Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 28

autophagy Related Abstracts

28 Therapeutical Role of Copper Oxide Nanoparticles (CuO NPs) for Breast Cancer Therapy

Authors: Dipranjan Laha, Parimal Karmakar


Metal oxide nanoparticles are well known to generate oxidative stress and deregulate normal cellular activities. Among these, transition metals copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs) are more compelling than others and able to modulate different cellular responses. In this work, we have synthesized and characterized CuO NPs by various biophysical methods. These CuO NPs (~30 nm) induce autophagy in human breast cancer cell line, MCF7 in a time and dose-dependent manner. Cellular autophagy was tested by MDC staining, induction of green fluorescent protein light chain 3 (GFP-LC3B) foci by confocal microscopy, transfection of pBABE-puro mCherry-EGFP-LC3B plasmid and western blotting of autophagy marker proteins LC3B, beclin1, and ATG5. Further, inhibition of autophagy by 3-Methyladenine (3-MA) decreased LD50 doses of CuO NPs. Such cell death was associated with the induction of apoptosis as revealed by FACS analysis, cleavage of PARP, dephosphorylation of Bad and increased cleavage product of caspase3. siRNA-mediated inhibition of autophagy-related gene beclin1 also demonstrated similar results. Finally, induction of apoptosis by 3-MA in CuO NPs treated cells were observed by TEM. This study indicates that CuO NPs are a potent inducer of autophagy which may be a cellular defense against the CuO NPs mediated toxicity and inhibition of autophagy switches the cellular response into apoptosis. A combination of CuO NPs with the autophagy inhibitor is essential to induce apoptosis in breast cancer cells. Acknowledgments: The authors would like to acknowledge for financial support for this research work to the Department of Biotechnology (No. BT/PR14661/NNT/28/494/2010), Government of India.

Keywords: Nanoparticle, apoptosis, autophagy, siRNA-mediated inhibition

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27 Cellular Degradation Activity is Activated by Ambient Temperature Reduction in an Annual Fish (Nothobranchius rachovii)

Authors: Chin-Yuan Hsu, Cheng-Yen Lu


Ambient temperature reduction (ATR) can extend the lifespan of an annual fish (Nothobranchius rachovii), but the underlying mechanism is unknown. In this study, the expression, concentration, and activity of cellular-degraded molecules were evaluated in the muscle of N. rachovii reared under high (30 °C), moderate (25 °C), and low (20 °C) ambient temperatures by biochemical techniques. The results showed that (i) the activity of the 20S proteasome, the expression of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-II (LC3-II), the expression of lysosome-associated membrane protein type 2a (Lamp 2a), and lysosome activity increased with ATR; (ii) the expression of the 70 kD heat shock cognate protein (Hsc 70) decreased with ATR; (iii) the expression of the 20S proteasome, the expression of lysosome-associated membrane protein type 1 (Lamp 1), the expression of molecular target of rapamycin (mTOR), the expression of phosphorylated mTOR (p-mTOR), and the p-mTOR/mTOR ratio did not change with ATR. These findings indicated that ATR activated the activity of proteasome, macroautophagy, and chaperone-mediated autophagy. Taken together these data reveal that ATR likely activates cellular degradation activity to extend the lifespan of N. rachovii.

Keywords: autophagy, Proteasome, lifespan, ambient temperature reduction, degradation activity

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26 Effect of Serine/Threonine Kinases on Autophagy Mechanism

Authors: Ozlem Oral, Seval Kilic, Ozlem Yedier, Serap Dokmeci, Devrim Gozuacik


Autophagy is a degradation pathway, activating under stress conditions. It digests macromolecules, such as abnormal proteins and long-lived organelles by engulfing them and by subsequent delivery of the cargo to lysosomes. The members of the phospholipid-dependent serine/threonine kinases, involved in many signaling pathways, which are necessary for the regulation of cellular metabolic activation. Previous studies implicate that, serine/threonine kinases have crucial roles in the mechanism of many diseases depend on the activated and/or inactivated signaling pathway. Data indicates, the signaling pathways activated by serine/threonine kinases are also involved in activation of autophagy mechanism. However, the information about the effect of serine/threonine kinases on autophagy mechanism and the roles of these effects in disease formation is limited. In this study, we investigated the effect of activated serine/threonine kinases on autophagic pathway. We performed a commonly used autophagy technique, GFP-LC3 dot formation and by using microscopy analyses, we evaluated promotion and/or inhibition of autophagy in serine/threonine kinase-overexpressed fibroblasts as well as cancer cells. In addition, we carried out confocal microscopy analyses and examined autophagic flux by utilizing the differential pH sensitivities of RFP and GFP in mRFP-GFP-LC3 probe. Based on the shRNA-library based screening, we identified autophagy-related proteins affected by serine/threonine kinases. We further studied the involvement of serine/threonine kinases on the molecular mechanism of newly identified autophagy proteins and found that, autophagic pathway is indirectly controlled by serine/threonine kinases via specific autophagic proteins. Our data indicate the molecular connection between two critical cellular mechanisms, which have important roles in the formation of many disease pathologies, particularly cancer. This project is supported by TUBITAK-1001-Scientific and Technological Research Projects Funding Program, Project No: 114Z836.

Keywords: autophagy, GFP-LC3 dot formation assay, serine/threonine kinases, shRNA-library screening

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25 Defective Autophagy Leads to the Resistance to PP2 in ATG5 Knockout Cells Generated by CRISPR-Cas9 Endonuclease

Authors: Sung-Hee Hwang, Michael Lee


Upregulated Src activity has been implicated in a variety of cancers. Thus, Src family tyrosine kinase (SFK) inhibitors are often effective cancer treatments. Here, we investigate the role of autophagy in ATG5 knockout cell lines generated by the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/Cas mediated genome editing. The CRISPR-associated protein Cas9 is an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease that uses RNA–DNA complementarity to identify target sites for sequence specific double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) cleavage. Interestingly, ATG5 KO cells clearly showed a greater proliferation rate than WT NIH 3T3 cells, implying that autophagy induction is cytotoxic. Also, the clonogenic survival of ATG5 KO cells was greater than WT cells. The MTT assay revealed that the cytotoxic effect of PP2 was weaker on ATG5 knockout cells than that WT cells. The conversion of non-autophagic LC3-I to autophagic LC3-II and RT-PCR confirmed the functional gene knockout. Furthermore, Cyto-ID autophagy assay also revealed that PP2 failed to induce autophagy in ATG5 knockout cells. Together, our findings suggest that the resistance to PP2 in ATG5 knockout cells is associated with defective autophagy.

