bims-auttor Biomed News
on Autophagy and mTOR
Issue of 2023‒01‒08
thirty-one papers selected by
Viktor Korolchuk, Newcastle University

  1. Cell Commun Signal. 2023 Jan 05. 21(1): 4
      Autophagy is a multi-step catabolic process that delivers cellular components to lysosomes for degradation and recycling. The dysregulation of this precisely controlled process disrupts cellular homeostasis and leads to many pathophysiological conditions. The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a central nutrient sensor that integrates growth signals with anabolism to fulfil biosynthetic and bioenergetic requirements. mTOR nucleates two distinct evolutionarily conserved complexes (mTORC1 and mTORC2). However, only mTORC1 is acutely inhibited by rapamycin. Consequently, mTORC1 is a well characterized regulator of autophagy. While less is known about mTORC2, the availability of acute small molecule inhibitors and multiple genetic models has led to increased understanding about the role of mTORC2 in autophagy. Emerging evidence suggests that the regulation of mTORC2 in autophagy is mainly through its downstream effector proteins, and is variable under different conditions and cellular contexts. Here, we review recent advances that describe a role for mTORC2 in this catabolic process, and propose that mTORC2 could be a potential clinical target for the treatment of autophagy-related diseases. Video abstract.
    Keywords:  AKT; Autophagy; PKC; SGK-1; mTORC2
  2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Jan 10. 120(2): e2210690120
      The filovirus VP40 protein directs virion egress, which is regulated either positively or negatively by select VP40-host interactions. We demonstrate that host BAG3 and HSP70 recognize VP40 as a client and inhibit the egress of VP40 virus-like particles (VLPs) by promoting degradation of VP40 via Chaperone-assisted selective autophagy (CASA). Pharmacological inhibition of either the early stage formation of the VP40/BAG3/HSP70 tripartite complex, or late stage formation of autolysosomes, rescued VP40 VLP egress back to WT levels. The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is a master regulator of autophagy, and we found that surface expression of EBOV GP on either VLPs or an infectious VSV recombinant virus, activated mTORC1. Notably, pharmacological suppression of mTORC1 signaling by rapamycin activated CASA in a BAG3-dependent manner to restrict the egress of both VLPs and infectious EBOV in Huh7 cells. In sum, our findings highlight the involvement of the mTORC1/CASA axis in regulating filovirus egress.
    Keywords:  autophagy; bag3; ebola; filovirus; mTORC1
  3. Autophagy. 2023 Jan 03. 1-23
      Each protein must be synthesized with the correct amino acid sequence, folded into its native structure, and transported to a relevant subcellular location and protein complex. If any of these steps fail, the cell has the capacity to break down aberrant proteins to maintain protein homeostasis (also called proteostasis). All cells possess a set of well-characterized protein quality control systems to minimize protein misfolding and the damage it might cause. Autophagy, a conserved pathway for the degradation of long-lived proteins, aggregates, and damaged organelles, was initially characterized as a bulk degradation pathway. However, it is now clear that autophagy also contributes to intracellular homeostasis by selectively degrading cargo material. One of the pathways involved in the selective removal of damaged and misfolded proteins is chaperone-assisted selective autophagy (CASA). The CASA complex is composed of three main proteins (HSPA, HSPB8 and BAG3), essential to maintain protein homeostasis in muscle and neuronal cells. A failure in the CASA complex, caused by mutations in the respective coding genes, can lead to (cardio)myopathies and neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we summarize our current understanding of the CASA complex and its dynamics. We also briefly discuss how CASA complex proteins are involved in disease and may represent an interesting therapeutic target.Abbreviation ALP: autophagy lysosomal pathway; ALS: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; AMOTL1: angiomotin like 1; ARP2/3: actin related protein 2/3; BAG: BAG cochaperone; BAG3: BAG cochaperone 3; CASA: chaperone-assisted selective autophagy; CMA: chaperone-mediated autophagy; DNAJ/HSP40: DnaJ heat shock protein family (Hsp40); DRiPs: defective ribosomal products; EIF2A/eIF2α: eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2A; EIF2AK1/HRI: eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha kinase 1; GABARAP: GABA type A receptor-associated protein; HDAC6: histone deacetylase 6; HSP: heat shock protein; HSPA/HSP70: heat shock protein family A (Hsp70); HSP90: heat shock protein 90; HSPB8: heat shock protein family B (small) member 8; IPV: isoleucine-proline-valine; ISR: integrated stress response; KEAP1: kelch like ECH associated protein 1; LAMP2A: lysosomal associated membrane protein 2A; LATS1: large tumor suppressor kinase 1; LIR: LC3-interacting region; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; MTOC: microtubule organizing center; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; NFKB/NF-κB: nuclear factor kappa B; NFE2L2: NFE2 like bZIP transcription factor 2; PLCG/PLCγ: phospholipase C gamma; polyQ: polyglutamine; PQC: protein quality control; PxxP: proline-rich; RAN translation: repeat-associated non-AUG translation; SG: stress granule; SOD1: superoxide dismutase 1; SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; STUB1/CHIP: STIP1 homology and U-box containing protein 1; STK: serine/threonine kinase; SYNPO: synaptopodin; TBP: TATA-box binding protein; TARDBP/TDP-43: TAR DNA binding protein; TFEB: transcription factor EB; TPR: tetratricopeptide repeats; TSC1: TSC complex subunit 1; UBA: ubiquitin associated; UPS: ubiquitin-proteasome system; WW: tryptophan-tryptophan; WWTR1: WW domain containing transcription regulator 1; YAP1: Yes1 associated transcriptional regulator.
