Autophagy and aging: Keeping that old broom working

Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology, Marion Bessin Liver Research Center and Institute for Aging Studies, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Ullmann B. 611, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.
Trends in Genetics (Impact Factor: 11.6). 01/2009; 24(12):604-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.tig.2008.10.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Autophagy, a highly conserved mechanism of quality control inside cells, is essential for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis and for the orchestration of an efficient cellular response to stress. The decrease in autophagic activity observed in almost all cells and tissues as organisms age was proposed to contribute to different aspects of the aging phenotype and to the aggravation of detrimental age-related diseases. The recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying autophagy and the identification of the subset of genes involved in this process has enabled the use of genetic manipulations to start testing this hypothesis. Here, I review the recent genetic evidence in support of tight connections between autophagy, health span and aging.

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    • "Accordingly, we report here that the alteration in APP binding to SorLA (and likely to other adaptors) leads to APP accumulation in LEs and lysosomes and to autophagic defects, which are considered a major risk factor for AD and dementia during aging (Cuervo, 2008; Salminen and Kaarniranta, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: The intracellular transport and localization of amyloid precursor protein (APP) are critical determinants of APP processing and β-amyloid peptide production, thus crucially important for the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Notably, the C-terminal Y682ENPTY687 domain of APP binds to specific adaptors controlling APP trafficking and sorting in neurons. Mutation on the Y682 residue to glycine (Y682G) leads to altered APP sorting in hippocampal neurons that favors its accumulation in intracellular compartments and the release of soluble APPα. Such alterations induce premature aging and learning and cognitive deficits in APP Y682G mutant mice (APPYG/YG). Here, we report that Y682G mutation affects formation of the APP complex with sortilin-related receptor (SorLA), resulting in endo-lysosomal dysfunctions and neuronal degeneration. Moreover, disruption of the APP/SorLA complex changes the trafficking pathway of SorLA, with its consequent increase in secretion outside neurons. Mutations in the SorLA gene are a prognostic factor in AD, and increases in SorLA levels in cerebrospinal fluid are predictive of AD in humans. These results might open new possibilities in comprehending the role played by SorLA in its interaction with APP and in the progression of neuronal degeneration. In addition, they further underline the crucial role played by Y682 residue in controlling APP trafficking in neurons.
    Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 03/2015; 9. DOI:10.3389/fncel.2015.00109 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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    • "How do the IIS and mTOR pathway contribute to the aging phenotype? A continuous stimulation of the IIS and mTOR pathways leads to a higher risk of aging-related diseases and reduced lifespan via reduced autophagy (less clearance of protein aggregates and cellular organelles), increased protein agglomeration and proteotoxicity (mTOR activation leads to increased protein production and reduced protein clearance), inflammation, reduced expression of antioxidant proteins, mitochondrial dysfunction, and other mechanisms (Kenyon, 2010; Fontana et al., 2010; Johnson et al., 2013; Cuervo, 2008). These mechanisms increase the risk of insulin resistance (Shah et al., 2004), atherosclerosis (Martinet et al., 2014), cardiomyopathy (Willis & Patterson, 2013), neurodegenerative diseases (O'Neill et al., 2012, 2013), cancer (Martini et al., 2014), osteoporosis (Glantschnig et al., 2003) and other aging-related diseases and symptoms. "
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    ABSTRACT: Many diets and nutritional advice are circulating, often based on short- or medium-term clinical trials and primary outcomes, like changes in LDL cholesterol or weight. It remains difficult to assess which dietary interventions can be effective in the long term to reduce the risk of aging-related disease and increase the (healthy) lifespan. At the same time, the scientific discipline that studies the aging process has identified some important nutrient-sensing pathways that modulate the aging process, such as the mTOR and the insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway. A thorough understanding of the aging process can help assessing the efficacy of dietary interventions aimed at reducing the risk of aging-related diseases. To come to these insights, a synthesis of biogerontological, nutritional, and medical knowledge is needed, which can be framed in a new discipline called 'nutrigerontology'. © 2014 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    Aging cell 12/2014; 14(1). DOI:10.1111/acel.12284 · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    • "Formation of double membrane autophagic vacuoles, also known as autophagosomes, and transportation of damaged protein to the lysosome for degradation require additional proteins [14] [15]. Some of these are highly conserved from flies to mammals. "
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    ABSTRACT: Reduced autophagy may be associated with normal and pathological aging. Here we report a link between autophagy and Werner protein (WRNp), mutated in Werner syndrome, the human premature aging Werner syndrome (WS). WRN mutant fibroblast AG11395 and AG05229 respond weakly to starvation induced autophagy compared to normal cells. While the fusion of phagosomes with lysosome is normal, WS cells contain fewer autophagy vacuoles. Cellular starvation autophagy in WS cells is restored after transfection with full length WRN. Further, siRNA mediated silencing of WRN in the normal fibroblast cell line WI-38 results in decreased autophagy and altered expression of autophagy related proteins. Thus, our observations suggest that WRN may have a role in controlling autophagy and hereby cellular maintenance.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease 09/2014; 1842(12). DOI:10.1016/j.bbadis.2014.09.007 · 5.09 Impact Factor
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