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      Target acquired: Selective autophagy in cardiometabolic disease.

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          The accumulation of damaged or excess proteins and organelles is a defining feature of metabolic disease in nearly every tissue. Thus, a central challenge in maintaining metabolic homeostasis is the identification, sequestration, and degradation of these cellular components, including protein aggregates, mitochondria, peroxisomes, inflammasomes, and lipid droplets. A primary route through which this challenge is met is selective autophagy, the targeting of specific cellular cargo for autophagic compartmentalization and lysosomal degradation. In addition to its roles in degradation, selective autophagy is emerging as an integral component of inflammatory and metabolic signaling cascades. In this Review, we focus on emerging evidence and key questions about the role of selective autophagy in the cell biology and pathophysiology of metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and steatohepatitis. Essential players in these processes are the selective autophagy receptors, defined broadly as adapter proteins that both recognize cargo and target it to the autophagosome. Additional domains within these receptors may allow integration of information about autophagic flux with critical regulators of cellular metabolism and inflammation. Details regarding the precise receptors involved, such as p62 and NBR1, and their predominant interacting partners are just beginning to be defined. Overall, we anticipate that the continued study of selective autophagy will prove to be informative in understanding the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases and to provide previously unrecognized therapeutic targets.

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          AMPK and mTOR regulate autophagy through direct phosphorylation of Ulk1.

          Autophagy is a process by which components of the cell are degraded to maintain essential activity and viability in response to nutrient limitation. Extensive genetic studies have shown that the yeast ATG1 kinase has an essential role in autophagy induction. Furthermore, autophagy is promoted by AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is a key energy sensor and regulates cellular metabolism to maintain energy homeostasis. Conversely, autophagy is inhibited by the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a central cell-growth regulator that integrates growth factor and nutrient signals. Here we demonstrate a molecular mechanism for regulation of the mammalian autophagy-initiating kinase Ulk1, a homologue of yeast ATG1. Under glucose starvation, AMPK promotes autophagy by directly activating Ulk1 through phosphorylation of Ser 317 and Ser 777. Under nutrient sufficiency, high mTOR activity prevents Ulk1 activation by phosphorylating Ulk1 Ser 757 and disrupting the interaction between Ulk1 and AMPK. This coordinated phosphorylation is important for Ulk1 in autophagy induction. Our study has revealed a signalling mechanism for Ulk1 regulation and autophagy induction in response to nutrient signalling.
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            Autophagy: renovation of cells and tissues.

            Autophagy is the major intracellular degradation system by which cytoplasmic materials are delivered to and degraded in the lysosome. However, the purpose of autophagy is not the simple elimination of materials, but instead, autophagy serves as a dynamic recycling system that produces new building blocks and energy for cellular renovation and homeostasis. Here we provide a multidisciplinary review of our current understanding of autophagy's role in metabolic adaptation, intracellular quality control, and renovation during development and differentiation. We also explore how recent mouse models in combination with advances in human genetics are providing key insights into how the impairment or activation of autophagy contributes to pathogenesis of diverse diseases, from neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson disease to inflammatory disorders such as Crohn disease. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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              p62/SQSTM1 binds directly to Atg8/LC3 to facilitate degradation of ubiquitinated protein aggregates by autophagy.

              Protein degradation by basal constitutive autophagy is important to avoid accumulation of polyubiquitinated protein aggregates and development of neurodegenerative diseases. The polyubiquitin-binding protein p62/SQSTM1 is degraded by autophagy. It is found in cellular inclusion bodies together with polyubiquitinated proteins and in cytosolic protein aggregates that accumulate in various chronic, toxic, and degenerative diseases. Here we show for the first time a direct interaction between p62 and the autophagic effector proteins LC3A and -B and the related gamma-aminobutyrate receptor-associated protein and gamma-aminobutyrate receptor-associated-like proteins. The binding is mediated by a 22-residue sequence of p62 containing an evolutionarily conserved motif. To monitor the autophagic sequestration of p62- and LC3-positive bodies, we developed a novel pH-sensitive fluorescent tag consisting of a tandem fusion of the red, acid-insensitive mCherry and the acid-sensitive green fluorescent proteins. This approach revealed that p62- and LC3-positive bodies are degraded in autolysosomes. Strikingly, even rather large p62-positive inclusion bodies (2 microm diameter) become degraded by autophagy. The specific interaction between p62 and LC3, requiring the motif we have mapped, is instrumental in mediating autophagic degradation of the p62-positive bodies. We also demonstrate that the previously reported aggresome-like induced structures containing ubiquitinated proteins in cytosolic bodies are dependent on p62 for their formation. In fact, p62 bodies and these structures are indistinguishable. Taken together, our results clearly suggest that p62 is required both for the formation and the degradation of polyubiquitin-containing bodies by autophagy.

                Author and article information

                Sci Signal
                Science signaling
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                Feb 28 2017
                : 10
                : 468
                [1 ] Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
                [2 ] Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
                [3 ] Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
                10/468/eaag2298 NIHMS857738


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