    Keywords:  Aggresome; BAG3; HSPA; HSPB8; SQSTM1; STUB1; misfolding; myopathy; neurodegenerative diseases; neuropathy; proteostasis
  4. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 ;13 1085522
      Autophagy is a fundamental multi-tasking adaptive cellular degradation and recycling strategy. Following its causal implication in age-related decline, autophagy is currently among the most broadly studied and challenged mechanisms within aging research. Thanks to these efforts, new cellular nodes interconnected with this phylogenetically ancestral pathway and unexpected roles of autophagy-associated genetic products are unveiled daily, yet the history of functional adaptations of autophagy along its evolutive trail is poorly understood and documented. Autophagy is traditionally studied in canonical and research-wise convenient model organisms such as yeast and mice. However, unconventional animal models endowed with extended longevity and exemption from age-related diseases offer a privileged perspective to inquire into the role of autophagy in the evolution of longevity. In this mini review we retrace the appearance and functions evolved by autophagy in eukaryotic cells and its protective contribution in the pathophysiology of aging.
    Keywords:   aging; ATG; age-related diseases; autophagy; bats; evolution; longevity; mitochondria
  5. Front Mol Biosci. 2022 ;9 1074701
      During autophagy, the ATG8 family proteins have several well-characterized roles in facilitating early, mid, and late steps of autophagy, including autophagosome expansion, cargo recruitment and autophagosome-lysosome fusion. Their discovery has importantly allowed for precise experimental monitoring of the pathway, bringing about a huge expansion of research in the field over the last decades. In this review, we discuss both canonical and non-canonical roles of the autophagic lipidation machinery, with particular focus on the ATG8 proteins, their post-translational modifications and their increasingly uncovered alternative roles mediated through their anchoring at different membranes. These include endosomes, macropinosomes, phagosomes and the plasma membrane, to which ATG8 proteins can bind through canonical or alternative lipidation. Beyond new ATG8 binding partners and cargo types, we also explore several open questions related to alternative outcomes of autophagic machinery engagement beyond degradation. These include their roles in plasma membrane repair and secretion of selected substrates as well as the physiological implications hereof in health and disease.
    Keywords:  Atg8; autophagy; lipidation; post-translational modification (PTM); secretory autophagy; single membrane
  6. Sci Rep. 2023 Jan 02. 13(1): 18
      Autophagy of damaged mitochondria, called mitophagy, is an important organelle quality control process involved in the pathogenesis of inflammation, cancer, aging, and age-associated diseases. Many of these disorders are associated with altered expression of the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) protein Prohibitin 1. The mechanisms whereby dysfunction occurring internally at the IMM and matrix activate events at the outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) to induce mitophagy are not fully elucidated. Using the gastrointestinal epithelium as a model system highly susceptible to autophagy inhibition, we reveal a specific role of Prohibitin-induced mitophagy in maintaining intestinal homeostasis. We demonstrate that Prohibitin 1 induces mitophagy in response to increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) through binding to mitophagy receptor Nix/Bnip3L and independently of Parkin. Prohibitin 1 is required for ROS-induced Nix localization to mitochondria and maintaining homeostasis of epithelial cells highly susceptible to mitochondrial dysfunction.
  7. STAR Protoc. 2022 Dec 16. pii: S2666-1667(22)00702-X. [Epub ahead of print]3(4): 101822
      The accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria is a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases, yet the dynamics of mitochondrial turnover in neurons are unclear. Here, we describe a protocol to monitor the degradation of spectrally distinct, "aged" mitochondrial populations. We describe the preparation and transfection of primary rat hippocampal neuron cultures. We detail a mitochondrial-damaging assay, a SNAP pulse-chase labeling paradigm, and live imaging to visualize the mitochondrial network. Finally, we provide steps to quantify mitochondrial turnover via lysosomal fusion. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Evans and Holzbaur (2020a).
    Keywords:  Cell Biology; Cell culture; Cell-based Assays; Metabolism; Microscopy; Molecular Biology; Molecular/Chemical Probes; Neuroscience
  8. J Oncol. 2022 ;2022 8916464
      In oriental medicine, bee venom has long been used as a therapeutic agent against inflammatory diseases. Several studies have reported that isolated and purified bee venom components are effective in treating dementia, arthritis, inflammation, bacterial infections, and cancer. In previous studies, we reported that bee venom inhibits cell growth and induces apoptotic cell death in lung cancer cells. In the present study, we assessed whether bee venom affects autophagy and thereby induces apoptosis. Bee venom treatment increased the levels of autophagy-related proteins (Atg5, Beclin-1, and LC3-II) and the accumulation of LC3 puncta. We found that bee venom could induce autophagy by inhibiting the mTOR signaling pathway. In addition, we found that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)- or si-ATG5-induced autophagy inhibition further demoted bee venom-induced apoptosis. Bee venom-induced autophagy promotes apoptosis in lung cancer cells and may become a new approach to cancer treatment.
  9. Mol Biol Cell. 2023 Jan 04. mbcE22020063
      The efficient delivery of lysosomes is essential for many cell functions, such as the degradation of unwanted intracellular components by autophagy and the killing and digestion of extracellular microbes within phagosomes. Using the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum we find that cells lacking Katnip (Katanin interacting protein) have a general defect in lysosomal delivery and although they make autophagosomes and phagosomes correctly, cells are then unable to digest them. Katnip is largely unstudied yet highly conserved across evolution. Previously studies found Katnip mutations in animals cause defects in cilia structure. Here we show that Katnip plays a more general role in maintaining microtubule function. We find that loss of Katnip has no overall effect on microtubule dynamics or organisation, but is important for the transport and degradation of endocytic cargos. Strikingly, Katnip mutants become highly sensitive to GFP-tubulin expression, which leads to microtubule tangles, defective anaphase extension and slow cell growth. Our findings establish a general role for Katnip in regulating microtubule function, beyond the previous roles described in cilia. We speculate this is via a key function in microtubule repair, required to maintain endosomal trafficking and lysosomal degradation. [Media: see text] [Media: see text] [Media: see text] [Media: see text] [Media: see text] [Media: see text] [Media: see text].
