Dysregulation of autophagy in the central nervous system of sheep naturally infected with classical scrapie.
ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a dynamic cellular mechanism involved in protein and organelle turnover through lysosomal degradation. Autophagy regulation modulates the pathologies associated with many neurodegenerative diseases. Using sheep naturally infected with scrapie as a natural animal model of prion diseases, we investigated the regulation of autophagy in the central nervous system (CNS) during the clinical phase of the disease. We present a gene expression and protein distribution analysis of different autophagy-related markers and investigate their relationship with prion-associated lesions in several areas of the CNS. Gene expression of autophagy markers ATG5 and ATG9 was downregulated in some areas of scrapie brains. In contrast, ATG5 protein accumulates in medulla oblongata and positively correlates with prion deposition and scrapie-related lesions. The accumulation of this protein and p62, a marker of autophagy impairment, suggests that autophagy is decreased in the late phases of the disease. However, the increment of LC3 proteins and the mild expression of p62 in basal ganglia and cerebellum, primarily in Purkinje cells, suggests that autophagy machinery is still intact in less affected areas. We hypothesize that specific cell populations of the CNS may display neuroprotective mechanisms against prion-induced toxicity through the induction of PrPSc clearance by autophagy.
Project description:Heat shock proteins (Hsp) perform cytoprotective functions such as apoptosis regulation and inflammatory response control. These proteins can also be secreted to the extracellular medium, acting as inflammatory mediators, and their chaperone activity permits correct folding of proteins and avoids the aggregation of anomalous isoforms. Several studies have proposed the implication of Hsp in prion diseases. We analysed the gene expression and protein distribution of different members of the Hsp27, Hsp70, and Hsp90 families in the central nervous system of sheep naturally infected with scrapie. Different expression profiles were observed in the areas analysed. Whereas changes in transcript levels were not observed in the cerebellum or medulla oblongata, a significant decrease in HSP27 and HSP90 was detected in the prefrontal cortex. In contrast, HSP73 was over-expressed in diencephalons of scrapie animals. Western blotting did not reveal significant differences in Hsp90 and Hsp70 protein expression between scrapie and control animals. Expression rates identified by real-time RT-PCR and western blotting were compared with the extent of classical scrapie lesions using stepwise regression. Changes in Hsp gene and protein expression were associated with prion protein deposition, gliosis and spongiosis rather than with apoptosis. Finally, immunohistochemistry revealed intense Hsp70 and Hsp90 immunolabelling in Purkinje cells of scrapie sheep. In contrast, controls displayed little or no staining in these cells. The observed differences in gene expression and protein distribution suggest that the heat shock proteins analysed play a role in the natural form of the disease.
Project description:Ribosomes account for a majority of the cell's RNA and much of its protein and represent a significant investment of cellular resources. The turnover and degradation of ribosomes has been proposed to play a role in homeostasis and during stress conditions. Mechanisms for the turnover of rRNA and ribosomal proteins have not been fully elucidated. We show here that the RNS2 ribonuclease and autophagy participate in RNA turnover in Arabidopsis thaliana under normal growth conditions. An increase in autophagosome formation was seen in an rns2-2 mutant, and this increase was dependent on the core autophagy genes ATG9 and ATG5. Autophagosomes and autophagic bodies in rns2-2 mutants contain RNA and ribosomes, suggesting that autophagy is activated as an attempt to compensate for loss of rRNA degradation. Total RNA accumulates in rns2-2, atg9-4, atg5-1, rns2-2 atg9-4, and rns2-2 atg5-1 mutants, suggesting a parallel role for autophagy and RNS2 in RNA turnover. rRNA accumulates in the vacuole in rns2-2 mutants. Vacuolar accumulation of rRNA was blocked by disrupting autophagy via an rns2-2 atg5-1 double mutant but not by an rns2-2 atg9-4 double mutant, indicating that ATG5 and ATG9 function differently in this process. Our results suggest that autophagy and RNS2 are both involved in homeostatic degradation of rRNA in the vacuole.
Project description:The pathogenesis of natural scrapie and other prion diseases remains unclear. Examining transcriptome variations in infected versus control animals may highlight new genes potentially involved in some of the molecular mechanisms of prion-induced pathology. The aim of this work was to identify disease-associated alterations in the gene expression profiles of the caudal medulla oblongata (MO) in sheep presenting the symptomatic phase of natural scrapie. The gene expression patterns in the MO from 7 sheep that had been naturally infected with scrapie were compared with 6 controls using a Central Veterinary Institute (CVI) custom designed 4×44K microarray. The microarray consisted of a probe set on the previously sequenced ovine tissue library by CVI and was supplemented with all of the Ovis aries transcripts that are currently publicly available. Over 350 probe sets displayed greater than 2-fold changes in expression. We identified 148 genes from these probes, many of which encode proteins that are involved in the immune response, ion transport, cell adhesion, and transcription. Our results confirm previously published gene expression changes that were observed in murine models with induced scrapie. Moreover, we have identified new genes that exhibit differential expression in scrapie and could be involved in prion neuropathology. Finally, we have investigated the relationship between gene expression profiles and the appearance of the main scrapie-related lesions, including prion protein deposition, gliosis and spongiosis. In this context, the potential impacts of these gene expression changes in the MO on scrapie development are discussed.
