T cells are essential for defense of the host against invading pathogens. Antigen activation of the T cell receptor (TCR) is required for generation of an adaptive immune response. Several groups have observed that blocking autophagy augments T cell activation, but the molecular basis of this finding has remained elusive. The adaptor protein BCL10 transmits activating signals from the TCR to NFKB1-RELA/NFκB, a transcription factor that is critical for T cell proliferation and function. We recently reported that a TCR-dependent autophagy mechanism selectively targets and degrades BCL10. We found that BCL10 autophagy requires BCL10 K63-polyubiquitination and subsequent binding to the autophagy adaptor SQSTM1/p62. Blocking either one of these processes inhibits BCL10 degradation. Protecting BCL10 from autophagic degradation, either by pharmacological or genetic inhibition of autophagy, results in increased activation of NFKB1-RELA. By demonstrating the mechanism of autophagic uptake and degradation of BCL10, our study has revealed a key mechanism by which selective autophagy controls T cell activation. Here, we discuss the implications of our findings and explore possible directions for future research.
Bcl10; LC3; NF-kappaB; SQSTM1; T cell; TCR; p62; proteasome; signal transduction; ubiquitin
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common primary malignant liver tumor, is the third leading cause of cancer deaths. The pathogenesis of HCC is closely associated with chronic liver inflammation fired by a variety of stimulates such as virus infection and metabolic stress. Recent work indicates that autophagy, a homeostatic self-degradation process, which decides cell survival or death upon stress, acts as an effector machinery of immune systems in defending microbial invasion and carcinogenesis. SQSTM1 is a selective target and receptor of autophagy, and the protein content of SQSTM1 reflects the level of autophagic flux in cells. Through degrading SQSTM1, decreasing SQSTM1 aggregates, and therefore interrupting the positive feedback between SQSTM1 aggregates and ROS production, autophagy plays a protective role against hepatocellular carcinoma. Indeed, our studies indicate that toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)-mediated immune activities in the genotoxic carcinogen diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-injured liver tissue provide essential nutrient stimulates to induce intracellular senescence, which can ensure the activation and maturation of autophagy in liver cells. Loss of TLR2-mediated immune activity and senescence leads to the attenuation of autophagic flux, which cannot eliminate SQSTM1 aggregates, ROS accumulation, and DNA damage, and facilitates the development and progression of HCC.
DEN; SQSTM1; autophagic flux; hepatocellular carcinoma; immune network; senescence; toll-like receptor 2
Autophagy has attracted a lot of attention in recent years. More and more proteins and signaling pathways have been discovered that somehow feed into the autophagy regulatory pathways. Regulation of autophagy is complex and condition-specific, and in several diseases, autophagic fluxes are changed. Here, we review the most well-established concepts in this field as well as the reported signaling pathways or components which steer the autophagy machinery. Furthermore, we will highlight how autophagic fluxes are changed in various diseases either as cause for or as response to deal with an altered cellular homeostasis and how modulation of autophagy might be used as potential therapy for such diseases.
Autophagy; ATGs; mTOR; UPR; FOXO1; HSF1; Heat Shock Proteins (HSP); Human diseases.
Macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy) is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic process necessary for normal recycling of cellular constituents and for appropriate response to cellular stress. Although several genes belonging to the core molecular machinery involved in autophagosome formation have been discovered, relatively little is known about the nature of signaling networks controlling autophagy upon intracellular or extracellular stimuli. We discovered ATG8-like proteins (MAP1LC3B, GABARAP and GABARAPL1) as novel interactors of MAPK15/ERK8, a MAP kinase involved in cell proliferation and transformation. Based on the role of these proteins in the autophagic process, we demonstrated that MAPK15 is indeed localized to autophagic compartments and increased, in a kinase-dependent fashion, ATG8-like proteins lipidation, autophagosome formation and SQSTM1 degradation, while decreasing LC3B inhibitory phosphorylation. Interestingly, we also identified a conserved LC3-interacting region (LIR) in MAPK15 responsible for its interaction with ATG8-like proteins, for its localization to autophagic structures and, consequently, for stimulation of the formation of these compartments. Furthermore, we reveal that MAPK15 activity was induced in response to serum and amino-acid starvation and that this stimulus, in turn, required endogenous MAPK15 expression to induce the autophagic process. Altogether, these results suggested a new function for MAPK15 as a regulator of autophagy, acting through interaction with ATG8 family proteins. Also, based on the key role of this process in several human diseases, these results supported the use of this MAP kinase as a potential novel therapeutic target.
