Publications by authors named "Jihoon Nah"

28 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The roles of the inhibitory autophagy regulator Rubicon in the heart: A new therapeutic target to prevent cardiac cell death.

Exp Mol Med 2021 Apr 14;53(4):528-536. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA.

Autophagy contributes to the maintenance of cardiac homeostasis. The level of autophagy is dynamically altered in heart disease. Although autophagy is a promising therapeutic target, only a few selective autophagy activator candidates have been reported thus far. Rubicon is one of the few endogenous negative regulators of autophagy and a potential target for autophagy-inducing therapeutics. Rubicon was initially identified as a component of the Class III PI3K complex, and it has multiple functions, not only in canonical autophagy but also in endosomal trafficking and inflammatory responses. This review summarizes the molecular action of Rubicon in canonical and noncanonical autophagy. We discuss the roles of Rubicon in cardiac stress and the therapeutic potential of Rubicon in cardiac diseases through its modulation of autophagy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s12276-021-00600-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8102471PMC
April 2021

Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (4th edition).

Autophagy 2021 Jan 8;17(1):1-382. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

University of Crete, School of Medicine, Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, Voutes, Heraklion, Crete, Greece; Foundation for Research and Technology, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB), Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

In 2008, we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, this topic has received increasing attention, and many scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Thus, it is important to formulate on a regular basis updated guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Despite numerous reviews, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to evaluate autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. Here, we present a set of guidelines for investigators to select and interpret methods to examine autophagy and related processes, and for reviewers to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of reports that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a dogmatic set of rules, because the appropriateness of any assay largely depends on the question being asked and the system being used. Moreover, no individual assay is perfect for every situation, calling for the use of multiple techniques to properly monitor autophagy in each experimental setting. Finally, several core components of the autophagy machinery have been implicated in distinct autophagic processes (canonical and noncanonical autophagy), implying that genetic approaches to block autophagy should rely on targeting two or more autophagy-related genes that ideally participate in distinct steps of the pathway. Along similar lines, because multiple proteins involved in autophagy also regulate other cellular pathways including apoptosis, not all of them can be used as a specific marker for autophagic responses. Here, we critically discuss current methods of assessing autophagy and the information they can, or cannot, provide. Our ultimate goal is to encourage intellectual and technical innovation in the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2020.1797280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7996087PMC
January 2021

YAP plays a crucial role in the development of cardiomyopathy in lysosomal storage diseases.

J Clin Invest 2021 Mar;131(5)

Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey, USA.

Lysosomal dysfunction caused by mutations in lysosomal genes results in lysosomal storage disorder (LSD), characterized by accumulation of damaged proteins and organelles in cells and functional abnormalities in major organs, including the heart, skeletal muscle, and liver. In LSD, autophagy is inhibited at the lysosomal degradation step and accumulation of autophagosomes is observed. Enlargement of the left ventricle (LV) and contractile dysfunction were observed in RagA/B cardiac-specific KO (cKO) mice, a mouse model of LSD in which lysosomal acidification is impaired irreversibly. YAP, a downstream effector of the Hippo pathway, was accumulated in RagA/B cKO mouse hearts. Inhibition of YAP ameliorated cardiac hypertrophy and contractile dysfunction and attenuated accumulation of autophagosomes without affecting lysosomal function, suggesting that YAP plays an important role in mediating cardiomyopathy in RagA/B cKO mice. Cardiomyopathy was also alleviated by downregulation of Atg7, an intervention to inhibit autophagy, whereas it was exacerbated by stimulation of autophagy. YAP physically interacted with transcription factor EB (TFEB), a master transcription factor that controls autophagic and lysosomal gene expression, thereby facilitating accumulation of autophagosomes without degradation. These results indicate that accumulation of YAP in the presence of LSD promotes cardiomyopathy by stimulating accumulation of autophagosomes through activation of TFEB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI143173DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7919732PMC
March 2021

Autosis: A New Target to Prevent Cell Death.

JACC Basic Transl Sci 2020 Aug 24;5(8):857-869. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey.

Excessive autophagy induces a defined form of cell death called autosis, which is characterized by unique morphological features, including ballooning of perinuclear space and biochemical features, including sensitivity to cardiac glycosides. Autosis is observed during the late phase of reperfusion after a period of ischemia and contributes to myocardial injury. This review discusses unique features of autosis, the involvement of autosis in myocardial injury, and the molecular mechanism of autosis. Because autosis promotes myocardial injury under some conditions, a better understanding of autosis may lead to development of novel interventions to protect the heart against myocardial stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacbts.2020.04.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7452304PMC
August 2020

Upregulation of Rubicon promotes autosis during myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury.

J Clin Invest 2020 06;130(6):2978-2991

Cardiovascular Research Institute, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey, USA.