  10. Int J Biol Macromol. 2022 Dec 29. pii: S0141-8130(22)03221-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Dengue virus (DENV) exploits various cellular pathways including autophagy to assure enhanced virus propagation. The mechanisms of DENV mediated control of autophagy pathway are largely unknown. Our investigations have revealed a novel role for high-mobility group box1 protein (HMGB1) in regulation of cellular autophagy process in DENV-2 infected A549 cell line. While induction of autophagy by rapamycin treatment resulted in enhanced DENV-2 propagation, the blockade of autophagy flux with bafilomycin A1 suppressed viral replication. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated silencing of HMGB1 significantly abrogated dengue induced autophagy, while LPS induced HMGB1 expression counteracted these effects. Interestingly, silencing of HMGB1 showed reduction of BECN1 and stabilization of BCL-2 protein. On the contrary, LPS induction of HMGB1 resulted in enhanced BECN1 and reduction in BCL-2 levels. This study shows that the modulation of autophagy by DENV-2 is HMGB1/BECN1 dependent. In addition, glycyrrhizic acid (GA), a potent HMGB1 inhibitor suppressed autophagy as well as DENV-2 replication. Altogether, our data suggests that HMGB1 induces BECN1 dependent autophagy to promote DENV-2 replication.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Dengue virus; HMGB1; Pathogenesis
  11. Microbiol Spectr. 2023 Jan 04. e0462522
      During yeast stationary phase, a single spherical vacuole (lysosome) is created by the fusion of several small ones. Moreover, the vacuolar membrane is reconstructed into two distinct microdomains. Little is known, however, about how cells maintain vacuolar shape or regulate their microdomains. Here, we show that Fat1p, a fatty acyl coenzyme A (acyl-CoA) synthetase and fatty acid transporter, and not the synthetases Faa1p and Faa4p, is essential for vacuolar shape preservation, the development of vacuolar microdomains, and cell survival in stationary phase of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Furthermore, Fat1p negatively regulates general autophagy in both log- and stationary-phase cells. In contrast, Fat1p promotes lipophagy, as the absence of FAT1 limits the entry of lipid droplets into the vacuole and reduces the degradation of liquid droplet (LD) surface proteins. Notably, supplementing with unsaturated fatty acids or overexpressing the desaturase Ole1p can reverse all aberrant phenotypes caused by FAT1 deficiency. We propose that Fat1p regulates stationary phase vacuolar morphology, microdomain differentiation, general autophagy, and lipophagy by controlling the degree of fatty acid saturation in membrane lipids. IMPORTANCE The ability to sense environmental changes and adjust the levels of cellular metabolism is critical for cell viability. Autophagy is a recycling process that makes the most of already-existing energy resources, and the vacuole/lysosome is the ultimate autophagic processing site in cells. Lipophagy is an autophagic process to select degrading lipid droplets. In yeast cells in stationary phase, vacuoles fuse and remodel their membranes to create a single spherical vacuole with two distinct membrane microdomains, which are required for yeast lipophagy. In this study, we discovered that Fat1p was capable of rapidly responding to changes in nutritional status and preserving cell survival by regulating membrane lipid saturation to maintain proper vacuolar morphology and the level of lipophagy in the yeast S. cerevisiae. Our findings shed light on how cells maintain vacuolar structure and promote the differentiation of vacuole surface microdomains for stationary-phase lipophagy.
    Keywords:  lipophagy; stationary phase; unsaturated fatty acid; vacuole microdomains; vacuole morphology
  12. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2023 Jan-Dec;42:42 9603271221149196
      AIM: To investigate the protective effect of α-lipoic acid on sodium arsenite (NaAsO2) induced INS-1 cells injury and its mechanism.METHODS: The cell viability was measured by CCK-8 assay. The autophagosomes was observed under transmission electron microscopy. The autophagosomes in cells transfected with green fluorescent protein microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (GFP-LC3) plasmids were observed under a laser scanning con-focal microscope. The expression of LC3-II, P62, PI3K, and mTOR proteins in INS-1 cells treated with a combination of chloroquine (CQ, autophagy inhibitor) and NaAsO2 were detected by Western blot assay. The expression of LC3-II, P62, PI3K, and mTOR proteins were detected in INS-1 cells treated with a combination of rapamycin (autophagy inducer, mTOR inhibitor) and α-LA.
    RESULTS: The cytotoxicity induced by NaAsO2 was reversed by α-LA, and the viability of NaAsO2-treated INS-1 cells increased. α-LA pretreatment decreased the autophagosome accumulation induced by NaAsO2. α-LA also reduced the fluorescence spot aggregation of GFP-LC3 in INS-1 cells exposed to NaAsO2 as observed under a laser scanning con-focal microscope. α-LA inhibited NaAsO2 induced autophagy by up-regulating PI3K and mTOR and down-regulating LC3-II and P62. CQ inhibited NaAsO2 induced autophagy by up-regulating PI3K, mTOR, P62 and down-regulating LC3-II. α-LA inhibited rapamycin-induced autophagy by up-regulating PI3K, mTOR and P62 and down-regulating LC3-II. The results showed that NaAsO2 could induce autophagy activation in INS-1 cells. The α-LA may inhibit autophagy activation by regulating the PI3K/mTOR pathway.
    CONCLUSION: The data indicated that α-LA might inhibit the NaAsO2-induced autophagic death of INS-1 cells by regulating the PI3K/mTOR pathway.