Project description:Calcium can play an important role in the regulation of autophagy. We previously reported that exogenously introduced calcium in the form of calcium phosphate precipitates (CPP) induces autophagy. Here we showed that CPP-induced autophagy required the classical autophagic machinery, including the autophagosome initiating molecules FIP200 and Beclin 1, as well as molecules involved in the autophagosome membrane extension, Atg4, Atg5 and Atg3. On the other hand, Atg9 seemed to place a restriction on CPP-induced autophagy. Loss of Atg9 led to enhanced LC3 punctation and enhanced p62 degradation. CPP-induced autophagy was independent of mTOR and reactive oxygen species. It also did not affect MAP kinase activation and ER stress. DFCP1 is an ER-resident molecule that binds to phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate. CPP activated DFCP1 punctation in a class III phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase and calcium dependent manner, and caused the association of DFCP1 puncta with the autophagosomes. Consistently, ER membranes, but not Golgi or mitochondrial membranes, colocalized with CPP-induced LC3 positive autophagosomes. These data suggest that CPP-induced autophagosome formation involves the interaction with the ER membrane.
Project description:Autophagy dysfunction in mouse atherosclerosis models has been associated with increased lipid accumulation, apoptosis and inflammation. Expression of cystatin C (CysC) is decreased in human atheroma, and CysC deficiency enhances atherosclerosis in mice. Here, we first investigated the association of autophagy and CysC expression levels with atheroma plaque severity in human atherosclerotic lesions. We found that autophagy proteins Atg5 and LC3? in advanced human carotid atherosclerotic lesions are decreased, while markers of dysfunctional autophagy p62/SQSTM1 and ubiquitin are increased together with elevated levels of lipid accumulation and apoptosis. The expressions of LC3? and Atg5 were positively associated with CysC expression. Second, we investigated whether CysC expression is involved in autophagy in atherosclerotic apoE-deficient mice, demonstrating that CysC deficiency (CysC(-/-) ) in these mice results in reduction of Atg5 and LC3? levels and induction of apoptosis. Third, macrophages isolated from CysC(-/-) mice displayed increased levels of p62/SQSTM1 and higher sensitivity to 7-oxysterol-mediated lysosomal membrane destabilization and apoptosis. Finally, CysC treatment minimized oxysterol-mediated cellular lipid accumulation. We conclude that autophagy dysfunction is a characteristic of advanced human atherosclerotic lesions and is associated with reduced levels of CysC. The deficiency of CysC causes autophagy dysfunction and apoptosis in macrophages and apoE-deficient mice. The results indicate that CysC plays an important regulatory role in combating cell death via the autophagic pathway in atherosclerosis.
