Browsing by Subject "AUTOPHAGY"

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  • Zhou, Kecheng; Dichlberger, Andrea; Martinez-Seara, Hector; Nyholm, Thomas K. M.; Li, Shiqian; Kim, Young Ah; Vattulainen, Ilpo; Ikonen, Elina; Blom, Tomas (2018)
    Membrane proteins are functionally regulated by the composition of the surrounding lipid bilayer. The late endosomal compartment is a central site for the generation of ceramide, a bioactive sphingolipid, which regulates responses to cell stress. The molecular interactions between ceramide and late endosomal transmembrane proteins are unknown. Here, we uncover in atomistic detail the ceramide interaction of Lysosome Associated Protein Transmembrane 4B (LAPTM4B), implicated in ceramide-dependent cell death and autophagy, and its functional relevance in lysosomal nutrient signaling. The ceramide-mediated regulation of LAPTM4B depends on a sphingolipid interaction motif and an adjacent aspartate residue in the protein's third transmembrane (TM3) helix. The interaction motif provides the preferred contact points for ceramide while the neighboring membrane-embedded acidic residue confers flexibility that is subject to ceramide-induced conformational changes, reducing TM3 bending. This facilitates the interaction between LAPTM4B and the amino acid transporter heavy chain 4F2hc, thereby controlling mTORC signaling. These findings provide mechanistic insights into how transmembrane proteins sense and respond to ceramide.
  • McWilliams, Thomas G.; Prescott, Alan R.; Villarejo-Zori, Beatriz; Ball, Graeme; Boya, Patricia; Ganleya, Ian G. (2019)
    Photoreception is pivotal to our experience and perception of the natural world; hence the eye is of prime importance for most vertebrate animals to sense light. Central to visual health is mitochondrial homeostasis, and the selective autophagic turnover of mitochondria (mitophagy) is predicted to play a key role here. Despite studies that link aberrant mitophagy to ocular dysfunction, little is known about the prevalence of basal mitophagy, or its relationship to general autophagy, in the visual system. In this study, we utilize the mito-QC mouse and a closely related general macroautophagy reporter model to profile basal mitophagy and macroautophagy in the adult and developing eye. We report that ocular macroautophagy is widespread, but surprisingly mitophagy does not always follow the same pattern of occurrence. We observe low levels of mitophagy in the lens and ciliary body, in stark contrast to the high levels of general MAP1LC3-dependent macroautophagy in these regions. We uncover a striking reversal of this process in the adult retina, where mitophagy accounts for a larger degree of the macroautophagy taking place, specifically in the photoreceptor neurons of the outer nuclear layer. We also show the developmental regulation of autophagy in a variety of ocular tissues. In particular, mitophagy in the adult mouse retina is reversed in localization during the latter stages of development. Our work thus defines the landscape of mitochondrial homeostasis in the mammalian eye, and in doing so highlights the selective nature of autophagy in vivo and the specificity of the reporters used.