MAP kinases; signal transduction; autophagy; LC3B; GABARAP; SQSTM1
Autophagy, an evolutionarily conserved lysosomal degradation process, has drawn an increasing amount of attention in recent years for its role in a variety of human diseases, such as cancer. Notably, autophagy plays an important role in regulating several survival and death signaling pathways that determine cell fate in cancer. To date, substantial evidence has demonstrated that some key autophagic mediators, such as autophagy-related genes (ATGs), PI3K, mTOR, p53, and Beclin-1, may play crucial roles in modulating autophagic activity in cancer initiation and progression. Because autophagy-modulating agents such as rapamycin and chloroquine have already been used clinically to treat cancer, it is conceivable that targeting autophagic pathways may provide a new opportunity for discovery and development of more novel cancer therapeutics. With a deeper understanding of the regulatory mechanisms governing autophagy, we will have a better opportunity to facilitate the exploitation of autophagy as a target for therapeutic intervention in cancer. This review discusses the current status of targeting autophagic pathways as a potential cancer therapy.
Autophagy; cancer; cell death; survival; drug discovery
Autophagy is a major degradative process responsible for the disposal of cytoplasmic proteins and dysfunctional organelles via the lysosomal pathway. During the autophagic process, cells form double-membraned vesicles called autophagosomes that sequester disposable materials in the cytoplasm and finally fuse with lysosomes. In the present study, we investigated the inhibition of autophagy by a synthesized compound, MHY1485, in a culture system by using Ac2F rat hepatocytes. Autophagic flux was measured to evaluate the autophagic activity. Autophagosomes were visualized in Ac2F cells transfected with AdGFP-LC3 by live-cell confocal microscopy. In addition, activity of mTOR, a major regulatory protein of autophagy, was assessed by western blot and docking simulation using AutoDock 4.2. In the result, treatment with MHY1485 suppressed the basal autophagic flux, and this inhibitory effect was clearly confirmed in cells under starvation, a strong physiological inducer of autophagy. The levels of p62 and beclin-1 did not show significant change after treatment with MHY1485. Decreased co-localization of autophagosomes and lysosomes in confocal microscopic images revealed the inhibitory effect of MHY1485 on lysosomal fusion during starvation-induced autophagy. These effects of MHY1485 led to the accumulation of LC3II and enlargement of the autophagosomes in a dose- and time- dependent manner. Furthermore, MHY1485 induced mTOR activation and correspondingly showed a higher docking score than PP242, a well-known ATP-competitive mTOR inhibitor, in docking simulation. In conclusion, MHY1485 has an inhibitory effect on the autophagic process by inhibition of fusion between autophagosomes and lysosomes leading to the accumulation of LC3II protein and enlarged autophagosomes. MHY1485 also induces mTOR activity, providing a possibility for another regulatory mechanism of autophagy by the MHY compound. The significance of this study is the finding of a novel inhibitor of autophagy with an mTOR activating effect.
