The Beclin 1 network regulates autophagy and apoptosis

Department of Surgery, Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Cell death and differentiation (Impact Factor: 8.39). 02/2011; 18(4):571-80. DOI: 10.1038/cdd.2010.191
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Beclin 1, the mammalian orthologue of yeast Atg6, has a central role in autophagy, a process of programmed cell survival, which is increased during periods of cell stress and extinguished during the cell cycle. It interacts with several cofactors (Atg14L, UVRAG, Bif-1, Rubicon, Ambra1, HMGB1, nPIST, VMP1, SLAM, IP(3)R, PINK and survivin) to regulate the lipid kinase Vps-34 protein and promote formation of Beclin 1-Vps34-Vps15 core complexes, thereby inducing autophagy. In contrast, the BH3 domain of Beclin 1 is bound to, and inhibited by Bcl-2 or Bcl-XL. This interaction can be disrupted by phosphorylation of Bcl-2 and Beclin 1, or ubiquitination of Beclin 1. Interestingly, caspase-mediated cleavage of Beclin 1 promotes crosstalk between apoptosis and autophagy. Beclin 1 dysfunction has been implicated in many disorders, including cancer and neurodegeneration. Here, we summarize new findings regarding the organization and function of the Beclin 1 network in cellular homeostasis, focusing on the cross-regulation between apoptosis and autophagy.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of this work was to study the postmortem evolution of potential biomarkers of autophagy (Beclin 1, LC3-II/LC3-I ratio) and oxidative stress (total antioxidant activity, TAA; superoxide dismutase activity, SOD and catalase activity, CAT) in the Longissimus dorsi muscle of entire male ((Large White×Landrace)×Duroc) pigs subjected to different management treatments that may promote stress, such as mixing unfamiliar animals at the farm and/or during transport and lairage before slaughter. During the rearing period at the farm, five animals were never mixed after the initial formation of the experimental groups (unmixed group at the farm, UF), whereas 10 animals were subjected to a common routine of being mixed with unfamiliar animals (mixed group at the farm, MF). Furthermore, two different treatments were used during the transport and lairage before slaughter: 10 pigs were not mixed (unmixed group during transport and lairage, UTL), whereas five pigs were mixed with unfamiliar animals on the lorry and during lairage (mixed group during transport and lairage, MTL). These mixing treatments were then combined into three pre-slaughter treatments - namely, UF-UTL, MF-UTL and MF-MTL. The results show that MF-UTL and MF-MTL increased significantly the muscle antioxidant defense (TAA, SOD and CAT) at short postmortem times (4 and 8 h; P<0.001), followed by an earlier depletion of the antioxidant activity at 24 h postmortem (P<0.05). We also found that mixing unfamiliar animals, both at the farm and during transport and lairage, triggers postmortem muscle autophagy, which showed an earlier activation (higher expression of Beclin 1 and LC3-II/LC3-I ratio at 4 h postmortem followed by a decreasing pattern of this ratio along first 24 h postmortem) in the muscle tissues of animals from the MF-UTL and MF-MTL groups, as an adaptive strategy of the muscle cells for counteracting induced stress. From these results, we propose that monitoring the evolution of the main biomarkers of autophagy (Beclin 1, LC3-II/LC3-I ratio) and muscle antioxidant defense (TAA, SOD, CAT) in the muscle tissue within the first 24 h postmortem may help the detection of animal stress and its potential effect on the postmortem muscle metabolism.
    animal 04/2015; DOI:10.1017/S1751731115000518
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In neurogenerative diseases, comprising Alzheimer's (AD), functional alteration in autophagy is considered one of the pathological hallmarks and a promising therapeutic target. Epidemiological investigations on the possible causes undergoing these diseases have suggested that electromagnetic fields (EMF) exposition can contribute to their etiology. On the other hand, EMF have therapeutic implications in reactivating neuronal functionality. To partly clarify this dualism, the effect of low-frequency EMF (LF-EMF) on the modulation of autophagy was investigated in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells, which were also subsequently exposed to Aβ peptides, key players in AD. The results primarily point that LF-EMF induce a significant reduction of microRNA 30a (miR-30a) expression with a concomitant increase of Beclin1 transcript (BECN1) and its corresponding protein. Furthermore, LF-EMF counteract the induced miR-30a up-regulation in the same cells transfected with miR-30a mimic precursor molecules and, on the other side, rescue Beclin1 expression after BECN1 siRNA treatment. The expression of autophagy-related markers (ATG7 and LC3B-II) as well as the dynamics of autophagosome formation were also visualized after LF-EMF exposition. Finally, different protocols of repeated LF-EMF treatments were assayed to contrast the effects of Aβ peptides in vitro administration. Overall, this research demonstrates, for the first time, that specific LF-EMF treatments can modulate in vitro the expression of a microRNA sequence, which in turn affects autophagy via Beclin1 expression. Taking into account the pivotal role of autophagy in the clearance of protein aggregates within the cells, our results indicate a potential cytoprotective effect exerted by LF-EMF in neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. J. Cell. Physiol. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 11/2014; 229(11). DOI:10.1002/jcp.24631
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Autophagy plays important roles in modulating viral replication and antiviral immune response. Coronavirus infection is associated with the autophagic process, however, little is known about the mechanisms of autophagy induction and its contribution to coronavirus regulation of host innate responses. Here, we show that the membrane-associated papain-like protease PLP2 (PLP2-TM) of coronaviruses acts as a novel autophagy-inducing protein. Intriguingly, PLP2-TM induces incomplete autophagy process by increasing the accumulation of autophagosomes but blocking the fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes. Furthermore, PLP2-TM interacts with the key autophagy regulators, LC3 and Beclin1, and promotes Beclin1 interaction with STING, the key regulator for antiviral IFN signaling. Finally, knockdown of Beclin1 partially reverses PLP2-TM's inhibitory effect on innate immunity which resulting in decreased coronavirus replication. These results suggested that coronavirus papain-like protease induces incomplete autophagy by interacting with Beclin1, which in turn modulates coronavirus replication and antiviral innate immunity.
    Protein & Cell 10/2014; DOI:10.1007/s13238-014-0104-6


Available from