[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The promyelocytic leukaemia gene PML was originally identified at the t(15;17) translocation of acute promyelocytic leukaemia, which generates the oncogene PML-retinoic acid receptor α. PML epitomises a subnuclear structure called PML nuclear body. Current models propose that PML through its scaffold properties is able to control cell growth and survival at many different levels. Here we discuss the current literature and propose new avenues for investigation.
Cell Death & Disease 01/2012; 3:e247. · 6.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase is commonly overexpressed in human cancers; however, the cellular mechanisms regulating EGFR expression remain unclear. p53, p63 and p73 are transcription factors regulating many cellular targets involved in controlling the cell cycle and apoptosis. p53 activates EGFR expression, whereas TAp63 represses EGFR transcription. The involvement of p73 in the regulation of EGFR has not been reported. Here, a strong correlation between EGFR overexpression and increased levels of the oncogenic DeltaNp73 isoform in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines was observed. Ectopic expression of TAp73, particularly TAp73beta, resulted in suppression of the EGFR promoter, significant downregulation of EGFR protein and efficient induction of cell death in all six EGFR-overexpressing HNSCC cell lines. EGFR overexpression from a heterologous LTR promoter protected lung cancer cells from TAp73beta-induced EGFR suppression and apoptosis. Expression of TAp73beta efficiently induced promyelocytic leukaemia (PML) protein expression and PML knockdown by shRNA attenuated the downregulation of EGFR and induction of apoptosis by p73 in HNSCC cells. Furthermore, PML was found to be important for E1A-induced suppression of EGFR and subsequent killing of HNSCC cells. Our data therefore suggest a novel pathway involving PML and p73 in the regulation of EGFR expression.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The promyelocytic leukaemia protein PML is a growth and tumour suppressor inactivated in acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL). Recent evidence indicates that PML plays a tumour-suppressive role in cancer of multiple histological origins. However, it is only very recently that PML growth-suppressive functions have been implicated in regulating physiological processes and tissue homoeostasis. In particular, it has been shown that PML is one of the key cell-cycle regulators controlling stem cell function in multiple tissues, from the blood to the brain. As a consequence, PML loss has an impact on tissue development and maintenance of stem cell pools. In addition, new data suggest that PML regulates self-renewal in cancer stem cells. Finally, the oncogenic fusion protein PML/RARalpha, contrary to the conventional view, appears to hijack growth-suppressive pathways to promote transformation of haematopoietic stem cells and to maintain the APL stem cell niche. Overall, these findings not only represent a change in paradigm in the field of PML/APL research, but also contribute to the understanding of fundamental mechanisms underlying stem cell function in vivo. The main objective of this review is to critically discuss the very recent literature on the role of PML in stem cells and tumour-initiating cells. Ultimately, it aims to propose new avenues of investigation.
Cell death and differentiation 07/2009; 16(8):1083-92. · 8.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The PML gene is involved in the t(15;17) translocation of acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL), which generates the oncogenic fusion protein PML (promyelocytic leukaemia protein)-retinoic acid receptor alpha. The PML protein localises to a subnuclear structure called the PML nuclear domain (PML-ND), of which PML is the essential structural component. In APL, PML-NDs are disrupted, thus implicating these structures in the pathogenesis of this leukaemia. Unexpectedly, recent studies indicate that PML and the PML-ND play a tumour suppressive role in several different types of human neoplasms in addition to APL. Because of PML's extreme versatility and involvement in multiple cellular pathways, understanding the mechanisms underlying its function, and therefore role in tumour suppression, has been a challenging task. In this review, we attempt to critically appraise the more recent advances in this field and propose new avenues of investigation.
