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      The Role of NCOA4-Mediated Ferritinophagy in Health and Disease

      , *

      Pharmaceuticals

      MDPI

      NCOA4, ferritinophagy, iron homeostasis, erythropoiesis, ferroptosis, cancer

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          Abstract

          Nuclear receptor coactivator 4 (NCOA4) is a selective cargo receptor that mediates the autophagic degradation of ferritin (“ferritinophagy”), the cytosolic iron storage complex. NCOA4-mediated ferritinophagy maintains intracellular iron homeostasis by facilitating ferritin iron storage or release according to demand. Ferritinophagy is involved in iron-dependent physiological processes such as erythropoiesis, where NCOA4 mediates ferritin iron release for mitochondrial heme synthesis. Recently, ferritinophagy has been shown to regulate ferroptosis, a newly described form of iron-dependent cell death mediated by excess lipid peroxidation. Dysregulation of iron metabolism and ferroptosis have been described in neurodegeneration, cancer, and infection, but little is known about the role of ferritinophagy in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Here, we will review the biochemical regulation of NCOA4, its contribution to physiological processes and its role in disease. Finally, we will discuss the potential of activating or inhibiting ferritinophagy and ferroptosis for therapeutic purposes.

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          Most cited references 66

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          Pancreatic cancers require autophagy for tumor growth.

          Macroautophagy (autophagy) is a regulated catabolic pathway to degrade cellular organelles and macromolecules. The role of autophagy in cancer is complex and may differ depending on tumor type or context. Here we show that pancreatic cancers have a distinct dependence on autophagy. Pancreatic cancer primary tumors and cell lines show elevated autophagy under basal conditions. Genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of autophagy leads to increased reactive oxygen species, elevated DNA damage, and a metabolic defect leading to decreased mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Together, these ultimately result in significant growth suppression of pancreatic cancer cells in vitro. Most importantly, inhibition of autophagy by genetic means or chloroquine treatment leads to robust tumor regression and prolonged survival in pancreatic cancer xenografts and genetic mouse models. These results suggest that, unlike in other cancers where autophagy inhibition may synergize with chemotherapy or targeted agents by preventing the up-regulation of autophagy as a reactive survival mechanism, autophagy is actually required for tumorigenic growth of pancreatic cancers de novo, and drugs that inactivate this process may have a unique clinical utility in treating pancreatic cancers and other malignancies with a similar dependence on autophagy. As chloroquine and its derivatives are potent inhibitors of autophagy and have been used safely in human patients for decades for a variety of purposes, these results are immediately translatable to the treatment of pancreatic cancer patients, and provide a much needed, novel vantage point of attack.
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            LXXIII.—Oxidation of tartaric acid in presence of iron

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              Quantitative proteomics identifies NCOA4 as the cargo receptor mediating ferritinophagy

              Autophagy, the process by which proteins and organelles are sequestered in double-membrane structures called autophagosomes and delivered to lysosomes for degradation, is critical in diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration 1,2 . Much of our understanding of this process has emerged from analysis of bulk cytoplasmic autophagy, but our understanding of how specific cargo including organelles, proteins, or intracellular pathogens are targeted for selective autophagy is limited 3 . We employed quantitative proteomics to identify a cohort of novel and known autophagosome-enriched proteins, including cargo receptors. Like known cargo receptors, NCOA4 was highly enriched in autophagosomes, and associated with ATG8 proteins that recruit cargo-receptor complexes into autophagosomes. Unbiased identification of NCOA4-associated proteins revealed ferritin heavy and light chains, components of an iron-filled cage structure that protects cells from reactive iron species 4 but is degraded via autophagy to release iron 5,6 through an unknown mechanism. We found that delivery of ferritin to lysosomes required NCOA4, and an inability of NCOA4-deficient cells to degrade ferritin leads to decreased bioavailable intracellular iron. This work identifies NCOA4 as a selective cargo receptor for autophagic turnover of ferritin (ferritinophagy) critical for iron homeostasis and provides a resource for further dissection of autophagosomal cargo-receptor connectivity.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Pharmaceuticals (Basel)
                Pharmaceuticals (Basel)
                pharmaceuticals
                Pharmaceuticals
                MDPI
                1424-8247
                23 October 2018
                December 2018
                : 11
                : 4
                Affiliations
                Division of Genomic Stability and DNA Repair, Department of Radiation Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Institute of Medicine, Room 221, 4 Blackfan Circle, Boston, MA 02215, USA; Naiara_SantanaCodina@ 123456dfci.harvard.edu
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: joseph_mancias@ 123456dfci.harvard.edu ; Tel.: +1-617-582-9379; Fax: +1-617-582-8213
                Article
                pharmaceuticals-11-00114
                10.3390/ph11040114
                6316710
                30360520
                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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