    Keywords:  PI3K/mTOR; Sodium arsenite; alpha-lipoic acid; autophagy; islet β cell
  13. Mol Cell. 2022 Dec 20. pii: S1097-2765(22)01137-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      As a key component of the inflammasome, NLRP3 is a critical intracellular danger sensor emerging as an important clinical target in inflammatory diseases. However, little is known about the mechanisms that determine the kinetics of NLRP3 inflammasome stability and activity to ensure effective and controllable inflammatory responses. Here, we show that S-palmitoylation acts as a brake to turn NLRP3 inflammasome off. zDHHC12 is identified as the S-acyltransferase for NLRP3 palmitoylation, which promotes its degradation through the chaperone-mediated autophagy pathway. Zdhhc12 deficiency in mice enhances inflammatory symptoms and lethality following alum-induced peritonitis and LPS-induced endotoxic shock. Notably, several disease-associated mutations in NLRP3 are associated with defective palmitoylation, resulting in overt NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Thus, our findings identify zDHHC12 as a repressor of NLRP3 inflammasome activation and uncover a previously unknown regulatory mechanism by which the inflammasome pathway is tightly controlled by the dynamic palmitoylation of NLRP3.
    Keywords:  NLRP3; chaperone-mediated autophagy; inflammasome; inflammation; palmitoylation
  14. Autophagy. 2023 Jan 01. 1-18
      Mitophagy is a form of autophagy that plays a key role in maintaining the homeostasis of functional mitochondria in the cell. Viruses have evolved various strategies to manipulate mitophagy to escape host immune responses and promote virus replication. In this study, the nucleoprotein (NP) of H1N1 virus (PR8 strain) was identified as a regulator of mitophagy. We revealed that NP-mediated mitophagy leads to the degradation of the mitochondria-anchored protein MAVS, thereby blocking MAVS-mediated antiviral signaling and promoting virus replication. The NP-mediated mitophagy is dependent on the interaction of NP with MAVS and the cargo receptor TOLLIP. Moreover, Y313 of NP is a key residue for the MAVS-NP interaction and NP-mediated mitophagy. The NPY313F mutation significantly attenuates the virus-induced mitophagy and the virus replication in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, our findings uncover a novel mechanism by which the NP of influenza virus induces mitophagy to attenuate innate immunity.Abbreviations: ACTB: actin beta; ATG7: autophagy related 7; ATG12: autophagy related 12; CCCP: carbonyl cyanide 3-chlorophenyl hydrazone; co-IP: co-immunoprecipitation; COX4/COXIV: cytochrome c oxidase subunit 4; DAPI: 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole, dihydrochloride; EID50: 50% egg infective dose; GAPDH: glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; GFP: green fluorescent protein; HEK: human embryonic kidney; hpi: hours post-infection; IAV: influenza A virus; IFN: interferon; IP: immunoprecipitation; LAMP1: lysosomal associated membrane protein 1; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; MAVS: mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein; Mdivi-1: mitochondrial division inhibitor 1; MLD50: 50% mouse lethal dose; MOI: multiplicity of infection; NBR1: NBR1 autophagy cargo receptor; NP: nucleoprotein; PB1: basic polymerase 1; RFP: red fluorescent protein; RIGI: RNA sensor RIG-I; RIGI-N: RIGI-CARD; SeV: Sendai virus; SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; TIMM23: translocase of inner mitochondrial membrane 23; TOLLIP: toll interacting protein; TOMM20: translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane 20; TUBA: tubulin alpha; Vec: empty vector; vRNP: viral ribonucleoprotein.
    Keywords:  Influenza A virus; MAVS; TOLLIP; mitophagy; nucleoprotein
  15. Inflamm Res. 2023 Jan 04.
      BACKGROUND: Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, and is characterized by accumulation of α-synuclein (α-syn). Neuroinflammation driven by microglia is an important pathological manifestation of PD. α-Syn is a crucial marker of PD, and its accumulation leads to microglia M1-like phenotype polarization, activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes, and impaired autophagy and phagocytosis in microglia. Autophagy of microglia is related to degradation of α-syn and NLRP3 inflammasome blockage to relieve neuroinflammation. Microglial autophagy and phagocytosis of released α-syn or fragments from apoptotic neurons maintain homeostasis in the brain. A variety of PD-related genes such as LRRK2, GBA and DJ-1 also contribute to this stability process.OBJECTIVES: Further studies are needed to determine how α-syn works in microglia.
    METHODS: A keyword-based search was performed using the PubMed database for published articles.
