Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcriptional protein family members, including FOXO1 and FOXO3, are involved in the modulation of autophagy. However, whether there is redundancy between FOXO1 and FOXO3 in the ability to induce autophagy remains unclear. In this study, we showed that FOXO3 induced a transcription-dependent autophagy, and FOXO1 was required for this process. Overexpression of wild-type FOXO3 (WT) or FOXO3 (3A), which harbors alanine mutations at residues Thr32, Ser253 and Ser315, but not transcription-inactive FOXO3 (∆DB3A), significantly induced autophagy in the human embryonic kidney cell line HEK293T and mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) cell lines. Interestingly, depletion of FOXO1 by siRNA attenuated FOXO3-induced autophagy. Our data also showed that FOXO3 overexpression did not increase the expression of FOXO1 at the protein level, although FOXO3 was capable of binding the promoter region of FOXO1 and inducing an increase in the transcription of FOXO1 mRNA. Furthermore, our results showed that FOXO3 promoted the translocation of FOXO1 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, resulting in an increase in FOXO1-induced autophagy. Moreover, our results supported a mechanism whereby FOXO3 dramatically increased the expression of the class I PtdIns3K catalytic subunit PIK3CA, leading to an increase in AKT1 activity, which resulted in the phosphorylation and nuclear export of FOXO1. To the best of our knowledge, our data are the first to suggest that FOXO1 plays a central role in FOXO3-induced autophagy.
FOXO1; FOXO3; autophagy; PIK3CA; AKT1
Autophagy is a normal degradative pathway that involves the sequestration of cytoplasmic components and organelles in a vacuole called autophagosome. SNAREs proteins are key molecules of the vesicle fusion machinery. Our results indicate that in a mammalian tumor cell line a subset of VAMP7 (V-SNARE)-positive vacuoles colocalize with LC3 at the cell periphery (focal adhesions) upon starvation. The re-distribution of VAMP7 positive structures is a microtubule-dependent event, with the participation of the motor protein KIF5 and the RAB7 effector RILP. Interestingly, most of the VAMP7-labeled vesicles were loaded with ATP. Moreover, in cells subjected to starvation, these structures fuse with the plasma membrane to release the nucleotide to the extracellular medium. Summarizing, our results show the molecular components involved in the release of ATP to extracellular space, which is recognized as an important autocrine/paracrine signal molecule that participates in the regulation of several cellular functions such as immunogenicity of cancer cell death or inflammation
SNAREs; VAMP7; autophagy; autophagosome; LC3; focal adhesions; ATP
There is a growing evidence of the role of autophagy in pancreatic β cell homeostasis. During development of type 2 diabetes, β cells are required to supply the increased demand of insulin. In such a stage, β cells have to address high ER stress conditions that could lead to abnormal insulin secretion, and ultimately, β cell death and overt diabetes. In this study, we used insulin secretion-deficient β cells derived from fetal mice. These cells present an increased accumulation of polyubiquitinated protein aggregates and LC3B-positive puncta, when compared with insulinoma-derived β cell lines. We found that insulin secretion deficiency renders these cells hypersensitive to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-mediated cell death. Chemical or shRNA-mediated inhibition of autophagy increased β cell death under ER stress. On the other hand, rapamycin treatment increased both autophagy and cell survival under ER stress. Insulin secretion-deficient β cells showed a marked reduction of the antiapoptotic protein BCL2, together with increased BAX expression and ERN1 hyperactivation upon ER stress induction. These results showed how insulin secretion deficiency in β cells may be contributing to ER stress-mediated cell death, and in this regard, we showed how the autophagic response plays a prosurvival role.
pancreatic beta cells; insulin secretion deficiency; endoplasmic reticulum stress; apoptosis; autophagy; rapamycin
Glutathione (γ-L-glutamyl-L-cysteinyl-glycine, GSH) is the most abundant low molecular weight, thiol-containing compound within the cells and has a primary role in the antioxidant defense and intracellular signaling. Here we demonstrated that nutrient deprivation led to a significant decrease of intracellular GSH levels in three different carcinoma cell lines. This phenomenon was dependent on ABCC1-mediated GSH extrusion, along with GCL inhibition and, to a minor extent, the formation of GSH-protein mixed disulfides that synergistically contributed to the modulation of autophagy by shifting the intracellular redox state toward more oxidizing conditions. Modulation of intracellular GSH by inhibiting its de novo synthesis through incubation with buthionine sulfoximine, or by maintaining its levels through GSH ethyl ester, affected the oxidation of protein thiols, such as PRDXs and consequently the kinetics of autophagy activation. We also demonstrated that thiol-oxidizing or -alkylating agents, such as diamide and diethyl maleate activated autophagy, corroborating the evidence that changes in thiol redox state contributed to the occurrence of autophagy.
