[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Macroautophagy is an evolutionarily conserved cellular process involved in the clearance of proteins and organelles. Although the cytoplasmic machinery that orchestrates autophagy induction during starvation, hypoxia, or receptor stimulation has been widely studied, the key epigenetic events that initiate and maintain the autophagy process remain unknown. Here we show that the methyltransferase G9a coordinates the transcriptional activation of key regulators of autophagosome formation by remodeling the chromatin landscape. Pharmacological inhibition or RNAi-mediated suppression of G9a induces LC3B expression and lipidation that is dependent on RNA synthesis, protein translation and the methyltrasferase activity of G9a. Under normal conditions, G9a associates with the LC3B, WIPI1 and DOR gene promoters, epigenetically repressing them. However, G9a and G9a-repressive histone marks are removed during starvation and receptor-stimulated activation of naïve T cells, two physiological inducers of macroautophagy. Moreover, we show that the JNK pathway is involved in the regulation of autophagy gene expression during naïve T cell activation. Together these findings reveal that G9a directly represses genes known to participate in the autophagic process, and that inhibition of G9a-mediated epigenetic repression represents an important regulatory mechanism during autophagy.
Preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Molecular and Cellular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Arp2/3-activator Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein and Scar homologue (WASH) is suggested to regulate actin-dependent membrane scission during endosomal sorting, but its cellular roles have not been fully elucidated. To investigate WASH function, we generated tamoxifen-inducible WASH-knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts (WASHout MEFs). Of interest, although EEA1(+) endosomes were enlarged, collapsed, and devoid of filamentous-actin and Arp2/3 in WASHout MEFs, we did not observe elongated membrane tubules emanating from these disorganized endomembranes. However, collapsed WASHout endosomes harbored segregated subdomains, containing either retromer cargo recognition complex-associated proteins or EEA1. In addition, we observed global collapse of LAMP1(+) lysosomes, with some lysosomal membrane domains associated with endosomes. Both epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and transferrin receptor (TfnR) exhibited changes in steady-state cellular localization. EGFR was directed to the lysosomal compartment and exhibited reduced basal levels in WASHout MEFs. However, although TfnR was accumulated with collapsed endosomes, it recycled normally. Moreover, EGF stimulation led to efficient EGFR degradation within enlarged lysosomal structures. These results are consistent with the idea that discrete receptors differentially traffic via WASH-dependent and WASH-independent mechanisms and demonstrate that WASH-mediated F-actin is requisite for the integrity of both endosomal and lysosomal networks in mammalian cells.
Preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Molecular biology of the cell
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Ras GTPase-activating-like protein IQGAP1 is a multimodular scaffold that controls signaling and cytoskeletal regulation in fibroblasts and epithelial cells. However, the functional role of IQGAP1 in T cell development, activation, and cytoskeletal regulation has not been investigated. In this study, we show that IQGAP1 is dispensable for thymocyte development as well as microtubule organizing center polarization and cytolytic function in CD8(+) T cells. However, IQGAP1-deficient CD8(+) T cells as well as Jurkat T cells suppressed for IQGAP1 were hyperresponsive, displaying increased IL-2 and IFN-γ production, heightened LCK activation, and augmented global phosphorylation kinetics after TCR ligation. In addition, IQGAP1-deficient T cells exhibited increased TCR-mediated F-actin assembly and amplified F-actin velocities during spreading. Moreover, we found that discrete regions of IQGAP1 regulated cellular activation and F-actin accumulation. Taken together, our data suggest that IQGAP1 acts as a dual negative regulator in T cells, limiting both TCR-mediated activation kinetics and F-actin dynamics via distinct mechanisms.
Full-text · Article · May 2012 · The Journal of Immunology