Autophagy is a bulk degradation system induced by cellular stresses such as nutrient starvation. Its function relies on the formation of double-membrane vesicles called autophagosomes. Unlike other organelles that appear to stably exist in the cell, autophagosomes are formed on demand, and once their formation is initiated, it proceeds surprisingly rapidly. How and where this dynamic autophagosome formation takes place has been a long-standing question, but the discovery of Atg proteins in the 1990's significantly accelerated our understanding of autophagosome biogenesis. In this review, we will briefly introduce each Atg functional unit in relation to autophagosome biogenesis, and then discuss the origin of the autophagosomal membrane with an introduction to selected recent studies addressing this problem.
autophagy; autophagosome; Atg
Pancreatic islets in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are characterized by loss of β cells and formation of amyloid deposits derived from islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP). Here we demonstrated that treatment of INS-1 cells with human IAPP (hIAPP) enhances cell death, inhibits cytoproliferation, and increases autophagosome formation. Furthermore, inhibition of autophagy increased the vulnerability of β cells to the cytotoxic effects of hIAPP. Based on these in vitro findings, we examined the pathogenic role of hIAPP and its relation to autophagy in hIAPP-knockin mice. In animals fed a standard diet, hIAPP had no toxic effects on β cell function; however, hIAPP-knockin mice did not exhibit a high-fat-diet–induced compensatory increase in β cell mass, which was due to limited β cell proliferation and enhanced β cell apoptosis. Importantly, expression of hIAPP in mice with a β cell–specific autophagy defect resulted in substantial deterioration of glucose tolerance and dispersed cytoplasmic expression of p62-associated toxic oligomers, which were otherwise sequestrated within p62-positive inclusions. Together, our results indicate that increased insulin resistance in combination with reduced autophagy may enhance the toxic potential of hIAPP and enhance β cell dysfunction and progression of T2DM.
After bacterial invasion, ubiquitin is conjugated to host endosomal proteins and recognized by the autophagic machinery independent of LC3.
Although ubiquitin is thought to be important for the autophagic sequestration of invading bacteria (also called xenophagy), its precise role remains largely enigmatic. Here we determined how ubiquitin is involved in this process. After invasion, ubiquitin is conjugated to host cellular proteins in endosomes that contain Salmonella or transfection reagent–coated latex (polystyrene) beads, which mimic invading bacteria. Ubiquitin is recognized by the autophagic machinery independently of the LC3–ubiquitin interaction through adaptor proteins, including a direct interaction between ubiquitin and Atg16L1. To ensure that invading pathogens are captured and degraded, Atg16L1 targeting is secured by two backup systems that anchor Atg16L1 to ubiquitin-decorated endosomes. Thus, we reveal that ubiquitin is a pivotal molecule that connects bacteria-containing endosomes with the autophagic machinery upstream of LC3.
In early pregnancy, trophoblasts and the fetus experience hypoxic and low-nutrient conditions; nevertheless, trophoblasts invade the uterine myometrium up to one third of its depth and migrate along the lumina of spiral arterioles, replacing the maternal endothelial lining. Here, we showed that autophagy, an intracellular bulk degradation system, occurred in extravillous trophoblast (EVT) cells under hypoxia in vitro and in vivo. An enhancement of autophagy was observed in EVTs in early placental tissues, which suffer from physiological hypoxia. The invasion and vascular remodeling under hypoxia were significantly reduced in autophagy-deficient EVT cells compared with wild-type EVT cells. Interestingly, soluble endoglin (sENG), which increased in sera in preeclamptic cases, suppressed EVT invasion by inhibiting autophagy. The sENG-inhibited EVT invasion was recovered by TGFB1 treatment in a dose-dependent manner. A high dose of sENG inhibited the vascular construction by EVT cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), meanwhile a low dose of sENG inhibited the replacement of HUVECs by EVT cells. A protein selectively degraded by autophagy, SQSTM1, accumulated in EVT cells in preeclamptic placental biopsy samples showing impaired autophagy. This is the first report showing that impaired autophagy in EVT contributes to the pathophysiology of preeclampsia.