ABCC1; BECN1; diamide; diethylmaleate; glutathione; peroxiredoxins; redox state
Granular corneal dystrophy type 2 (GCD2) is an autosomal dominant disease characterized by a progressive age-dependent extracellular accumulation of transforming growth factor β-induced protein (TGFBI). Corneal fibroblasts from GCD2 patients also have progressive degenerative features, but the mechanism underlying this degeneration remains unknown. Here we observed that TGFBI was degraded by autophagy, but not by the ubiquitin/proteasome-dependent pathway. We also found that GCD2 homozygous corneal fibroblasts displayed a greater number of fragmented mitochondria. Most notably, mutant TGFBI (mut-TGFBI) extensively colocalized with microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3β (MAP1LC3B, hereafter referred to as LC3)-enriched cytosolic vesicles and CTSD in primary cultured GCD2 corneal fibroblasts. Levels of LC3-II, a marker of autophagy activation, were significantly increased in GCD2 corneal fibroblasts. Nevertheless, levels of SQSTM1/p62 and of polyubiquitinated protein were also significantly increased in GCD2 corneal fibroblasts compared with wild-type (WT) cells. However, LC3-II levels did not differ significantly between WT and GCD2 cells, as assessed by the presence of bafilomycin A1, the fusion blocker of autophagosomes and lysosomes. Likewise, bafilomycin A1 caused a similar change in levels of SQSTM1. Thus, the increase in autophagosomes containing mut-TGFBI may be due to inefficient fusion between autophagosomes and lysosomes. Rapamycin, an autophagy activator, decreased mut-TGFBI, whereas inhibition of autophagy increased active caspase-3, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) and reduced the viability of GCD2 corneal fibroblasts compared with WT controls. These data suggest that defective autophagy may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of GCD2.
LC3/MAP1LC3B; SQSTM1/p62; TGFBI; defective autophagy; rapamycin; ubiquitination
We have previously shown that elevated expression of mitotic kinase aurora kinase A (AURKA) in cancer cells promotes the development of metastatic phenotypes and is associated clinically with adverse prognosis. Here, we first revealed a clinically positive correlation between AURKA and autophagy-associated protein SQSTM1 in breast cancer and further demonstrated that AURKA regulated SQSTM1 through autophagy. Indeed, depletion by siRNA or chemical inhibition of AURKA by the small molecule VX-680 increased both the level of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-II (LC3-II) and the number of autophagosomes, along with decreased SQSTM1. Conversely, overexpression of AURKA inhibited autophagy, as assessed by decreased LC3-II and increased SQSTM1 either upon nutrient deprivation or normal conditions. In addition, phosphorylated forms of both RPS6KB1 and mechanistic target of rapamycin (MTOR) were elevated by overexpression of AURKA whereas they were suppressed by depletion or inhibition of AURKA. Moreover, inhibition of MTOR by PP242, an inhibitor of MTOR complex1/2, abrogated the changes in both LC3-II and SQSTM1 in AURKA-overexpressing BT-549 cells, suggesting that AURKA-suppressed autophagy might be associated with MTOR activation. Lastly, repression of autophagy by depletion of either LC3 or ATG5, sensitized breast cancer cells to VX-680-induced apoptosis. Similar findings were observed in cells treated with the autophagy inhibitors chloroquine (CQ) and bafilomycin A1 (BAF). Our data thus revealed a novel role of AURKA as a negative regulator of autophagy, showing that AURKA inhibition induced autophagy, which may represent a novel mechanism of drug resistance in apoptosis-aimed therapy for breast cancer.
AURKA; SQSTM1; autophagy; breast cancer; MTOR; apoptosis
Although it is known that tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TNFSF10/TRAIL) induces autophagy, the mechanism by which autophagy is activated by TNFSF10 is still elusive. In this report, we show evidence that TRAF2- and RIPK1-mediated MAPK8/JNK activation is required for TNFSF10-induced cytoprotective autophagy. TNFSF10 activated autophagy rapidly in cancer cell lines derived from lung, bladder and prostate tumors. Blocking autophagy with either pharmacological inhibitors or siRNAs targeting the key autophagy factors BECN1/Beclin 1 or ATG7 effectively increased TNFSF10-induced apoptotic cytotoxicity, substantiating a cytoprotective role for TNFSF10-induced autophagy. Blocking MAPK8 but not NFκB effectively blocked autophagy, suggesting that MAPK8 is the main pathway for TNFSF10-induced autophagy. In addition, blocking MAPK8 effectively inhibited degradation of BCL2L1/Bcl-xL and reduction of the autophagy-suppressing BCL2L1–BECN1complex. Knockdown of TRAF2 or RIPK1 effectively suppressed TNFSF10-induced MAPK8 activation and autophagy. Furthermore, suppressing autophagy inhibited expression of antiapoptosis factors BIRC2/cIAP1, BIRC3/cIAP2, XIAP and CFLAR/c-FLIP and increased the formation of TNFSF10-induced death-inducing signaling complex (DISC). These results reveal a critical role for the MAPK8 activation pathway through TRAF2 and RIPK1 for TNFSF10-induced autophagy that blunts apoptosis in cancer cells. Thus, suppression of MAPK8-mediated autophagy could be utilized for sensitizing cancer cells to therapy with TNFSF10.
