Endothelial nitric-oxide synthase antisense (NOS3AS) gene encodes an autophagy-related protein (APG9-like2) highly expressed in trophoblast
ABSTRACT Macroautophagy is an intracellular degradation system for the majority of proteins and some organelles that is conserved in all eukaryotic species. The precise role of autophagy in mammalian development and potential involvement in disease remain to be discerned. Yeast Atg9p is the first integral membrane protein shown to be essential for the cytoplasm to vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway and autophagy, whereas its mammalian functional orthologue has yet to be identified. We have identified two human genes homologous to yeast Atg9p and designated these as APG9L1 and APG9L2. We have previously identified APG9L2 as NOS3AS, which participates in the post-transcriptional regulation of the endothelial nitric-oxide synthase (NOS3) gene on chromosome 7 through its antisense overlap. In human adult tissues, APG9L1 was ubiquitously expressed, whereas APG9L2 was highly expressed in placenta (trophoblast cells) and pituitary gland. In transient transfection assays we found that both proteins were primarily localized to the perinuclear region and also scattered throughout the cytosol as dots, a subset of which colocalized with an autophagosome-specific marker LC3 under starvation conditions. Finally, by the small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of APG9L1 in HeLa cells, we demonstrated that APG9L1 is essential for starvation-induced autophagosome formation. In addition, APG9L2 can functionally complement APG9L1 in this process. These results, taken together with those of phylogenetic and sequence analyses, suggest that both APG9L1 and APG9L2 are functionally orthologous to the yATG9 in autophagosome formation. Moreover, APG9L2 is a vertebrate-specific gene that may have gained critical roles in mammalian-specific developmental events, such as placentation, through rapid evolution.
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ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a eukaryotic self-degradation system that plays a pivotal role in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Atg9 is the only transmembrane Atg protein required for autophagosome formation. Although the subcellular localization of the Atg9A has been examined, little is known about its precise cell and tissue distribution. In the present study, we used G93A mutation in superoxide dismutase 1 [SOD1(G93A)] mutant transgenic mice as an in vivo model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and performed immunohistochemical studies to investigate the changes of Atg9A immunoreactivity in the central nervous system of these mice. Atg9A-immunoreactivity was detected in the spinal cord, cerebral cortex, hippocampal formation, thalamus and cerebellum of symptomatic SOD1(G93A) transgenic mice. By contrast, no Atg9A-immunoreactivity were observed in any brain and spinal cord region of wtSOD1, pre-symptomatic and early symptomatic mice, and the number and staining intensity of Atg9A-positive cells did not differ in SOD1(G93A) mice between 8 and 13 weeks of age. These results provide evidence that Atg9A-immunoreactivity were found in the central nervous system of SOD1(G93A) transgenic mice after clinical symptoms, suggesting a possible role in the pathologic process of ALS. However, the mechanisms underlying the increased immunoreactivity for Atg9A and the functional implications require elucidation.Anatomy & cell biology 06/2014; 47(2):101-10. DOI:10.5115/acb.2014.47.2.101
Article: The machinery of macroautophagy.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a primarily degradative pathway that takes place in all eukaryotic cells. It is used for recycling cytoplasm to generate macromolecular building blocks and energy under stress conditions, to remove superfluous and damaged organelles to adapt to changing nutrient conditions and to maintain cellular homeostasis. In addition, autophagy plays a critical role in cytoprotection by preventing the accumulation of toxic proteins and through its action in various aspects of immunity including the elimination of invasive microbes and its participation in antigen presentation. The most prevalent form of autophagy is macroautophagy, and during this process, the cell forms a double-membrane sequestering compartment termed the phagophore, which matures into an autophagosome. Following delivery to the vacuole or lysosome, the cargo is degraded and the resulting macromolecules are released back into the cytosol for reuse. The past two decades have resulted in a tremendous increase with regard to the molecular studies of autophagy being carried out in yeast and other eukaryotes. Part of the surge in interest in this topic is due to the connection of autophagy with a wide range of human pathophysiologies including cancer, myopathies, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease. However, there are still many aspects of autophagy that remain unclear, including the process of phagophore formation, the regulatory mechanisms that control its induction and the function of most of the autophagy-related proteins. In this review, we focus on macroautophagy, briefly describing the discovery of this process in mammalian cells, discussing the current views concerning the donor membrane that forms the phagophore, and characterizing the autophagy machinery including the available structural information.Cell Research advance online publication 24 December 2013; doi:10.1038/cr.2013.168.Cell Research 12/2013; DOI:10.1038/cr.2013.168 · 11.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The resistance of cancer cells to traditional chemotherapeutic agents is a major obstacle in the successful treatment of cancer. Cancer cells manipulate a variety of signaling pathways to enhance resistance to anticancer agents; such mechanisms include disrupting the DNA damage response and hyperactivating survival signaling pathways. In an attempt to better understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie resistance to chemotherapeutic agents, we investigated multiple processes regulated by the Rad9-Rad1-Hus1 (9-1-1) complex and Bif-1. The 9-1-1 complex plays an integral role in the response to DNA damage and regulates many downstream signaling pathways. Overexpression of members of this complex has been described in several types of cancer and was shown to correlate with tumorigenicity. In this study, we demonstrate that disruption of the 9-1-1 complex, through loss of Hus1, sensitizes cells to DNA damaging agents by upregulating BH3-only protein expression. Moreover, loss of Hus1 results in release of Rad9 into the cytosol, which enhances the interaction of Rad9 with Bcl-2 to potentiate the apoptotic response. We also provide evidence that disruption of the 9-1-1 complex sensitizes cells to caspase-independent cell death in response to DNA damage. Furthermore, we found that loss of Hus1 enhances DNA damage-induced autophagy. As autophagy has been implicated in caspase-independent cell death, these data suggest that the enhanced autophagy observed in Hus1-knockout cells may act as an alternate cell death mechanism. However, inhibition of autophagy, through knockdown of Atg7 or Bif-1, did not suppress, but rather promoted DNA damage-induced cell death in Hus1-deficient cells, suggesting that in apoptosis-competent cells autophagy may be induced as a cytoprotective mechanism. The aberrant activation of survival signals, such as enhanced EGFR signaling, is another mechanism that provides cancer cells with resistance to DNA damage. We found that knockdown of Bif-1 accelerated the co-localization of EGF with late endosomes/lysosomes thereby promoting EGFR degradation. Our results suggest that Bif-1 may enhance survival not only by inducing autophagy, but also by regulating EGFR degradation. Taken together, the results from our studies indicate that the 9-1-1 complex and Bif-1 may be potential targets for cancer therapy as they both regulate sensitivity to DNA damage.