Mutations in the glucocerebrosidase (gba) gene cause Gaucher disease (GD), the most common lysosomal storage disorder, and increase susceptibility to Parkinson’s disease (PD). While the clinical and pathological features of idiopathic PD and PD related to gba (PD-GBA) mutations are very similar, cellular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in each are unclear. Using a mouse model of neuronopathic GD, we show that autophagic machinery and proteasomal machinery are defective in neurons and astrocytes lacking gba. Markers of neurodegeneration—p62/SQSTM1, ubiquitinated proteins, and insoluble α-synuclein—accumulate. Mitochondria were dysfunctional and fragmented, with impaired respiration, reduced respiratory chain complex activities, and a decreased potential maintained by reversal of the ATP synthase. Thus a primary lysosomal defect causes accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria as a result of impaired autophagy and dysfunctional proteasomal pathways. These data provide conclusive evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction in GD and provide insight into the pathogenesis of PD and PD-GBA.
•Autophagic and proteasomal pathways are suppressed in gba knockout mice•α-Synuclein accumulates and forms deposits in gba knockout mouse brainstem•Neurons and astrocytes from gba knockout mice harbor dysfunctional mitochondria•Mitochondria do not recruit Parkin and accumulate in gba knockout neurons
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved lysosomal self-digestion process involved in degradation of long-lived proteins and damaged organelles. In recent years, increasing evidence indicates that autophagy is associated with a number of pathological processes, including cancer. In this review, we focus on the recent studies of the evolutionarily conserved autophagy-related genes (ATGs) that are implicated in autophagosome formation and the pathways involved. We discuss several key autophagic mediators (eg, Beclin-1, UVRAG, Bcl-2, Class III and I PI3K, mTOR, and p53) that play pivotal roles in autophagic signaling networks in cancer. We discuss the Janus roles of autophagy in cancer and highlighted their relationship to tumor suppression and tumor progression. We also present some examples of targeting ATGs and several protein kinases as anticancer strategy, and discuss some autophagy-modulating agents as antitumor agents. A better understanding of the relationship between autophagy and cancer would ultimately allow us to harness autophagic pathways as new targets for drug discovery in cancer therapeutics.
autophagy; cancer; autophagy-related gene (ATG); Beclin-1; Bcl-2; Class III and I PI3K; mTOR; p53
Autophagy is a self-degradation system of cellular components through an autophagosomal-lysosomal pathway. Over the last 15 yr, yeast genetic screens led to the identification of a number of genes involved in the autophagic pathway. Most of these autophagy genes are present in higher eukaryotes and regulate autophagy process for cell survival and homeostasis. Significant progress has recently been made to better understand the molecular mechanisms of the autophagy machinery. Especially, autophagy process, including the regulation of autophagy induction through mTOR and the nucleation and elongation in autophagosome formation through class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase complex and ubiquitin-like conjugation systems, became evident. While many unanswered questions remain to be answered, here, we summarize the recent process of autophagy with emphasis on molecules and their protein complexes along with advanced molecular mechanisms that regulate the autophagy machinery.
ATG2 protein, human; ATG5 protein, human; ATG9B protein, human; ATG12 protein, human; ATG16L1 protein, human; autophagy; class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases; MTOR protein, human; ULK1 protein, human
Nrf2 regulates the expression of numerous cytoprotective genes in mammalian cells. The activity of Nrf2 is regulated by the Cul3 adaptor Keap1, yet little is known regarding mechanisms of regulation of Keap1 itself. Here, we have used immunopurification of Keap1 and mass spectrometry, in addition to immunoblotting, to identify sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) as a cellular binding partner of Keap1. SQSTM1 serves as a scaffold in various signaling pathways and shuttles polyubiquitinated proteins to the proteasomal and lysosomal degradation machineries. Ectopic expression of SQSTM1 led to a decrease in the basal protein level of Keap1 in a panel of cells. Furthermore, RNA interference (RNAi) depletion of SQSTM1 resulted in an increase in the protein level of Keap1 and a concomitant decrease in the protein level of Nrf2 in the absence of changes in Keap1 or Nrf2 mRNA levels. The increased protein level of Keap1 in cells depleted of SQSTM1 by RNAi was linked to a decrease in its rate of degradation; the half-life of Keap1 was almost doubled by RNAi depletion of SQSTM1. The decreased level of Nrf2 in cells depleted of SQSTM1 by RNAi was associated with decreases in the mRNA levels, protein levels, and function of several Nrf2-regulated cell defense genes. SQSTM1 was dispensable for the induction of the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway, as Nrf2 activation by tert-butylhydroquinone or iodoacetamide was not affected by RNAi depletion of SQSTM1. These findings demonstrate a physical and functional interaction between Keap1 and SQSTM1 and reveal an additional layer of regulation in the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway.
