[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a major pathway for degradation of cytoplasmic proteins and organelles, and has been implicated in tumor suppression. Here, we report that mice with systemic mosaic deletion of Atg5 and liver-specific Atg7⁻/⁻ mice develop benign liver adenomas. These tumor cells originate autophagy-deficient hepatocytes and show mitochondrial swelling, p62 accumulation, and oxidative stress and genomic damage responses. The size of the Atg7⁻/⁻ liver tumors is reduced by simultaneous deletion of p62. These results suggest that autophagy is important for the suppression of spontaneous tumorigenesis through a cell-intrinsic mechanism, particularly in the liver, and that p62 accumulation contributes to tumor progression.
Genes & development 04/2011; 25(8):795-800. · 12.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic ablation of autophagy in mice leads to liver and brain degeneration accompanied by the appearance of ubiquitin (Ub) inclusions, which has been considered to support the hypothesis that ubiquitination serves as a cis-acting signal for selective autophagy. We show that tissue-specific disruption of the essential autophagy genes Atg5 and Atg7 leads to the accumulation of all detectable Ub-Ub topologies, arguing against the hypothesis that any particular Ub linkage serves as a specific autophagy signal. The increase in Ub conjugates in Atg7(-/-) liver and brain is completely suppressed by simultaneous knockout of either p62 or Nrf2. We exploit a novel assay for selective autophagy in cell culture, which shows that inactivation of Atg5 leads to the selective accumulation of aggregation-prone proteins, and this does not correlate with an increase in substrate ubiquitination. We propose that protein oligomerization drives autophagic substrate selection and that the accumulation of poly-Ub chains in autophagy-deficient circumstances is an indirect consequence of activation of Nrf2-dependent stress response pathways.
The Journal of Cell Biology 11/2010; 191(3):537-52. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a member of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-related kinase (PIKK) family and is a major regulator of translation, cell growth, and autophagy. mTOR exists in two distinct complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2, that differ in their subunit composition. In this study, we identified KIAA0406 as a novel mTOR-interacting protein. Because it has sequence homology with Schizosaccharomyces pombe Tti1, we named it mammalian Tti1. Tti1 constitutively interacts with mTOR in both mTORC1 and mTORC2. Knockdown of Tti1 suppresses phosphorylation of both mTORC1 substrates (S6K1 and 4E-BP1) and an mTORC2 substrate (Akt) and also induces autophagy. S. pombe Tti1 binds to Tel2, a protein whose mammalian homolog was recently reported to regulate the stability of PIKKs. We confirmed that Tti1 binds to Tel2 also in mammalian cells, and Tti1 interacts with and stabilizes all six members of the PIKK family of proteins (mTOR, ATM, ATR, DNA-PKcs, SMG-1, and TRRAP). Furthermore, using immunoprecipitation and size-exclusion chromatography analyses, we found that knockdown of either Tti1 or Tel2 causes disassembly of mTORC1 and mTORC2. These results indicate that Tti1 and Tel2 are important not only for mTOR stability but also for assembly of the mTOR complexes to maintain their activities.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2010; 285(26):20109-16. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a major route by which cytoplasmic contents are delivered to the lysosome for degradation. Many autophagy-related (ATG) genes have been identified in yeast. Although most of them are conserved in human, the molecular composition of the Atg1 complex appears to differ between yeast and mammals. In yeast, Atg1 forms a complex with Atg11, Atg13, Atg17, Atg29 and Atg31, whereas mammalian Atg1 (ULK1/2) interacts with Atg13 and FIP200. Here, we identify a novel mammalian Atg13 binding protein, named Atg101. Atg101 shows no homology with other Atg proteins, and is conserved in various eukaryotes, but not in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Atg101 associates with the ULK-Atg13-FIP200 complex, most likely through direct interaction with Atg13. In Atg13 siRNA-treated cells, Atg101 is present solely as a monomer. Interaction between Atg101 and the ULK-Atg13-FIP200 complex is stable, and is not regulated by nutrient conditions. GFP-Atg101 localizes to the isolation membrane/phagophore. GFP-LC3 dot formation is suppressed and endogenous LC3-I accumulates in Atg101 siRNA-treated cells, suggesting that Atg101 is a critical factor for autophagy. Furthermore, Atg101 is important for the stability and basal phosphorylation of Atg13 and ULK1. These data suggest that Atg101 is a novel Atg protein that functions together with ULK, Atg13 and FIP200.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autophagy is an intracellular degradation system, by which cytoplasmic contents are degraded in lysosomes. Autophagy is dynamically induced by nutrient depletion to provide necessary amino acids within cells, thus helping them adapt to starvation. Although it has been suggested that mTOR is a major negative regulator of autophagy, how it controls autophagy has not yet been determined. Here, we report a novel mammalian autophagy factor, Atg13, which forms a stable approximately 3-MDa protein complex with ULK1 and FIP200. Atg13 localizes on the autophagic isolation membrane and is essential for autophagosome formation. In contrast to yeast counterparts, formation of the ULK1-Atg13-FIP200 complex is not altered by nutrient conditions. Importantly, mTORC1 is incorporated into the ULK1-Atg13-FIP200 complex through ULK1 in a nutrient-dependent manner and mTOR phosphorylates ULK1 and Atg13. ULK1 is dephosphorylated by rapamycin treatment or starvation. These data suggest that mTORC1 suppresses autophagy through direct regulation of the approximately 3-MDa ULK1-Atg13-FIP200 complex.
