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1.  E4F1 dysfunction results in autophagic cell death in myeloid leukemic cells 
Autophagy  2011;7(12):1566-1567.
The multifunctional E4F1 protein was originally identified as a cellular target of the E1A adenoviral oncoprotein. Although E4F1 is implicated in several key oncogenic pathways, its roles in tumorigenesis remain unclear. Using a genetically engineered mouse model of myeloid leukemia (histiocytic sarcomas, HS) based on the genetic inactivation of the tumor suppressor Ink4a/Arf locus, we have recently unraveled an unsuspected function of E4F1 in the survival of leukemic cells. In vivo, genetic ablation of E4F1 in established myeloid tumors results in tumor regression. E4F1 inactivation results in a cascade of alterations originating from dysfunctional mitochondria that induce increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and ends in massive autophagic cell death in HS transformed, but not normal myeloid cells. E4F1 depletion also induces cell death in various human myeloid leukemic cell lines, including acute myeloid leukemic (AML) cell lines. Interestingly, the E4F1 protein is overexpressed in a large proportion of human AML samples. These data provide new insights into E4F1-associated survival functions implicated in tumorigenesis and could open the path for new therapeutic strategies.
doi:10.4161/auto.7.12.17991
PMCID: PMC3288034  PMID: 22024746
E4F1; histiocytic sarcoma; mitochondria; autophagy; cell death; leukemic cells; reactive oxygen species
2.  E4F1 dysfunction results in autophagic cell death in myeloid leukemic cells 
Autophagy  2011;7(12):1566-1567.
Summary
The multifunctional E4F1 protein was originally identified as a cellular target of the E1A adenoviral oncoprotein. Although E4F1 is implicated in several key oncogenic pathways, its roles in tumorigenesis remain unclear. Using a genetically engineered mouse model of myeloid leukemia (histiocytic sarcomas, HS) based on the genetic inactivation of the tumor suppressor Ink4a/Arf locus, we have recently unraveled an unsuspected function of E4F1 in the survival of leukemic cells. In vivo, genetic ablation of E4F1 in established myeloid tumors results in tumor regression. E4F1 inactivation results in a cascade of alterations originating from dysfunctional mitochondria that induce increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and ends in massive autophagic cell death in HS transformed, but not normal myeloid cells. E4F1 depletion also induces cell death in various human myeloid leukemic cell lines, including acute myeloid leukemic (AML) cell lines. Interestingly, the E4F1 protein is overexpressed in a large proportion of human AML samples. These data provide new insights into E4F1-associated survival functions implicated in tumorigenesis and could open the path for new therapeutic strategies.
PMCID: PMC3288034  PMID: 22024746
Animals; Autophagy; Cell Survival; Cell Transformation, Neoplastic; pathology; Disease Models, Animal; Humans; Leukemia, Myeloid; metabolism; pathology; Mice; RNA, Small Interfering; metabolism; Reactive Oxygen Species; metabolism; Repressor Proteins; metabolism; E4F1; histiocytic sarcoma; mitochondria; autophagy; cell death; leukemic cells; reactive oxygen species
3.  Impaired autophagy underlies key pathological responses of acute pancreatitis 
Autophagy  2010;6(3):428-429.
PMCID: PMC4580269  PMID: 20215882
pancreatitis; pancreatic acinar cell; trypsinogen activation; vacuole formation; autophagic flux; protein degradation; cathepsin processing
5.  Clinical research and Autophagy 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1357-1358.
doi:10.4161/auto.29159
PMCID: PMC4203512  PMID: 24991837
autophagy; cancer; phase I trial; translational; treatment
6.  A phase I/II trial of hydroxychloroquine in conjunction with radiation therapy and concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1359-1368.
