Autophagy is a membrane trafficking to vacuole/lysosome induced by nutrient starvation. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Tor protein, a phosphatidylinositol kinase-related kinase, is involved in the repression of autophagy induction by a largely unknown mechanism. Here, we show that the protein kinase activity of Apg1 is enhanced by starvation or rapamycin treatment. In addition, we have also found that Apg13, which binds to and activates Apg1, is hyperphosphorylated in a Tor-dependent manner, reducing its affinity to Apg1. This Apg1–Apg13 association is required for autophagy, but not for the cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway, another vesicular transport mechanism in which factors essential for autophagy (Apg proteins) are also employed under vegetative growth conditions. Finally, other Apg1-associating proteins, such as Apg17 and Cvt9, are shown to function specifically in autophagy or the Cvt pathway, respectively, suggesting that the Apg1 complex plays an important role in switching between two distinct vesicular transport systems in a nutrient-dependent manner.
starvation; Cvt; yeast; rapamycin; phosphorylation
In macroautophagy, cytoplasmic components are delivered to lysosomes for degradation via autophagosomes that are formed by closure of cup-shaped isolation membranes. However, how the isolation membranes are formed is poorly understood. We recently found in yeast that a novel ubiquitin-like system, the Apg12-Apg5 conjugation system, is essential for autophagy. Here we show that mouse Apg12-Apg5 conjugate localizes to the isolation membranes in mouse embryonic stem cells. Using green fluorescent protein–tagged Apg5, we revealed that the cup-shaped isolation membrane is developed from a small crescent-shaped compartment. Apg5 localizes on the isolation membrane throughout its elongation process. To examine the role of Apg5, we generated Apg5-deficient embryonic stem cells, which showed defects in autophagosome formation. The covalent modification of Apg5 with Apg12 is not required for its membrane targeting, but is essential for involvement of Apg5 in elongation of the isolation membranes. We also show that Apg12-Apg5 is required for targeting of a mammalian Aut7/Apg8 homologue, LC3, to the isolation membranes. These results suggest that the Apg12-Apg5 conjugate plays essential roles in isolation membrane development.
autophagy; ubiquitin-like protein; autophagosome; isolation membrane; gene targeting
Macroautophagy is a catabolic membrane trafficking phenomenon that is observed in all eukaryotic cells in response to various stimuli, such as nitrogen starvation and challenge with specific hormones. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the induction of autophagy involves a direct signal transduction mechanism that affects membrane dynamics. In this system, the induction process modifies a constitutive trafficking pathway called the cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway, which transports the vacuolar hydrolase aminopeptidase I, from the formation of small Cvt vesicles to the formation of autophagosomes. Apg1 is one of the proteins required for the direct signal transduction cascade that modifies membrane dynamics. Although Apg1 is required for both the Cvt pathway and autophagy, we find that Apg1 kinase activity is required only for Cvt trafficking of aminopeptidase I but not for import via autophagy. In addition, the data support a novel role for Apg1 in nucleation of autophagosomes that is distinct from its catalytic kinase activity and imply a qualitative difference in the mechanism of autophagosome and Cvt vesicle formation.
The cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway and macroautophagy are dynamic events involving the rearrangement of membrane to form a sequestering vesicle in the cytosol, which subsequently delivers its cargo to the vacuole. This process requires the concerted action of various proteins, including Apg5p. Recently, it was shown that another protein required for the import of aminopeptidase I (API) and autophagy, Apg12p, is covalently attached to Apg5p through the action of an E1-like enzyme, Apg7p. We have undertaken an analysis of Apg5p function to gain a better understanding of the role of this novel nonubiquitin conjugation reaction in these import pathways. We have generated the first temperature-sensitive mutant in the Cvt pathway, designated apg5ts. Biochemical analysis of API import in the apg5ts strain confirmed that Apg5p is directly required for the import of API via the Cvt pathway. By analyzing the stage of API import that is blocked in the apg5ts mutant, we have determined that Apg5p is involved in the sequestration step and is required for vesicle formation and/or completion.