  • Hentila, Jaakko; Nissinen, Tuuli A.; Korkmaz, Ayhan; Lensu, Sanna; Silvennoinen, Mika; Pasternack, Arja; Ritvos, Olli; Atalay, Mustafa; Hulmi, Juha J. (2019)
    Muscle wasting in cancer cachexia can be alleviated by blocking activin receptor type 2 (ACVR2) ligands through changes in protein synthesis/degradation. These changes in cellular and protein metabolism may alter protein homeostasis. First, we elucidated the acute (1-2 days) and 2-week effects of blocking ACVR2 ligands by soluble activin receptor 2B (sACVR2B-Fc) on unfolded protein response (UPR), heat shock proteins (HSPs) and redox balance in a healthy mouse skeletal muscle. Second, we examined UPR, autophagy and redox balance with or without sACVR2B-Fc administration in muscle and liver of C26 tumor-bearing mice. The indicators of UPR and HSPs were not altered 1-2 days after a single sACVR2B-Fc administration in healthy muscles, but protein carbonyls increased (p <0.05). Two weeks of sACVR2B-Fc administration increased muscle size, which was accompanied by increased UPR markers: GRP78 <0.05), phosphorylated elF2 alpha <0.01) and HSP47 (p <0.01). Additionally, protein carbonyls and reduced form of glutathione increased (GSH) (p <0.05). On the other hand, C26 cancer cachexia manifested decreased UPR markers (p-elF2 alpha, HSP47, p-JNK; p <0.05) and antioxidant GSH (p <0.001) in muscle, whereas the ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione increased (GSSG/GSH; p <0.001). Administration of sACVR2B-Fc prevented the decline in GSH and increased some of the UPR indicators in tumor-bearing mice. Additionally, autophagy markers LC3II/I (p <0.05), Beclin-1 (p <0.01), and P62 (p <0.05) increased in the skeletal muscle of tumor-bearing mice. Finally, indicators of UPR, PERK, p-elF2 alpha and GRP78, increased (p <0.05), whereas ATF4 was strongly decreased (p <0.01) in the liver of tumor-bearing mice while sACVR2B-Fc had no effect. Muscle GSH and many of the altered UPR indicators correlated with tumor mass, fat mass and body mass loss. In conclusion, experimental cancer cachexia is accompanied by distinct and tissue-specific changes in proteostasis. Muscle hypertrophy induced by blocking ACVR2B ligands may be accompanied by the induction of UPR and increased protein carbonyls but blocking ACVR2B ligands may upregulate antioxidant protection.
  • Cooper, Helen M.; Yang, Yang; Ylikallio, Emil; Khairullin, Rafil; Woldegebriel, Rosa; Lin, Kai-Lan; Euro, Liliya; Palin, Eino; Wolf, Alexander; Trokovic, Ras; Isohanni, Pirjo; Kaakkola, Seppo; Auranen, Mari; Lonnqvist, Tuula; Wanrooij, Sjoerd; Tyynismaa, Henna (2017)
    De novo mutations in ATAD3A (ATPase family AAA-domain containing protein 3A) were recently found to cause a neurological syndrome with developmental delay, hypotonia, spasticity, optic atrophy, axonal neuropathy, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Using whole-exome sequencing, we identified a dominantly inherited heterozygous variant c.1064G > A (p.G355D) in ATAD3A in a mother presenting with hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) and axonal neuropathy and her son with dyskinetic cerebral palsy, both with disease onset in childhood. HSP is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder of the upper motor neurons. Symptoms beginning in early childhood may resemble spastic cerebral palsy. The function of ATAD3A, a mitochondrial inner membrane AAA ATPase, is yet undefined. AAA ATPases form hexameric rings, which are catalytically dependent on the co-operation of the subunits. The dominant-negative patient mutation affects the Walker A motif, which is responsible for ATP binding in the AAA module of ATAD3A, and we show that the recombinant mutant ATAD3A protein has a markedly reduced ATPase activity. We further show that overexpression of the mutant ATAD3A fragments the mitochondrial network and induces lysosome mass. Similarly, we observed altered dynamics of the mitochondrial network and increased lysosomes in patient fibroblasts and neurons derived through differentiation of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells. These alterations were verified in patient fibroblasts to associate with upregulated basal autophagy through mTOR inactivation, resembling starvation. Mutations in ATAD3A can thus be dominantly inherited and underlie variable neurological phenotypes, including HSP, with intrafamiliar variability. This finding extends the group of mitochondrial inner membrane AAA proteins associated with spasticity.