Preclinical studies indicate autophagy inhibition with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) can augment the efficacy of DNA-damaging therapy. The primary objective of this trial was to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and efficacy of HCQ in combination with radiation therapy (RT) and temozolomide (TMZ) for newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GB). A 3 + 3 phase I trial design followed by a noncomparative phase II study was conducted in GB patients after initial resection. Patients received HCQ (200 to 800 mg oral daily) with RT and concurrent and adjuvant TMZ. Quantitative electron microscopy and immunoblotting were used to assess changes in autophagic vacuoles (AVs) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Population pharmacokinetic (PK) modeling enabled PK-pharmacodynamic correlations. Sixteen phase I subjects were evaluable for dose-limiting toxicities. At 800 mg HCQ/d, 3/3 subjects experienced Grade 3 and 4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia, 1 with sepsis. HCQ 600 mg/d was found to be the MTD in this combination. The phase II cohort (n = 76) had a median survival of 15.6 mos with survival rates at 12, 18, and 24 mo of 70%, 36%, and 25%. PK analysis indicated dose-proportional exposure for HCQ. Significant therapy-associated increases in AV and LC3-II were observed in PBMC and correlated with higher HCQ exposure. These data establish that autophagy inhibition is achievable with HCQ, but dose-limiting toxicity prevented escalation to higher doses of HCQ. At HCQ 600 mg/d, autophagy inhibition was not consistently achieved in patients treated with this regimen, and no significant improvement in overall survival was observed. Therefore, a definitive test of the role of autophagy inhibition in the adjuvant setting for glioma patients awaits the development of lower-toxicity compounds that can achieve more consistent inhibition of autophagy than HCQ.
doi:10.4161/auto.28984
PMCID: PMC4203513  PMID: 24991840
autophagy; hydroxychloroquine; glioblastoma
7.  Phase I trial of hydroxychloroquine with dose-intense temozolomide in patients with advanced solid tumors and melanoma 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1369-1379.
Blocking autophagy with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) augments cell death associated with alkylating chemotherapy in preclinical models. This phase I study evaluated the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), safety, preliminary activity, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of HCQ in combination with dose-intense temozolomide (TMZ) in patients with advanced solid malignancies. Forty patients (73% metastatic melanoma) were treated with oral HCQ 200 to 1200 mg daily with dose-intense oral TMZ 150 mg/m2 daily for 7/14 d. This combination was well tolerated with no recurrent dose-limiting toxicities observed. An MTD was not reached for HCQ and the recommended phase II dose was HCQ 600 mg twice daily combined with dose-intense TMZ. Common toxicities included grade 2 fatigue (55%), anorexia (28%), nausea (48%), constipation (20%), and diarrhea (20%). Partial responses and stable disease were observed in 3/22 (14%) and 6/22 (27%) patients with metastatic melanoma. In the final dose cohort 2/6 patients with refractory BRAF wild-type melanoma had a near complete response, and prolonged stable disease, respectively. A significant accumulation in autophagic vacuoles (AV) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells was observed in response to combined therapy. Population pharmacokinetics (PK) modeling, individual PK simulations, and PK-pharmacodynamics (PD) analysis identified a threshold HCQ peak concentration that predicts therapy-associated AV accumulation. This study indicates that the combination of high-dose HCQ and dose-intense TMZ is safe and tolerable, and is associated with autophagy modulation in patients. Prolonged stable disease and responses suggest antitumor activity in melanoma patients, warranting further studies of this combination, or combinations of more potent autophagy inhibitors and chemotherapy in melanoma.
doi:10.4161/auto.29118
PMCID: PMC4203514  PMID: 24991839
autophagy; chemotherapy; clinical trial; hydroxychloroquine; melanoma
8.  Combined autophagy and proteasome inhibition 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1380-1390.
The efficacy of proteasome inhibition for myeloma is limited by therapeutic resistance, which may be mediated by activation of the autophagy pathway as an alternative mechanism of protein degradation. Preclinical studies demonstrate that autophagy inhibition with hydroxychloroquine augments the antimyeloma efficacy of the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib. We conducted a phase I trial combining bortezomib and hydroxychloroquine for relapsed or refractory myeloma. We enrolled 25 patients, including 11 (44%) refractory to prior bortezomib. No protocol-defined dose-limiting toxicities occurred, and we identified a recommended phase 2 dose of hydroxychloroquine 600 mg twice daily with standard doses of bortezomib, at which we observed dose-related gastrointestinal toxicity and cytopenias. Of 22 patients evaluable for response, 3 (14%) had very good partial responses, 3 (14%) had minor responses, and 10 (45%) had a period of stable disease. Electron micrographs of bone marrow plasma cells collected at baseline, after a hydroxychloroquine run-in, and after combined therapy showed therapy-associated increases in autophagic vacuoles, consistent with the combined effects of increased trafficking of misfolded proteins to autophagic vacuoles and inhibition of their degradative capacity. Combined targeting of proteasomal and autophagic protein degradation using bortezomib and hydroxychloroquine is therefore feasible and a potentially useful strategy for improving outcomes in myeloma therapy.