Although autophagy is generally protective, uncontrolled or excessive activation of autophagy can be detrimental. However, it is often difficult to distinguish death by autophagy from death with autophagy, and whether autophagy contributes to death in cardiomyocytes (CMs) is still controversial. Excessive activation of autophagy induces a morphologically and biochemically defined form of cell death termed autosis. Whether autosis is involved in tissue injury induced under pathologically relevant conditions is poorly understood. In the present study, myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) induced autosis in CMs, as evidenced by cell death with numerous vacuoles and perinuclear spaces, and depleted intracellular membranes. Autosis was observed frequently after 6 hours of reperfusion, accompanied by upregulation of Rubicon, attenuation of autophagic flux, and marked accumulation of autophagosomes. Genetic downregulation of Rubicon inhibited autosis and reduced I/R injury, whereas stimulation of autosis during the late phase of I/R with Tat-Beclin 1 exacerbated injury. Suppression of autosis by ouabain, a cardiac glycoside, in humanized Na+,K+-ATPase-knockin mice reduced I/R injury. Taken together, these results demonstrate that autosis is significantly involved in I/R injury in the heart and triggered by dysregulated accumulation of autophagosomes due to upregulation of Rubicon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI132366DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7260042PMC
June 2020

SERP1 is an assembly regulator of γ-secretase in metabolic stress conditions.

Sci Signal 2020 03 17;13(623). Epub 2020 Mar 17.

School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Korea.

The enzyme γ-secretase generates β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides by cleaving amyloid protein precursor (APP); the aggregation of these peptides is associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Despite the development of various γ-secretase regulators, their clinical use is limited by coincident disruption of other γ-secretase-regulated substrates, such as Notch. Using a genome-wide functional screen of γ-secretase activity in cells and a complementary DNA expression library, we found that SERP1 is a previously unknown γ-secretase activator that stimulates Aβ generation in cells experiencing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, such as is seen with diabetes. SERP1 interacted with a subcomplex of γ-secretase (APH1A/NCT) through its carboxyl terminus to enhance the assembly and, consequently, the activity of the γ-secretase holoenzyme complex. In response to ER stress, SERP1 preferentially recruited APP rather than Notch into the γ-secretase complex and enhanced the subcellular localization of the complex into lipid rafts, increasing Aβ production. Moreover, SERP1 abundance, γ-secretase assembly, and Aβ production were increased both in cells exposed to high amounts of glucose and in diabetic AD model mice. Conversely, Aβ production was decreased by knocking down SERP1 in cells or in the hippocampi of mice. Compared to postmortem samples from control individuals, those from patients with AD showed increased SERP1 expression in the hippocampus and parietal lobe. Together, our findings suggest that SERP1 is an APP-biased regulator of γ-secretase function in the context of cell stress, providing a possible molecular explanation for the link between diabetes and sporadic AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aax8949DOI Listing
March 2020

Interaction between the autophagy protein Beclin 1 and Na+,K+-ATPase during starvation, exercise, and ischemia.

JCI Insight 2020 01 16;5(1). Epub 2020 Jan 16.

Center for Autophagy Research.

Autosis is a distinct form of cell death that requires both autophagy genes and the Na+,K+-ATPase pump. However, the relationship between the autophagy machinery and Na+,K+-ATPase is unknown. We explored the hypothesis that Na+,K+-ATPase interacts with the autophagy protein Beclin 1 during stress and autosis-inducing conditions. Starvation increased the Beclin 1/Na+,K+-ATPase interaction in cultured cells, and this was blocked by cardiac glycosides, inhibitors of Na+,K+-ATPase. Increases in Beclin 1/Na+,K+-ATPase interaction were also observed in tissues from starved mice, livers of patients with anorexia nervosa, brains of neonatal rats subjected to cerebral hypoxia-ischemia (HI), and kidneys of mice subjected to renal ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI). Cardiac glycosides blocked the increased Beclin 1/Na+,K+-ATPase interaction during cerebral HI injury and renal IRI. In the mouse renal IRI model, cardiac glycosides reduced numbers of autotic cells in the kidney and improved clinical outcome. Moreover, blockade of endogenous cardiac glycosides increased Beclin 1/Na+,K+-ATPase interaction and autotic cell death in mouse hearts during exercise. Thus, Beclin 1/Na+,K+-ATPase interaction is increased in stress conditions, and cardiac glycosides decrease this interaction and autosis in both pathophysiological and physiological settings. This crosstalk between cellular machinery that generates and consumes energy during stress may represent a fundamental homeostatic mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.133282DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7030824PMC
January 2020

3,4-Dimethoxychalcone induces autophagy through activation of the transcription factors TFE3 and TFEB.

EMBO Mol Med 2019 11 14;11(11):e10469. Epub 2019 Oct 14.

Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus, Villejuif, France.

