Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung disease characterized by abnormal cellular responses to cigarette smoke, resulting in tissue destruction and airflow limitation. Autophagy is a degradative process involving lysosomal turnover of cellular components, though its role in human diseases remains unclear.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Increased autophagy was observed in lung tissue from COPD patients, as indicated by electron microscopic analysis, as well as by increased activation of autophagic proteins (microtubule-associated protein-1 light chain-3B, LC3B, Atg4, Atg5/12, Atg7). Cigarette smoke extract (CSE) is an established model for studying the effects of cigarette smoke exposure in vitro. In human pulmonary epithelial cells, exposure to CSE or histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor rapidly induced autophagy. CSE decreased HDAC activity, resulting in increased binding of early growth response-1 (Egr-1) and E2F factors to the autophagy gene LC3B promoter, and increased LC3B expression. Knockdown of E2F-4 or Egr-1 inhibited CSE-induced LC3B expression. Knockdown of Egr-1 also inhibited the expression of Atg4B, a critical factor for LC3B conversion. Inhibition of autophagy by LC3B-knockdown protected epithelial cells from CSE-induced apoptosis. Egr-1−/− mice, which displayed basal airspace enlargement, resisted cigarette-smoke induced autophagy, apoptosis, and emphysema.
We demonstrate a critical role for Egr-1 in promoting autophagy and apoptosis in response to cigarette smoke exposure in vitro and in vivo. The induction of autophagy at early stages of COPD progression suggests novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of cigarette smoke induced lung injury.
Tobacco smoke-induced accelerated cell senescence has been implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Cell senescence is accompanied by the accumulation of damaged cellular components suggesting that in COPD, inhibition of autophagy may contribute to cell senescence. Here we look at whether autophagy contributes to cigarette smoke extract (CSE) - induced cell senescence of primary human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEC), and further evaluate p62 and ubiquitinated protein levels in lung homogenates from COPD patients. We demonstrate that CSE transiently induces activation of autophagy in HBEC, followed by accelerated cell senescence and concomitant accumulation of p62 and ubiquitinated proteins. Autophagy inhibition further enhanced accumulations of p62 and ubiquitinated proteins, resulting in increased senescence and senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) with interleukin (IL)-8 secretion. Conversely, autophagy activation by Torin1, a mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR inhibitor), suppressed accumulations of p62 and ubiquitinated proteins and inhibits cell senescence. Despite increased baseline activity, autophagy induction in response to CSE was significantly decreased in HBEC from COPD patients. Increased accumulations of p62 and ubiquitinated proteins were detected in lung homogenates from COPD patients. Insufficient autophagic clearance of damaged proteins, including ubiquitinated proteins, is involved in accelerated cell senescence in COPD, suggesting a novel protective role for autophagy in the tobacco smoke-induced senescence-associated lung disease, COPD.
autophagy; COPD; p62; senescence; ubiquitin
Autophagy, or “self eating,” refers to a regulated cellular process for the lysosomal-dependent turnover of organelles and proteins. During starvation or nutrient deficiency, autophagy promotes survival through the replenishment of metabolic precursors derived from the degradation of endogenous cellular components. Autophagy represents a general homeostatic and inducible adaptive response to environmental stress, including endoplasmic reticulum stress, hypoxia, oxidative stress, and exposure to pharmaceuticals and xenobiotics. Whereas elevated autophagy can be observed in dying cells, the functional relationships between autophagy and programmed cell death pathways remain incompletely understood. Preclinical studies have identified autophagy as a process that can be activated during vascular disorders, including ischemia–reperfusion injury of the heart and other organs, cardiomyopathy, myocardial injury, and atherosclerosis. The functional significance of autophagy in human cardiovascular disease pathogenesis remains incompletely understood, and potentially involves both adaptive and maladaptive outcomes, depending on model system. Although relatively few studies have been performed in the lung, our recent studies also implicate a role for autophagy in chronic lung disease. Manipulation of the signaling pathways that regulate autophagy could potentially provide a novel therapeutic strategy in the prevention or treatment of human disease.