Project description:Autophagy-related (ATG) genes contributed to tumorigenesis and cancer progression. This study aims to investigate the expression of ATG proteins and their clinicopathological significance in gastric cancer. Nine well-known ATG proteins, (ULK1, Beclin 1, ATG3, ATG5, ATG7, ATG9, ATG10, ATG12 and LC3B) and p62/SQSTM1, which represented key regulators that participated in whole autophagosomes stepwise processes, were detected in a large cohort of 352 primary gastric cancer patients. Among these 352 patients, 117 cases were randomly assigned to the training set to detect the clinicopathological value of ATG proteins, and another 235 patients were used as the testing set for further validation. Except for Beclin 1, ATG9 and ATG10, another six ATG proteins and p62/SQSTM1 were closely correlated with histological types for gastric cancer. Moreover, low expression of ULK1, Beclin 1 and ATG10 were associated with lymph node metastasis. In addition, down-regulation of ULK1, Beclin 1, ATG7 and ATG10, up-regulation of ATG12 correlated with advanced TNM stage. Importantly, multivariate cox analysis identified ULK1, Beclin 1, ATG3 and ATG10 as favorable independent prognostic factors for overall survival. Combination analysis of ULK1, Beclin 1, ATG3, ATG10 revealed the improved prognostic accuracy for gastric cancer. Our study showed that ATG proteins might serve as novel prognostic biomarkers in gastric cancer, and supply a new valuable insight into cancer treatment targeting autophagy for patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The pathogenesis of natural scrapie and other prion diseases is still poorly understood. Determining the variations in the transcriptome in the early phases of the disease might clarify some of the molecular mechanisms of the prion-induced pathology and allow for the development of new biomarkers for diagnosis and therapy. This study is the first to focus on the identification of genes regulated during the preclinical phases of natural scrapie in the ovine medulla oblongata (MO) and the association of these genes with prion deposition, astrocytosis and spongiosis. RESULTS: A custom microarray platform revealed that 86 significant probes had expression changes greater than 2-fold. From these probes, we identified 32 genes with known function; the highest number of regulated genes was included in the phosphoprotein-encoding group. Genes encoding extracellular marker proteins and those involved in the immune response and apoptosis were also differentially expressed. In addition, we investigated the relationship between the gene expression profiles and the appearance of the main scrapie-associated brain lesions. Quantitative Real-time PCR was used to validate the expression of some of the regulated genes, thus showing the reliability of the microarray hybridization technology. CONCLUSIONS: Genes involved in protein and metal binding and oxidoreductase activity were associated with prion deposition. The expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) was associated with changes in the expression of genes encoding proteins with oxidoreductase and phosphatase activity, and the expression of spongiosis was related to genes encoding extracellular matrix components or transmembrane transporters. This is the first genome-wide expression study performed in naturally infected sheep with preclinical scrapie. As in previous studies, our findings confirm the close relationship between scrapie and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Project description:Autophagy plays important roles in many biological processes, but our understanding of the mechanisms regulating stem cells by autophagy is limited. Interpretations of earlier studies of autophagy using knockouts of single genes are confounded by accumulating evidence for other functions of many autophagy genes. Here, we show that, in contrast to Fip200 deletion, inhibition of autophagy by deletion of Atg5, Atg16L1, or Atg7 does not impair the maintenance and differentiation of postnatal neural stem cells (NSCs). Only Fip200 deletion, but not Atg5, Atg16L1, or Atg7 deletion, caused p62/sequestome1 aggregates to accumulate in NSCs. Fip200 and p62 double conditional knockout mice demonstrated that p62 aggregate formation triggers aberrant superoxide increases by impairing superoxide dismutase functions. By comparing the inhibition of autophagy by deletion of Atg5, Atg16L1, or Atg7 with Fip200 deletion, we revealed a critical role of increased p62 in determining the fate of autophagy-deficient NSCs through intracellular superoxide control.
Project description:Though CNOT2 is involved in regulation of adipogenic differentiation, apoptotic cell death and metastasis, the underlying autophagic mechanism of CNOT2 was unknown until now. Thus, in the present study, the critical role of CNOT2 in autophagy was elucidated in association with p62/SQSTM1 signaling. CNOT2 depletion induced p62/SQSTM1 accumulation and LC3B-II conversion, and also increased the number of puncta with impaired autophagic flux. In contrast, CNOT2 overexpression induced downregulation and ubiquitination of p62/SQSTM1 in HEK293 QBI. Furthermore, ubiquitination of p62/SQSTM1 was blocked by autophagy inhibition. Interestingly, CNOT2 was correlated with p62/SQSTM1 in HEK293 QBI cells and also was colocalized with p62/SQSTM1 in H1299 cells. Additionally, ATG5 was upregulated in CNOT2-depleted H1299 cells, while degradation of p62/SQSTM1 by CNOT2 was detected in ATG5+/+ MEF cells but not in ATG5-/- MEF cells. Of note, CNOT2 induced degradation of p62/SQSTM1 in HEK293 QBI cells co-transfected with Myc-ΔLIR/KIR or Myc-ΔUBA, but not with Myc-ΔPB1. Sub G1 population was increased in CNOT2-depleted H1299 cells by late autophagy inhibitors, ammonium chloride and chloroquine compared to 3-methyladenine. Overall, these findings provide novel insight into the critical role of CNOT2 as a negative regulator in ATG5 dependent autophagy.
Project description:Sheep scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), which are invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). Accumulation of the misfolded prion protein, PrPSc in the CNS results in progressive neurodegenerative disease. Susceptible VRQ homozygous New Zealand Cheviot sheep were infected with standard scrapie sheep prion (SSBP/1) scrapie by inoculation in the drainage area of the prescapular lymph nodes. PrPSc was consistently detected by immunohistology in the CNS at XX days post infection (dpi). This study compares the genes and physiological pathways that are affected by the progression of TSE disease in the CNS, focusing on time points immediately before (XX dpi) and after (XX dpi) the detection of disease-associated PrPSc.