bims-apauto Biomed News
on Apoptosis and autophagy
Issue of 2022‒03‒20
nine papers selected by
Su Hyun Lee
Seoul National University

  1. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2022 Mar 10. pii: S0041-008X(22)00118-1. [Epub ahead of print]441 115973
      Arsenic trioxide (ATO), a potent anti-neoplastic drug, is known to prevent cancer cell growth through induction of autophagic cell death. However, importance of cellular factors in ATO-mediated autophagic cell death is poorly understood. In this study, using biochemical and immunofluorescence techniques, we show that F-box protein FBXO41 plays a critical role in anti-proliferative activity of ATO. Our study reveals the importance of FBXO41 in induction of autophagic death of cancer cells by ATO. Further, we show that the autophagic cell death induced by FBXO41 is distinct and independent of apoptosis and necrosis, showing that FBXO41 may play vital role in inducing autophagic death of apoptosis resistant cancer cells. Overall, our study elucidates the importance of FBXO41 in ATO induced autophagic cell death to prevent cancer progression, which could be explored to develop promising cancer therapeutic strategy.
    Keywords:  ATG7; Apoptosis independent autophagy; Autophagic cell death; FBXO41; Tumor suppressor; mTOR independent autophagy
  2. Cell Rep. 2022 Mar 15. pii: S2211-1247(22)00276-5. [Epub ahead of print]38(11): 110535
      As central effectors of ubiquitin (Ub)-mediated proteolysis, proteasomes are regulated at multiple levels, including degradation of unwanted or dysfunctional particles via autophagy (termed proteaphagy). In yeast, inactive proteasomes are exported from the nucleus, sequestered into cytoplasmic aggresomes via the Hsp42 chaperone, extensively ubiquitylated, and then tethered to the expanding phagophore by the autophagy receptor Cue5. Here, we demonstrate the need for ubiquitylation driven by the trio of Ub ligases (E3s), San1, Rsp5, and Hul5, which together with their corresponding E2s work sequentially to promote nuclear export and Cue5 recognition. Whereas San1 functions prior to nuclear export, Rsp5 and Hul5 likely decorate aggresome-localized proteasomes in concert. Ultimately, topologically complex Ub chain(s) containing both K48 and K63 Ub-Ub linkages are assembled, mainly on the regulatory particle, to generate autophagy-competent substrates. Because San1, Rsp5, Hul5, Hsp42, and Cue5 also participate in general proteostasis, proteaphagy likely engages a fundamental mechanism for eliminating inactive/misfolded proteins.
    Keywords:  CP: Molecular Biology; aggresome; autophagy; core protease; proteaphagy; proteasome; regulatory particle; ubiquitin; ubiquitin ligase; yeast
  3. FEBS J. 2022 Mar 14.
      Macroautophagy (hereafter autophagy) is a process that degrades cellular components to maintain homeostasis. The Ca2+ sensor calmodulin (CaM) regulates numerous cell functions but is a limiting factor due to its insufficient availability for all target proteins. However, evidence that CaM availability regulates basal autophagy is lacking. Here, we have tested this hypothesis. CaM antagonists W-7, trifluoperazine and CGS9343b cause autophagosome accumulation and inhibit basal autophagic flux in the same manner as does chloroquine. These reagents promote the activity of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) but not that of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR). Competitive binding assays using CaM sensors with different Ca2+ dependencies showed that chloroquine directly binds CaM in a Ca2+ -dependent fashion. The CaM antagonists have disparate effects on cytoplasmic Ca2+ , triggering from none to robust signals, indicating that their consistent inhibition of autophagy is due to inhibition of CaM and not Ca2+ . Chelating intracellular Ca2+ reduces the effect of the CaM antagonists to accumulate LC3-II, indicating that they do so by inhibiting CaM-dependent activities at basal Ca2+ level. The CaM antagonists cause lysosomal alkalinisation. Consistently, buffering CaM with a high-affinity CaM-binding protein that binds CaM at resting Ca2+ level increases lysosomal pH. Enhanced CaM buffering using a chimeric protein that contains two high-affinity CaM-binding sites that can collectively bind CaM at a large range of Ca2+ further increases lysosomal pH and increases LC3-II accumulation and AMPK activity, but not that of mTOR. These data demonstrate that CaM availability is required for basal autophagy.
    Keywords:  autophagy; calmodulin; calmodulin antagonists; chloroquine; lysosomal acidification
  4. Curr Drug Targets. 2022 Mar 16.
      BACKGROUND: In the clinical setting, anticancer therapy is routinely administered to stimulate programmed cell death or "apoptosis." The goal is to eliminate tumor cells. Whether selective activation of apoptosis facilitates aggressive disease relapse in the longer term is still unaddressed. Apoptosis defects have a crucial role in cancer progression and carcinogenesis. Thus, targeting apoptosis may be important in developing new cancer therapeutic modalities.METHODS: We summarize the shift in thinking that, while apoptosis is a barrier to oncogenesis, it paradoxically drives cancer formation and progression when executed incompletely, i.e., sublethal apoptosis. Also, we review apoptotic mechanisms, the role of apoptosis in carcinogenesis, and how it contributes to cancer treatment.
    RESULT AND CONCLUSION: Most current research focuses on the extent of cell death in vitro, but no evidence exists that protein regulation of cell death in vitro is similar to what happens in vivo. Future research requires identifying targets upstream and downstream of such proteins, through identifying protein-protein interactions, in different survival/apoptosis pathways. Finding nexuses where such pathways interconnect is critical, along with possible mechanisms for regulation.