autophagy; MAPK8/JNK; RIPK1/RIP1; TRAF2; TNFSF10/TRAIL; apoptosis
Lysosome-associated membrane protein type 2A (LAMP2A) is a key protein in the chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) pathway. LAMP2A helps in lysosomal uptake of modified and oxidatively damaged proteins directly into the lumen of lysosomes for degradation and protein turnover. Elevated expression of LAMP2A was observed in breast tumor tissues of all patients under investigation, suggesting a survival mechanism via CMA and LAMP2A. Reduced expression of the CMA substrates, GAPDH and PKM, was observed in most of the breast tumor tissues when compared with the normal adjacent tissues. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) mediated oxidative stress damages regulatory cellular components such as DNA, proteins and/or lipids. Protein carbonyl content (PCC) is widely used as a measure of total protein oxidation in cells. Ectopic expression of LAMP2A reduces PCC and thereby promotes cell survival during oxidative stress. Furthermore, inhibition of LAMP2A stimulates accumulation of GAPDH, AKT1 phosphorylation, generation of ROS, and induction of cellular apoptosis in breast cancer cells. Doxorubicin, which is a chemotherapeutic drug, often becomes ineffective against tumor cells with time due to chemotherapeutic resistance. Breast cancer cells deficient of LAMP2A demonstrate increased sensitivity to the drug. Thus, inhibiting CMA activity in breast tumor cells can be exploited as a potential therapeutic application in the treatment of breast cancer.
PCC; TUNEL; autophagy; CMA; tumor; tissues; doxorubicin
L-arginine (L-Arg) deficiency results in decreased T-cell proliferation and impaired T-cell function. Here we have found that L-Arg depletion inhibited expression of different membrane antigens, including CD247 (CD3ζ), and led to an ER stress response, as well as cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 in both human Jurkat and peripheral blood mitogen-activated T cells, without undergoing apoptosis. By genetic and biochemical approaches, we found that L-Arg depletion also induced autophagy. Deprivation of L-Arg induced EIF2S1 (eIF2α), MAPK8 (JNK), BCL2 (Bcl-2) phosphorylation, and displacement of BECN1 (Beclin 1) binding to BCL2, leading to autophagosome formation. Silencing of ERN1 (IRE1α) prevented the induction of autophagy as well as MAPK8 activation, BCL2 phosphorylation and XBP1 splicing, whereas led T lymphocytes to apoptosis under L-Arg starvation, suggesting that the ERN1-MAPK8 pathway plays a major role in the activation of autophagy following L-Arg depletion. Autophagy was required for survival of T lymphocytes in the absence of L-Arg, and resulted in a reversible process. Replenishment of L-Arg made T lymphocytes to regain the normal cell cycle profile and proliferate, whereas autophagy was inhibited. Inhibition of autophagy by ERN1, BECN1 and ATG7 silencing, or by pharmacological inhibitors, promoted cell death of T lymphocytes incubated in the absence of L-Arg. Our data indicate for the first time that depletion of L-Arg in T lymphocytes leads to a reversible response that preserves T lymphocytes through ER stress and autophagy, while remaining arrested at G0/G1. Our data also show that the L-Arg depletion-induced ER stress response could lead to apoptosis when autophagy is blocked.
autophagy; endoplasmic reticulum stress; L-arginine; arginine depletion; survival; apoptosis; signaling; T cell; Jurkat cell
Ethanol is a neuroteratogen and neurodegeneration is the most devastating consequence of developmental exposure to ethanol. The mechanisms underlying ethanol-induced neurodegeneration are complex. Ethanol exposure produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) which cause oxidative stress in the brain. We hypothesized that ethanol would activate autophagy to alleviate oxidative stress and neurotoxicity. Our results indicated that ethanol increased the level of the autophagic marker Map1lc3-II (LC3-II) and upregulated LC3 puncta in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. It also enhanced the levels of LC3-II and BECN1 in the developing brain; meanwhile, ethanol reduced SQSTM1 (p62) levels. Bafilomycin A1, an inhibitor of autophagosome and lysosome fusion, increased p62 levels in the presence of ethanol. Bafilomycin A1 and rapamycin potentiated ethanol-increased LC3 lipidation, whereas wortmannin and a BECN1-specific shRNA inhibited ethanol-promoted LC3 lipidation. Ethanol increased mitophagy, which was also modulated by BECN1 shRNA and rapamycin. The evidence suggested that ethanol promoted autophagic flux. Activation of autophagy by rapamycin reduced ethanol-induced ROS generation and ameliorated ethanol-induced neuronal death in vitro and in the developing brain, whereas inhibition of autophagy by wortmannin and BECN1-specific shRNA potentiated ethanol-induced ROS production and exacerbated ethanol neurotoxicity. Furthermore, ethanol inhibited the MTOR pathway and downregulation of MTOR offered neuroprotection. Taken together, the results suggest that autophagy activation is a neuroprotective response to alleviate ethanol toxicity. Ethanol modulation of autophagic activity may be mediated by the MTOR pathway.