Caloric restriction mimetics (CRMs) are natural or synthetic compounds that mimic the health-promoting and longevity-extending effects of caloric restriction. CRMs provoke the deacetylation of cellular proteins coupled to an increase in autophagic flux in the absence of toxicity. Here, we report the identification of a novel candidate CRM, namely 3,4-dimethoxychalcone (3,4-DC), among a library of polyphenols. When added to several different human cell lines, 3,4-DC induced the deacetylation of cytoplasmic proteins and stimulated autophagic flux. At difference with other well-characterized CRMs, 3,4-DC, however, required transcription factor EB (TFEB)- and E3 (TFE3)-dependent gene transcription and mRNA translation to trigger autophagy. 3,4-DC stimulated the translocation of TFEB and TFE3 into nuclei both in vitro and in vivo, in hepatocytes and cardiomyocytes. 3,4-DC induced autophagy in vitro and in mouse organs, mediated autophagy-dependent cardioprotective effects, and improved the efficacy of anticancer chemotherapy in vivo. Altogether, our results suggest that 3,4-DC is a novel CRM with a previously unrecognized mode of action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/emmm.201910469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835206PMC
November 2019

Thioredoxin-1 maintains mitochondrial function via mechanistic target of rapamycin signalling in the heart.

Cardiovasc Res 2020 08;116(10):1742-1755

Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ 07101, USA.

Aims: Thioredoxin 1 (Trx1) is an evolutionarily conserved oxidoreductase that cleaves disulphide bonds in oxidized substrate proteins such as mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) and maintains nuclear-encoded mitochondrial gene expression. The cardioprotective effect of Trx1 has been demonstrated via cardiac-specific overexpression of Trx1 and dominant negative Trx1. However, the pathophysiological role of endogenous Trx1 has not been defined with a loss-of-function model. To address this, we have generated cardiac-specific Trx1 knockout (Trx1cKO) mice.

Methods And Results: Trx1cKO mice were viable but died with a median survival age of 25.5 days. They developed heart failure, evidenced by contractile dysfunction, hypertrophy, and increased fibrosis and apoptotic cell death. Multiple markers consistently indicated increased oxidative stress and RNA-sequencing revealed downregulation of genes involved in energy production in Trx1cKO mice. Mitochondrial morphological abnormality was evident in these mice. Although heterozygous Trx1cKO mice did not show any significant baseline phenotype, pressure-overload-induced cardiac dysfunction, and downregulation of metabolic genes were exacerbated in these mice. mTOR was more oxidized and phosphorylation of mTOR substrates such as S6K and 4EBP1 was impaired in Trx1cKO mice. In cultured cardiomyocytes, Trx1 knockdown inhibited mitochondrial respiration and metabolic gene promoter activity, suggesting that Trx1 maintains mitochondrial function in a cell autonomous manner. Importantly, mTOR-C1483F, an oxidation-resistant mutation, prevented Trx1 knockdown-induced mTOR oxidation and inhibition and attenuated suppression of metabolic gene promoter activity.

Conclusion: Endogenous Trx1 is essential for maintaining cardiac function and metabolism, partly through mTOR regulation via Cys1483.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvz251DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7825501PMC
August 2020

Comprehensive autophagy evaluation in cardiac disease models.

Cardiovasc Res 2020 03;116(3):483-504

Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology, Institute for Aging Studies, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY, 10461, USA.

Autophagy is a highly conserved recycling mechanism essential for maintaining cellular homeostasis. The pathophysiological role of autophagy has been explored since its discovery 50 years ago, but interest in autophagy has grown exponentially over the last years. Many researchers around the globe have found that autophagy is a critical pathway involved in the pathogenesis of cardiac diseases. Several groups have created novel and powerful tools for gaining deeper insights into the role of autophagy in the aetiology and development of pathologies affecting the heart. Here, we discuss how established and emerging methods to study autophagy can be used to unravel the precise function of this central recycling mechanism in the cardiac system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvz233DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7064050PMC
March 2020

The flavonoid 4,4'-dimethoxychalcone promotes autophagy-dependent longevity across species.

Nat Commun 2019 02 19;10(1):651. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

Equipe 11 labellisée Ligue contre le Cancer, Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, INSERM U 1138, Paris, France.

Ageing constitutes the most important risk factor for all major chronic ailments, including malignant, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. However, behavioural and pharmacological interventions with feasible potential to promote health upon ageing remain rare. Here we report the identification of the flavonoid 4,4'-dimethoxychalcone (DMC) as a natural compound with anti-ageing properties. External DMC administration extends the lifespan of yeast, worms and flies, decelerates senescence of human cell cultures, and protects mice from prolonged myocardial ischaemia. Concomitantly, DMC induces autophagy, which is essential for its cytoprotective effects from yeast to mice. This pro-autophagic response induces a conserved systemic change in metabolism, operates independently of TORC1 signalling and depends on specific GATA transcription factors. Notably, we identify DMC in the plant Angelica keiskei koidzumi, to which longevity- and health-promoting effects are ascribed in Asian traditional medicine. In summary, we have identified and mechanistically characterised the conserved longevity-promoting effects of a natural anti-ageing drug.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08555-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6381180PMC
February 2019

An alternative mitophagy pathway mediated by Rab9 protects the heart against ischemia.