  • Lindholm, Dan; Pham, Dan D.; Cascone, Annunziata; Eriksson, Ove; Wennerberg, Krister; Saarma, Mart (2016)
    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder causing movement disabilities and several non-motor symptoms in afflicted patients. Recent studies in animal models of PD and analyses of brain specimen from PD patients revealed an increase in the level and activity of the non-receptor tyrosine kinase Abelson (c-Abl) in dopaminergic neurons with phosphorylation of protein substrates, such as alpha-synuclein and the E3 ubiquitin ligase, Parkin. Most significantly inhibition of c-Abl kinase activity by small molecular compounds used in the clinic to treat human leukemia have shown promising neuroprotective effects in cell and animal models of PD. This has raised hope that similar beneficial outcome may also be observed in the treatment of PD patients by using c-Abl inhibitors. Here we highlight the background for the current optimism, reviewing c-Abl and its relationship to pathophysiological pathways prevailing in PD, as well as discussing issues related to the pharmacology and safety of current c-Abl inhibitors. Clearly more rigorously controlled and well-designed trials are needed before the c-Abl inhibitors can be used in the neuroclinic to possibly benefit an increasing number of PD patients.
  • Eloranta, Katja; Cairo, Stefano; Liljeström, Emmi; Soini, Tea; Kyrönlahti, Antti; Judde, Jean-Gabriel; Wilson, David B.; Heikinheimo, Markku; Pihlajoki, Marjut (2020)
    Background:Hepatoblastoma (HB) is the most common pediatric liver malignancy. Despite advances in chemotherapeutic regimens and surgical techniques, the survival of patients with advanced HB remains poor, underscoring the need for new therapeutic approaches. Chloroquine (CQ), a drug used to treat malaria and rheumatologic diseases, has been shown to inhibit the growth and survival of various cancer types. We examined the antineoplastic activity of CQ in cell models of aggressive HB. Methods:Seven human HB cell models, all derived from chemoresistant tumors, were cultured as spheroids in the presence of relevant concentrations of CQ. Morphology, viability, and induction of apoptosis were assessed after 48 and 96 h of CQ treatment. Metabolomic analysis and RT-qPCR based Death Pathway Finder array were used to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the CQ effect in a 2-dimensional cell culture format. Quantitative western blotting was performed to validate findings at the protein level. Results:CQ had a significant dose and time dependent effect on HB cell viability both in spheroids and in 2-dimensional cell cultures. Following CQ treatment HB spheroids exhibited increased caspase 3/7 activity indicating the induction of apoptotic cell death. Metabolomic profiling demonstrated significant decreases in the concentrations of NAD(+)and aspartate in CQ treated cells. In further investigations, oxidation of NAD(+)decreased as consequence of CQ treatment and NAD(+)/NADH balance shifted toward NADH. Aspartate supplementation rescued cells from CQ induced cell death. Additionally, downregulated expression of PARP1 and PARP2 was observed. Conclusions:CQ treatment inhibits cell survival in cell models of aggressive HB, presumably by perturbing NAD(+)levels, impairing aspartate bioavailability, and inhibiting PARP expression. CQ thus holds potential as a new agent in the management of HB.
  • Hasygar, Kiran; Deniz, Onur; Liu, Ying; Gullmets, Josef; Hynynen, Riikka; Ruhanen, Hanna; Kokki, Krista; Kakela, Reijo; Hietakangas, Ville (2021)
    Energy storage and growth are coordinated in response to nutrient status of animals. How nutrient-regulated signaling pathways control these processes in vivo remains insufficiently understood. Here, we establish an atypical MAP kinase, ERK7, as an inhibitor of adiposity and growth in Drosophila. ERK7 mutant larvae display elevated triacylglycerol (TAG) stores and accelerated growth rate, while overexpressed ERK7 is sufficient to inhibit lipid storage and growth. ERK7 expression is elevated upon fasting and ERK7 mutant larvae display impaired survival during nutrient deprivation. ERK7 acts in the fat body, the insect counterpart of liver and adipose tissue, where it controls the subcellular localization of chromatin-binding protein PWP1, a growth-promoting downstream effector of mTOR. PWP1 maintains the expression of sugarbabe, encoding a lipogenic Gli-similar family transcription factor. Both PWP1 and Sugarbabe are necessary for the increased growth and adiposity phenotypes of ERK7 loss-of-function animals. In conclusion, ERK7 is an anti-anabolic kinase that inhibits lipid storage and growth while promoting survival on fasting conditions.