alcohol; cerebellum; cerebral cortex; fetal alcohol spectrum disorders; mitophagy; neurodegeneration
Autophagy is a process by which cytoplasmic material is sequestered in a double-membrane vesicle destined for degradation. Nutrient deprivation stimulates the pathway and the number of autophagosomes in the cell increases in response to such stimulus. In the current report we have demonstrated that actin is necessary for starvation-mediated autophagy. When the actin cytoskeleton is depolymerized, the increase in autophagic vacuoles in response to the starvation stimulus was abolished without affecting maturation of remaining autophagosomes. In addition, actin filaments colocalized with ATG14, BECN1/Beclin1 and PtdIns3P-rich structures, and some of them have a typical omegasome shape stained with the double FYVE domain or ZFYVE1/DFCP1. In contrast, no major colocalization between actin and ULK1, ULK2, ATG5 or MAP1LC3/LC3 was observed. Taken together, our data indicate that actin has a role at very early stages of autophagosome formation linked to the PtdIns3P generation step. In addition, we have found that two members of the Rho family of proteins, RHOA and RAC1 have a regulatory function on starvation-mediated autophagy, but with opposite roles. Indeed, RHOA has an activatory role whereas Rac has an inhibitory one. We have also found that inhibition of the RHOA effector ROCK impaired the starvation-mediated autophagic response. We propose that actin participates in the initial membrane remodeling stage when cells require an enhanced rate of autophagosome formation, and this actin function would be tightly regulated by different members of the Rho family.
autophagosome formation; starvation; actin; RHOA; RAC1; ROCK
Macroautophagy is an important process for removing misfolded and aggregated protein in cells, the dysfunction of which has been directly linked to an increasing number of neurodegenerative disorders. However, the details of macroautophagy in prion diseases remain obscure. Here we demonstrated that in the terminal stages of scrapie strain 263K-infected hamsters and human genetic prion diseases, the microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3) was converted from the cytosolic form to the autophagosome-bound membrane form. Macroautophagy substrate sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) and polyubiquitinated proteins were downregulated in the brains of sick individuals, indicating enhanced macroautophagic protein degradation. The levels of mechanistic target of rapamycin (MTOR) and phosphorylated MTOR (p-MTOR) were significantly decreased, which implies that this enhancement of the macroautophagic response is likely through the MTOR pathway which is a negative regulator for the initiation of macroautophagy. Dynamic assays of the autophagic system in the brains of scrapie experimental hamsters after inoculation showed that alterations of the autophagic system appeared along with the deposits of PrPSc in the infected brains. Immunofluorescent assays revealed specific staining of autophagosomes in neurons that were not colocalized with deposits of PrPSc in the brains of scrapie infected hamsters, however, autophagosome did colocalize with PrPSc in a prion-infected cell line after treatment with bafilomycin A1. These results suggest that activation of macroautophagy in brains is a disease-correlative phenomenon in prion diseases.
transmissible spongiform encephalopathies; autophagy; neurodegenerative diseases
Autophagy is an important cellular recycling mechanism through self-digestion in responses to cellular stress such as starvation. Studies have shown that autophagy is involved in maintaining the homeostasis of the neural system during stroke. However, molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal autophagy in ischemic stroke remain poorly understood. Previously, we and others have shown that immune-related GTPase M (IRGM; termed IRGM1 in the mouse nomenclature) can regulate the survival of immune cells through autophagy in response to infections and autoimmune conditions. Here, using a permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) mouse model, we found that IRGM1 was upregulated in the ischemic side of the brain, which was accompanied by a significant autophagic response. In contrast, neuronal autophagy was almost complete lost in Irgm1 knockout (KO) mice after pMCAO induction. In addition, the infarct volume in the Irgm1-KO pMCAO mice was significantly increased as compared to wild-type mice. Histological studies suggested that, at the early stage (within 24 h) of ischemia, the IRGM1-dependent autophagic response is associated with a protection of neurons from necrosis in the ischemic core but a promotion of neuronal apoptosis in the penumbra area. These data demonstrate a novel role of IRGM1 in regulating neuronal autophagy and survival during ischemic stroke.
