bims-apauto Biomed News
on Apoptosis and autophagy
Issue of 2022‒01‒30
eight papers selected by
Su Hyun Lee
Seoul National University

  1. Autophagy. 2022 Jan 22. 1-3
      As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to wreak havoc, researchers around the globe are working together to understand how the responsible agent - severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) damages the respiratory system and other organs. Macroautophagy/autophagy is an innate immune response against viral infection and is known to be manipulated by positive-strand RNA viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Nevertheless, the link between autophagic subversion and cell death or inflammation in COVID-19 remains unclear. Emerging evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 could trigger pyroptosis, a form of inflammatory programmed cell death characterized by the activation of inflammasomes and CASP1 (caspase 1) and the formation of transmembrane pores by GSDMD (gasdermin D). In this connection, autophagic flux impairment is a known activator of inflammasomes. This prompted us to investigate if SARS-CoV-2 could target autophagy to induce inflammasome-dependent pyroptosis in lung epithelial cells.Abbreviations: ATP6AP1: ATPase H+ transporting accessory protein 1; CASP1: caspase 1; COVID-19: coronavirus disease 2019; GSDMD: gasdermin D; IL1B: interleukin 1 beta; IL18: interleukin 18; KRT 18: keratin 18; NLRP3: NLR family pyrin domain containing 3; NOD: nucleotide oligomerization domain; NSP6: non-structural protein 6; TFEB: transcription factor EB; SARS-CoV-2: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.
    Keywords:  Cell death; Covid; NSP; lung; pyroptosis
  2. Cell Death Differ. 2022 Jan 22.
      The nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain protein 2 (NOD2) senses bacterial peptidoglycan to induce proinflammatory and antimicrobial responses. Dysregulation of NOD2 signaling is involved in multiple inflammatory disorders. Recently, S-palmitoylation, a novel type of post-translational modification, is reported to play a crucial role in membrane association and ligand-induced signaling of NOD2, yet its influence on the stability of NOD2 is unclear. Here we show that inhibition of S-palmitoylation facilitates the SQSTM1/p62-mediated autophagic degradation of NOD2, while S-palmitoylation of NOD2 by ZDHHC5 promotes the stability of NOD2. Furthermore, we identify a gain-of-function R444C variant of NOD2 short isoform (NOD2s-R444C) in autoinflammatory disease, which induces excessive inflammation through its high S-palmitoylation level. Mechanistically, the NOD2s-R444C variant possesses a stronger binding ability to ZDHHC5, which promotes its S-palmitoylation, and restricts its autophagic degradation by reducing its interaction with SQSTM1/p62. Taken together, our study reveals the regulatory role of S-palmitoylation in controlling NOD2 stability through the crosstalk with autophagy, and provides insights into the association between dysfunctional S-palmitoylation and the occurrence of inflammatory diseases.
  3. Neuron. 2022 Jan 20. pii: S0896-6273(21)01076-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Autophagy is a cellular degradation pathway essential for neuronal health and function. Autophagosome biogenesis occurs at synapses, is locally regulated, and increases in response to neuronal activity. The mechanisms that couple autophagosome biogenesis to synaptic activity remain unknown. In this study, we determine that trafficking of ATG-9, the only transmembrane protein in the core autophagy pathway, links the synaptic vesicle cycle with autophagy. ATG-9-positive vesicles in C. elegans are generated from the trans-Golgi network via AP-3-dependent budding and delivered to presynaptic sites. At presynaptic sites, ATG-9 undergoes exo-endocytosis in an activity-dependent manner. Mutations that disrupt endocytosis, including a lesion in synaptojanin 1 associated with Parkinson's disease, result in abnormal ATG-9 accumulation at clathrin-rich synaptic foci and defects in activity-induced presynaptic autophagy. Our findings uncover regulated key steps of ATG-9 trafficking at presynaptic sites and provide evidence that ATG-9 exo-endocytosis couples autophagosome biogenesis at presynaptic sites with the activity-dependent synaptic vesicle cycle.
    Keywords:  AP-3; ATG-9; Golgi apparatus; Parkinson’s disease; autophagy; clathrin; endocytosis; neuronal activity; synaptic vesicle cycle; synaptojanin 1/unc-26
  4. Nat Commun. 2022 Jan 27. 13(1): 531
      Autophagy has been linked to a wide range of functions, including a degradative process that defends host cells against pathogens. Although the involvement of autophagy in HBV infection has become apparent, it remains unknown whether selective autophagy plays a critical role in HBV restriction. Here, we report that a member of the galectin family, GAL9, directs the autophagic degradation of HBV HBc. BRET screening revealed that GAL9 interacts with HBc in living cells. Ectopic expression of GAL9 induces the formation of HBc-containing cytoplasmic puncta through interaction with another antiviral factor viperin, which co-localized with the autophagosome marker LC3. Mechanistically, GAL9 associates with HBc via viperin at the cytoplasmic puncta and enhanced the auto-ubiquitination of RNF13, resulting in p62 recruitment to form LC3-positive autophagosomes. Notably, both GAL9 and viperin are type I IFN-stimulated genes that act synergistically for the IFN-dependent proteolysis of HBc in HBV-infected hepatocytes. Collectively, these results reveal a previously undescribed antiviral mechanism against HBV in infected cells and a form of crosstalk between the innate immune system and selective autophagy in viral infection.