Molecular biology of the cell 03/2009; 20(7):1981-91. · 5.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The yeast serine threonine kinase Atg1 appears to be a key regulator of autophagy and its kinase activity is crucial for autophagy induction. Recent reports have indicated that a mammalian Atg1 homolog, UNC-51-like kinase (ULK) 1, is required for autophagy. We found that ULK1 localizes to the autophagic isolation membrane and its kinase activity is important for autophagy induction. Furthermore, we identified a focal adhesion kinase (FAK) family interacting protein of 200 kD (FIP200) as a ULK-interacting protein. FIP200 also localizes to the isolation membrane together with ULK. Using FIP200-deficient cells, we found that FIP200 is essential for autophagosome formation and the proper function of ULK. Here, we discuss the role of the ULK-FIP200 complex in autophagy and the possibility that FIP200 functions as a mammalian counterpart of Atg17.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved bulk-protein degradation pathway in which isolation membranes engulf the cytoplasmic constituents, and the resulting autophagosomes transport them to lysosomes. Two ubiquitin-like conjugation systems, termed Atg12 and Atg8 systems, are essential for autophagosomal formation. In addition to the pathophysiological roles of autophagy in mammals, recent mouse genetic studies have shown that the Atg8 system is predominantly under the control of the Atg12 system. To clarify the roles of the Atg8 system in mammalian autophagosome formation, we generated mice deficient in Atg3 gene encoding specific E2 enzyme for Atg8. Atg3-deficient mice were born but died within 1 d after birth. Conjugate formation of mammalian Atg8 homologues was completely defective in the mutant mice. Intriguingly, Atg12-Atg5 conjugation was markedly decreased in Atg3-deficient mice, and its dissociation from isolation membranes was significantly delayed. Furthermore, loss of Atg3 was associated with defective process of autophagosome formation, including the elongation and complete closure of the isolation membranes, resulting in malformation of the autophagosomes. The results indicate the essential role of the Atg8 system in the proper development of autophagic isolation membranes in mice.
Molecular biology of the cell 10/2008; 19(11):4762-75. · 5.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a membrane-mediated intracellular degradation system. The serine/threonine kinase Atg1 plays an essential role in autophagosome formation. However, the role of the mammalian Atg1 homologues UNC-51-like kinase (ULK) 1 and 2 are not yet well understood. We found that murine ULK1 and 2 localized to autophagic isolation membrane under starvation conditions. Kinase-dead alleles of ULK1 and 2 exerted a dominant-negative effect on autophagosome formation, suggesting that ULK kinase activity is important for autophagy. We next screened for ULK binding proteins and identified the focal adhesion kinase family interacting protein of 200 kD (FIP200), which regulates diverse cellular functions such as cell size, proliferation, and migration. We found that FIP200 was redistributed from the cytoplasm to the isolation membrane under starvation conditions. In FIP200-deficient cells, autophagy induction by various treatments was abolished, and both stability and phosphorylation of ULK1 were impaired. These results suggest that FIP200 is a novel mammalian autophagy factor that functions together with ULKs.
