bims-auttor Biomed News
on Autophagy and mTOR
Issue of 2019‒08‒04
seven papers selected by
Viktor Korolchuk, Newcastle University

  1. Autophagy. 2019 Jul 30. 1-5
      The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the main site of cellular protein and calcium homeostasis, as well as lipid synthesis in eukaryotic cells. Reticulophagy is the selective clearance and degradation of ER components and membranes by the cellular autophagy machinery. Recently, 2 groups (the laboratories of Noboru Mizushima and Wade Harper) independently identified the previously uncharacterized protein TEX264 (testis expressed gene 264) as a major receptor for selective reticulophagy in mammalian cells. Here we highlight and integrate the major findings of their recent work. Abbreviations: AIM: Atg8-interacting motif; AP-MS: affinity purification-mass spectrometry; ATL3: atlastin GTPase 3; Baf A1: bafilomycin A1; CCPG1: cell cycle progression 1; CRISPR: clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats; GABARAP: gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor associated protein; GFP: green fluorescent protein; GyrI: gyrase inhibitor; IDR: intrinsically disordered region; IP: immunoprecipitation; KO: knockout; LIR: LC3-interacting region; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3; MEF: mouse embryonic fibroblast; MS: mass spectrometry; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; RB1CC1/FIP200: RB1-inducible coiled-coil 1; RFP: red fluorescent protein; RNAi: RNA interference; RTN3: reticulon 3; RTN3L: long isoform of RTN3; siRNA: small interfering RNA; SARS: selective autophagy receptors; ss: signal sequence; TEM: transmission electron microscopy, TEX264: testis expressed gene 264; TMT: tandem mass tagging.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; lysosome; macroautophagy; selective autophagy; stress
  2. J Mol Biol. 2019 Jul 25. pii: S0022-2836(19)30471-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Autophagy is a major cellular degradation pathway, which mediates the delivery of cytoplasmic cargo material into lysosomes. This is achieved by the specific sequestration of the cargo within double membrane vesicles, the autophagosomes, which form de novo around this material. Autophagosome formation requires the action of a conserved set of factors, which act in hierarchical manner. The ULK1/Atg1 kinase complex is one of the most upstream acting components of the autophagy machinery. Here we discuss recent insights into the mechanisms of ULK1/Atg1 recruitment and activation at the cargo during selective autophagy. In particular, we will focus on the role of cargo receptors such as p62 and NDP52 during this process and discuss the emerging concept that cargo receptors act upstream of the autophagy machinery during cargo-induced selective autophagy.
    Keywords:  Autophagosome; Cargo receptor; Protein kinase; Quality control; Signaling
  3. Dev Cell. 2019 Jul 15. pii: S1534-5807(19)30569-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      The dynamics and coordination between autophagy machinery and selective receptors during mitophagy are unknown. Also unknown is whether mitophagy depends on pre-existing membranes or is triggered on the surface of damaged mitochondria. Using a ubiquitin-dependent mitophagy inducer, the lactone ivermectin, we have combined genetic and imaging experiments to address these questions. Ubiquitination of mitochondrial fragments is required the earliest, followed by auto-phosphorylation of TBK1. Next, early essential autophagy proteins FIP200 and ATG13 act at different steps, whereas ULK1 and ULK2 are dispensable. Receptors act temporally and mechanistically upstream of ATG13 but downstream of FIP200. The VPS34 complex functions at the omegasome step. ATG13 and optineurin target mitochondria in a discontinuous oscillatory way, suggesting multiple initiation events. Targeted ubiquitinated mitochondria are cradled by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) strands even without functional autophagy machinery and mitophagy adaptors. We propose that damaged mitochondria are ubiquitinated and dynamically encased in ER strands, providing platforms for formation of the mitophagosomes.
    Keywords:  autophagosome; autophagy; endoplasmic reticulum; mitophagy; super resolution microscopy; tomography
  4. Sci Adv. 2019 Jul;5(7): eaaw2238
      Ferroptosis is a form of nonapoptotic regulated cell death driven by iron-dependent lipid peroxidation. Autophagy involves a lysosomal degradation pathway that can either promote or impede cell death. A high level of autophagy has been associated with ferroptosis, but the mechanisms underpinning this relationship are largely elusive. We characterize the contribution of autophagy to ferroptosis in human cancer cell lines and mouse tumor models. We show that "clockophagy," the selective degradation of the core circadian clock protein ARNTL by autophagy, is critical for ferroptosis. We identify SQSTM1 as a cargo receptor responsible for autophagic ARNTL degradation. ARNTL inhibits ferroptosis by repressing the transcription of Egln2, thus activating the prosurvival transcription factor HIF1A. Genetic or pharmacological interventions blocking ARNTL degradation or inhibiting EGLN2 activation diminished, whereas destabilizing HIF1A facilitated, ferroptotic tumor cell death. Thus, our findings reveal a new pathway, initiated by the autophagic removal of ARNTL, that facilitates ferroptosis induction.
