In addition to the previously identified Drosophila cdc2 and cdc2c genes, we have identified four additional cdc2-related genes with low stringency and polymerase chain reaction approaches. Sequence comparisons suggest that the four putative kinases represent the Drosophila homologues of vertebrate cdk4/6, cdk5, PCTAIRE, and PITSLRE kinases. Although the similarity between human and Drosophila homologues is extensive in the case of cdk5, PCTAIRE, and PITSLRE kinases (78%, 58%, and 65% identity in the kinase domain), only limited conservation is observed for Drosophila cdk4/6 (47% identity). However, like vertebrate cdk4 and cdk6, Drosophila cdk4/6 binds also to a D-type cyclin according to the results of two-hybrid experiments in yeast. Northern blot analysis indicated that the four Drosophila kinases are expressed throughout embryogenesis. Expression in early embryogenesis appeared to be ubiquitous according to in situ hybridization. Abundant expression already at the start of embryogenesis and long before neuron differentiation was also observed in the case of cdk5 protein, which has been described as predominantly neuron specific in mice. Sequence conservation and expression pattern, therefore, suggest that all of these kinases perform important cellular functions.
Post-mitotic neurons are typically terminally differentiated and in a quiescent status. However, in Alzheimer disease (AD), many neurons display ectopic re-expression of cell cycle-related proteins. Cyclin-dependent kinase 11 (CDK11) mRNA produces a 110-kDa protein (CDK11p110) throughout the cell cycle, a 58-kDa protein (CDK11p58) that is specifically translated from an internal ribosome entry site and expressed only in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle, and a 46-kDa protein (CDK11p46) that is considered to be apoptosis specific. CDK11 is required for sister chromatid cohesion and the completion of mitosis. In this study, we found that the expression patterns of CDK11 vary such that cytoplasmic CDK11 is increased in AD cellular processes, compared to a pronounced nuclear expression pattern in most controls. We also investigated the effect of amyloid precursor protein (APP) on CDK11 expression in vitro by using M17 cells overexpressing wild-type APP and APP Swedish mutant phenotype and found increased CDK11 expression compared to empty vector. In addition, amyloid-β25-35 resulted in increased CDK11 in M17 cells. These data suggest that CDK11 may play a vital role in cell cycle re-entry in AD neurons in an APP-dependent manner, thus presenting an intriguing novel function of the APP signaling pathway in AD.
Alzheimer disease; APP; CDK11; M17 cells
Autophagy is a lysosome-directed membrane trafficking event for the degradation of cytoplasmic components, including organelles. The past few years have seen a great advance in our understanding of the cellular machinery of autophagosome biogenesis, the hallmark of autophagy. However, our global understanding of autophagosome maturity remains relatively poor and fragmented. The topological similarity of autophagosome and endosome delivery to lysosomes suggests that autophagic and endosomal maturation may have evolved to share associated machinery to promote the lysosomal delivery of their cargoes. We have recently discovered that UVRAG, originally identified as a Beclin 1-binding autophagy protein, appears to be an important factor in autophagic and endosomal trafficking through its interaction with the class C Vps tethering complex. Given the ability of UVRAG to bind Beclin 1 and the class C Vps complex in a genetically and functionally separable manner, it may serve as an important regulator for the spatial and/or temporal control of diverse cellular trafficking events. As more non-autophagic functions of UVRAG are unveiled, our understanding of seemingly different cellular processes may move a step further.
UVRAG; the class C Vps complex; autophagy; autophagosome maturation; membrane trafficking
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved process to catabolize cytoplasmic proteins and organelles1, 2. During starvation, the target of rapamycin (TOR), a nutrient-responsive kinase, is inhibited, thereby inducing autophagy. In autophagy, double-membrane autophagosomes envelop and sequester intracellular components and then fuse with lysosomes to form autolysosomes which degrade their contents to regenerate nutrients. Current models of autophagy terminate with the degradation of autophagosome cargo in autolysosomes3-5, but the regulation of autophagy in response to nutrients and the subsequent fate of the autolysosome are poorly defined. Here we show that mTOR signaling is inhibited during autophagy initiation, but reactivated with prolonged starvation. mTOR reactivation is autophagy-dependent, and requires the degradation of autolysosomal products. Increased mTOR activity attenuates autophagy and generates proto-lysosomal tubules and vesicles that extrude from autolysosomes and ultimately mature into functional lysosomes, thereby restoring the full complement of lysosomes in the cell – a process we identify in multiple animal species. Thus, an evolutionarily-conserved cycle in autophagy governs nutrient sensing and lysosome homeostasis during starvation.