autophagy; extravillous trophoblast; hypoxia; invasion; preeclampsia; SQSTM1; soluble endoglin
Extravillous trophoblasts (EVTs) characterize the invasion of the maternal decidua under low oxygen and poor nutrition at the early feto-maternal interface to establish a successful pregnancy. We previously reported that autophagy in EVTs was activated under 2% O2
in vitro, and autophagy activation was also observed in EVTs at the early feto-maternal interface in vivo. Here, we show that autophagy is an energy source for the invasion of EVTs. Cobalt chloride (CoCl2), which induces hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) overexpression, activated autophagy in HTR8/SVneo cells, an EVT cell line. The number of invading HTR8-ATG4BC74A cells, an autophagy-deficient EVT cell line, was markedly reduced by 81 percent with the CoCl2 treatment through the suppression of MMP9 level, although CoCl2 did not affect the cellular invasion of HTR8-mStrawberry cells, a control cell line. HTR8-ATG4BC74A cells treated with CoCl2 showed a decrease in cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels and a compensatory increase in the expression of purinergic receptor P2X ligand-gated ion channel 7 (P2RX7), which is stimulated with ATP, whereas HTR8-mStrawberry cells maintained cellular ATP levels and did not affect P2RX7 expression. Furthermore, the decreased invasiveness of HTR8-ATG4BC74A cells treated with CoCl2 was neutralized by ATP supplementation to the level of HTR8-ATG4BC74A cells treated without CoCl2. These results suggest that autophagy plays a role in maintaining homeostasis by countervailing HIF1α-mediated cellular energy consumption in EVTs.
Lipomannan (LM) and lipoarabinomannan (LAM) are mycobacterial glycolipids containing a long mannose polymer. While they are implicated in immune modulations, the significance of LM and LAM as structural components of the mycobacterial cell wall remains unknown. We have previously reported that a branch-forming mannosyltransferase plays a critical role in controlling the sizes of LM and LAM and that deletion or overexpression of this enzyme results in gross changes in LM/LAM structures. Here, we show that such changes in LM/LAM structures have a significant impact on the cell wall integrity of mycobacteria. In Mycobacterium smegmatis, structural defects in LM and LAM resulted in loss of acid-fast staining, increased sensitivity to β-lactam antibiotics, and faster killing by THP-1 macrophages. Furthermore, equivalent Mycobacterium tuberculosis mutants became more sensitive to β-lactams, and one mutant showed attenuated virulence in mice. Our results revealed previously unknown structural roles for LM and LAM and further demonstrated that they are important for the pathogenesis of tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a global burden, affecting millions of people worldwide. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a causative agent of TB, and understanding the biology of M. tuberculosis is essential for tackling this devastating disease. The cell wall of M. tuberculosis is highly impermeable and plays a protective role in establishing infection. Among the cell wall components, LM and LAM are major glycolipids found in all Mycobacterium species, show various immunomodulatory activities, and have been thought to play roles in TB pathogenesis. However, the roles of LM and LAM as integral parts of the cell wall structure have not been elucidated. Here we show that LM and LAM play critical roles in the integrity of mycobacterial cell wall and the pathogenesis of TB. These findings will now allow us to seek the possibility that the LM/LAM biosynthetic pathway is a chemotherapeutic target.
A large protein complex consisting of Atg5, Atg12 and Atg16L1 has recently been shown to be essential for the elongation of isolation membranes (also called phagophores) during mammalian autophagy. However, the precise function and regulation of the Atg12–5-16L1 complex has largely remained unknown. In this study we identified a novel isoform of mammalian Atg16L, termed Atg16L2, that consists of the same domain structures as Atg16L1. Biochemical analysis revealed that Atg16L2 interacts with Atg5 and self-oligomerizes to form an ~800-kDa complex, the same as Atg16L1 does. A subcellular distribution analysis indicated that, despite forming the Atg12–5-16L2 complex, Atg16L2 is not recruited to phagophores and is mostly present in the cytosol. The results also showed that Atg16L2 is unable to compensate for the function of Atg16L1 in autophagosome formation, and knockdown of endogenous Atg16L2 did not affect autophagosome formation, indicating that Atg16L2 does not possess the ability to mediate canonical autophagy. Moreover, a chimeric analysis between Atg16L1 and Atg16L2 revealed that their difference in function in regard to autophagy is entirely attributable to the difference between their middle regions that contain a coiled-coil domain. Based on the above findings, we propose that formation of the Atg12–5-16L complex is necessary but insufficient to mediate mammalian autophagy and that an additional function of the middle region (especially around amino acid residues 229–242) of Atg16L1 (e.g., interaction with an unidentified binding partner on phagophores) is required for autophagosome formation.
