Involvement of autophagy in hypoxic-excitotoxic neuronal death.
ABSTRACT: Neuronal autophagy is increased in numerous excitotoxic conditions including neonatal cerebral hypoxia-ischemia (HI). However, the role of this HI-induced autophagy remains unclear. To clarify this role we established an in vitro model of excitotoxicity combining kainate treatment (Ka, 30 µM) with hypoxia (Hx, 6% oxygen) in primary neuron cultures. KaHx rapidly induced excitotoxic death that was completely prevented by MK801 or EGTA. KaHx also stimulated neuronal autophagic flux as shown by a rise in autophagosome number (increased levels of LC3-II and punctate LC3 labeling) accompanied by increases in lysosomal abundance and activity (increased SQSTM1/p62 degradation, and increased LC3-II levels in the presence of lysosomal inhibitors) and fusion (shown using an RFP-GFP-LC3 reporter). To determine the role of the enhanced autophagy we applied either pharmacological autophagy inhibitors (3-methyladenine or pepstatinA/E64) or lentiviral vectors delivering shRNAs targeting Becn1 or Atg7. Both strategies reduced KaHx-induced neuronal death. A prodeath role of autophagy was also confirmed by the enhanced toxicity of KaHx in cultures overexpressing BECN1 or ATG7. Finally, in vivo inhibition of autophagy by intrastriatal injection of a lentiviral vector expressing a Becn1-targeting shRNA increased the volume of intact striatum in a rat model of severe neonatal cerebral HI. These results clearly show a death-mediating role of autophagy in hypoxic-excitotoxic conditions and suggest that inhibition of autophagy should be considered as a neuroprotective strategy in HI brain injuries.
Project description:The monocyte/macrophage is critical for regulating immune and antitumor responses. Recombinant capsid protein VP1 (rVP1) of foot-and-mouth disease virus induces apoptosis and inhibits migration/metastasis of cancer cells. Here, we explored the effects of rVP1 on macrophages. Our results showed that rVP1 increased LC3-related autophagosome formation via WIPI1 and WIPI2 in a BECN1-independent manner. rVP1 treatment increased macrophage migration that was attenuated by knockdown of ATG5, ATG7, WIPI1 or WIPI2 and was abolished when both WIPI1 and WIPI2 were depleted. Treatment of macrophages with rVP1 increased matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) activity and phosphorylated mitogen-activated protein kinase 1/3 (MAPK1/3), two major mediators of cell migration. Knockdown of WIPI1, WIPI2, ATG5 and ATG7 but not BECN1 attenuated the rVP1-mediated increase in MAPK1/3 phosphorylation and MMP9 activity. These results indicated that rVP1 upregulated autophagy, MAPK1/3 phosphorylation and MMP9 activity to promote macrophage migration, which was dependent on WIPI1, WIPI2, ATG5 and ATG7 but not BECN1.
Project description:Cisplatin-based chemotherapy is the first line treatment for several cancers including bladder cancer (BC). Autophagy induction has been implied to contribute to cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer; and a high basal level of autophagy has been demonstrated in human bladder tumors. Therefore, it is reasonable to speculate that autophagy may account for the failure of cisplatin single treatment in BC. This study investigated whether cisplatin induces autophagy and the mechanism involved using human BC cell lines.Human BC cells (5637 and T24) were used in this study. Cell viability was detected using water soluble tetrazolium-8 reagents. Autophagy induction was detected by monitoring the levels of light chain 3 (LC3)-II and p62 by Western blot, LC3-positive puncta formation by immunofluorescence, and direct observation of the autophagolysosome (AL) formation by transmission electron microscopy. Inhibitors including bafilomycin A1 (Baf A1), chloroquine (CQ), and shRNA-based lentivirus against autophagy-related genes (ATG7 and ATG12) were utilized. Apoptosis level was detected by caspase 3/7 activity and DNA fragmentation.Cisplatin decreased cell viability and induced apoptosis of 5637 and T24 cells in a dose-and time-dependent manner. The increased LC3-II accumulation, p62 clearance, the number of LC3-positive puncta, and ALs in cisplatin-treated cells suggested that cisplatin indeed induces autophagy. Inhibition of cisplatin-induced autophagy using Baf A1, CQ, or ATG7/ATG12 shRNAs significantly enhanced cytotoxicity of cisplatin toward BC cells. These results indicated that cisplatin induced protective autophagy which may contribute to the development of cisplatin resistance and resulted in treatment failure. Mechanistically, upregulation of beclin-1 (BECN1) was detected in cisplatin-treated cells, and knockdown of BECN1 using shRNA attenuated cisplatin-induced autophagy and subsequently enhanced cisplatin-induced apoptosis.Collectively, the study results indicated that cisplatin-induced autophagy is mediated by BECN1 in BC cells. Therefore, combinative treatment using cisplatin and autophagy inhibitors could potentially overcome cisplatin resistance related to autophagy induction.