  • Feleciano, Diogo R.; Juenemann, Katrin; Iburg, Manuel; Bras, Ines C.; Holmberg, Carina; Kirstein, Janine (2019)
    A functional protein quality control machinery is crucial to maintain cellular and organismal physiology. Perturbation in the protein homeostasis network can lead to the formation of misfolded and aggregated proteins that are a hallmark of protein conformational disorders and aging. Protein aggregation is counteracted by the action of chaperones that can resolubilize aggregated proteins. An alternative protein aggregation clearance strategy is the elimination by proteolysis employing the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) or autophagy. Little is known how these three protein aggregate clearance strategies are regulated and coordinated in an organism with the progression of aging or upon expression of disease-associated proteins. To unravel the crosstalk between the protein aggregate clearance options, we investigated how autophagy and the UPS respond to perturbations in protein disaggregation capacity. We found that autophagy is induced as a potential compensatory mechanism, whereas the UPS exhibits reduced capacity upon depletion of disaggregating chaperones in C. elegans and HEK293 cells. The expression of amyloid proteins A beta(3-42) and Q(40) result in an impairment of autophagy as well as the UPS within the same and even across tissues. Our data indicate a tight coordination between the different nodes of the proteostasis network (PN) with the progression of aging and upon imbalances of the capacity of each clearance mechanism.
  • Kasurinen, Aaro; Hagström, Jaana; Laitinen, Alli; Kokkola, Arto; Böckelman, Camilla; Haglund, Caj (2019)
    Toll-like receptors (TLRs), key proteins in innate immunity, appear to contribute to the inflammatory environment in carcinogenesis. Thus, we aimed to evaluate the tissue expressions of TLR1, TLR2, TLR4, TLR5, TLR7, and TLR9 as potential prognostic biomarkers in gastric cancer. We applied immunohistochemistry to study tissue samples from 313 patients operated on for gastric adenocarcinoma between 2000 and 2009 at the Department of Surgery, Helsinki University Hospital, Finland. A high expression of each TLR studied associated with the high expression of each other and with the intestinal-type histology (p 
  • Escamez, Sacha; Stael, Simon; Vainonen, Julia; Willems, Patrick; Jin, Huiting; Kimura, Sachie; Van Breusegem, Frank; Gevaert, Kris; Wrzaczek, Michael Alois; Tuominen, Hannele (2019)
    During plant vascular development, xylem tracheary elements (TEs) form water-conducting, empty pipes by genetically regulated cell death. Cell death is prevented from spreading to non-TEs by unidentified intercellular mechanisms, downstream of METACASPASE9 (MC9)-mediated regulation of autophagy in TEs. Here, we identified differentially abundant extracellular peptides in vascular-differentiating wild-type and MC9-down-regulated Arabidopsis cell suspensions. A peptide named Kratos rescued the abnormally high ectopic non-TE death resulting from either MC9 knockout or TE-specific overexpression of the ATG5 autophagy protein during experimentally induced vascular differentiation in Arabidopsis cotyledons. Kratos also reduced cell death following mechanical damage and extracellular ROS production in Arabidopsis leaves. Stress-induced but not vascular non-TE cell death was enhanced by another identified peptide, named Bia. Bia is therefore reminiscent of several known plant cell death-inducing peptides acting as damage-associated molecular patterns. In contrast, Kratos plays a novel extracellular cell survival role in the context of development and during stress response.