    Keywords:  Programmed cell death; anticancer; apoptosis; gene therapy; immune therapy; protein therapy
  5. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 17. 13(1): 1436
      LC3/ATG8 has long been appreciated to play a central role in autophagy, by which a variety of cytoplasmic materials are delivered to lysosomes and eventually degraded. However, information on the molecular functions of LC3 in RNA biology is very limited. Here, we show that LC3B is an RNA-binding protein that directly binds to mRNAs with a preference for a consensus AAUAAA motif corresponding to a polyadenylation sequence. Autophagic activation promotes an association between LC3B and target mRNAs and triggers rapid degradation of target mRNAs in a CCR4-NOT-dependent manner before autolysosome formation. Furthermore, our transcriptome-wide analysis reveals that PRMT1 mRNA, which encodes a negative regulator of autophagy, is one of the major substrates. Rapid degradation of PRMT1 mRNA by LC3B facilitates autophagy. Collectively, we demonstrate that LC3B acts as an RNA-binding protein and an mRNA decay factor necessary for efficient autophagy.
  6. Int J Biol Sci. 2022 ;18(4): 1695-1705
      Ferroptosis, a new form of programmed necrosis characterized by iron-dependent lethal accumulation of lipid hydroperoxides, is associated with many human diseases. Targeting amino acid (AA) availability can selectively suppress tumor growth and has been a promising therapeutic strategy for cancer therapy. Compelling studies have indicated that AA metabolism is also involved in ferroptosis, closely regulating its initiation and execution. This manuscript systematically summarizes the latest advances of AA metabolism in regulating ferroptosis and discusses the potential combination of therapeutic strategies that simultaneously target AA metabolism and ferroptosis in cancer to eliminate tumors or limit their invasiveness.
    Keywords:  amino acid metabolism; cancer; combinatorial therapy; ferroptosis
  7. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 14. 13(1): 1300
      Although autophagy is critical for pancreatic β-cell function, the role and mechanism of mitophagy in β-cells are unclear. We studied the role of lysosomal Ca2+ in TFEB activation by mitochondrial or metabolic stress and that of TFEB-mediated mitophagy in β-cell function. Mitochondrial or metabolic stress induced mitophagy through lysosomal Ca2+ release, increased cytosolic Ca2+ and TFEB activation. Lysosomal Ca2+ replenishment by ER- > lysosome Ca2+ refilling was essential for mitophagy. β-cell-specific Tfeb knockout (TfebΔβ-cell) abrogated high-fat diet (HFD)-induced mitophagy, accompanied by increased ROS and reduced mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase activity or O2 consumption. TfebΔβ-cell mice showed aggravation of HFD-induced glucose intolerance and impaired insulin release. Metabolic or mitochondrial stress induced TFEB-dependent expression of mitophagy receptors including Ndp52 and Optn, contributing to the increased mitophagy. These results suggest crucial roles of lysosomal Ca2+ release coupled with ER- > lysosome Ca2+ refilling and TFEB activation in mitophagy and maintenance of pancreatic β-cell function during metabolic stress.
  8. Annu Rev Biochem. 2022 Feb 18.
      The Wnt pathway is central to a host of developmental and disease-related processes. The remarkable conservation of this intercellular signaling cascade throughout metazoan lineages indicates that it coevolved with multicellularity to regulate the generation and spatial arrangement of distinct cell types. By regulating cell fate specification, mitotic activity, and cell polarity, Wnt signaling orchestrates development and tissue homeostasis, and its dysregulation is implicated in developmental defects, cancer, and degenerative disorders. We review advances in our understanding of this key pathway, from Wnt protein production and secretion to relay of the signal in the cytoplasm of the receiving cell. We discuss the evolutionary history of this pathway as well as endogenous and synthetic modulators of its activity. Finally, we highlight remaining gaps in our knowledge of Wnt signal transduction and avenues for future research. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biochemistry, Volume 91 is June 2022. Please see for revised estimates.
  9. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Mar 14. 13(3): 233
      Dysregulation of autophagy and circular RNAs (circRNAs) are involved in the pancreatic cancer (PC) progression. However, the regulatory network between circRNAs, autophagy, and PC progression remains unknown. Herein, we demonstrated that autophagy-associated circRNA circ-autophagy related 7 (circATG7) was elevated in PC tissues compared to adjacent tissues, and in PC cells treated with EBSS and hypoxia. circATG7 expression was positively associated with tumor diameter and lymph node invasion in patients with PC. circATG7 overexpression promoted PC cell proliferation, mobility, and autophagy in vitro, while circATG7 knockdown induced the opposite effects. ATG7 inhibition attenuated the effects of circATG7 on the biological functions of PC cells. CircATG7 is located in the cell cytoplasm and nucleus. Cytoplasmic circATG7 sponged miR-766-5p and decreased its expression, and increased the expression of ATG7, a target gene of miR-766-5p. Nuclear circATG7 acted as a scaffold to increase the interaction between the human antigen R protein and ATG7 mRNA and enhanced ATG mRNA stability. Furthermore, we demonstrated that circATG7 regulates PC cell proliferation and metastasis in vivo via ATG7-dependent autophagy. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that circATG7 accelerates PC progression via miR-766-5p/ATG7 and that HUR/ATG7 depends on autophagic flux. Thus, circATG7 may be a potential therapeutic target for PC.