Browsing by Subject "Beclin 1"

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  • Huovila, Tiina (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Autophagy is a pathway for cells to degrade intracellular components that are no longer needed or are detrimental for the cells. It is essential for cell homeostasis and survival and has been related to various diseases and pathophysiology. Autophagy is a complex process and there are still several unclear und unknown aspects to it. Regulation of autophagy is essential to prevent unwanted and escess activation, and several pathways and molecules, both stimulatory and inhibitory, are included. Different signaling pathways are sensitive to a variety of environmental clues. Two main autophagy pathways are mTOR-dependent pathway and mTOR-independent pathway. Induction of autophagy in the latter pathway is dependent on the interaction of Bcl-2 and Beclin 1. Prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP) is a peptidase enzyme that has several substrates. PREP-inhibition by KYP-2047 can reduce aggregation of α-synuclein in two ways: by increasing rate of autophagy and by decreasing dimerization. The aim of this study was to find out how PREP affects the interaction between Bcl-2 and Beclin 1 and how this affects autophagy. Based on previous studies, PREP-inhibition seems to increase the amount of Beclin 1 and to affect the phosphorylation of Bcl-2 and Beclin 1, leading to dissociation of the complex. Hypothesis was to see differences in colocalization of Bcl-2 and Beclin 1 in cells treated with different PREP-modifications and for PREP-inhibition to decrease the colocalization. Human embryonic kidney cells 293 (HEK-293) and hPREP knockout cell line created from them by using CRISPR/Cas9-silencing were used in the experiments. Two experiments were performed on regular HEK-cells: inhibitor experiment with KYP-2047 (1 or 10 µM) and overexpression experiment (transfection with either active or inactive hPREP plasmid). After immunofluorescence staining, cells were analysed with confocal microscope and colocation analysis of Bcl-2 and Beclin 1 was performed. The intensity of Beclin 1 in the nuclei was stronger than in other parts of the cell in all samples, which could indicate a stronger activity of its nuclear tasks compared to autophagy. However, the antibody used for immunofluorescence has most likely caused this staining pattern. Based on previous knowledge, it was expected to see differences in colocalization of Bcl-2 and Beclin 1 in cells treated with different PREP-modifications. However, there were no significant differences in colocalization of Beclin 1 and Bcl-2 in any of the experiments but it was nearly 100 percent in all treatments. Since rate of autophagy in cells was not detected, it is impossible to determine, if there were changes in autophagy that were not reflected as changes in colocalization of these two proteins. It is possible that even a small change in colocalization can affect the rate of autophagy or there might be subpopulations where the interaction is interrupted and these changes are so small that they are not detectable with the methods used in this experiment. Both Bcl-2 and Beclin 1 also have functions not related to autophagy, which could be one reason behind the results gained in this study.
  • Anwar, Tahira; Liu, Xiaonan; Suntio, Taina; Marjamäki, Annika; Biazik, Joanna; Chan, Edmond Y. W.; Varjosalo, Markku; Eskelinen, Eeva-Liisa (2019)
    Autophagy transports cytoplasmic material and organelles to lysosomes for degradation and recycling. Beclin 1 forms a complex with several other autophagy proteins and functions in the initiation phase of autophagy, but the exact role of Beclin 1 subcellular localization in autophagy initiation is still unclear. In order to elucidate the role of Beclin 1 localization in autophagosome biogenesis, we generated constructs that target Beclin 1 to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) or mitochondria. Our results confirmed the proper organelle-specific targeting of the engineered Beclin 1 constructs, and the proper formation of autophagy-regulatory Beclin 1 complexes. The ULK kinases are required for autophagy initiation upstream of Beclin 1, and autophagosome biogenesis is severely impaired in ULK1/ULK2 double knockout cells. We tested whether Beclin 1 targeting facilitated its ability to rescue autophagosome formation in ULK1/ULK2 double knockout cells. ER-targeted Beclin 1 was most effective in the rescue experiments, while mitochondria-targeted and non-targeted Beclin 1 also showed an ability to rescue, but with lower activity. However, none of the constructs was able to increase autophagic flux in the knockout cells. We also showed that wild type Beclin 1 was enriched on the ER during autophagy induction, and that ULK1/ULK2 facilitated the ER-enrichment of Beclin 1 under basal conditions. The results suggest that one of the functions of ULK kinases may be to enhance Beclin 1 recruitment to the ER to drive autophagosome formation.