Inhibitory effect of mTOR activator MHY1485 on autophagy: suppression of lysosomal fusion.
ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a major degradative process responsible for the disposal of cytoplasmic proteins and dysfunctional organelles via the lysosomal pathway. During the autophagic process, cells form double-membraned vesicles called autophagosomes that sequester disposable materials in the cytoplasm and finally fuse with lysosomes. In the present study, we investigated the inhibition of autophagy by a synthesized compound, MHY1485, in a culture system by using Ac2F rat hepatocytes. Autophagic flux was measured to evaluate the autophagic activity. Autophagosomes were visualized in Ac2F cells transfected with AdGFP-LC3 by live-cell confocal microscopy. In addition, activity of mTOR, a major regulatory protein of autophagy, was assessed by western blot and docking simulation using AutoDock 4.2. In the result, treatment with MHY1485 suppressed the basal autophagic flux, and this inhibitory effect was clearly confirmed in cells under starvation, a strong physiological inducer of autophagy. The levels of p62 and beclin-1 did not show significant change after treatment with MHY1485. Decreased co-localization of autophagosomes and lysosomes in confocal microscopic images revealed the inhibitory effect of MHY1485 on lysosomal fusion during starvation-induced autophagy. These effects of MHY1485 led to the accumulation of LC3II and enlargement of the autophagosomes in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, MHY1485 induced mTOR activation and correspondingly showed a higher docking score than PP242, a well-known ATP-competitive mTOR inhibitor, in docking simulation. In conclusion, MHY1485 has an inhibitory effect on the autophagic process by inhibition of fusion between autophagosomes and lysosomes leading to the accumulation of LC3II protein and enlarged autophagosomes. MHY1485 also induces mTOR activity, providing a possibility for another regulatory mechanism of autophagy by the MHY compound. The significance of this study is the finding of a novel inhibitor of autophagy with an mTOR activating effect.
Project description:(-)-Guaiol, a sesquiterpene alcohol with the guaiane skeleton, has been found in many Chinese medicinal plants and been reported to comprise various guaiane natural products that are well known for their antibacterial activities. Previously, we have shown its antitumor activity by inducing autophagy in NSCLC cells. However, its potential mechanism in inducing autophagy is still under our investigation. Here, data from our western blotting assays showed that, in NSCLC cells, (-)-Guaiol significantly blocked the mTORC2-AKT signaling by suppressing mTOR phosphorylation at serine 2481 (S2481) to induce autophagy, illustrated by the increasing ratio of LC3II/I. Besides, it impaired the mTORC1 signaling by inhibiting the activity of its downstream factors, such as 4E-BP1 and p70 S6K, all of which could obviously rescued by the mTOR activator MHY1485. Afterwards, results from biofunctional assays, including cell survival analysis, colony formation assays and flow cytometry assays, suggested that (-)-Guaiol triggered autophagic cell death by targeting both mTORC1 and mTORC2 signaling pathways. In summary, our studies showed that (-)-Guaiol inhibited the proliferation of NSCLC cells by specifically targeting mTOR signaling pathways, including both mTORC1 and mTORC2 signaling, providing a better therapeutic option for substituting rapamycin in treating NSCLC patients.
Project description:Autophagy is a cellular response to starvation which generates autophagosomes to carry cellular organelles and long-lived proteins to lysosomes for degradation. Degradation through autophagy can provide an innate defence against virus infection, or conversely autophagosomes can promote infection by facilitating assembly of replicase proteins. We demonstrate that the avian coronavirus, Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) activates autophagy. A screen of individual IBV non-structural proteins (nsps) showed that autophagy was activated by IBV nsp6. This property was shared with nsp6 of mammalian coronaviruses Mouse Hepatitis Virus, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Virus, and the equivalent nsp5-7 of the arterivirus Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus. These multiple-spanning transmembrane proteins located to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) where they generated Atg5 and LC3II-positive vesicles, and vesicle formation was dependent on Atg5 and class III PI3 kinase. The vesicles recruited double FYVE-domain containing protein (DFCP) indicating localised concentration of phosphatidylinositol 3 phosphate, and therefore shared many features with omegasomes formed from the ER in response to starvation. Omegasomes induced by viral nsp6 matured into autophagosomes that delivered LC3 to lysosomes and therefore recruited and recycled the proteins needed for autophagosome nucleation, expansion, cellular trafficking and delivery of cargo to lysosomes. The coronavirus nsp6 proteins activated omegasome and autophagosome formation independently of starvation, but activation did not involve direct inhibition of mTOR signalling, activation of sirtuin1 or induction of ER stress.