J Clin Invest 2019 02 22;129(2):802-819. Epub 2019 Jan 22.

Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey, USA.

Energy stress, such as ischemia, induces mitochondrial damage and death in the heart. Degradation of damaged mitochondria by mitophagy is essential for the maintenance of healthy mitochondria and survival. Here, we show that mitophagy during myocardial ischemia was mediated predominantly through autophagy characterized by Rab9-associated autophagosomes, rather than the well-characterized form of autophagy that is dependent on the autophagy-related 7 (Atg) conjugation system and LC3. This form of mitophagy played an essential role in protecting the heart against ischemia and was mediated by a protein complex consisting of unc-51 like kinase 1 (Ulk1), Rab9, receptor-interacting serine/thronine protein kinase 1 (Rip1), and dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). This complex allowed the recruitment of trans-Golgi membranes associated with Rab9 to damaged mitochondria through S179 phosphorylation of Rab9 by Ulk1 and S616 phosphorylation of Drp1 by Rip1. Knockin of Rab9 (S179A) abolished mitophagy and exacerbated the injury in response to myocardial ischemia, without affecting conventional autophagy. Mitophagy mediated through the Ulk1/Rab9/Rip1/Drp1 pathway protected the heart against ischemia by maintaining healthy mitochondria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI122035DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6355232PMC
February 2019

Mitophagy as a Protective Mechanism against Myocardial Stress.

Compr Physiol 2017 Sep 12;7(4):1407-1424. Epub 2017 Sep 12.

Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey, USA.

Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that can undergo fusion, fission, biogenesis, and autophagic elimination to maintain mitochondrial quality control. Since the heart is in constant need of high amounts of energy, mitochondria, as a central energy supply source, play a crucial role in maintaining optimal cardiac performance. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with the pathophysiology of heart diseases. In non-dividing, post-mitotic cells such as cardiomyocytes, elimination of dysfunctional organelles is essential to maintaining cellular function because non-dividing cells cannot dilute dysfunctional organelles through cell division. In this review, we discuss the recent findings regarding the physiological role of mitophagy in the heart and cardiomyocytes. Moreover, we discuss the functional role of mitophagy in the progression of cardiovascular diseases, including myocardial ischemic injury, diabetic cardiomyopathy, cardiac hypertrophy, and heart failure. © 2017 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 7:1407-1424, 2017.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cphy.c170005DOI Listing
September 2017

Pimozide reduces toxic forms of tau in TauC3 mice via 5' adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase-mediated autophagy.

J Neurochem 2017 09 11;142(5):734-746. Epub 2017 Jul 11.

Global Research Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.

In neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease (AD), tau is hyperphosphorylated and forms aggregates and neurofibrillary tangles in affected neurons. Autophagy is critical to clear the aggregates of disease-associated proteins and is often altered in patients and animal models of AD. Because mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) negatively regulates autophagy and is hyperactive in the brains of patients with AD, mTOR is an attractive therapeutic target for AD. However, pharmacological strategies to increase autophagy by targeting mTOR inhibition cause various side effects. Therefore, autophagy activation mediated by non-mTOR pathways is a new option for autophagy-based AD therapy. Here, we report that pimozide activates autophagy to rescue tau pathology in an AD model. Pimozide increased autophagic flux through the activation of the AMPK-Unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1 (ULK1) axis, but not of mTOR, in neuronal cells, and this function was independent of dopamine D2 receptor inhibition. Pimozide reduced levels of abnormally phosphorylated tau aggregates in neuronal cells. Further, daily intraperitoneal (i.p.) treatment of pimozide led to a recovery from memory deficits of TauC3 mice expressing a caspase-cleaved form of tau. In the brains of these mice, we found increased phosphorylation of AMPK1 and ULK1, and reduced levels of the soluble oligomers and NP40-insoluble aggregates of abnormally phosphorylated tau. Together, these results suggest that pimozide rescues memory impairments in TauC3 mice and reduces tau aggregates by increasing autophagic flux through the mTOR-independent AMPK-ULK1 axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnc.14109DOI Listing
September 2017

Phosphorylated CAV1 activates autophagy through an interaction with BECN1 under oxidative stress.

Cell Death Dis 2017 05 25;8(5):e2822. Epub 2017 May 25.

Department of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Seoul, Gwanak-gu 151-747, Korea.

