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1.  Exercise induces autophagy in peripheral tissues and in the brain 
Autophagy  2012;8(10):1548-1551.
We recently identified physical exercise as a newly defined inducer of autophagy in vivo. Exercise induced autophagy in multiple organs involved in metabolic regulation, such as muscle, liver, pancreas and adipose tissue. To study the physiological role of exercise-induced autophagy, we generated mice with a knock-in nonphosphorylatable mutation in BCL2 (Thr69Ala, Ser70Ala and Ser84Ala) (BCL2 AAA) that are defective in exercise- and starvation-induced autophagy but not in basal autophagy. We found that BCL2 AAA mice could not run on a treadmill as long as wild-type mice, and did not undergo exercise-mediated increases in skeletal glucose muscle uptake. Unlike wild-type mice, the BCL2 AAA mice failed to reverse high-fat diet-induced glucose intolerance after 8 weeks of exercise training, possibly due to defects in signaling pathways that regulate muscle glucose uptake and metabolism during exercise. Together, these findings suggested a hitherto unknown important role of autophagy in mediating exercise-induced metabolic benefits. In the present addendum, we show that treadmill exercise also induces autophagy in the cerebral cortex of adult mice. This observation raises the intriguing question of whether autophagy may in part mediate the beneficial effects of exercise in neurodegeneration, adult neurogenesis and improved cognitive function.
doi:10.4161/auto.21327
PMCID: PMC3463459  PMID: 22892563
autophagy; exercise; brain; BCL2; metabolism
2.  Alpha Interferon Induces Distinct Translational Control Programs To Suppress Hepatitis C Virus RNA Replication 
Journal of Virology  2003;77(7):3898-3912.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is treated with interferon (IFN)-based therapy. The mechanisms by which IFN suppresses HCV replication are not known, and only limited efficacy is achieved with therapy because the virus directs mechanisms to resist the host IFN response. In the present study we characterized the effects of IFN action upon the replication of two distinct quasispecies of an HCV replicon whose encoded NS5A protein exhibited differential abilities to bind and inhibit protein kinase R (PKR). Metabolic labeling experiments revealed that IFN had little overall effect upon HCV protein stability or polyprotein processing but specifically blocked translation of the HCV RNA, such that the replication of both viral quasispecies was suppressed by IFN treatment of the Huh7 host cells. However, within cells expressing an NS5A variant that inhibited PKR, we observed a reduced level of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 alpha subunit (eIF2α) phosphorylation and a concomitant increase in HCV protein synthetic rates, enhancement of viral RNA replication, and a partial rescue of viral internal ribosome entry site (IRES) function from IFN suppression. Assessment of the ribosome distribution of the HCV replicon RNA demonstrated that the NS5A-mediated block in eIF2α phosphorylation resulted in enhanced recruitment of the HCV RNA into polyribosome complexes in vivo but only partially rescued the RNA from polyribosome dissociation induced by IFN treatment. Examination of cellular proteins associated with HCV-translation complexes in IFN-treated cells identified the P56 protein as an eIF3-associated factor that fractionated with the initiator ribosome-HCV RNA complex. Importantly, we found that P56 could independently suppress HCV IRES function both in vitro and in vivo, but a mutant P56 that was unable to bind eIF3 had no suppressive action. We conclude that IFN blocks HCV replication through translational control programs involving PKR and P56 to, respectively, target eIF2- and eIF3-dependent steps in the viral RNA translation initiation process.
doi:10.1128/JVI.77.7.3898-3912.2003
PMCID: PMC150642  PMID: 12634350

Results 1-2 (2)