  5. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2022 Jan 20. pii: S0925-4439(22)00017-5. [Epub ahead of print]1868(4): 166354
      Autophagy is a vital cellular mechanism that controls the removal of damaged or dysfunctional cellular components. Autophagy allows the degradation and recycling of damaged proteins and organelles into their basic constituents of amino acids and fatty acids for cellular energy production. Under basal conditions, autophagy is essential for the maintenance of cell homeostasis and function. However, during cell stress, excessive activation of autophagy can be destructive and lead to cell death. Autophagy plays a crucial role in the cardiovascular system and helps to maintain normal cardiac function. During ischemia- reperfusion, autophagy can be adaptive or maladaptive depending on the timing and extent of activation. In this review, we highlight the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways that underlie autophagy in response to cardiac stress and therapeutic approaches to modulate autophagy by pharmacological interventions. Finally, we also discuss the intersection between autophagy and circadian regulation in the heart. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie autophagy following cardiac injury can be translated to clinical cardiology use toward improved patient treatment and outcomes.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Cardiovascular disease; Circadian rhythm; Mitochondria; mTOR
  6. Autophagy. 2022 Jan 24. 1-16
      Macroautophagy/autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved intracellular degradation pathway that maintains cellular homeostasis. Over the past two decades, a series of scientific breakthroughs have helped explain autophagy-related molecular mechanisms and physiological functions. This tremendous progress continues to depend largely on powerful research methods, specifically, various autophagy marker Atg8-PE protein-based methods for studying membrane dynamics and monitoring autophagic activity. Recently, several biochemical approaches have been successfully developed to produce the lipidated protein Atg8-PE or its mimics in vitro, including enzyme-mediated reconstitution systems, chemically defined reconstitution systems, cell-free lipidation systems and protein chemical synthesis. These approaches have contributed important insights into the mechanisms underlying Atg8-mediated membrane dynamics and protein-protein interactions, creating a new perspective in autophagy studies. In this review, we comprehensively summarize Atg8-PE protein-based in vitro biochemical approaches and recent advances to facilitate a better understanding of autophagy mechanisms. In addition, we highlight the advantages and disadvantages of various Atg8-PE protein-based approaches to provide general guidance for their use in studying autophagy.
    Keywords:  Atg8–PE; LC3–PE; autophagy; biochemical approaches; cell-free lipidation system; chemically defined reconstitution systems; enzyme-mediated reconstitution system; protein chemical synthesis
  7. EMBO Rep. 2022 Jan 26. e51932
      Expression of the deubiquitinase USP17 is induced by multiple stimuli, including cytokines (IL-4/6), chemokines (IL-8, SDF1), and growth factors (EGF), and several studies indicate it is required for cell proliferation and migration. However, the mechanisms via which USP17 impacts upon these cellular functions are unclear. Here, we demonstrate that USP17 depletion prevents peripheral lysosome positioning, as well as trafficking of lysosomes to the cell periphery in response to EGF stimulation. Overexpression of USP17 also increases secretion of the lysosomal protease cathepsin D. In addition, USP17 depletion impairs plasma membrane repair in cells treated with the pore-forming toxin streptolysin O, further indicating that USP17 is required for lysosome trafficking to the plasma membrane. Finally, we demonstrate that USP17 can deubiquitinate p62, and we propose that USP17 can facilitate peripheral lysosome trafficking by opposing the E3 ligase RNF26 to untether lysosomes from the ER and facilitate lysosome peripheral trafficking, lysosome protease secretion, and plasma membrane repair.
    Keywords:  EGF; USP17; exocytosis; lysosome
  8. Cell Death Differ. 2022 Jan 27.
      Although the conventional activities of p53 such as cell cycle arrest, senescence, and apoptosis are well accepted as the major checkpoints in stress responses, accumulating evidence implicates the importance of other tumor suppression mechanisms. Among these unconventional activities, an iron-dependent form of non-apoptotic cell death, termed ferroptosis, attracts great interest. Unlike apoptotic cell death, activation of p53 alone is not sufficient to induce ferroptosis directly; instead, through its metabolic targets, p53 is able to modulate the ferroptosis response in the presence of ferroptosis inducers such as GPX4 inhibitors or high levels of ROS. Here, we review the role of ferroptosis in p53-mediated tumor suppression, with a focus on what cellular factors are critical for p53-dependent ferroptosis during tumor suppression and how p53 modulates both the canonical (GPX4-dependent) and the non-canonical (GPX4-independent) ferroptosis pathways. We also discuss the possibility of targeting p53-mediated ferroptotic responses for the treatment of human cancers and potentially, other diseases.