Autophagy and the Cvt pathway are examples of nonclassical vesicular transport from the cytoplasm to the vacuole via double-membrane vesicles. Apg8/Aut7, which plays an important role in the formation of such vesicles, tends to bind to membranes in spite of its hydrophilic nature. We show here that the nature of the association of Apg8 with membranes changes depending on a series of modifications of the protein itself. First, the carboxy-terminal Arg residue of newly synthesized Apg8 is removed by Apg4/Aut2, a novel cysteine protease, and a Gly residue becomes the carboxy-terminal residue of the protein that is now designated Apg8FG. Subsequently, Apg8FG forms a conjugate with an unidentified molecule “X” and thereby binds tightly to membranes. This modification requires the carboxy-terminal Gly residue of Apg8FG and Apg7, a ubiquitin E1-like enzyme. Finally, the adduct Apg8FG-X is reversed to soluble or loosely membrane-bound Apg8FG by cleavage by Apg4. The mode of action of Apg4, which cleaves both newly synthesized Apg8 and modified Apg8FG, resembles that of deubiquitinating enzymes. A reaction similar to ubiquitination is probably involved in the second modification. The reversible modification of Apg8 appears to be coupled to the membrane dynamics of autophagy and the Cvt pathway.
autophagy/Cvt pathway; Apg4/Aut2; cysteine protease; ubiquitination; deubiquitination
Bulk degradation of cytosol and organelles is important for cellular homeostasis under nutrient limitation, cell differentiation and development. This process occurs in a lytic compartment, and autophagy is the major route to the lysosome and/or vacuole. We found that yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, induces autophagy under various starvation conditions. The whole process is essentially the same as macroautophagy in higher eukaryotic cells. However, little is known about the mechanism of autophagy at a molecular level. To elucidate the molecules involved, a genetic approach was carried out and a total of 16 autophagy-defective mutants (apg) were isolated. So far, 14 APG genes have been cloned. Among them we recently found a unique protein conjugation system essential for autophagy. The C-terminal glycine residue of a novel modifier protein Apg12p, a 186-amino-acid protein, is conjugated to a lysine residue of Apg5p, a 294-amino-acid protein, via an isopeptide bond. We also found that apg7 and apg10 mutants were unable to form an Apg12p-Apg5p conjugate. The conjugation reaction is mediated via Apg7p, E1-like activating enzyme and Apg10p, indicating that it is a ubiquitination-like system. These APG genes have mammalian homologues, suggesting that the Apg12 system is conserved from yeast to human. Further molecular and cell biological analyses of APG gene products will give us crucial clues to uncover the mechanism and regulation of autophagy.
To survive starvation conditions, eukaryotes have developed an evolutionarily conserved process, termed autophagy, by which the vacuole/lysosome mediates the turnover and recycling of non-essential intracellular material for re-use in critical biosynthetic reactions. Morphological and biochemical studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have elucidated the basic steps and mechanisms of the autophagy pathway. Although it is a degradative process, autophagy shows substantial overlap with the biosynthetic cytoplasm to vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway that delivers resident hydrolases to the vacuole. Recent molecular genetics analyses of mutants defective in autophagy and the Cvt pathway, apg, aut, and cvt, have begun to identify the protein machinery and provide a molecular resolution of the sequestration and import mechanism that are characteristic of these pathways. In this study, we have identified a novel protein, termed Apg2, required for both the Cvt and autophagy pathways as well as the specific degradation of peroxisomes. Apg2 is required for the formation and/or completion of cytosolic sequestering vesicles that are needed for vacuolar import through both the Cvt pathway and autophagy. Biochemical studies revealed that Apg2 is a peripheral membrane protein. Apg2 localizes to the previously identified perivacuolar compartment that contains Apg9, the only characterized integral membrane protein that is required for autophagosome/Cvt vesicle formation.
In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, glycogen is accumulated as a carbohydrate reserve when cells are deprived of nutrients. Yeast mutated in SNF1, a gene encoding a protein kinase required for glucose derepression, has diminished glycogen accumulation and concomitant inactivation of glycogen synthase. Restoration of synthesis in an snf1 strain results only in transient glycogen accumulation, implying the existence of other SNF1-dependent controls of glycogen storage. A genetic screen revealed that two genes involved in autophagy, APG1 and APG13, may be regulated by SNF1. Increased autophagic activity was observed in wild-type cells entering the stationary phase, but this induction was impaired in an snf1 strain. Mutants defective for autophagy were able to synthesize glycogen upon approaching the stationary phase, but were unable to maintain their glycogen stores, because subsequent synthesis was impaired and degradation by phosphorylase, Gph1p, was enhanced. Thus, deletion of GPH1 partially reversed the loss of glycogen accumulation in autophagy mutants. Loss of the vacuolar glucosidase, SGA1, also protected glycogen stores, but only very late in the stationary phase. Gph1p and Sga1p may therefore degrade physically distinct pools of glycogen. Pho85p is a cyclin-dependent protein kinase that antagonizes SNF1 control of glycogen synthesis. Induction of autophagy in pho85 mutants entering the stationary phase was exaggerated compared to the level in wild-type cells, but was blocked in apg1 pho85 mutants. We propose that Snf1p and Pho85p are, respectively, positive and negative regulators of autophagy, probably via Apg1 and/or Apg13. Defective glycogen storage in snf1 cells can be attributed to both defective synthesis upon entry into stationary phase and impaired maintenance of glycogen levels caused by the lack of autophagy.