  • Saari, Heikki; Turunen, Tiia; Lohmus, Andres; Turunen, Mikko; Jalasvuori, Matti; Butcher, Sarah J.; Yla-Herttuala, Seppo; Viitala, Tapani; Cerullo, Vincenzo; Siljander, Pia R. M.; Yliperttula, Marjo (2020)
    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been showcased as auspicious candidates for delivering therapeutic cargo, including oncolytic viruses for cancer treatment. Delivery of oncolytic viruses in EVs could provide considerable advantages, hiding the viruses from the immune system and providing alternative entry pathways into cancer cells. Here we describe the formation and viral cargo of EVs secreted by cancer cells infected with an oncolytic adenovirus (IEVs, infected cell-derived EVs) as a function of time after infection. IEVs were secreted already before the lytic release of virions and their structure resembled normally secreted EVs, suggesting that they were not just apoptotic fragments of infected cells. IEVs were able to carry the viral genome and induce infection in other cancer cells. As such, the role of EVs in the life cycle of adenoviruses may be an important part of a successful infection and may also be harnessed for cancer- and gene therapy.
  • Salo, Perttu P.; Vaara, Satu; Kettunen, Johannes; Pirinen, Matti; Sarin, Antti-Pekka; Huikuri, Heikki; Karhunen, Pekka J.; Eskola, Markku; Nikus, Kjell; Lokki, Marja-Liisa; Ripatti, Samuli; Havulinna, Aki S.; Salomaa, Veikko; Palotie, Aarno; Nieminen, Markku S.; Sinisalo, Juha; Perola, Markus (2015)
    Myocardial infarction (MI) is divided into either ST elevation MI (STEMI) or non-ST elevation MI (NSTEMI), differing in a number of clinical characteristics. We sought to identify genetic variants conferring risk to NSTEMI or STEMI by conducting a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of MI stratified into NSTEMI and STEMI in a consecutive sample of 1,579 acute MI cases with 1,576 controls. Subsequently, we followed the results in an independent population-based sample of 562 cases and 566 controls, a partially independent prospective cohort (N = 16,627 with 163 incident NSTEMI cases), and examined the effect of disease-associated variants on gene expression in 513 healthy participants. Genetic variants on chromosome 1p13.3 near the damage-regulated autophagy modulator 2 gene DRAM2 associated with NSTEMI (rs656843; odds ratio 1.57, P = 3.11 x 10(-10)) in the case-control analysis with a consistent but not statistically significant effect in the prospective cohort (rs656843; hazard ratio 1.13, P = 0.43). These variants were not associated with STEMI (rs656843; odds ratio, 1.11, P = 0.20; hazard ratio 0.97, P = 0.87), appearing to have a pronounced effect on NSTEMI risk. A majority of the variants at 1p13.3 associated with NSTEMI were also associated with the expression level of DRAM2 in blood leukocytes of healthy controls (top-ranked variant rs325927, P = 1.50 x 10(-12)). The results suggest that genetic factors may in part influence whether coronary artery disease results in NSTEMI rather than STEMI.
  • Olivieri, Fabiola; Ahtiainen, Maarit; Lazzarini, Raffaella; Pollanen, Eija; Capri, Miriam; Lorenzi, Maria; Fulgenzi, Gianluca; Albertini, Maria C.; Salvioli, Stefano; Alen, Markku J.; Kujala, Urho M.; Borghetti, Giulia; Babini, Lucia; Kaprio, Jaakko; Sipila, Sarianna; Franceschi, Claudio; Kovanen, Vuokko; Procopio, Antonio D. (2014)
    MiRNAs are fine-tuning modifiers of skeletal muscle regulation, but knowledge of their hormonal control is lacking. We used a co-twin case-control study design, that is, monozygotic postmenopausal twin pairs discordant for estrogen-based hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to explore estrogen-dependent skeletal muscle regulation via miRNAs. MiRNA profiles were determined from vastus lateralis muscle of nine healthy 54-62-years-old monozygotic female twin pairs discordant for HRT (median 7 years). MCF-7 cells, human myoblast cultures and mouse muscle experiments were used to confirm estrogen's causal role on the expression of specific miRNAs, their target mRNAs and proteins and finally the activation of related signaling pathway. Of the 230 miRNAs expressed at detectable levels in muscle samples, qPCR confirmed significantly lower miR-182, miR-223 and miR-142-3p expressions in HRT using than in their nonusing co-twins. Insulin/IGF-1 signaling emerged one common pathway targeted by these miRNAs. IGF-1R and FOXO3A mRNA and protein were more abundantly expressed in muscle samples of HRT users than nonusers. In vitro assays confirmed effective targeting of miR-182 and miR-223 on IGF-1R and FOXO3A mRNA as well as a dose-dependent miR-182 and miR-223 down-regulations concomitantly with up-regulation of FOXO3A and IGF-1R expression. Novel finding is the postmenopausal HRT-reduced miRs-182, miR-223 and miR-142-3p expression in female skeletal muscle. The observed miRNA-mediated enhancement of the target genes' IGF-1R and FOXO3A expression as well as the activation of insulin/IGF-1 pathway signaling via phosphorylation of AKT and mTOR is an important mechanism for positive estrogen impact on skeletal muscle of postmenopausal women.
