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.
The engulfment and clearance of apoptotic cells by neighboring cells or professional phagocytes is crucial to tissue homeostasis and the regulation of immune responses. The Arf-like GTPase Arl8, which localizes primarily to lysosomes, mediates phagolysosome formation to promote the efficient degradation of apoptotic germ cells in Caenorhabditis elegans.
Efficient clearance of apoptotic cells by phagocytes is important for development, tissue homeostasis, and the prevention of autoimmune responses. Phagosomes containing apoptotic cells undergo acidification and mature from Rab5-positive early to Rab7-positive late stages. Phagosomes finally fuse with lysosomes to form phagolysosomes, which degrade apoptotic cells; however, the molecular mechanism underlying phagosome–lysosome fusion is not fully understood. Here we show that the Caenorhabditis elegans Arf-like small GTPase Arl8 (ARL-8) is involved in phagolysosome formation and is required for the efficient removal of apoptotic cells. Loss of function of arl-8 results in the accumulation of apoptotic germ cells. Both the engulfment of the apoptotic cells by surrounding somatic sheath cells and the phagosomal maturation from RAB-5- to RAB-7-positive stages occur in arl-8 mutants. However, the phagosomes fail to fuse with lysosomes in the arl-8 mutants, leading to the accumulation of RAB-7-positive phagosomes and the delayed degradation of apoptotic cells. ARL-8 localizes primarily to lysosomes and physically interacts with the homotypic fusion and protein sorting complex component VPS-41. Collectively our findings reveal that ARL-8 facilitates apoptotic cell removal in vivo by mediating phagosome–lysosome fusion during phagocytosis.
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
Particular cis-Golgi proteins accumulate in novel punctate structures close to ERES by BFA treatment in tobacco BY-2 cells. These structures reassemble first to form cis-Golgi after BFA removal, and the Golgi stacks regenerate in the cis-to-trans order. This indicates that the punctate structures act as the scaffold for Golgi regeneration.
The Golgi apparatus forms stacks of cisternae in many eukaryotic cells. However, little is known about how such a stacked structure is formed and maintained. To address this question, plant cells provide a system suitable for live-imaging approaches because individual Golgi stacks are well separated in the cytoplasm. We established tobacco BY-2 cell lines expressing multiple Golgi markers tagged by different fluorescent proteins and observed their responses to brefeldin A (BFA) treatment and BFA removal. BFA treatment disrupted cis, medial, and trans cisternae but caused distinct relocalization patterns depending on the proteins examined. Medial- and trans-Golgi proteins, as well as one cis-Golgi protein, were absorbed into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but two other cis-Golgi proteins formed small punctate structures. After BFA removal, these puncta coalesced first, and then the Golgi stacks regenerated from them in the cis-to-trans order. We suggest that these structures have a property similar to the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment and function as the scaffold of Golgi regeneration.
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.
Polarization in motile cells requires the coordination of several key signaling molecules, including RhoA small GTPases and phosphoinositides. It is found that SHIP2 interacts with RhoA in a GTP-dependent manner and this interaction is required for proper localization of PI(3,4,5)P3 and regulation of cell polarization and migration.
Cell migration is essential for various physiological and pathological processes. Polarization in motile cells requires the coordination of several key signaling molecules, including RhoA small GTPases and phosphoinositides. Although RhoA participates in a front–rear polarization in migrating cells, little is known about the functional interaction between RhoA and lipid turnover. We find here that src-homology 2–containing inositol-5-phosphatase 2 (SHIP2) interacts with RhoA in a GTP-dependent manner. The association between SHIP2 and RhoA is observed in spreading and migrating U251 glioma cells. The depletion of SHIP2 attenuates cell polarization and migration, which is rescued by wild-type SHIP2 but not by a mutant defective in RhoA binding. In addition, the depletion of SHIP2 impairs the proper localization of phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate, which is not restored by a mutant defective in RhoA binding. These results suggest that RhoA associates with SHIP2 to regulate cell polarization and migration.
Connexins modulate intercellular communication when assembled in gap junctions. Compromised macroautophagy increases cellular communication due to failure to degrade connexins at gap junctions. Nedd4-mediated ubiquitinylation of the connexin molecule is required to trigger its autophagy-dependent internalization and degradation.
Different pathways contribute to the turnover of connexins, the main structural components of gap junctions (GJs). The cellular pool of connexins targeted to each pathway and the functional consequences of degradation through these degradative pathways are unknown. In this work, we focused on the contribution of macroautophagy to connexin degradation. Using pharmacological and genetic blockage of macroautophagy both in vitro and in vivo, we found that the cellular pool targeted by this autophagic system is primarily the one organized into GJs. Interruption of connexins' macroautophagy resulted in their retention at the plasma membrane in the form of functional GJs and subsequent increased GJ-mediated intercellular diffusion. Up-regulation of macroautophagy alone is not sufficient to induce connexin internalization and degradation. To better understand what factors determine the autophagic degradation of GJ connexins, we analyzed the changes undergone by the fraction of plasma membrane connexin 43 targeted for macroautophagy and the sequence of events that trigger this process. We found that Nedd4-mediated ubiquitinylation of the connexin molecule is required to recruit the adaptor protein Eps15 to the GJ and to initiate the autophagy-dependent internalization and degradation of connexin 43. This study reveals a novel regulatory role for macroautophagy in GJ function that is directly dependent on the ubiquitinylation of plasma membrane connexins.
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 an intracellular degradation process that is mediated by autophagosomes. Mammalian Atg2 proteins Atg2A and Atg2B are identified and characterized as essential for autophagy. They are also present on lipid droplets and are involved in regulation of lipid droplet volume and distribution.