We characterized Apg8/Aut7p essential for autophagy in yeast. Apg8p was transcriptionally upregulated in response to starvation and mostly existed as a protein bound to membrane under both growing and starvation conditions. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that the intracellular localization of Apg8p changed drastically after shift to starvation. Apg8p resided on unidentified tiny dot structures dispersed in the cytoplasm at growing phase. During starvation, it was localized on large punctate structures, some of which were confirmed to be autophagosomes and autophagic bodies by immuno-EM. Besides these structures, we found that Apg8p was enriched on isolation membranes and in electron less-dense regions, which should contain Apg8p-localized membrane- or lipid-containing structures. These structures would represent intermediate structures during autophagosome formation. Here, we also showed that microtubule does not play an essential role in the autophagy in yeast. The result does not match with the previously proposed role of Apg8/Aut7p, delivery of autophagosome to the vacuole along microtubule. Moreover, it is revealed that autophagosome formation is severely impaired in the apg8 null mutant. Apg8p would play an important role in the autophagosome formation.
autophagy; autophagosome; Apg8/Aut7p; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; vacuole
Double membrane structure, autophagosome, is formed de novo in the process of autophagy in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and many Apg proteins participate in this process. To further understand autophagy, we analyzed the involvement of factors engaged in the secretory pathway. First, we showed that Sec18p (N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein, NSF) and Vti1p (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein, SNARE), and soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein receptor are required for fusion of the autophagosome to the vacuole but are not involved in autophagosome formation. Second, Sec12p was shown to be essential for autophagy but not for the cytoplasm to vacuole-targeting (Cvt) (pathway, which shares mostly the same machinery with autophagy. Subcellular fractionation and electron microscopic analyses showed that Cvt vesicles, but not autophagosomes, can be formed in sec12 cells. Three other coatmer protein (COPII) mutants, sec16, sec23, and sec24, were also defective in autophagy. The blockage of autophagy in these mutants was not dependent on transport from endoplasmic reticulum-to-Golgi, because mutations in two other COPII genes, SEC13 and SEC31, did not affect autophagy. These results demonstrate the requirement for subgroup of COPII proteins in autophagy. This evidence demonstrating the involvement of Sec proteins in the mechanism of autophagosome formation is crucial for understanding membrane flow during the process.
Vps30p/Apg6p is required for both autophagy and sorting of carboxypeptidase Y (CPY). Although Vps30p is known to interact with Apg14p, its precise role remains unclear. We found that two proteins copurify with Vps30p. They were identified by mass spectrometry to be Vps38p and Vps34p, a phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) 3–kinase. Vps34p, Vps38p, Apg14p, and Vps15p, an activator of Vps34p, were coimmunoprecipitated with Vps30p. These results indicate that Vps30p functions as a subunit of a Vps34 PtdIns 3–kinase complex(es). Phenotypic analyses indicated that Apg14p and Vps38p are each required for autophagy and CPY sorting, respectively, whereas Vps30p, Vps34p, and Vps15p are required for both processes. Coimmunoprecipitation using anti-Apg14p and anti-Vps38p antibodies and pull-down experiments showed that two distinct Vps34 PtdIns 3–kinase complexes exist: one, containing Vps15p, Vps30p, and Apg14p, functions in autophagy and the other containing Vps15p, Vps30p, and Vps38p functions in CPY sorting. The vps34 and vps15 mutants displayed additional phenotypes such as defects in transport of proteinase A and proteinase B, implying the existence of another PtdIns 3–kinase complex(es). We propose that multiple Vps34p–Vps15p complexes associated with specific regulatory proteins might fulfill their membrane trafficking events at different sites.
