Rapid membrane expansion is the key to autophagosome formation during nutrient starvation. In this issue, Yamamoto et al. (2012. J. Cell Biol.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201202061) now provide a mechanism for vesicle-mediated initiation of autophagosome biogenesis. They show that Atg9 vesicles, produced de novo during starvation, are ∼30–60 nm in size and contain ∼30 molecules of Atg9. These vesicles assemble to form an autophagosome, and subsequently, the Atg9 embedded in the outer membrane is recycled to avoid degradation.
The noncatalytic RabGAP protein TBC1D14 regulates the Rab11- and ULK1-positive recycling endosomes required for autophagosome formation upon starvation
Autophagy is a bulk degradation process characterized by the formation of double membrane vesicles called autophagosomes. The exact molecular mechanism of autophagosome formation and the origin of the autophagosomal membrane remain unclear. We screened 38 human Tre-2/Bub2/Cdc16 domain–containing Rab guanosine triphosphatase–activating proteins (GAPs) and identified 11 negative regulators of starvation-induced autophagy. One of these putative RabGAPs, TBC1D14, colocalizes and interacts with the autophagy kinase ULK1. Overexpressed TBC1D14 tubulates ULK1-positive recycling endosomes (REs), impairing their function and inhibiting autophagosome formation. TBC1D14 binds activated Rab11 but is not a GAP for Rab11, and loss of Rab11 prevents TBC1D14-induced tubulation of REs. Furthermore, Rab11 is required for autophagosome formation. ULK1 and Atg9 are found on Rab11- and transferrin (Tfn) receptor (TfnR)–positive recycling endosomes. Amino acid starvation causes TBC1D14 to relocalize from REs to the Golgi complex, whereas TfnR and Tfn localize to forming autophagosomes, which are ULK1 and LC3 positive. Thus, TBC1D14- and Rab11-dependent vesicular transport from REs contributes to and regulates starvation-induced autophagy.
Osteoclasts resorb bone via the ruffled border whose complex folds are generated by secretory lysosome fusion with bone-apposed plasma membrane. Lysosomal fusion with the plasmalemma results in acidification of the resorptive microenvironment and release of CatK to digest the organic matrix of bone. The means by which secretory lysosomes are directed to fuse with the ruffled border are enigmatic. We show that proteins essential for autophagy including Atg5, Atg7, Atg4B and LC3, are important for generating the osteoclast ruffled border, the secretory function of osteoclasts and bone resorption in vitro and in vivo. Further, Rab7 which is required for osteoclast function, localizes to the ruffled border in an Atg5-dependent manner. Thus, autophagy proteins participate in polarized secretion of lysosomal contents into the extracellular space by directing lysosomes to fuse with the plasma membrane. These findings are in keeping with a putative link between autophagy genes and human skeletal homeostasis.
The study of autophagy is rapidly expanding, and our knowledge of the molecular mechanism and its connections to a wide range of physiological processes has increased substantially in the past decade. The vocabulary associated with autophagy has grown concomitantly. In fact, it is difficult for readers—even those who work in the field—to keep up with the ever-expanding terminology associated with the various autophagy-related processes. Accordingly, we have developed a comprehensive glossary of autophagy-related terms that is meant to provide a quick reference for researchers who need a brief reminder of the regulatory effects of transcription factors and chemical agents that induce or inhibit autophagy, the function of the autophagy-related proteins, and the roles of accessory components and structures that are associated with autophagy.
autophagy; lysosome; mitophagy; pexophagy; stress; vacuole
T lymphocytes make use of their major integrin LFA-1 to migrate on surfaces that express ICAM-1 such as blood vessels and inflamed tissue sites. How the adhesions are turned over in order to supply traction for this migration has not been extensively investigated. By following the fate of biotinylated membrane LFA-1 on T lymphocytes, we show in this study that LFA-1 internalization and re-exposure on the plasma membrane are linked to migration. Previously we demonstrated the GTPase Rap2 to be a regulator of LFA-1-mediated migration. SiRNA knockdown of this GTPase inhibits both LFA-1 internalization and also its ability to be re-exposed, indicating that Rap2 participates in recycling of LFA-1 and influences its complete endocytosis–exocytosis cycle. Confocal microscopy images reveal that the intracellular distribution of Rap2 overlaps with endosomal recycling vesicles. Although the homologous GTPase Rap1 is also found on intracellular vesicles and associated with LFA-1 activation, these two homologous GTPases do not co-localize. Little is known about the conformation of the LFA-1 that is recycled. We show that the extended form of LFA-1 is internalized and in Rap2 siRNA-treated T lymphocytes the trafficking of this LFA-1 conformation is disrupted resulting in its intracellular accumulation. Thus LFA-1-mediated migration of T lymphocytes requires Rap2-expressing vesicles to recycle the extended form of LFA-1 that we have previously found to control migration at the leading edge.
