ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation pathway important for cellular homeostasis and survival. Inhibition of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is the best known trigger for autophagy stimulation. In addition, intracellular Ca(2+) regulates autophagy, but its exact role remains ambiguous. Here, we report that the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin, while enhancing autophagy, also remodeled the intracellular Ca(2+)-signaling machinery. These alterations include a) an increase in the endoplasmic-reticulum (ER) Ca(2+)-store content, b) a decrease in the ER Ca(2+)-leak rate, and c) an increased Ca(2+) release through the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP3Rs), the main ER-resident Ca(2+)-release channels. Importantly, buffering cytosolic Ca(2+) with BAPTA impeded rapamycin-induced autophagy. These results reveal intracellular Ca(2+) signaling as a crucial component in the canonical mTOR-dependent autophagy pathway.
Project description:ER stress triggers myocardial contractile dysfunction while effective therapeutic regimen is still lacking. Mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2), an essential mitochondrial enzyme governing mitochondrial and cardiac function, displays distinct beneficial effect on the heart. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of ALDH2 on ER stress-induced cardiac anomalies and the underlying mechanism involved with a special focus on autophagy. WT and ALDH2 transgenic mice were subjected to the ER stress inducer thapsigargin (1mg/kg, i.p., 48h). Echocardiographic, cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca(2+) properties as well as myocardial histology, autophagy and autophagy regulatory proteins were evaluated. ER stress led to compromised echocardiographic indices (elevated LVESD, reduced fractional shortening and cardiac output), cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca(2+) properties and cell survival, associated with upregulated autophagy, dampened phosphorylation of Akt and its downstream signal molecules TSC2 and mTOR, the effects of which were alleviated or mitigated by ALDH2. Thapsigargin promoted ER stress proteins Gadd153 and GRP78 without altering cardiomyocyte size and interstitial fibrosis, the effects of which were unaffected by ALDH2. Treatment with thapsigargin in vitro mimicked in vivo ER stress-induced cardiomyocyte contractile anomalies including depressed peak shortening and maximal velocity of shortening/relengthening as well as prolonged relengthening duration, the effect of which was abrogated by the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine and the ALDH2 activator Alda-1. Interestingly, Alda-1-induced beneficial effect against ER stress was obliterated by autophagy inducer rapamycin, Akt inhibitor AktI and mTOR inhibitor RAD001. These data suggest a beneficial role of ALDH2 against ER stress-induced cardiac anomalies possibly through autophagy reduction.
Project description:PURPOSE:Proteasome inhibition induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and compensatory autophagy to relieve ER stress. Disturbance of intracellular calcium homeostasis can lead to ER stress and alter the autophagy process. It has been suggested that inhibition of the proteasome disrupts intracellular calcium homeostasis. However, it is unknown if intracellular calcium affects proteasome inhibitor-induced ER stress and autophagy. METHODS:Human colon cancer HCT116 Bax positive and negative cell lines were treated with MG132, a proteasome inhibitor. BAPTA-AM, a cell permeable free calcium chelator, was used to modulate intracellular calcium levels. Autophagy and cell death were determined by fluorescence microscopy and immunoblot analysis. RESULTS:MG132 increased intracellular calcium levels in HCT116 cells, which was suppressed by BAPTA-AM. MG132 suppressed proteasome activity independent of Bax and intracellular calcium levels in HCT116 cells. BAPTA-AM inhibited MG132-induced cellular vacuolization and ER stress, but not apoptosis. MG132 induced autophagy with normal autophagosome-lysosome fusion. BAPTA-AM seemed not to affect autophagosome-lysosome fusion in MG132-treated cells but further enhanced MG132-induced LC3-II levels and GFP-LC3 puncta formation, which was likely via impaired lysosome function. CONCLUSIONS:Blocking intracellular calcium by BAPTA-AM relieved MG132-induced ER stress, but it was unable to rescue MG132-induced apoptosis, which was likely due to impaired autophagic degradation.
Project description:Impaired homeostasis of lysosomal Ca(2+) causes lysosome dysfunction and lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs), but the mechanisms by which lysosomes acquire and refill Ca(2+) are not known. We developed a physiological assay to monitor lysosomal Ca(2+) store refilling using specific activators of lysosomal Ca(2+) channels to repeatedly induce lysosomal Ca(2+) release. In contrast to the prevailing view that lysosomal acidification drives Ca(2+) into the lysosome, inhibiting the V-ATPase H(+) pump did not prevent Ca(2+) refilling. Instead, pharmacological depletion or chelation of Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) Ca(2+) prevented lysosomal Ca(2+) stores from refilling. More specifically, antagonists of ER IP3 receptors (IP3Rs) rapidly and completely blocked Ca(2+) refilling of lysosomes, but not in cells lacking IP3Rs. Furthermore, reducing ER Ca(2+) or blocking IP3Rs caused a dramatic LSD-like lysosome storage phenotype. By closely apposing each other, the ER may serve as a direct and primary source of Ca(2+)for the lysosome.