Project description:Perinatal asphyxia induces neuronal cell death and brain injury, and is often associated with irreversible neurological deficits in children. There is an urgent need to elucidate the neuronal death mechanisms occurring after neonatal hypoxia-ischemia (HI). We here investigated the selective neuronal deletion of the Atg7 (autophagy related 7) gene on neuronal cell death and brain injury in a mouse model of severe neonatal hypoxia-ischemia. Neuronal deletion of Atg7 prevented HI-induced autophagy, resulted in 42% decrease of tissue loss compared to wild-type mice after the insult, and reduced cell death in multiple brain regions, including apoptosis, as shown by decreased caspase-dependent and -independent cell death. Moreover, we investigated the lentiform nucleus of human newborns who died after severe perinatal asphyxia and found increased neuronal autophagy after severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy compared to control uninjured brains, as indicated by the numbers of MAP1LC3B/LC3B (microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3)-, LAMP1 (lysosomal-associated membrane protein 1)-, and CTSD (cathepsin D)-positive cells. These findings reveal that selective neuronal deletion of Atg7 is strongly protective against neuronal death and overall brain injury occurring after HI and suggest that inhibition of HI-enhanced autophagy should be considered as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of human newborns developing severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
Project description:Cabergoline (CAB), the first-line drug for treatment of prolactinomas, is effective in suppressing prolactin hypersecretion, reducing tumor size, and restoring gonadal function. However, mechanisms for CAB-mediated tumor shrinkage are largely unknown. Here we report a novel cytotoxic mechanism for CAB. CAB induced formation of autophagosome in rat pituitary tumor MMQ and GH3 cells at the early stage through inhibiting mTOR pathway, resulting in higher conversion rates of LC3-I to LC3-II, GFP-LC3 aggregation, and increased autophagosome formation. Interestingly, CAB treatment augmented lysosome acidification and resulted in impaired proteolytic degradation within autolysosomes. This blocked the autophagic flux, leading to the accumulation of p62 aggregation and undigested autolysosomes. Knockdown of ATG7, ATG5, or Becn1, could significantly rescue the CAB-mediated cell death of MMQ cells (p < 0.05). CAB-induced autophagy and blockade of autophagy flux participated in antitumoral action in vivo. In conclusion, our study provides evidence that CAB concomitantly induces autophagy and inhibits the autophagic flux, leading to autophagy-dependent cell death. These findings elucidate novel mechanisms for CAB action.
Project description:Interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF1) is a tumor suppressor that regulates cell fate in several cell types. Here, we report an inverse correlation in expression of nuclear IRF1 and the autophagy regulator ATG7 in human breast cancer cells that directly affects their cell fate. In mice harboring mutant Atg7, nuclear IRF1 was increased in mammary tumors, spleen, and kidney. Mechanistic investigations identified ATG7 and the cell death modulator beclin-1 (BECN1) as negative regulators of IRF1. Silencing ATG7 or BECN1 caused estrogen receptor-? to exit the nucleus at the time when IRF1 nuclear localization occurred. Conversely, silencing IRF1 promoted autophagy by increasing BECN1 and blunting IGF1 receptor and mTOR survival signaling. Loss of IRF1 promoted resistance to antiestrogens, whereas combined silencing of ATG7 and IRF1 restored sensitivity to these agents. Using a mathematical model to prompt signaling hypotheses, we developed evidence that ATG7 silencing could resensitize IRF1-attenuated cells to apoptosis through mechanisms that involve other estrogen-regulated genes. Overall, our work shows how inhibiting the autophagy proteins ATG7 and BECN1 can regulate IRF1-dependent and -independent signaling pathways in ways that engender a new therapeutic strategy to attack breast cancer.