autophagy; Atg16L; autophagosome; coiled-coil domain; LC3; Rab33-binding protein; Rab effector
The detailed mechanisms responsible for processing tumor-associated antigens and presenting them to CTLs remain to be fully elucidated. In this study, we demonstrate a unique CTL epitope generated from the ubiquitous protein puromycin-sensitive aminopeptidase, which is presented via HLA-A24 on leukemic and pancreatic cancer cells but not on normal fibroblasts or EBV-transformed B lymphoblastoid cells. The generation of this epitope requires proteasomal digestion and transportation from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus and is sensitive to chloroquine-induced inhibition of acidification inside the endosome/lysosome. Epitope liberation depends on constitutively active autophagy, as confirmed with immunocytochemistry for the autophagosome marker LC3 as well as RNA interference targeting two different autophagy-related genes. Therefore, ubiquitously expressed proteins may be sources of specific tumor-associated antigens when processed through a unique mechanism involving autophagy.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver diseases. A high risk of chronicity is the major concern of HCV infection, since chronic HCV infection often leads to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Infection with the HCV genotype 1 in particular is considered a clinical risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma, although the molecular mechanisms of the pathogenesis are largely unknown. Autophagy is involved in the degradation of cellular organelles and the elimination of invasive microorganisms. In addition, disruption of autophagy often leads to several protein deposition diseases. Although recent reports suggest that HCV exploits the autophagy pathway for viral propagation, the biological significance of the autophagy to the life cycle of HCV is still uncertain. Here, we show that replication of HCV RNA induces autophagy to inhibit cell death. Cells harboring an HCV replicon RNA of genotype 1b strain Con1 but not of genotype 2a strain JFH1 exhibited an incomplete acidification of the autolysosome due to a lysosomal defect, leading to the enhanced secretion of immature cathepsin B. The suppression of autophagy in the Con1 HCV replicon cells induced severe cytoplasmic vacuolation and cell death. These results suggest that HCV harnesses autophagy to circumvent the harmful vacuole formation and to maintain a persistent infection. These findings reveal a unique survival strategy of HCV and provide new insights into the genotype-specific pathogenicity of HCV.
Autophagy is a housekeeping process that maintains cellular homeostasis through recycling of nutrients and degradation of damaged or aged cytoplasmic constituents. Over the past several years, accumulating evidence has suggested that autophagy can function as an intracellular innate defense pathway in response to infection with a variety of bacteria and viruses. Autophagy plays a role as a specialized immunologic effector and regulates innate immunity to exert antimicrobial defense mechanisms. Numerous bacterial pathogens have developed the ability to invade host cells or to subvert host autophagy to establish a persistent infection. In this review, we have summarized the recent advances in our understanding of the interaction between antibacterial autophagy (xenophagy) and different bacterial pathogens.
autophagy; cytokines; immunity, Innate; infection; reactive oxygen species
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium enter epithelial cells and take up residence there. Within epithelial cells, a portion of the bacteria are surrounded by an autophagosome-like double-membrane structure, and they are still residing within the Salmonella-containing vacuole (SCV). In this paper, we will discuss how the autophagy machinery is recruited in proximity to Salmonella. The formation of this double membrane requires Atg9L1 and FIP200; these proteins are important for autophagy-specific recruitment of the PI3-kinase complex. In the absence of Atg9L1, FIP200, and PI3-kinase activity, LC3 is still recruited to the vicinity of Salmonella. We propose a novel model in which the mechanism of LC3 recruitment is separate from the generation of the isolation membrane. There exist at least three axes in Atg recruitment: ULK1 complex, Atg9L1, and Atg16L complex.