    CONCLUSION: In this review, we discuss the interaction between microglia and α-syn in PD pathogenesis and the possible mechanism of microglial autophagy and phagocytosis in α-syn clearance and inhibition of neuroinflammation. This may provide a novel insight into treatment of PD.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Microglia; Neuroinflammation; Phagocytosis; α-Synuclein
  16. Acta Biomater. 2023 Jan 02. pii: S1742-7061(22)00867-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated during photodynamic therapy (PDT) can induce autophagy to protect tumor cell from PDT-induced apoptosis. In this work, a self-delivery autophagy regulator (designated as CeCe) is developed for autophagy promotion sensitized PDT against tumor. Briefly, CeCe is prepared by the assembly of a photosensitizer of chlorin e6 (Ce6) and autophagy promoter of celastrol. By virtue of intermolecular interactions, Ce6 and celastrol are able to self-assemble into nanomedicine with great photodynamic performance and autophagy regulation capacity. Under light irradiation, CeCe would produce ROS in tumor cells to amplify the oxidative stress and promote cell autophagy. As a result, CeCe exhibits an enhanced photo toxicity by inducing autophagic cell death. In vivo experiments indicate that CeCe can predominantly accumulate in tumor tissue for a robust PDT. Moreover, CeCe has a superior therapeutic efficiency compared to monotherapy and combined treatment of Ce6 and celastrol, suggesting a synergistic antitumor effect of PDT and autophagy promotion. This self-delivery nanomedicine may advance the development of the co-delivery nanoplatform to improve the antitumor efficacy of PDT by promoting autophagy. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Autophagy is a "double-edged sword" in cellular homeostasis and metabolism, which can promote tumor progression but also induce an unknown impact on tumor inhibition. In this work, a self-delivery autophagy regulator (designated as CeCe) was developed for autophagy promotion sensitized photodynamic therapy (PDT). By virtue of intermolecular interactions, Ce6 and celastrol were found to self-assemble into stable CeCe without drug excipients, which exhibited great photodynamic performance and autophagy regulation capacity. In vitro and in vivo findings demonstrated a superior tumor suppression ability of CeCe over the monotherapy as well as the combined treatment of Ce6 and celastrol, suggesting a synergistic antitumor efficacy by PDT and autophagy promotion.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Drug assembly; Photodynamic therapy; Self-delivery biomedicine; Synergistic effect
  17. Autophagy. 2023 Jan 01. 1-18
      Cognitive impairment caused by systemic chemotherapy is a critical question that perplexes the effective implementation of clinical treatment, but related molecular events are poorly understood. Herein, we show that bortezomib exposure leads to microglia activation and cognitive impairment, this occurs along with decreased nuclear translocation of TFEB (transcription factor EB), which is linked to macroautophagy/autophagy disorder, STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) phosphorylation and IL23A (interleukin 23 subunit alpha) expression. Pharmacological enhancement of TFEB nuclear translocation by digoxin restores lysosomal function and reduces STAT3-dependent endothelial IL23A secretion. As a consequence, we found that brain endothelial-specific ablation of Il23a ameliorated both microglia activation and cognitive dysfunction. Thus, the endothelial TFEB-STAT3-IL23A axis in the brain represents a critical cellular event for initiating bortezomib-mediated aberrant microglial activation and synapse engulfment. Our results suggest the reversal of TFEB nuclear translocation may provide a novel therapeutic approach to prevent symptoms of cognitive dysfunction during clinical use of bortezomib.Abbreviations: AAV: adeno-associated virus; BBB: blood-brain barrier; BTZ: bortezomib; DG: digoxin; DGs: dentate gyrus; DLG4/PSD95: discs large MAGUK scaffold protein 4; HBMECs: human brain microvascular endothelial cells; HP: hippocampus; IL23A: interleukin 23 subunit alpha; MBVECs: mouse brain vascular endothelial cells; mPFC: medial prefrontal cortex; NORT: novel object recognition test; OLT: object location test; PLX5622: 6-fluoro-N-([5-fluoro-2-methoxypyridin-3-yl]methyl)-5-(5-methyl-1H-pyrrolo[2,3-b]pyridin-3- yl)methyl; PPP3/calcineurin: protein phosphatase 3; SBEs: STAT3 binding elements; shRNA: small hairpin RNA; SLC17A7/VGLUT1: solute carrier family 17 member 7; SLC32A1/VGAT: solute carrier family 32 member 1; STAT3: signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, TFEB: transcription factor EB; Ub: ubiquitin.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; IL23A; TFEB; cognitive dysfunction; digoxin; endothelial cells; microglia
  18. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 1062993
      Mitochondria are physically associated with other organelles, such as ER and lysosomes, forming a complex network that is crucial for cell homeostasis regulation. Inter-organelle relationships are finely regulated by both tether systems, which maintain physical proximity, and by signaling cues that induce the exchange of molecular information to regulate metabolism, Ca2+ homeostasis, redox state, nutrient availability, and proteostasis. The coordinated action of the organelles is engaged in the cellular integrated stress response. In any case, pathological conditions alter functional communication and efficient rescue pathway activation, leading to cell distress exacerbation and eventually cell death. Among these detrimental signals, misfolded protein accumulation and aggregation cause major damage to the cells, since defects in protein clearance systems worsen cell toxicity. A cause for protein aggregation is often a defective mitochondrial redox balance, and the ER freshly translated misfolded proteins and/or a deficient lysosome-mediated clearance system. All these features aggravate mitochondrial damage and enhance proteotoxic stress. This review aims to gather the current knowledge about the complex liaison between mitochondria, ER, and lysosomes in facing proteotoxic stress and protein aggregation, highlighting both causes and consequences. Particularly, specific focus will be pointed to cancer, a pathology in which inter-organelle relations in protein aggregation have been poorly investigated.
    Keywords:  cancer; mitochondria–ER relationship; mitochondria–lysosome relationship; protein aggregation; proteotoxic stress
  19. MicroPubl Biol. 2022 ;2022
      Neural autophagy plays an important role in regulating protein quality control, brain homeostasis, and body temperature. However, the mechanism that links a defect in autophagy to body temperature has not been elucidated. Here, we report that RNA binding motif protein 3 (RBM3) is a potential candidate that regulates body temperature. We found that the body temperatures of Nestin-Cre ; Atg7 f/f conditional KO (cKO) mice were lower than that of wild-type (WT) mice. Moreover, RBM3 was upregulated in the Nestin-Cre ; Atg7 f/f brain. These data suggest that RBM3 is an implicit target that maintains body temperature influenced by neural autophagy.
