bims-apauto Biomed News
on Apoptosis and autophagy
Issue of 2021‒11‒14
seven papers selected by
Su Hyun Lee
Seoul National University

  1. Cell. 2021 Nov 04. pii: S0092-8674(21)01233-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      The biogenesis of mammalian autophagosomes remains to be fully defined. Here, we used cellular and in vitro membrane fusion analyses to show that autophagosomes are formed from a hitherto unappreciated hybrid membrane compartment. The autophagic precursors emerge through fusion of FIP200 vesicles, derived from the cis-Golgi, with endosomally derived ATG16L1 membranes to generate a hybrid pre-autophagosomal structure, HyPAS. A previously unrecognized apparatus defined here controls HyPAS biogenesis and mammalian autophagosomal precursor membranes. HyPAS can be modulated by pharmacological agents whereas its formation is inhibited upon severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection or by expression of SARS-CoV-2 nsp6. These findings reveal the origin of mammalian autophagosomal membranes, which emerge via convergence of secretory and endosomal pathways, and show that this process is targeted by microbial factors such as coronaviral membrane-modulating proteins.
    Keywords:  ATG16L1; Atg8ylation; COVID-19; FIP200; Golgi; SARS-CoV-2; Syntaxin 17; autophagy; coronavirus; endosome
  2. iScience. 2021 Nov 19. 24(11): 103296
      Autophagy is a conserved biological process that maintains cell homeostasis by targeting macromolecules for lysosome-mediated degradation. The levels of autophagy are relatively lower under normal conditions than under stress conditions (e.g., starvation), as autophagy is usually stimulated after multiple stresses. However, many autophagy-related regulators are still expressed under normal conditions. Although these regulators have been studied deeply in autophagy regulation, the nonautophagic roles of these regulators under normal conditions remain incompletely understood. Here, we found that autophagy-related 5 (ATG5), which is a key regulator of autophagy, regulates c-Myc protein degradation under normal conditions through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. We also found that ATG5 binds c-Myc and recruits the E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase FBW7 to promote c-Myc degradation. Moreover, ATG5-mediated degradation of c-Myc limits cell growth under normal conditions and is essential for embryonic stem cell differentiation. Therefore, this study reveals a nonautophagic role of ATG5 in regulating of c-Myc protein degradation.
    Keywords:  Cell biology; Functional aspects of cell biology
  3. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Nov 08. pii: 12083. [Epub ahead of print]22(21):
      The autophagy-lysosome pathway is a major protein degradation pathway stimulated by multiple cellular stresses, including nutrient or growth factor deprivation, hypoxia, misfolded proteins, damaged organelles, and intracellular pathogens. Recent studies have revealed that transcription factor EB (TFEB) and transcription factor E3 (TFE3) play a pivotal role in the biogenesis and functions of autophagosome and lysosome. Here we report that three translation inhibitors (cycloheximide, lactimidomycin, and rocaglamide A) can facilitate the nuclear translocation of TFEB/TFE3 via dephosphorylation and 14-3-3 dissociation. In addition, the inhibitor-mediated TFEB/TFE3 nuclear translocation significantly increases the transcriptional expression of their downstream genes involved in the biogenesis and function of autophagosome and lysosome. Furthermore, we demonstrated that translation inhibition increased autophagosome biogenesis but impaired the degradative autolysosome formation because of lysosomal dysfunction. These results highlight the previously unrecognized function of the translation inhibitors as activators of TFEB/TFE3, suggesting a novel biological role of translation inhibition in autophagy regulation.
    Keywords:  TFEB; TFEB nuclear translocation; autophagy-lysosome pathway; calcineurin; eIF4A helicase; mTOR; ribosome; translation inhibitor
  4. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2021 Nov 06.
      Autophagy and apoptosis are two crucial self-destructive processes that maintain cellular homeostasis, which are characterized by their morphology and regulated through signal transduction mechanisms. These pathways determine the fate of cellular organelle and protein involved in human health and disease such as neurodegeneration, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Cell death pathways share common molecular mechanisms, such as mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, calcium ion concentration, reactive oxygen species, and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Some key signaling molecules such as p53 and VEGF mediated angiogenic pathway exhibit cellular and molecular responses resulting in the triggering of apoptotic and autophagic pathways. Herein, based on previous studies, we describe the intricate relation between cell death pathways through their common genes and the role of various stress-causing agents. Further, extensive research on autophagy and apoptotic machinery excavates the implementation of selective biomarkers, for instance, mTOR, Bcl-2, BH3 family members, caspases, AMPK, PI3K/Akt/GSK3β, and p38/JNK/MAPK, in the pathogenesis and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. This molecular phenomenon will lead to the discovery of possible therapeutic biomolecules as a pharmacological intervention that are involved in the modulation of apoptosis and autophagy pathways. Moreover, we describe the potential role of micro-RNAs, long non-coding RNAs, and biomolecules as therapeutic agents that regulate cell death machinery to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Mounting evidence demonstrated that under stress conditions, such as calcium efflux, endoplasmic reticulum stress, the ubiquitin-proteasome system, and oxidative stress intermediate molecules, namely p53 and VEGF, activate and cause cell death. Further, activation of p53 and VEGF cause alteration in gene expression and dysregulated signaling pathways through the involvement of signaling molecules, namely mTOR, Bcl-2, BH3, AMPK, MAPK, JNK, and PI3K/Akt, and caspases. Alteration in gene expression and signaling cascades cause neurotoxicity and misfolded protein aggregates, which are characteristics features of neurodegenerative diseases. Excessive neurotoxicity and misfolded protein aggregates lead to neuronal cell death by activating death pathways like autophagy and apoptosis. However, autophagy has a dual role in the apoptosis pathways, i.e., activation and inhibition of the apoptosis signaling. Further, micro-RNAs and LncRNAs act as pharmacological regulators of autophagy and apoptosis cascade, whereas, natural compounds and chemical compounds act as pharmacological inhibitors that rescue neuronal cell death through inhibition of apoptosis and autophagic cell death.