Autophagy, the process by which proteins and organelles are sequestered in autophagosomal vesicles and delivered to the lysosome/vacuole for degradation, provides a primary route for turnover of stable and defective cellular proteins. Defects in this system are linked with numerous human diseases. While conserved protein kinase, lipid kinase, and ubiquitin-like (UBL) protein conjugation sub-networks controlling autophagosome formation and cargo recruitment have been defined, our understanding of the global organization of this system is limited. Here, we report a proteomic analysis of the autophagy interaction network (AIN) in human cells under conditions of ongoing (basal) autophagy, revealing a network of 751 interactions among 4 09 candidate interacting proteins with extensive connectivity among sub-networks. Many new AIN components have roles in vesicle trafficking, protein or lipid phosphorylation, and protein ubiquitination, and affect autophagosome number or flux when depleted by RNAi. The six ATG8 orthologs in humans (MAP1LC3/GABARAP proteins) interact with a cohort of 67 proteins, with extensive binding partner overlap between family members, and frequent involvement of a conserved surface on ATG8 proteins known to interact with LC3-interacting regions (LIR) in partner proteins. These studies provide a global view of the mammalian autophagy interaction landscape and a resource for mechanistic analysis of this critical protein homeostasis pathway.
Autophagy is a highly conserved cellular degradation process in which portions of cytosol and organelles are sequestered into a double-membrane vesicle, an autophagosome, and delivered into a degradative organelle, the vacuole/lysosome, for breakdown and eventual recycling of the resulting macromolecules. This process relieves the cell from various stress conditions. Autophagy plays a critical role during cellular development and differentiation, functions in tumor suppression, and may be linked to life span extension. Autophagy also has diverse roles in innate and adaptive immunity, such as resistance to pathogen invasion. Substantial progress has been made in the identification of many autophagy-related (ATG) genes that are essential to drive this cellular process, including both selective and nonselective types of autophagy. Identification of the ATG genes in yeast, and the finding of orthologs in other organisms, reveals the conservation of the autophagic machinery in all eukaryotes. Here, we summarize our current knowledge about the machinery and molecular mechanism of autophagy.
Autophagy protects cellular homeostasis by capturing cytosolic components and invading pathogens for lysosomal degradation. Autophagy receptors target cargo to autophagy by binding ATG8 on autophagosomal membranes. The expansion of the ATG8 family in higher eukaryotes suggests that specific interactions with autophagy receptors facilitate differential cargo handling. However, selective interactors of ATG8 orthologs are unknown. Here we show that the selectivity of the autophagy receptor NDP52 for LC3C is crucial for innate immunity since cells lacking either protein cannot protect their cytoplasm against Salmonella. LC3C is required for antibacterial autophagy because in its absence the remaining ATG8 orthologs do not support efficient antibacterial autophagy. Structural analysis revealed that the selectivity of NDP52 for LC3C is conferred by a noncanonical LIR, in which lack of an aromatic residue is balanced by LC3C-specific interactions. Our report illustrates that specificity in the interaction between autophagy receptors and autophagy machinery is of functional importance to execute selective autophagy.