  • Scott, Timothy A.; Quintaneiro, Leonor M.; Norvaisas, Povilas; Lui, Prudence P.; Wilson, Matthew P.; Leung, Kit-Yi; Herrera-Dominguez, Lucia; Sudiwala, Sonia; Pessia, Alberto; Clayton, Peter T.; Bryson, Kevin; Velagapudi, Vidya; Mills, Philippa B.; Typas, Athanasios; Greene, Nicholas D. E.; Cabreiro, Filipe (2017)
    Fluoropyrimidines are the first-line treatment for colorectal cancer, but their efficacy is highly variable between patients. We queried whether gut microbes, a known source of inter-individual variability, impacted drug efficacy. Combining two tractable genetic models, the bacterium E. coli and the nematode C. elegans, we performed three-way high-throughput screens that unraveled the complexity underlying host-microbe-drug interactions. We report that microbes can bolster or suppress the effects of fluoropyrimidines through metabolic drug interconversion involving bacterial vitamin B-6, B-9, and ribonucleotide metabolism. Also, disturbances in bacterial deoxynucleotide pools amplify 5-FU-induced autophagy and cell death in host cells, an effect regulated by the nucleoside diphosphate kinase ndk-1. Our data suggest a two-way bacterial mediation of fluoropyrimidine effects on host metabolism, which contributes to drug efficacy. These findings highlight the potential therapeutic power of manipulating intestinal microbiota to ensure host metabolic health and treat disease.
  • Dhandapani, Praveen K.; Begines-Moreno, Isabel M.; Brea-Calvo, Gloria; Gärtner, Ulrich; Graeber, Thomas G.; Javier Sanchez, Gerardo; Morty, Rory E.; Schönig, Kai; ten Hoeve, Johanna; Wietelmann, Astrid; Braun, Thomas; Jacobs, Howard T.; Szibor, Marten (2019)
    Constitutive expression of the chemokine Mcp1 in mouse cardiomyocytes creates a model of inflammatory cardiomyopathy, with death from heart failure at age 7-8 months. A critical pathogenic role has previously been proposed for induced oxidative stress, involving NADPH oxidase activation. To test this idea, we exposed the mice to elevated oxygen levels. Against expectation, this prevented, rather than accelerated, the ultrastructural and functional signs of heart failure. This result suggests that the immune signaling initiated by Mcp1 leads instead to the inhibition of cellular oxygen usage, for which mitochondrial respiration is an obvious target. To address this hypothesis, we combined the Mcp1 model with xenotopic expression of the alternative oxidase (AOX), which provides a sink for electrons blocked from passage to oxygen via respiratory complexes III and IV. Ubiquitous AOX expression provided only a minor delay to cardiac functional deterioration and did not prevent the induction of markers of cardiac and metabolic remodeling considered a hallmark of the model. Moreover, cardiomyocyte-specific AOX expression resulted in exacerbation of Mcp1-induced heart failure, and failed to rescue a second cardiomyopathy model directly involving loss of cIV. Our findings imply that mitochondria! involvement in the pathology of inflammatory cardiomyopathy is multifaceted and complex.
  • Akimov, Yevhen; Bulanova, Daria; Timonen, Sanna; Wennerberg, Krister; Aittokallio, Tero (2020)
    Abstract Cellular DNA barcoding has become a popular approach to study heterogeneity of cell populations and to identify clones with differential response to cellular stimuli. However, there is a lack of reliable methods for statistical inference of differentially responding clones. Here, we used mixtures of DNA-barcoded cell pools to generate a realistic benchmark read count dataset for modelling a range of outcomes of clone-tracing experiments. By accounting for the statistical properties intrinsic to the DNA barcode read count data, we implemented an improved algorithm that results in a significantly lower false-positive rate, compared to current RNA-seq data analysis algorithms, especially when detecting differentially responding clones in experiments with strong selection pressure. Building on the reliable statistical methodology, we illustrate how multidimensional phenotypic profiling enables one to deconvolute phenotypically distinct clonal subpopulations within a cancer cell line. The mixture control dataset and our analysis results provide a foundation for benchmarking and improving algorithms for clone-tracing experiments.
  • Felszeghy, Szabolcs; Viiri, Johanna; Paterno, Jussi J.; Hyttinen, Juha M. T.; Koskela, Ali; Chen, Mei; Leinonen, Henri; Tanila, Heikki; Kivinen, Niko; Koistinen, Arto; Toropainen, Elisa; Amadio, Marialaura; Smedowski, Adrian; Reinisalo, Mika; Winiarczyk, Mateusz; Mackiewicz, Jerzy; Mutikainen, Maija; Ruotsalainen, Anna-Kaisa; Kettunen, Mikko; Jokivarsi, Kimmo; Sinha, Debasish; Kinnunen, Kati; Petrovski, Goran; Blasiak, Janusz; Bjorkoy, Geir; Koskelainen, Ari; Skottman, Heli; Urtti, Arto; Salminen, Antero; Kannan, Ram; Ferrington, Deborah A.; Xu, Heping; Levonen, Anna-Liisa; Tavi, Pasi; Kauppinen, Anu; Kaarniranta, Kai (2019)
    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multi-factorial disease that is the leading cause of irreversible and severe vision loss in the developed countries. It has been suggested that the pathogenesis of dry AMD involves impaired protein degradation in retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE). RPE cells are constantly exposed to oxidative stress that may lead to the accumulation of damaged cellular proteins, DNA and lipids and evoke tissue deterioration during the aging process. The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and the lysosomal/autophagosomal pathway are the two major proteolytic systems in eukaryotic cells. NRF-2 (nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2) and PGC-1 alpha (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1 alpha) are master transcription factors in the regulation of cellular detoxification. We investigated the role of NRF-2 and PGC-1 alpha in the regulation of RPE cell structure and function by using global double knockout (dKO) mice. The NRF-2/PGC-1 alpha dKO mice exhibited significant age-dependent RPE degeneration, accumulation of the oxidative stress marker, 4-HNE (4-hydroxynonenal), the endoplasmic reticulum stress markers GRP78 (glucose-regulated protein 78) and ATF4 (activating transcription factor 4), and damaged mitochondria. Moreover, levels of protein ubiquitination and autophagy markers p62/SQSTM1 (sequestosome 1), Beclin-1 and LC3B (microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta) were significantly increased together with the Iba-1 (ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1) mononuclear phagocyte marker and an enlargement of RPE size. These histopathological changes of RPE were accompanied by photoreceptor dysmorphology and vision loss as revealed by electroretinography. Consequently, these novel findings suggest that the NRF-2/PGC-1 alpha dKO mouse is a valuable model for investigating the role of proteasomal and autophagy clearance in the RPE and in the development of dry AMD.
  • Kinnunen, K.; Piippo, N.; Loukovaara, S.; Hytti, M.; Kaarniranta, K.; Kauppinen, A. (2017)
    Inflammation is a crucial component in the pathogenesis of many vascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis and diabetes. Inflammasomes are intracellular signalling complexes whose activation promotes inflammation. Nucleotide-binding domain and Leucine-rich repeat Receptor containing a Pyrin domain 3 (NLRP3) is a pattern recognition receptor (PRR) forming the best-known inflammasome. Disturbances in NLRP3 have been associated with multiple diseases. The purpose of this study was to explore the lysosomal destabilizationrelated NLRP3 inflammasome signaling pathway in human endothelial cells. In order to prime and activate NLRP3, human umbilical vein cells (HUVECs) were exposed to TNF-alpha and the lysosomal destructive agent Leusine-Leusine-OMethylesther (Leu-Leu-OMe), respectively. A caspase-1 inhibitor was used to block caspase-1' s enzymatic function and an interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) to prevent any possible secondary effects of IL-1 beta. Leu-Leu-OMe increased the expression of NLRP3, IL-1 beta, and IL-18 in HUVECs. Exposure to Leu-Leu-OMe significantly promoted the production of IL-6 and IL-8 in primed HUVECs; this effect was prevented by the pre-treatment of cells with an IL-1RA. Our results suggest that lysosomal destabilization activates the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway that promotes the production of IL-6 and IL-8 in an autocrine manner in HUVEC cells.
  • Zhou, Kecheng; Dichlberger, Andrea; Ikonen, Elina; Blom, Tomas (2020)
    Studies of lysosome associated protein transmembrane 4B (LAPTM4B) have mainly focused on the 35-kDa isoform and its association with poor prognosis in cancers. Here, by employing a novel monoclonal antibody, the authors found that the 24-kDa LAPTM4B isoform predominated in most, both healthy and malignant, human cells and tissues studied. LAPTM4B-24 lacks the extreme N-terminus and, contrary to LAPTM4B-35, failed to promote cell migration. The endogenous LAPTM4B-24 protein was subject to rapid turnover with a t(1/2) of approximately 1 hour. The protein was degraded by both lysosomal and proteasomal pathways, and its levels were increased by the availability of nutrients and lysosomal ceramide. These findings underscore the pathophysiological relevance of the LAPTM4B-24 isoform and identify it as a dynamically regulated effector in lysosomal nutrient signaling.
  • Khan, Sofia; Fagerholm, Rainer; Kadalayil, Latha; Tapper, William; Aittomäki, Kristiina; Liu, Jianjun; Blomqvist, Carl; Eccles, Diana; Nevanlinna, Heli (2018)
    The majority of breast cancers are driven by the female hormone oestrogen via oestrogen receptor (ER) alpha. ER-positive patients are commonly treated with adjuvant endocrine therapy, however, resistance is a common occurrence and aside from ER-status, no unequivocal predictive biomarkers are currently in clinical use. In this study, we aimed to identify constitutional genetic variants influencing breast cancer survival among ER-positive patients and specifically, among endocrine-treated patients. We conducted a meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies comprising in total 3,136 patients with ER-positive breast cancer of which 2,751 had received adjuvant endocrine therapy. We identified a novel locus (rs992531 at 8p21.2) associated with reduced survival among the patients with ER-positive breast cancer (P = 3.77 x 10(-8)). Another locus (rs7701292 at 5q21.3) was associated with reduced survival among the endocrine-treated patients (P = 2.13 x 10(-8)). Interaction analysis indicated that the survival association of rs7701292 is treatment-specific and independent of conventional prognostic markers. In silico functional studies suggest plausible biological mechanisms for the observed survival associations and a functional link between the putative target genes of the rs992531 and rs7701292 (RHOBTB2 and RAB9P1, respectively). We further explored the genetic interaction between rs992531 and rs7701292 and found a significant, treatment-specific interactive effect on survival among ER-positive, endocrine-treated patients (hazard ratio = 6.97; 95% confidence interval, 1.79-27.08, P-interaction = 0.036). This is the first study to identify a genetic interaction that specifically predicts treatment outcome. These findings may provide predictive biomarkers based on germ line genotype informing more personalized treatment selection.