bims-apauto Biomed News
on Apoptosis and autophagy
Issue of 2022‒08‒28
eleven papers selected by
Su Hyun Lee
Seoul National University

  1. Autophagy. 2022 Aug 26.
      Macroautophagy/autophagy acts to promote homeostasis and is increasingly understood to selectively target cargo for degradation. The LC3-family of proteins mediate diverse yet distinct cargo recruitment to phagophores. However, what underlies specificity for cargo engagement among LC3 proteins is poorly understood. Using an unbiased protein interaction screen of LC3B and LC3C we uncover a novel LC3C-endocytic-associated-pathway (LEAP) that recruits selective plasma membrane (PM) cargo to phagophores. We show LC3C but not LC3B localizes to peripheral endosomes and engages proteins that traffic between the PM, endosomes and autophagosomes. We establish that endocytic LC3C binds cargo internalized from the PM, including MET receptor tyrosine kinase and TFRC (transferrin receptor), and targets them towards autophagic degradation. These findings identify LEAP as an unexpected LC3C-dependent pathway, providing new understanding of selective coupling of PM signaling and autophagic degradation with important implications in cancer and other disease states.
    Keywords:  Atg8-orthologs; LC3C; MET-RTK; autophagy; endocytic trafficking; selective cargo recruitment; signalophagy
  2. Front Mol Biosci. 2022 ;9 930223
      Autophagy is an evolutionary conserved catabolic pathway that uses a unique double-membrane vesicle, called autophagosome, to sequester cytosolic components, deliver them to lysosomes and recycle amino-acids. Essentially, autophagy acts as a cellular cleaning system that maintains metabolic balance under basal conditions and helps to ensure nutrient viability under stress conditions. It is also an important quality control mechanism that removes misfolded or aggregated proteins and mediates the turnover of damaged and obsolete organelles. In this regard, the idea that autophagy is a non-selective bulk process is outdated. It is now widely accepted that forms of selective autophagy are responsible for metabolic rewiring in response to cellular demand. Given its importance, autophagy plays an essential role during tumorigenesis as it sustains malignant cellular growth by acting as a coping-mechanisms for intracellular and environmental stress that occurs during malignant transformation. Cancer development is accompanied by the formation of a peculiar tumor microenvironment that is mainly characterized by hypoxia (oxygen < 2%) and low nutrient availability. Such conditions challenge cancer cells that must adapt their metabolism to survive. Here we review the regulation of autophagy and selective autophagy by hypoxia and the crosstalk with other stress response mechanisms, such as UPR. Finally, we discuss the emerging role of ER-phagy in sustaining cellular remodeling and quality control during stress conditions that drive tumorigenesis.
    Keywords:  ER stress; ER-phagy; UPR; autophagy; cancer; endoplasmic reticulum; hypoxia
  3. Autophagy. 2022 Aug 25.
      As a new emerging severe coronavirus, the knowledge on the SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 remains very limited, whereas many concepts can be learned from the homologous coronaviruses. Macroautophagy/autophagy is finely regulated by SARS-CoV-2 infection and plays important roles in SARS-CoV-2 infection and pathogenesis. This review will explore the subversion and mechanism of the autophagy-related machinery, vacuoles and organelle-specific autophagy during infection of SARS-CoV-2 and coronaviruses, to provide meaningful insights into the autophagy-related therapeutic strategies for infectious diseases of SARS-CoV-2 and coronaviruses.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; SARS-CoV-2; coronaviruses; infection; organelle-specific autophagy; replication
  4. Nucleus. 2022 Dec;13(1): 203-207
      Autophagy has emerged as a key regulator of cell metabolism. Recently, we have demonstrated that autophagy is involved in RNA metabolism by regulating ribosomal RNA (rRNA) synthesis. We found that autophagy-deficient cells display 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, which facilitates the assembly of RNA polymerase I pre-initiation complex at ribosomal DNA (rDNA) promoter regions and leads to the activation of rDNA transcription. Finally, we showed that SQSTM1 accumulation is responsible for the increase in protein synthesis, cell growth and cell proliferation in autophagy-deficient cells. Taken together, our findings reveal a regulatory role of autophagy and autophagy receptor SQSTM1 in rRNA synthesis and may provide novel mechanisms for the hyperactivated rDNA transcription in autophagy-related human diseases.Abbreviations: 5-FUrd: 5-fluorouridine; LAP: MAP1LC3/LC3-associated phagocytosis; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; PIC: pre-initiation complex; POLR1: RNA polymerase I; POLR1A: RNA polymerase I subunit A; rDNA: ribosomal DNA; RRN3: RRN3 homolog, RNA polymerase I transcription factor; rRNA: ribosomal RNA; SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; TP53INP2: tumor protein p53 inducible nuclear protein 2; UBTF: upstream binding transcription factor.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; MTORC1; SQSTM1/p62; rDNA; rRNA
  5. Autophagy. 2022 Aug 21. 1-17