Keywords: autophagy, CRISPR/Cas9, ATG5 knockout, PP2

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24 Decreased Autophagy Contributes to Senescence Induction in HS68 Cells

Authors: Michael Lee, Byeal-I Han


Ageing is associated with an increased risk of diseases such as cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. Increased autophagy delays ageing and extends longevity. In this study, we investigated the role of autophagy in longevity using human foreskin fibroblast HS68 cells, in which a senescence-like growth arrest can be induced. In particular, cellular senescence is manifested by the irreversible cell cycle arrest, and may contribute to the ageing of organisms. The senescence state was measured with staining for senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity that represents a sensitive and reliable marker to quantify senescent cells. We detected a significantly increased percentage (%) of SA-β-gal positive cells in HS68 cultures at passage 40 (63%) when compared with younger ones at passage 15 (0.5%). As expected, HS68 cells at passage 40 exhibited much lower proliferation rate than cells at passage 15. The basal levels of LC3 were measured by immunoblotting showing a comparison of LC3-I and LC3-II levels at 3 age-points in serially passaged HS68 cells. LC3-II/LC3-I ratio at different passage levels relative to β-actin levels of each band confirmed that cells at passage 34 showed lower conversion of non-autophagic LC3-I to autophagic LC3-II than the cells at passage 16. Furthermore, Cyto-ID autophagy assay also revealed that late passage cells showed lower autophagy than the early passage cells. Together, our findings suggest that senescence induction might be associated with decreased autophagy.

Keywords: Ageing, autophagy, senescence, HS68

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23 MicroRNA-1246 Expression Associated with Resistance to Oncogenic BRAF Inhibitors in Mutant BRAF Melanoma Cells

Authors: Michael Lee, Jae-Hyeon Kim


Intrinsic and acquired resistance limits the therapeutic benefits of oncogenic BRAF inhibitors in melanoma. MicroRNAs (miRNA) regulate the expression of target mRNAs by repressing their translation. Thus, we investigated miRNA expression patterns in melanoma cell lines to identify candidate biomarkers for acquired resistance to BRAF inhibitor. Here, we used Affymetrix miRNA V3.0 microarray profiling platform to compare miRNA expression levels in three cell lines containing BRAF inhibitor-sensitive A375P BRAF V600E cells, their BRAF inhibitor-resistant counterparts (A375P/Mdr), and SK-MEL-2 BRAF-WT cells with intrinsic resistance to BRAF inhibitor. The miRNAs with at least a two-fold change in expression between BRAF inhibitor-sensitive and –resistant cell lines, were identified as differentially expressed. Averaged intensity measurements identified 138 and 217 miRNAs that were differentially expressed by 2 fold or more between: 1) A375P and A375P/Mdr; 2) A375P and SK-MEL-2, respectively. The hierarchical clustering revealed differences in miRNA expression profiles between BRAF inhibitor-sensitive and –resistant cell lines for miRNAs involved in intrinsic and acquired resistance to BRAF inhibitor. In particular, 43 miRNAs were identified whose expression was consistently altered in two BRAF inhibitor-resistant cell lines, regardless of intrinsic and acquired resistance. Twenty five miRNAs were consistently upregulated and 18 downregulated more than 2-fold. Although some discrepancies were detected when miRNA microarray data were compared with qPCR-measured expression levels, qRT-PCR for five miRNAs (miR-3617, miR-92a1, miR-1246, miR-1936-3p, and miR-17-3p) results showed excellent agreement with microarray experiments. To further investigate cellular functions of miRNAs, we examined effects on cell proliferation. Synthetic oligonucleotide miRNA mimics were transfected into three cell lines, and proliferation was quantified using a colorimetric assay. Of the 5 miRNAs tested, only miR-1246 altered cell proliferation of A375P/Mdr cells. The transfection of miR-1246 mimic strongly conferred PLX-4720 resistance to A375P/Mdr cells, implying that miR-1246 upregulation confers acquired resistance to BRAF inhibition. We also found that PLX-4720 caused much greater G2/M arrest in A375P/Mdr cells transfected with miR-1246mimic than that seen in scrambled RNA-transfected cells. Additionally, miR-1246 mimic partially caused a resistance to autophagy induction by PLX-4720. These results indicate that autophagy does play an essential death-promoting role inPLX-4720-induced cell death. Taken together, these results suggest that miRNA expression profiling in melanoma cells can provide valuable information for a network of BRAF inhibitor resistance-associated miRNAs.

Keywords: microRNA, autophagy, Drug Resistance, BRAF inhibitor

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22 Autophagy Promotes Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Migration in vitro and in vivo

Authors: Changhan Ouyang, Zhonglin Xie


In response to proatherosclerotic factors such as oxidized lipids, or to therapeutic interventions such as angioplasty, stents, or bypass surgery, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) migrate from the media to the intima, resulting in intimal hyperplasia, restenosis, graft failure, or atherosclerosis. These proatherosclerotic factors also activate autophagy in VSMCs. However, the functional role of autophagy in vascular health and disease remains poorly understood. In the present study, we determined the role of autophagy in the regulation of VSMC migration. Autophagy activity in cultured human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs) and mouse carotid arteries was measured by Western blot analysis of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 B (LC3B) and P62. The VSMC migration was determined by scratch wound assay and transwell migration assay. Ex vivo smooth muscle cell migration was determined using aortic ring assay. The in vivo SMC migration was examined by staining the carotid artery sections with smooth muscle alpha actin (alpha SMA) after carotid artery ligation. To examine the relationship between autophagy and neointimal hyperplasia, C57BL/6J mice were subjected to carotid artery ligation. Seven days after injury, protein levels of Atg5, Atg7, Beclin1, and LC3B drastically increased and remained higher in the injured arteries three weeks after the injury. In parallel with the activation of autophagy, vascular injury-induced neointimal hyperplasia as estimated by increased intima/media ratio. The en face staining of carotid artery showed that vascular injury enhanced alpha SMA staining in the intimal cells as compared with the sham operation. Treatment of HASMCs with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), one of the major factors for vascular remodeling in response to vascular injury, increased Atg7 and LC3 II protein levels and enhanced autophagosome formation. In addition, aortic ring assay demonstrated that PDGF treated aortic rings displayed an increase in neovessel formation compared with control rings. Whole mount staining for CD31 and alpha SMA in PDGF treated neovessels revealed that the neovessel structures were stained by alpha SMA but not CD31. In contrast, pharmacological and genetic suppression of autophagy inhibits VSMC migration. Especially, gene silencing of Atg7 inhibited VSMC migration induced by PDGF. Furthermore, three weeks after ligation, markedly decreased neointimal formation was found in mice treated with chloroquine, an inhibitor of autophagy. Quantitative morphometric analysis of the injured vessels revealed a marked reduction in the intima/media ratio in the mice treated with chloroquine. Conclusion: Autophagy activation increases VSMC migration while autophagy suppression inhibits VSMC migration. These findings suggest that autophagy suppression may be an important therapeutic strategy for atherosclerosis and intimal hyperplasia.

Keywords: Migration, autophagy, vascular smooth muscle cell, neointimal formation

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21 Significance of Molecular Autophagic Pathway in Gaucher Disease Pathology

Authors: Ozlem Oral, Devrim Gozuacik, Emre Taskin, Aysel Yuce, Serap Dokmeci


Autophagy is an evolutionary conserved lysosome-dependent catabolic pathway, responsible for the degradation of long-lived proteins, abnormal aggregates and damaged organelles which cannot be degraded by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Lysosomes degrade the substrates through the activity of lysosomal hydrolases and lysosomal membrane-bound proteins. Mutations in the coding region of these proteins cause malfunctional lysosomes, which contributes to the pathogenesis of lysosomal storage diseases. Gaucher disease is a lysosomal storage disease resulting from the mutation of a lysosomal membrane-associated glycoprotein called glucocerebrosidase and its cofactor saposin C. The disease leads to intracellular accumulation of glucosylceramide and other glycolipids. Because of the essential role of lysosomes in autophagic degradation, Gaucher disease may directly be linked to this pathway. In this study, we investigated the expression of autophagy and/or lysosome-related genes and proteins in fibroblast cells isolated from patients with different mutations. We carried out confocal microscopy analysis and examined autophagic flux by utilizing the differential pH sensitivities of RFP and GFP in mRFP-GFP-LC3 probe. We also evaluated lysosomal pH by active lysosome staining and lysosomal enzyme activity. Beside lysosomes, we also performed proteasomal activity and cell death analysis in patient samples. Our data showed significant attenuation in the expression of key autophagy-related genes and accumulation of their proteins in mutant cells. We found decreased the ability of autophagosomes to fuse with lysosomes, associated with elevated lysosomal pH and reduced lysosomal enzyme activity. Proteasomal degradation and cell death analysis showed reduced proteolytic activity of the proteasome, which consequently leads to increased susceptibility to cell death. Our data indicate that the major degradation pathways are affected by multifunctional lysosomes in mutant patient cells and may underlie in the mechanism of clinical severity of Gaucher patients. (This project is supported by TUBITAK-3501-National Young Researchers Career Development Program, Project No: 112T130).

Keywords: autophagy, Gaucher's disease, glucocerebrosidase, mutant fibroblasts

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20 Non-Steroidal Microtubule Disrupting Analogues Induce Programmed Cell Death in Breast and Lung Cancer Cell Lines

Authors: Elsie M. Nolte, Marcel Verwey, Anne E. Theron, Anna M. Joubert, Wolfgang Dohle, Barry V. L. Potter


A tetrahydroisoquinolinone (THIQ) core can be used to mimic the A,B-ring of colchicine site-binding microtubule disruptors such as 2-methoxyestradiol in the design of anti-cancer agents. Steroidomimeric microtubule disruptors were synthesized by introducing C'2 and C'3 of the steroidal A-ring to C'6 and C'7 of the THIQ core and by introducing a decorated hydrogen bond acceptor motif projecting from the steroidal D-ring to N'2. For this in vitro study, four non-steroidal THIQ-based analogues were investigated and comparative studies were done between the non-sulphamoylated compound STX 3450 and the sulphamoylated compounds STX 2895, STX 3329 and STX 3451. The objective of this study was to investigate the modes of cell death induced by these four THIQ-based analogues in A549 lung carcinoma epithelial cells and metastatic breast adenocarcinoma MDA-MB-231 cells. Cytotoxicity studies to determine the half maximal growth inhibitory concentrations were done using spectrophotometric quantification via crystal violet staining and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays. Microtubule integrity and morphologic changes of exposed cells were investigated using polarization-optical transmitted light differential interference contrast microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and confocal microscopy. Flow cytometric quantification was used to determine apoptosis induction and the effect that THIQ-based analogues have on cell cycle progression. Signal transduction pathways were elucidated by quantification of the mitochondrial membrane integrity, cytochrome c release and caspase 3, -6 and -8 activation. Induction of autophagic cell death by the THIQ-based analogues was investigated by morphological assessment of fluorescent monodansylcadaverine (MDC) staining of acidic vacuoles and by quantifying aggresome formation via flow cytometry. Results revealed that these non-steroidal microtubule disrupting analogues inhibited 50% of cell growth at nanomolar concentrations. Immunofluorescence microscopy indicated microtubule depolarization and the resultant mitotic arrest was further confirmed through cell cycle analysis. Apoptosis induction via the intrinsic pathway was observed due to depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane, induction of cytochrome c release as well as, caspase 3 activation. Potential involvement of programmed cell death type II was observed due to the presence of acidic vacuoles and aggresome formation. Necrotic cell death did not contribute significantly, indicated by stable LDH levels. This in vitro study revealed the induction of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway as well as possible involvement of autophagy after exposure to these THIQ-based analogues in both MDA-MB-231- and A549 cells. Further investigation of this series of anticancer drugs still needs to be conducted to elucidate the temporal, mechanistic and functional crosstalk mechanisms between the two observed programmed cell deaths pathways.

Keywords: Cancer, apoptosis, autophagy, microtubule disruptor

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19 Autophagy Regulates Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Tumorigenesis through Selective Degradation of Cyclin D1

Authors: Xi-Zhang Lin, Tsung-Hsueh Lu, Shan-Ying Wu, Sheng-Hui Lan, Ih-Jen Su, Ting-Fen Tsai, Chia-Jui Yen, Fu-Wen Liang, Huey-Jen Su, Chun-Li Su, Hsiao-Sheng Liu


In hepatocelluar carcinoma (HCC), dysregulated expression of cyclin D1 and impaired autophagy has been reported separately. However, the relationship between them has not been explored. In this study, we demonstrated that autophagy was inversely correlated with cyclin D1 expression in 147 paired HCC patient specimens. HCC specimen with highly expression of cyclin D1 shows correlation with poor overall survival rate. Furthermore, induction of autophagy by amiodarone (antiarrhythmic drug) in Hep 3B cells, cyclin D1 was recruited into autophagosomes demonstrated by immune-gold labeling of cyclin D1 after extraction of autophagosomes. We further demonstrated that autophagy suppresses Hep 3B cell proliferation, and further analysis revealed that cell cycle was arrested at G1 phase. The interaction between LC3 (maker of autophagy) and cyclin D1 was increased after autophagy induction. In addition, ubiquitinated-cyclin D1 was also increased after autophagy induction, which is selectively degraded by autophagosome through binding with SQSTM1/p62 (an adaptor protein). In vivo study showed that amiodarone induced autophagy suppresses liver tumor formation in xenograft mouse and orthotopic rat model through decreasing cyclin D1 expression and inhibition of cell proliferation. Altogether, we reveal a novel mechanism that ubiquitinated cyclin D1 degraded by autophagic pathway by p62 and amiodarone is a promising drug for targeting cyclin D1 in liver cancer therapy.

Keywords: autophagy, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, amiodarone, cyclin D1

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18 Autophagy Suppresses Tumorigenesis through Upregulation of MiR-449a in Colorectal Cancer

Authors: Shan-Ying Wu, Sheng-Hui Lan, Hsiao-Sheng Liu, Shu-Ching Lin, Wei-Chen Wang


Autophagy is an essential mechanism to maintain cellular homeostasis through its degradation function, and the autophagy deficiency is related various diseases including tumorigenesis in several cancers. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small none coding RNAs, which regulate gene expression through degradation of mRNA or inhibition of translation. However, the relationship between autophagy deficiency and dysregulated miRNAs is still unclear. We revealed a mechanism that autophagy up-regulates miR-449a expression at the transcriptional level through activation of forkhead transcription factor family member FoxO1 and then suppresses tumorigenesis in CRC. Our data showed that the autophagic activity and miR-449a expression were lower in colorectal cancer (CRC) and has a positive correlation. We further reveal that autophagy degrades p300 expression and then suppresses acetylation of FoxO1. Under autophagic induction conditions, FoxO1 is transported from the cytoplasm to the nucleus and binds to the miR-449a promoter and then promotes miR-449a expression. In addition, either miR-449a overexpression or amiodarone-induced autophagy inhibits cell cycle progression, proliferation, colony formation migration, invasion, and tumor formation of SW480 cells. Our findings indicate that autophagy inducers may have the potential to be used for prevention and treatment of CRC through upregulation of miR-449a expression.

Keywords: autophagy, colorectal cancer, MiR-449a, FoxO1

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17 Autophagy Suppresses Bladder Tumor Formation in a Mouse Orthotopic Bladder Tumor Formation Model

Authors: Hsiao-Sheng Liu, Wan-Ting Kuo, Yi-Wen Liu


Annual incidence of bladder cancer increases in the world and occurs frequently in the male. Most common type is transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) which is treated by transurethral resection followed by intravesical administration of agents. In clinical treatment of bladder cancer, chemotherapeutic drugs-induced apoptosis is always used in patients. However, cancers usually develop resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs and often lead to aggressive tumors with worse clinical outcomes. Approximate 70% TCC recurs and 30% recurrent tumors progress to high-grade invasive tumors, indicating that new therapeutic agents are urgently needed to improve the successful rate of overall treatment. Nonapoptotic program cell death may assist to overcome worse clinical outcomes. Autophagy which is one of the nonapoptotic pathways provides another option for bladder cancer patients. Autophagy is reported as a potent anticancer therapy in some cancers. First of all, we established a mouse orthotopic bladder tumor formation model in order to create a similar tumor microenvironment. IVIS system and micro-ultrasound were utilized to noninvasively monitor tumor formation. In addition, we carried out intravesical treatment in our animal model to be consistent with human clinical treatment. In our study, we carried out intravesical instillation of the autophagy inducer in mouse orthotopic bladder tumor to observe tumor formation by noninvasive IVIS system and micro-ultrasound. Our results showed that bladder tumor formation is suppressed by the autophagy inducer, and there are no significant side effects in the physiology of mice. Furthermore, the autophagy inducer upregulated autophagy in bladder tissues of the treated mice was confirmed by Western blot, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence. In conclusion, we reveal that a novel autophagy inducer with low side effects suppresses bladder tumor formation in our mouse orthotopic bladder tumor model, and it provides another therapeutic approach in bladder cancer patients.

Keywords: autophagy, bladder cancer, transitional cell carcinoma, orthotopic bladder tumor formation model

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16 The Phosphatidate Phosphatase Pah1 and Its Regulator Nem1/spo7 Protein Phosphatase Required for Nucleophagy

Authors: Muhammad Arifur Rahman, Talukdar M. Waliullah, Takashi Ushimaru


Nucleophagy selectively degrades nuclear materials, especially nucleolus after nutrient starvation or inactivation of TORC1 kinase in budding yeast. Budding yeast phosphatidate (PA) phosphatase Pah1 that converts PA to diacylglycerol is essential for partitioning of lipid precursors between membrane and storage that is crucial for many aspects of cell growth and development. Pah1 is required for nuclear/ER membrane biogenesis and vacuole function, but whether Pah1 and its activator Nem1/Spo7 protein phosphatase complex are involved in autophagy is largely unknown. Loss of Pah1 causes expansion of the nucleus and fragmentation of the vacuole. Here we show that Pah1 is required for bulk autophagy and nucleophagy after TORC1 inactivation. Loss of Pah1 impaired nucleophagy severely and bulk autophagy to a lesser extent. Loss of the Pah1 activator Nem1-Spo7 protein phosphatase exhibited similar features.

Keywords: autophagy, Nem1/Spo7 phosphatase, Pah1, nucleophagy, TORC1

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15 The Role of Il-6-Mediated NS5ATP9 Expression in Autophagy of Liver Cancer Cells

Authors: Yu Zhang, Hongping Lu, Kelbinur Tursun, Yaru Li, Shunai Liu, Ming Han


Objective: To investigate whether NS5ATP9 is involved in IL-6 mediated autophagy and the relationship between IL-6 and NS5ATP9 in liver cancer cells. Methods: 1. Detect the mRNA and protein levels of Beclin 1 after HepG2 cells were treated with or without recombinant human IL-6 protein. 2. Measure and compare of the changes of autophagy-related genes with their respective control, after IL-6 was silenced or neutralized with monoclonal antibody against human IL-6. 3. HepG2 cells were incubated with 50 ng/ml of IL-6 in the presence or absence of PDTC. The expression of NS5ATP9 was analyzed by Western blot after 48 h. 4. After NS5ATP9-silenced HepG2 cells had been treated with 50 ng/ml recombinant IL-6 protein, we detected the Beclin 1 and LC3B (LC3Ⅱ/Ⅰ) expression. 5. HepG2 cells were transfected with pNS5ATP9, si-NS5ATP9, and their respective control. Total RNA was isolated from cells and analyzed for IL-6. 6. Silence or neutralization of IL-6 in HepG2 cells which has been transfected with NS5ATP9. Beclin 1 and LC3 protein levels were analyzed by Western blot. Result: 1. After HepG2 were treated with recombinant human IL-6 protein, the expression of endogenous Beclin 1 was up-regulated at mRNA and protein level, and the conversion of endogenous LC3-I to LC3-II was also increased. These results indicated that IL-6 could induce autophagy. 2. When HepG2 cells were treated with IL-6 siRNA or monoclonal antibody against human IL-6, the expression of autophagy-related genes were decreased. 3. Exogenous human IL-6 recombinant protein up-regulated NS5ATP9 via NF-κB activation. 4. The expression of Beclin 1 and LC3B was down-regulated after IL-6 treated NS5ATP9-silenced HepG2 cells. 5. NS5ATP9 could reverse regulates IL-6 expression in HepG2 cells. 6. Silence or neutralization of IL-6 attenuates NS5ATP9-induced autophagy slightly. Conclusion: Our results implied that in HCC patients, maybe the higher level of IL-6 in the serum promoted the expression of NS5ATP9 and induced autophagy in cancer cells. And the over-expression of NS5ATP9 which induced by IL-6, in turn, increased IL-6 expression, further, promotes the IL-6/NS5ATP9-mediated autophagy and affects the progression of tumor. Therefore, NS5ATP9 silence might be a potential target for HCC therapy.

Keywords: Microenvironment, autophagy, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, IL-6, NS5ATP9

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14 Intensive Crosstalk between Autophagy and Intracellular Signaling Regulates Osteosarcoma Cell Survival Response under Cisplatin Stress

Authors: Jyothi Nagraj, Sudeshna Mukherjee, Rajdeep Chowdhury


Autophagy has recently been linked with cancer cell survival post drug insult contributing to acquisition of resistance. However, the molecular signaling governing autophagic survival response is poorly explored. In our study, in osteosarcoma (OS) cells cisplatin shock was found to activate both MAPK and autophagy signaling. An activation of JNK and autophagy acted as pro-survival strategy, while ERK1/2 triggered apoptotic signals upon cisplatin stress. An increased sensitivity of the cells to cisplatin was obtained with simultaneous inhibition of both autophagy and JNK pathway. Furthermore, we observed that the autophagic stimulation upon drug stress regulates other developmentally active signaling pathways like the Hippo pathway in OS cells. Cisplatin resistant cells were thereafter developed by repetitive drug exposure followed by clonal selection. Basal levels of autophagy were found to be high in resistant cells to. However, the signaling mechanism leading to autophagic up-regulation and its regulatory effect differed in OS cells upon attaining drug resistance. Our results provide valuable clues to regulatory dynamics of autophagy that can be considered for development of improved therapeutic strategy against resistant type cancers.

Keywords: Cancer, autophagy, Drug Resistance, JNK

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13 Biologically Synthesised Silver Nanoparticles Induces Autophagy and JNK Signaling as a Pro-Survival Response by Abrogating Reactive Oxygen Species Accumulation in Cancer Cells

Authors: Jitendra Panwar, Sudeshna Mukherjee, Rajdeep Chowdhury, Leena Fageria, R. Venkataramana Dilip


Metal nanoparticles in recent years have gained importance in cancer therapy due to their enhanced permeability retention effect. Among various nanomaterials, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have received considerable attention due to their unique properties like conductivity, chemical stability, relative lower toxicity and outstanding therapeutic potential, such as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-cancerous activities. In this study, we took a greener approach to synthesize silver nanoparticle from fungus and analyze its effects on both epithelial and mesenchymal derived cancer cells. Much research has been done on nanoparticle-induced apoptosis, but little is known about its role in autophagy. In our study, the silver nanoparticles were seen to induce autophagy which was analyzed by studying the expression of several autophagy markers like, LC3B-II and ATG genes. Monodansylcadaverine (MDC) assay also revealed the induction of autophagy upon treatment with AgNPs. Inhibition of autophagy by chloroquine resulted in increased cell death suggesting autophagy as a survival strategy adopted by the cells. In parallel to autophagy induction, silver nanoparticles induced ROS accumulation. Interestingly, autophagy inhibition by chloroquine increased ROS level, resulting in enhanced cell death. We further analyzed MAPK signaling upon AgNP treatment. It was observed that along with autophagy, activation of JNK signaling served as pro-survival while ERK signaling served as a pro-death signal. Our results provide valuable insights into the role of autophagy upon AgNP exposure and provide cues to probabilistic strategies to effectively sensitize cancer cells.

Keywords: autophagy, Silver Nanoparticles, reactive oxygen species, JNK signalling

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12 Non-Canonical Beclin-1-Independent Autophagy and Apoptosis in Cell Death Induced by Rhus coriaria in Human Colon HT-29 Cancer Cells

Authors: Rabah Iratni, Husain El Hasasna, Khawlah Athamneh, Halima Al Sameri, Nehla Benhalilou, Asma Al Rashedi


Background: Cancer therapies have witnessed great advances in the recent past, however, cancer continues to be a leading cause of death, with colorectal cancer being the fourth cause of cancer-related deaths. Colorectal cancer affects both sexes equally with poor survival rate once it metastasizes. Phytochemicals, which are plant derived compounds, have been on a steady rise as anti-cancer drugs due to the accumulation of evidences that support their potential. Here, we investigated the anticancer effect of Rhus coriaria on colon cancer cells. Material and Method: Human colon cancer HT-29 cell line was used. Protein expression and protein phosphorylation were examined using Western blotting. Transcription activity was measure using Quantitative RT-PCR. Human tumoral clonogenic assay was used to assess cell survival. Senescence was assessed by the senescence-associated beta-galactosidase assay. Results: Rhus coriaria extract (RCE) was found to significantly inhibit the viability and colony growth of human HT-29 colon cancer cells. RCE induced senescence and cell cycle arrest at G1 phase. These changes were concomitant with upregulation of p21, p16, downregulation of cyclin D1, p27, c-myc and expression of Senescence-associated-β-Galactosidase activity. Moreover, RCE induced non-canonical beclin-1independent autophagy and subsequent apoptotic cell death through activation of activation caspase 8 and caspase 7. The blocking of autophagy by 3-methyladenine (3-MA) or chloroquine (CQ) reduced RCE-induced cell death. Further, RCE induced DNA damage, reduced mutant p53 protein level and downregulated phospho-AKT and phospho-mTOR, events that preceded autophagy. Mechanistically, we found that RCE inhibited the AKT and mTOR pathway, a regulator of autophagy, by promoting the proteasome-dependent degradation of both AKT and mTOR proteins. Conclusion: Our findings provide strong evidence that Rhus coriaria possesses strong anti-colon cancer activity through induction of senescence and autophagic cell death, making it a promising alternative or adjunct therapeutic candidate against colon cancer.

Keywords: apoptosis, autophagy, mTOR, senescence, proteasome degradation, Beclin-1

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11 Characterization of WNK2 Role on Glioma Cells Vesicular Traffic

Authors: Viviane A. O. Silva, Angela M. Costa, Glaucia N. M. Hajj, Ana Preto, Aline Tansini, Martin Roffé, Peter Jordan, Rui M. Reis


Autophagy is a recycling and degradative system suggested to be a major cell death pathway in cancer cells. Autophagy pathway is interconnected with the endocytosis pathways sharing the same ultimate lysosomal destination. Lysosomes are crucial regulators of cell homeostasis, responsible to downregulate receptor signalling and turnover. It seems highly likely that derailed endocytosis can make major contributions to several hallmarks of cancer. WNK2, a member of the WNK (with-no-lysine [K]) subfamily of protein kinases, had been found downregulated by its promoter hypermethylation, and has been proposed to act as a specific tumour-suppressor gene in brain tumors. Although some contradictory studies indicated WNK2 as an autophagy modulator, its role in cancer cell death is largely unknown. There is also growing evidence for additional roles of WNK kinases in vesicular traffic. Aim: To evaluate the role of WNK2 in autophagy and endocytosis on glioma context. Methods: Wild-type (wt) A172 cells (WNK2 promoter-methylated), and A172 transfected either with an empty vector (Ev) or with a WNK2 expression vector, were used to assess the cellular basal capacities to promote autophagy, through western blot and flow-cytometry analysis. Additionally, we evaluated the effect of WNK2 on general endocytosis trafficking routes by immunofluorescence. Results: The re-expression of ectopic WNK2 did not interfere with autophagy-related protein light chain 3 (LC3-II) expression levels as well as did not promote mTOR signaling pathway alteration when compared with Ev or wt A172 cells. However, the restoration of WNK2 resulted in a marked increase (8 to 92,4%) of Acidic Vesicular Organelles formation (AVOs). Moreover, our results also suggest that WNK2 cells promotes delay in uptake and internalization rate of cholera toxin B and transferrin ligands. Conclusions: The restoration of WNK2 interferes in vesicular traffic during endocytosis pathway and increase AVOs formation. This results also suggest the role of WNK2 in growth factor receptor turnover related to cell growth and homeostasis and associates one more time, WNK2 silencing contribution in genesis of gliomas.

Keywords: autophagy, glioma, endocytosis, WNK2

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10 MicroRNA 200c-3p Regulates Autophagy Mediated Upregulation of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in PC-3 Cells

Authors: Eun Jung Sohn, Hwan Tae Park


Autophagy is a cellular response to stress or environment on cell survival. Here, we investigated the role of ectopic expression of miR 200c-3p in autophagy. Ectopic expression of miR 200c-3p increased the expression of IRE1alpha, ATF6 and CHOP by western blot and RT-qPCR. Furthermore, the level of microRNA 200c-3p was enhanced by treatment of TG or overexpression of GRP 78. Also, ectopic expression of miR200c-3p increased the LC3 II expression by western blot and RT-qPCR. Also, we found that western blot assay showed that miR200c-3p inhibitor was blocked the starvation–induced LC3II levels. Furthermore, starvation stress increased the level of miR200c-3p in different kinetics. Ectopic expression of miR200c-3p attenuated LC3II expression in IRE1 siRNA transfected PC3 cells. Here, we first demonstrate that miR200c-3p regulates autophagy via ER stress pathway.

Keywords: autophagy, ER stress, LC3II, miR200c-3p

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9 Investigating Role of Autophagy in Cispaltin Induced Stemness and Chemoresistance in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Authors: Prajna Paramita Naik, Sujit Kumar Bhutia


Background: Regardless of the development multimodal treatment strategies, oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is often associated with a high rate of recurrence, metastasis and chemo- and radio- resistance. The present study inspected the relevance of CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17 expression as a putative stem cell compartment in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and deciphered the role of autophagy in regulating the expression of aforementioned proteins, stemness and chemoresistance. Methods: A retrospective analysis of CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17 expression with respect to the various clinicopathological factors of sixty OSCC patients were determined via immunohistochemistry. The correlation among CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17 expression was established. Sphere formation assay, flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy were conducted to elucidate the stemness and chemoresistance nature of established cisplatin-resistant oral cancer cells (FaDu). The pattern of expression of CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17 in parental (FaDu-P) and resistant FaDu cells (FaDu-CDDP-R) were investigated through fluorescence microscopy. Western blot analysis of autophagy marker proteins was performed to compare the status of autophagy in parental and resistant FaDu cell. To investigate the role of autophagy in chemoresistance and stemness, sphere formation assay, immunofluorescence and Western blot analysis was performed post transfection with siATG14 and the level of expression of autophagic proteins, mitochondrial protein and stemness-associated proteins were analyzed. The statistical analysis was performed by GraphPad Prism 4.0 software. p-value was defined as follows: not significant (n.s.): p > 0.05;*: p ≤ 0.05; **: p ≤ 0.01; ***: p ≤ 0.001; ****: p ≤ 0.0001 were considered statistically significant. Results: In OSCC, high CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17 expression were significantly correlated with higher tumor grades and poor differentiation. However, the expression of these proteins was not related to the age and sex of OSCC patients. Moreover, the expression of CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17 were positively correlated with each other. In vitro and OSCC tissue double labeling experiment data showed that CD44+ cells were highly associated with ABCB1 and ADAM17 expression. Further, FaDu-CDDP-R cells showed higher sphere forming capacity along with increased fraction of the CD44+ population and β-catenin expression FaDu-CDDP-R cells also showed accelerated expression of CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17. A comparatively higher autophagic flux was observed in FaDu-CDDP-R against FaDu-P cells. The expression of mitochondrial proteins was noticeably reduced in resistant cells as compared to parental cells indicating the occurrence of autophagy-mediated mitochondrial degradation in oral cancer. Moreover, inhibition of autophagy was coupled with the decreased formation of orospheres suggesting autophagy-mediated stemness in oral cancer. Blockade of autophagy was also found to induce the restoration of mitochondrial proteins in FaDu-CDDP-R cells indicating the involvement of mitophagy in chemoresistance. Furthermore, a reduced expression of CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17 was also observed in ATG14 deficient cells FaDu-P and FaDu-CDDP-R cells. Conclusion: The CD44+ ⁄ABCB1+ ⁄ADAM17+ expression in OSCC might be associated with chemoresistance and a putative CSC compartment. Further, the present study highlights the contribution of mitophagy in chemoresistance and confirms the potential involvement of autophagic regulation in acquisition of stem-like characteristics in OSCC.

Keywords: autophagy, Chemoresistance, OSCC, stemness, ABCB1, ADAM17, CD44, mitophagy

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8 Autophagy in the Midgut Epithelium of Spodoptera exigua Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Larvae Exposed to Various Cadmium Concentration - 6-Generational Exposure

Authors: Magdalena Maria Rost-Roszkowska, Alina Chachulska-Żymełka, Monika Tarnawska, Maria Augustyniak, Alina Kafel, Agnieszka Babczyńska


Autophagy is a form of cell remodeling in which an internalization of organelles into vacuoles that are called autophagosomes occur. Autophagosomes are the targets of lysosomes, thus causing digestion of cytoplasmic components. Eventually, it can lead to the death of the entire cell. However, in response to several stress factors, e.g., starvation, heavy metals (e.g., cadmium) autophagy can also act as a pro-survival factor, protecting the cell against its death. The main aim of our studies was to check if the process of autophagy, which could appear in the midgut epithelium after Cd treatment, can be fixed during the following generations of insects. As a model animal, we chose the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), a well-known polyphagous pest of many vegetable crops. We analyzed specimens at final larval stage (5th larval stage), due to its hyperfagy, resulting in great amount of cadmium assimilate. The culture consisted of two strains: a control strain (K) fed a standard diet, and a cadmium strain (Cd), fed on standard diet supplemented with cadmium (44 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food) for 146 generations, both strains. In addition, the control insects were transferred to the Cd supplemented diet (5 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food, 10 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food, 20 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food, 44 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food). Therefore, we obtained Cd1, Cd2, Cd3 and KCd experimental groups. Autophagy has been examined using transmission electron microscope. During this process, degenerated organelles were surrounded by a membranous phagophore and enclosed in an autophagosome. Eventually, after the autophagosome fused with a lysosome, an autolysosome was formed and the process of the digestion of organelles began. During the 1st year of the experiment, we analyzed specimens of 6 generations in all the lines. The intensity of autophagy depends significantly on the generation, tissue and cadmium concentration in the insect rearing medium. In the Ist, IInd, IIIrd, IVth, Vth and VIth generation the intensity of autophagy in the midguts from cadmium-exposed strains decreased gradually according to the following order of strains: Cd1, Cd2, Cd3 and KCd. The higher amount of cells with autophagy was observed in Cd1 and Cd2. However, it was still higher than the percentage of cells with autophagy in the same tissues of the insects from the control and multigenerational cadmium strain. This may indicate that during 6-generational exposure to various Cd concentration, a preserved tolerance to cadmium was not maintained. The study has been financed by the National Science Centre Poland, grant no 2016/21/B/NZ8/00831.

Keywords: Ultrastructure, autophagy, cell death, digestive system

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7 A Time and Frequency Dependent Study of Low Intensity Microwave Radiation Induced Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Alteration of Autophagy in Rat Brain

Authors: Ranjeet Kumar, Sonal Sharma, Pravin Suryakantrao Deshmukh, Basudev Banerjee


With the tremendous increase in exposure to radiofrequency microwaves emitted by mobile phones, globally public awareness has grown with regard to the potential health hazards of microwaves on the nervous system in the brain. India alone has more than one billion mobile users out of 4.3 billion globally. Our studies have suggested that radio frequency able to affect neuronal alterations in the brain, and hence, affecting cognitive behaviour. However, adverse effect of low-intensity microwave exposure with endoplasmic reticulum stress and autophagy has not been evaluated yet. In this study, we explore whether low-intensity microwave induces endoplasmic reticulum stress and autophagy with varying frequency and time duration in Wistar rat. Ninety-six male Wistar rat were divided into 12 groups of 8 rats each. We studied at 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2450 MHz frequency with reference to sham-exposed group. At the end of the exposure, the rats were sacrificed to collect brain tissue and expression of CHOP, ATF-4, XBP-1, Bcl-2, Bax, LC3 and Atg-4 gene was analysed by real-time PCR. Significant fold change (p < 0.05) of gene expression was found in all groups of 1800 MHz and 2450 MHz exposure group in comparison to sham exposure group. In conclusion, the microwave exposure able to induce ER stress and modulate autophagy. ER (endoplasmic reticulum) stress and autophagy vary with increasing frequency as well as the duration of exposure. Our results suggested that microwave exposure is harmful to neuronal health as it induces ER stress and hampers autophagy in neuron cells and thereby increasing the neuron degeneration which impairs cognitive behaviour of experimental animals.

Keywords: Nervous system, Microwave, autophagy, rat, ER stress

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6 Role of Autophagic Lysosome Reformation for Cell Viability in an in vitro Infection Model

Authors: Muhammad Awais Afzal, Lorena Tuchscherr De Hauschopp, Christian Hübner


Introduction: Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved lysosome-dependent degradation pathway, which can be induced by extrinsic and intrinsic stressors in living systems to adapt to fluctuating environmental conditions. In the context of inflammatory stress, autophagy contributes to the elimination of invading pathogens, the regulation of innate and adaptive immune mechanisms, and regulation of inflammasome activity as well as tissue damage repair. Lysosomes can be recycled from autolysosomes by the process of autophagic lysosome reformation (ALR), which depends on the presence of several proteins including Spatacsin. Thus ALR contributes to the replenishment of lysosomes that are available for fusion with autophagosomes in situations of increased autophagic turnover, e.g., during bacterial infections, inflammatory stress or sepsis. Objectives: We aimed to assess whether ALR plays a role for cell survival in an in-vitro bacterial infection model. Methods: Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) were isolated from wild-type mice and Spatacsin (Spg11-/-) knockout mice. Wild-type MEFs and Spg11-/- MEFs were infected with Staphylococcus aureus (multiplication of infection (MOI) used was 10). After 8 and 16 hours of infection, cell viability was assessed on BD flow cytometer through propidium iodide intake. Bacterial intake by cells was also calculated by plating cell lysates on blood agar plates. Results: in-vitro infection of MEFs with Staphylococcus aureus showed a marked decrease of cell viability in ALR deficient Spatacsin knockout (Spg11-/-) MEFs after 16 hours of infection as compared to wild-type MEFs (n=3 independent experiments; p < 0.0001) although no difference was observed for bacterial intake by both genotypes. Conclusion: Suggesting that ALR is important for the defense of invading pathogens e.g. S. aureus, we observed a marked increase of cell death in an in-vitro infection model in cells with compromised ALR.

Keywords: autophagy, bacterial infections, Staphylococcus aureus, autophagic lysosome reformation

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5 Autophagy Defects That Modify Human Immune Cell Metabolism and Promote Aging-Associated Inflammation

Authors: Grace McCambridge, Alanna Keady, Madhur Agrawal, Dequina Nicholas Alvarado, Barbara Nikolajczyk, Leena Panneerseelan-Bharath


Age is a non-modifiable risk factor for the inflammation that underlies pathologies such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Inflammation, as indicated by circulating cytokines, rises in aging, but mechanisms that promote this ‘inflammaging’ remain poorly defined. Furthermore, downstream consequences of inflammaging, including the development of an inflammatory profile that predicts comorbidities like T2DM, remain speculative. We tested the possibility that natural aging-associated changes in autophagy, a process that is compromised in both aging and T2DM, regulates inflammatory profiles in older subjects. Our data showed that circulating CD4⁺ T cells from older compared to younger subjects have (i) defects in autophagy; (ii) higher mitochondria accumulation; (iii) a failure to metabolically shift from oxidative phosphorylation to anaerobic glycolysis upon αCD3/CD28 activation; (iv) more reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation; and (v) a cytokine profile that recapitulates the Th17 profile that predicts T2DM. ROS scavenging in cells from older subjects restored mitochondrial mass and membrane potential (indicators of improved autophagy) and reduced Th17 cytokines to amounts made by T cells from younger subjects. Knock-down of the autophagy protein Atg3 in T cells from younger subjects increased mitochondrial accumulation and Th17 cytokines. To begin translating these findings to clinical practice, we showed that physiological concentrations of the diabetes drug metformin (100 µM) added in vitro enhanced autophagy, prevented mitochondria and ROS accumulation, increased anaerobic glycolysis, and decreased Th17 cytokines in activated CD4⁺ T cells from older subjects. Metformin therefore improves autophagy and multiple downstream pro-inflammatory mechanisms CD4⁺ T cells from older subjects. We conclude that autophagy improvement ameliorates the development of a T2DM-predictive Th17 profile in aging, and thus holds promise for delay or prevention of aging-associated metabolic decline.

Keywords: autophagy, ROS, mitochondrial turnover, glycolysis

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4 Investigating the Role of Circular RNA GATAD2A on H1N1 Replication

Authors: Jing Lei, Tianqi Yu, Yingnan Ding, Yina Zhang, Yulan Liu, Yahui Li, Jiyong Zhou, Suquan Song, Boli Hu


Circular RNAs (circRNAs) play critical roles in various diseases. However, whether and how circular RNA regulates influenza A virus (IAV) infection is unknown. Here, we studied the role of circular RNA GATA Zinc Finger Domain Containing 2A (circ-GATAD2A) in the replication of IAV H1N1 in A549 cells. Circ-GATAD2A was formed upon H1N1 infection. Knockdown of circ-GATAD2A in A549 cells enhanced autophagy and inhibited H1N1 replication. By contrast, overexpression of circ-GATAD2A impaired autophagy and promoted H1N1 replication. Similarly, knockout of vacuolar protein sorting 34 (VPS34) blocked autophagy and increased H1N1 replication. However, the expression of circ-GATAD2A could not further enhance H1N1 replication in VPS34 knockout cells. Collectively, these data indicated that circ-GATAD2A promotes the replication of H1N1 by inhibiting autophagy.

Keywords: autophagy, Replication, circ-GATAD2A, H1N1

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3 Amniotic Fluid Stem Cells Ameliorate Cisplatin-Induced Acute Renal Failure through Autophagy Induction and Inhibition of Apoptosis

Authors: Soniya Nityanand, Ekta Minocha, Manali Jain, Rohit Anthony Sinha, Chandra Prakash Chaturvedi


Amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSC) have been shown to contribute towards the amelioration of Acute Renal Failure (ARF), but the mechanisms underlying the renoprotective effect are largely unknown. Therefore, the main goal of the current study was to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of AFSC in a cisplatin-induced rat model of ARF and to investigate the underlying mechanisms responsible for its renoprotective effect. To study the therapeutic efficacy of AFSC, ARF was induced in Wistar rats by an intra-peritoneal injection of cisplatin, and five days after administration, the rats were randomized into two groups and injected with either AFSC or normal saline intravenously. On day 8 and 12 after cisplatin injection, i.e., day 3 and day7 post-therapy respectively, the blood biochemical parameters, histopathological changes, apoptosis and expression of pro-apoptotic, anti-apoptotic and autophagy-related proteins in renal tissues were studied in both groups of rats. Administration of AFSC in ARF rats resulted in improvement of renal function and attenuation of renal damage as reflected by significant decrease in blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine levels, tubular cell apoptosis as assessed by Bax/Bcl2 ratio, and expression of the pro-apoptotic proteins viz. PUMA, Bax, cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved caspase-9 as compared to saline-treated group. Furthermore, in the AFSC-treated group as compared to saline-treated group, there was a significant increase in the activation of autophagy as evident by increased expression of LC3-II, ATG5, ATG7, Beclin1 and phospho-AMPK levels with a concomitant decrease in phospho-p70S6K and p62 expression levels. To further confirm whether the protective effects of AFSC on cisplatin-induced apoptosis were dependent on autophagy, chloroquine, an autophagy inhibitor was administered by the intra-peritoneal route. Chloroquine administration led to significant reduction in the anti-apoptotic effects of the AFSC therapy and further deterioration in the renal structure and function caused by cisplatin. Collectively, our results put forth that AFSC ameliorates cisplatin-induced ARF through induction of autophagy and inhibition of apoptosis. Furthermore, the protective effects of AFSC were blunted by chloroquine, highlighting that activation of autophagy is an important mechanism of action for the protective role of AFSC in cisplatin-induced renal injury.

Keywords: autophagy, acute renal failure, cisplatin, amniotic fluid stem cells

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2 The Role of Autophagy Modulation in Angiotensin-II Induced Hypertrophy

Authors: Kitti Szoke, Laszlo Szoke, Attila Czompa, Arpad Tosaki, Istvan Lekli


Autophagy plays an important role in cardiac hypertrophy, which is one of the most common causes of heart failure in the world. This self-degradative catabolic process, responsible for protein quality control, balancing sources of energy at critical times, and elimination of damaged organelles. The autophagic activity can be triggered by starvation, oxidative stress, or pharmacological agents, like rapamycin. This induced autophagy can promote cell survival during starvation or pathological stress. In this study, it is investigated the effect of the induced autophagic process on angiotensin induced hypertrophic H9c2 cells. In our study, it is used H9c2 cells as an in vitro model. To induce hypertrophy, cells were treated with 10000 nM angiotensin-II, and to activate autophagy, 100 nM rapamycin treatment was used. The following groups were formed: 1: control, 2: 10000 nM AT-II, 3: 100 nM rapamycin, 4: 100 nM rapamycin pretreatment then 10000 nM AT-II. The cell viability was examined via MTT (cell proliferation assay) assay. The cells were stained with rhodamine-conjugated phalloidin and DAPI to visualize F-actin filaments and cell nuclei then the cell size alteration was examined in a fluorescence microscope. Furthermore, the expression levels of autophagic and apoptotic proteins such as Beclin-1, p62, LC3B-II, Cleaved Caspase-3 were evaluated by Western blot. MTT assay result suggests that the used pharmaceutical agents in the tested concentrations did not have a toxic effect; however, at group 3, a slight decrement was detected in cell viability. In response to AT-II treatment, a significant increase was detected in the cell size; cells became hypertrophic. However, rapamycin pretreatment slightly reduced the cell size compared to group 2. Western blot results showed that AT-II treatment-induced autophagy, because the increased expression of Beclin-1, p62, LC3B-II were observed. However, due to the incomplete autophagy, the apoptotic Cleaved Caspase-3 expression also increased. Rapamycin pretreatment up-regulated Beclin-1 and LC3B-II, down-regulated p62 and Cleaved Caspase-3, indicating that rapamycin-induced autophagy can restore the normal autophagic flux. Taken together, our results suggest that rapamycin activated autophagy reduces angiotensin-II induced hypertrophy.

Keywords: autophagy, hypertrophy, rapamycin, angiotensin-II, H9c2 cell line

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1 Hydrogen Sulfide Releasing Ibuprofen Derivative Can Protect Heart After Ischemia-Reperfusion

Authors: Aniko Borbas, Pal Herczegh, Arpad Tosaki, Virag Vass, Ilona Bereczki, Erzsebet Szabo, Nora Debreczeni


Hydrogen sulfide (H₂S) is a toxic gas, but it is produced by certain tissues in a small quantity. According to earlier studies, ibuprofen and H₂S has a protective effect against damaging heart tissue caused by ischemia-reperfusion. Recently, we have been investigating the effect of a new water-soluble H₂S releasing ibuprofen molecule administered after artificially generated ischemia-reperfusion on isolated rat hearts. The H₂S releasing property of the new ibuprofen derivative was investigated in vitro in medium derived from heart endothelial cell isolation at two concentrations. The ex vivo examinations were carried out on rat hearts. Rats were anesthetized with an intraperitoneal injection of ketamine, xylazine, and heparin. After thoracotomy, hearts were excised and placed into ice-cold perfusion buffer. Perfusion of hearts was conducted in Langendorff mode via the cannulated aorta. In our experiments, we studied the dose-effect of the H₂S releasing molecule in Langendorff-perfused hearts with the application of gradually increasing concentration of the compound (0- 20 µM). The H₂S releasing ibuprofen derivative was applied before the ischemia for 10 minutes. H₂S concentration was measured with an H₂S detecting electrochemical sensor from the coronary effluent solution. The 10 µM concentration was chosen for further experiments when the treatment with this solution was occurred after the ischemia. The release of H₂S is occurred by the hydrolyzing enzymes that are present in the heart endothelial cells. The protective effect of the new H₂S releasing ibuprofen molecule can be confirmed by the infarct sizes of hearts using the Triphenyl-tetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining method. Furthermore, we aimed to define the effect of the H₂S releasing ibuprofen derivative on autophagic and apoptotic processes in damaged hearts after investigating the molecular markers of these events by western blotting and immunohistochemistry techniques. Our further studies will include the examination of LC3I/II, p62, Beclin1, caspase-3, and other apoptotic molecules. We hope that confirming the protective effect of new H₂S releasing ibuprofen molecule will open a new possibility for the development of more effective cardioprotective agents with exerting fewer side effects. Acknowledgment: This study was supported by the grants of NKFIH- K-124719 and the European Union and the State of Hungary co- financed by the European Social Fund in the framework of GINOP- 2.3.2-15-2016-00043.

Keywords: autophagy, Hydrogen Sulfide, ibuprofen, ischemia, reperfusion

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