Project description:Continuous turnover of intracellular components by autophagy is necessary to preserve cellular homeostasis in all tissues. Despite recent advances in identifying autophagy-related genes and understanding the functions of autophagy in developmental and pathological conditions, so far, the role of autophagy in platelet, a specific anucleate cell type, is poorly understood. In this study, we showed that human platelets express the autophagy-related proteins ATG5, ATG7, and LC3. The same as in nucleated mammalian cells, autophagy was stimulated by cell starvation or the MTOR inhibitor rapamycin in a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PtdIns3K)-dependent manner. Disruption of autophagic flux led to impairment of platelet aggregation and adhesion. Furthermore, Becn1 heterozygous knockout mice displayed a prolonged bleeding time and reduced platelet aggregation. These results suggest a potential role of autophagy in the regulation of platelet function, and imply that gene transcription may not be an essential prerequisite for adaptive autophagy.
Project description:Autophagy is the principal cellular pathway for degradation of long-lived proteins and organelles and regulates cell fate in response to stress. Recently, autophagy has been implicated in neurodegeneration, but whether it is detrimental or protective remains unclear. Here we report that beclin 1, a protein with a key role in autophagy, was decreased in affected brain regions of patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) early in the disease process. Heterozygous deletion of beclin 1 (Becn1) in mice decreased neuronal autophagy and resulted in neurodegeneration and disruption of lysosomes. In transgenic mice that express human amyloid precursor protein (APP), a model for AD, genetic reduction of Becn1 expression increased intraneuronal amyloid beta (Abeta) accumulation, extracellular Abeta deposition, and neurodegeneration and caused microglial changes and profound neuronal ultrastructural abnormalities. Administration of a lentiviral vector expressing beclin 1 reduced both intracellular and extracellular amyloid pathology in APP transgenic mice. We conclude that beclin 1 deficiency disrupts neuronal autophagy, modulates APP metabolism, and promotes neurodegeneration in mice and that increasing beclin 1 levels may have therapeutic potential in AD.
Project description:TP53INP2/DOR (tumor protein p53-inducible nuclear protein 2) contributes to mammalian macroautophagy/autophagy by carrying nuclear deacetylated MAP1LC3/LC3 to the cytoplasm. Here, we report that in the cytoplasm, TP53INP2 further functions in autophagosome biogenesis by promoting LC3B-ATG7 interaction. Cytoplasmic expression of the N-terminal region of TP53INP2, which includes the LC3-interacting region, effectively triggered LC3B-PE production and autophagosome formation. In the cytoplasm, TP53INP2 colocalized to early autophagic membrane structures containing ATG14, ZFYVE1/DFCP1 or WIPI2. While knockdown of TP53INP2 did not affect the formation of these autophagic structures, deletion of BECN1 or Atg5, or mutations preventing TP53INP2 from LC3 interaction, disrupted the membrane binding of TP53INP2. TP53INP2 interacted directly with ATG7 to form a LC3B-TP53INP2-ATG7 complex in the cytoplasm. Loss of TP53INP2-LC3 or TP53INP2-ATG7 interaction significantly reduced LC3B-ATG7 binding. Together, these results suggest that after shifting from the nucleus, cytoplasmic TP53INP2 is targeted to early autophagic membranes accompanied by LC3, where it contributes to autophagosome biogenesis by mediating LC3-ATG7 interaction. Abbreviations: 3-MA, 3-methyladenine; 3NES, 3 repeated nuclear export signal; 3NLS, 3 repeated nuclear localization signal; ACTB, actin beta; ATG, autophagy related; BECN1, Beclin 1; mCherry, monomeric red fluorescent protein mCherry; GFP, green fluorescent protein; GST, glutathione S-transferase; KO, knockout; LC3B/MAP1LC3B, microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta; LC3B[G120], LC3B mutant lacking amino acids after glycine 120; LDH, lactate dehydrogenase; LMNB1, lamin B1; LIR, LC3-interacting region; MTORC1, mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1; PE, phosphatidylethanolamine; PtdIns3K, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; PtdIns3P, phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate; rDNA, ribosomal DNA; RFP, red fluorescent protein; RNAi, RNA interference; SQSTM1, sequestosome 1; TP53INP2, tumor protein p53-inducible nuclear protein 2; TP53INP2[1-28], TP53INP2 mutant containing amino acids 1 to 28; TP53INP2[28-45], TP53INP2 mutant containing amino acids 28 to 45; TP53INP2[LIR?], TP53INP2 mutant lacking amino acids 1 to 144; TP53INP2[NLS?], TP53INP2 mutant lacking amino acids 145 to 221; TP53INP2W35,I38A, TP53INP2 mutant in which tryptophan 35 and isoleucine 38 are replaced with alanine; TP53INP2W35,I38A[NLS?], TP53INP2 mutant lacking amino acids 145 to 221, and tryptophan 35 and isoleucine 38 are replaced with alanine; TP53INP2W35,I38A[?1-28],[NLS?], TP53INP2 mutant lacking amino acids 1 to 28 and amino acids 145 to 221, and tryptophan 35 and isoleucine 38 are replaced with alanine; TP53INP2[?1-28],[NLS?], TP53INP2 mutant lacking amino acids 1 to 28 and amino acids 145 to 221; TP53INP2[?67-111],[NLS?], TP53INP2 mutant lacking amino acids 67 to 111 and amino acids 145 to 221; TP53INP2[?112-144],[NLS?], TP53INP2 mutant lacking amino acids 112 to 144 and amino acids 145 to 221; TUBB, tubulin beta class I; ULK1, unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1; VMP1, vacuole membrane protein 1; WIPI2, WD repeat domain phosphoinositide-interacting 2; WT, wild-type; ZFYVE1/DFCP1, zinc finger FYVE-type containing 1.