► The autophagy receptor NDP52 binds selectively the ATG8 family member LC3C ► A noncanonical LIR motif in NDP52 provides specificity for LC3C ► LC3C and NDP52 are required for autophagy and restriction of S. Typhimurium ► LC3C required to recruit all ATG8 orthologs into antibacterial autophagosomes
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 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
Autophagy is a process of self-degradation of cellular components in which double-membrane autophagosomes sequester organelles or portions of cytosol and fuse with lysosomes or vacuoles for breakdown by resident hydrolases. Autophagy is upregulated in response to extra- or intracellular stress and signals such as starvation, growth factor deprivation, ER stress, and pathogen infection. Defective autophagy plays a significant role in human pathologies, including cancer, neurodegeneration, and infectious diseases. We present our current knowledge on the key genes composing the autophagy machinery in eukaryotes from yeast to mammalian cells and the signaling pathways that sense the status of different types of stress and induce autophagy for cell survival and homeostasis. We also review the recent advances on the molecular mechanisms that regulate the autophagy machinery at various levels, from transcriptional activation to post-translational protein modification.
lysosome; Atg proteins; target of rapamycin; stress; pathogen; transcription
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved process of cellular self-eating and is a major pathway for degradation of cytoplasmic material by the lysosomal machinery. Autophagy functions as a cellular response in nutrient starvation, but it is also associated with the removal of protein aggregates and damaged organelles and therefore plays an important role in the quality control of proteins and organelles. Although it was initially believed that autophagy occurs randomly in the cell, during the last years, there is growing evidence that sequestration and degradation of cytoplasmic material by autophagy can be selective. Given the important role of autophagy and selective autophagy in several disease-related processes such as neurodegeneration, infections, and tumorigenesis, it is important to understand the molecular mechanisms of selective autophagy, especially at the organismal level. Drosophila is an excellent genetically modifiable model organism exhibiting high conservation in the autophagic machinery. However, the regulation and mechanisms of selective autophagy in Drosophila have been largely unexplored. In this paper, I will present an overview of the current knowledge about selective autophagy in Drosophila.
Autophagy is involved in a wide range of physiological processes including cellular remodeling during development, immuno-protection against heterologous invaders and elimination of aberrant or obsolete cellular structures. This conserved degradation pathway also plays a key role in maintaining intracellular nutritional homeostasis and during starvation, for example, it is involved in the recycling of unnecessary cellular components to compensate for the limitation of nutrients. Autophagy is characterized by specific membrane rearrangements that culminate with the formation of large cytosolic double-membrane vesicles called autophagosomes. Autophagosomes sequester cytoplasmic material that is destined for degradation. Once completed, these vesicles dock and fuse with endosomes and/or lysosomes to deliver their contents into the hydrolytically active lumen of the latter organelle where, together with their cargoes, they are broken down into their basic components. Specific structures destined for degradation via autophagy are in many cases selectively targeted and sequestered into autophagosomes.
A number of factors required for autophagy have been identified, but numerous questions about the molecular mechanism of this pathway remain unanswered. For instance, it is unclear how membranes are recruited and assembled into autophagosomes. In addition, once completed, these vesicles are transported to cellular locations where endosomes and lysosomes are concentrated. The mechanism employed for this directed movement is not well understood. The cellular cytoskeleton is a large, highly dynamic cellular scaffold that has a crucial role in multiple processes, several of which involve membrane rearrangements and vesicle-mediated events. Relatively little is known about the roles of the cytoskeleton network in autophagy. Nevertheless, some recent studies have revealed the importance of cytoskeletal elements such as actin microfilaments and microtubules in specific aspects of autophagy. In this review, we will highlight the results of this work and discuss their implications, providing possible working models. In particular, we will first describe the findings obtained with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, for long the leading organism for the study of autophagy, and, successively, those attained in mammalian cells, to emphasize possible differences between eukaryotic organisms.
autophagy; autophagosome; Cvt pathway; actin; microtubules; cytoskeleton
Autophagy is a ubiquitous catabolic process that ensures organism’s well-being by sequestering a wide array of undesired intracellular constituents into double-membrane vesicles termed autophagosomes for lysosomal degradation. Interest in autophagy research has recently gained momentum as it is increasingly being recognized to play fundamental roles in diverse aspects of human pathophysiology including virus infection and its subsequent complications. This review discusses recent advances in autophagy studies with respect to virus infection and pathogenesis. A growing body of evidence suggests that the autophagy pathway and/or autophagy genes play pleiotropic functions in the host’s intrinsic, innate, and adaptive immune response against viruses. However, some viruses have evolved to encode virulence factors that evade or counteract the execution of autophagy. Furthermore, certain viruses are equipped to enhance autophagy or exploit the autophagy machinery for their replication and pathogenesis. A comprehensive understanding of the roles of autophagy pathway and autophagy genes during viral infection may enable the discovery of novel antiviral drug targets.