autophagy; IRGM1; pMCAO; necrosis and apoptosis
Accidental or therapeutic exposure to ionizing radiation has severe physiological consequences and can result in cell death. We previously demonstrated that deficiency or blockade of the ubiquitously expressed receptor CD47 results in remarkable cell and tissue protection against ischemic and radiation stress. Antagonists of CD47 or its ligand THBS1/thrombospondin 1 enhance cell survival and preserve their proliferative capacity. However the signaling pathways that mediate this cell-autonomous radioprotection are unclear. We now report a marked increase in autophagy in irradiated T-cells and endothelial cells lacking CD47. Irradiated T cells lacking CD47 exhibit significant increases in formation of autophagosomes comprising double-membrane vesicles visualized by electron microscopy and numbers of MAP1LC3A/B+ puncta. Moreover, we observed significant increases in BECN1, ATG5, ATG7 and a reduction in SQSTM1/p62 expression relative to irradiated wild-type T cells. We observed similar increases in autophagy gene expression in mice resulting from blockade of CD47 in combination with total body radiation. Pharmacological or siRNA-mediated inhibition of autophagy selectively sensitized CD47-deficient cells to radiation, indicating that enhanced autophagy is necessary for the prosurvival response to CD47 blockade. Moreover, re-expression of CD47 in CD47-deficient T cells sensitized these cells to death by ionizing radiation and reversed the increase in autophagic flux associated with survival. This study indicates that CD47 deficiency confers cell survival through the activation of autophagic flux and identifies CD47 blockade as a pharmacological route to modulate autophagy for protecting tissue from radiation injury.
CD47; autophagosome; ionizing radiation; MAP1A/1BLC3; ATG5; ATG7; p62; BECN1
Channel activators (potentiators) of cystic fibrosis (CF) transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), can be used for the treatment of the small subset of CF patients that carry plasma membrane-resident CFTR mutants. However, approximately 90% of CF patients carry the misfolded ΔF508-CFTR and are poorly responsive to potentiators, because ΔF508-CFTR is intrinsically unstable at the plasma membrane (PM) even if rescued by pharmacological correctors. We have demonstrated that human and mouse CF airways are autophagy deficient due to functional sequestration of BECN1 and that the tissue transglutaminase-2 inhibitor, cystamine, or antioxidants restore BECN1-dependent autophagy and reduce SQSTM1/p62 levels, thus favoring ΔF508-CFTR trafficking to the epithelial surface. Here, we investigated whether these treatments could facilitate the beneficial action of potentiators on ΔF508-CFTR homozygous airways. Cystamine or the superoxide dismutase (SOD)/catalase-mimetic EUK-134 stabilized ΔF508-CFTR at the plasma membrane of airway epithelial cells and sustained the expression of CFTR at the epithelial surface well beyond drug withdrawal, overexpressing BECN1 and depleting SQSTM1. This facilitates the beneficial action of potentiators in controlling inflammation in ex vivo ΔF508-CFTR homozygous human nasal biopsies and in vivo in mouse ΔF508-CFTR lungs. Direct depletion of Sqstm1 by shRNAs in vivo in ΔF508-CFTR mice synergized with potentiators in sustaining surface CFTR expression and suppressing inflammation. Cystamine pre-treatment restored ΔF508-CFTR response to the CFTR potentiators genistein, Vrx-532 or Vrx-770 in freshly isolated brushed nasal epithelial cells from ΔF508-CFTR homozygous patients. These findings delineate a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of CF patients with the ΔF508-CFTR mutation in which patients are first treated with cystamine and subsequently pulsed with CFTR potentiators.
cystic fibrosis; autophagy; therapy; cystamine; CFTR potentiators
Autophagy is a catabolic process that functions in recycling and degrading cellular proteins, and is also induced as an adaptive response to the increased metabolic demand upon nutrient starvation. However, the prosurvival role of autophagy in response to metabolic stress due to deprivation of glutamine, the most abundant nutrient for mammalian cells, is not well understood. Here, we demonstrated that when extracellular glutamine was withdrawn, autophagy provided cells with sub-mM concentrations of glutamine, which played a critical role in fostering cell metabolism. Moreover, we uncovered a previously unknown connection between metabolic responses to ATG5 deficiency and glutamine deprivation, and revealed that WT and atg5−/− MEFs utilized both common and distinct metabolic pathways over time during glutamine deprivation. Although the early response of WT MEFs to glutamine deficiency was similar in many respects to the baseline metabolism of atg5−/− MEFs, there was a concomitant decrease in the levels of essential amino acids and branched chain amino acid catabolites in WT MEFs after 6 h of glutamine withdrawal that distinguished them from the atg5−/− MEFs. Metabolomic profiling, oxygen consumption and pathway focused quantitative RT-PCR analyses revealed that autophagy and glutamine utilization were reciprocally regulated to couple metabolic and transcriptional reprogramming. These findings provide key insights into the critical prosurvival role of autophagy in maintaining mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and cell growth during metabolic stress caused by glutamine deprivation.
