autophagosome; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
There are various definitions of community. A definition that I found in one of my dictionaries is the following: “A social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists.” Thus, I think it is fair to say that there is a worldwide autophagy community. That is, there is a group of researchers (our occupation), whose members share an interest in autophagy (our common characteristic), and that group is distinct from the larger society (I do not want to begin describing the many ways this applies). But do we feel like a community, and do we need a community? I suggest that a community is indeed beneficial, and I propose one mechanism for enhancing the development of the autophagy community.
lysosome; methods; people; stress; vacuole
The term autophagic cell death (ACD) initially referred to cell death with greatly enhanced autophagy, but is increasingly used to imply a death-mediating role of autophagy, as shown by a protective effect of autophagy inhibition. In addition, many authors require that autophagic cell death must not involve apoptosis or necrosis. Adopting these new and restrictive criteria, and emphasizing their own failure to protect human osteosarcoma cells by autophagy inhibition, the authors of a recent Editor’s Corner article in this journal argued for the extreme rarity or nonexistence of autophagic cell death. We here maintain that, even with the more stringent recent criteria, autophagic cell death exists in several situations, some of which were ignored by the Editor’s Corner authors. We reject their additional criterion that the autophagy in ACD must be the agent of ultimate cell dismantlement. And we argue that rapidly dividing mammalian cells such as cancer cells are not the most likely situation for finding pure ACD.
apoptosis; autophagy; autophagic cell death; cell death; necrosis
Degradation in the lysosome/vacuole is not the final step of autophagy. In particular, for starvation-induced autophagy it is necessary to release the breakdown products back into the cytosol. However, some researchers ignore this last step and simply refer to the endpoint of autophagy as degradation, or perhaps even cargo delivery. In many cases this is not a serious issue; however, the analysis of autophagy’s role in certain diseases makes clear that this can be a significant error.
autophagy; cholesterol; lipids; lysosome; stress
In the August 2009 issue of Autophagy, I indicated that we were launching a new category of article, Protocols. At that time, I noted that we would ultimately be placing these articles on a new site online. Well, that time has finally arrived (see www.landesbioscience.com/journals/autophagy/protocols/ for links to these papers). Therefore, it seems appropriate for me to briefly distinguish among three types of community-oriented papers, Protocol, Toolbox and Resource.
autophagy; lysosome; methods; stress; vacuole
There is little doubt that humans rely on vision as their primary sensory input. However, various studies indicate that audiovisual combinations of data presentation actually enhance the ability of the learner to comprehend the information. We present an example of a musical-biological interface that provides an audible demonstration of SNARE protein function in the process of macroautophagy.
protein targeting; SNARE protein; stress; vacuole; yeast
Skeletal muscle fibers of collagen VI null (Col6a1−/−) mice show signs of degeneration due to a block in autophagy, leading to the accumulation of damaged mitochondria and excessive apoptosis. Attempts to induce autophagic flux by subjecting these mutant mice to long-term or shorter bursts of physical activity are unsuccessful (see Grumati, et al., pp. 1415–23). In normal mice, the induction of autophagy in the skeletal muscles post-exercise is able to prevent the accumulation of damaged organelles and maintain cellular homeostasis. Thus, these studies provide an important connection between autophagy and exercise physiology.
lysosome; metabolism; physiology; stress; vacuole
Recent publications link mitophagy mediated by PINK1 and Parkin with cardioprotection and attenuation of inflammation and cell death. The field is in need of methods to monitor mitochondrial turnover in vivo to support the development of new therapies targeting mitochondrial turnover.
mitophagy; mitochondria; cardiac; ischemia; inflammation; Parkin; cytokine
Atg8; autophagosome; autophagy; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
Considerable attention has been paid to the topic of autophagy induction. In part, this is because of the potential for modulating this process for therapeutic purposes. Of course we know that induced autophagy can also be problematic—for example, when trying to eliminate an established tumor that might be relying on autophagy for its own cytoprotective uses. Accordingly, inhibitory mechanisms have been considered; however, the corresponding studies have tended to focus on the pathways that block autophagy under noninducing conditions, such as when nutrients are available. In contrast, relatively little is known about the mechanisms for inhibiting autophagy under inducing conditions. Yet, this type of regulation must be occurring on a routine basis. We know that dysregulation of autophagy, e.g., due to improper activation of Beclin 1 leading to excessive autophagy activity, can cause cell death.1 Accordingly, we assume that during starvation or other inducing conditions there must be a mechanism to modulate autophagy. That is, once you turn it on, you do not want to let it continue unchecked. But how is autophagy downregulated when the inducing conditions still exist?
Atg1; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; macroautophagy; phagophore; regulation; stress; TOR; Ulk1; vacuole
“Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. …Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth…”
Arabidopsis; autophagy; Caenorhabditis; genes; human; lysosome; mammalian; mouse; nomenclature; rat; stress; vacuole; Xenopus; yeast; zebrafish
autophagy; lipids; lysosome; phagophore; phosphatidylinositol; sequestration; stress; vacuole
autophagy; lysosome; phagophore; sequestration; stress; vacuole
adaptors; autophagy; cargo; mitophagy; stress; xenophagy
autophagy; chaperone; deubiquitination; LC3; proteasome