Macroautophagy is deregulated in murine and human lupus T lymphocytes.
ABSTRACT: Macroautophagy was recently shown to regulate both lymphocyte biology and innate immunity. In this study we sought to determine whether a deregulation of autophagy was linked to the development of autoimmunity. Genome-wide association studies have pointed out nucleotide polymorphisms that can be associated with systemic lupus erythematosus, but the potential role of autophagy in the initiation and/or development of this syndrome is still unknown. Here, we provide first clues of macroautophagy deregulation in lupus. By the use of LC3 conversion assays and electron microscopy experiments, we observed that T cells from two distinct lupus-prone mouse models, i.e., MRL (lpr/lpr) and (NZB/NZW)F1, exhibit high loads of autophagic compartments compared with nonpathologic control CBA/J and BALB/c mice. Unlike normal mice, autophagy increases with age in murine lupus. In vivo lipopolysaccharide stimulation in CBA/J control mice efficiently activates T lymphocytes but fails to upregulate formation of autophagic compartments in these cells. This argues against a deregulation of autophagy in lupus T cells solely resulting from an acute inflammation injury. Autophagic vacuoles quantified by electron microscopy are also found to be significantly more frequent in T cells from lupus patients compared with healthy controls and patients with non-lupus autoimmune diseases. This elevated number of autophagic structures is not distributed homogeneously and appears to be more pronounced in certain T cells. These results suggest that autophagy could regulate the survival of autoreactive T cell during lupus, and could thus lead to design new therapeutic options for lupus.
Project description:The P140 peptide, a 21-mer linear peptide (sequence 131-151) generated from the spliceosomal SNRNP70/U1-70K protein, contains a phosphoserine residue at position 140. It significantly ameliorates clinical manifestations in autoimmune patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and enhances survival in MRL/lpr lupus-prone mice. Previous studies showed that after P140 treatment, there is an accumulation of autophagy markers sequestosome 1/p62 and MAP1LC3-II in MRL/lpr B cells, consistent with a downregulation of autophagic flux. We now identify chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) as a target of P140 and demonstrate that its inhibitory effect on CMA is likely tied to its ability to alter the composition of HSPA8/HSC70 heterocomplexes. As in the case of HSPA8, expression of the limiting CMA component LAMP2A, which is increased in MRL/lpr B cells, is downregulated after P140 treatment. We also show that P140, but not the unphosphorylated peptide, uses the clathrin-dependent endo-lysosomal pathway to enter into MRL/lpr B lymphocytes and accumulates in the lysosomal lumen where it may directly hamper lysosomal HSPA8 chaperoning functions, and also destabilize LAMP2A in lysosomes as a result of its effect on HSP90AA1. This dual effect may interfere with the endogenous autoantigen processing and loading to major histocompatibility complex class II molecules and as a consequence, lead to lower activation of autoreactive T cells. These results shed light on mechanisms by which P140 can modulate lupus disease and exert its tolerogenic activity in patients. The unique selective inhibitory effect of the P140 peptide on CMA may be harnessed in other pathological conditions in which reduction of CMA activity would be desired.
Project description:The phosphopeptide P140/Lupuzor, which improves the course of lupus disease in mice and patients, targets chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), a selective form of autophagy that is abnormally upregulated in lupus-prone MRL/lpr mice. Administered intravenously to diseased mice, P140 reduces the expression level of two major protein players of CMA, LAMP2A and HSPA8, and inhibits CMA in vitro in a cell line that stably expresses a CMA reporter. Here, we aimed to demonstrate that P140 also affects CMA in vivo and to unravel the precise cellular mechanism of how P140 interacts with the CMA process. MRL/lpr mice and CBA/J mice used as control received P140 or control peptides intravenously. Lysosome-enriched fractions of spleen or liver were prepared to examine lysosomal function. Highly purified lysosomes were further isolated and left to incubate with the CMA substrate to study at which cellular step P140 interacts with the CMA process. The data show that P140 effectively regulates CMA in vivo in MRL/lpr mice at the step of substrate lysosomal uptake and restores some alterations of defective lysosomes. For the first time, it is demonstrated that by occluding the intralysosome uptake of CMA substrates, a therapeutic molecule can attenuate excessive CMA activity in a pathological pro-inflammatory context and protect against hyperinflammation. This recovery effect of P140 on hyperactivated CMA is not only important for lupus therapy but potentially also for treating other (auto)inflammatory diseases, including neurologic and metabolic disorders, where CMA modulation would be highly beneficial.