When Salmonella invade mammalian epithelial cells, some populations are surrounded by the autophagy protein LC3. We found that LC3 was recruited in proximity to Salmonella independently of both Atg9L1 and FIP200, which are required for formation of autophagosomes. The dynamics of the ULK1 complex and Atg9L1 were dependent on one another.
Salmonella develops into resident bacteria in epithelial cells, and the autophagic machinery (Atg) is thought to play an important role in this process. In this paper, we show that an autophagosome-like double-membrane structure surrounds the Salmonella still residing within the Salmonella-containing vacuole (SCV). This double membrane is defective in Atg9L1- and FAK family-interacting protein of 200 kDa (FIP200)-deficient cells. Atg9L1 and FIP200 are important for autophagy-specific recruitment of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) complex. However, in the absence of Atg9L1, FIP200, and the PI3K complex, LC3 and its E3-like enzyme, the Atg16L complex, are still recruited to Salmonella. We propose that the LC3 system is recruited through a mechanism that is independent of isolation membrane generation.
Generation of PI3P in the normally PI3P-deficient ER membrane makes the organelle a platform for autophagosome formation.
Autophagy is a catabolic process that allows cells to digest their cytoplasmic constituents via autophagosome formation and lysosomal degradation. Recently, an autophagy-specific phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) complex, consisting of hVps34, hVps15, Beclin-1, and Atg14L, has been identified in mammalian cells. Atg14L is specific to this autophagy complex and localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Knockdown of Atg14L leads to the disappearance of the DFCP1-positive omegasome, which is a membranous structure closely associated with both the autophagosome and the ER. A point mutation in Atg14L resulting in defective ER localization was also defective in the induction of autophagy. The addition of the ER-targeting motif of DFCP1 to this mutant fully complemented the autophagic defect in Atg14L knockout embryonic stem cells. Thus, Atg14L recruits a subset of class III PI3-kinase to the ER, where otherwise phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PI3P) is essentially absent. The Atg14L-dependent appearance of PI3P in the ER makes this organelle the platform for autophagosome formation.
Rubicon, a subunit of the Beclin 1-PI3-kinase complex and its homologue, PLEKHM1, negatively regulate endocytic pathway through the interaction with Rab7. Synchronous association with the Beclin 1–PI3-kinase complex and Rab7 is necessary for the function of Rubicon, but not PLEKHM1.
The endocytic and autophagic pathways are involved in the membrane trafficking of exogenous and endogenous materials to lysosomes. However, the mechanisms that regulate these pathways are largely unknown. We previously reported that Rubicon, a Beclin 1–binding protein, negatively regulates both the autophagic and endocytic pathways by unidentified mechanisms. In this study, we performed database searches to identify potential Rubicon homologues that share the common C-terminal domain, termed the RH domain. One of them, PLEKHM1, the causative gene of osteopetrosis, also suppresses endocytic transport but not autophagosome maturation. Rubicon and PLEKHM1 specifically and directly interact with Rab7 via their RH domain, and this interaction is critical for their function. Furthermore, we show that Rubicon but not PLEKHM1 uniquely regulates membrane trafficking via simultaneously binding both Rab7 and PI3-kinase.
Autophagy (xenophagy) degrades intracellular bacteria. The cargoes are degraded after the fusion of xenophagosomes with lysosomes. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the fusion remains unclear. Here we show that combinational SNARE proteins VAMP8 and Vti1b mediate fusion of antimicrobial and canonical autophagosomes with lysosomes.
