Article

Autophagy gone awry in neurodegenerative diseases.

Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology, Marion Bessin Liver Research Center and Institute for Aging Studies, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA.
Nature Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 14.98). 07/2010; 13(7):805-11. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2575
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Autophagy is essential for neuronal homeostasis, and its dysfunction has been directly linked to a growing number of neurodegenerative disorders. The reasons behind autophagic failure in degenerating neurons can be very diverse because of the different steps required for autophagy and the characterization of the molecular players involved in each of them. Understanding the step(s) affected in the autophagic process in each disorder could explain differences in the course of these pathologies and will be essential to developing targeted therapeutic approaches for each disease based on modulation of autophagy. Here we present examples of different types of autophagic dysfunction described in common neurodegenerative disorders and discuss the prospect of exploring some of the recently identified autophagic variants and the interactions among autophagic and non-autophagic proteolytic systems as possible future therapeutic targets.

2 Followers
 · 
355 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is an essential homeostatic process for degrading cellular cargo. Aging organelles and protein aggregates are degraded by the autophagosome-lysosome pathway, which is particularly crucial in neurons. There is increasing evidence implicating defective autophagy in neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. Recent work using live-cell imaging has identified autophagy as a predominantly polarized process in neuronal axons; autophagosomes preferentially form at the axon tip and undergo retrograde transport back towards the cell body. Autophagosomes engulf cargo including damaged mitochondria (mitophagy) and protein aggregates, and subsequently fuse with lysosomes during axonal transport to effectively degrade their internalized cargo. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and the accompanying poster, we review recent progress on the dynamics of the autophagy pathway in neurons and highlight the defects observed at each step of this pathway during neurodegeneration. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
    Journal of Cell Science 04/2015; 128(7):1259-1267. DOI:10.1242/jcs.161216 · 5.33 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pediatric-onset ataxias often present clinically as developmental delay and intellectual disability, with prominent cerebellar atrophy as a key neuroradiographic finding. Here we describe a new clinically distinguishable recessive syndrome in 12 families with cerebellar atrophy together with ataxia, coarsened facial features and intellectual disability, due to truncating mutations in the sorting nexin gene SNX14, encoding a ubiquitously expressed modular PX domain-containing sorting factor. We found SNX14 localized to lysosomes and associated with phosphatidylinositol (3,5)-bisphosphate, a key component of late endosomes/lysosomes. Patient-derived cells showed engorged lysosomes and a slower autophagosome clearance rate upon autophagy induction by starvation. Zebrafish morphants for snx14 showed dramatic loss of cerebellar parenchyma, accumulation of autophagosomes and activation of apoptosis. Our results characterize a unique ataxia syndrome due to biallelic SNX14 mutations leading to lysosome-autophagosome dysfunction.
    Nature Genetics 04/2015; DOI:10.1038/ng.3256 · 29.65 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mammalian cells remove misfolded proteins using various proteolytic systems, including the ubiquitin (Ub)-proteasome system (UPS), chaperone mediated autophagy (CMA) and macroautophagy. The majority of misfolded proteins are degraded by the UPS, in which Ub-conjugated substrates are deubiquitinated, unfolded and cleaved into small peptides when passing through the narrow chamber of the proteasome. The substrates that expose a specific degradation signal, the KFERQ sequence motif, can be delivered to and degraded in lysosomes via the CMA. Aggregation-prone substrates resistant to both the UPS and the CMA can be degraded by macroautophagy, in which cargoes are segregated into autophagosomes before degradation by lysosomal hydrolases. Although most misfolded and aggregated proteins in the human proteome can be degraded by cellular protein quality control, some native and mutant proteins prone to aggregation into β-sheet-enriched oligomers are resistant to all known proteolytic pathways and can thus grow into inclusion bodies or extracellular plaques. The accumulation of protease-resistant misfolded and aggregated proteins is a common mechanism underlying protein misfolding disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s disease (HD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), prion diseases and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). In this review, we provide an overview of the proteolytic pathways in neurons, with an emphasis on the UPS, CMA and macroautophagy, and discuss the role of protein quality control in the degradation of pathogenic proteins in neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, we examine existing putative therapeutic strategies to efficiently remove cytotoxic proteins from degenerating neurons.
    03/2015; 47(3):e147. DOI:10.1038/emm.2014.117