autophagy; apoptosis; vascular disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are leading cause of death, and both are associated with cigarette smoke exposure. It has been shown that 50–70% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer suffer from COPD, and reduced lung function is an important event in lung cancer suggesting an association between COPD and lung cancer. However, a causal relationship between COPD and lung tumorigenesis is not yet fully understood. Recent studies have suggested a central role of chronic inflammation in pathogenesis of both the diseases. For example, immune dysfunction, abnormal activation of NF-κB, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, altered adhesion signaling pathways, and extracellular matrix degradation/altered signaling are the key underlying mechanisms in both COPD and lung cancer. These parameters along with other processes, such as chromatin modifications/epigenetic changes, angiogenesis, and autophagy/apoptosis are altered by cigarette smoke, are crucial in the development of COPD and lung cancer. Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these processes will provide novel avenues for halting the chronic inflammation in COPD and devising therapeutic strategies against lung cancer.
Cigarette smoke; angiogenesis; oxidants; epigenetics; growth factors
Autophagy provides a mechanism for the turnover of cellular organelles and proteins through a lysosome-dependent degradation pathway. During starvation, autophagy exerts a homeostatic function that promotes cell survival by recycling metabolic precursors. Additionally, autophagy can interact with other vital processes such as programmed cell death, inflammation, and adaptive immune mechanisms, and thereby potentially influence disease pathogenesis. Macrophages deficient in autophagic proteins display enhanced caspase-1-dependent proinflammatory cytokine production and the activation of the inflammasome. Autophagy provides a functional role in infectious diseases and sepsis by promoting intracellular bacterial clearance. Mutations in autophagy-related genes, leading to loss of autophagic function, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease. Furthermore, autophagy-dependent mechanisms have been proposed in the pathogenesis of several pulmonary diseases that involve inflammation, including cystic fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension. Strategies aimed at modulating autophagy may lead to therapeutic interventions for diseases associated with inflammation.
Autophagy is a cellular process for the disposal of damaged organelles or denatured proteins through a lysosomal degradation pathway. By reducing endogenous macromolecules to their basic components (i.e., amino acids, lipids), autophagy serves a homeostatic function by ensuring cell survival during starvation. Increased autophagy can be found in dying cells, although the relationships between autophagy and programmed cell death remain unclear. To date, few studies have examined the regulation and functional significance of autophagy in human lung disease. The lung, a complex organ that functions primarily in gas exchange, consists of diverse cell types (i.e., endothelial, epithelial, mesenchymal, inflammatory). In lung cells, autophagy may represent a general inducible adaptive response to injury resulting from exposure to stress agents, including hypoxia, oxidants, inflammation, ischemia–reperfusion, endoplasmic reticulum stress, pharmaceuticals, or inhaled xenobiotics (i.e., air pollution, cigarette smoke). In recent studies, we have observed increased autophagy in mouse lungs subjected to chronic cigarette smoke exposure, and in pulmonary epithelial cells exposed to cigarette smoke extract. Knockdown of autophagic proteins inhibited apoptosis in response to cigarette smoke exposure in vitro, suggesting that increased autophagy was associated with epithelial cell death. We have also observed increased morphological and biochemical markers of autophagy in human lung specimens from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We hypothesize that increased autophagy contributes to COPD pathogenesis by promoting epithelial cell death. Further research will examine whether autophagy plays a homeostatic or maladaptive role in COPD and other human lung diseases.
autophagy; apoptosis; pulmonary disease
Macroautophagy (autophagy hereafter) is a catabolic process by which cells degrade intracellular components in lysosomes. This cellular garbage disposal and intracellular recycling provided by autophagy serves to maintain cellular homeostasis by eliminating superfluous or damaged proteins and organelles, and invading microbes, or to provide substrates for energy generation and biosynthesis in stress. Thus, autophagy promotes the health of cells and animals and is critical for development, differentiation and maintenance of cell function and for the host defense against pathogens. Deregulation of autophagy is linked to susceptibility to various disorders including degenerative diseases, metabolic syndrome, aging, infectious diseases and cancer. Autophagic activity emerges as a critical factor in development and progression of diseases that are associated with increased cancer risk as well as in different stages of cancer. Given that cancer is a complex process and autophagy exerts its effect in multiple ways, role of autophagy in tumorigenesis is context-dependent. As a cytoprotective survival pathway, autophagy prevents chronic tissue damage and cell death that can lead to cancer initiation and progression. As such, stimulation or restoration of autophagy may prevent cancer. By contrast, once cancer occurs, cancer cells may utilize autophagy to enhance fitness to survive with altered metabolism and in the hostile tumor microenvironment. In this setting autophagy inhibition would instead become a strategy for therapy of established cancers.