    Keywords:  ER stress; Flavanones; Flavones; Flavonoid; Long non-coding RNAs; Micro RNAs; NF-κB; Neuroinflammation; Neurological diseases; Neurotoxicity; Ubiquitin proteasome system; VEGFR2
  5. Elife. 2021 Nov 11. pii: e72798. [Epub ahead of print]10
      UCH37, also known as UCHL5, is a highly conserved deubiquitinating enzyme (DUB) that associates with the 26S proteasome. Recently it was reported that UCH37 activity is stimulated by branched ubiquitin chain architectures. To understand how UCH37 achieves its unique debranching specificity, we performed biochemical and NMR structural analyses and found that UCH37 is activated by contacts with the hydrophobic patches of both distal ubiquitins that emanate from a branched ubiquitin. In addition, RPN13, which recruits UCH37 to the proteasome, further enhances branched-chain specificity by restricting linear ubiquitin chains from having access to the UCH37 active site. In cultured human cells under conditions of proteolytic stress, we show that substrate clearance by the proteasome is promoted by both binding and deubiquitination of branched polyubiquitin by UCH37. Proteasomes containing UCH37(C88A), which is catalytically inactive, aberrantly retain polyubiquitinated species as well as the RAD23B substrate shuttle factor, suggesting a defect in recycling of the proteasome. These findings provide a foundation to understand how proteasome degradation of substrates modified by a unique ubiquitin chain architecture is aided by a DUB.
    Keywords:  biochemistry; cell biology; chemical biology; human
  6. Life Sci Alliance. 2022 Feb;pii: e202000730. [Epub ahead of print]5(2):
      N-terminal acetylation is a prominent protein modification, and inactivation of N-terminal acetyltransferases (NATs) cause protein homeostasis stress. Using multiplexed protein stability profiling with linear ubiquitin fusions as reporters for the activity of the ubiquitin proteasome system, we observed increased ubiquitin proteasome system activity in NatA, but not NatB or NatC mutants. We find several mechanisms contributing to this behavior. First, NatA-mediated acetylation of the N-terminal ubiquitin-independent degron regulates the abundance of Rpn4, the master regulator of the expression of proteasomal genes. Second, the abundance of several E3 ligases involved in degradation of UFD substrates is increased in cells lacking NatA. Finally, we identify the E3 ligase Tom1 as a novel chain-elongating enzyme (E4) involved in the degradation of linear ubiquitin fusions via the formation of branched K11, K29, and K48 ubiquitin chains, independently of the known E4 ligases involved in UFD, leading to enhanced ubiquitination of the UFD substrates.
  7. J Hematol Oncol. 2021 Nov 08. 14(1): 189
      The hypoxic microenvironment is presumed to be a sanctuary for myeloid leukemia cells that causes relapse following chemotherapy, but the underlying mechanism remains elusive. Using a zebrafish xenograft model, we observed that the hypoxic hematopoietic tissue preserved most of the chemoresistant leukemic cells following the doxorubicin (Dox) treatment. And hypoxia upregulated TFEB, a master regulator of lysosomal biogenesis, and increased lysosomes in leukemic cells. Specimens from relapsed myeloid leukemia patients also harbored excessive lysosomes, which trapped Dox and prevented drug nuclear influx leading to leukemia chemoresistance. Pharmaceutical inhibition of lysosomes enhanced Dox-induced cytotoxicity against leukemic cells under hypoxia circumstance. To overcome lysosome associated chemoresistance, we developed a pH-sensitive dextran-doxorubicin nanomedicine (Dex-Dox) that efficiently released Dox from lysosomes and increased drug nuclear influx. More importantly, Dex-Dox treatment significantly improved the chemotherapy outcome in the zebrafish xenografts transplanted with cultured leukemic cells or relapsed patient specimens. Overall, we developed a novel lysosome targeting nanomedicine that is promising to overcome the myeloid leukemia chemoresistance.
    Keywords:  Chemotherapy; Doxorubicin; Hypoxia; Lysosome; Myeloid leukemia