Project description:Introduction: Paeonol (2'-hydroxy-4'-methoxyacetophenone), isolated from moutan cortex, is an active component and has been shown to have anti-atherosclerotic and anti-proliferation effects on vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). However, the possible role of Paeonol in protecting against VSMC proliferation as related to autophagy has yet to be elucidated. Materials and Methods: The athero-protective effects of Paeonol were evaluated in apoE-/- mice. The effects of Paeonol on VSMC proliferation and autophagy were examined by staining ?-SMA and LC3II spots in the media layer of apoE-/- mice, respectively. CCK8 and BrdU assays were used to investigate the effects of Paeonol on cell proliferation in vitro. The autophagic levels in VSMCs were evaluated by detecting LC3II accumulation and p62 degradation by immunoblot analysis. To investigate if Paeonol could prevent VSMCs proliferation through autophagy induction, we tested the change in autophagy and cell proliferation by inhibition of autophagy. The levels of the AMPK/mTOR pathway in autophagy regulation were detected by immunoblot analysis. An AMPK inhibitor and si-AMPK transfection in VSMCs was used to confirm whether AMPK activity plays a key role in autophagy regulation of Paeonol. Results:In vivo experiments confirmed that Paeonol restricted atherosclerosis development and decreased the amount of VSMCs in the media layer of apoE-/- mice. Paeonol increased protein levels of LC3II and the presence of autophagosomes in the media layer of arteries, which implies that Paeonol may induce VSMCs autophagy in vivo. Paeonol showed potential in inhibiting ox-LDL-induced proliferation in vitro experiments. Paeonol dose-dependently enhanced the formation of acidic vesicular organelles and autophagosmomes, up-regulated the expression of LC3II and increased p62 degradation. The autophagy inhibitor CQ obviously attenuated Paeonol-induced autophagy and the anti-proliferation effect in VSMCs. In addition, Paeonol induced phosphorylation of AMPK and reduced phosphorylation of mTOR. An AMPK inhibitor reversed the Paeonol-induced p-mTOR/mTOR decrease. Paeonol induced LC3II conversion, increased p62 degradation and inhibited cell proliferation in VSMCs, the effects of which were abolished by si-AMPK. Conclusion: These results imply that Paeonol inhibits proliferation of VSMCs by up-regulating autophagy, and activating the AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway, providing new insights into the anti-atherosclerosis activity of Paeonol.
Project description:The biological function of non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma has been widely accepted in several types of cancer. We previously developed plasma-activated medium (PAM) for clinical use, and demonstrated that PAM exhibits a metastasis-inhibitory effect on ovarian cancer through reduced MMP-9 secretion. However, the anti-tumor effects of PAM on endometrial cancer remain unknown. In this study, we investigated the inhibitory effect of PAM on endometrial cancer cell viability in vitro. Our results demonstrated that AMEC and HEC50 cell viabilities were reduced by PAM at a certain PAM ratio, and PAM treatment effectively increased autophagic cell death in a concentration dependent manner. In addition, we evaluated the molecular mechanism of PAM activity and found that the mTOR pathway was inactivated by PAM. Moreover, our results demonstrated that the autophagy inhibitor MHY1485 partially inhibited the autophagic cell death induced by PAM treatment. These findings indicate that PAM decreases the viability of endometrial cancer cells along with alteration of the mTOR pathway, which is critical for cancer cell viability. Collectively, our data suggest that PAM inhibits cell viability while inducing autophagic cell death in endometrial cancer cells, representing a potential novel treatment for endometrial cancer.