  20. Front Microbiol. 2022 ;13 1064045
      Mitochondria are important organelles involved in cell metabolism and programmed cell death in eukaryotic cells and are closely related to the innate immunity of host cells against viruses. Mitophagy is a process in which phagosomes selectively phagocytize damaged or dysfunctional mitochondria to form autophagosomes and is degraded by lysosomes, which control mitochondrial mass and maintain mitochondrial dynamics and cellular homeostasis. Innate immunity is an important part of the immune system and plays a vital role in eliminating viruses. Viral infection causes many physiological and pathological alterations in host cells, including mitophagy and innate immune pathways. Accumulating evidence suggests that some virus promote self-replication through regulating mitophagy-mediated innate immunity. Clarifying the regulatory relationships among mitochondria, mitophagy, innate immunity, and viral infection will shed new insight for pathogenic mechanisms and antiviral strategies. This review systemically summarizes the activation pathways of mitophagy and the relationship between mitochondria and innate immune signaling pathways, and then discusses the mechanisms of viruses on mitophagy and innate immunity and how viruses promote self-replication by regulating mitophagy-mediated innate immunity.
    Keywords:  innate immunity; mechanisms; mitochondria; mitophagy; viral infection
  21. Sci Total Environ. 2022 Dec 29. pii: S0048-9697(22)08346-2. [Epub ahead of print]865 161242
      Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) have drawn serious concerns about their biotoxicity due to their extensive applications in biological medicine, clinical therapeutic, daily chemical production, food and agricultural additives. In our present study, we clarified hepatotoxic mechanism of ZnO NPs through investigating the crosstalk between autophagy and pyroptosis, a remaining enigma in hepatocyte stimulated by ZnO NPs. Based on the effects of autophagy intervention by Rapamycin (Rap) and 3-Methyladenine (3-MA), and the observation of pyroptosis morphology and related indexes, the autophagy and pyroptosis simultaneously initiated by ZnO NPs were interrelated and the autophagy characterized by autophagosome production and increased expression of autophagy proteins was identified as a protective response of ZnO NPs against pyroptosis. According to the analysis of protein expression and fluorescence localization, the NLRP3 inflammasome assemble and the classical Caspase-1/GSDMD-dependent pyroptosis induced by ZnO NPs was modulated by autophagy. In this process, the adjustment of TFEB expression and nuclear translocation by gene knockout and gene overexpression, further altered the tendency of ZnO NPs-induced pyroptosis via the regulation of autophagy and lysosomal biogenesis. The knockout of TFEB gene exacerbated the pyroptosis via autophagy elimination and lysosome inhibition. While the alleviation of NLRP3 generation and pyroptosis activation was observed after treatment of TFEB gene overexpression. Additionally, the siRNA interference confirmed that TRAF-6 was involved in the TFEB-mediated global regulation of autophagy-lysosome-pyroptosis in response to ZnO NPs. Accordingly, pyroptosis induced by ZnO NPs in hepatocyte could be significantly avoided by TFEB-regulated autophagy and lysosome, further providing new insights for the risk assessment and therapeutic strategy.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Lysosome; Pyroptosis; TFEB; Zinc oxide nanoparticles
  22. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 1000553
      Fatty acid hydroxylase-associated neurodegeneration (FAHN) is a rare disease that exhibits brain modifications and motor dysfunctions in early childhood. The condition is caused by a homozygous or compound heterozygous mutation in fatty acid 2 hydroxylase (FA2H), whose encoded protein synthesizes 2-hydroxysphingolipids and 2-hydroxyglycosphingolipids and is therefore involved in sphingolipid metabolism. A few FAHN model organisms have already been established and give the first insight into symptomatic effects. However, they fail to establish the underlying cellular mechanism of FAHN so far. Drosophila is an excellent model for many neurodegenerative disorders; hence, here, we have characterized and validated the first FAHN Drosophila model. The investigation of loss of dfa2h lines revealed behavioral abnormalities, including motor impairment and flying disability, in addition to a shortened lifespan. Furthermore, alterations in mitochondrial dynamics, and autophagy were identified. Analyses of patient-derived fibroblasts, and rescue experiments with human FA2H, indicated that these defects are evolutionarily conserved. We thus present a FAHN Drosophila model organism that provides new insights into the cellular mechanism of FAHN.
    Keywords:  Drosophila melanogaster; FA2H; autophagy; fatty acid hydroxylase-associated neurodegeneration; mitochondria
  23. Biochem Soc Trans. 2023 Jan 06. pii: BST20220762. [Epub ahead of print]
      Adult neurogenesis is a multistage process during which newborn neurons are generated through the activation and proliferation of neural stem cells (NSCs) and integrated into existing neural networks. Impaired adult neurogenesis has been observed in various neurological and psychiatric disorders, suggesting its critical role in cognitive function, brain homeostasis, and neural repair. Over the past decades, mounting evidence has identified a strong association between metabolic status and adult neurogenesis. Here, we aim to summarize how amino acids and their neuroactive metabolites affect adult neurogenesis. Furthermore, we discuss the causal link between amino acid metabolism, adult neurogenesis, and neurological diseases. Finally, we propose that systematic elucidation of how amino acid metabolism regulates adult neurogenesis has profound implications not only for understanding the biological underpinnings of brain development and neurological diseases, but also for providing potential therapeutic strategies to intervene in disease progression.