Antioxidant; Gene Regulation; Oxidative Stress; Protein-Protein Interactions; Signal Transduction; Keap1; Nrf2; SQSTM1
An increasing body of research on autophagy provides overwhelming evidence for its connection to various biological functions and human diseases. Beclin 1 is the first described mammalian autophagy protein and appears to act as a nexus point between autophagy, endosomal, and perhaps also cell death pathways. Beclin 1 performs these roles as part of a core complex that contains vacuolar sorting protein 34 (VPS34), a class III phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase. The precise mechanism of Beclin 1-mediated regulation of these cellular functions is unclear, but substantial progress has recently been made in identifying new players and their functions in Beclin 1-VSP34 complexes. Here, we review emerging studies, which are beginning to unveil physiological functions for Beclin 1-VPS34 in the central control of autophagic activity and other cellular trafficking events through the formation of distinct Beclin 1-VPS34 protein complexes.
Autophagic degradation of ubiquitinated protein aggregates is important for cell survival, but it is not known how the autophagic machinery recognizes such aggregates. In this study, we report that polymerization of the polyubiquitin-binding protein p62/SQSTM1 yields protein bodies that either reside free in the cytosol and nucleus or occur within autophagosomes and lysosomal structures. Inhibition of autophagy led to an increase in the size and number of p62 bodies and p62 protein levels. The autophagic marker light chain 3 (LC3) colocalized with p62 bodies and coimmunoprecipitated with p62, suggesting that these two proteins participate in the same complexes. The depletion of p62 inhibited recruitment of LC3 to autophagosomes under starvation conditions. Strikingly, p62 and LC3 formed a shell surrounding aggregates of mutant huntingtin. Reduction of p62 protein levels or interference with p62 function significantly increased cell death that was induced by the expression of mutant huntingtin. We suggest that p62 may, via LC3, be involved in linking polyubiquitinated protein aggregates to the autophagy machinery.
Autophagy plays an evolutionarily conserved role in host defense against pathogens. Autophagic protection mechanisms against microbes range from regulating immune signaling responses to directly targeting the pathogens for lysosomal degradation. Toll-like receptors (TLR s) that detect conserved molecular features shared by pathogens regulate several innate immune responses including autophagy. Our recent study demonstrates that autophagy reported in response to TLR4-stimulation in macrophages is selective autophagy of aggresome-like induced structures (ALIS), and p62 (also known as SQSTM1) plays an essential role in this process. Treatment of macrophages with either Escherichia coli or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) results in the activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), leading to an increase in the levels of p62 mRNA and protein, assembly of ALIS and their autophagic degradation. This study revealed a signaling role for p62, distinct from its known function as a bacterial-targeting factor, which might be critical for cellular stress response during infection.
p62; Nrf2; TLR4; autophagy; ALIS
Induction of autophagy in response to starvation is a highly conserved ability of eukaryotic cells, indicating a critical and ancient role of this process in adapting to nutrient conditions. The target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway is major conduit for such signals, and in most cell types TOR activity is necessary and sufficient to suppress autophagy under favorable growth conditions. Recent studies have begun to reveal how TOR activity is regulated in response to nutritional cues, and are shedding new light on the mechanisms by which TOR controls the autophagic machinery. In addition, a variety of signals, stressors and pharmacological agents that induce autophagy independent of nutrient conditions have been identified. In some cases these signals appear to have been spliced into the core TOR pathway, whereas others are able to bypass the control mechanisms regulated by TOR. Increasing evidence is pointing to an important role for both positive and negative feedback loops in controlling this pathway, leading to an emerging view that TOR signaling not only regulates autophagy but is also highly sensitive to cellular rates of autophagy and other TOR-dependent processes.
Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR) is a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily and is a ligand-activated transcription factor essential for maintaining liver and intestinal homeostasis. FXR is protective against carcinogenesis and inflammation in liver and intestine as demonstrated by the development of inflammation and tumors in the liver and intestine of FXR knock-out mice. However, mechanisms for the protective effects of FXR are not completely understood. This study reports a novel role of FXR in regulating expression of Sqstm1, which encodes for p62 protein. p62 plays an important role in maintaining cellular homeostasis through selective autophagy and activating signal transduction pathways, such as NF-κB to support cell survival and caspase-8 to initiate apoptosis. FXR regulation of Sqstm1 may serve as a protective mechanism.
Methods and Results
This study showed that FXR bound to the Sqstm1 gene in both mouse livers and ileums as determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation. In addition, FXR activation enhanced transcriptional activation of Sqstm1 in vitro. However, wild-type mice treated with GW4064, a synthetic FXR ligand, showed that FXR activation induced mRNA and protein expression of Sqstm1/p62 in ileum, but not in liver. Interestingly, FXR-transgenic mice showed induced mRNA expression of Sqstm1 in both liver and ileum compared to wild-type mice.
Our current study has identified a novel role of FXR in regulating the expression of p62, a key factor in protein degradation and cell signaling. Regulation of p62 by FXR indicates tissue-specific and gene-dosage effects. Furthermore, FXR-mediated induction of p62 may implicate a protective mechanism of FXR.
Autophagy is an essential process for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis in the heart under both normal and stress conditions. Autophagy is a key degradation pathway and acts as a quality control sensor. It protects myocytes from cytotoxic protein aggregates and dysfunctional organelles by quickly clearing them from cell. It also responds to changes in energy demand and mechanical stressors to maintain contractile function. The autophagic-lysosomal pathway responds to serum starvation to ensure that the cell maintains its metabolism and energy levels when nutrients run low. In contrast, excessive activation of autophagy is detrimental to cells and contributes to development of pathological conditions. A number of signaling pathways and proteins regulate autophagy. These include the AMPK/mTOR pathway, FoxO transcription factors, Sirt1, oxidative stress, Bcl-2 family proteins, and the E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin. In this review, we will discuss how this diverse cast of characters regulates the important autophagic process in the myocardium.
Autophagy; AMPK; mTOR; Beclin1; ULK1; Parkin; mitochondria
Autophagy is a fundamental homeostatic process in which cytoplasmic targets are sequestered within double-membraned autophagosomes and subsequently delivered to lysosomes for degradation. Accumulating evidence supports the pivotal role of autophagy in host defense against intracellular pathogens implicating both innate and adaptive immunity. Many of these pathogens cause common zoonotic infections worldwide. The induction of the autophagic machinery by innate immune receptors signaling, such as TLRs, NOD1/2, and p62/SQSTM1 in antigen-presenting cells results in inhibition of survival and elimination of invading pathogens. Furthermore, Th1 cytokines induce the autophagic process, whereas autophagy also contributes to antigen processing and MHC class II presentation, linking innate to adaptive immunity. However, several pathogens have developed strategies to avoid autophagy or exploit autophagic machinery to their advantage. This paper focuses on the role of host cell autophagy in the regulation of immune response against intracellular pathogens, emphasizing on selected bacterial and protozoan zoonoses.
There is increasing evidence that common genetic risk factors underlie frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Recently, mutations in the sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) gene, which encodes p62 protein, have been reported in patients with ALS. P62 is a multifunctional adapter protein mainly involved in selective autophagy, oxidative stress response, and cell signaling pathways. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the frequency of SQSTM1 mutations in a dataset of unrelated patients with FTLD or ALS, in comparison with healthy controls and patients with Paget disease of bone (PDB).