Project description:Macroautophagy/autophagy is a proteolytic pathway that is involved in both bulk degradation of cytoplasmic proteins as well as in selective degradation of cytoplasmic organelles. Autophagic flux is often defined as a measure of autophagic degradation activity, and many techniques exist to assess autophagic flux. Although these techniques have generated invaluable information about the autophagic system, the quest continues for developing methods that not only enhance sensitivity and provide a means of quantification, but also accurately reflect the dynamic character of the pathway. Based on the theoretical framework of metabolic control analysis, where the autophagosome flux is the quantitative description of the rate a flow along a pathway, here we treat the autophagy system as a multi-step pathway. We describe a single-cell fluorescence live-cell imaging-based approach that allows the autophagosome flux to be accurately measured. This method characterizes autophagy in terms of its complete autophagosome and autolysosome pool size, the autophagosome flux, J, and the transition time, ?, for autophagosomes and autolysosomes at steady state. This approach provides a sensitive quantitative method to measure autophagosome flux, pool sizes and transition time in cells and tissues of clinical relevance. ABBREVIATIONS:ATG5/APG5, autophagy-related 5; GFP, green fluorescent protein; LAMP1, lysosomal-associated membrane protein 1; MAP1LC3/LC3, microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3; J, flux; MEF, mouse embryonic fibroblast; MTOR, mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; nA, number of autophagosomes; nAL, number of autolysosomes; nL, number of lysosomes; p-MTOR, phosphorylated mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; RFP, red fluorescent protein; siRNA, small interfering RNA; ?, transition time; TEM, transmission electron microscopy.
Project description:Many neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by the aberrant accumulation of aggregate-prone proteins. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with the buildup of ?-amyloid peptides and tau, which aggregate into extracellular plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, respectively. Multiple studies have linked dysfunctional intracellular degradation mechanisms with AD pathogenesis. One such pathway is the autophagy-lysosomal system, which involves the delivery of large protein aggregates/inclusions and organelles to lysosomes through the formation, trafficking, and degradation of double-membrane structures known as autophagosomes. Converging data suggest that promoting autophagic degradation, either by inducing autophagosome formation or enhancing lysosomal digestion, provides viable therapeutic strategies. In this review, we discuss compounds that can augment autophagic clearance and may ameliorate disease-related pathology in cell and mouse models of AD. Canonical autophagy induction is associated with multiple signaling cascades; on the one hand, the best characterized is mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Accordingly, multiple mTOR-dependent and mTOR-independent drugs that stimulate autophagy have been tested in preclinical models. On the other hand, there is a growing list of drugs that can enhance the later stages of autophagic flux by stabilizing microtubule-mediated trafficking, promoting lysosomal fusion, or bolstering lysosomal enzyme function. Although altering the different stages of autophagy provides many potential targets for AD therapeutic interventions, it is important to consider how autophagy drugs might also disturb the delicate balance between autophagosome formation and lysosomal degradation.
Project description:The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a key regulator of cell growth, autophagy, translation, and survival. Dysregulation of mTOR signaling is associated with cancer, diabetes, and autism. However, a role for mTOR signaling in neuronal death is not well delineated. Here we show that global ischemia triggers a transient increase in mTOR phosphorylation at S2448, whereas decreasing p-mTOR and functional activity in selectively vulnerable hippocampal CA1 neurons. The decrease in mTOR coincides with an increase in biochemical markers of autophagy, pS317-ULK-1, pS14-Beclin-1, and LC3-II, a decrease in the cargo adaptor p62, and an increase in autophagic flux, a functional readout of autophagy. This is significant in that autophagy, a catabolic process downstream of mTORC1, promotes the formation of autophagosomes that capture and target cytoplasmic components to lysosomes. Inhibitors of the lysosomal (but not proteasomal) pathway rescued the ischemia-induced decrease in mTOR, consistent with degradation of mTOR via the autophagy/lysosomal pathway. Administration of the mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin or acute knockdown of mTOR promotes autophagy and attenuates ischemia-induced neuronal death, indicating an inverse causal relation between mTOR, autophagy, and neuronal death. Our findings identify a novel and previously unappreciated mechanism by which mTOR self-regulates its own levels in hippocampal neurons in a clinically relevant model of ischemic stroke.