Project description:We investigated the role of a Ca(2+) channel and intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) in osmotic stress-induced JNK activation and tight junction disruption in Caco-2 cell monolayers. Osmotic stress-induced tight junction disruption was attenuated by 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxyl)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA)-mediated intracellular Ca(2+) depletion. Depletion of extracellular Ca(2+) at the apical surface, but not basolateral surface, also prevented tight junction disruption. Similarly, thapsigargin-mediated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca(2+) depletion attenuated tight junction disruption. Thapsigargin or extracellular Ca(2+) depletion partially reduced osmotic stress-induced rise in [Ca(2+)](i), whereas thapsigargin and extracellular Ca(2+) depletion together resulted in almost complete loss of rise in [Ca(2+)](i). L-type Ca(2+) channel blockers (isradipine and diltiazem) or knockdown of the Ca(V)1.3 channel abrogated [Ca(2+)](i) rise and disruption of tight junction. Osmotic stress-induced JNK2 activation was abolished by BAPTA and isradipine, and partially reduced by extracellular Ca(2+) depletion, thapsigargin, or Ca(V)1.3 knockdown. Osmotic stress rapidly induced c-Src activation, which was significantly attenuated by BAPTA, isradipine, or extracellular Ca(2+) depletion. Tight junction disruption by osmotic stress was blocked by tyrosine kinase inhibitors (genistein and PP2) or siRNA-mediated knockdown of c-Src. Osmotic stress induced a robust increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of occludin, which was attenuated by BAPTA, SP600125 (JNK inhibitor), or PP2. These results demonstrate that Ca(V)1.3 and rise in [Ca(2+)](i) play a role in the mechanism of osmotic stress-induced tight junction disruption in an intestinal epithelial monolayer. [Ca(2+)](i) mediate osmotic stress-induced JNK activation and subsequent c-Src activation and tyrosine phosphorylation of tight junction proteins. Additionally, inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor-mediated release of ER Ca(2+) also contributes to osmotic stress-induced tight junction disruption.
Project description:Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptors (IP3Rs) are tetrameric intracellular Ca(2+)-release channels with each subunit containing a binding site for IP3in the amino terminus. We provide evidence that four IP3molecules are required to activate the channel under diverse conditions. Comparing the concentration-response relationship for binding and Ca(2+)release suggested that IP3Rs are maximally occupied by IP3before substantial Ca(2+)release occurs. We showed that ligand binding-deficient subunits acted in a dominant-negative manner when coexpressed with wild-type monomers in the chicken immune cell line DT40-3KO, which lacks all three genes encoding IP3R subunits, and confirmed the same effect in an IP3R-null human cell line (HEK-3KO) generated by CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Using dimeric and tetrameric concatenated IP3Rs with increasing numbers of binding-deficient subunits, we addressed the obligate ligand stoichiometry. The concatenated IP3Rs with four ligand-binding sites exhibited Ca(2+)release and electrophysiological properties of native IP3Rs. However, IP3failed to activate IP3Rs assembled from concatenated dimers consisting of one binding-competent and one binding-deficient mutant subunit. Similarly, IP3Rs containing two monomers of IP3R2short, an IP3binding-deficient splice variant, were nonfunctional. Concatenated tetramers containing only three binding-competent ligand-binding sites were nonfunctional under a wide range of activating conditions. These data provide definitive evidence that IP3-induced Ca(2+)release only occurs when each IP3R monomer within the tetramer is occupied by IP3, thereby ensuring fidelity of Ca(2+)release.
Project description:The tumor suppressor activity of PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10) is thought to be largely attributable to its lipid phosphatase activity. PTEN dephosphorylates the lipid second messenger phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate to directly antagonize the phosphoinositide 3-kinase-Akt pathway and prevent the activating phosphorylation of Akt. PTEN has also other proposed mechanisms of action, including a poorly characterized protein phosphatase activity, protein-protein interactions, as well as emerging functions in different compartment of the cells such as nucleus and mitochondria. We show here that a fraction of PTEN protein localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs), signaling domains involved in calcium ((2+)) transfer from the ER to mitochondria and apoptosis induction. We demonstrate that PTEN silencing impairs ER Ca(2+) release, lowers cytosolic and mitochondrial Ca(2+) transients and decreases cellular sensitivity to Ca(2+)-mediated apoptotic stimulation. Specific targeting of PTEN to the ER is sufficient to enhance ER-to-mitochondria Ca(2+) transfer and sensitivity to apoptosis. PTEN localization at the ER is further increased during Ca(2+)-dependent apoptosis induction. Importantly, PTEN interacts with the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP3Rs) and this correlates with the reduction in their phosphorylation and increased Ca(2+) release. We propose that ER-localized PTEN regulates Ca(2+) release from the ER in a protein phosphatase-dependent manner that counteracts Akt-mediated reduction in Ca(2+) release via IP3Rs. These findings provide new insights into the mechanisms and the extent of PTEN tumor-suppressive functions, highlighting new potential strategies for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Autophagy is an evolutionally conserved process for the bulk degradation of cytoplasmic proteins and organelles. Recent observations indicate that autophagy is induced in response to cellular insults that result in the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). However, the signaling mechanisms that activate autophagy under these conditions are not understood. Here, we report that ER stress-induced autophagy requires the activation of protein kinase C (PKC), a member of the novel-type PKC family. Induction of ER stress by treatment with either thapsigargin or tunicamycin activated autophagy in immortalized hepatocytes as monitored by the conversion LC3-I to LC3-II, clustering of LC3 into dot-like cytoplasmic structures, and electron microscopic detection of autophagosomes. Pharmacological inhibition of PKC or small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of PKC prevented the autophagic response to ER stress. Treatment with ER stressors induced PKC phosphorylation within the activation loop and localization of phospho-PKC to LC3-containing dot structures in the cytoplasm. However, signaling through the known unfolded protein response sensors was not required for PKC activation. PKC activation and stress-induced autophagy were blocked by chelation of intracellular Ca(2+) with BAPTA-AM. PKC was not activated or required for autophagy in response to amino acid starvation. These observations indicate that Ca(2+)-dependent PKC activation is specifically required for autophagy in response to ER stress but not in response to amino acid starvation.