ATG5; autophagy; glutamine; ATP; transcriptional reprogramming; altered metabolism
Autophagy functions in part as an important host defense mechanism to engulf and degrade intracellular pathogens, a process that has been termed xenophagy. Xenophagy is detrimental to the invading microbe in terms of replication and pathogenesis and many pathogens either dampen the autophagic response, or utilize the pathway to enhance their life cycle. Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) counteracts the induction of xenophagy through its neurovirulence protein, ICP34.5. ICP34.5 binds protein phosphatase 1a to counter PKR-mediated phosphorylation of eIF2α, and also binds the autophagy-promoting protein Beclin 1. Through these interactions, ICP34.5 prevents translational arrest and downregulates the formation of autophagosomes. Whereas autophagy antagonism promotes neurovirulence, it has no impact on the replication of HSV-1 in permissive cultured cells. As discussed in this article, this work raises a number of questions as to the mechanism of ICP34.5-mediated inhibition of autophagy, as well as to the role of autophagy antagonism in the lifecycle of HSV-1.
autophagy; innate immunity; herpes simplex virus; pathogenesis; immunomodulation
Autophagy is a highly regulated intracellular degradation process by which cells remove cytosolic long-lived proteins and damaged organelles. The mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) results in mitochondrial depolarization and increased reactive oxygen species production, which can trigger autophagy. Therefore, we hypothesized that the MPT may have a role in signaling autophagy in cardiac cells. Mitochondrial membrane potential was lower in HL-1 cells subjected to starvation compared to cells maintained in full medium. Mitochondrial membrane potential was preserved in starved cells treated with cyclosporin A (CsA), suggesting the MPT pore is associated with starvation-induced depolarization. Starvation-induced autophagy in HL-1 cells, neonatal rat cardiomyocytes and adult mouse cardiomyocytes was inhibited by CsA. Starvation failed to induce autophagy in CypD-deficient murine cardiomyocytes, whereas in myocytes from mice overexpressing CypD the levels of autophagy were enhanced even under fed conditions. Collectively, these results demonstrate a role for CypD and the MPT in the initiation of autophagy. We also analyzed the role of the MPT in the degradation of mitochondria by biochemical analysis and electron microscopy. HL-1 cells subjected to starvation in the presence of CsA had higher levels of mitochondrial proteins (by Western blot), more mitochondria and less autophagosomes (by electron microscopy) then cells starved in the absence of CsA. Our results suggest a physiologic function for CypD and the MPT in the regulation of starvation-induced autophagy. Starvation-induced autophagy regulated by CypD and the MPT may represent a homeostatic mechanism for cellular and mitochondrial quality control.
autophagy; cardiac myocyte; cyclophilin D; mitochondrial permeability transition
Inositol phosphates are implicated in the regulation of autophagy; however, the exact role of each inositol phosphate species is unclear. In this study, we systematically analyzed the highly conserved inositol polyphosphate synthesis pathway in S. cerevisiae for its role in regulating autophagy. Using yeast mutants that harbored a deletion in each of the genes within the inositol polyphosphate synthesis pathway, we found that deletion of KCS1, and to a lesser degree IPK2, led to a defect in autophagy. KCS1 encodes an inositol hexakisphosphate/heptakisposphate kinase that synthesizes 5-IP7 and IP8; and IPK2 encodes an inositol polyphosphate multikinase required for synthesis of IP4 and IP5. We characterized the kcs1Δ mutant strain in detail. The kcs1Δ yeast exhibited reduced autophagic flux, which might be caused by both the reduction in autophagosome number and autophagosome size as observed under nitrogen starvation. The autophagy defect in kcs1Δ strain was associated with mislocalization of the phagophore assembly site (PAS) and a defect in Atg18 release from the vacuole membrane under nitrogen deprivation conditions. Interestingly, formation of autophagosome-like vesicles was commonly observed to originate from the plasma membrane in the kcs1Δ strain. Our results indicate that lack of KCS1 interferes with proper localization of the PAS, leads to reduction of autophagosome formation, and causes the formation of autophagosome-like structure in abnormal subcellular locations.
