Hypoxia inhibits ferritinophagy, increases mitochondrial ferritin, and protects from ferroptosis.
ABSTRACT: Cellular iron, at the physiological level, is essential to maintain several metabolic pathways, while an excess of free iron may cause oxidative damage and/or provoke cell death. Consequently, iron homeostasis has to be tightly controlled. Under hypoxia these regulatory mechanisms for human macrophages are not well understood. Hypoxic primary human macrophages reduced intracellular free iron and increased ferritin expression, including mitochondrial ferritin (FTMT), to store iron. In parallel, nuclear receptor coactivator 4 (NCOA4), a master regulator of ferritinophagy, decreased and was proven to directly regulate FTMT expression. Reduced NCOA4 expression resulted from a lower rate of hypoxic NCOA4 transcription combined with a micro RNA 6862-5p-dependent degradation of NCOA4 mRNA, the latter being regulated by c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Pharmacological inhibition of JNK under hypoxia increased NCOA4 and prevented FTMT induction. FTMT and ferritin heavy chain (FTH) cooperated to protect macrophages from RSL-3-induced ferroptosis under hypoxia as this form of cell death is linked to iron metabolism. In contrast, in HT1080 fibrosarcome cells, which are sensitive to ferroptosis, NCOA4 and FTMT are not regulated. Our study helps to understand mechanisms of hypoxic FTMT regulation and to link ferritinophagy and macrophage sensitivity to ferroptosis.
Project description:Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent form of regulated necrosis. It is implicated in various human diseases, including ischemic organ damage and cancer. Here, we report the crucial role of autophagy, particularly autophagic degradation of cellular iron storage proteins (a process known as ferritinophagy), in ferroptosis. Using RNAi screening coupled with subsequent genetic analysis, we identified multiple autophagy-related genes as positive regulators of ferroptosis. Ferroptosis induction led to autophagy activation and consequent degradation of ferritin and ferritinophagy cargo receptor NCOA4. Consistently, inhibition of ferritinophagy by blockage of autophagy or knockdown of NCOA4 abrogated the accumulation of ferroptosis-associated cellular labile iron and reactive oxygen species, as well as eventual ferroptotic cell death. Therefore, ferroptosis is an autophagic cell death process, and NCOA4-mediated ferritinophagy supports ferroptosis by controlling cellular iron homeostasis.
Project description:Ferroptosis, a recently discovered form of iron-dependent cell death, requires an increased level of lipid-reactive oxygen species (ROS). Ferritinophagy, a ferritin degradation pathway, depends on a selective autophagic cargo receptor (NCOA4). By screening various types of natural compounds, formosanin C (FC) was identified as a novel ferroptosis inducer, characterized by attenuations of FC-induced viability inhibition and lipid ROS formation in the presence of ferroptosis inhibitor. FC also induced autophagic flux, evidenced by preventing autophagic marker LC3-II degradation and increasing yellow LC3 puncta in tandem fluorescent-tagged LC3 (mRFP-GFP) reporter plasmid (ptfLC3) transfected cells when combined with autophagic flux inhibitor. It is noteworthy that FC-induced ferroptosis and autophagic flux were stronger in HepG2 cells expressing higher NCOA4 and lower ferritin heavy chain 1 (FTH1) levels, agreeing with the results of gene expression analysis using CTRP and PRISM, indicating that FTH1 expression level exhibited a significant negative correlation with the sensitivity of the cells to a ferroptosis inducer. Confocal and electron microscopy confirmed the pronounced involvement of ferritinophagy in FC-induced ferroptosis in the cells with elevated NCOA4. Since ferroptosis is a non-apoptotic form of cell death, our data suggest FC has chemotherapeutic potential against apoptosis-resistant HCC with a higher NCOA4 expression via ferritinophagy.
Project description:NCOA4 is a selective cargo receptor for the autophagic turnover of ferritin, a process critical for regulation of intracellular iron bioavailability. However, how ferritinophagy flux is controlled and the roles of NCOA4 in iron-dependent processes are poorly understood. Through analysis of the NCOA4-FTH1 interaction, we demonstrate that direct association via a key surface arginine in FTH1 and a C-terminal element in NCOA4 is required for delivery of ferritin to the lysosome via autophagosomes. Moreover, NCOA4 abundance is under dual control via autophagy and the ubiquitin proteasome system. Ubiquitin-dependent NCOA4 turnover is promoted by excess iron and involves an iron-dependent interaction between NCOA4 and the HERC2 ubiquitin ligase. In zebrafish and cultured cells, NCOA4 plays an essential role in erythroid differentiation. This work reveals the molecular nature of the NCOA4-ferritin complex and explains how intracellular iron levels modulate NCOA4-mediated ferritinophagy in cells and in an iron-dependent physiological setting.
