Apg7p/Cvt2p: A novel protein-activating enzyme essential for autophagy.
ABSTRACT In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the Apg12p-Apg5p conjugating system is essential for autophagy. Apg7p is required for the conjugation reaction, because Apg12p is unable to form a conjugate with Apg5p in the apg7/cvt2 mutant. Apg7p shows a significant similarity to a ubiquitin-activating enzyme, Uba1p. In this article, we investigated the function of Apg7p as an Apg12p-activating enzyme. Hemagglutinin-tagged Apg12p was coimmunoprecipitated with c-myc-tagged Apg7p. A two-hybrid experiment confirmed the interaction. The coimmunoprecipitation was sensitive to a thiol-reducing reagent. Furthermore, a thioester conjugate of Apg7p was detected in a lysate of cells overexpressing both Apg7p and Apg12p. These results indicated that Apg12p interacts with Apg7p via a thioester bond. Mutational analyses of Apg7p suggested that Cys507 of Apg7p is an active site cysteine and that both the ATP-binding domain and the cysteine residue are essential for the conjugation of Apg7p with Apg12p to form the Apg12p-Apg5p conjugate. Cells expressing mutant Apg7ps, Apg7pG333A, or Apg7pC507A showed defects in autophagy and cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting of aminopeptidase I. These results indicated that Apg7p functions as a novel protein-activating enzyme necessary for Apg12p-Apg5p conjugation.
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ABSTRACT: Alpha-synuclein (aSyn) is the main component of proteinaceous inclusions known as Lewy bodies (LBs), the typical pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD) and other synucleinopathies. Although aSyn is phosphorylated at low levels under physiological conditions, it is estimated that ∼90% of aSyn in LBs is phosphorylated at S129 (pS129). Nevertheless, the significance of pS129 in the biology of aSyn and in PD pathogenesis is still controversial. Here, we harnessed the power of budding yeast in order to assess the implications of phosphorylation on aSyn cytotoxicity, aggregation and sub-cellular distribution. We found that aSyn is phosphorylated on S129 by endogenous kinases. Interestingly, phosphorylation reduced aSyn toxicity and the percentage of cells with cytosolic inclusions, in comparison to cells expressing mutant forms of aSyn (S129A or S129G) that mimic the unphosphorylated form of aSyn. Using high-resolution 4D imaging and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) in live cells, we compared the dynamics of WT and S129A mutant aSyn. While WT aSyn inclusions were very homogeneous, inclusions formed by S129A aSyn were larger and showed FRAP heterogeneity. Upon blockade of aSyn expression, cells were able to clear the inclusions formed by WT aSyn. However, this process was much slower for the inclusions formed by S129A aSyn. Interestingly, whereas the accumulation of WT aSyn led to a marked induction of autophagy, cells expressing the S129A mutant failed to activate this protein quality control pathway. The finding that the phosphorylation state of aSyn on S129 can alter the ability of cells to clear aSyn inclusions provides important insight into the role that this posttranslational modification may have in the pathogenesis of PD and other synucleinopathies, opening novel avenues for investigating the molecular basis of these disorders and for the development of therapeutic strategies.PLoS Genetics 05/2014; 10(5):e1004302. · 8.17 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although the role of autophagy in sepsis has been characterized in several organs, its role in the adaptive immune system remains to be ascertained. This study aimed to investigate the role of autophagy in sepsis-induced T cell apoptosis and immunosuppression, using knockout mice with T cell specific deletion of autophagy essential gene Atg7.PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e102066. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: All the therapeutic strategies for treating cancers aim at killing the cancer cells via apoptosis (programmed cell death type I). Defective apoptosis endow tumor cells with survival. The cell can respond to such defects with autophagy. Autophagy is a cellular process by which cytoplasmic material is either degraded to maintain homeostasis or recycled for energy and nutrients in starvation. A plethora of evidence has shown that the role of autophagy in tumors is complex. A lot of effort is needed to underline the functional status of autophagy in tumor progression and treatment, and elucidate how to tweak autophagy to treat cancer. Furthermore, during the treatment of cancer, the limitation for the cure rate and survival is the phenomenon of multi drug resistance (MDR). The development of MDR is an intricate process that could be regulated by drug transporters, enzymes, anti-apoptotic genes or DNA repair mechanisms. Reports have shown that autophagy has a dual role in MDR. Furthermore, it has been reported that activation of a death pathway may overcome MDR, thus pointing the importance of other death pathways to regulate tumor cell progression and growth. Therefore, in this review we will discuss the role of autophagy in MDR tumors and a possible link amongst these phenomena.Cells. 12/2012; 1(3):558-75.