  5. Cell Rep. 2019 Jul 30. pii: S2211-1247(19)30887-3. [Epub ahead of print]28(5): 1144-1153.e4
      The Argonaute subfamily of proteins (AGO) loads microRNAs (miRNAs) to form the effector complex that mediates target gene silencing. Empty AGO, but not miRNA-loaded AGO, is selectively degraded across species. We have reported that the degradation of empty AGO is part of a quality control pathway that eliminates dysfunctional AGO. However, how empty AGO is degraded remains unclear. Here we show that the empty state of Drosophila Ago1 is degraded by autophagy. Comprehensive LC-MS/MS analyses, together with manipulation of the Ago1 ubiquitination level, revealed that VCP, which mediates selective autophagy, recognizes empty Ago1 via the Ufd1-Npl4 heterodimer. Depletion of VCP-Ufd1-Npl4 machinery impairs degradation of empty Ago1 and miRNA-mediated target gene silencing. Our findings reveal a direct link between empty AGO degradation and selective autophagy that ensures efficient miRNA function.
    Keywords:  Argonaute; RNA silencing; VCP; autophagy; microRNA; ubiquitin
  6. Autophagy. 2019 Jul 30. 1-15
      Macroautophagy (autophagy) is a key catabolic pathway for the maintenance of proteostasis through constant digestion of selective cargoes. The selectivity of autophagy is mediated by autophagy receptors that recognize and recruit cargoes to autophagosomes. SQSTM1/p62 is a prototype autophagy receptor, which is commonly found in protein aggregates associated with major neurodegenerative diseases. While accumulation of SQSTM1 implicates a disturbance of selective autophagy pathway, the pathogenic mechanism that contributes to impaired autophagy degradation remains poorly characterized. Herein we show that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD)-linked mutations of TBK1 and SQSTM1 disrupt selective autophagy and cause neurotoxicity. Our data demonstrates that proteotoxic stress activates serine/threonine kinase TBK1, which coordinates with autophagy kinase ULK1 to promote concerted phosphorylation of autophagy receptor SQSTM1 at the UBA domain and activation of selective autophagy. In contrast, ALS-FTLD-linked mutations of TBK1 or SQSTM1 reduce SQSTM1 phosphorylation and compromise ubiquitinated cargo binding and clearance. Moreover, disease mutation SQSTM1G427R abolishes phosphorylation of Ser351 and impairs KEAP1-SQSTM1 interaction, thus diminishing NFE2L2/Nrf2-targeted gene expression and increasing TARDBP/TDP-43 associated stress granule formation under oxidative stress. Furthermore, expression of SQSTM1G427R in neurons impairs dendrite morphology and KEAP1-NFE2L2 signaling. Therefore, our results reveal a mechanism whereby pathogenic SQSTM1 mutants inhibit selective autophagy and disrupt NFE2L2 anti-oxidative stress response underlying the neurotoxicity in ALS-FTLD. Abbreviations: ALS: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; FTLD: frontotemporal lobar degeneration; G3BP1: GTPase-activating protein (SH3 domain) binding protein 1; GSTM1: glutathione S-transferase, mu 1; HMOX/HO-1: Heme oxygenase 1; IP: immunoprecipitation; KEAP1: kelch-like ECH associated protein 1; KI: kinase inactive; KIR: KEAP1 interaction region; KO: knockout; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3; MBP: maltose binding protein; NBR1: NBR1, autophagy cargo receptor; NFE2L2/Nrf2: nuclear factor, erythroid derived 2, like 2; NQO1: NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase 1; SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; SOD1: superoxide dismutase 1, soluble; S.S.: serum starvation; TARDBP/TDP-43: TAR DNA binding protein; TBK1: TANK binding kinase 1; UBA: ubiquitin association; ULK1: unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1; WT: wild type.
    Keywords:  ALS-FTLD; SQSTM1/p62; TBK1; phosphorylation; selective autophagy
  7. FEBS J. 2019 Jul 30.
      Metabolic reprogramming, hallmarked by enhanced glycolysis and reduced mitochondrial activity, is a key event in the early phase of somatic cell reprogramming. Although extensive work has been conducted to identify the mechanisms of mitochondrial remodeling in reprogramming, many questions remain. In this regard, different laboratories have proposed a role in this process for either canonical (ATG5-dependent) autophagy-mediated mitochondrial degradation (mitophagy), non-canonical (ULK1-dependent, ATG5-independent) mitophagy, mitochondrial fission or reduced biogenesis due to mTORC1 suppression. Clarifying these discrepancies is important for providing a comprehensive picture of metabolic changes in reprogramming. Yet, the comparison among these studies is difficult because they use different reprogramming conditions and mitophagy detection/quantification methods. Here, we have systematically explored mitochondrial remodeling in reprogramming using different culture media and reprogramming factor cocktails, together with appropriate quantification methods and thorough statistical analysis. Our experiments show lack of evidence for mitophagy in mitochondrial remodeling in reprogramming, and further confirm that the suppression of the mTORC1-PGC1 pathway drives this process. Our work helps to clarify the complex interplay between metabolic changes and nutrient sensing pathways in reprogramming, which may also shed light on other contexts such as development, aging and cancer. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  PGC1; Reprogramming; mTORC1; mitochondrial remodeling; mitophagy