Autophagy; Antiviral host defense; Viral infection; Viral replication; Viral pathogenesis
The intracellular storage and utilization of lipids are critical to maintain cellular energy homeostasis. During nutrient deprivation, cellular lipids stored as triglycerides in lipid droplets are hydrolysed into fatty acids for energy. A second cellular response to starvation is the induction of autophagy, which delivers intracellular proteins and organelles sequestered in double-membrane vesicles (autophagosomes) to lysosomes for degradation and use as an energy source. Lipolysis and autophagy share similarities in regulation and function but are not known to be interrelated. Here we show a previously unknown function for autophagy in regulating intracellular lipid stores (macrolipophagy). Lipid droplets and autophagic components associated during nutrient deprivation, and inhibition of autophagy in cultured hepatocytes and mouse liver increased triglyceride storage in lipid droplets. This study identifies a critical function for autophagy in lipid metabolism that could have important implications for human diseases with lipid over-accumulation such as those that comprise the metabolic syndrome.
The process of macroautophagy (referred to hereafter as autophagy), is generally characterized by the prominent formation of autophagic vesicles in the cytoplasm. In the past decades, studies of autophagy have been vastly expanded. As an essential process to maintain cellular homeostasis and functions, autophagy is responsible for the lysosome-mediated degradation of damaged proteins and organelles, and thus misregulation of autophagy can result in a variety of pathological conditions in human beings. Although our understanding of regulatory pathways that control autophagy is still limited, an increasing number of studies have shed light on the importance of autophagy in a wide range of physiological processes and human diseases. The goal of the reviews in the current issue is to provide a general overview of current knowledge on autophagy. The machinery and regulation of autophagy were outlined with special attention to its role in diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, infectious diseases and cancer.
autophagy; disease; physiology
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.
Macroautophagy (commonly abbreviated as autophagy) is an evolutionary conserved lysosome-directed vesicular trafficking pathway in eukaryotic cells that mediates the lysosomal degradation of intracellular components. The cytoplasmic cargo is initially enclosed by a specific double membrane vesicle, termed the autophagosome. By this means, autophagy either helps to remove damaged organelles, long-lived proteins and protein aggregates, or serves as a recycling mechanism for molecular building blocks. Autophagy was once invented by unicellular organisms to compensate the fluctuating external supply of nutrients. In higher eukaryotes, it is strongly enhanced under various stress conditions, such as nutrient and growth factor deprivation or DNA damage. The serine/threonine kinase Atg1 was the first identified autophagy-related gene (ATG) product in yeast. The corresponding nematode homolog UNC-51, however, has additional neuronal functions. Vertebrate genomes finally encode five closely related kinases, of which UNC-51-like kinase 1 (Ulk1) and Ulk2 are both involved in the regulation of autophagy and further neuron-specific vesicular trafficking processes. This review will mainly focus on the vertebrate Ulk1/2-Atg13-FIP200 protein complex, its function in autophagy initiation, its evolutionary descent from the yeast Atg1-Atg13-Atg17 complex, as well as the additional non-autophagic functions of its components. Since the rapid nutrient- and stress-dependent cellular responses are mainly mediated by serine/threonine phosphorylation, it will summarize our current knowledge about the relevant upstream signaling pathways and the altering phosphorylation status within this complex during autophagy induction.
Atg1; Atg13; Atg17; UNC-51; EPG-1; Ulk1; Ulk2; FIP200; Atg101; Autophagy; Serine/threonine phosphorylation
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 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.