Project description:Macroautophagy/autophagy is a conserved catabolic process that promotes survival during stress. Autophagic dysfunction is associated with pathologies such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, autophagy must be strictly modulated at multiple levels (transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational) to prevent deregulation. Relatively little is known about the post-transcriptional control of autophagy. Here we report that the exoribonuclease Xrn1/XRN1 functions as a negative autophagy factor in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and in mammalian cells. In yeast, chromosomal deletion of XRN1 enhances autophagy and the frequency of autophagosome formation. Loss of Xrn1 results in the upregulation of autophagy-related (ATG) transcripts under nutrient-replete conditions, and this effect is dependent on the ribonuclease activity of Xrn1. Xrn1 expression is regulated by the yeast transcription factor Ash1 in rich conditions. In mammalian cells, siRNA depletion of XRN1 enhances autophagy and the replication of 2 picornaviruses. This work provides insight into the role of the RNA decay factor Xrn1/XRN1 as a post-transcriptional regulator of autophagy.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:More recent studies suggested that defects in autophagy contribute to the pathogenesis of SLE, especially in adaptive immunity. Occurrence and progression of lupus nephritis (LN) is the end result of complex interactions between regulation of immune responses and pathological process by renal resident cells, but there is still a lot of missing information for an establishment on the role of autophagy in pathogenesis of LN and as a therapy target. METHODS:Systemic and organ-specific aetiologies of autophagy were first evaluated by autophagy protein quantification in tissue homogenates in MRL lpr/lpr lupus prone and female C57BL mice. Analysis of gene expression was also adopted in human blood and urine sediments. Then, some key mediators of the disease, including complement inactivated serum, IgG from patients with LN (IgG-LN) and interferon (IFN)-? were chosen to induce podocyte autophagy. Podocyte injuries including apoptosis, podocin derangement, albumin filtration and wound healing were monitored simultaneously with autophagy steady-state and flux. RESULTS:Elevated LC3B in kidney homogenates and increased autophagosomes in podocyte from MRL lpr/lpr were observed. In humans, mRNA levels of some key autophagy genes were increased in blood and urinary sediments, and podocyte autophagosomes were observed in renal biopsies from patients with LN. Complement inactivated serum, IgG-LN and IFN-? could induce podocyte autophagy in a time-dependent and dosage-dependent manner, and by reactive oxygen species production and mTORC1 inhibition, respectively. Autophagy inhibition aggravated podocyte damage whereas its inducer relieved the injury. CONCLUSION:Podocyte autophagy is activated in lupus-prone mice and patients with lupus nephritis. Increased autophagy is cytoprotective against antibody and interferon-? induced podocyte injury.
Project description:Three different types of autophagy-macroautophagy, microautophagy, and chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA)-contribute to degradation of intracellular components in lysosomes in mammalian cells. Although some level of basal macroautophagy and CMA activities has been described in different cell types and tissues, these two pathways are maximally activated under stress conditions. Activation of these two pathways is often sequential, suggesting the existence of some level of cross-talk between both stress-related autophagic pathways. In this work, we analyze the consequences of blockage of macroautophagy on CMA activity. Using mouse embryonic fibroblasts deficient in Atg5, an autophagy-related protein required for autophagosome formation, we have found that blockage of macroautophagy leads to up-regulation of CMA, even under basal conditions. Interestingly, different mechanisms contribute to the observed changes in CMA-related proteins and the consequent activation of CMA during basal and stress conditions in these macroautophagy-deficient cells. This work supports a direct cross-talk between these two forms of autophagy, and it identifies changes in the lysosomal compartment that underlie the basis for the communication between both autophagic pathways.
Project description:Macroautophagy (autophagy) is a critical cellular stress response; however, the signal transduction pathways controlling autophagy induction in response to stress are poorly understood. Here we reveal a new mechanism of autophagy control whose deregulation disrupts mitochondrial integrity and energy homeostasis in vivo. Stress conditions including hypoxia and exercise induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) through upregulation of a protein complex involving REDD1, an mTORC1 inhibitor and the pro-oxidant protein TXNIP. Decreased ROS in cells and tissues lacking either REDD1 or TXNIP increases catalytic activity of the redox-sensitive ATG4B cysteine endopeptidase, leading to enhanced LC3B delipidation and failed autophagy. Conversely, REDD1/TXNIP complex expression is sufficient to induce ROS, suppress ATG4B activity and activate autophagy. In Redd1(-/-) mice, deregulated ATG4B activity and disabled autophagic flux cause accumulation of defective mitochondria, leading to impaired oxidative phosphorylation, muscle ATP depletion and poor exercise capacity. Thus, ROS regulation through REDD1/TXNIP is physiological rheostat controlling stress-induced autophagy.