Cell Research 07/2008; 18(6):622-40. · 10.53 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nedd4-binding partner-1 (N4BP1) has been identified as a protein interactor and a substrate of the homologous to E6AP C terminus (HECT) domain-containing E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase (E3), Nedd4. Here, we describe a previously unrecognized functional interaction between N4BP1 and Itch, a Nedd4 structurally related E3, which contains four WW domains, conferring substrate-binding activity. We show that N4BP1 association with the second WW domain (WW2) of Itch interferes with E3 binding to its substrates. In particular, we found that N4BP1 and p73 alpha, a target of Itch-mediated ubiquitin/proteasome proteolysis, share the same binding site. By competing with p73 alpha for binding to the WW2 domain, N4BP1 reduces the ability of Itch to recruit and ubiquitylate p73 alpha and inhibits Itch autoubiquitylation activity both in in vitro and in vivo ubiquitylation assays. Similarly, both c-Jun and p63 polyubiquitylation by Itch are inhibited by N4BP1. As a consequence, genetic and RNAi knockdown of N4BP1 diminish the steady-state protein levels and significantly impair the transcriptional activity of Itch substrates. Notably, stress-induced induction of c-Jun was impaired in N4BP1(-/-) cells. These results demonstrate that N4BP1 functions as a negative regulator of Itch. In addition, because inhibition of Itch by N4BP1 results in the stabilization of crucial cell death regulators such as p73 alpha and c-Jun, it is conceivable that N4BP1 may have a role in regulating tumor progression and the response of cancer cells to chemotherapy.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2007; 104(27):11280-5. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Daxx has been implicated in the modulation of apoptosis in response to various stimuli. In the nucleus, Daxx interacts and colocalizes with the promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) into the PML-nuclear body. Moreover, overexpressed Daxx positively modulates FAS-ligand and TGFbeta-induced apoptosis. However, recent reports indicate that Daxx can also act as an antiapoptotic factor. As most studies on the role of Daxx in cell death have been conducted using tumour cell lines, we analysed the function of Daxx in physiological settings. We found that Daxx is induced upon exposure to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation and hydrogen peroxide treatment. We employed RNA interference to downregulate Daxx in primary fibroblasts. Remarkably, Daxx-depleted cells are resistant to cell death induced by both UV irradiation and oxidative stress. Furthermore, the downregulation of Daxx results in impaired MKK/c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation. This is the first evidence that Daxx promotes cell death and JNK activation in physiological conditions.
Cell Death and Differentiation 08/2005; 12(7):724-33. · 8.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The function of BAD, a proapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, is regulated primarily by rapid changes in phosphorylation that modulate its protein-protein interactions and subcellular localization. We show here that, during interleukin-3 (IL-3) deprivation-induced apoptosis of 32Dcl3 murine myeloid precursor cells, BAD is cleaved by a caspase(s) at its N terminus to generate a 15-kDa truncated protein. The 15-kDa truncated BAD is a more potent inducer of apoptosis than the wild-type protein, whereas a mutant BAD resistant to caspase 3 cleavage is a weak apoptosis inducer. Truncated BAD is detectable only in the mitochondrial fraction, interacts with BCL-X(L) at least as effectively as the wild-type protein, and is more potent than wild-type BAD in inducing cytochrome c release. Human BAD, which is 43 amino acids shorter than its mouse counterpart, is also cleaved by a caspase(s) upon exposure of Jurkat T cells to anti-FAS antibody, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), or TRAIL. Moreover, a truncated form of human BAD lacking the N-terminal 28 amino acids is more potent than wild-type BAD in inducing apoptosis. The generation of truncated BAD was blocked by Bcl-2 in IL-3-deprived 32Dcl3 cells but not in Jurkat T cells exposed to anti-FAS antibody, TNF-alpha, or TRAIL. Together, these findings point to a novel and important role for BAD in maintaining the apoptotic phenotype in response to various apoptosis inducers.