      The endosomal system maintains cellular homeostasis by coordinating multiple vesicular trafficking events, and the retromer complex plays a critical role in endosomal cargo recognition and sorting. Here, we demonstrate an essential role for the small GTPase RAB21 in regulating retromer-mediated recycling of the glucose transporter SLC2A1/GLUT1 and macroautophagy/autophagy. RAB21 depletion mis-sorts SLC2A1 to lysosomes and affects glucose uptake, thereby activating the AMPK-ULK1 pathway to increase autophagic flux. RAB21 depletion also increases lysosome function. Notably, RAB21 depletion does not overtly affect retrograde transport of IGF2R/CI-M6PR or WLS from endosomes to the trans-Golgi network. We speculate that RAB21 regulates fission of retromer-decorated endosomal tubules, as RAB21 depletion causes accumulation of the SNX27-containing retromer complex on enlarged endosomes at the perinuclear region. Functionally, RAB21 depletion sensitizes cancer cells to energy stress and inhibits tumor growth in vivo, suggesting an oncogenic role for RAB21. Overall, our study illuminates the role of RAB21 in regulating endosomal dynamics and maintaining cellular energy homeostasis and suggests RAB21 as a potential metabolic target for cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  Autophagic flux; glucose uptake; membrane trafficking; retromer complex; small GTPases
  6. Autophagy. 2022 Aug 21. 1-9
      Macroautophagy/autophagy is necessary for lifespan extension in multiple model organisms and autophagy dysfunction impacts age-related phenotypes and diseases. Introduction of an F121A mutation into the essential autophagy protein BECN1 constitutively increases basal autophagy in young mice and reduces cardiac and renal age-related changes in longer lived Becn1F121A mutant mice. However, both autophagic and lysosomal activities decline with age. Thus, whether autophagic flux is maintained during aging and whether it is enhanced in Becn1F121A mice is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that old wild-type mice maintained functional autophagic flux in heart, kidney and skeletal muscle but not liver, and old Becn1F121A mice had increased autophagic flux in those same organs compared to wild type. In parallel, Becn1F121A mice were not protected against age-associated hepatic phenotypes but demonstrated reduced skeletal muscle fiber atrophy. These findings identify an organ-specific role for the ability of autophagy to impact organ aging phenotypes.
    Keywords:  Aging; BECN1; autophagic flux; liver; mouse; skeletal muscle
  7. Autophagy. 2022 Aug 26.
      Macroautophagy/autophagy is a multistep degradative process that is essential for maintaining cellular homeostasis and is often dysregulated during disease. Systematically quantifying flux through this pathway is critical for gaining fundamental insights and effectively modulating this process. Established methods to quantify flux use steady state measurements, which provide limited information about the perturbation and the cellular response. We present a theoretical and experimental framework to measure autophagic steps in the form of rates under non-steady state conditions. We use this approach to measure temporal responses to rapamycin and wortmannin treatments, two commonly used autophagy modulators. We quantified changes in autophagy rates in as little as 10 min, which can establish direct mechanisms for autophagy perturbation before feedback begins. We identified concentration-dependent effects of rapamycin on the initial and temporal progression of autophagy rates. We also found variable recovery time from wortmannin's inhibition of autophagy, which is further accelerated by rapamycin. Furthermore, we applied this approach to study the effect of serum and glutamine starvation on autophagy. Serum starvation led to a rapid and transient increase in all the rates. Glutamine starvation led to a decrease in the rates on a longer timescale. In summary, this new approach enables the quantification of autophagy flux with high sensitivity and temporal resolution and facilitates a comprehensive understanding of this process.
    Keywords:  Autophagy flux; [10 maximum]; cargo; dynamic; glutamine starvation; live cell fluorescence microscopy; puncta; rapamycin; serum starvation; temporal dynamics; wortmannin
  8. Cells. 2022 Aug 17. pii: 2562. [Epub ahead of print]11(16):
      Autophagy is a central mechanism for maintaining cellular homeostasis in health and disease as it provides the critical energy through the breakdown and recycling of cellular components and molecules within lysosomes. One of the three types of autophagy is chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), a degradation pathway selective for soluble cytosolic proteins that contain a targeting motif related to KFERQ in their amino acid sequence. This motif marks them as CMA substrate and is, in the initial step of CMA, recognised by the heat shock protein 70 (Hsc70). The protein complex is then targeted to the lysosomal membrane where the interaction with the splice variant A of the lysosomal-associated membrane protein-2 (LAMP-2A) results in its unfolding and translocation into the lysosome for degradation. Altered levels of CMA have been reported in a wide range of pathologies including many cancer types that upregulate CMA as part of the pro-tumorigenic phenotype, while in aging a decline is observed and associated with a decrease of LAMP-2 expression. The potential of altering CMA to modify a physiological or pathological process has been firmly established through genetic manipulation in animals and chemical interference with this pathway. However, its use for therapeutic purposes has remained limited. Compounds used to target and modify CMA have been applied successfully to gain a better understanding of its cellular mechanisms, but they are mostly not specific, also influence other autophagic pathways and are associated with high levels of toxicity. Here, we will focus on the molecular mechanisms involved in CMA regulation as well as on potential ways to intersect them, describe modulators successfully used, their mechanism of action and therapeutic potential. Furthermore, we will discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of CMA modulation in diseases such as cancer.
    Keywords:  KFERQ; LAMP-2A; autophagy; cancer; chaperone; chaperone-mediated autophagy; lysosome; protein degradation
  9. Cell Death Differ. 2022 Aug 22.
      Radioresistance is a principal culprit for the failure of radiotherapy in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Insights on the regulation genes of radioresistance and underlying mechanisms in HCC are awaiting for profound investigation. In this study, the suppressor of cytokine signaling 2 (SOCS2) were screened out by RNA-seq and bioinformatics analyses as a potential prognosis predictor of HCC radiotherapy and then were determined to promote radiosensitivity in HCC both in vivo or in vitro. Meanwhile, the measurements of ferroptosis negative regulatory proteins of solute carrier family 7 member 11 (SLC7A11) and glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4), intracellular lipid peroxidation and Fe2+ concentration suggested that a high level of ferroptosis contributed to the radiosensitization of HCC. Moreover, SOCS2 and SLC7A11 were expressed oppositely in HCC clinical tissues and tumour xenografts with different radiosensitivities. Mechanistically, the N-terminal domain of SLC7A11 was specifically recognized by the SH2-structural domain of SOCS2. While the L162 and C166 of SOCS2-BOX region could bind elongin B/C compound to co-form a SOCS2/elongin B/C complex to recruit ubiquitin molecules. Herein, SOCS2 served as a bridge to transfer the attached ubiquitin to SLC7A11 and promoted K48-linked polyubiquitination degradation of SLC7A11, which ultimately led to the onset of ferroptosis and radiosensitization of HCC. In conclusion, it was demonstrated for the first time that high-expressed SOCS2 was one of the biomarkers predicting radiosensitivity of HCC by advancing the ubiquitination degradation of SLC7A11 and promoting ferroptosis, which indicates that targeting SOCS2 may enhance the efficiency of HCC radiotherapy and improve the prognosis of patients.
  10. Nat Commun. 2022 Aug 22. 13(1): 4918
      Considerable evidence supports the release of pathogenic aggregates of the neuronal protein α-Synuclein (αSyn) into the extracellular space. While this release is proposed to instigate the neuron-to-neuron transmission and spread of αSyn pathology in synucleinopathies including Parkinson's disease, the molecular-cellular mechanism(s) remain unclear. To study this, we generated a new mouse model to specifically immunoisolate neuronal lysosomes, and established a long-term culture model where αSyn aggregates are produced within neurons without the addition of exogenous fibrils. We show that neuronally generated pathogenic species of αSyn accumulate within neuronal lysosomes in mouse brains and primary neurons. We then find that neurons release these pathogenic αSyn species via SNARE-dependent lysosomal exocytosis. The released aggregates are non-membrane enveloped and seeding-competent. Additionally, we find that this release is dependent on neuronal activity and cytosolic Ca2+. These results propose lysosomal exocytosis as a central mechanism for the release of aggregated and degradation-resistant proteins from neurons.
  11. Apoptosis. 2022 Aug 22.
      Activating molecule in Beclin-1-regulated autophagy protein 1 (Ambra1) is well known to mediate the autophagy process and promote the formation of autophagosomes. In addition, Ambra1 is involved in the execution of apoptosis. A growing number of studies have revealed that this protein modifies the sensitivity of cancer cells to anticancer drugs by controlling the balance between autophagy and apoptosis. In addition, Ambra1 is a key factor in regulating the cell cycle, proliferation, invasion and migration. Therefore, it plays a key role in tumorigenesis and progression. Moreover, Ambra1 is highly expressed in a variety of cancers and is closely related to the prognosis of patients. Thus, it appears that Ambra1 has multiple roles in tumorigenesis and progression, which may have implications for clinical oncology. The present review focuses on recent advances in the study of Ambra1, especially the role of the protein in tumorigenesis, progression and effects on anticancer drug sensitivity.
    Keywords:  Ambra1; Apoptosis; Autophagy; Cancer; Metastasis; Tumorigenesis