CAV1/Caveolin1, an integral membrane protein, is involved in caveolae function and cellular signaling pathways. Here, we report that CAV1 is a positive regulator of autophagy under oxidative stress and cerebral ischemic injury. Treatment with hydrogen peroxide enhanced autophagy flux and caused the localization of BECN1 to the mitochondria, whereas these changes were impaired in the absence of CAV1. Among many autophagy signals, only LC3 foci formation in response to hydrogen peroxide was abolished by CAV1 deficiency. Under oxidative stress, CAV1 interacted with a complex of BECN1/VPS34 through its scaffolding domain, and this interaction facilitated autophagosome formation. Interestingly, the phosphorylation of CAV1 at tyrosine-14 was essential for the interaction with BECN1 and their localization to the mitochondria, and the activation of autophagy in response to hydrogen peroxide. In addition, the expression of a phosphatase PTPN1 reduced the phosphorylation of CAV1 and inhibited autophagy. Further, compared to that in wild-type mice, autophagy was impaired and cerebral infarct damage was aggravated in the brain of Cav1 knockout mice. These results suggest that the phosphorylated CAV1 functions to activate autophagy through binding to the BECN1/VPS34 complex under oxidative stress and to protect against ischemic damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/cddis.2017.71DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5520747PMC
May 2017

Does Autophagy Mediate Cardiac Myocyte Death During Stress?

Circ Res 2016 09;119(8):893-5

From the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark (J.N., J.S.); Department of Internal Medicine, Center for Autophagy Research (Á.F.F., B.L.) and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (B.L.), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; and Departments of Medicine (Cardiology) and Cell Biology, Wilf Family Cardiovascular Research Institute, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY (R.N.K.).

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.116.309765DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5161244PMC
September 2016

Dual-specificity phosphatase 26 (DUSP26) stimulates Aβ42 generation by promoting amyloid precursor protein axonal transport during hypoxia.

J Neurochem 2016 06 17;137(5):770-81. Epub 2016 Mar 17.

Global Research Laboratory, School of Biological Science, Seoul National University, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, Korea.

Amyloid beta peptide (Aβ) is a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and is generated through the sequential cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by β- and γ-secretases. Hypoxia is a known risk factor for AD and stimulates Aβ generation by γ-secretase; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we showed that dual-specificity phosphatase 26 (DUSP26) regulates Aβ generation through changes in subcellular localization of the γ-secretase complex and its substrate C99 under hypoxic conditions. DUSP26 was identified as a novel γ-secretase regulator from a genome-wide functional screen using a cDNA expression library. The phosphatase activity of DUSP26 was required for the increase in Aβ42 generation through γ-secretase, but this regulation did not affect the amount of the γ-secretase complex. Interestingly, DUSP26 induced the accumulation of C99 in the axons by stimulating anterograde transport of C99-positive vesicles. Additionally, DUSP26 induced c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation for APP processing and axonal transport of C99. Under hypoxic conditions, DUSP26 expression levels were elevated together with JNK activation, and treatment with JNK inhibitor SP600125, or the DUSP26 inhibitor NSC-87877, reduced hypoxia-induced Aβ generation by diminishing vesicle trafficking of C99 to the axons. Finally, we observed enhanced DUSP26 expression and JNK activation in the hippocampus of AD patients. Our results suggest that DUSP26 mediates hypoxia-induced Aβ generation through JNK activation, revealing a new regulator of γ-secretase-mediated APP processing under hypoxic conditions. We propose the role of phosphatase dual-specificity phosphatase 26 (DUSP26) in the selective regulation of Aβ42 production in neuronal cells under hypoxic stress. Induction of DUSP26 causes JNK-dependent shift in the subcellular localization of γ-secretase and C99 from the cell body to axons for Aβ42 generation. These findings provide a new strategy for developing new therapeutic targets to arrest AD progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnc.13597DOI Listing
June 2016

Caspase-cleaved tau exhibits rapid memory impairment associated with tau oligomers in a transgenic mouse model.

Neurobiol Dis 2016 Mar 17;87:19-28. Epub 2015 Dec 17.

Global Research Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-747, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

In neurodegenerative diseases like AD, tau forms neurofibrillary tangles, composed of tau protein. In the AD brain, activated caspases cleave tau at the 421th Asp, generating a caspase-cleaved form of tau, TauC3. Although TauC3 is known to assemble rapidly into filaments in vitro, a role of TauC3 in vivo remains unclear. Here, we generated a transgenic mouse expressing human TauC3 using a neuron-specific promoter. In this mouse, we found that human TauC3 was expressed in the hippocampus and cortex. Interestingly, TauC3 mice showed drastic learning and spatial memory deficits and reduced synaptic density at a young age (2-3months). Notably, tau oligomers as well as tau aggregates were found in TauC3 mice showing memory deficits. Further, i.p. or i.c.v. injection with methylene blue or Congo red, inhibitors of tau aggregation in vitro, and i.p. injection with rapamycin significantly reduced the amounts of tau oligomers in the hippocampus, rescued spine density, and attenuated memory impairment in TauC3 mice. Together, these results suggest that TauC3 facilitates early memory impairment in transgenic mice accompanied with tau oligomer formation, providing insight into the role of TauC3 in the AD pathogenesis associated with tau oligomers and a useful AD model to test drug candidates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2015.12.006DOI Listing
March 2016

Pyruvate stimulates mitophagy via PINK1 stabilization.