doi:10.4161/auto.29264
PMCID: PMC4203515  PMID: 24991834
myeloma; autophagy; proteasome
9.  Combined MTOR and autophagy inhibition 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1391-1402.
The combination of temsirolimus (TEM), an MTOR inhibitor, and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an autophagy inhibitor, augments cell death in preclinical models. This phase 1 dose-escalation study evaluated the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), safety, preliminary activity, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of HCQ in combination with TEM in cancer patients. In the dose escalation portion, 27 patients with advanced solid malignancies were enrolled, followed by a cohort expansion at the top dose level in 12 patients with metastatic melanoma. The combination of HCQ and TEM was well tolerated, and grade 3 or 4 toxicity was limited to anorexia (7%), fatigue (7%), and nausea (7%). An MTD was not reached for HCQ, and the recommended phase II dose was HCQ 600 mg twice daily in combination with TEM 25 mg weekly. Other common grade 1 or 2 toxicities included fatigue, anorexia, nausea, stomatitis, rash, and weight loss. No responses were observed; however, 14/21 (67%) patients in the dose escalation and 14/19 (74%) patients with melanoma achieved stable disease. The median progression-free survival in 13 melanoma patients treated with HCQ 1200mg/d in combination with TEM was 3.5 mo. Novel 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) measurements predicted clinical outcome and provided further evidence that the addition of HCQ to TEM produced metabolic stress on tumors in patients that experienced clinical benefit. Pharmacodynamic evidence of autophagy inhibition was evident in serial PBMC and tumor biopsies only in patients treated with 1200 mg daily HCQ. This study indicates that TEM and HCQ is safe and tolerable, modulates autophagy in patients, and has significant antitumor activity. Further studies combining MTOR and autophagy inhibitors in cancer patients are warranted.
doi:10.4161/auto.29119
PMCID: PMC4203516  PMID: 24991838
MTOR; autophagy; clinical trial; hydroxychloroquine; melanoma
10.  Combined autophagy and HDAC inhibition 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1403-1414.
We previously reported that inhibition of autophagy significantly augmented the anticancer activity of the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor vorinostat (VOR) through a cathepsin D-mediated mechanism. We thus conducted a first-in-human study to investigate the safety, preliminary efficacy, pharmacokinetics (PK), and pharmacodynamics (PD) of the combination of the autophagy inhibitor hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and VOR in patients with advanced solid tumors. Of 27 patients treated in the study, 24 were considered fully evaluable for study assessments and toxicity. Patients were treated orally with escalating doses of HCQ daily (QD) (d 2 to 21 of a 21-d cycle) in combination with 400 mg VOR QD (d one to 21). Treatment-related adverse events (AE) included grade 1 to 2 nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, anemia, and elevated creatinine. Grade 3 fatigue and/or myelosuppression were observed in a minority of patients. Fatigue and gastrointestinal AE were dose-limiting toxicities. Six-hundred milligrams HCQ and 400 mg VOR was established as the maximum tolerated dose and recommended phase II regimen. One patient with renal cell carcinoma had a confirmed durable partial response and 2 patients with colorectal cancer had prolonged stable disease. The addition of HCQ did not significantly impact the PK profile of VOR. Treatment-related increases in the expression of CDKN1A and CTSD were more pronounced in tumor biopsies than peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Based on the safety and preliminary efficacy of this combination, additional clinical studies are currently being planned to further investigate autophagy inhibition as a new approach to increase the efficacy of HDAC inhibitors.
doi:10.4161/auto.29231
PMCID: PMC4203517  PMID: 24991835
autophagy; cancer; clinical trial; hydroxychloroquine; vorinostat
11.  Phase I clinical trial and pharmacodynamic evaluation of combination hydroxychloroquine and doxorubicin treatment in pet dogs treated for spontaneously occurring lymphoma 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1415-1425.
Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation process that may act as a mechanism of survival in a variety of cancers. While pharmacologic inhibition of autophagy with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is currently being explored in human clinical trials, it has never been evaluated in canine cancers. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is one of the most prevalent tumor types in dogs and has similar pathogenesis and response to treatment as human NHL. Clinical trials in canine patients are conducted in the same way as in human patients, thus, to determine a maximum dose of HCQ that can be combined with a standard chemotherapy, a Phase I, single arm, dose escalation trial was conducted in dogs with spontaneous NHL presenting as patients to an academic, tertiary-care veterinary teaching hospital. HCQ was administered daily by mouth throughout the trial, beginning 72 h prior to doxorubicin (DOX), which was given intravenously on a 21-d cycle. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells and biopsies were collected before and 3 d after HCQ treatment and assessed for autophagy inhibition and HCQ concentration. A total of 30 patients were enrolled in the trial. HCQ alone was well tolerated with only mild lethargy and gastrointestinal-related adverse events. The overall response rate (ORR) for dogs with lymphoma was 93.3%, with median progression-free interval (PFI) of 5 mo. Pharmacokinetic analysis revealed a 100-fold increase in HCQ in tumors compared with plasma. There was a trend that supported therapy-induced increase in LC3-II (the cleaved and lipidated form of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3/LC3, which serves as a maker for autophagosomes) and SQSTM1/p62 (sequestosome 1) after treatment. The superior ORR and comparable PFI to single-agent DOX provide strong support for further evaluation via randomized, placebo-controlled trials in canine and human NHL.
doi:10.4161/auto.29165
PMCID: PMC4203518  PMID: 24991836
autophagy; lymphoma; canine model; hydroxychloroquine; doxorubicin
12.  Coronavirus NSP6 restricts autophagosome expansion 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1426-1441.
Autophagy is a cellular response to starvation that generates autophagosomes to carry long-lived proteins and cellular organelles to lysosomes for degradation. Activation of autophagy by viruses can provide an innate defense against infection, and for (+) strand RNA viruses autophagosomes can facilitate assembly of replicase proteins. We demonstrated that nonstructural protein (NSP) 6 of the avian coronavirus, infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), generates autophagosomes from the ER. A statistical analysis of MAP1LC3B puncta showed that NSP6 induced greater numbers of autophagosomes per cell compared with starvation, but the autophagosomes induced by NSP6 had smaller diameters compared with starvation controls. Small diameter autophagosomes were also induced by infection of cells with IBV, and by NSP6 proteins of MHV and SARS and NSP5, NSP6, and NSP7 of arterivirus PRRSV. Analysis of WIPI2 puncta induced by NSP6 suggests that NSP6 limits autophagosome diameter at the point of omegasome formation. IBV NSP6 also limited autophagosome and omegasome expansion in response to starvation and Torin1 and could therefore limit the size of autophagosomes induced following inhibition of MTOR signaling, as well as those induced independently by the NSP6 protein itself. MAP1LC3B-puncta induced by NSP6 contained SQSTM1, which suggests they can incorporate autophagy cargos. However, NSP6 inhibited the autophagosome/lysosome expansion normally seen following starvation. Taken together the results show that coronavirus NSP6 proteins limit autophagosome expansion, whether they are induced directly by the NSP6 protein, or indirectly by starvation or chemical inhibition of MTOR signaling. This may favor coronavirus infection by compromising the ability of autophagosomes to deliver viral components to lysosomes for degradation.
doi:10.4161/auto.29309
PMCID: PMC4203519  PMID: 24991833
autophagosome quantification; autophagy; coronavirus; MHV; nonstructural proteins; omegasome; SARS
13.  YY1-MIR372-SQSTM1 regulatory axis in autophagy 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1442-1453.
Autophagy is a self-proteolytic process that degrades intracellular material to enable cellular survival under unfavorable conditions. However, how autophagy is activated in human carcinogenesis remains largely unknown. Herein we report an epigenetic regulation of autophagy in human cancer cells. YY1 (YY1 transcription factor) is a well-known epigenetic regulator and is upregulated in many cancers. We found that YY1 knockdown inhibited cell viability and autophagy flux through downregulating SQSTM1 (sequestosome 1). YY1 regulated SQSTM1 expression through the epigenetic modulation of the transcription of MIR372 (microRNA 372) which was found to target SQSTM1 directly. During nutrient starvation, YY1 was stimulated to promote SQSTM1 expression and subsequent autophagy activation by suppressing MIR372 expression. Similar to YY1 depletion, MIR372 overexpression blocked autophagy activation and inhibited in vivo tumor growth. SQSTM1 upregulation and competent autophagy flux thus contributed to the oncogenic function of YY1. YY1-promoted SQSTM1 upregulation might be a useful histological marker for cancer detection and a potential target for drug development.
doi:10.4161/auto.29486
PMCID: PMC4203520  PMID: 24991827
autophagy; epigenetics; MIR372; SQSTM1; YY1
14.  ATG4B promotes colorectal cancer growth independent of autophagic flux 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1454-1465.
Autophagy is reported to suppress tumor proliferation, whereas deficiency of autophagy is associated with tumorigenesis. ATG4B is a deubiquitin-like protease that plays dual roles in the core machinery of autophagy; however, little is known about the role of ATG4B on autophagy and proliferation in tumor cells. In this study, we found that ATG4B knockdown induced autophagic flux and reduced CCND1 expression to inhibit G1/S phase transition of cell cycle in colorectal cancer cell lines, indicating functional dominance of ATG4B on autophagy inhibition and tumor proliferation in cancer cells. Interestingly, based on the genetic and pharmacological ablation of autophagy, the growth arrest induced by silencing ATG4B was independent of autophagic flux. Moreover, dephosphorylation of MTOR was involved in reduced CCND1 expression and G1/S phase transition in both cells and xenograft tumors with depletion of ATG4B. Furthermore, ATG4B expression was significantly increased in tumor cells of colorectal cancer patients compared with adjacent normal cells. The elevated expression of ATG4B was highly correlated with CCND1 expression, consistently supporting the notion that ATG4B might contribute to MTOR-CCND1 signaling for G1/S phase transition in colorectal cancer cells. Thus, we report that ATG4B independently plays a role as a positive regulator on tumor proliferation and a negative regulator on autophagy in colorectal cancer cells. These results suggest that ATG4B is a potential biomarker and drug target for cancer therapy.
doi:10.4161/auto.29556
PMCID: PMC4203521  PMID: 24991826
ATG4B; autophagy; CCND1; colorectal cancer; MTOR; tumor proliferation
15.  Arabidopsis ATG11, a scaffold that links the ATG1-ATG13 kinase complex to general autophagy and selective mitophagy 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1466-1467.
Autophagy is essential for nutrient recycling and intracellular housekeeping in plants by removing unwanted cytoplasmic constituents, aggregated polypeptides, and damaged organelles. The autophagy-related (ATG)1-ATG13 kinase complex is an upstream regulator that integrates metabolic and environmental cues into a coherent autophagic response directed by other ATG components. Our recent studies with Arabidopsis thaliana revealed that ATG11, an accessory protein of the ATG1-ATG13 complex, acts as a scaffold that connects the complex to autophagic membranes. We showed that ATG11 encourages proper behavior of the ATG1-ATG13 complex and faithful delivery of autophagic vesicles to the vacuole, likely through its interaction with ATG8. In addition, we demonstrated that Arabidopsis mitochondria are degraded during senescence via an autophagic route that requires ATG11 and other ATG components. Together, ATG11 appears to be an important modulator of the ATG1-ATG13 complex and a multifunctional scaffold required for bulk autophagy and the selective clearance of mitochondria.
doi:10.4161/auto.29320
PMCID: PMC4203522  PMID: 24991832
ATG11; autophagy; mitophagy; ATG1/13 complex; Arabidopsis; nutrient recycling; vacuole
16.  Contribution of defective mitophagy to the neurodegeneration in DNA repair-deficient disorders 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1468-1469.