Rap2; LFA-1; Integrin; Migration; Recycling
Autophagy is one of the newest and fastest emerging research areas in biomedical life sciences. Autophagosomes, large double-membrane vesicles enclosing cytoplasmic components targeted for degradation, are the hallmark of this catabolic pathway. The origin of the lipid bilayers composing these transport carriers has been the central enigma of the field since the discovery of autophagy. A series of recent studies has implicated several cellular organelles as the possible source of the autophagosomal membranes, if anything further clouding our view. In this compendium, we will discuss these apparently contradictory results and briefly emphasize the relevance of determining the lipid source used for autophagy for future translational research, for example in drug discovery programs.
Autophagy or “self-eating” is a highly conserved pathway that enables cells to degrade pieces of themselves in autolysosomes to enable their survival in times of stress, including nutrient deprivation. The formation of these degradative compartments requires cytosolic proteins, some of which are autophagy specific, as well as intracellular organelles, such as the ER and Golgi, and the endosome–lysosome system. Here we discuss the cross talk between autophagy and intracellular compartments, highlighting recent exciting data about the role and regulation of the Vps34 class III phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase in autophagy.
Autophagy, an intracellular degradative pathway, maintains cell homeostasis under normal and stress conditions. Nascent double-membrane autophagosomes sequester and enclose cytosolic components and organelles, and subsequently fuse with the endosomal pathway allowing content degradation. Autophagy requires fusion of autophagosomes with late endosomes, but it is not known if fusion with early endosomes is essential. We show that fusion of AVs with functional early endosomes is required for autophagy. Inhibition of early endosome function by loss of COPI subunits (β′, β, or α) results in accumulation of autophagosomes, but not an increased autophagic flux. COPI is required for ER-Golgi transport and early endosome maturation. Although loss of COPI results in the fragmentation of the Golgi, this does not induce the formation of autophagosomes. Loss of COPI causes defects in early endosome function, as both transferrin recycling and EGF internalization and degradation are impaired, and this loss of function causes an inhibition of autophagy, an accumulation of p62/SQSTM-1, and ubiquitinated proteins in autophagosomes.
The yeast Atg1 serine/threonine protein kinase and its mammalian homologs ULK1 and ULK2 play critical roles during the activation of autophagy. Previous studies have demonstrated that the conserved C-terminal domain (CTD) of ULK1 controls the regulatory function and localization of the protein. Here, we explored the role of kinase activity and intramolecular interactions to further understand ULK function. We demonstrate that the dominant-negative activity of kinase-dead mutants requires a 7-residue motif within the CTD. Our data lead to a model in which the functions of ULK1 and ULK2 are controlled by autophosphorylation and conformational changes involving exposure of the CTD. Additional mapping indicates that the CTD contains other distinct regions that direct membrane association and interaction with the putative human homologue of Atg13, which we have here characterized. Atg13 is required for autophagy and Atg9 trafficking during autophagy. However, Atg13 does not bind the 7-residue dominant-negative motif in the CTD of ULK proteins nor is the inhibitory activity of the CTDs rescued by Atg13 ectopic expression, suggesting that in mammalian cells, the CTD may interact with additional autophagy proteins.
In this review we start with a historical perspective beginning with the early morphological work done almost 50 years ago. The importance of these pioneering studies is underscored by our brief summary of the key questions addressed by subsequent research into the mechanism of secretion. We then highlight important advances in our understanding of the formation and maturation of neuroendocrine secretory granules, first using in vitro reconstitution systems, then most recently biochemical approaches, and finally genetic manipulations in vitro and in vivo.
Immature secretory granule; Mature secretory granule; Secretogranin; Chromogranin; Prohormone convertase
In neuroendocrine PC12 cells, immature secretory granules (ISGs) mature through homotypic fusion and membrane remodeling. We present evidence that the ISG-localized synaptotagmin IV (Syt IV) is involved in ISG maturation. Using an in vitro homotypic fusion assay, we show that the cytoplasmic domain (CD) of Syt IV, but not of Syt I, VII, or IX, inhibits ISG homotypic fusion. Moreover, Syt IV CD binds specifically to ISGs and not to mature secretory granules (MSGs), and Syt IV binds to syntaxin 6, a SNARE protein that is involved in ISG maturation. ISG homotypic fusion was inhibited in vivo by small interfering RNA–mediated depletion of Syt IV. Furthermore, the Syt IV CD, as well as Syt IV depletion, reduces secretogranin II (SgII) processing by prohormone convertase 2 (PC2). PC2 is found mostly in the proform, suggesting that activation of PC2 is also inhibited. Granule formation, and the sorting of SgII and PC2 from the trans-Golgi network into ISGs and MSGs, however, is not affected. We conclude that Syt IV is an essential component for secretory granule maturation.
