bims-apauto Biomed News
on Apoptosis and autophagy
Issue of 2021‒12‒12
five papers selected by
Su Hyun Lee
Seoul National University

  1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Dec 07. pii: e2117254118. [Epub ahead of print]118(49):
      Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) is an important transcriptional regulator that is involved in numerous cellular processes, including cell proliferation, immune response, cell survival, and malignant transformation. It relies on the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) for several of the steps in the concerted cascade of its activation. Previously, we showed that the ubiquitin (Ub) ligase KPC1 is involved in ubiquitination and limited proteasomal processing of the NF-κB1 p105 precursor to generate the p50 active subunit of the "canonical" heterodimeric transcription factor p50-p65. Overexpression of KPC1 with the generation of an excessive amount of p50 was shown to suppress tumors, an effect which is due to multiple mechanisms. Among them are suppression of expression of programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), overexpression of a broad array of tumor suppressors, and secretion of cytokines which results in recruitment of suppressive immune cells into the tumor. Here, we show that the site of KPC1 to which p105 binds is exceptionally short and is made up of the seven amino acids WILVRLW. Attachment of this short stretch to a small residual part (∼20%) of the ligase that also contains the essential Really Interesting New Gene (RING)-finger domain was sufficient to bind p105, conjugate to it Ub, and suppress tumor growth in an animal model. Fusion of the seven amino acids to a Von Hippel-Lindau protein (pVHL)-binding ligand (which serves as a "universal" ligase for many proteolysis-targeting chimeras; PROTACs) resulted in a compound that stimulated conjugation of Ub to p105 in a cell-free system and its processing to p50 in cells and restricted cell growth.
    Keywords:  KPC1; NF-κB; PROTAC; p50; ubiquitin–proteasome
  2. Autophagy. 2021 Dec 06. 1-3
      SQSTM1/p62 (sequestosome 1) is a macroautophagy/autophagy receptor protein that is degraded by selective autophagy. Intracellular accumulation of SQSTM1 activates multiple cell survival signaling pathways including NFΚB/NF-κB (nuclear factor kappa B), MTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase) and NFE2L2/Nrf2 (nuclear factor, erythroid derived 2, like 2). Both SQSTM1 and NFE2L2 have been considered as oncogenic, and increased accumulation of SQSTM1 and NFE2L2 activation have been frequently observed in various cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma. In a recent study, we found that deletion of Sqstm1 improved hepatic metabolic reprogramming and cell repopulation resulting in the attenuation of liver injury in mice with liver-specific deletion of Atg5 and Tsc1 that have defective hepatic autophagy and persistent MTOR complex 1 (MTORC1) activation. To our surprise, hepatocytic deletion of Sqstm1 promotes liver tumorigenesis in liver-specific atg5 and tsc1 double-knockout mice. Overall, these findings reveal a complex interplay among autophagy, SQSTM1 and MTORC1 and their differential roles either as oncogenic or tumor suppressor in liver tumorigenesis depending on the disease stage and context.
    Keywords:  ATG5; MTOR; Nrf2; Tsc1; autophagy; hepatocellular carcinoma
  3. Nat Commun. 2021 Dec 10. 12(1): 7194
      Autophagosomes form at the endoplasmic reticulum in mammals, and between the vacuole and the endoplasmic reticulum in yeast. However, the roles of these sites and the mechanisms regulating autophagosome formation are incompletely understood. Vac8 is required for autophagy and recruits the Atg1 kinase complex to the vacuole. Here we show that Vac8 acts as a central hub to nucleate the phagophore assembly site at the vacuolar membrane during selective autophagy. Vac8 directly recruits the cargo complex via the Atg11 scaffold. In addition, Vac8 recruits the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase complex independently of autophagy. Cargo-dependent clustering and Vac8-dependent sequestering of these early autophagy factors, along with local Atg1 activation, promote phagophore assembly site assembly at the vacuole. Importantly, ectopic Vac8 redirects autophagosome formation to the nuclear membrane, indicating that the vacuolar membrane is not specifically required. We propose that multiple avidity-driven interactions drive the initiation and progression of selective autophagy.
  4. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Dec 14. pii: e2107993118. [Epub ahead of print]118(50):
      Cellular homeostasis requires the sensing of and adaptation to intracellular oxygen (O2) and reactive oxygen species (ROS). The Arg/N-degron pathway targets proteins that bear destabilizing N-terminal residues for degradation by the proteasome or via autophagy. Under normoxic conditions, the N-terminal Cys (Nt-Cys) residues of specific substrates can be oxidized by dioxygenases such as plant cysteine oxidases and cysteamine (2-aminoethanethiol) dioxygenases and arginylated by ATE1 R-transferases to generate Arg-CysO2(H) (R-CO2). Proteins bearing the R-CO2 N-degron are targeted via Lys48 (K48)-linked ubiquitylation by UBR1/UBR2 N-recognins for proteasomal degradation. During acute hypoxia, such proteins are partially stabilized, owing to decreased Nt-Cys oxidation. Here, we show that if hypoxia is prolonged, the Nt-Cys of regulatory proteins can be chemically oxidized by ROS to generate Arg-CysO3(H) (R-CO3), a lysosomal N-degron. The resulting R-CO3 is bound by KCMF1, a N-recognin that induces K63-linked ubiquitylation, followed by K27-linked ubiquitylation by the noncanonical N-recognin UBR4. Autophagic targeting of Cys/N-degron substrates is mediated by the autophagic N-recognin p62/SQTSM-1/Sequestosome-1 through recognition of K27/K63-linked ubiquitin (Ub) chains. This Cys/N-degron-dependent reprogramming in the proteolytic flux is important for cellular homeostasis under both chronic hypoxia and oxidative stress. A small-compound ligand of p62 is cytoprotective under oxidative stress through its ability to accelerate proteolytic flux of K27/K63-ubiquitylated Cys/N-degron substrates. Our results suggest that the Nt-Cys of conditional Cys/N-degron substrates acts as an acceptor of O2 to maintain both O2 and ROS homeostasis and modulates half-lives of substrates through either the proteasome or lysosome by reprogramming of their Ub codes.
    Keywords:  Arg/N-degron pathway; Cys/N-degron pathway; N-degron pathway; oxidative stress sensor; oxygen sensor
  5. Autophagy. 2021 Dec 06. 1-19
      Acquired chemotherapy resistance is one of the main culprits in the relapse of breast cancer. But the underlying mechanism of chemotherapy resistance remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that a small adaptor protein, SH3BGRL, is not only elevated in the majority of breast cancer patients but also has relevance with the relapse and poor prognosis of breast cancer patients. Functionally, SH3BGRL upregulation enhances the chemoresistance of breast cancer cells to the first-line doxorubicin treatment through macroautophagic/autophagic protection. Mechanistically, SH3BGRL can unexpectedly bind to ribosomal subunits to enhance PIK3C3 translation efficiency and sustain ATG12 stability. Therefore, inhibition of autophagy or silence of PIK3C3 or ATG12 can effectively block the driving effect of SH3BGRL on doxorubicin resistance of breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. We also validate that SH3BGRL expression is positively correlated with that of PIK3C3 or ATG12, as well as the constitutive occurrence of autophagy in clinical breast cancer tissues. Taken together, our data reveal that SH3BGRL upregulation would be a key driver to the acquired chemotherapy resistance through autophagy enhancement in breast cancer while targeting SH3BGRL could be a potential therapeutic strategy against breast cancer.
    Keywords:  ATG12; PIK3C3; SH3BGRL; autophagy; breast cancer; doxorubicin chemoresistance; polyribosome profile; protein stability; ribosome-binding protein