Phosphatidylinositol 3–kinase; autophagy; Vps34p; Vps30p/Apg6p; CPY sorting
Proper functioning of organelles necessitates efficient protein targeting to the appropriate subcellular locations. For example, degradation in the fungal vacuole relies on an array of targeting mechanisms for both resident hydrolases and their substrates. The particular processes that are used vary depending on the available nutrients. Under starvation conditions, macroautophagy is the primary method by which bulk cytosol is sequestered into autophagic vesicles (autophagosomes) destined for this organelle. Molecular genetic, morphological, and biochemical evidence indicates that macroautophagy shares much of the same cellular machinery as a biosynthetic pathway for the delivery of the vacuolar hydrolase, aminopeptidase I, via the cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway. The machinery required in both pathways includes a novel protein modification system involving the conjugation of two autophagy proteins, Apg12p and Apg5p. The conjugation reaction was demonstrated to be dependent on Apg7p, which shares homology with the E1 family of ubiquitin-activating enzymes. In this study, we demonstrate that Apg7p functions at the sequestration step in the formation of Cvt vesicles and autophagosomes. The subcellular localization of Apg7p fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP) indicates that a subpopulation of Apg7pGFP becomes membrane associated in an Apg12p-dependent manner. Subcellular fractionation experiments also indicate that a portion of the Apg7p pool is pelletable under starvation conditions. Finally, we demonstrate that the Pichia pastoris homologue Gsa7p that is required for peroxisome degradation is functionally similar to Apg7p, indicating that this novel conjugation system may represent a general nonclassical targeting mechanism that is conserved across species.
In nutrient-rich, vegetative conditions, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae transports a resident protease, aminopeptidase I (API), to the vacuole by the cytoplasm to vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway, thus contributing to the degradative capacity of this organelle. When cells subsequently encounter starvation conditions, the machinery that recruited precursor API (prAPI) also sequesters bulk cytosol for delivery, breakdown, and recycling in the vacuole by the autophagy pathway. Each of these overlapping alternative transport pathways is specifically mobilized depending on environmental cues. The basic mechanism of cargo packaging and delivery involves the formation of a double-membrane transport vesicle around prAPI and/or bulk cytosol. Upon completion, these Cvt and autophagic vesicles are targeted to the vacuole to allow delivery of their lumenal contents.
Key questions remain regarding the origin and formation of the transport vesicle. In this study, we have cloned the APG9/CVT7 gene and characterized the gene product. Apg9p/Cvt7p is the first characterized integral membrane protein required for Cvt and autophagy transport. Biochemical and morphological analyses indicate that Apg9p/Cvt7p is localized to large perivacuolar punctate structures, but does not colocalize with typical endomembrane marker proteins. Finally, we have isolated a temperature conditional allele of APG9/CVT7 and demonstrate the direct role of Apg9p/Cvt7p in the formation of the Cvt and autophagic vesicles. From these results, we propose that Apg9p/Cvt7p may serve as a marker for a specialized compartment essential for these vesicle-mediated alternative targeting pathways.
aminopeptidase I; lysosome; protein targeting; vacuole; yeast
The genome of the cytopathogenic (cp) bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) JaCP contains a cellular insertion coding for light chain 3 (LC3) of microtubule-associated proteins, the mammalian homologue of yeast Aut7p/Apg8p. The cellular insertion induces cp BVDV-specific processing of the viral polyprotein by a cellular cysteine protease homologous to the known yeast protease Aut2p/Apg4p. Three candidate bovine protease genes were identified on the basis of the sequence similarity of their products with the Saccharomyces cerevisiae enzyme. The search for a system for functional testing of these putative LC3-specific proteases revealed that the components involved in this processing have been highly conserved during evolution, so that the substrate derived from a mammalian virus is processed in cells of mammalian, avian, fish, and insect origin, as well as in rabbit reticulocyte lysate, but not in wheat germ extracts. Moreover, two of these proteases and a homologous protein from chickens were able to rescue the defect of a yeast AUT2 deletion mutant. In coexpression experiments with yeast and wheat germ extracts one of the bovine proteases and the corresponding enzyme from chickens were able to process the viral polyprotein containing LC3. Northern blots showed that bovine viral diarrhea virus infection of cells has no significant influence on the expression of either LC3 or its protease, bAut2B2. However, LC3-specific processing of the viral polyprotein containing the cellular insertion is essential for replication of the virus since mutants with changes in the LC3 insertion significantly affecting processing at the LC3/NS3 site were not viable.
