Maria L Sacchetti

University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina

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Publications (4)22.47 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We have described VMP1 as a new protein which expression triggers autophagy in mammalian cells. Here we show that experimental diabetes activates VMP1 expression and autophagy in pancreas beta cells as a direct response to streptozotocin (STZ). Male Wistar rats were treated with 65 mg/kg STZ and pancreas islets from untreated rats were incubated with 1 mM STZ. RT-PCR analysis shows early VMP1 induction after STZ treatment. In situ hybridization reveals VMP1 mRNA in islet beta cells. Electron microscopy shows chromatin aggregation and autophagy morphology that was confirmed by LC3 expression and LC3-VMP1 co-localization. Apoptotic cell death and the reduction of beta cell pool are evident after 24 h treatment, while VMP1 is still expressed in the remaining cells. VMP1-Beclin1 colocalization in pancreas tissue from STZ-treated rats suggests that VMP1-Beclin1 interaction is involved in the autophagic process activation during experimental diabetes. Results were confirmed using pancreas islets, showing VMP1 expression and autophagy in beta cells as a direct effect of STZ treatment. Pancreas beta cells trigger VMP1 expression and autophagy during the early cellular events in response to experimental diabetes.
    Pancreatology 06/2008; 9(1-2):81-8. · 2.04 Impact Factor
  • Pancreas 01/2008; 37(4). · 2.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a degradation process of cytoplasmic cellular constituents, which serves as a survival mechanism in starving cells, and it is characterized by sequestration of bulk cytoplasm and organelles in double-membrane vesicles called autophagosomes. Autophagy has been linked to a variety of pathological processes such as neurodegenerative diseases and tumorigenesis, which highlights its biological and medical importance. We have previously characterized the vacuole membrane protein 1 (VMP1) gene, which is highly activated in acute pancreatitis, a disease associated with morphological changes resembling autophagy. Here we show that VMP1 expression triggers autophagy in mammalian cells. VMP1 expression induces the formation of ultrastructural features of autophagy and recruitment of the microtubule-associated protein 1 light-chain 3 (LC3), which is inhibited after treatment with the autophagy inhibitor 3-methiladenine. VMP1 is induced by starvation and rapamycin treatments. Its expression is necessary for autophagy, because VMP1 small interfering RNA inhibits autophagosome formation under both autophagic stimuli. VMP1 is a transmembrane protein that co-localizes with LC3, a marker of the autophagosomes. It interacts with Beclin 1, a mammalian autophagy initiator, through the VMP1-Atg domain, which is essential for autophagosome formation. VMP1 endogenous expression co-localizes with LC3 in pancreas tissue undergoing pancreatitis-induced autophagy. Finally, VMP1 stable expression targeted to pancreas acinar cell in transgenic mice induces autophagosome formation. Our results identify VMP1 as a novel autophagy-related membrane protein involved in the initial steps of the mammalian cell autophagic process.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2008; 282(51):37124-33. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 01/2008; 134(4). · 12.82 Impact Factor