Macroautophagy is an intracellular degradation system by which cytoplasmic materials are enclosed by the autophagosome and delivered to the lysosome. Autophagosome formation is considered to take place on the endoplasmic reticulum and involves functions of autophagy-related (Atg) proteins. Here, we report the identification and characterization of mammalian Atg2 homologues Atg2A and Atg2B. Simultaneous silencing of Atg2A and Atg2B causes a block in autophagic flux and accumulation of unclosed autophagic structures containing most Atg proteins. Atg2A localizes on the autophagic membrane, as well as on the surface of lipid droplets. The Atg2A region containing amino acids 1723–1829, which shows relatively high conservation among species, is required for localization to both the autophagic membrane and lipid droplet and is also essential for autophagy. Depletion of both Atg2A and Atg2B causes clustering of enlarged lipid droplets in an autophagy-independent manner. These data suggest that mammalian Atg2 proteins function both in autophagosome formation and regulation of lipid droplet morphology and dispersion.
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.
We found that Numb directly binds to p120. Numb depletion impaired E-cadherin internalization. aPKC phosphorylated Numb and inhibited its association with p120. In the Numb-depleted cells, the phosphomimetic Numb mutant failed to restore E-cadherin internalization. We propose the mode of action of Numb for intercellular adhesion downstream of aPKC.
Cadherin trafficking controls tissue morphogenesis and cell polarity. The endocytic adaptor Numb participates in apicobasal polarity by acting on intercellular adhesions in epithelial cells. However, it remains largely unknown how Numb controls cadherin-based adhesion. Here, we found that Numb directly interacted with p120 catenin (p120), which is known to interact with E-cadherin and prevent its internalization. Numb accumulated at intercellular adhesion sites and the apical membrane in epithelial cells. Depletion of Numb impaired E-cadherin internalization, whereas depletion of p120 accelerated internalization. Expression of the Numb-binding fragment of p120 inhibited E-cadherin internalization in a dominant-negative fashion, indicating that Numb interacts with the E-cadherin/p120 complex and promotes E-cadherin endocytosis. Impairment of Numb induced mislocalization of E-cadherin from the lateral membrane to the apical membrane. Atypical protein kinase C (aPKC), a member of the PAR complex, phosphorylated Numb and inhibited its association with p120 and α-adaptin. Depletion or inhibition of aPKC accelerated E-cadherin internalization. Wild-type Numb restored E-cadherin internalization in the Numb-depleted cells, whereas a phosphomimetic mutant or a mutant with defective α-adaptin-binding ability did not restore the internalization. Thus, we propose that aPKC phosphorylates Numb to prevent its binding to p120 and α-adaptin, thereby attenuating E-cadherin endocytosis to maintain apicobasal polarity.
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.
This work introduces a nonreceptor GEF for Gαi subunits as a regulator of autophagy. The authors reveal how growth factors reversibly regulate autophagy by a unique mechanism that involves reversible regulation of Gαi3 activity by AGS3, a GDI, and GIV, a GEF, during initiation and reversal of autophagy, respectively.
Autophagy is the major catabolic process responsible for the removal of aggregated proteins and damaged organelles. Autophagy is regulated by both G proteins and growth factors, but the underlying mechanism of how they are coordinated during initiation and reversal of autophagy is unknown. Using protein–protein interaction assays, G protein enzymology, and morphological analysis, we demonstrate here that Gα-interacting, vesicle-associated protein (GIV, a. k. a. Girdin), a nonreceptor guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Gαi3, plays a key role in regulating autophagy and that dynamic interplay between Gαi3, activator of G-protein signaling 3 (AGS3, its guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitor), and GIV determines whether autophagy is promoted or inhibited. We found that AGS3 directly binds light chain 3 (LC3), recruits Gαi3 to LC3-positive membranes upon starvation, and promotes autophagy by inhibiting the G protein. Upon growth factor stimulation, GIV disrupts the Gαi3–AGS3 complex, releases Gαi3 from LC3-positive membranes, enhances anti-autophagic signaling pathways, and inhibits autophagy by activating the G protein. These results provide mechanistic insights into how reversible modulation of Gαi3 activity by AGS3 and GIV maintains the delicate equilibrium between promotion and inhibition of autophagy.
The protumor functions for autophagy are largely attributed to its ability to promote cancer cell survival in response to stress. This study demonstrates an unexpected connection between autophagy and glucose metabolism that facilitates adhesion-independent growth driven by a strong oncogenic insult—mutationally active Ras.
The protumorigenic functions for autophagy are largely attributed to its ability to promote cancer cell survival in response to diverse stresses. Here we demonstrate an unexpected connection between autophagy and glucose metabolism that facilitates adhesion-independent transformation driven by a strong oncogenic insult—mutationally active Ras. In cells ectopically expressing oncogenic H-Ras as well as human cancer cell lines harboring endogenous K-Ras mutations, autophagy is induced following extracellular matrix detachment. Inhibiting autophagy due to the genetic deletion or RNA interference–mediated depletion of multiple autophagy regulators attenuates Ras-mediated adhesion-independent transformation and proliferation as well as reduces glycolytic capacity. Furthermore, in contrast to autophagy-competent cells, both proliferation and transformation in autophagy-deficient cells expressing oncogenic Ras are insensitive to reductions in glucose availability. Overall, increased glycolysis in autophagy-competent cells facilitates Ras-mediated adhesion-independent transformation, suggesting a unique mechanism by which autophagy may promote Ras-driven tumor growth in specific metabolic contexts.
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.
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.