Lysosome dysfunction triggers Atg7-dependent neural apoptosis.
ABSTRACT Macroautophagy (autophagy) is a process wherein bulk cytosolic proteins and damaged organelles are sequestered and degraded via the lysosome. Alterations in autophagy-associated proteins have been shown to cause neural tube closure defects, neurodegeneration, and tumor formation. Normal lysosome function is critical for autophagy completion and when altered may lead to an accumulation of autophagic vacuoles (AVs) and caspase activation. The tumor suppressor p53 is highly expressed in neural precursor cells (NPCs) and has an important role in the regulation of both autophagy and apoptosis. We hypothesized that altered lysosome function would lead to NPC death via an interaction between autophagy- and apoptosis-associated proteins. To test our hypothesis, we utilized FGF2-expanded NPCs and the neural stem cell line, C17.2, in combination with the lysosomotropic agent chloroquine (CQ) and the vacuolar ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin A1 (Baf A1). Both CQ and Baf A1 caused concentration- and time-dependent AV accumulation, p53 phosphorylation, increased damage regulator autophagy modulator levels, caspase-3 activation, and cell death. Short hairpin RNA knockdown of Atg7, but not Beclin1, expression significantly inhibited CQ- and Baf A1-induced cell death, indicating that Atg7 is an upstream mediator of lysosome dysfunction-induced cell death. Cell death and/or caspase-3 activation was also attenuated by protein synthesis inhibition, p53 deficiency, or Bax deficiency, indicating involvement of the intrinsic apoptotic death pathway. In contrast to lysosome dysfunction, starvation-induced AV accumulation was inhibited by either Atg7 or Beclin1 knockdown, and Atg7 knockdown had no effect on starvation-induced death. These findings indicate that Atg7- and Beclin1-induced autophagy plays a cytoprotective role during starvation but that Atg7 has a unique pro-apoptotic function in response to lysosome dysfunction.
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ABSTRACT: The strategy for interpreting the role of autophagy on the basis of evidence obtained through autophagic inhibition sounds logical, but is beset with practical constraints. The knock down of autophagy-related (ATG) gene(s) or blockage of class III PI3-Kinase are the most common approaches for inhibiting autophagy. However, during stressful conditions, autophagy may operate in synchrony with other processes such as apoptosis; autophagy-related genes, unlike what their name implies, exert their regulation on apoptosis as well. Knocking down such genes not only blocks autophagy but also renders apoptosis defective, making the interpretation of autophagic roles unreliable. Similarly, class III PI3-Kinase aids in initiating autophagy but it is not a quintessential autophagic regulator. Class III PI3-Kinase also has a role in regulating almost all membrane transport in cells. Blocking it not only inhibits autophagy, but also hampers all the membrane trades, including endosomal transport. The pharmacological inhibitors used to block autophagy by blocking class III PI3-Kinase further compound these limitations with their off-target effects. Knowing the limitations involved in blocking a target or using an autophagy-blocking tool is a prerequisite for designing the experiments meant for analyzing autophagic functions. This review attempts to provide a detailed overview about the practical constraints involved in using autophagic inhibition as a strategy to understand autophagy.Pharmacological Research 03/2014; · 4.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: V-ATPases are highly conserved, ATP-driven proton pumps regulated by reversible dissociation of its cytosolic, peripheral V1 domain from the integral membrane Vo domain. Multiple stresses induce changes in V1- Vo assembly, but signaling mechanisms behind these changes are not understood. Here we show that certain stress-responsive changes in V-ATPase activity and assembly require the signaling lipid phosphatidylinositol (3,5) bis-phosphate (PI(3,5)P2). V-ATPase activation through V1-Vo assembly in response to salt stress is strongly dependent on PI(3,5)P2 synthesis. Purified Vo complexes preferentially bind to PI(3,5)P2 on lipid arrays, suggesting direct binding between the lipid and the membrane sector of the V-ATPase. Increasing PI(3,5)P2 levels in vivo recruits the N-terminal domain of Vo sector subunit Vph1p from cytosol to membranes, independent of other subunits. This Vph1p domain is critical for V1-Vo interaction, suggesting that interaction of Vph1p with PI(3,5)P2-containing membranes stabilizes V1-Vo assembly and thus increases V-ATPase activity. These results help explain the previously described vacuolar acidification defect in yeast fab1 and vac14 mutants and suggest that human disease phenotypes associated with PI(3,5)P2 loss may arise from compromised V-ATPase stability and regulation.Molecular biology of the cell 02/2014; · 5.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) are aggressive Schwann cell-derived sarcomas and are the leading cause of mortality in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). Current treatment modalities have been largely ineffective, resulting in a high rate of MPNST recurrence and poor five-year patient survival. This necessitates the exploration of alternative chemotherapeutic options for MPNST patients. This study sought to assess the cytotoxic effect of the BH3-mimetic AT101 [(-)-gossypol] on MPNST cells in vitro and to identify key regulators of AT101-induced MPNST cell death. We found that AT101 caused caspase-independent, non-apoptotic MPNST cell death, which was accompanied by autophagy and was mediated through HIF-1α induced expression of the atypical BH3-only protein BNIP3. These effects were mediated by intracellular iron chelation, a previously unreported mechanism of AT101 cytotoxicity.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(5):e96733. · 3.73 Impact Factor