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 06/2001; 21(9):3025-36. · 5.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Growth factor-dependent hematopoietic cell lines expressing the BCR/ABL oncoprotein of the Ph chromosome show growth factor-independent proliferation and resistance to apoptosis. Apoptosis resistance of BCR/ABL-expressing cells may depend on enhanced expression of anti-apoptotic proteins as well as reduced expression and/or inactivation of pro-apoptotic proteins. Compared to myeloid precursor 32Dcl3 cells expressing wild type BCR/ABL, cells expressing a BCR/ABL mutant lacking amino acids 176-426 in the BCR domain (p185 delta BCR) are susceptible to apoptosis induced by interleukin-3 (IL-3) deprivation. These cells exhibited the hypophosphorylated apoptotic BAD and markedly reduced levels of Bcl-2. Upon ectopic expression of Bcl-2, these cells showed no changes in BAD phosphorylation, but they became apoptosis-resistant and proliferated in the absence of IL-3, albeit more slowly than cells expressing wild type BCR/ABL. Moreover, the p185 delta BCR/Bcl-2 double transfectants were leukemogenic when injected into immunodeficient mice, but Bcl-2 expression did not restore the leukemia-inducing effects of p185 delta BCR to the levels of wild type BCR/ABL. Leukemic cells recovered from the spleen of mice injected with p185 delta BCR/Bcl-2 cells did not show rearrangements in the Bcl-2 genomic locus, but they exhibited enhanced proliferation in culture and induced a rapidly fatal disease process when inoculated in secondary recipient mice. Together, these data support the importance of anti-apoptotic pathways for BCR/ABL-dependent leukemogenesis and suggest that Bcl-2 expression promotes secondary changes leading to a more aggressive tumor phenotype. (Blood. 2000;96:3915-3921)
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The PML gene of acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) encodes a growth- and tumour-suppresor protein that is essential for several apoptotic signals. The mechanisms by which PML exerts its pro-apoptotic function are still unknown. Here we show that PML acts as a transcriptional co-activator with p53. PML physically interacts with p53 both in vitro and in vivo and co-localizes with p53 in the PML nuclear body (PML-NB). The co-activatory role of PML depends on its ability to localize in the PML-NB. p53-dependent, DNA-damage-induced apoptosis, transcriptional activation by p53, the DNA-binding ability of p53, and the induction of p53 target genes such as Bax and p21 upon gamma-irradiation are all impaired in PML-/- primary cells. These results define a new PML-dependent, p53-regulatory pathway for apoptosis and shed new light on the function of PML in tumour suppression.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BAD, the proapoptotic member of the "BH3-only" subfamily of BCL-2 proteins, is inactivated by phosphorylation at serines 112 and 136 and by sequestration in the cytoplasm where it interacts with members of the 14-3-3 family. In BCR/ABL-expressing cells, BAD is constitutively phosphorylated and mainly cytoplasmic, whereas in cells expressing BCR/ABL mutants unable to protect from apoptosis, BAD is nonphosphorylated. We show here that both the wild-type (WT) and the S112A/ S136A double mutant (DM) BAD are more potent inducers of apoptosis in parental than in BCR/ABL-expressing 32D myeloid precursor cells. Stable lines of parental cells expressing DM BAD could not be established and most clones from WT BAD retrovirus-infected parental cells lost BAD expression. On IL-3 withdrawal from parental 32D cells, BAD was rapidly dephosphorylated by the serine-threonine phosphatase 1 alpha, and localized in the mitochondria, whereas it remained phosphorylated and did not localize to the mitochondria in the cohort of BCR/ABL-expressing cells escaping apoptosis induced by WT BAD. Moreover, these cells showed high levels of BCL-2 and BCL-X(L) expression. The cohort of BCR/ABL-expressing cells resistant to apoptosis induced by DM BAD showed only high levels of BCL-2 and BCL-X(L). These findings suggest that BCR/ABL-expressing cells are more versatile than normal hematopoietic progenitors in counteracting the apoptotic potential of BAD, and raise the possibility that tumor cells activate multiple antiapoptotic pathways for survival in the face of death-inducing stimuli. (Blood. 2000;96:676-684)