autophagy; metabolism; homeostasis; inflammation; cancer prevention
Autophagy is a fundamental cellular process that eliminates long-lived proteins and damaged organelles through lysosomal degradation pathway. Cigarette smoke (CS)-mediated oxidative stress induces cytotoxic responses in lung cells. However, the role of autophagy and its mechanism in CS-mediated cytotoxic responses is not known. We hypothesized that NAD+-dependent deacetylase, sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) plays an important role in regulating autophagy in response to CS. CS exposure resulted in induction of autophagy in lung epithelial cells, fibroblasts and macrophages. Pretreatment of cells with SIRT1 activator resveratrol attenuated CS-induced autophagy whereas the SIRT1 inhibitor, sirtinol, augmented CS-induced autophagy. Elevated levels of autophagy were induced by CS in the lungs of SIRT1 deficient mice. Inhibition of poly(ADP-ribose)-polymerase-1 (PARP-1) attenuated CS-induced autophagy via SIRT1 activation. These data suggest that the SIRT1-PARP-1 axis plays a critical role in the regulation of CS-induced autophagy and have important implications in understanding the mechanisms of CS-induced cell death and senescence.
SIRT1; PARP-1; resveratrol; cigarette smoke; autophagy
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic pathway of lysosome-dependent turnover of damaged proteins and organelles. When nutrients are in short supply, bulk removal of cytoplasmic components by autophagy replenishes depleted energy stores, a process critical for maintaining cellular homeostasis. However, prolonged activation of autophagic pathways can result in cell death. Longstanding evidence has linked the stimulation of lysosomal pathways to pathologic cardiac remodeling and a number of cardiac diseases, including heart failure and ischemia. Only recently, however, has work begun to parse cyto-protective autophagy from autophagy that contributes to disease pathogenesis. Current thinking suggests that the effects of autophagy exist on a continuum, with the eliciting triggers, the duration and amplitude of autophagic flux, and possibly the targeted intra cellular cargo as critical determinants of the end result. Deciphering how autophagy participates in basal homeostasis of the heart, in aging, and in disease pathogenesis may uncover novel insights with clinical relevance in the treatment of heart disease.
(Macro)autophagy is a membrane-trafficking process that serves to sequester cellular constituents in organelles termed autophagosomes, which target their degradation in the lysosome. Autophagy operates at basal levels in all cells where it serves as a homeostatic mechanism to maintain cellular integrity. The levels and cargoes of autophagy can, however, change in response to a variety of stimuli, and perturbations in autophagy are known to be involved in the etiology of various human diseases. Autophagy must therefore be tightly controlled. We report here that the Drosophila cyclindependent kinase PITSLRE is a modulator of autophagy. Loss of the human PITSLRE ortholog, CDK11, initially appears to induce autophagy, but at later time points CDK11 is critically required for autophagic flux and cargo digestion. Since PITSLRE/CDK11 regulates autophagy in both Drosophila and human cells, this kinase represents a novel phylogenetically conserved component of the autophagy machinery.
PITSLRE; CDK11; cyclin-dependent kinase; autophagy; human; Drosophila
Autophagy is a basic cellular homeostatic process important to cell fate decisions under conditions of stress. Dysregulation of autophagy impacts numerous human diseases including cancer and chronic obstructive lung disease. This study investigates the role of autophagy in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Human lung tissues from patients with IPF were analyzed for autophagy markers and modulating proteins using western blotting, confocal microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. To study the effects of TGF-β1 on autophagy, human lung fibroblasts were monitored by fluorescence microscopy and western blotting. In vivo experiments were done using the bleomycin-induced fibrosis mouse model.