Cell Signal 2015 Sep 9;27(9):1824-30. Epub 2015 Jun 9.

Global Research Laboratory, School of Biological Science, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-747, South Korea. Electronic address:

Damaged mitochondria are targeted for degradation by an autophagy pathway known as mitophagy. Despite efforts to unravel the mechanisms underlying mitophagy, aspects of mitophagy regulation remain largely unknown. In this study, by using a cell-based fluorescence assay reflecting CCCP-induced mitophagy, we have screened cDNA expression library encoding mitochondrial proteins and identified PDK4 as a mitophagy regulator. Ectopic expression of PDK4 stimulated the clearance of mitochondrial proteins during CCCP-induced mitophagy and enhanced pyruvate levels in both the cytosol and mitochondria. Interestingly, mitochondrial degradation during the mitophagy was not efficient in the absence of pyruvate. Pyruvate was required for PINK1 stabilization during mitochondrial depolarization and subsequent PARK2 translocation and LC3 recruitment onto damaged mitochondria. This pyruvate-mediated mitophagy was not affected by OXPHOS or cellular ATP levels, thus independent of energy metabolism. Rather, pyruvate was required for the interaction between PINK1 and TOMM20 under CCCP condition. These results suggest that pyruvate is required for CCCP-induced PINK1/PARK2-mediated mitophagy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cellsig.2015.05.020DOI Listing
September 2015

Essential role of POLDIP2 in Tau aggregation and neurotoxicity via autophagy/proteasome inhibition.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2015 Jun 27;462(2):112-8. Epub 2015 Apr 27.

Global Research Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-747, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

In Alzheimer's disease and other tauopathy, abnormal Tau proteins form intracellular aggregates and Tau filaments. However, the mechanisms that regulate Tau aggregation are not fully understood. In this paper, we show that POLDIP2 is a novel regulator of Tau aggregation. From a cell-based screening using cDNA expression library, we isolated POLDIP2 which increased Tau aggregation. Expression of POLDIP2 was increased in neuronal cells by the multiple stresses, including Aβ, TNF-α and H2O2. Accordingly, ectopic expression of POLDIP2 enhanced the formation of Tau aggregates without affecting Tau phosphorylation, while down-regulation of POLDIP2 alleviated ROS-induced Tau aggregation. Interestingly, we found that POLDIP2 overexpression induced impairments of autophagy activity and partially proteasome activity and this activities were retained in DUF525 domain of POLDIP2. In a drosophila model of human tauopathy, knockdown of the drosophila POLDIP2 homolog, CG12162, attenuated rough eye phenotype induced by Tau overexpression. Further, the lifespan of neural-Tau(R406W) transgenic files were recovered by CG12162 knockdown. Together, these observations indicate that POLDIP2 plays a crucial role in Tau aggregation via the impairment of autophagy activity, providing insight into Tau aggregation in Tau pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2015.04.084DOI Listing
June 2015

Autophagy in neurodegenerative diseases: from mechanism to therapeutic approach.

Mol Cells 2015 May 20;38(5):381-9. Epub 2015 Apr 20.

Global Research Laboratory, School of Biological Science, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-747, Korea.

Autophagy is a lysosome-dependent intracellular degradation process that allows recycling of cytoplasmic constituents into bioenergetic and biosynthetic materials for maintenance of homeostasis. Since the function of autophagy is particularly important in various stress conditions, perturbation of autophagy can lead to cellular dysfunction and diseases. Accumulation of abnormal protein aggregates, a common cause of neurodegenerative diseases, can be reduced through autophagic degradation. Recent studies have revealed defects in autophagy in most cases of neurodegenerative disorders. Moreover, deregulated excessive autophagy can also cause neurodegeneration. Thus, healthy activation of autophagy is essential for therapeutic approaches in neurodegenerative diseases and many autophagy-regulating compounds are under development for therapeutic purposes. This review describes the overall role of autophagy in neurodegeneration, focusing on various therapeutic strategies for modulating specific stages of autophagy and on the current status of drug development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2015.0034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4443278PMC
May 2015

Low levels of methyl β-cyclodextrin disrupt GluA1-dependent synaptic potentiation but not synaptic depression.

J Neurochem 2015 Feb 6;132(3):276-85. Epub 2015 Jan 6.

Department of Physiology and Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University School of Dentistry, Seoul, Korea.

Methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD) is a reagent that depletes cholesterol and disrupts lipid rafts, a type of cholesterol-enriched cell membrane microdomain. Lipid rafts are essential for neuronal functions such as synaptic transmission and plasticity, which are sensitive to even low doses of MβCD. However, how MβCD changes synaptic function, such as N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R) activity, remains unclear. We monitored changes in synaptic transmission and plasticity after disrupting lipid rafts with MβCD. At low concentrations (0.5 mg/mL), MβCD decreased basal synaptic transmission and miniature excitatory post-synaptic current without changing NMDA-R-mediated synaptic transmission and the paired-pulse facilitation ratio. Interestingly, low doses of MβCD failed to deplete cholesterol or affect α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPA-R) and NMDA-R levels, while clearly reducing GluA1 levels selectively in the synaptosomal fraction. Low doses of MβCD decreased the inhibitory effects of NASPM, an inhibitor for GluA2-lacking AMPA-R. MβCD successfully decreased NMDA-R-mediated long-term potentiation but did not affect the formation of either NMDA-R-mediated or group I metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent long-term depression. MβCD inhibited de-depression without affecting de-potentiation. These results suggest that MβCD regulates GluA1-dependent synaptic potentiation but not synaptic depression in a cholesterol-independent manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnc.12995DOI Listing
February 2015

OCIAD2 activates γ-secretase to enhance amyloid β production by interacting with nicastrin.

Cell Mol Life Sci 2014 Jul 24;71(13):2561-76. Epub 2013 Nov 24.

Creative Research Initiative (CRI)-Acceleration Research Laboratory, School of Biological Science/Bio-MAX Institute, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, 151-747, Korea.

The gamma (γ)-secretase holoenzyme is composed of four core proteins and cleaves APP to generate amyloid beta (Aβ), a key molecule that causes major neurotoxicity during the early stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, despite its important role in Aβ production, little is known about the regulation of γ-secretase. OCIAD2, a novel modulator of γ-secretase that stimulates Aβ production, and which was isolated from a genome-wide functional screen using cell-based assays and a cDNA library comprising 6,178 genes. Ectopic expression of OCIAD2 enhanced Aβ production, while reduction of OCIAD2 expression suppressed it. OCIAD2 expression facilitated the formation of an active γ-secretase complex and enhanced subcellular localization of the enzyme components to lipid rafts. OCIAD2 interacted with nicastrin to stimulate γ-secretase activity. OCIAD2 also increased the interaction of nicastrin with C99 and stimulated APP processing via γ-secretase activation, but did not affect Notch processing. In addition, a cell-permeable Tat-OCIAD2 peptide that interfered with the interaction of OCIAD2 with nicastrin interrupted the γ-secretase-mediated AICD production. Finally, OCIAD2 expression was significantly elevated in the brain of AD patients and PDAPP mice. This study identifies OCIAD2 as a selective activator of γ-secretase to increase Aβ generation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00018-013-1515-xDOI Listing
July 2014

BECN1/Beclin 1 is recruited into lipid rafts by prion to activate autophagy in response to amyloid β 42.

Autophagy 2013 Dec;9(12):2009-21

Prion protein (PRNP) has been implicated in various types of neurodegenerative diseases. Although much is known about prion diseases, the function of cellular PRNP remains cryptic. Here, we show that PRNP mediates amyloid β1–42 (Aβ42)-induced autophagy activation through its interaction with BECN1. Treatment with Aβ42 enhanced autophagy flux in neuronal cells. Aβ42-induced autophagy activation, however, was impaired in prnp-knockout primary cortical neurons and Prnp-knockdown or prnp-knockout neuronal cells. Immunoprecipitation assays revealed that PRNP interacted with BECN1 via the BCL2-binding domain of BECN1. This interaction promoted the subcellular localization of BECN1 into lipid rafts of the plasma membrane and enhanced activity of PtdIns3K (whose catalytic subunit is termed PIK3C3, mammalian ortholog of yeast VPS34) in lipid rafts by generating PtdIns3P in response to Aβ42. Further, the levels of lipid rafts that colocalized with BECN1, decreased in the brains of aged C57BL/6 mice, as did PRNP. These results suggested that PRNP interacts with BECN1 to recruit the PIK3C3 complex into lipid rafts and thus activates autophagy in response to Aβ42, defining a novel role of PRNP in the regulation of autophagy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/auto.26118DOI Listing
December 2013

Overexpression of Atg5 in mice activates autophagy and extends lifespan.

Nat Commun 2013 ;4:2300

Global Research Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences/Bio-MAX Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-747, Korea.

Autophagy has been implicated in the ageing process, but whether autophagy activation extends lifespan in mammals is unknown. Here we show that ubiquitous overexpression of Atg5, a protein essential for autophagosome formation, extends median lifespan of mice by 17.2%. We demonstrate that moderate overexpression of Atg5 in mice enhances autophagy, and that Atg5 transgenic mice showed anti-ageing phenotypes, including leanness, increased insulin sensitivity and improved motor function. Furthermore, mouse embryonic fibroblasts cultured from Atg5 transgenic mice are more tolerant to oxidative damage and cell death induced by oxidative stress, and this tolerance was reversible by treatment with an autophagy inhibitor. Our observations suggest that the leanness and lifespan extension in Atg5 transgenic mice may be the result of increased autophagic activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms3300DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3753544PMC
April 2014

Molecules and their functions in autophagy.