The Journal of Cell Biology 06/2008; 181(3):497-510. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inactivation of constitutive autophagy results in formation of cytoplasmic protein inclusions and leads to liver injury and neurodegeneration, but the details of abnormalities related to impaired autophagy are largely unknown. Here we used mouse genetic analyses to define the roles of autophagy in the aforementioned events. We report that the ubiquitin- and LC3-binding protein "p62" regulates the formation of protein aggregates and is removed by autophagy. Thus, genetic ablation of p62 suppressed the appearance of ubiquitin-positive protein aggregates in hepatocytes and neurons, indicating that p62 plays an important role in inclusion body formation. Moreover, loss of p62 markedly attenuated liver injury caused by autophagy deficiency, whereas it had little effect on neuronal degeneration. Our findings highlight the unexpected role of homeostatic level of p62, which is regulated by autophagy, in controlling intracellular inclusion body formation, and indicate that the pathologic process associated with autophagic deficiency is cell-type specific.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autophagy is an intracellular bulk degradation process through which a portion of the cytoplasm is delivered to lysosomes to be degraded. Although the primary role of autophagy in many organisms is in adaptation to starvation, autophagy is also thought to be important for normal turnover of cytoplasmic contents, particularly in quiescent cells such as neurons. Autophagy may have a protective role against the development of a number of neurodegenerative diseases. Here we report that loss of autophagy causes neurodegeneration even in the absence of any disease-associated mutant proteins. Mice deficient for Atg5 (autophagy-related 5) specifically in neural cells develop progressive deficits in motor function that are accompanied by the accumulation of cytoplasmic inclusion bodies in neurons. In Atg5-/- cells, diffuse, abnormal intracellular proteins accumulate, and then form aggregates and inclusions. These results suggest that the continuous clearance of diffuse cytosolic proteins through basal autophagy is important for preventing the accumulation of abnormal proteins, which can disrupt neural function and ultimately lead to neurodegeneration.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autophagy is an intracellular bulk degradation process, through which a portion of cytoplasm is delivered to lysosomes to be degraded. In many organisms, the primary role of autophagy is adaptation to starvation. However, we have found that autophagy is also important for intracellular protein quality control. Atg5(-/-) mice die shortly after birth due, at least in part, to nutrient deficiency. These mice also exhibit an intracellular accumulation of protein aggregates in neurons and hepatocytes. We now report the generation of neural cell-specific Atg5-deficient mice. Atg5( flox/flox);Nestin-Cre mice show progressive deficits in motor function and degeneration of some neural cells. In autophagy-deficient cells, diffuse accumulation of abnormal proteins occurs, followed by the generation of aggregates and inclusions. This study emphasizes the point that basal autophagy is important even in individuals who do not express neurodegenerative disease-associated mutant proteins. Furthermore, the primary targets of autophagy are diffuse cytosolic proteins, not protein aggregates themselves.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: KPC2 (Kip1 ubiquitylation-promoting complex 2) together with KPC1 forms the ubiquitin ligase KPC, which regulates degradation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27 at the G(1) phase of the cell cycle. KPC2 contains a ubiquitin-like (UBL) domain, two ubiquitin-associated (UBA) domains, and a heat shock chaperonin-binding (STI1) domain. We now show that KPC2 interacts with KPC1 through its UBL domain, with the 26S proteasome through its UBL and NH(2)-terminal UBA domains, and with polyubiquitylated proteins through its UBA domains. The association of KPC2 with KPC1 was found to stabilize KPC1 in a manner dependent on the STI1 domain of KPC2. KPC2 mutants that lacked either the NH(2)-terminal or the COOH-terminal UBA domain supported the polyubiquitylation of p27 in vitro, whereas a KPC2 derivative lacking the STI1 domain was greatly impaired in this regard. Depletion of KPC2 by RNA interference resulted in inhibition of p27 degradation at the G(1) phase, and introduction of KPC2 derivatives into the KPC2-depleted cells revealed that the NH(2)-terminal UBA domain of KPC2 is essential for p27 degradation. These observations suggest that KPC2 cooperatively regulates p27 degradation with KPC1 and that the STI1 domain as well as the UBL and UBA domains of KPC2 are indispensable for its function.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 12/2005; 25(21):9292-303. · 5.