The membrane-trafficking pathway mediated by tetanus neurotoxin-insensitive vesicle-associated membrane protein (TI-VAMP) in neurons is still unknown. We show herein that TI-VAMP expression is necessary for neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells and hippocampal neurons in culture. TI-VAMP interacts with plasma membrane and endosomal target soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors, suggesting that TI-VAMP mediates a recycling pathway. L1, a cell-cell adhesion molecule involved in axonal outgrowth, colocalized with TI-VAMP in the developing brain, neurons in culture, and PC12 cells. Plasma membrane L1 was internalized into the TI-VAMP–containing compartment. Silencing of TI-VAMP resulted in reduced expression of L1 at the plasma membrane. Finally, using the extracellular domain of L1 and N-cadherin immobilized on beads, we found that the silencing of TI-VAMP led to impaired L1- but not N-cadherin–mediated adhesion. Furthermore, TI-VAMP- but not synaptobrevin 2-containing vesicles accumulated at the site of the L1 bead-cell junction. We conclude that TI-VAMP mediates the intracellular transport of L1 and that L1-mediated adhesion controls this membrane trafficking, thereby suggesting an important cross talk between membrane trafficking and cell-cell adhesion.
The biogenesis of secretory granules embodies several morphological and biochemical changes. In particular, in neuroendocrine cells maturation of secretory granules is characterized by an increase in size which has been proposed to reflect homotypic fusion of immature secretory granules (ISGs). Here we describe an assay that provides the first biochemical evidence for such a fusion event and allows us to analyze its regulation. The assay reconstitutes homotypic fusion between one population of ISGs containing a [35S]sulfate-labeled substrate, secretogranin II (SgII), and a second population containing the prohormone convertase PC2. Both substrate and enzyme are targeted exclusively to ISGs. Fusion is measured by quantification of a cleavage product of SgII produced by PC2. With this assay we show that fusion only occurs between ISGs and not between ISGs and MSGs, is temperature dependent, and requires ATP and GTP and cytosolic proteins. NSF (N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive fusion protein) is amongst the cytosolic proteins required, whereas we could not detect a requirement for p97. The ability to reconstitute ISG fusion in a cell-free assay is an important advance towards the identification of molecules involved in the maturation of secretory granules and will increase our understanding of this process.
fusion; immature secretory granule; prohormone convertase 2; secretogranin; NSF
The phosphoinositide 5-kinase (PIKfyve) is a critical enzyme for the synthesis of PtdIns(3,5)P2, that has been implicated in various trafficking events associated with the endocytic pathway. We have now directly compared the effects of siRNA-mediated knockdown of PIKfyve in HeLa cells with a specific pharmacological inhibitor of enzyme activity. Both approaches induce changes in the distribution of CI-M6PR and trans-Golgi network (TGN)-46 proteins, which cycles between endosomes and TGN, leading to their accumulation in dispersed punctae, whilst the TGN marker golgin-245 retains a perinuclear disposition. Trafficking of CD8-CI-M6PR (retromer-dependent) and CD8-Furin (retromer-independent) chimeras from the cell surface to the TGN is delayed following drug administration, as is the transport of the Shiga toxin B-subunit. siRNA knockdown of PIKfyve produced no defect in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) degradation, unless combined with knockdown of its activator molecule Vac14, suggesting that a low threshold of PtdIns(3,5)P2 is necessary and sufficient for this pathway. Accordingly pharmacological inhibition of PIKfyve results in a profound block to the lysosomal degradation of activated epidermal growth factor (EGF) and Met receptors. Immunofluorescence revealed EGF receptors to be trapped in the interior of a swollen endosomal compartment. In cells starved of amino acids, PIKfyve inhibition leads to the accumulation of the lipidated form of GFP-LC3, a marker of autophagosomal structures, which can be visualized as fluorescent punctae. We suggest that PIKfyve inhibition may render the late endosome/lysosome compartment refractory to fusion with both autophagosomes and with EGFR-containing multivesicular bodies.
autophagy; EGF receptor; endocytosis; phosphoinositide; PIKfyve
Homotypic fusion of immature secretory granules (ISGs) gives rise
to mature secretory granules (MSGs), the storage compartment in
endocrine and neuroendocrine cells for hormones and neuropeptides. With
the use of a cell-free fusion assay, we investigated which soluble
N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment receptor (SNARE)
molecules are involved in the homotypic fusion of ISGs. Interestingly,
the SNARE molecules mediating the exocytosis of MSGs in neuroendocrine
cells, syntaxin 1, SNAP-25, and VAMP2, were not involved in homotypic
ISG fusion. Instead, we have identified syntaxin 6 as a component of
the core machinery responsible for homotypic ISG fusion. Subcellular
fractionation studies and indirect immunofluorescence microscopy show
that syntaxin 6 is sorted away during the maturation of ISGs to MSGs.
Although, syntaxin 6 on ISG membranes is associated with SNAP-25 and
SNAP-29/GS32, we could not find evidence that these target (t)-SNARE
molecules are involved in homotypic ISG fusion. Nor could we find any
involvement for the vesicle (v)-SNARE VAMP4, which is known to be
associated with syntaxin 6. Importantly, we have shown that homotypic
fusion requires the function of syntaxin 6 on both donor as well as
acceptor membranes, which suggests that t–t-SNARE interactions, either
direct or indirect, may be required during fusion of ISG membranes.