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1.  Neuronal activity in the hub of extrasynaptic Schwann cell-axon interactions 
The integrity and function of neurons depend on their continuous interactions with glial cells. In the peripheral nervous system glial functions are exerted by Schwann cells (SCs). SCs sense synaptic and extrasynaptic manifestations of action potential propagation and adapt their physiology to support neuronal activity. We review here existing literature data on extrasynaptic bidirectional axon-SC communication, focusing particularly on neuronal activity implications. To shed light on underlying mechanisms, we conduct a thorough analysis of microarray data from SC-rich mouse sciatic nerve at different developmental stages and in neuropathic models. We identify molecules that are potentially involved in SC detection of neuronal activity signals inducing subsequent glial responses. We further suggest that alterations in the activity-dependent axon-SC crosstalk impact on peripheral neuropathies. Together with previously reported data, these observations open new perspectives for deciphering glial mechanisms of neuronal function support.
PMCID: PMC3839048  PMID: 24324401
peripheral nervous system; Schwann cell; axon-glia interaction; neuronal activity; microarray; neuronal support
2.  Regulation of autophagy by cytoplasmic p53 
Nature cell biology  2008;10(6):676-687.
Multiple cellular stressors, including activation of the tumour suppressor p53, can stimulate autophagy. Here we show that knockout, knockdown or pharmacological inhibition of p53 can induce autophagy in human, mouse and nematode cells. Enhanced autophagy improved the survival of p53-deficient cancer cells under conditions of hypoxia and nutrient depletion, allowing them to maintain high ATP levels. Inhibition of p53 led to autophagy in enucleated cells, and cytoplasmic, not nuclear, p53 was able to repress the enhanced autophagy of p53-/- cells. Many different inducers of autophagy (for example, starvation, rapamycin and toxins affecting the endoplasmic reticulum) stimulated proteasome-mediated degradation of p53 through a pathway relying on the E3 ubiquitin ligase HDM2. Inhibition of p53 degradation prevented the activation of autophagy in several cell lines, in response to several distinct stimuli. These results provide evidence of a key signalling pathway that links autophagy to the cancer-associated dysregulation of p53.
PMCID: PMC2676564  PMID: 18454141
3.  Lysosomal biogenesis and function is critical for necrotic cell death in Caenorhabditis elegans 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2006;173(2):231-239.
Necrotic cell death is defined by distinctive morphological characteristics that are displayed by dying cells (Walker, N.I., B.V. Harmon, G.C. Gobe, and J.F. Kerr. 1988. Methods Achiev. Exp. Pathol. 13:18–54). The cellular events that transpire during necrosis to generate these necrotic traits are poorly understood. Recent studies in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans show that cytoplasmic acidification develops during necrosis and is required for cell death (Syntichaki, P., C. Samara, and N. Tavernarakis. 2005. Curr. Biol. 15:1249–1254). However, the origin of cytoplasmic acidification remains elusive. We show that the alkalization of endosomal and lysosomal compartments ameliorates necrotic cell death triggered by diverse stimuli. In addition, mutations in genes that result in altered lysosomal biogenesis and function markedly affect neuronal necrosis. We used a genetically encoded fluorescent marker to follow lysosome fate during neurodegeneration in vivo. Strikingly, we found that lysosomes fuse and localize exclusively around a swollen nucleus. In the advanced stages of cell death, the nucleus condenses and migrates toward the periphery of the cell, whereas green fluorescent protein–labeled lysosomal membranes fade, indicating lysosomal rupture. Our findings demonstrate a prominent role for lysosomes in cellular destruction during necrotic cell death, which is likely conserved in metazoans.
PMCID: PMC2063814  PMID: 16636145

Results 1-3 (3)