Kcs1; S. cerevisiae; autophagy; electron microscopy; fluorescence microscopy; inositol polyphosphate
Although reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been reported to evoke different autophagic pathways, how ROS or their secondary products modulate the selective clearance of oxidatively damaged organelles is less explored. To investigate the signaling role of ROS and the impact of their compartmentalization in autophagy pathways, we used murine fibrosarcoma L929 cells overexpressing different antioxidant enzymes targeted to the cytosol or mitochondria and subjected them to photodynamic (PD) stress with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated photosensitizer hypericin. We show that following apical ROS-mediated damage to the ER, predominantly cells overexpressing mitochondria-associated glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) and manganese superoxide dismutase (SOD2) displayed attenuated kinetics of autophagosome formation and overall cell death, as detected by computerized time-lapse microscopy. Consistent with a primary ER photodamage, kinetics and colocalization studies revealed that photogenerated ROS induced an initial reticulophagy, followed by morphological changes in the mitochondrial network that preceded clearance of mitochondria by mitophagy. Overexpression of cytosolic and mitochondria-associated GPX4 retained the tubular mitochondrial network in response to PD stress and concomitantly blocked the progression toward mitophagy. Preventing the formation of phospholipid hydroperoxides and H2O2 in the cytosol as well as in the mitochondria significantly reduced cardiolipin peroxidation and apoptosis. All together, these results show that in response to apical ER photodamage ROS propagate to mitochondria, which in turn amplify ROS production, thereby contributing to two antagonizing processes, mitophagy and apoptosis.
ER; PDT; ROS; apoptosis; autophagy; mitochondrial ROS; mitophagy; photodynamic stress; reticulophagy
Elimination of defective mitochondria is essential for the health of long-lived, postmitotic cells. To gain insight into this process, we examined programmed mitochondrial clearance in reticulocytes. BNIP3L is a mitochondrial outer membrane protein that is required for clearance. It has been suggested that BNIP3L functions by causing mitochondrial depolarization, activating autophagy, or engaging the autophagy machinery. Here we showed in mice that BNIP3L activity localizes to a small region in its cytoplasmic domain, the minimal essential region (MER). The MER is a novel sequence, which comprises three contiguous hydrophobic amino acid residues, and flanking charged residues. Mutation of the central leucine residue causes complete loss of BNIP3L activity, and prevents rescue of mitochondrial clearance. Structural bioinformatics analysis predicts that the BNIP3L cytoplasmic domain lacks stable tertiary structure, but that the MER forms an α-helix upon binding to another protein. These findings support an adaptor model of BNIP3L, centered on the MER.
NIX; SLiM; autophagy; mitophagy; reticulocyte
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) involves photosensitizing agents that, in the presence of oxygen and light, initiate formation of cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). PDT commonly induces both apoptosis and autophagy. Previous studies with murine hepatoma 1c1c7 cells indicated that loss of autophagy-related protein 7 (ATG7) inhibited autophagy and enhanced the cytotoxicity of photosensitizers that mediate photodamage to mitochondria or the endoplasmic reticulum. In this study, we examined two photosensitizing agents that target lysosomes: the chlorin NPe6 and the palladium bacteriopheophorbide WST11. Irradiation of wild-type 1c1c7 cultures loaded with either photosensitizer induced apoptosis and autophagy, with a blockage of autophagic flux. An ATG7- or ATG5-deficiency suppressed the induction of autophagy in PDT protocols using either photosensitizer. Whereas ATG5-deficient cells were quantitatively similar to wild-type cultures in their response to NPe6 and WST11 PDT, an ATG7-deficiency suppressed the apoptotic response (as monitored by analyses of chromatin condensation and procaspase-3/7 activation) and increased the LD50 light dose by > 5-fold (as monitored by colony-forming assays). An ATG7-deficiency did not prevent immediate lysosomal photodamage, as indicated by loss of the lysosomal pH gradient. However, unlike wild-type and ATG5-deficient cells, the lysosomes of ATG7-deficient cells recovered this gradient within 4 h of irradiation, and never underwent permeabilization (monitored as release of endocytosed 10-kDa dextran polymers). We propose that the efficacy of lysosomal photosensitizers is in part due to both promotion of autophagic stress and suppression of autophagic prosurvival functions. In addition, an effect of ATG7 unrelated to autophagy appears to modulate lysosomal photodamage.