Autophagy plays a crucial role in host defense, termed antimicrobial autophagy (xenophagy), as it functions to degrade intracellular foreign microbial invaders such as group A Streptococcus (GAS). Xenophagosomes undergo a stepwise maturation process consisting of a fusion event with lysosomes, after which the cargoes are degraded. However, the molecular mechanism underlying xenophagosome/lysosome fusion remains unclear. We examined the involvement of endocytic soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) in xenophagosome/lysosome fusion. Confocal microscopic analysis showed that SNAREs, including vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP)7, VAMP8, and vesicle transport through interaction with t-SNAREs homologue 1B (Vti1b), colocalized with green fluorescent protein-LC3 in xenophagosomes. Knockdown of Vti1b and VAMP8 with small interfering RNAs disturbed the colocalization of LC3 with lysosomal membrane protein (LAMP)1. The invasive efficiency of GAS into cells was not altered by knockdown of VAMP8 or Vti1b, whereas cellular bactericidal efficiency was significantly diminished, indicating that antimicrobial autophagy was functionally impaired. Knockdown of Vti1b and VAMP8 also disturbed colocalization of LC3 with LAMP1 in canonical autophagy, in which LC3-II proteins were negligibly degraded. In contrast, knockdown of Syntaxin 7 and Syntaxin 8 showed little effect on the autophagic fusion event. These findings strongly suggest that the combinational SNARE proteins VAMP8 and Vti1b mediate the fusion of antimicrobial and canonical autophagosomes with lysosomes, an essential event for autophagic degradation.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural protein 5A (NS5A) is a component of the replication complex consisting of several host and viral proteins. We have previously reported that human butyrate-induced transcript 1 (hB-ind1) recruits heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) and FK506-binding protein 8 (FKBP8) to the replication complex through interaction with NS5A. To gain more insights into the biological functions of hB-ind1 in HCV replication, we assessed the potential cochaperone-like activity of hB-ind1, because it has significant homology with cochaperone p23, which regulates Hsp90 chaperone activity. The chimeric p23 in which the cochaperone domain was replaced with the p23-like domain of hB-ind1 exhibited cochaperone activity comparable to that of the authentic p23, inhibiting the glucocorticoid receptor signaling in an Hsp90-dependent manner. Conversely, the chimeric hB-ind1 in which the p23-like domain was replaced with the cochaperone domain of p23 resulted in the same level of recovery of HCV propagation as seen in the authentic hB-ind1 in cells with knockdown of the endogenous hB-ind1. Immunofluorescence analyses revealed that hB-ind1 was colocalized with NS5A, FKBP8, and double-stranded RNA in the HCV replicon cells. HCV replicon cells exhibited a more potent unfolded-protein response (UPR) than the parental and the cured cells upon treatment with an inhibitor for Hsp90. These results suggest that an Hsp90-dependent chaperone pathway incorporating hB-ind1 is involved in protein folding in the membranous web for the circumvention of the UPR and that it facilitates HCV replication.
Porphyromonas gingivalis, a periodontal pathogen, secretes outer membrane vesicles (MVs) that contain major virulence factors, including major fimbriae and proteases termed gingipains, although it is not confirmed whether MVs enter host cells. In this study, we analyzed the mechanisms involved in the interactions of P. gingivalis MVs with human epithelial cells. Our results showed that MVs swiftly adhered to HeLa and immortalized human gingival epithelial cells in a fimbria-dependent manner and then entered via a lipid raft-dependent endocytic pathway. The intracellular MVs were subsequently routed to early endosome antigen 1-associated compartments and then were sorted to lysosomal compartments within 90 min, suggesting that intracellular MVs were ultimately degraded by the cellular digestive machinery. However, P. gingivalis MVs remained there for over 24 h and significantly induced acidified compartment formation after being taken up by the cellular digestive machinery. In addition, MV entry was shown to be mediated by a novel pathway for transmission of bacterial products into host cells, a Rac1-regulated pinocytic pathway that is independent of caveolin, dynamin, and clathrin. Our findings indicate that P. gingivalis MVs efficiently enter host cells via an endocytic pathway and survive within the endocyte organelles for an extended period, which provides better understanding of the role of MVs in the etiology of periodontitis.