Under starvation conditions, the majority of intracellular degradation occurs at the lysosome or vacuole by the autophagy pathway. The cytoplasmic substrates destined for degradation are packaged inside unique double-membrane transport vesicles called autophagosomes and are targeted to the lysosome/vacuole for subsequent breakdown and recycling. Genetic analyses of yeast autophagy mutants, apg and aut, have begun to identify the molecular machinery as well as indicate a substantial overlap with the biosynthetic cytoplasm to vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway. Transport vesicle formation is a key regulatory step of both pathways. In this study, we characterize the putative compartment from which both autophagosomes and the analogous Cvt vesicles may originate. Microscopy analyses identified a perivacuolar membrane as the resident compartment for both the Apg1-Cvt9 signaling complex, which mediates the switching between autophagic and Cvt transport, and the autophagy/Cvt-specific phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase complex. Furthermore, the perivacuolar compartment designates the initial site of membrane binding by the Apg/Cvt vesicle component Aut7, the Cvt cargo receptor Cvt19, and the Apg conjugation machinery, which functions in the de novo formation of vesicles. Biochemical isolation of the vesicle component Aut7 and density gradient analyses recapitulate the microscopy findings although also supporting the paradigm that components required for vesicle formation and packaging concentrate at subdomains within the donor membrane compartment.
Background. Autologous platelet-rich gel (APG) is an effective method to improve ulcer healing. However, the mechanisms are not clear. This study aimed to investigate the antibacterial effect of APG in vitro. Methods. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), platelet-poor plasma (PPP) and APG were prepared from whole blood of sixteen diabetic patients with dermal ulcers. Antibacterial effects against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were evaluated by bacteriostasis assay of APG, PRP, and APG-APO (APG combined with apocynin), with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and PPP as the control group. Results. (1) Compared to the PBS and PPP, the APG and APG-APO groups showed strong antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) between APG and APG-APO. (2) Compared to PBS, APG, APG-APO, and PRP showed obvious antibacterial effects against Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. No significant difference (P > 0.05) was revealed among the three groups. Compared to the PPP group, they did not show antibacterial effect against Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P > 0.05). Conclusions. APG has antibacterial effect against Staphylococcus aureus mediated by platelet activation in the diabetic patients with dermal ulcer, and does not present obvious antibacterial effect against Escherichia coli or Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Combination of APG and antibiotics may have synergistic antibacterial effect.
An acidic polysaccharide of Panax ginseng (APG), so called ginsan is known to have important immunomodulatory activities. It was recently reported that APG has radioprotective effects in mice but the detailed mechanism was not fully elucidated. This study examined the effects of APG on bone marrow cells (BMs). The phenotypical and functional changes in APG-treated BMs after gamma radiation were studied. The benefit of APG on BMs damaged by gamma radiation was determined by measuring the cell viability. Using 2 different assays, a pretreatment with APG significantly increased the viability of BMs against gamma radiation. APG-treated BMs had a significantly higher amount of IL-12, which is a major cytokine for immune responses, compared with the medium-treated BMs. The expression of MHC class II molecules of APG-treated BMs was also increased, and APG-treated BMs showed significantly higher levels of allogeneic CD4+ T lymphocyte proliferation. Furthermore, APG-treated mice had a larger number of BMs after gamma radiation than the control mice, and the BMs of APG-treated mice were successfully cultured into dendritic cells, which are the representative antigen-presenting cells. Overall, this study shows that APG alters the phenotype of BMs, increases the viability and alloreactivity of BMs after gamma radiation both in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, APG may be a good candidate radioprotective agent for BMs.