    Keywords:  adult neurogenesis; amino acid metabolism; arginine metabolism; one-carbon metabolism; tryptophan metabolism
  24. J Sci Food Agric. 2023 Jan 06.
      BACKGROUND: Dietary astaxanthin (AST) exhibits the ability to resist lipid accumulation and stimulate hepatic autophagy. Natural AST predominantly exists in more stable esterified forms. More importantly, in our previous study, docosahexaenoic acid-acylated AST monoester (AST-DHA) possessed better stability, bioavailability, and neuroprotective ability than AST in free and diester form. However, the AST-DHA mechanisms of action in regulating the obese phenotype and autophagy of the central nervous system remain unclear.RESULTS: High-fat diet (HFD)-fed C57BL/6J mice were orally administered AST-DHA (30 mg/kg body weight) for 3 days or 8 weeks. AST-DHA supplementation alleviated HFD-induced abnormal body weight gain, significantly enhanced autophagy with an increased microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 II/I (LC3II/I) ratio, and reduced the accumulation of p62/sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) in the hypothalamus rather than in the hippocampus. Mechanistically, AST-DHA effectively promoted autophagy and autophagosome formation, and most notably rescued the HFD-impaired autophagosome-lysosome fusion (indicated by the colocalization of LC3 and LAMP1) by regulating mTOR- and AMPK-induced phosphorylation of ULK1. Consequently, AST-DHA enhanced hypothalamic autophagy, leading to pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) cleavage to produce alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH).
    CONCLUSIONS: This study identified AST-DHA as an enhancer of autophagy that plays a beneficial role in restoring hypothalamic autophagy, and as a new potential therapeutic agent against HFD-induced obesity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Astaxanthin; High-fat diet; Hypothalamic autophagy; POMC; α-MSH
  25. Life Sci Alliance. 2023 Mar;pii: e202201610. [Epub ahead of print]6(3):
      PACSIN2 variants are associated with gastrointestinal effects of thiopurines and thiopurine methyltransferase activity through an uncharacterized mechanism that is postulated to involve autophagy. This study aims to clarify the role of PACSIN2 in autophagy and in thiopurine cytotoxicity in leukemic and intestinal models. Higher autophagy and lower PACSIN2 levels were observed in inflamed compared with non-inflamed colon biopsies of inflammatory bowel disease pediatric patients at diagnosis. PACSIN2 was identified as an inhibitor of autophagy, putatively through inhibition of autophagosome formation by a protein-protein interaction with LC3-II, mediated by a LIR motif. Moreover, PACSIN2 resulted a modulator of mercaptopurine-induced cytotoxicity in intestinal cells, suggesting that PACSIN2-regulated autophagy levels might influence thiopurine sensitivity. However, PACSIN2 modulates cellular thiopurine methyltransferase activity via mechanisms distinct from its modulation of autophagy.
  26. J Virol. 2023 Jan 05. e0166022
      The nonstructural proteins (Nsps) of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) play essential roles in virus replication-a multistep process that requires the participation of host factors. It is of great significance for the development of antiviral drugs to characterize the host proteins that interact with PRRSV Nsps and their functions in PRRSV replication. Here, we determined that proteasome subunit β type 1 (PSMB1) interacted with viral Nsp12 to inhibit PRRSV replication in target and permissive cells. PSMB1 could be downregulated by PRRSV infection through interaction with the transcription factor EBF1. Proteasome and autophagy inhibitor assays showed that PSMB1 was regulated by the autophagic pathway to degrade Nsp12. Cotransfection of PSMB1 and Nsp12 increased the level of intracellular autophagy; both molecules were colocated in lysosomes. We also found that the selective autophagy cargo receptor protein NBR1 and E3 ubiquitin ligase STUB1 interacted with PSMB1 and Nsp12, respectively, in the autophagic degradation of Nsp12. Furthermore, the degradation of Nsp12 by PSMB1 was mainly dependent on the ubiquitination of Nsp12 at lysine site 130. Our results indicate for the first time that PSMB1 is an anti-PRRSV host protein that inhibits the replication of PRRSV by degradation of Nsp12 through the selective autophagy pathway. IMPORTANCE PRRS is a major threat to the global pig industry and urgently requires an effective and sustainable control strategy. PRRSV Nsps have important roles in viral RNA synthesis, proteinase activity, induction of replication-associated membrane rearrangements, replicative endoribonuclease activity, determination of virulence, and regulation of host immune response. Research associated with PRRSV Nsps can provide vital guidance to modify the PRRSV genome through reverse genetics in the development of vaccines and diagnostics. The function of Nsp12, which generally plays essential roles in virus replication, remains unclear. We demonstrated that PSMB1 interacted with and degraded Nsp12 through an autophagic pathway to inhibit PRRSV replication. Our data confirmed a novel antiviral function of PSMB1 and allowed us to elaborate on the roles of Nsp12 in PRRSV pathogenesis. These findings suggest a valid and highly conserved candidate target for the development of novel therapies and more effective vaccines and demonstrate the complex cross talk between selective autophagy and PRRSV infection.
    Keywords:  NBR1; Nsp12; PRRSV; PSMB1; autophagic degradation
  27. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 1065702
      Mitochondria play an essential role in the regulation of cellular stress responses, including cell death. Damaged mitochondria are removed by fission and fusion cycles and mitophagy, which counteract cell death. BCL-2 family proteins possess one to four BCL-2 homology domains and regulate apoptosis signaling at mitochondria. BCL-RAMBO, also known as BCL2-like 13 (BCL2L13), was initially identified as one of the BCL-2 family proteins inducing apoptosis. Mitophagy receptors recruit the ATG8 family proteins MAP1LC3/GABARAP via the MAP1LC3-interacting region (LIR) motif to initiate mitophagy. In addition to apoptosis, BCL-RAMBO has recently been identified as a mitophagy receptor that possesses the LIR motif and regulates mitochondrial fragmentation and mitophagy. In the 20 years since its discovery, many important findings on BCL-RAMBO have been increasingly reported. The biological properties of BCL-RAMBO are reviewed herein.
    Keywords:  BCL-RAMBO; BCL2L13; apoptosis; cell death; miRNAs; mitochondrial fragmentation; mitophagy; phosphorylation
  28. Front Mol Neurosci. 2022 ;15 1019343
      Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is caused by mutations in the Tsc1 or Tsc2 genes, whose products form a complex and inactivate the small G-protein Rheb1. The activation of Rheb1 may cause refractory epilepsy, intellectual disability, and autism, which are the major neuropsychiatric manifestations of TSC. Abnormalities in dendritic spines and altered synaptic structure are hallmarks of epilepsy, intellectual disability, and autism. In addition, spine dysmorphology and aberrant synapse formation are observed in TSC animal models. Therefore, it is important to investigate the molecular mechanism underlying the regulation of spine morphology and synapse formation in neurons to identify therapeutic targets for TSC. In this review, we focus on the representative proteins regulated by Rheb1 activity, mTORC1 and syntenin, which are pivotal downstream factors of Rheb1 in the alteration of spine formation and synapse function in TSC neurons.
    Keywords:  rapamycin; spine morphology; synapse formation; syntenin; tuberous sclerosis complex
  29. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2022 Dec 26. pii: S0006-291X(22)01735-1. [Epub ahead of print]643 88-95
      Brahma (BRM) is one of the core ATPase subunits of SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, and participates in various important cellular regulatory processes. However, the role of BRM in regulating gene expression of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) still remains unknown. In this study, we explored the effects and the corresponding molecular mechanisms of BRM on Leucine (Leu)-stimulated mTOR activation in and proliferation of a mouse mammary epithelial cell (MEC) line (HC11 cell). Initially, we found that the abundance of BRM protein in mammary gland tissue during lactation was significantly higher than that during puberty and involution. BRM knockdown inhibited HC11 cell proliferation, mRNA expression of mTOR and subsequent protein phosphorylation, whereas BRM gene activation had the opposite effect. Leu affected the level of BRM protein and mTOR phospphorylation in a dose-dependent manner, and BRM knockdown totally blocked the stimulation of Leu on mTOR mRNA expression and protein phospphorylation. ChIP-PCR detected that BRM was bound to the -4368 ∼ -4591 bp site of the mTOR promoter, and ChIP-qPCR further detected that Leu stimulated BRM to bind to this site. In conclusion, these data reveal that BRM is a positive regulator of HC11 cell proliferation and mediates Leu's stimulation on mTOR gene transcription and protein phosphorylation. Our data provide a new theoretical basis for the involvement of BRM in cell proliferation and regulation of the mTOR signaling pathway.
    Keywords:  BRM; Leucine; Mammary epithelial cell; Proliferation; mTOR
  30. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 1068213
      Glaucoma is a common blinding eye disease characterized by progressive loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their axons, progressive loss of visual field, and optic nerve atrophy. Autophagy plays a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of glaucoma and is closely related to its pathogenesis. Targeting autophagy and blocking the apoptosis of RGCs provides emerging guidance for the treatment of glaucoma. Here, we provide a systematic review of the mechanisms and targets of interventions related to autophagy in glaucoma and discuss the outlook of emerging ideas, techniques, and multidisciplinary combinations to provide a new basis for further research and the prevention of glaucomatous visual impairment.
    Keywords:  autophagy; glaucoma; neurodegenerative; retinal ganglion cells; therapeutic strategies
  31. Mol Metab. 2022 Dec 28. pii: S2212-8778(22)00233-2. [Epub ahead of print] 101664
      OBJECTIVE: Obesity and nutrient oversupply increase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling in multiple cell types and organs, contributing to the onset of insulin resistance and complications of metabolic disease. However, it remains unclear when and where mTOR activation mediates these effects, limiting options for therapeutic intervention. The objective of this study was to isolate the role of constitutive mTOR activation in Nav1.8-expressing peripheral neurons in the onset of diet-induced obesity, bone loss, and metabolic disease.METHODS: In humans, loss of function mutations in tuberous sclerosis complex 2 (TSC2) lead to maximal constitutive activation of mTOR. To mirror this in mice, we bred Nav1.8-Cre with TSC2fl/fl animals to conditionally delete TSC2 in Nav1.8-expressing neurons. Male and female mice were studied from 4- to 34-weeks of age and a subset of animals were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 24-weeks. We then performed assays of metabolism, body composition, bone morphology, and behavior.
    RESULTS: By lineage tracing, Nav1.8-Cre targeted peripheral sensory neurons, a subpopulation of postganglionic sympathetics, and several regions of the brain. Conditional knockout of TSC2 in Nav1.8-expressing neurons (Nav1.8-TSC2KO) selectively upregulated neuronal mTORC1 signaling. Male, but not female, Nav1.8-TSC2KO mice had a 4-10% decrease in body size at baseline. When challenged with HFD, both male and female Nav1.8-TSC2KO mice resisted diet-induced gains in body mass. However, this did not protect against HFD-induced metabolic dysfunction and bone loss. In addition, despite not gaining weight, Nav1.8-TSC2KO mice fed HFD still developed high body fat, a unique phenotype previously referred to as 'normal weight obesity'. Nav1.8-TSC2KO mice also had signs of chronic itch, mild increases in anxiety-like behavior, and sex-specific alterations in HFD-induced fat distribution that led to enhanced visceral obesity in males and preferential deposition of subcutaneous fat in females.
    CONCLUSIONS: Knockout of TSC2 in Nav1.8+ neurons substantially modifies the distribution of adipose tissues and the metabolic responses to HFD. Though it prevents HFD-induced weight gain, this masks persistent detrimental effects on metabolic health and peripheral organs such as bone, mimicking the 'normal weight obesity' phenotype that is of growing concern. This supports a mechanism by which increased neuronal mTOR signaling can predispose to altered adipose tissue distribution, adipose tissue expansion, impaired peripheral metabolism, and detrimental changes to skeletal health with HFD - despite resistance to weight gain.
    Keywords:  Bone; High fat diet; Normal weight obesity; Sensory neuron; Skinny fat; mTOR