Project description:Autophagy allows cells to adapt to changes in their environment by coordinating the degradation and recycling of cellular components and organelles to maintain homeostasis. Lysosomes are organelles critical for terminating autophagy via their fusion with mature autophagosomes to generate autolysosomes that degrade autophagic materials; therefore, maintenance of the lysosomal population is essential for autophagy-dependent cellular clearance. Here, we have demonstrated that the two most common autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia gene products, the SPG15 protein spastizin and the SPG11 protein spatacsin, are pivotal for autophagic lysosome reformation (ALR), a pathway that generates new lysosomes. Lysosomal targeting of spastizin required an intact FYVE domain, which binds phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate. Loss of spastizin or spatacsin resulted in depletion of free lysosomes, which are competent to fuse with autophagosomes, and an accumulation of autolysosomes, reflecting a failure in ALR. Moreover, spastizin and spatacsin were essential components for the initiation of lysosomal tubulation. Together, these results link dysfunction of the autophagy/lysosomal biogenesis machinery to neurodegeneration.
Project description:Autophagy is the primary process for recycling cellular constituents through lysosomal degradation. In addition to nonselective autophagic engulfment of cytoplasm, autophagosomes can recognize specific cargo by interacting with ubiquitin-binding autophagy receptors such as SQSTM1/p62 (sequestosome 1). This selective form of autophagy is important for degrading aggregation-prone proteins prominent in many neurodegenerative diseases. We carried out a high content image-based siRNA screen (4 to 8 siRNA per gene) for modulators of autophagic flux by monitoring fluorescence of GFP-SQSTM1 as well as colocalization of GFP-SQSTM1 with LAMP2 (lysosomal-associated membrane protein 2)-positive lysosomal vesicles. GFP-SQSTM1 and LAMP2 phenotypes of primary screen hits were confirmed in 2 cell types and profiled with image-based viability and MTOR signaling assays. Common seed analysis guided siRNA selection for these assays to reduce bias toward off-target effects. Confirmed hits were further validated in a live-cell assay to monitor fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes. Knockdown of 10 targets resulted in phenotypic profiles across multiple assays that were consistent with upregulation of autophagic flux. These hits include modulators of transcription, lysine acetylation, and ubiquitination. Two targets, KAT8 (K[lysine] acetyltransferase 8) and CSNK1A1 (casein kinase 1, ? 1), have been implicated in autophagic regulatory feedback loops. We confirmed that CSNK1A1 knockout (KO) cell lines have accelerated turnover of long-lived proteins labeled with (14)C-leucine in a pulse-chase assay as additional validation of our screening assays. Data from this comprehensive autophagy screen point toward novel regulatory pathways that might yield new therapeutic targets for neurodegeneration.
Project description:Autophagy plays important roles in modulating viral replication and antiviral immune response. Coronavirus infection is associated with the autophagic process, however, little is known about the mechanisms of autophagy induction and its contribution to coronavirus regulation of host innate responses. Here, we show that the membrane-associated papain-like protease PLP2 (PLP2-TM) of coronaviruses acts as a novel autophagy-inducing protein. Intriguingly, PLP2-TM induces incomplete autophagy process by increasing the accumulation of autophagosomes but blocking the fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes. Furthermore, PLP2-TM interacts with the key autophagy regulators, LC3 and Beclin1, and promotes Beclin1 interaction with STING, the key regulator for antiviral IFN signaling. Finally, knockdown of Beclin1 partially reverses PLP2-TM's inhibitory effect on innate immunity which resulting in decreased coronavirus replication. These results suggested that coronavirus papain-like protease induces incomplete autophagy by interacting with Beclin1, which in turn modulates coronavirus replication and antiviral innate immunity.