Project description:Accumulation of misfolded proinsulin in the ?-cell leads to dysfunction induced by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, with diabetes as a consequence. Autophagy helps cellular adaptation to stress via clearance of misfolded proteins and damaged organelles. We studied the effects of proinsulin misfolding on autophagy and the impact of stimulating autophagy on diabetes progression in Akita mice, which carry a mutation in proinsulin, leading to its severe misfolding. Treatment of female diabetic Akita mice with rapamycin improved diabetes, increased pancreatic insulin content, and prevented ?-cell apoptosis. In vitro, autophagic flux was increased in Akita ?-cells. Treatment with rapamycin further stimulated autophagy, evidenced by increased autophagosome formation and enhancement of autophagosome-lysosome fusion. This was associated with attenuation of cellular stress and apoptosis. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase inhibitor Torin1 mimicked the rapamycin effects on autophagy and stress, indicating that the beneficial effects of rapamycin are indeed mediated via inhibition of mTOR. Finally, inhibition of autophagy exacerbated stress and abolished the anti-ER stress effects of rapamycin. In conclusion, rapamycin reduces ER stress induced by accumulation of misfolded proinsulin, thereby improving diabetes and preventing ?-cell apoptosis. The beneficial effects of rapamycin in this context strictly depend on autophagy; therefore, stimulating autophagy may become a therapeutic approach for diabetes.
Project description:Unfolded or misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) trigger an adaptive ER stress response known as unfolded protein response (UPR). Depending on the severity of ER stress, either autophagy-controlled survival or apoptotic cell death can be induced. The molecular mechanisms by which UPR controls multiple fate decisions have started to emerge. One such molecular mechanism involves a master regulator of cell growth, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), which paradoxically is shown to have pro-apoptotic role by mutually interacting with ER stress response. How the interconnections between UPR and mTOR influence the dynamics of autophagy and apoptosis activation is still unclear. Here we make an attempt to explore this problem by using experiments and mathematical modeling. The effect of perturbed mTOR activity in ER stressed cells was studied on autophagy and cell viability by using agents causing mTOR pathway inhibition (such as rapamycin or metyrapone). We observed that mTOR inhibition led to an increase in cell viability and was accompanied by an increase in autophagic activity. It was also shown that autophagy was activated under conditions of severe ER stress but that in the latter phase of stress it was inhibited at the time of apoptosis activation. Our mathematical model shows that both the activation threshold and temporal dynamics of autophagy and apoptosis inducers are sensitive to variation in mTOR activity. These results confirm that autophagy has cytoprotective role and is activated in mutually exclusive manner with respect to ER stress levels.
Project description:Dental enamel formation requires large quantities of Ca(2+) yet the mechanisms mediating Ca(2+) dynamics in enamel cells are unclear. Store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) channels are important Ca(2+) influx mechanisms in many cells. SOCE involves release of Ca(2+) from intracellular pools followed by Ca(2+) entry. The best-characterized SOCE channels are the Ca(2+) release-activated Ca(2+) (CRAC) channels. As patients with mutations in the CRAC channel genes STIM1 and ORAI1 show abnormal enamel mineralization, we hypothesized that CRAC channels might be an important Ca(2+) uptake mechanism in enamel cells. Investigating primary murine enamel cells, we found that key components of CRAC channels (ORAI1, ORAI2, ORAI3, STIM1, STIM2) were expressed and most abundant during the maturation stage of enamel development. Furthermore, inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) but not ryanodine receptor (RyR) expression was high in enamel cells suggesting that IP3Rs are the main ER Ca(2+) release mechanism. Passive depletion of ER Ca(2+) stores with thapsigargin resulted in a significant raise in [Ca(2+)]i consistent with SOCE. In cells pre-treated with the CRAC channel blocker Synta-66 Ca(2+) entry was significantly inhibited. These data demonstrate that enamel cells have SOCE mediated by CRAC channels and implicate them as a mechanism for Ca(2+) uptake in enamel formation.