Project description:The increased death of macrophages has been considered as a pathogenic factor for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and dysfunction of autophagy may contribute to improper cell death. However, the effect of autophagy on macrophage during the pathogenesis of SLE is still unclear. Here we found that the death rate and autophagy level of macrophages significantly increased in MRL/lpr lupus-prone mice. Activation of toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) triggered macrophage death in an autophagy-dependent but caspase-independent way in vitro. Moreover, P62/SQSTM1 is thought to have an essential role in selective autophagy. We also demonstrated that P62/SQSTM1 was required for TLR7-induced autophagy, and knockdown of P62 suppressed R848-induced cell death and LC3II protein accumulation. As an important mediator for cell-cell communication, Notch signaling is responsible for cell-fate decisions. Our results showed that activation of TLR7 also upregulated the expression of Notch1, especially its downstream target gene Hairy and enhancer of split 1 (Hes-1) in macrophages. Of note, we found that Hes-1, as a transcriptional factor, controlled TLR7-induced autophagy by regulating P62 expression. Furthermore, to confirm the above results in vivo, TLR7 agonist imiquimod (IMQ)-induced lupus mouse model was prepared. Splenic macrophages from IMQ-treated mice exhibited increased autophagy and cell death as well as enhanced expressions of Notch1 and Hes-1. Our results indicate that Notch1-Hes-1 signaling controls TLR7-induced autophagic death of macrophage via regulation of P62 in mice with lupus.
Project description:Systemic lupus erythematosus is a polymorphic and multigenic inflammatory autoimmune disease. Cyclic AMP (cAMP) modulates inflammation and the inhibition of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase type 4 (PDE4), which specifically hydrolyzes cAMP, inhibits TNF? secretion. This study was aimed at investigating the evolution of PDE activity and expression levels during the course of the disease in MRL/lpr lupus-prone mice, and to evaluate in these mice the biological and clinical effects of treatments with pentoxifylline, denbufylline and NCS 613 PDE inhibitors. This study reveals that compared to CBA/J control mice, kidney PDE4 activity of MRL/lpr mice increases with the disease progression. Furthermore, it showed that the most potent and selective PDE4 inhibitor NCS 613 is also the most effective molecule in decreasing proteinuria and increasing survival rate of MRL/lpr mice. NCS 613 is a potent inhibitor, which is more selective for the PDE4C subtype (IC??=?1.4 nM) than the other subtypes (PDE4A, IC??=?44 nM; PDE4B, IC??=?48 nM; and PDE4D, IC??=?14 nM). Interestingly, its affinity for the High Affinity Rolipram Binding Site is relatively low (K(i)?=?148 nM) in comparison to rolipram (K(i)?=?3 nM). Finally, as also observed using MRL/lpr peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs), NCS 613 inhibits basal and LPS-induced TNF? secretion from PBLs of lupus patients, suggesting a therapeutic potential of NCS 613 in systemic lupus. This study reveals that PDE4 represent a potential therapeutic target in lupus disease.
Project description:Macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy) is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic process necessary for normal recycling of cellular constituents and for appropriate response to cellular stress. Although several genes belonging to the core molecular machinery involved in autophagosome formation have been discovered, relatively little is known about the nature of signaling networks controlling autophagy upon intracellular or extracellular stimuli. We discovered ATG8-like proteins (MAP1LC3B, GABARAP and GABARAPL1) as novel interactors of MAPK15/ERK8, a MAP kinase involved in cell proliferation and transformation. Based on the role of these proteins in the autophagic process, we demonstrated that MAPK15 is indeed localized to autophagic compartments and increased, in a kinase-dependent fashion, ATG8-like proteins lipidation, autophagosome formation and SQSTM1 degradation, while decreasing LC3B inhibitory phosphorylation. Interestingly, we also identified a conserved LC3-interacting region (LIR) in MAPK15 responsible for its interaction with ATG8-like proteins, for its localization to autophagic structures and, consequently, for stimulation of the formation of these compartments. Furthermore, we reveal that MAPK15 activity was induced in response to serum and amino-acid starvation and that this stimulus, in turn, required endogenous MAPK15 expression to induce the autophagic process. Altogether, these results suggested a new function for MAPK15 as a regulator of autophagy, acting through interaction with ATG8 family proteins. Also, based on the key role of this process in several human diseases, these results supported the use of this MAP kinase as a potential novel therapeutic target.
Project description:Since nuclear envelope breakdown occurs during mitosis in metazoan cells, it has been proposed that macroautophagy must be inhibited to maintain genome integrity. However, repression of macroautophagy during mitosis remains controversial and mechanistic detail limited to the suggestion that CDK1 phosphorylates VPS34. Here, we show that initiation of macroautophagy, measured by the translocation of the ULK complex to autophagic puncta, is repressed during mitosis, even when mTORC1 is inhibited. Indeed, mTORC1 is inactive during mitosis, reflecting its failure to localize to lysosomes due to CDK1-dependent RAPTOR phosphorylation. While mTORC1 normally represses autophagy via phosphorylation of ULK1, ATG13, ATG14, and TFEB, we show that the mitotic phosphorylation of these autophagy regulators, including at known repressive sites, is dependent on CDK1 but independent of mTOR. Thus, CDK1 substitutes for inhibited mTORC1 as the master regulator of macroautophagy during mitosis, uncoupling autophagy regulation from nutrient status to ensure repression of macroautophagy during mitosis.