Exp Mol Med 2012 Feb;44(2):73-80

School of Biological Science/Bio-MAX Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-747, Korea.

Autophagy is a self-degradation system of cellular components through an autophagosomal-lysosomal pathway. Over the last 15 yr, yeast genetic screens led to the identification of a number of genes involved in the autophagic pathway. Most of these autophagy genes are present in higher eukaryotes and regulate autophagy process for cell survival and homeostasis. Significant progress has recently been made to better understand the molecular mechanisms of the autophagy machinery. Especially, autophagy process, including the regulation of autophagy induction through mTOR and the nucleation and elongation in autophagosome formation through class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase complex and ubiquitin-like conjugation systems, became evident. While many unanswered questions remain to be answered, here, we summarize the recent process of autophagy with emphasis on molecules and their protein complexes along with advanced molecular mechanisms that regulate the autophagy machinery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3858/emm.2012.44.2.029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3296815PMC
February 2012

Protection of cardiomyocytes from ischemic/hypoxic cell death via Drbp1 and pMe2GlyDH in cardio-specific ARC transgenic mice.

J Biol Chem 2008 Nov 9;283(45):30707-14. Epub 2008 Sep 9.

Creative Research Initiative Acceleration Research, Seoul National University, Shillim-Dong, Seoul 151-747, Korea.

The ischemic death of cardiomyocytes is associated in heart disease and heart failure. However, the molecular mechanism underlying ischemic cell death is not well defined. To examine the function of apoptosis repressor with a caspase recruitment domain (ARC) in the ischemic/hypoxic damage of cardiomyocytes, we generated cardio-specific ARC transgenic mice using a mouse alpha-myosin heavy chain promoter. Compared with the control, the hearts of ARC transgenic mice showed a 3-fold overexpression of ARC. Langendoff preparation showed that the hearts isolated from ARC transgenic mice exhibited improved recovery of contractile performance during reperfusion. The cardiomyocytes cultured from neonatal ARC transgenic mice were significantly resistant to hypoxic cell death. Furthermore, the ARC C-terminal calcium-binding domain was as potent to protect cardiomyocytes from hypoxic cell death as ARC. Genome-wide RNA expression profiling uncovered a list of genes whose expression was changed (>2-fold) in ARC transgenic mice. Among them, expressional regulation of developmentally regulated RNA-binding protein 1 (Drbp1) or the dimethylglycine dehydrogenase precursor (pMe(2)GlyDH) affected hypoxic death of cardiomyocytes. These results suggest that ARC may protect cardiomyocytes from hypoxic cell death by regulating its downstream, Drbp1 and pMe(2)GlyDH, shedding new insights into the protection of heart from hypoxic damages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M804209200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2662156PMC
November 2008

Compensatory activation of ERK1/2 in Atg5-deficient mouse embryo fibroblasts suppresses oxidative stress-induced cell death.

Autophagy 2008 Apr 7;4(3):315-21. Epub 2008 Jan 7.

School of Biological Science/Bio-MAX Institute, Seoul National University, Shillim-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, Korea.

Despite of the increasing evidence that oxidative stress may induce non-apoptotic cell death or autophagic cell death, the mechanism of this process is unclear. Here, we report a role and a down-stream molecular event of Atg5 during oxidative stress-induced cell death. Compared to wild type (WT) cells, Atg5-deficient mouse embryo fibroblasts (Atg5-/- MEFs) and Atg5 knockdown HT22 neuronal cells were more resistant to cell death induced by H2O2. On the contrary, Atg5-/- MEFs were as sensitive to tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and cycloheximide as WT cells, and were more sensitive to cell death triggered by amino acid-deprivation than WT MEFs. Treatment with H2O2 induced the recruitment of a GFP-LC3 fusion protein and conversion of LC3 I to LC3 II, correlated with the extent of autophagosome formation in WT cells, but much less in Atg5-deficient cells. Among stress kinases, ERK1/2 was markedly activated in Atg5-/- MEFs and Atg5 knockdown HT22 and SH-SY5Y neuronal cells. The inhibition of ERK1/2 by MEK1 inhibitor (PD98059) or dominant negative ERK2 enhanced the susceptibility of Atg5-/- MEFs to H2O2-induced cell death. Further, reconstitution of Atg5 sensitized Atg5-/- MEFs to H2O2 and suppressed the activation of ERK1/2. These results suggest that the inhibitory effect of Atg5 deficiency on cell death is attributable by the compensatory activation of ERK1/2 in Atg5-/- MEFs during oxidative stress-induced cell death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/auto.5525DOI Listing
April 2008
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