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      Mevalonate Cascade Regulation of Airway Mesenchymal Cell Autophagy and Apoptosis: A Dual Role for p53

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          Abstract

          Statins inhibit the proximal steps of cholesterol biosynthesis, and are linked to health benefits in various conditions, including cancer and lung disease. We have previously investigated apoptotic pathways triggered by statins in airway mesenchymal cells, and identified reduced prenylation of small GTPases as a primary effector mechanism leading to p53-mediated cell death. Here, we extend our studies of statin-induced cell death by assessing endpoints of both apoptosis and autophagy, and investigating their interplay and coincident regulation. Using primary cultured human airway smooth muscle (HASM) and human airway fibroblasts (HAF), autophagy, and autophagosome formation and flux were assessed by transmission electron microscopy, cytochemistry (lysosome number and co-localization with LC3) and immunoblotting (LC3 lipidation and Atg12-5 complex formation). Chemical inhibition of autophagy increased simvastatin-induced caspase activation and cell death. Similarly, Atg5 silencing with shRNA, thus preventing Atg5-12 complex formation, increased pro-apoptotic effects of simvastatin. Simvastatin concomitantly increased p53-dependent expression of p53 up-regulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA), NOXA, and damage- regulated autophagy modulator (DRAM). Notably both mevalonate cascade inhibition-induced autophagy and apoptosis were p53 dependent: simvastatin increased nuclear p53 accumulation, and both cyclic pifithrin-α and p53 shRNAi partially inhibited NOXA, PUMA expression and caspase-3/7 cleavage (apoptosis) and DRAM expression, Atg5-12 complex formation, LC3 lipidation, and autophagosome formation (autophagy). Furthermore, the autophagy response is induced rapidly, significantly delaying apoptosis, suggesting the existence of a temporally coordinated p53 regulation network. These findings are relevant for the development of statin-based therapeutic approaches in obstructive airway disease.

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          Most cited references 44

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          Regulation of autophagy by cytoplasmic p53.

          Multiple cellular stressors, including activation of the tumour suppressor p53, can stimulate autophagy. Here we show that deletion, depletion or inhibition of p53 can induce autophagy in human, mouse and nematode cells subjected to knockout, knockdown or pharmacological inhibition of p53. Enhanced autophagy improved the survival of p53-deficient cancer cells under conditions of hypoxia and nutrient depletion, allowing them to maintain high ATP levels. Inhibition of p53 led to autophagy in enucleated cells, and cytoplasmic, not nuclear, p53 was able to repress the enhanced autophagy of p53(-/-) cells. Many different inducers of autophagy (for example, starvation, rapamycin and toxins affecting the endoplasmic reticulum) stimulated proteasome-mediated degradation of p53 through a pathway relying on the E3 ubiquitin ligase HDM2. Inhibition of p53 degradation prevented the activation of autophagy in several cell lines, in response to several distinct stimuli. These results provide evidence of a key signalling pathway that links autophagy to the cancer-associated dysregulation of p53.
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            Dissection of Autophagosome Formation Using Apg5-Deficient Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells

            In macroautophagy, cytoplasmic components are delivered to lysosomes for degradation via autophagosomes that are formed by closure of cup-shaped isolation membranes. However, how the isolation membranes are formed is poorly understood. We recently found in yeast that a novel ubiquitin-like system, the Apg12-Apg5 conjugation system, is essential for autophagy. Here we show that mouse Apg12-Apg5 conjugate localizes to the isolation membranes in mouse embryonic stem cells. Using green fluorescent protein–tagged Apg5, we revealed that the cup-shaped isolation membrane is developed from a small crescent-shaped compartment. Apg5 localizes on the isolation membrane throughout its elongation process. To examine the role of Apg5, we generated Apg5-deficient embryonic stem cells, which showed defects in autophagosome formation. The covalent modification of Apg5 with Apg12 is not required for its membrane targeting, but is essential for involvement of Apg5 in elongation of the isolation membranes. We also show that Apg12-Apg5 is required for targeting of a mammalian Aut7/Apg8 homologue, LC3, to the isolation membranes. These results suggest that the Apg12-Apg5 conjugate plays essential roles in isolation membrane development.
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              The coordinate regulation of the p53 and mTOR pathways in cells.

              Cell growth and proliferation requires an intricate coordination between the stimulatory signals arising from nutrients and growth factors and the inhibitory signals arising from intracellular and extracellular stresses. Alteration of the coordination often causes cancer. In mammals, the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) protein kinase is the central node in nutrient and growth factor signaling, and p53 plays a critical role in sensing genotoxic and other stresses. The results presented here demonstrate that activation of p53 inhibits mTOR activity and regulates its downstream targets, including autophagy, a tumor suppression process. Moreover, the mechanisms by which p53 regulates mTOR involves AMP kinase activation and requires the tuberous sclerosis (TSC) 1/TSC2 complex, both of which respond to energy deprivation in cells. In addition, glucose starvation not only signals to shut down mTOR, but also results in the transient phosphorylation of the p53 protein. Thus, p53 and mTOR signaling machineries can cross-talk and coordinately regulate cell growth, proliferation, and death.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2011
                31 January 2011
                : 6
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
                [2 ]National Training Program in Allergy and Asthma, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
                [3 ]Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
                [4 ]Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
                [5 ]Biology of Breathing Group, Manitoba Institute of Child Health, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
                [6 ]Department of Clinical & Experimental Medicine, Integrative Regenerative Medical Center (IGEN), Linköping University, Linkoping, Sweden
                Wayne State University School of Medicine, United States of America
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: SG, MM, PS, ML, AJH. Performed the experiments: SG MMM PS TK HU DS. Analyzed the data: SG MMM. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: ML HU TK. Wrote the paper: SG ML AJH. Helped in confocal microscopy image preparation & quantification: BY. Helped in experimental procedures in Atg7 Knock down experiments: HHK. Helped in experimental procedures in Atg5 & p53 Knock down experiments: KDM.

                Article
                PONE-D-10-00840
                10.1371/journal.pone.0016523
                3031577
                21304979
                Ghavami et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 13
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology
                Molecular Cell Biology
                Gene Expression
                RNA interference
                Signal Transduction
                Signaling Cascades
                Apoptotic Signaling Cascade
                Signaling in Cellular Processes
                Apoptotic Signaling
                Cell Death
                Medicine
                Pulmonology

                Uncategorized

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