Lung tissues from IPF patients demonstrate evidence of decreased autophagic activity as assessed by LC3, p62 protein expression and immunofluorescence, and numbers of autophagosomes. TGF-β1 inhibits autophagy in fibroblasts in vitro at least in part via activation of mTORC1; expression of TIGAR is also increased in response to TGF-β1. In the bleomycin model of pulmonary fibrosis, rapamycin treatment is antifibrotic, and rapamycin also decreases expression of á-smooth muscle actin and fibronectin by fibroblasts in vitro. Inhibition of key regulators of autophagy, LC3 and beclin-1, leads to the opposite effect on fibroblast expression of á-smooth muscle actin and fibronectin.
Autophagy is not induced in pulmonary fibrosis despite activation of pathways known to promote autophagy. Impairment of autophagy by TGF-β1 may represent a mechanism for the promotion of fibrogenesis in IPF.
Autophagy is a catabolic membrane-trafficking process that leads to sequestration and degradation of intracellular material within lysosomes. It is executed at basal levels in every cell and promotes cellular homeostasis by regulating organelle and protein turnover. In response to various forms of cellular stress, however, the levels and cargoes of autophagy can be modulated. In nutrient-deprived states, for example, autophagy can be activated to degrade cargoes for cell-autonomous energy production to promote cell survival. In other contexts, in contrast, autophagy has been shown to contribute to cell death. Given these dual effects in regulating cell viability, it is no surprise that autophagy has implications in both the genesis and treatment of malignant disease. In this review, we provide a comprehensive appraisal of the way in which oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes regulate autophagy. In addition, we address the current evidence from human cancer and animal models that has aided our understanding of the role of autophagy in tumour progression. Finally, the potential for targeting autophagy therapeutically is discussed in light of the functions of autophagy at different stages of tumour progression and in normal tissues.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a global health problem, and current therapy for COPD is poorly effective and the mainstays of pharmacotherapy are bronchodilators. A better understanding of the pathobiology of COPD is critical for the development of novel therapies. In the present review, we have discussed the roles of oxidative/aldehyde stress, inflammation/immunity, and chromatin remodeling in the pathogenesis of COPD. Imbalance of oxidant/antioxidant balance caused by cigarette smoke and other pollutants/biomass fuels plays an important role in the pathogenesis of COPD by regulating redox-sensitive transcription factors (e.g. NF-κB), autophagy and unfolded protein response leading to chronic lung inflammatory response. Cigarette smoke also activates canonical/alternative NF-κB pathways and their upstream kinases leading to sustained inflammatory response in lungs. Recently, epigenetic regulation has been shown to be critical for the development of COPD because the expression/activity of enzymes that regulate these epigenetic modifications have been reported to be abnormal in airways of COPD patients. Hence, the significant advances made in understanding the pathophysiology of COPD as described herein will identify novel therapeutic targets for intervening COPD.
COPD; oxidants; smokers; inflammation; epigenetics; NF-κB; SIRT1
Autophagy is a homeostatic and catabolic process that enables the sequestration and lysosomal degradation of cytoplasmic organelles and proteins that is important for the maintenance of genomic stability and cell survival. Beclin 1+/− gene knockout mice are tumor prone, indicating a tumor suppressor role for autophagy. Autophagy is also a mechanism of stress tolerance that maintains cell viability and can lead to tumor dormancy, progression and therapeutic resistance. Many anticancer drugs induce cytotoxic stress that can activate pro-survival autophagy. In some contexts, excessive or prolonged autophagy can lead to tumor cell death. Inhibition of cytoprotective autophagy by genetic or pharmacological means has been shown to enhance anticancer drug-induced cell death, suggesting a novel therapeutic strategy. Studies are ongoing to define optimal strategies to modulate autophagy for cancer prevention and therapy, and to exploit it as a target for anticancer drug discovery.
autophagy; beclin 1; cell death; cancer treatment
Autophagy is a homeostatic, catabolic degradation process whereby cellular proteins and organelles are engulfed into autophagosomes, digested in lysosomes and recycled to sustain cellular metabolism. Autophagy has dual roles in cancer, acting as both a tumor suppressor by preventing the accumulation of damaged proteins and organelles and as a mechanism of cell survival that can promote the growth of established tumors. Tumor cells activate autophagy in response to cellular stress including hypoxia and increased metabolic demands related to rapid cell proliferation. Autophagy-related stress tolerance can enable cell survival by maintaining energy production that can lead to tumor growth and therapeutic resistance, as shown in preclinical models where the inhibition of autophagy can restore chemosensitivity and enhance tumor cell death. These results established autophagy as a therapeutic target and have led to multiple early phase clinical trials in humans evaluating autophagy inhibition using hydroxychloroquine in combination with chemotherapy or targeted agents. Targeting autophagy in cancer provides new opportunities for drug development since more potent and specific inhibitors of autophagy are needed. The role of autophagy and its regulation in cancer cells continues to emerge and studies aim to define optimal strategies to modulate autophagy for therapeutic advantage.
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved process of cytoplasm and cellular organelle degradation in lysosomes. Autophagy is a survival pathway required for cellular viability during starvation; however, if it proceeds to completion, autophagy can lead to cell death. In neurons, constitutive autophagy limits accumulation of polyubiquitinated proteins and prevents neuronal degeneration. Therefore, autophagy has emerged as a homeostatic mechanism regulating the turnover of long-lived or damaged proteins and organelles, and buffering metabolic stress under conditions of nutrient deprivation by recycling intracellular constituents. Autophagy also plays a role in tumorigenesis, as the essential autophagy regulator beclin1 is monoallelically deleted in many human ovarian, breast, and prostate cancers, and beclin1+/− mice are tumor-prone. We found that allelic loss of beclin1 renders immortalized mouse mammary epithelial cells susceptible to metabolic stress and accelerates lumen formation in mammary acini. Autophagy defects also activate the DNA damage response in vitro and in mammary tumors in vivo, promote gene amplification, and synergize with defective apoptosis to accelerate mammary tumorigenesis. Thus, loss of the prosurvival role of autophagy likely contributes to breast cancer progression by promoting genome damage and instability. Exploring the yet unknown relationship between defective autophagy and other breast cancer-promoting functions may provide valuable insight into the pathogenesis of breast cancer and may have significant prognostic and therapeutic implications for breast cancer patients.
autophagy; breast cancer; beclin1; DNA damage; genomic instability
Autophagy is a highly conserved homeostatic pathway by which cells transport damaged proteins and organelles to lysosomes for degradation. Dysregulation of autophagy contributes to the pathogenesis of clinically important disorders in a variety of organ systems but, until recently, little was known about its relationship to diseases of the lung. However, there is now growing evidence at the basic research level that autophagy is linked to the pathogenesis of important pulmonary disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, and tuberculosis. In this review, we provide an introduction to the field of autophagy research geared to clinical and research pulmonologists. We focus on the best-studied autophagic mechanism, macroautophagy, and summarize studies that link the regulation of this pathway to pulmonary disease. Last, we offer our perspective on how a better understanding of macroautophagy might be used for designing novel therapies for pulmonary disorders.
autophagy; macroautophagy; lung; disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved, catabolic process that involves the entrapment of cytoplasmic components within characteristic vesicles for their delivery to and degradation within lysosomes. Autophagy is regulated via a group of genes called AuTophaGy-related genes and is executed at basal levels in virtually all cells as a homeostatic mechanism for maintaining cellular integrity. The levels and cargos of autophagy can be modulated in response to a variety of intra- and extracellular cues to bring about specific and selective events. Autophagy is a multifaceted process and alterations in autophagic signalling pathways are frequently found in cancer and many other diseases. During tumour development and in cancer therapy, autophagy has paradoxically been reported to have roles in promoting both cell survival and cell death. In addition, autophagy has been reported to control other processes relevant to the aetiology of malignant disease, including oxidative stress, inflammation and both innate and acquired immunity. It is the aim of this review to describe the molecular basis and the signalling events that control autophagy in mammalian cells and to summarize the cellular functions that contribute to tumourigenesis when autophagy is perturbed.
Autophagy is a cellular lysosome-dependent catabolic mechanism mediating the turnover of intracellular organelles and long-lived proteins. Dysfunction of autophagy has been implicated in multiple human diseases. Identification of novel autophagy factors in mammalian cells is important for understanding how this complex cellular pathway responds to a broad range of challenges. Here we report that mitochondrial electron transport chain (mETC) complex III plays a role in autophagy induction. We show that antimycin A, a known inhibitor of mETC complex III, can inhibit autophagy. A structural and functional study shows that four close analogs of antimycin A that have no effect on mitochondria inhibition also do not inhibit autophagy; while myxothiazol, another mETC complex III inhibitor with unrelated structure to antimycin A, inhibits autophagy. Additionally, antimycin A and myxothiazol cannot inhibit autophagy in mtDNA-depleted H4 and mtDNA-depleted HeLa cells. These data suggest that antimycin A inhibits autophagy through its inhibitory activity on mETC complex III. Our data suggest that mETC complex III may have a role in mediating autophagy induction.
autophagy; antimycin A; myxothiazol; mitochondrial electron transport chain (mETC); autophagosomal membranes; mETC inhibitors; complex III inhibitor
Periodontitis, the most prevalent chronic inflammatory disease, has been related to cardiovascular diseases. Autophagy provides a mechanism for the turnover of cellular organelles and proteins through a lysosome-dependent degradation pathway. The aim of this research was to study the role of autophagy in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with periodontitis and gingival fibroblasts treated with a lipopolysaccharide of Porphyromonas gingivalis. Autophagy-dependent mechanisms have been proposed in the pathogenesis of inflammatory disorders and in other diseases related to periodontitis, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Thus it is important to study the role of autophagy in the pathophysiology of periodontitis.
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with periodontitis (n = 38) and without periodontitis (n = 20) were used to study autophagy. To investigate the mechanism of autophagy, we evaluated the influence of a lipopolysaccharide from P. gingivalis in human gingival fibroblasts, and autophagy was monitored morphologically and biochemically. Autophagosomes were observed by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy.
We found increased levels of autophagy gene expression and high levels of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with periodontitis compared with controls. A significantly positive correlation between both was observed. In human gingival fibroblasts treated with lipopolysaccharide from P. gingivalis, there was an increase of protein and transcript of autophagy-related protein 12 (ATG12) and microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 alpha LC3. A reduction of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species induced a decrease in autophagy whereas inhibition of autophagy in infected cells increased apoptosis, showing the protective role of autophagy.
Results from the present study suggest that autophagy is an important and shared mechanism in other conditions related to inflammation or alterations of the immune system, such as periodontitis.
Autophagy is a catabolic process through which damaged or long-lived proteins, macromolecules, or organelles are recycled by using lysosomal degradation machinery. Although the occurrence of autophagy in several cardiac diseases including ischemic or dilated cardiomyopathy, heart failure, hypertrophy, and during ischemia/reperfusion injury have been reported, the exact role of autophagy in these diseases is not known. Emerging studies indicate that oxidative stress in cellular system could induce autophagy, and oxidatively modified macromolecules and organelles can be selectively removed by autophagy. Mild oxidative stress–induced autophagy could provide the first line of protection against major damage like apoptosis and necrosis. Cardiac-specific loss of Atg5, an autophagic gene involved in the formation of autophagosome, causes cardiac hypertrophy, left ventricular dilation, and contractile dysfunction. Recently, it was revealed that Atg4, another autophagic gene involved in the formation of autophagosomes, is controlled through redox regulation under the condition of starvation-induced autophagy. In this review, we discuss the function of autophagy in association with oxidative stress and redox signaling in the remodeling of cardiac myocardium. Further research is needed to explore the possibilities of redox regulation of other autophagic genes and the role of redox signaling–mediated autophagy in the heart. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 1975–1988.
