bims-apauto Biomed News
on Apoptosis and autophagy
Issue of 2023‒06‒18
five papers selected by
Su Hyun Lee
Harvard University

  1. Mol Cell. 2023 Jun 15. pii: S1097-2765(23)00413-6. [Epub ahead of print]83(12): 2059-2076.e6
      The heme-regulated kinase HRI is activated under heme/iron deficient conditions; however, the underlying molecular mechanism is incompletely understood. Here, we show that iron-deficiency-induced HRI activation requires the mitochondrial protein DELE1. Notably, mitochondrial import of DELE1 and its subsequent protein stability are regulated by iron availability. Under steady-state conditions, DELE1 is degraded by the mitochondrial matrix-resident protease LONP1 soon after mitochondrial import. Upon iron chelation, DELE1 import is arrested, thereby stabilizing DELE1 on the mitochondrial surface to activate the HRI-mediated integrated stress response (ISR). Ablation of this DELE1-HRI-ISR pathway in an erythroid cell model enhances cell death under iron-limited conditions, suggesting a cell-protective role for this pathway in iron-demanding cell lineages. Our findings highlight mitochondrial import regulation of DELE1 as the core component of a previously unrecognized mitochondrial iron responsive pathway that elicits stress signaling following perturbation of iron homeostasis.
    Keywords:  DELE1; HRI; LONP1; erythroid cells; integrated stress response; iron; mitochondria; mitochondrial import; mitochondrial proteostasis
  2. EMBO J. 2023 Jun 12. e113349
      NRF2 is a transcription factor responsible for antioxidant stress responses that is usually regulated in a redox-dependent manner. p62 bodies formed by liquid-liquid phase separation contain Ser349-phosphorylated p62, which participates in the redox-independent activation of NRF2. However, the regulatory mechanism and physiological significance of p62 phosphorylation remain unclear. Here, we identify ULK1 as a kinase responsible for the phosphorylation of p62. ULK1 colocalizes with p62 bodies, directly interacting with p62. ULK1-dependent phosphorylation of p62 allows KEAP1 to be retained within p62 bodies, thus activating NRF2. p62S351E/+ mice are phosphomimetic knock-in mice in which Ser351, corresponding to human Ser349, is replaced by Glu. These mice, but not their phosphodefective p62S351A/S351A counterparts, exhibit NRF2 hyperactivation and growth retardation. This retardation is caused by malnutrition and dehydration due to obstruction of the esophagus and forestomach secondary to hyperkeratosis, a phenotype also observed in systemic Keap1-knockout mice. Our results expand our understanding of the physiological importance of the redox-independent NRF2 activation pathway and provide new insights into the role of phase separation in this process.
    Keywords:  KEAP1; NRF2/NFE2L2; ULK1; liquid-liquid phase separation; p62/SQSTM1
  3. Autophagy. 2023 Jun 13. 1-2
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has one of the lowest 5-year survival rates of any cancer in the United States. Our previous work has shown that autophagy can promote PDAC progression. We recently established the importance of autophagy in regulating bioavailable iron to control mitochondrial metabolism in PDAC. We found that inhibition of autophagy in PDAC leads to mitochondrial dysfunction due to abrogation of succinate dehydrogenase complex iron sulfur subunit B (SDHB) expression. Additionally, we observed that cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) can provide iron to autophagy-inhibited PDAC tumor cells, thereby increasing their resistance to autophagy inhibition. To impede such metabolic compensation, we used a low iron diet together with autophagy inhibition and demonstrated a significant improvement of tumor response in syngeneic PDAC models.Abbreviations: PDAC: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; CAFs: cancer-associated fibroblasts; SDHB: succinate dehydrogenase complex iron sulfur subunit B; ISCA1: iron sulfur cluster assembly protein 1; FPN: ferroportin; LIP: labile iron pool; FAC: ferric ammonium chloride; OCR: oxygen consumption rate; OXPHOS: oxidative phosphorylation, IL6: interleukin 6; Fe-S: iron sulfur; ATP: adenosine triphosphate.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; cancer associated fibroblasts; iron metabolism; lysosome; mitochondria; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  4. PLoS Biol. 2023 Jun 15. 21(6): e3002159
      The immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection determines tuberculosis disease outcomes, yet we have an incomplete understanding of what immune factors contribute to a protective immune response. Neutrophilic inflammation has been associated with poor disease prognosis in humans and in animal models during M. tuberculosis infection and, therefore, must be tightly regulated. ATG5 is an essential autophagy protein that is required in innate immune cells to control neutrophil-dominated inflammation and promote survival during M. tuberculosis infection; however, the mechanistic basis for how ATG5 regulates neutrophil recruitment is unknown. To interrogate what innate immune cells require ATG5 to control neutrophil recruitment during M. tuberculosis infection, we used different mouse strains that conditionally delete Atg5 in specific cell types. We found that ATG5 is required in CD11c+ cells (lung macrophages and dendritic cells) to control the production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines during M. tuberculosis infection, which would otherwise promote neutrophil recruitment. This role for ATG5 is autophagy dependent, but independent of mitophagy, LC3-associated phagocytosis, and inflammasome activation, which are the most well-characterized ways that autophagy proteins regulate inflammation. In addition to the increased proinflammatory cytokine production from macrophages during M. tuberculosis infection, loss of ATG5 in innate immune cells also results in an early induction of TH17 responses. Despite prior published in vitro cell culture experiments supporting a role for autophagy in controlling M. tuberculosis replication in macrophages, the effects of autophagy on inflammatory responses occur without changes in M. tuberculosis burden in macrophages. These findings reveal new roles for autophagy proteins in lung resident macrophages and dendritic cells that are required to suppress inflammatory responses that are associated with poor control of M. tuberculosis infection.
  5. Autophagy. 2023 Jun 13.
      Parkinson disease (PD) is caused by the loss of ventral midbrain dopaminergic neurons (mDANs) in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). These cells are especially vulnerable to stress but can be protected by autophagy enhancement strategies in vitro and in vivo. In our recent study, we focused on the LIM (Lin11, Isl-1, and Mec-3)-domain homeobox transcription factors LMX1A (LIM homeobox transcription factor 1 alpha) and LMX1B (LIM homeobox transcription factor 1 beta), crucial drivers of mDAN differentiation with roles in autophagy gene expression for stress protection in the developed brain. Using human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived mDANs and transformed human cell lines, we found that these autophagy gene transcription factors are themselves regulated by autophagy-mediated turnover. LMX1B possesses a non-canonical LC3-interacting region (LIR) in its C-terminus through which it interacts with ATG8 family members. The LMX1B LIR-like domain enables binding to ATG8 proteins in the nucleus, where ATG8 proteins act as co-factors for robust transcription of LMX1B target genes. Thus, we propose a novel role for ATG8 proteins as autophagy gene transcriptional co-factors for mDAN stress protection in PD.
    Keywords:  ATG8; Autophagy; Parkinson disease; dopaminergic neurons; stem cells; transcription factors