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p27 is degraded at the G(0)-G(1) transition of the cell cycle by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in a Skp2-independent manner. We recently identified a novel ubiquitin ligase, KPC (Kip1 ubiquitylation-promoting complex), consisting of KPC1 and KPC2, which regulates the ubiquitin-dependent degradation of p27 at G(1) phase. We have now investigated the structural requirements for the interactions of KPC1 with KPC2 and p27. The NH(2)-terminal region of KPC1 was found to be responsible for binding to KPC2 and to p27. KPC1 mutants that lack this region failed to mediate polyubiquitylation of p27 in vitro and expression of one such mutant delayed p27 degradation in vivo. We also generated a series of deletion mutants of p27 and found that KPC failed to polyubiquitylate a p27 mutant that lacks the CDK inhibitory domain. Interestingly, the cyclin E.CDK2 complex prevented both the interaction of KPC with p27 as well as KPC-mediated polyubiquitylation of p27. A complex of cyclin E with a kinase-negative mutant of CDK2 also exhibited these inhibitory effects, suggesting that cyclin E.CDK2 competes with KPC1 for access to the CDK inhibitory domain of p27. These results suggest that free p27 is recognized by the NH(2)-terminal region of KPC1, which also associates with KPC2, and that p27 is then polyubiquitylated by the COOH-terminal RING-finger domain of KPC1.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2005; 280(18):17694-700. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27(Kip1) is degraded at the G0-G1 transition of the cell cycle by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Although the nuclear ubiquitin ligase (E3) SCF(Skp2) is implicated in p27(Kip1) degradation, proteolysis of p27(Kip1) at the G0-G1 transition proceeds normally in Skp2(-/-) cells. Moreover, p27(Kip1) is exported from the nucleus to the cytoplasm at G0-G1 (refs 9-11). These data suggest the existence of a Skp2-independent pathway for the degradation of p27(Kip1) at G1 phase. We now describe a previously unidentified E3 complex: KPC (Kip1 ubiquitination-promoting complex), consisting of KPC1 and KPC2. KPC1 contains a RING-finger domain, and KPC2 contains a ubiquitin-like domain and two ubiquitin-associated domains. KPC interacts with and ubiquitinates p27(Kip1) and is localized to the cytoplasm. Overexpression of KPC promoted the degradation of p27(Kip1), whereas a dominant-negative mutant of KPC1 delayed p27(Kip1) degradation. The nuclear export of p27(Kip1) by CRM1 seems to be necessary for KPC-mediated proteolysis. Depletion of KPC1 by RNA interference also inhibited p27(Kip1) degradation. KPC thus probably controls degradation of p27(Kip1) in G1 phase after export of the latter from the nucleus.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The abundance of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p57Kip2, an important regulator of cell cycle progression, is thought to be controlled by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. The Skp1/Cul1/F-box (SCF)-type E3 ubiquitin ligase complex SCFSkp2 has now been shown to be responsible for regulating the cellular level of p57Kip2 by targeting it for ubiquitylation and proteolysis. The elimination of p57Kip2 was impaired in Skp2-/- cells, resulting in abnormal accumulation of the protein. Coimmunoprecipitation analysis also revealed that Skp2 interacts with p57Kip2 in vivo. Overexpression of WT Skp2 promoted degradation of p57Kip2, whereas expression of a dominant negative mutant of Skp2 prolonged the half-life of p57Kip2. Mutation of the threonine residue (Thr-310) of human p57Kip2 that is conserved between the COOH-terminal QT domains of p57Kip2 and p27Kip1 prevented the effect of Skp2 on the stability of p57Kip2, suggesting that phosphorylation at this site is required for SCFSkp2-mediated ubiquitylation. Finally, the purified recombinant SCFSkp2 complex mediated p57Kip2 ubiquitylation in vitro in a manner dependent on the presence of the cyclin E-CDK2 complex. These observations thus demonstrate that the SCFSkp2 complex plays an important role in cell-cycle progression by determining the abundance of p57Kip2 and that of the related CDK inhibitor p27Kip1.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2003; 100(18):10231-6. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phosphorylation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27(Kip1) has been thought to regulate its stability. Ser(10) is the major phosphorylation site of p27(Kip1), and phosphorylation of this residue affects protein stability. Phosphorylation of p27(Kip1) on Ser(10) has now been shown to be required for the binding of CRM1, a carrier protein for nuclear export. The p27(Kip1) protein was translocated from the nucleus to the cytoplasm at the G(0)-G(1) transition of the cell cycle, and this export was inhibited by leptomycin B, a specific inhibitor of CRM1-dependent nuclear export. The nuclear export and subsequent degradation of p27(Kip1) at the G(0)-G(1) transition were observed in cells lacking Skp2, the F-box protein component of an SCF ubiquitin ligase complex, indicating that these early events are independent of Skp2-mediated proteolysis. Substitution of Ser(10) with Ala (S10A) markedly reduced the extent of p27(Kip1) export, whereas substitution of Ser(10) with Asp (S10D) or Glu (S10E) promoted export. Co-immunoprecipitation analysis showed that CRM1 preferentially interacted with S10D and S10E but not with S10A, suggesting that the phosphorylation of p27(Kip1) on Ser(10) is required for its binding to CRM1 and for its subsequent nuclear export.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2002; 277(17):14355-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor