Publications

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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a cellular recycling process that has an important anti-aging role, but the underlying molecular mechanism is not well understood. The mammalian transcription factor EB (TFEB) was recently shown to regulate multiple genes in the autophagy process. Here we show that the predicted TFEB orthologue HLH-30 regulates autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans and, in addition, has a key role in lifespan determination. We demonstrate that hlh-30 is essential for the extended lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans in six mechanistically distinct longevity models, and overexpression of HLH-30 extends lifespan. Nuclear localization of HLH-30 is increased in all six Caenorhabditis elegans models and, notably, nuclear TFEB levels are augmented in the livers of mice subjected to dietary restriction, a known longevity-extending regimen. Collectively, our results demonstrate a conserved role for HLH-30 and TFEB in autophagy, and possibly longevity, and identify HLH-30 as a uniquely important transcription factor for lifespan modulation in Caenorhabditis elegans.
    Nature Communications 08/2013; 4:2267. · 10.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a cellular catabolic process in which various cytosolic components are degraded. For example, autophagy can mediate lipolysis of neutral lipid droplets. In contrast, we here report that autophagy is required to facilitate normal levels of neutral lipids in C. elegans. Specifically, by using multiple methods to detect lipid droplets including CARS microscopy, we observed that mutants in the gene bec- 1 (VPS30/ATG6/BECN1), a key regulator of autophagy, failed to store substantial neutral lipids in their intestines during development. Moreover, loss of bec-1 resulted in a decline in lipid levels in daf-2 [insulin/IGF-1 receptor (IIR) ortholog] mutants and in germline-less glp-1/Notch animals, both previously recognized to accumulate neutral lipids and have increased autophagy levels. Similarly, inhibition of additional autophagy genes, including unc-51/ULK1/ATG1 and lgg-1/ATG8/MAP1LC3A/LC3 during development, led to a reduction in lipid content. Importantly, the decrease in fat accumulation observed in animals with reduced autophagy did not appear to be due to a change in food uptake or defecation. Taken together, these observations suggest a broader role for autophagy in lipid remodeling in C. elegans.
    Autophagy 01/2013; 9(3). · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    Louis R Lapierre, Malene Hansen
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    ABSTRACT: Recent research using model organisms such as the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has highlighted a crucial role for several conserved signaling pathways in longevity determination. Here, we review three major endocrine- and nutrient-sensing signaling pathways with influence on lifespan, the insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF), target of rapamycin (TOR), and germline signaling pathways. Although these pathways engage distinct sets of transcription factors, the three pathways appear to modulate aging in C. elegans through partially overlapping effector mechanisms, including lipid metabolism and autophagy. This review highlights the latest advances in our understanding of how the insulin/IGF-1, TOR, and germline signaling pathways utilize different transcription factors to modulate aging in C. elegans with special emphasis on the role of lipid metabolism and autophagy.
    Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 08/2012; · 8.90 Impact Factor
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    Louis R Lapierre, Alicia Meléndez, Malene Hansen
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    ABSTRACT: The cellular recycling process of autophagy is emerging as a central player in many of the conserved longevity pathways in C. elegans, but the underlying mechanisms that link autophagy and life span remain unclear. In a recent study, we provided evidence to suggest that autophagy modulates aging through an effect on lipid homeostasis. Specifically, we identified a role for autophagy in a longevity model in which germline removal in C. elegans extends life span. Life-span extension in these animals is achieved, at least in part, through increased expression of the lipase LIPL-4. We found that autophagy and LIPL-4-dependent lipolysis are both upregulated in germline-less animals and work interdependently to prolong life span. While these genetic results lend further support to a growing link between autophagy and lipid metabolism, our findings are the first to suggest a possible molecular mechanism by which autophagy modulates organismal aging.
    Autophagy 01/2012; 8(1):144-6. · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cellular recycling process of autophagy is emerging as a key player in several longevity pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we identify a role for autophagy in long-lived animals lacking a germline and show that autophagy and lipid metabolism work interdependently to modulate aging in this longevity model. Germline removal extends life span in C. elegans via genes such as the lipase LIPL-4; however, less is known of the cellular basis for this life-span extension. Here, we show that germline loss induces autophagy gene expression via the forkhead box A (FOXA) transcription factor PHA-4 and that autophagy is required to extend longevity. We identify a novel link between autophagy and LIPL-4, because autophagy is required to maintain high lipase activity in germline-deficient animals. Reciprocally, lipl-4 is required for autophagy induction. Coordination between autophagy and lipolysis is further supported by the finding that inhibition of TOR (target of rapamycin), a major negative regulator of autophagy, induces lipl-4 expression, and TOR levels are reduced in germline-less animals. TOR may therefore function as a common upstream regulator of both autophagy and lipl-4 expression in germline-less animals. Importantly, we find that the link between autophagy and LIPL-4 is relevant to longevity, because autophagy is induced in animals overexpressing LIPL-4 and autophagy is required for their long life span, recapitulating observations in germline-less animals. Collectively, our data offer a novel mechanism by which autophagy and the lipase LIPL-4 interdependently modulate aging in germline-deficient C. elegans by maintaining lipid homeostasis to prolong life span.
    Current biology: CB 09/2011; 21(18):1507-14. · 10.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transitin is a nestin-like intermediate filament protein co-expressed with vimentin in the precursor cells of the myogenic and neurogenic lineages of the avian embryo. To understand its role in myogenesis, stable cell lines expressing transitin-targeted siRNAs were derived from the quail muscle cell line QM7. When cells were cultured in differentiation medium, we found that transitin knockdown prevented myoblast fusion and myotube formation. MyoD mRNA could be detected in transitin siRNA-transfected cells, but upregulation of myogenin and desmin expression was impaired compared to control cells. In addition, transitin siRNA cells maintain high levels of Pax7 expression suggesting that QM7 myoblasts into which transitin expression has been attenuated display a muscle progenitor cell phenotype (Pax7(+)/MyoD(+)/myogenin(-)/desmin(-)). These observations indicate that transitin plays an important role in the initiation of the myogenic program in avian muscle progenitor cells in acting downstream of MyoD and upstream of myogenin during the lineage progression.
    Developmental Dynamics 10/2010; 239(11):3038-47. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ATPase associated with various cellular activities (AAA-ATPase) p97 (p97) has been implicated in the retrotranslocation of target proteins for delivery to the cytosolic proteasome during endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD). Apolipoprotein B-100 (apoB-100) is an ERAD substrate in liver cells, including the human hepatoma, HepG2. We studied the potential role of p97 in the ERAD of apoB-100 in HepG2 cells using cell permeabilization, coimmunoprecipitation, and gene silencing. Degradation was abolished when HepG2 cytosol was removed by digitonin permeabilization, and treatment of intact cells with the proteasome inhibitor MG132 caused accumulation of ubiquitinated apoB protein in the cytosol. Cross-linking of intact cells with the thiol-cleavable agent dithiobis(succinimidylpropionate) (DSP), as well as nondenaturing immunoprecipitation, demonstrated an interaction between p97 and intracellular apoB. Small interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA)-mediated reduction of p97 protein increased the intracellular levels of newly synthesized apoB-100, predominantly because of a decrease in the turnover of newly synthesized apoB-100 protein. However, although the posttranslational degradation of newly synthesized apoB-100 was delayed by p97 knockdown, secretion of apoB-100 was not affected. Knockdown of p97 also impaired the release of apoB-100 and polyubiquitinated apoB into the cytosol. In summary, our results suggest that retrotranslocation and proteasomal degradation of apoB-100 can be dissociated in HepG2 cells, and that the AAA-ATPase p97 is involved in the removal of full-length apoB from the biosynthetic pathway to the cytosolic proteasome.
    The Journal of Lipid Research 07/2008; 49(10):2149-60. · 4.39 Impact Factor
  • Louis R Lapierre, Roger S McLeod
    Future Lipidology - FUTURE LIPIDOL. 01/2007; 2(2):173-184.
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    ABSTRACT: In McA-RH7777 cells stably expressing human apolipoprotein (apo) B100, treatment with oleic acid (18:1(n-9)) promoted whereas treatment with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5(n-3)) attenuated assembly and secretion of VLDL. Under conditions where the cells were cultured in the presence of 20% serum, EPA (0.4 mM) had marginal effect on the secretion of total apoB100 (determined by pulse-chase analysis) but decreased (by 50%) secretion of triacylglycerol (TG), indicating that the inhibitory effect of EPA was exerted primarily on TG-rich VLDL. Analysis of phospholipid mass and species by tandem mass spectrometry showed increased phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) in EPA-treated cells, the increase was significant in the distal Golgi membranes (by 170%) and endoplasmic reticulum (by 116%). Lipid pulse-chase studies showed a major distinction between phospholipid species containing 20:5(n-3) and 18:1(n-9), which in turn was associated with distinct compartmentalization of TG containing 20:5(n-3) or 18:1(n-9) between cytosol and microsomes and their recruitment during VLDL assembly. Thus, 18:1-TG was secreted as VLDL but 20:5-TG was not. These results suggest that EPA attenuation of VLDL secretion is associated with impaired utilization of TG derived from phospholipid remodeling.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 05/2006; 1761(4):463-73. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Apolipoprotein B (apoB)-48 contains a region termed the beta1 domain that is predicted to be composed of extensive amphipathic beta-strands. Analysis of truncated apoB variants revealed that sequences between the carboxyl termini of apoB-37 and apoB-42 governed the secretion efficiency and intracellular stability of apoB. Although apoB-37, apoB-34, and apoB-29 were stable and secreted efficiently, apoB-42 and apoB-100 were secreted poorly and were degraded by an acetyl-leucyl-leucyl-norleucinal (ALLN)-sensitive pathway. Amino acid sequence analysis suggested that a segment between the carboxyl termini of apoB-38 and apoB-42 was 63% homologous to fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs), which contain orthogonal beta-sheets. To test the hypothesis that sequences from the beta1 domain are involved in apoB degradation, fusion proteins were created that contained apoB-29 linked to fragments derived from the beta1 domain of apoB or to liver FABP. Fusion proteins containing the beta1 domain segments apoB-34-42 or apoB-37-42 were degraded rapidly, whereas other fusion proteins were stable and secreted efficiently. Degradation was ALLN-sensitive, and the apoB-34-42 segment increased the association of the apoB protein with the cytosolic surface of the microsomal membrane. Our data suggest that the presence of specific sequences in the beta1 domain of human apoB increases degradation by promoting the cytosolic exposure of the protein, although not all regions of the beta1 domain are functionally equivalent.
    The Journal of Lipid Research 03/2004; 45(2):366-77. · 4.39 Impact Factor

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