Membrane trafficking is key for signal transduction, cargo transportation, and in the case of autophagy, delivering cytoplasmic substrates to the lysosome for degradation. Autophagy requires the formation of a unique double membrane vesicle, the autophagosome. However, the mechanism by which the autophagosome forms is unknown. Our recent study focused on the role of Barkor/Atg14(L) in targeting the autophagy-specific class III phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PtdIns3KC3) complex to the early autophagosome has implicated this complex in autophagosome formation. This study found that the BATS domain of Barkor targets the PtdIns3KC3 complex to early autophagic structures and senses highly curved membranes enriched in phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PtdIns(3)P). Consequently, this study uncovered an exciting new role for the PtdIns3KC3 complex as a potential inducer of autophagosome formation.
autophagy; PtdIns3KC3; Barkor; Atg14(L); BATS; membrane curvature; ALPS; amphipathic alpha helix; autophagosome; PtdIns(3)P
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.
Human adenoviruses typically cause mild infections in the upper or lower respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, or ocular epithelium. However, adenoviruses may be life-threatening in patients with impaired immunity and some serotypes cause epidemic outbreaks. Attachment to host cell receptors activates cell signaling and virus uptake by endocytosis. At present, it is unclear how vital cellular homeostatic mechanisms affect these early steps in the adenovirus life cycle. Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation pathway for recycling intracellular components that is upregulated during periods of cell stress. Autophagic cargo is sequestered in double-membrane structures called autophagosomes that fuse with endosomes to form amphisomes which then deliver their content to lysosomes. Autophagy is an important adaptive response in airway epithelial cells targeted by many common adenovirus serotypes. Using two established tissue culture models, we demonstrate here that adaptive autophagy enhances expression of the early region 1 adenovirus protein, induction of mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling, and production of new viral progeny in airway epithelial cells infected with adenovirus type 2. We have also discovered that adenovirus infections are tightly regulated by endosome maturation, a process characterized by abrupt exchange of Rab5 and Rab7 GTPases, associated with early and late endosomes, respectively. Moreover, endosome maturation appears to control a pool of early endosomes capable of fusing with autophagosomes which enhance adenovirus infection. Many viruses have evolved mechanisms to induce autophagy in order to aid their own replication. Our studies reveal a novel role for host cell autophagy that could have a significant impact on the outcome of respiratory infections.
The highly conserved autophagy-lysosome pathway is the primary mechanism for breakdown and recycling of macromolecular and organellar cargo in the eukaryotic cell. Autophagy has recently been implicated in protection against cancer, neurodegeneration, and infection, and interest is increasing in additional roles of autophagy in human health, disease, and aging. To search for novel cytoprotective features of this pathway, we carried out a genetic mosaic screen for mutations causing increased lysosomal and/or autophagic activity in the Drosophila melanogaster larval fat body. By combining Drosophila genetics with live-cell imaging of the fluorescent dye LysoTracker Red and fixed-cell imaging of autophagy-specific fluorescent protein markers, the screen was designed to identify essential metazoan genes whose disruption causes increased flux through the autophagy-lysosome pathway. The screen identified a large number of genes associated with the protein synthesis and ER-secretory pathways (e.g. aminoacyl tRNA synthetases, Oligosaccharyl transferase, Sec61α), and with mitochondrial function and dynamics (e.g. Rieske iron-sulfur protein, Dynamin-related protein 1). We also observed that increased lysosomal and autophagic activity were consistently associated with decreased cell size. Our work demonstrates that disruption of the synthesis, transport, folding, or glycosylation of ER-targeted proteins at any of multiple steps leads to autophagy induction. In addition to illuminating cytoprotective features of autophagy in response to cellular damage, this screen establishes a genetic methodology for investigating cell biological phenotypes in live cells, in the context of viable wild type organisms.
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.
Eukaryotic cells must constantly degrade both intracellular and extracellular material in order to maintain cellular and organismal homeostasis. Two engulfment pathways, autophagy and phagocytosis, mediate the turnover of intracellular and extracellular substrates by delivering material to the lysosome. Historically these were thought to be separate pathways, but recent studies have revealed the direct participation of autophagy proteins in phagocytosis. Autophagy proteins lipidate LC3 onto phagosomes and other macroendocytic vacuole membranes, and are required for lysosomal degradation of engulfed cargo, demonstrating an autophagosome-independent role for autophagy proteins in mediating the turnover of extracellular substrates. This review discusses the biological systems where autophagy proteins have been found to regulate lysosome fusion to non-autophagic membranes.
autophagy; phagocytosis; entosis; engulfment; lysosome