Group A streptococcus (GAS; Streptococcus pyogenes) is a common pathogen that invades non-phagocytic human cells via endocytosis. Once taken up by cells, it escapes from the endocytic pathway to the cytoplasm, but here it is contained within a membrane-bound structure termed GAS-containing autophagosome-like vacuoles (GcAVs). The autophagosome marker GFP-LC3 associates with GcAVs, and other components of the autophagosomal pathway are involved in GcAV formation. However, the mechanistic relationship between GcAV and canonical autophagy is largely unknown. Here, we morphologically analyzed GcAV formation in detail. Initially, a small, GFP-LC3-positive GcAV sequesters each streptococcal chain, and these then coalesce into a single, large GcAV. Expression of a dominant-negative form of Rab7 or RNAi-mediated knockdown of Rab7 prevented the initial formation of small GcAV structures. Our results demonstrate that mechanisms of GcAV formation includes not only the common machinery of autophagy, but also Rab7 as an additional component, which is dispensable in canonical autophagosome formation.
Autophagy has become one of the leading edge subjects in science. Autophagy occurs when a cell eats some of its cellular components and digests them. These cellular components may include cytosol and organelles as well as bacteria that has invaded the cell. Thus, autophagy plays an important role in killing pathogens. Here, we introduce an anti-bacterial autophagy called xenophagy. Group A Streptococcus (GAS) enters HeLa cells and escapes from the endosome into the cytoplasm for its growth. However, autophagy kicks in and traps GAS, thus preventing its survival path. Detailed morphological observation of this process reveals several specific features which were not found in canonical autophagy. These results provide key information about not only anti-bacterial autophagy, but also canonical autophagy.
Type I collagen is a major component of the extracellular matrix, and mutations in the collagen gene cause several matrix-associated diseases. These mutant procollagens are misfolded and often aggregated in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Although the misfolded procollagens are potentially toxic to the cell, little is known about how they are eliminated from the ER. Here, we show that procollagen that can initially trimerize but then aggregates in the ER are eliminated by an autophagy-lysosome pathway, but not by the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway. Inhibition of autophagy by specific inhibitors or RNAi-mediated knockdown of an autophagy-related gene significantly stimulated accumulation of aggregated procollagen trimers in the ER, and activation of autophagy with rapamycin resulted in reduced amount of aggregates. In contrast, a mutant procollagen which has a compromised ability to form trimers was degraded by ERAD. Moreover, we found that autophagy plays an essential role in protecting cells against the toxicity of the ERAD-inefficient procollagen aggregates. The autophagic elimination of aggregated procollagen occurs independently of the ERAD system. These results indicate that autophagy is a final cell protection strategy deployed against ER-accumulated cytotoxic aggregates that are not able to be removed by ERAD.
Research in autophagy continues to accelerate,1 and as a result many new scientists are entering the field. Accordingly, it is important to establish a standard set of criteria for monitoring macroautophagy in different organisms. Recent reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose.2,3 There are many useful and convenient methods that can be used to monitor macroautophagy in yeast, but relatively few in other model systems, and there is much confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure macroautophagy in higher eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers of autophagosomes versus those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway; thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from fully functional autophagy that includes delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of the methods that can be used by investigators who are attempting to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as by reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that investigate these processes. This set of guidelines is not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to verify an autophagic response.
autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
Autophagy, an evolutionally conserved homeostatic process for catabolizing cytoplasmic components, has been implicated in the elimination of intracellular pathogens during mammalian innate immune responses. However, the mechanisms underlying cytoplasmic infection-induced autophagy, and the role of autophagy in host survival against intracellular pathogens are unknown. Here we report that in drosophila, recognition of diaminopimelic acid-type peptidoglycans by the pattern recognition receptor PGRP-LE is crucial for the induction of autophagy, and that autophagy prevents the intracellular growth of Listeria monocytogenes and promotes host survival against this infection. Autophagy induction occurs independently of the Toll and IMD innate signaling pathways. These findings define a clear pathway leading from the intracellular pattern recognition receptors to the induction of autophagy to host defense.