apoptosis; autophagy; lysosomes; photodynamic therapy; subcellular localization
Cytosolic bacterial pathogens must evade intracellular innate immune recognition and clearance systems such as autophagy to ensure their survival and proliferation. The intracellular cycle of the bacterium Francisella tularensis is characterized by rapid phagosomal escape followed by extensive proliferation in the macrophage cytoplasm. Cytosolic replication, but not phagosomal escape, requires the locus FTT0369c, which encodes the dipA gene (deficient in intracellular replication A). Here, we show that a replication-deficient, ∆dipA mutant of the prototypical SchuS4 strain is eventually captured from the cytosol of murine and human macrophages into double-membrane vacuoles displaying the late endosomal marker, LAMP1, and the autophagy-associated protein, LC3, coinciding with a reduction in viable intracellular bacteria. Capture of SchuS4ΔdipA was not dipA-specific as other replication-deficient bacteria, such as chloramphenicol-treated SchuS4 and a purine auxotroph mutant SchuS4ΔpurMCD, were similarly targeted to autophagic vacuoles. Vacuoles containing replication-deficient bacteria were labeled with ubiquitin and the autophagy receptors SQSTM1/p62 and NBR1, and their formation was decreased in macrophages from either ATG5-, LC3B- or SQSTM1-deficient mice, indicating recognition by the ubiquitin-SQSTM1-LC3 pathway. While a fraction of both the wild-type and the replication-impaired strains were ubiquitinated and recruited SQSTM1, only the replication-defective strains progressed to autophagic capture, suggesting that wild-type Francisella interferes with the autophagic cascade. Survival of replication-deficient strains was not restored in autophagy-deficient macrophages, as these bacteria died in the cytosol prior to autophagic capture. Collectively, our results demonstrate that replication-impaired strains of Francisella are cleared by autophagy, while replication-competent bacteria seem to interfere with autophagic recognition, therefore ensuring survival and proliferation.
Francisella; LC3; SQSTM1/p62; autophagy; clearance; cytosol; pathogenesis; ubiquitin
Emerging evidence points to an important role of autophagy in the immune response mediated by dendritic cells (DC) against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Since current vaccination based on Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is unable to stop the tuberculosis epidemic, a deeper comprehension of the alterations induced by Mtb in DC is essential for setting new vaccine strategies. Here, we compared the capacity of virulent (H37Rv) and avirulent (H37Ra) Mtb strains as well as BCG to modulate autophagy in human primary DC. We found that Mtb H37Rv impairs autophagy at the step of autophagosome-lysosome fusion. In contrast, neither Mtb H37Ra nor BCG strains were able to hamper autophagosome maturation. Both these attenuated strains have a functional inhibition of the 6kD early secreted antigenic target ESAT-6, an effector protein of the ESAT-6 Secretion System-1(ESX-1)/type VII secretion system. Notably, the ability to inhibit autophagy was fully restored in recombinant BCG and Mtb H37Ra strains in which ESAT-6 secretion was re-established by genetic complementation using either the ESX-1 region from Mtb (BCG::ESX-1) or the PhoP gene (Mtb H37Ra::PhoP), a regulator of ESAT-6 secretion. Importantly, the autophagic block induced by Mtb was overcome by rapamycin treatment leading to an increased interleukin-12 expression and, in turn, to an enhanced capacity to expand a Th1-oriented response. Collectively, our study demonstrated that Mtb alters the autophagic machinery through the ESX-1 system, and thereby opens new exciting perspectives to better understand the relationship between Mtb virulence and its ability to escape the DC-mediated immune response.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis; BCG; ESX1/type VII secretion system; RD1 region; autophagy; dendritic cells; vaccine
Autophagy is an important cellular catabolic process that plays a variety of important roles, including maintenance of the amino acid pool during starvation, recycling of damaged proteins and organelles, and clearance of intracellular microbes. Currently employed autophagy detection methods include fluorescence microscopy, biochemical measurement, SDS-PAGE and western blotting, but they are time consuming, labor intensive, and require much experience for accurate interpretation. More recently, development of novel fluorescent probes have allowed the investigation of autophagy via standard flow cytometry. However, flow cytometers remain relatively expensive and require a considerable amount of maintenance. Previously, image-based cytometry has been shown to perform automated fluorescence-based cellular analysis comparable to flow cytometry. In this study, we developed a novel method using the Cellometer image-based cytometer in combination with Cyto-ID® Green dye for autophagy detection in live cells. The method is compared with flow cytometry by measuring macroautophagy in nutrient-starved Jurkat cells. Results demonstrate similar trends of autophagic response, but different magnitude of fluorescence signal increases, which may arise from different analysis approaches characteristic of the two instrument platforms. The possibility of using this method for drug discovery applications is also demonstrated through the measurement of dose-response kinetics upon induction of autophagy with rapamycin and tamoxifen. The described image-based cytometry/fluorescent dye method should serve as a useful addition to the current arsenal of techniques available in support of autophagy-based drug discovery relating to various pathological disorders.
Cellometer Vision; Cyto-ID® Green autophagy dye; autophagic flux; autophagy; chloroquine; image-based cytometry; rapamycin; tamoxifen