DNA repair is a prerequisite for life as we know it, and defects in DNA repair lead to accelerated aging. Xeroderma pigmentosum group A (XPA) is a classic DNA repair-deficient disorder with patients displaying sun sensitivity and cancer susceptibility. XPA patients also exhibit neurodegeneration, leading to cerebellar atrophy, neuropathy, and hearing loss, through a mechanism that has remained elusive. Using in silico, in vitro, and in vivo studies, we discovered defective mitophagy in XPA due to PARP1 hyperactivation and NAD+ (and thus, SIRT1) depletion. This leads to mitochondrial membrane hyper-polarization, PINK1 cleavage and defective mitophagy. This study underscores the importance of mitophagy in promoting a healthy pool of mitochondria and in preventing neurodegeneration and premature aging.
doi:10.4161/auto.29321
PMCID: PMC4203523  PMID: 24991831
autophagy; DNA repair; mitophagy; SIRT1; xeroderma pigmentosum group A
17.  Lipidation of the autophagy proteins LC3 and GABARAP is a membrane-curvature dependent process 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1470-1471.
The phagophore membrane is highly curved along the rim of the open cup, suggesting that the molecular mechanisms governing its formation and growth could rely on membrane curvature-dependent events. To this end, we recently reported that lipidation of the LC3 protein family is facilitated on highly curved membranes in vitro. We further showed that the conjugating enzyme ATG3 contains an amphipathic helix that is responsible for this membrane curvature dependency, and that the maintenance of this amphipathic structure is essential for ATG3 function in vivo.
doi:10.4161/auto.29468
PMCID: PMC4203524  PMID: 24991828
curvature; Atg3; lipidation; LC3; phosphatidylethanolamine
18.  Regulation of plasma membrane receptors by a new autophagy-related BECN/Beclin family member 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1472-1473.
We have recently shown the roles of an autophagy gene in the regulation of metabolism and metabolic diseases. We identified Becn2/Beclin 2, a novel mammalian specific homolog of Becn1/Beclin 1, characterized the functions of the gene product in autophagy and agonist-induced lysosome-mediated downregulation of a subset of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and proposed a model of dual functions of BECN2 in these 2 lysosomal degradation pathways. Further analyses revealed that knockout of Becn2 dramatically decreases embryonic survival in homozygotes, and leads to metabolic dysregulation in heterozygotes, which is likely caused by disruption of GPCR signaling. This finding suggests that besides autophagy, BECN/Beclin family members may play a role in the regulation of a broader spectrum of intracellular signaling pathways.
doi:10.4161/auto.29414
PMCID: PMC4203525  PMID: 24991830
BECN2/Beclin 2; autophagy; GPCR; lysosome; metabolism
19.  BCL2 and related prosurvival proteins require BAK1 and BAX to affect autophagy 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1474-1475.
It is widely thought that prosurvival BCL2 family members not only inhibit apoptosis, but also block autophagy by directly binding to BECN1/Beclin 1. To distinguish whether BCL2, BCL2L1/BCL-XL, or MCL1 influence autophagy directly, or indirectly, through their effects on apoptosis, we compared normal cells to those lacking BAX and BAK1. In cells able to undergo mitochondria-mediated apoptosis, inhibiting the endogenous prosurvival BCL2 family members induces both autophagy and cell death, but when BAX and BAK1 are deleted, neither inhibiting nor overexpressing BCL2, BCL2L1, or MCL1 causes any detectable effect on LC3B lipidation, LC3B turnover, or autolysosome formation. These results show that prosurvival BCL2 family members influence autophagy only indirectly, by inhibiting activation of BAX and BAK1.
doi:10.4161/auto.29639
PMCID: PMC4203526  PMID: 24991825
apoptosis; autophagy; BAK1; BAX; BCL-XL; BCL2; BCL2L1; Beclin 1; BECN1; LC3B; MCL1
20.  SREBF1 links lipogenesis to mitophagy and sporadic Parkinson disease 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1476-1477.