Project description:Ferroptosis is a necrotic form of regulated cell death (RCD) mediated by phospholipid peroxidation in association with free iron-mediated Fenton reactions. Disrupted iron homeostasis resulting in excessive oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Here, we demonstrate the involvement of ferroptosis in COPD pathogenesis. Our in vivo and in vitro models show labile iron accumulation and enhanced lipid peroxidation with concomitant non-apoptotic cell death during cigarette smoke (CS) exposure, which are negatively regulated by GPx4 activity. Treatment with deferoxamine and ferrostatin-1, in addition to GPx4 knockdown, illuminate the role of ferroptosis in CS-treated lung epithelial cells. NCOA4-mediated ferritin selective autophagy (ferritinophagy) is initiated during ferritin degradation in response to CS treatment. CS exposure models, using both GPx4-deficient and overexpressing mice, clarify the pivotal role of GPx4-regulated cell death during COPD. These findings support a role for cigarette smoke-induced ferroptosis in the pathogenesis of COPD.
Project description:Heart failure is a major public health problem, and abnormal iron metabolism is common in patients with heart failure. Although iron is necessary for metabolic homeostasis, it induces a programmed necrosis. Iron release from ferritin storage is through nuclear receptor coactivator 4 (NCOA4)-mediated autophagic degradation, known as ferritinophagy. However, the role of ferritinophagy in the stressed heart remains unclear. Deletion of <i>Ncoa4</i> in mouse hearts reduced left ventricular chamber size and improved cardiac function along with the attenuation of the upregulation of ferritinophagy-mediated ferritin degradation 4 weeks after pressure overload. Free ferrous iron overload and increased lipid peroxidation were suppressed in NCOA4-deficient hearts. A potent inhibitor of lipid peroxidation, ferrostatin-1, significantly mitigated the development of pressure overload-induced dilated cardiomyopathy in wild-type mice. Thus, the activation of ferritinophagy results in the development of heart failure, whereas inhibition of this process protects the heart against hemodynamic stress.
Project description:Ncoa4 mediates autophagic degradation of ferritin, the cytosolic iron storage complex, to maintain intracellular iron homeostasis. Recent evidence also supports a role for Ncoa4 in systemic iron homeostasis and erythropoiesis. However, the specific contribution and temporal importance of Ncoa4-mediated ferritinophagy in regulating systemic iron homeostasis and erythropoiesis is unclear. Here, we show that Ncoa4 has a critical role in basal systemic iron homeostasis and both cell autonomous and non-autonomous roles in murine erythropoiesis. Using an inducible murine model of Ncoa4 knockout, acute systemic disruption of Ncoa4 impaired systemic iron homeostasis leading to tissue ferritin and iron accumulation, a decrease in serum iron, and anemia. Mice acutely depleted of Ncoa4 engaged the Hif2a-erythropoietin system to compensate for anemia. Mice with targeted deletion of Ncoa4 specifically in the erythroid compartment developed a pronounced anemia in the immediate postnatal stage, a mild hypochromic microcytic anemia at adult stages, and were more sensitive to hemolysis with higher requirements for the Hif2a-erythropoietin axis and extramedullary erythropoiesis during recovery. These studies demonstrate the importance of Ncoa4-mediated ferritinophagy as a regulator of systemic iron homeostasis and define the relative cell autonomous and non-autonomous contributions of Ncoa4 in supporting erythropoiesis in vivo.
Project description:Some iron chelators display significant anticancer activity that may involve ferritin degradation either in proteasomes or in lysosomes, and the latter might involve ferritinophagy with a period. However, the correlation of ferritinophagy with anticancer activity of iron chelator was not fully determined. Revealing the underlying link therefore is required. Di-2-pyridylketone dithiocarbamate (DpdtC), a novel iron chelator, could mobilize iron from ferritin and displayed excellent antitumor against hepatoma carcinoma cell lines (IC50s?=?0.4?±?0.2 for HepG2 and 3.5?±?0.3??M for Bel-7402, resp.); we speculated that the antiproliferative action of DpdtC might involve ferritinophagy. To this end, the alterations of ferritin, microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3-II), and nuclear receptor coactivator 4 (NCOA4) were investigated after exposure of DpdtC to the cells. The results revealed that DpdtC could cause increases of autophagic vacuoles and LC3-II. The data from cellular immunofluorescence and Western blotting showed a reciprocal relation between abundances of ferritin and LC3-II, but the trends of NCOA4 and LC3-II in abundance were in a similar manner, indicating that a ferritinophagy occurred. Further studies revealed that the ferritinophagy evoked an iron-driven intralysosomal oxidative reaction, resulting in LMP change and lipid peroxidation. Thus, a ferritinophagy-mediated lysosomal ROS generation playing a role in the antiproliferative action of DpdtC could be proposed, which will enrich our knowledge of iron chelator in cancer therapy.
Project description:Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) contributes to metastasis and drug resistance; inhibition of EMT may attenuate metastasis and drug resistance. It has been demonstrated that ferritinophagy involves the process of many diseases; however, the relationship between EMT and ferritinophagy was not fully established. Some iron chelators show the ability to inhibit EMT, but whether ferritinophagy plays a role in EMT is largely unknown. To this end, we investigated the effect of a novel iron chelator, DpdtpA (2,2 '-di-pyridylketone dithiocarbamate propionic acid), on EMT in the CT26 cell line. The DpdtpA displayed excellent antitumor (IC<sub>50</sub> = 1.5 ± 0.2?<i>?</i>M), leading to ROS production and apoptosis occurrence. Moreover, the ROS production correlated with ferritin degradation. The upregulation of LC3-II and NCOA4 from immunofluorescence and Western blotting analysis revealed that the occurrence of ferritinophagy contributed to ROS production. Furthermore, DpdtpA could induce an alteration both in morphology and in epithelial-mesenchymal markers, displaying significant EMT inhibition. The correlation analysis revealed that DpdtpA-induced ferritinophagy contributed to the EMT inhibition, implying that NCOA4 involved EMT process, which was firstly reported. To reinforce this concept, the ferritinophagic flux (NCOA4/ferritin) in either treated by TGF-<i>?</i>1 or combined with DpdtpA was determined. The results indicated that activating ferritinophagic flux would enhance ROS production which accordingly suppressed EMT or implementing the EMT suppression seemed to be through "fighting fire with fire" strategy. Taken together, our data demonstrated that ferritinophagic flux was a dominating driving force in EMT proceeding, and the new finding definitely will enrich our knowledge of ferritinophagy in EMT process.
Project description:Autophagy, the process by which proteins and organelles are sequestered in double-membrane structures called autophagosomes and delivered to lysosomes for degradation, is critical in diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration. Much of our understanding of this process has emerged from analysis of bulk cytoplasmic autophagy, but our understanding of how specific cargo, including organelles, proteins or intracellular pathogens, are targeted for selective autophagy is limited. Here we use quantitative proteomics to identify a cohort of novel and known autophagosome-enriched proteins in human cells, including cargo receptors. Like known cargo receptors, nuclear receptor coactivator 4 (NCOA4) was highly enriched in autophagosomes, and associated with ATG8 proteins that recruit cargo-receptor complexes into autophagosomes. Unbiased identification of NCOA4-associated proteins revealed ferritin heavy and light chains, components of an iron-filled cage structure that protects cells from reactive iron species but is degraded via autophagy to release iron through an unknown mechanism. We found that delivery of ferritin to lysosomes required NCOA4, and an inability of NCOA4-deficient cells to degrade ferritin led to decreased bioavailable intracellular iron. This work identifies NCOA4 as a selective cargo receptor for autophagic turnover of ferritin (ferritinophagy), which is critical for iron homeostasis, and provides a resource for further dissection of autophagosomal cargo-receptor connectivity.
Project description:Autophagy is a cellular recycling pathway, which in many cases, protects host cells from infections by degrading pathogens. However, uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), the predominant cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs), persist within the urinary tract epithelium (urothelium) by forming reservoirs within autophagosomes. Iron is a critical nutrient for both host and pathogen, and regulation of iron availability is a key host defense against pathogens. Iron homeostasis depends on the shuttling of iron-bound ferritin to the lysosome for recycling, a process termed ferritinophagy (a form of selective autophagy). Here, we demonstrate for the first time that UPEC shuttles with ferritin-bound iron into the autophagosomal and lysosomal compartments within the urothelium. Iron overload in urothelial cells induces ferritinophagy in an NCOA4-dependent manner causing increased iron availability for UPEC, triggering bacterial overproliferation and host cell death. Addition of even moderate levels of iron is sufficient to increase and prolong bacterial burden. Furthermore, we show that lysosomal damage due to iron overload is the specific mechanism causing host cell death. Significantly, we demonstrate that host cell death and bacterial burden can be reversed by inhibition of autophagy or inhibition of iron-regulatory proteins, or chelation of iron. Together, our findings suggest that UPEC persist in host cells by taking advantage of ferritinophagy. Thus, modulation of iron levels in the bladder may provide a therapeutic avenue to controlling UPEC persistence, epithelial cell death, and recurrent UTIs.