[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cells respond to stress by activating cytoplasmic mechanisms as well as transcriptional programs that can lead to adaptation or death. Autophagy represents an important cytoprotective response that is regulated by both transcriptional and transcription-independent pathways. NFkappaB is perhaps the transcription factor most frequently activated by stress and has been ascribed with either pro- or anti-autophagic functions, depending on the cellular context. Our results demonstrate that activation of the IKK (IkappaB kinase) complex, which is critical for the stress-elicited activation of NFkappaB, is sufficient to promote autophagy independent of NFkappaB, and that IKK is required for the optimal induction of autophagy by both physiological and pharmacological autophagic triggers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In response to stress, cells start transcriptional and transcription-independent programs that can lead to adaptation or death. Here, we show that multiple inducers of autophagy, including nutrient depletion, trigger the activation of the IKK (IkappaB kinase) complex that is best known for its essential role in the activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB by stress. Constitutively active IKK subunits stimulated autophagy and transduced multiple signals that operate in starvation-induced autophagy, including the phosphorylation of AMPK and JNK1. Genetic inhibition of the nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB or ablation of the p65/RelA NF-kappaB subunit failed to suppress IKK-induced autophagy, indicating that IKK can promote the autophagic pathway in an NF-kappaB-independent manner. In murine and human cells, knockout and/or knockdown of IKK subunits (but not that of p65) prevented the induction of autophagy in response to multiple stimuli. Moreover, the knockout of IKK-beta suppressed the activation of autophagy by food deprivation or rapamycin injections in vivo, in mice. Altogether, these results indicate that IKK has a cardinal role in the stimulation of autophagy by physiological and pharmacological stimuli.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The therapeutic efficacy of anticancer chemotherapies may depend on dendritic cells (DCs), which present antigens from dying cancer cells to prime tumor-specific interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-producing T lymphocytes. Here we show that dying tumor cells release ATP, which then acts on P2X(7) purinergic receptors from DCs and triggers the NOD-like receptor family, pyrin domain containing-3 protein (NLRP3)-dependent caspase-1 activation complex ('inflammasome'), allowing for the secretion of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta). The priming of IFN-gamma-producing CD8+ T cells by dying tumor cells fails in the absence of a functional IL-1 receptor 1 and in Nlpr3-deficient (Nlrp3(-/-)) or caspase-1-deficient (Casp-1(-/-)) mice unless exogenous IL-1beta is provided. Accordingly, anticancer chemotherapy turned out to be inefficient against tumors established in purinergic receptor P2rx7(-/-) or Nlrp3(-/-) or Casp1(-/-) hosts. Anthracycline-treated individuals with breast cancer carrying a loss-of-function allele of P2RX7 developed metastatic disease more rapidly than individuals bearing the normal allele. These results indicate that the NLRP3 inflammasome links the innate and adaptive immune responses against dying tumor cells.