bims-apauto Biomed News
on Apoptosis and autophagy
Issue of 2022‒10‒02
seven papers selected by
Su Hyun Lee
Seoul National University

  1. Front Med (Lausanne). 2022 ;9 959348
      Colorectal cancer (CRC) is considered as a global major cause of cancer death. Surgical resection is the main line of treatment; however, chemo-, radiotherapy and other adjuvant agents are crucial to achieve good outcomes. The tumor microenvironment (TME) is a well-recognized key player in CRC progression, yet the processes linking the cancer cells to its TME are not fully delineated. Autophagy is one of such processes, with a controversial role in the pathogenesis of CRC, with its intricate links to many pathological factors and processes. Autophagy may apparently play conflicting roles in carcinogenesis, but the precise mechanisms determining the overall direction of the process seem to depend on the context. Additionally, it has been established that autophagy has a remarkable effect on the endothelial cells in the TME, the key substrate for angiogenesis that supports tumor metastasis. Favorable response to immunotherapy occurs only in a specific subpopulation of CRC patients, namely the microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H). In view of such limitations of immunotherapy in CRC, modulation of autophagy represents a potential adjuvant strategy to enhance the effect of those relatively safe agents on wider CRC molecular subtypes. In this review, we discussed the molecular control of autophagy in CRC and how autophagy affects different processes and mechanisms that shape the TME. We explored how autophagy contributes to CRC initiation and progression, and how it interacts with tumor immunity, hypoxia, and oxidative stress. The crosstalk between autophagy and the TME in CRC was extensively dissected. Finally, we reported the clinical efforts and challenges in combining autophagy modulators with various cancer-targeted agents to improve CRC patients' survival and restrain cancer growth.
    Keywords:  MSI-H; autophagy; colorectal cancer; endothelial cells; hypoxia; oxidative stress; targeted therapy; tumor microenvironment
  2. Acta Pharm Sin B. 2022 Sep;12(9): 3567-3593
      As an emerging cancer therapeutic target, non-apoptotic cell death such as ferroptosis, necroptosis and pyroptosis, etc., has revealed significant potential in cancer treatment for bypassing apoptosis to enhance the undermined therapeutic efficacy triggered by apoptosis resistance. A variety of anticancer drugs, synthesized compounds and natural products have been proven recently to induce non-apoptotic cell death and exhibit excellent anti-tumor effects. Moreover, the convergence of nanotechnology with functional materials and biomedicine science has provided tremendous opportunities to construct non-apoptotic cell death-based nanomedicine for innovative cancer therapy. Nanocarriers are not only employed in targeted delivery of non-apoptotic inducers, but also used as therapeutic components to induce non-apoptotic cell death to achieve efficient tumor treatment. This review first introduces the main characteristics, the mechanism and various pharmacological modulators of different non-apoptotic cell death forms, including ferroptosis, necroptosis, pyroptosis, autophagy, paraptosis, lysosomal-dependent cell death, and oncosis. Second, we comprehensively review the latest progresses of nanomedicine that induces various forms of non-apoptotic cell death and focus on the nanomedicine targeting different pathways and components. Furthermore, the combination therapies of non-apoptotic cell death with photothermal therapy, photodynamic therapy, immunotherapy and other modalities are summarized. Finally, the challenges and future perspectives in this regard are also discussed.
    Keywords:  Anticancer; Autophagy; Combination therapies; Ferroptosis; Nanomedicine; Necroptosis; Non-apoptotic cell death; Pyroptosis
  3. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 957373
      Autophagy is an evolutionary conserved, lysosome-involved cellular process that facilitates the recycling of damaged macromolecules, cellular structures, and organelles, thereby generating precursors for macromolecular biosynthesis through the salvage pathway. It plays an important role in mediating biological responses toward various stress, including those caused by ionizing radiation at the cellular, tissue, and systemic levels thereby implying an instrumental role in shaping the tumor responses to radiotherapy. While a successful execution of autophagy appears to facilitate cell survival, abortive or interruptions in the completion of autophagy drive cell death in a context-dependent manner. Pre-clinical studies establishing its ubiquitous role in cells and tissues, and the systemic response to focal irradiation of tumors have prompted the initiation of clinical trials using pharmacologic modifiers of autophagy for enhancing the efficacy of radiotherapy. However, the outcome from the Phase I/II trials in many human malignancies has so far been equivocal. Such observations have not only precluded the advancement of these autophagy modifiers in the Phase III trial but have also raised concerns regarding their introduction as an adjuvant to radiotherapy. This warrants a thorough understanding of the biology of the cancer cells, including its spatio-temporal context, as well as its microenvironment all of which might be the crucial factors that determine the success of an autophagy modifier as an anticancer agent. This review captures the current understanding of the interplay between radiation induced autophagy and the biological responses to radiation damage as well as provides insight into the potentials and limitations of targeting autophagy for improving the radiotherapy of tumors.
    Keywords:  DNA damage repair; autophagy; cell death; radiotherapy; tumor microenvironment
  4. Autophagy. 2022 Sep 28.
      Mitochondria rely on efficient protein import across their membranes for optimal function. We have shown that numerous mitochondrial stressors all converge on a common pathway disrupting this import efficiency. We identified a novel pathway involving NLRX1 and RRBP1 that responds to this import stress, resulting in LC3 lipidation, mitochondrial targeting and ultimate degradation. Furthermore, we demonstrated the relevance of this mitophagy axis in murine skeletal muscle following acute exercise. We propose that mitochondrial protein import stress is an underlying, common trigger for mitophagy, offering a novel avenue for therapeutic exploration and mechanistic insight.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; NLR; exercise; import; mitochondria; mitophagy; proteostasis
  5. Cell Death Differ. 2022 Sep 28.
      Intrinsic apoptosis is principally governed by the BCL-2 family of proteins, but some non-BCL-2 proteins are also critical to control this process. To identify novel apoptosis regulators, we performed a genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 library screen, and it identified the mitochondrial E3 ubiquitin ligase MARCHF5/MITOL/RNF153 as an important regulator of BAK apoptotic function. Deleting MARCHF5 in diverse cell lines dependent on BAK conferred profound resistance to BH3-mimetic drugs. The loss of MARCHF5 or its E3 ubiquitin ligase activity surprisingly drove BAK to adopt an activated conformation, with resistance to BH3-mimetics afforded by the formation of inhibitory complexes with pro-survival proteins MCL-1 and BCL-XL. Importantly, these changes to BAK conformation and pro-survival association occurred independently of BH3-only proteins and influence on pro-survival proteins. This study identifies a new mechanism by which MARCHF5 regulates apoptotic cell death by restraining BAK activating conformation change and provides new insight into how cancer cells respond to BH3-mimetic drugs. These data also highlight the emerging role of ubiquitin signalling in apoptosis that may be exploited therapeutically.
  6. Genes Dis. 2022 Nov;9(6): 1521-1555
      The carboxy-terminus of Hsp70-interacting protein (CHIP) is a ubiquitin ligase and co-chaperone belonging to Ubox family that plays a crucial role in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis by switching the equilibrium of the folding-refolding mechanism towards the proteasomal or lysosomal degradation pathway. It links molecular chaperones viz. HSC70, HSP70 and HSP90 with ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), acting as a quality control system. CHIP contains charged domain in between N-terminal tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) and C-terminal Ubox domain. TPR domain interacts with the aberrant client proteins via chaperones while Ubox domain facilitates the ubiquitin transfer to the client proteins for ubiquitination. Thus, CHIP is a classic molecule that executes ubiquitination for degradation of client proteins. Further, CHIP has been found to be indulged in cellular differentiation, proliferation, metastasis and tumorigenesis. Additionally, CHIP can play its dual role as a tumor suppressor as well as an oncogene in numerous malignancies, thus acting as a double agent. Here, in this review, we have reported almost all substrates of CHIP established till date and classified them according to the hallmarks of cancer. In addition, we discussed about its architectural alignment, tissue specific expression, sub-cellular localization, folding-refolding mechanisms of client proteins, E4 ligase activity, normal physiological roles, as well as involvement in various diseases and tumor biology. Further, we aim to discuss its importance in HSP90 inhibitors mediated cancer therapy. Thus, this report concludes that CHIP may be a promising and worthy drug target towards pharmaceutical industry for drug development.
    Keywords:  CHIP; Chaperones (HSC70/HSP70 & HSP90); Oncogene; Therapy; Tumor suppressor; Ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS)
  7. Methods Mol Biol. 2023 ;2559 137-149
      Ubiquitin, a 76-amino acid protein which could covalently bind to a target protein, is catalyzed by an enzymatic cascade comprising of ATP-dependent ubiquitin-activating enzyme E1, ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2, and ubiquitin-protein ligase E3. Histidine (His) pull-down and immunoprecipitation (IP) assays are frequently adopted to detect FOXP3 ubiquitination, which is one of the most important posttranslational modifications and may induce signal transduction or 26S proteasome-dependent degradation of FOXP3 in various immune milieus.
    Keywords:  Covalent bond; Pull-down assay; Ubiquitination