The potential benefit of nutrient starvation in the prevention and treatment of cancer is presently under consideration. Resveratrol (RV), a dietary polyphenol acting as a protein (caloric) restriction mimetic, could substitute for amino acid starvation. The effects of starvation and of caloric restriction are mediated, among others, by autophagy, a process that contributes to cell homeostasis by promoting the lysosomal degradation of damaged and redundant self-constituents. Up-regulation of autophagy favors cell survival under nutrient shortage situation, and may drive cancer cells into a non-replicative, dormant state. Both RV and amino acid starvation effectively induced the aminoacid response and autophagy. These processes were associated with inhibition of the mTOR pathway and disruption of the BECLIN1-BCL-2 complex. The number of transcripts positively impinging on the autophagy pathway was higher in RV-treated than in starved cancer cells. Consistent with our data, it appears that RV treatment is more effective than and can substitute for starvation for inducing autophagy in cancer cells. The present findings are clinically relevant because of the potential therapeutic implications.
Mutations of the solute carrier family 4 member 1 (SLC4A1) gene encoding kidney anion (chloride/bicarbonate ion) exchanger 1 (kAE1) can cause genetic distal renal tubular acidosis (dRTA). Different SLC4A1 mutations give rise to mutant kAE1 proteins with distinct defects in protein trafficking. The mutant kAE1 protein may be retained in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) or Golgi apparatus, or mis-targeted to the apical membrane, failing to display its function at the baso-lateral membrane. The ER-retained mutant kAE1 interacts with calnexin chaperone protein; disruption of this interaction permits the mutant kAE1 to reach the cell surface and display anion exchange activity. However, the mechanism of Golgi retention of mutant kAE1 G701D protein, which is otherwise functional, is still unclear. In the present study, we show that Golgi retention of kAE1 G701D is due to a stable interaction with the Golgi-resident protein, coat protein complex I (COPI), that plays a role in retrograde vesicular trafficking and Golgi-based quality control. The interaction and co-localization of kAE1 G701D with the γ-COPI subunit were demonstrated in human embryonic kidney (HEK-293T) cells by co-immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence staining. Small interference RNA (siRNA) silencing of COPI expression in the transfected HEK-293T cells increased the cell surface expression of transgenic kAE1 G701D, as shown by immunofluorescence staining. Our data unveil the molecular mechanism of Golgi retention of kAE1 G701D and suggest that disruption of the COPI-kAE1 G701D interaction could be a therapeutic strategy to treat dRTA caused by this mutant.
Parkinsonian-like motor deficits in Huntington's Disease (HD) patients are associated with abnormal dopamine neurotransmission in the striatum. Dopamine metabolism leads to the formation of oxidized dopamine quinones that exacerbates mitochondrial dysfunction with production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that eventually lead to neuronal cell death. We have previously shown that dopamine-induced oxidative stress triggers apoptotic cell death in dopaminergic neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells hyper-expressing the mutant polyQ Huntingtin (polyQ-Htt) protein. Dopamine toxicity was paralleled by impaired autophagy clearance of the polyQ-Htt aggregates. In this study, we found that Dopamine affects the stability and function of ATG4, a redox-sensitive cysteine-protein involved in the processing of LC3, a key step in the formation of autophagosomes. Resveratrol, a dietary polyphenol with anti-oxidant and pro-autophagic properties, has shown neuroprotective potential in HD. Yet the molecular mechanism through which Resveratrol can protect HD cells against DA is not known. Here, we show that Resveratrol prevents the generation of ROS, restores the level of ATG4, allows the lipidation of LC3, facilitates the degradation of polyQ-Htt aggregates and protects the cells from Dopamine toxicity. The present findings provide a mechanistic explanation of the neuroprotective activity of Resveratrol and support its inclusion in a therapeutic regimen to slow down HD progression.
Limitation of food availability (starvation) is known to influence the reproductive ability of animals. Autophagy is a lysosomal driven degradation process that protects the cell under metabolic stress conditions, such as during nutrient shortage. Whether, and how starvation-induced autophagy impacts on the maturation and function of reproductive organs in animals are still open questions. In this study, we have investigated the effects of starvation on histological and cellular changes that may be associated with autophagy in the ovary of the giant freshwater prawn, Macrobachium rosenbergii. To this end, the female prawns were daily fed (controls) or unfed (starvation condition) for up to 12 days, and the ovary tissue was analyzed at different time-points. Starvation triggered ovarian maturation, and concomitantly increased the expression of autophagy markers in vitellogenic oocytes. The immunoreactivities for autophagy markers, including Beclin1, LC3-II, and Lamp1, were enhanced in the late oocytes within the mature ovaries, especially at the vitellogenic stages. These markers co-localized with vitellin in the yolk granules within the oocytes, suggesting that autophagy induced by starvation could drive vitellin utilization, thus promoting ovarian maturation.
Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a pro-inflammatory cytokine released by cancer-associated fibroblasts, has been linked to the invasive and metastatic behavior of ovarian cancer cells. Resveratrol is a naturally occurring polyphenol with the potential to inhibit cancer cell migration. Here we show that Resveratrol and IL-6 affect in an opposite manner the expression of RNA messengers and of microRNAs involved in cell locomotion and extracellular matrix remodeling associated with the invasive properties of ovarian cancer cells. Among the several potential candidates responsible for the anti-invasive effect promoted by Resveratrol, here we focused our attention on ARH-I (DIRAS3), that encodes a Ras homolog GTPase of 26-kDa. This protein is known to inhibit cell motility, and it has been shown to regulate autophagy by interacting with BECLIN 1. IL-6 down-regulated the expression of ARH-I and inhibited the formation of LC3-positive autophagic vacuoles, while promoting cell migration. On opposite, Resveratrol could counteract the IL-6 induction of cell migration in ovarian cancer cells through induction of autophagy in the cells at the migration front, which was paralleled by up-regulation of ARH-I and down-regulation of STAT3 expression. Spautin 1-mediated disruption of BECLIN 1-dependent autophagy abrogated the effects of Resveratrol, while promoting cell migration. The present data indicate that Resveratrol elicits its anti-tumor effect through epigenetic mechanisms and support its inclusion in the chemotherapy regimen for highly aggressive ovarian cancers. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The continuous increasing rate of patients suffering of Alzheimer's disease (AD) worldwide requires the adoption of novel techniques for non-invasive early diagnosis and monitoring of the disease. Here we review the various Raman spectroscopic techniques, including Fourier Transform-Raman spectroscopy, surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy, coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering spectroscopy, and confocal Raman microspectroscopy, that could be used for the diagnosis of AD. These techniques have shown the potential to detect AD biomarkers, such as the amyloid-β peptide and the tau protein, or the neurotransmitters involved in the disease (e.g., Glutamate and γ-Aminobutyric acid), or the typical structural alterations in specific brain areas. The possibility to detect the specific biomarkers in liquid biopsies and to obtain high resolution 3D microscope images of the affected area make the Raman spectroscopy a valuable ally in the early diagnosis and monitoring of AD.
GLUT1 is the facilitative transporter playing the major role in the internalization of glucose. Basally, GLUT1 resides on vesicles located in a para-golgian area, and is translocated onto the plasmamembrane upon activation of the PI3KC1-AKT pathway. In proliferating cancer cells, which demand a high quantity of glucose for their metabolism, GLUT1 is permanently expressed on the plasmamembrane. This is associated with the abnormal activation of the PI3KC1-AKT pathway, consequent to the mutational activation of PI3KC1 and/or the loss of PTEN. The latter, in fact, could antagonize the phosphorylation of AKT by limiting the availability of Phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate. Here, we asked whether PTEN could control the plasmamembrane expression of GLUT1 also through its protein-phosphatase activity on AKT. Experiments of co-immunoprecipitation and in vitro de-phosphorylation assay with homogenates of cells transgenically expressing the wild type or knocked-down mutants (lipid-phosphatase, protein-phosphatase, or both) isoforms demonstrated that indeed PTEN physically interacts with AKT and drives its dephosphorylation, and so limiting the expression of GLUT1 at the plasmamembrane. We also show that growth factors limit the ability of PTEN to dephosphorylate AKT. Our data emphasize the fact that PTEN acts in two distinct steps of the PI3k/AKT pathway to control the expression of GLUT1 at the plasmamembrane and, further, add AKT to the list of the protein substrates of PTEN.
Neuronal cell death in Huntington's Disease (HD) is associated with the abnormal expansions of a polyglutamine (polyQ) tract in the huntingtin protein (Htt) at the N-terminus that causes the misfolding and aggregation of the mutated protein (mHtt). Autophagy-lysosomal degradation of Htt aggregates may protect the neurons in HD. HD patients eventually manifest parkinsonian-like symptoms, which underlie defects in the dopaminergic system. We hypothesized that dopamine (DA) exacerbates the toxicity in affected neurons by over-inducing an oxidative stress that negatively impinges on the autophagy clearance of mHtt and thus precipitating neuronal cell death. Here we show that the hyper-expression of mutant (>113/150) polyQ Htt is per se toxic to dopaminergic human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells, and that DA exacerbates this toxicity leading to apoptosis and secondary necrosis. DA toxicity is mediated by ROS production (mainly anion superoxide) that elicits a block in the formation of autophagosomes. We found that the pre-incubation with N-Acetyl-l-Cysteine (a quinone reductase inducer) or Deferoxamine (an iron chelator) prevents the generation of ROS, restores the autophagy degradation of mHtt and preserves the cell viability in SH-SY5Y cells expressing the polyQ Htt and exposed to DA. The present findings suggest that DA-induced impairment of autophagy underlies the parkinsonism in HD patients. Our data provide a mechanistic explanation of the DA toxicity in dopaminergic neurons expressing the mHtt and support the use of anti-oxidative stress therapeutics to restore protective autophagy in order to slow down the neurodegeneration in HD patients.
In familial neurodegenerative disorders, protein aggregates form continuously because of genetic mutations that drive the synthesis of truncated or unfolded proteins. The oxidative stress imposed by neurotransmitters and environmental neurotoxins constitutes an additional threat to the folding of the proteins and the integrity of organelle membranes in neurons. Failure in degrading such altered materials compromises the function of neurons and eventually leads to neurodegeneration. The lysosomal proteolytic enzyme Cathepsin D is the only aspartic-type protease ubiquitously expressed in all the cells of the human body, and it is expressed at high level in the brain. In general, cathepsin D mediated proteolysis is essential to neuronal cell homeostasis through the degradation of unfolded or oxidized protein aggregates delivered to lysosomes via autophagy or endocytosis. More specifically, many altered neuronal proteins that hallmark neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., the amyloid precursor, α-synuclein, and huntingtin) are physiologic substrates of cathepsin D and would abnormally accumulate if not efficiently degraded by this enzyme. Furthermore, experimental evidence indicates that cathepsin D activity is linked to the metabolism of cholesterol and of glycosaminoglycans, which accounts for its involvement in neuronal plasticity. This review focuses on the unique role of cathepsin D mediated proteolysis in the pathogenesis of human neurodegenerative diseases.
The giant freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii, is a decapod crustacean that is commercially important as a food source. Farming of commercial crustaceans requires an efficient management strategy because the animals are easily subjected to stress and diseases during the culture. Autophagy, a stress response process, is well-documented and conserved in most animals, yet it is poorly studied in crustaceans.