In the process of autophagy, a ubiquitin-like molecule, LC3/Atg8, is conjugated to phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and associates with forming autophagosomes. In mammalian cells, the existence of multiple Atg8 homologues (referred to as LC3 paralogues) has hampered genetic analysis of the lipidation of LC3 paralogues. Here, we show that overexpression of an inactive mutant of Atg4B, a protease that processes pro-LC3 paralogues, inhibits autophagic degradation and lipidation of LC3 paralogues. Inhibition was caused by sequestration of free LC3 paralogues in stable complexes with the Atg4B mutant. In mutant overexpressing cells, Atg5- and ULK1-positive intermediate autophagic structures accumulated. The length of these membrane structures was comparable to that in control cells; however, a significant number were not closed. These results show that the lipidation of LC3 paralogues is involved in the completion of autophagosome formation in mammalian cells. This study also provides a powerful tool for a wide variety of studies of autophagy in the future.
c-Cbl is the E3 ubiquitin ligase that ubiquitinates the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR). On the basis of localization, knockdown, and in vitro activity analyses, we have identified the E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme that cooperates with c-Cbl as Ubc4/5. Upon EGF stimulation, both Ubc4/5 and c-Cbl were relocated to the plasma membrane and then to Hrs-positive endosomes, strongly suggesting that EGFR continues to be ubiquitinated after internalization. Our time-course experiment showed that EGFR undergoes polyubiquitination, which seemed to be facilitated during the transport to Hrs-positive endosomes. Use of a conjugation-defective ubiquitin mutant suggested that receptor polyubiquitination is required for efficient interaction with Hrs and subsequent sorting to lysosomes. Abrupt inhibition of the EGFR kinase activity resulted in dissociation of c-Cbl from EGFR. Concomitantly, EGFR was rapidly deubiquitinated and its degradation was delayed. We propose that sustained tyrosine phosphorylation of EGFR facilitates its polyubiquitination in endosomes and counteracts rapid deubiquitination, thereby ensuring Hrs-dependent lysosomal sorting.
Macroautophagy is a mechanism of degradation of cytoplasmic components in all eukaryotic cells. In macroautophagy, cytoplasmic components are wrapped by double-membrane structures called autophagosomes, whose formation involves unique membrane dynamics, i.e., de novo formation of a double-membrane sac called the isolation membrane and its elongation. However, the precise regulatory mechanism of isolation membrane formation and elongation remains unknown. In this study, we showed that Golgi-resident small GTPase Rab33B (and Rab33A) specifically interacts with Atg16L, an essential factor in isolation membrane formation, in a guanosine triphosphate-dependent manner. Expression of a GTPase-deficient mutant Rab33B (Rab33B-Q92L) induced the lipidation of LC3, which is an essential process in autophagosome formation, even under nutrient-rich conditions, and attenuated macroautophagy, as judged by the degradation of p62/sequestosome 1. In addition, overexpression of the Rab33B binding domain of Atg16L suppressed autophagosome formation. Our findings suggest that Rab33 modulates autophagosome formation through interaction with Atg16L.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural protein 5A (NS5A) regulates viral replication through its interaction with host and other viral proteins. We have previously shown that FK506-binding protein 8 (FKBP8) binds to NS5A and recruits Hsp90 to form a complex that participates in the replication of HCV. In this study, we examined the biochemical characteristics of the interaction and the intracellular localization of NS5A and FKBP8. Surface plasmon resonance analysis revealed that the dissociation constant of the interaction between the purified FKBP8 and NS5A expressed in bacteria was 82 nM. Mutational analyses of NS5A revealed that a single amino acid residue of Val or Ile at position 121, which is well conserved among all genotypes of HCV, is critical for the specific interaction with FKBP8. Substitution of the Val121 to Ala drastically impaired the replication of HCV replicon cells, and the drug-resistant replicon cells emerging after drug selection were shown to have reverted to the original arrangement by replacing Ala121 with Val. Examination of individual fields of the replicon cells by both fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy (the correlative fluorescence microscopy-electron microscopy technique) revealed that FKBP8 is partially colocalized with NS5A in the cytoplasmic structure known as the membranous web. These results suggest that specific interaction of NS5A with FKBP8 in the cytoplasmic compartment plays a crucial role in the replication of HCV.