bone marrow cells; gamma radiation; ginsan; Panax ginseng; radioprotection
Autophagy is a catabolic membrane-trafficking mechanism involved in cell maintenance and development. Most components of autophagy also function in the cytoplasm to vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway, a constitutive biosynthetic pathway required for the transport of aminopeptidase I (Ape1). The protein components of autophagy and the Cvt pathway include a putative complex composed of Apg1 kinase and several interacting proteins that are specific for either the Cvt pathway or autophagy. A second required complex includes a phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) 3-kinase and associated proteins that are involved in its activation and localization. The majority of proteins required for the Cvt and autophagy pathways localize to a perivacuolar pre-autophagosomal structure. We show that the Cvt13 and Cvt20 proteins are required for transport of precursor Ape1 through the Cvt pathway. Both proteins contain phox homology domains that bind PtdIns(3)P and are necessary for membrane localization to the pre-autophagosomal structure. Functional phox homology domains are required for Cvt pathway function. Cvt13 and Cvt20 interact with each other and with an autophagy-specific protein, Apg17, that interacts with Apg1 kinase. These results provide the first functional connection between the Apg1 and PtdIns 3-kinase complexes. The data suggest a role for PtdIns(3)P in the Cvt pathway and demonstrate that this lipid is required at the pre-autophagosomal structure.
Cvt19 is specifically required for the transport of resident vacuolar hydrolases that utilize the cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway. Autophagy (Apg) and pexophagy, processes that use the majority of the same protein components as the Cvt pathway, do not require Cvt19. Cvt19GFP is localized to punctate structures on or near the vacuole surface. Cvt19 is a peripheral membrane protein that binds to the precursor form of the Cvt cargo protein aminopeptidase I (prAPI) and travels to the vacuole with prAPI. These results suggest that Cvt19 is a receptor protein for prAPI that allows for the selective transport of this protein by both the Cvt and Apg pathways.
Apigenin (APG), a flavone, is known to exhibit antioxidant, antimutagenic and antitumorigenic activity, both in vivo and in vitro. The aim of this study is to investigate the modulatory effects of APG on human lymphocytes after irradiation with gamma rays (3 Gy) or treatment with the antineoplastic agent, mitomycin C (MMC), in vitro. Cytogenetic biomarkers such as chromosome aberrations (CAs), sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) and cytochalasin-B blocked micronuclei (CBMN), were studied in blood lymphocytes treated with radiation, or antineoplastic agent (MMC), and APG. Whole blood lymphocytes were cultured in vitro using a standard protocol. No significant differences were found in the frequency of CAs or micronuclei (MN) in human peripheral blood lymphocytes irradiated with gamma rays (3 Gy) and then post-treated with APG. There was an increase in the frequency of SCEs per cell in APG-treated samples compared with the controls. Lymphocytes treated with MMC in the presence of APG exhibited a significant decrease (P < 0.01) in the frequency of SCEs compared with MMC treatment alone. The data for the MN test indicated that APG treatment significantly reduced (P < 0.01) the frequency of MMC-induced MN.
Radiation; chromosomal aberration; cytochalasin-B blocked micronuclei; sister chromatid exchange; mitomycin C; antimutagenic; apigenin
Macroautophagy mediates the bulk degradation of cytoplasmic components. It accounts for the degradation of most long-lived proteins: cytoplasmic constituents, including organelles, are sequestered into autophagosomes, which subsequently fuse with lysosomes, where degradation occurs. Although the possible involvement of autophagy in homeostasis, development, cell death, and pathogenesis has been repeatedly pointed out, systematic in vivo analysis has not been performed in mammals, mainly because of a limitation of monitoring methods. To understand where and when autophagy occurs in vivo, we have generated transgenic mice systemically expressing GFP fused to LC3, which is a mammalian homologue of yeast Atg8 (Aut7/Apg8) and serves as a marker protein for autophagosomes. Fluorescence microscopic analyses revealed that autophagy is differently induced by nutrient starvation in most tissues. In some tissues, autophagy even occurs actively without starvation treatments. Our results suggest that the regulation of autophagy is organ dependent and the role of autophagy is not restricted to the starvation response. This transgenic mouse model is a useful tool to study mammalian autophagy.
The tight junction adaptor protein ZO-1 regulates intracellular signaling and cell proliferation. Its Src homology 3 (SH3) domain is required for the regulation of proliferation and binds to the Y-box transcription factor ZO-1-associated nucleic acid binding protein (ZONAB). Binding of ZO-1 to ZONAB results in cytoplasmic sequestration and hence inhibition of ZONAB's transcriptional activity. Here, we identify a new binding partner of the SH3 domain that modulates ZO-1–ZONAB signaling. Expression screening of a cDNA library with a fusion protein containing the SH3 domain yielded a cDNA coding for Apg-2, a member of the heat-shock protein 110 (Hsp 110) subfamily of Hsp70 heat-shock proteins, which is overexpressed in carcinomas. Regulated depletion of Apg-2 in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells inhibits G1/S phase progression. Apg-2 coimmunoprecipitates with ZO-1 and partially localizes to intercellular junctions. Junctional recruitment and coimmunoprecipitation with ZO-1 are stimulated by heat shock. Apg-2 competes with ZONAB for binding to the SH3 domain in vitro and regulates ZONAB's transcriptional activity in reporter gene assays. Our data hence support a model in which Apg-2 regulates ZONAB function by competing for binding to the SH3 domain of ZO-1 and suggest that Apg-2 functions as a regulator of ZO-1–ZONAB signaling in epithelial cells in response to cellular stress.