Project description:Autophagy is an intracellular degradation pathway that functions in protein and organelle turnover in response to starvation and cellular stress. Autophagy is initiated by the formation of a complex containing Beclin 1 (BECN1) and its binding partner Phosphoinositide-3-kinase, class 3 (PIK3C3). Recently, BECN1 deficiency was shown to enhance the pathology of a mouse model of Alzheimer Disease (AD). However, the mechanism by which BECN1 or autophagy mediate these effects are unknown. Here, we report that the levels of Amyloid precursor protein (APP) and its metabolites can be reduced through autophagy activation, indicating that they are a substrate for autophagy. Furthermore, we find that knockdown of Becn1 in cell culture increases the levels of APP and its metabolites. Accumulation of APP and APP C-terminal fragments (APP-CTF) are accompanied by impaired autophagosomal clearance. Pharmacological inhibition of autophagosomal-lysosomal degradation causes a comparable accumulation of APP and APP-metabolites in autophagosomes. Becn1 reduction in cell culture leads to lower levels of its binding partner Pik3c3 and increased presence of Microtubule-associated protein 1, light chain 3 (LC3). Overexpression of Becn1, on the other hand, reduces cellular APP levels. In line with these observations, we detected less BECN1 and PIK3C3 but more LC3 protein in brains of AD patients. We conclude that BECN1 regulates APP processing and turnover. BECN1 is involved in autophagy initiation and autophagosome clearance. Accordingly, BECN1 deficiency disrupts cellular autophagy and autophagosomal-lysosomal degradation and alters APP metabolism. Together, our findings suggest that autophagy and the BECN1-PIK3C3 complex regulate APP processing and play an important role in AD pathology.
Project description:Many studies have reported the roles played by regulated proteolysis in synaptic plasticity and memory, but the role of autophagy in neurons remains unclear. In mammalian cells, autophagy functions in the clearance of long-lived proteins and organelles and in adaptation to starvation. In neurons, although autophagy-related proteins (ATGs) are highly expressed, autophagic activity markers, autophagosome (AP) number, and light chain protein 3-II (LC3-II) are low compared with other cell types. In contrast, conditional knock-out of ATG5 or ATG7 in mouse brain causes neurodegeneration and behavioral deficits. Therefore, this study aimed to test whether autophagy is especially regulated in neurons to adapt to brain functions. In cultured rat hippocampal neurons, we found that KCl depolarization transiently increased LC3-II and AP number, which was partially inhibited with APV, an NMDA receptor (NMDAR) inhibitor. Brief low-dose NMDA, a model of chemical long-term depression (chem-LTD), increased LC3-II with a time course coincident with Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) dephosphorylation and degradation of GluR1, an AMPA receptor (AMPAR) subunit. Downstream of NMDAR, the protein phosphatase 1 inhibitor okadaic acid, PTEN inhibitor bpV(HOpic), autophagy inhibitor wortmannin, and short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of ATG7 blocked chem-LTD-induced autophagy and partially recovered GluR1 levels. After chem-LTD, GFP-LC3 puncta increased in spines and in dendrites when AP-lysosome fusion was blocked. These results indicate that neuronal stimulation induces NMDAR-dependent autophagy through PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway inhibition, which may function in AMPAR degradation, thus suggesting autophagy as a contributor to NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity and brain functions.