Mitochondrial quality control has an impact on many diseases, but intense research has focused on the action of 2 genes linked to heritable forms of Parkinson disease (PD), PINK1 and PARK2/parkin, which act in a common pathway to promote mitophagy. However, criticism has been raised that little evidence links this mechanism to sporadic PD. To gain a greater insight into the mechanisms of PINK1-PARK2 mediated mitophagy, we undertook a genome-wide RNAi screen in Drosophila and human cell models. Strikingly, we discovered several components of the lipogenesis pathway, including SREBF1, playing a conserved role in mitophagy. Our results suggest that lipids influence the stabilization of PINK1 during the initiation of mitophagy. Importantly, SREBF1 has previously been identified as a risk locus for sporadic PD, and thus implicates aberrant mitophagy as contributing to sporadic PD. Our findings suggest a role for lipid synthesis in PINK1-PARK2 mediated mitophagy, and propose a mechanistic link between familial and sporadic PD, supporting a common etiology.
doi:10.4161/auto.29642
PMCID: PMC4203527  PMID: 24991824
SREBF1; Parkin; FBXW7; Parkinson disease; lipids; Drosophila
21.  Outcome of early clinical trials of the combination of hydroxychloroquine with chemotherapy in cancer 
Autophagy  2014;10(8):1478-1480.
The premise of inhibiting autophagy to overcome resistance to chemotherapy has been investigated in 5 clinical phase I trials combining hydroxychloroquine with vorinostat, temsirolimus, temozolomide, or bortezomib. These studies have provided a number of insights relating to the tolerability of the combination treatments. In addition, these studies should provide guidance in the planning and design of future trials to directly determine whether the strategy of autophagy inhibition could prove useful in the treatment of various malignancies.
doi:10.4161/auto.29428
PMCID: PMC4203528  PMID: 24991829
autophagy; hydroxychloroquine; temozolomide; temsirolimus; vorinostat; bortezomib
22.  Glucocerebrosidase deficits in sporadic Parkinson disease 
Autophagy  2014;10(7):1350-1351.
Parkinson disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder characterized pathologically by abnormal SNCA/α-synuclein protein inclusions in neurons. Impaired lysosomal autophagic degradation of cellular proteins is implicated in PD pathogenesis and progression. Heterozygous GBA mutations, encoding lysosomal GBA/glucocerebrosidase (glucosidase, β, acid), are the greatest genetic risk factor for PD, and reduced GBA and SNCA accumulation are related in PD models. Here we review our recent human brain tissue study demonstrating that GBA deficits in sporadic PD are related to the early accumulation of SNCA, and dysregulation of chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) pathways and lipid metabolism.
doi:10.4161/auto.29074
PMCID: PMC4203563  PMID: 24915553
Parkinson disease; autophagy; ceramide; chaperone-mediated autophagy; glucocerebrosidase; lysosomes; α-synuclein
23.  Autophagy researchers 
Autophagy  2014;10(7):1149-1152.
doi:10.4161/auto.28812
PMCID: PMC4203542
autophagy; community; interactions; network; people
24.  The poetry of autophagy 
Autophagy  2014;10(7):1153.
doi:10.4161/auto.28911
PMCID: PMC4203543
satirical verse; autophagic poetry; mitophagy; phagophore assembly site; imaginary conversation; anthropomorphic organelles
25.  The autophagic roles of Rab small GTPases and their upstream regulators 
Autophagy  2014;10(7):1154-1166.
Macroautophagy is an evolutionarily conserved degradative process of eukaryotic cells. Double-membrane vesicles called autophagosomes sequester portions of cytoplasm and undergo fusion with the endolysosomal pathway in order to degrade their content. There is growing evidence that members of the small GTPase RAB protein family—the well-known regulators of membrane trafficking and fusion events—play key roles in the regulation of the autophagic process. Despite numerous studies focusing on the functions of RAB proteins in autophagy, the importance of their upstream regulators in this process emerged only in the past few years. In this review, we summarize recent advances on the effects of RABs and their upstream modulators in the regulation of autophagy. Moreover, we discuss how impairment of these proteins alters the autophagic process leading to several generally known human diseases.
doi:10.4161/auto.29395
PMCID: PMC4203544  PMID: 24915298
autophagy; GAP; GEF; RAB; small GTPases

Results 1-25 (791)