deficiency of the linear ubiquitin chain-specific deubiquitinase, OTULIN, causes OTULIN-related autoinflammatory syndrome (ORAS), a systemic inflammatory pathology affecting multiple organs including the skin. Here we show that mice with epidermis-specific OTULIN deficiency (OTULINE-KO) develop inflammatory skin lesions that are driven by TNFR1 signalling in keratinocytes and require RIPK1 kinase activity. OTULINE-KO mice lacking RIPK3 or MLKL have only very mild skin inflammation, implicating necroptosis as an important etiological mediator. Moreover, combined loss of RIPK3 and FADD fully prevents skin lesion development, showing that apoptosis also contributes to skin inflammation in a redundant function with necroptosis. Finally, MyD88 deficiency suppresses skin lesion development in OTULINE-KO mice, suggesting that toll-like receptor and/or IL-1 signalling are involved in mediating skin inflammation. Thus, OTULIN maintains homeostasis and prevents inflammation in the skin by inhibiting TNFR1-mediated, RIPK1 kinase activity-dependent keratinocyte death and primarily necroptosis.