Cigarette smoke has been connected to an array of chronic lung diseases and is a major source of morbidity and mortality. Active smoking is responsible for approximately 90% of lung cancer cases. In addition, cigarette smoke is associated with other chronic pulmonary diseases such as pulmonary edema, chronic bronchitis, and pulmonary emphysema, the last two also termed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Lung cancer and COPD are developed very frequently in chronic cigarette smokers. It has been known for some time that lung cancer incidence increases in patients with COPD. Even the existence of some low-grade emphysema without noticeable airflow obstruction is associated with significantly elevated risk of lung cancer. These recent clinical insights demand new thinking and exploration of novel mechanistic studies to fully understand these observations. Lung injury and repair involve cell death and hyperplasia of airway epithelial cells and infiltration of inflammatory cells. All of these occur simultaneously. The mechanisms of cell death and hyperplasia in the lung constitute two sides of the coin of lung injury and repair. However, most molecular studies in airway epithelial cells center on the mechanism(s) of either cell growth and proliferation or cell death and the ceramide-generating machinery that drives aberrant induction of apoptotic cell death. Very few address both sides of the coin as an outcome of cigarette smoke exposure, which is the focus of this review.
ceramide machinery; EGFR trafficking; cigarette smoke; lung injury; lung cancer
Developmental and homeostatic remodeling of cellular organelles is mediated by a complex process termed autophagy. The cohort of proteins that constitute the autophagy machinery functions in a multistep biochemical pathway. Though components of the autophagy machinery are broadly expressed, autophagy can occur in specialized cellular contexts, and mechanisms underlying cell-type-specific autophagy are poorly understood. We demonstrate that the master regulator of hematopoiesis, GATA-1, directly activates transcription of genes encoding the essential autophagy component microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3B (LC3B) and its homologs (MAP1LC3A, GABARAP, GABARAPL1, and GATE-16). In addition, GATA-1 directly activates genes involved in the biogenesis/function of lysosomes, which mediate autophagic protein turnover. We demonstrate that GATA-1 utilizes the forkhead protein FoxO3 to activate select autophagy genes. GATA-1-dependent LC3B induction is tightly coupled to accumulation of the active form of LC3B and autophagosomes, which mediate mitochondrial clearance as a critical step in erythropoiesis. These results illustrate a novel mechanism by which a master regulator of development establishes a genetic network to instigate cell-type-specific autophagy.
The word autophagy broadly refers to the cellular catabolic processes that lead to the removal of damaged cytosolic proteins or cell organelles through lysosomes. Although autophagy is often observed during programmed cell death, it may also serve as a cell survival mechanism. Accumulation of reactive oxygen species within tissues and cells induces various defense mechanisms or programmed cell death. It has been shown that, besides inducing apoptosis, oxidative stress can also induce autophagy. To date, however, the regulation of autophagy in response to oxidative stress remains largely elusive and poorly understood. Therefore, the present study was designed to examine the ratio between oxidative stress and autophagy in macrophages after oxidant exposure (AAPH) and to investigate the ultrastructural localization of beclin-1, a protein essential for autophagy, under basal and stressful conditions. Our data provide evidence that oxidative stress induces autophagy in macrophages. We demonstrate, for the first time by immunoelectron microscopy, the subcellular localization of beclin-1 in autophagic cells.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, and cigarette smoking is the major risk factor for COPD. Fibroblasts play an important role in repair and lung homeostasis. Recent studies have demonstrated a reduced growth rate for lung fibroblasts in patients with COPD. In this study we examined the effect of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) on fibroblast proliferative capacity. We found that cigarette smoke stopped proliferation of lung fibroblasts and upregulated two pathways linked to cell senescence (a biological process associated with cell longevity and an inability to replicate), p53 and p16-retinoblastoma protein pathways. We compared a single exposure of CSE to multiple exposures over an extended time course. A single exposure to CSE led to cell growth inhibition at multiple phases of the cell cycle without killing the cells. The decrease in proliferation was accompanied by increased ATM, p53, and p21 activity. However, several important senescent markers were not present in the cells at an earlier time point. When we examined multiple exposures to CSE, we found that the cells had profound growth arrest, a flat and enlarged morphology, upregulated p16, and senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity, which is consistent with a classic senescent phenotype. These observations suggest that while a single exposure to cigarette smoke inhibits normal fibroblast proliferation (required for lung repair), multiple exposures to cigarette smoke move cells into an irreversible state of senescence. This inability to repair lung injury may be an essential feature of emphysema.
β-galactosidase; cell cycle arrest; p16; p53; senescence