Autophagy enables cells to recycle long-lived proteins or damaged organelles. Beclin 1, the mammalian orthologue of the yeast Apg6/Vps30 gene, functions as a scaffold for the formation of autophagosomes.
Materials and method:
The immunohistochemical patterns of Beclin 1 expression and their prognostic relevance were studied in formalin-fixed tissues from 155 patients with colorectal adenocarcinoma treated with surgery alone.
Using the weak homogeneous expression of Beclin 1 in normal colonic tissues as a basis for assessing tumours, the following grouping/staining patterns were recognised in colorectal carcinomas: a normal-like pattern in 62 of 155 (40%) cases, an underexpression pattern in 24 of 155 (15.5%) cases, extensive overexpression of Beclin 1 in 33 of 155 (21.3%) tumours and limited overexpression of the protein in 36 of 155 (23.2%) tumours. Extensive overexpression of Beclin 1 was significantly linked with overexpression of HIF1α and LDH5, as well as with high histological grade, vascular invasion and nodal involvement. Furthermore, patients with extensive over- or underexpression of Beclin 1 had a significantly poorer overall survival compared with the other two groups (P<0.0001). Beclin 1 had an independent prognostic relevance in multivariate analysis.
Beclin 1 has an important role in growth and metastasis of colorectal cancer. Loss of Beclin 1 expression (allelic loss or microRNA regulatory activity, as suggested in the literature) defines poor prognosis presumably by promoting anti-apoptotic pathways, while overexpression of the protein, being linked with tumour hypoxia and acidity, also defines subgroups of tumours with aggressive clinical behaviour.
Beclin 1; colon cancer; autophagy; HIF1α; LDH
Nucleus-vacuole (NV) junctions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae are formed through specific interactions between Vac8p on the vacuole membrane and Nvj1p in the nuclear envelope. Herein, we report that NV junctions in yeast promote piecemeal microautophagy of the nucleus (PMN). During PMN, teardrop-like blebs are pinched from the nucleus, released into the vacuole lumen, and degraded by soluble hydrolases. PMN occurs in rapidly dividing cells but is induced to higher levels by carbon and nitrogen starvation and is under the control of the Tor kinase nutrient-sensing pathway. Confocal and biochemical assays demonstrate that Nvj1p is degraded in a PMN-dependent manner. PMN occurs normally in apg7-Δ cells and is, therefore, not dependent on macroautophagy. Transmission electron microscopy reveals that portions of the granular nucleolus are often sequestered into PMN structures. These results introduce a novel mode of selective microautophagy that targets nonessential components of the yeast nucleus for degradation and recycling in the vacuole.
Human valacyclovirase (hVACVase) is a prodrug-activating enzyme for amino acid prodrugs including the antiviral drugs valacyclovir and valganciclovir. In hVACVase-catalyzed reactions, the leaving group of the substrate corresponds to the drug moiety of the prodrug, making the leaving group effect essential for the rational design of new prodrugs targeting hVACVase activation. In this study, a series of valine esters, phenylalanine esters and a valine amide were characterized for the effect of the leaving group on the efficiency of hVACVase-mediated prodrug activation. Except for phenylalanine methyl and ethyl esters, all of the ester substrates exhibited a relatively high specificity constant (kcat/Km), ranging from 850 to 9490 mM-1·s-1. The valine amide Val-3-APG exhibited significantly higher Km and lower kcat values compared to the corresponding ester Val-3-HPG, indicating poor specificity for hVACVase. In conclusion, the substrate leaving group has been shown to affect both binding and specific activity of hVACVase-catalyzed activation. It is proposed that hVACVase is an ideal target for α-amino acid ester prodrugs with relatively labile leaving groups, while it is relatively inactivate towards amide prodrugs.