Promoter region and all exons of SQSTM1 were sequenced in a large group of subjects, including patients with FTLD or ALS, healthy controls, and patients with PDB. The clinical characteristics of patients with FTLD or ALS with gene mutations were examined.
We identified 6 missense mutations in the coding region of SQSTM1 in patients with either FTLD or ALS, none of which were found in healthy controls or patients with PDB. In silico analysis suggested a pathogenetic role for these mutations. Furthermore, 7 novel noncoding SQSTM1 variants were found in patients with FTLD and patients with ALS, including 4 variations in the promoter region.
SQSTM1 mutations are present in patients with FTLD and patients with ALS. Additional studies are warranted in order to better investigate the role of p62 in the pathogenesis of both FTLD and ALS.
The overall goal of the investigation was to examine autophagy in the growth plate and to ascertain how this process was regulated. Herein, we show that in the postmitotic maturing zone of the growth plate, chondrocytes express an autophagic phenotype. This robust and particulate immunohistochemical response provides direct evidence that autophagy is a new and transient stage in the chondrocyte maturation pathway. We found that induction of autophagy was regulated by mTOR, a sensor of cellular metabolism. When mTOR was inhibited, changes in LC3 fluorescence indicated that this kinase regulated development of the autophagic state. To determine if AMP kinase was required for chondrocyte autophagy, we suppressed its expression in N1511 cells using siRNA technology. When these cells were serum starved, a condition that triggers autophagy, there was no change in LC3 distribution. This result confirmed that AMP kinase was required for the induction of the autophagic response. Based on the 2 studies described above, and our previous observation that HIF-1 is required for the induction of autophagy, we put forward the hypothesis that autophagy is regulated by the activities of AMP kinase and mTOR in a HIF-1-dependent manner. Once autophagy is activated, the postmitotic chondrocytes would be expected to remain viable in their unique microenvironment and complete their life cycle.
Growth plate; Chondrocytes; Autophagy; AMP kinase; mTOR
Chondrocytes in the growth plate and articular cartilage, and osteocytes subsumed in Haversian bone exist in environmental niches that are characterized by a limited oxygen supply. In these tissues, cells display a hitherto unrecognized state in which there is evidence of autophagy. The autophagic condition serves to promote cell survival. When the response is triggered, the cell cannibalizes itself to generate energy; if extended, then it can activate Type II apoptosis. We opine that survival is dependent on niche conditions and regulated by crosstalk between mTOR, AMPK and HIF-1 and HIF-2. Recent studies suggest that HIF-2 is a potent regulator of chondrocyte autophagy and that this protein acts as a brake to the stimulatory function of HIF-1. Accordingly, the oxemic state of the tissue, its nutrient supply as well as the energetic state of the cells regulates autophagic flux. From a clinical viewpoint, it may be possible to enhance skeletal cell survival through drugs that modulate the autophagic state and prevent the induction of apoptosis.
autophagy; HIF-1; HIF-2; AMPK; mTOR; chondrocyte; osteocyte
Autophagy, a highly conserved cellular mechanism wherein various cellular components are broken down and recycled through lysosomes, occurs constitutively in the heart and may serve as a cardioprotective mechanism in some situations. It has been implicated in the development of heart failure and is up-regulated following ischemia-reperfusion injury. Autophagic flux, a measure of autophagic vesicle formation and clearance, is an important measurement in evaluating the efficacy of the pathway, however, tools to measure flux in vivo have been limited. Here, we describe the use of monodansylcadaverine (MDC) and the lysosomotropic drug chloroquine to measure autophagic flux in in vivo model systems, specifically focusing on its use in the myocardium. This method allows determination of flux as a more precise measure of autophagic activity in vivo much in the same way that Bafilomycin A1 is used to measure flux in cell culture. MDC injected 1 h before sacrifice, colocalizes with mCherry-LC3 puncta, validating its use as a marker of autophagosomes. This chapter provides a method to measure autophagic flux in vivo in both transgenic and nontransgenic animals, using MDC and chloroquine, and in addition describes the mCherry-LC3 mouse and the advantages of this animal model in the study of cardiac autophagy. Additionally, we review several methods for inducing autophagy in the myocardium under pathological conditions such as myocardial infarction, ischemia/ reperfusion, pressure overloading, and nutrient starvation.
Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a protein kinase involved in translation control and long-lasting synaptic plasticity. mTOR functions as the central component of two multi-protein signaling complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2, which can be distinguished from each other based on their unique compositions and substrates. Although majority of evidence linking mTOR function to synaptic plasticity comes from studies utilizing rapamycin, studies in genetically-modified mice also suggest that mTOR couples receptors to the translation machinery for establishing long-lasting synaptic changes that are the basis for higher order brain function, including long-term memory. Finally, perturbation of the mTOR signaling cascade appears to be a common pathophysiological feature of human neurological disorders, including mental retardation syndromes and autism spectrum disorders.
Recent publications showed that the kinase MTOR localizes to lysosomes and its activation depends on amino acids inside the lysosomal lumen, implying that autophagic protein degradation is a positive regulator of MTOR in this setting. Since decreased MTOR activity results in autophagy induction, drug treatments that block autolysosomal degradation (a commonly used technique to estimate autophagic flux) may actually interfere not only with lysosomal breakdown, but also increase autophagosome generation through impaired MTOR signaling.
Atg8; autophagy; bafilomycin A1; chloroquine; LC3; leupeptin; lysosome; MTOR; TOR; v-ATPase
Neurons have highly dynamic cellular processes for their proper functions such as cell growth, synaptic formation, or synaptic plasticity by regulating protein synthesis and degradation. Therefore, the quality control of proteins in neurons is essential for their physiology and pathology. Autophagy is a cellular degradation pathway by which cytosolic components are sequestered in autophagosomes and degraded upon their fusion with lysosomal components. Thus, the autophagic pathway may play important roles in neuronal cell survival and neuronal function under physiological condition and pathological conditions. Recent several findings suggest that the loss of basal autophagy or imbalance of autophagic flux leads to neurodegeneration. Autophagosomes accumulate abnormally in affected neurons of several neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Huntington's disease (HD), Parkinson's disease (PD), or Frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Thus, the understanding how autophagy is associated with several neurological diseases would be the first step for new therapeutic intervention in neurological disorders. In this review, I will discuss the molecular mechanism of autophagy in neurons and autophagy-associated neurodegenerative diseases.
neuron; autophagy; neurodegenerative disease; homeostasis
Several species of pathogenic bacteria replicate within an intracellular vacuolar niche. Bacteria that escape into the cytosol are captured by the autophagic pathway and targeted for lysosomal degradation, representing a defense against bacterial exploitation of the host cytosol. Autophagic capture of Salmonella Typhimurium occurs predominantly via generation of a polyubiquitin signal around cytosolic bacteria, binding of adaptor proteins, and recruitment of autophagic machinery. However, the components mediating bacterial target selection and ubiquitination remain obscure. We identify LRSAM1 as the E3 ligase responsible for anti-Salmonella autophagy-associated ubiquitination. LRSAM1 localizes to several intracellular bacterial pathogens and generates the bacteria-associated ubiquitin signal; these functions require LRSAM1’s leucine-rich repeat and RING domains, respectively. Using cells from LRSAM1-deficient individuals, we confirm that LRSAM1 is required for ubiquitination associated with intracellular bacteria but dispensable for ubiquitination of aggregated proteins. LRSAM1 is therefore a bacterial recognition protein and ubiquitin ligase that defends the cytoplasm from invasive pathogens.