G-Protein-Coupled Estrogen Receptor (GPER) and Sex-Specific Metabolic Homeostasis
Obesity and metabolic syndrome display disparate prevalence and regulation between males and females. Human, as well as rodent, females with regular menstrual/estrous cycles exhibit protection from weight gain and associated chronic diseases. These beneficial effects are predominantly attributed to the female hormone estrogen, specifically 17β-estradiol (E2). E2 exerts its actions via multiple receptors, nuclear and extranuclear estrogen receptor (ER) α and ERβ, and the G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER, previously termed GPR30). The roles of GPER in metabolic homeostasis are beginning to emerge but are complex and remain unclear. The discovery of GPER-selective pharmacological agents (agonists and antagonists) and the availability of GPER knockout mice have significantly enhanced our understanding of the functions of GPER in normal physiology and disease. GPER action manifests pleiotropic effects in metabolically active tissues such as the pancreas, adipose, liver, and skeletal muscle. Cellular and animal studies have established that GPER is involved in the regulation of body weight, feeding behavior, inflammation, as well as glucose and lipid homeostasis. GPER deficiency leads to increased adiposity, insulin resistance, and metabolic dysfunction in mice. In contrast, pharmacologic stimulation of GPER in vivo limits weight gain and improves metabolic output, revealing a promising novel therapeutic potential for the treatment of obesity and diabetes.
Role of autophagy in IL-1β export and release from cells
The autophagy pathway known also as macroautophagy (herein referred to as autophagy) is characterized by the formation of double-membrane organelles that capture cytosolic material. Based on pathway termination alternatives, autophagy has been divided into degradative and secretory. During degradative autophagy, autophagosomes typically fuse with lysosomes upon which the sequestered material is degraded. During secretory autophagy, instead of degradation the sequestered cargo is subjected to active secretion or passive release. In this review, we focus on the mechanisms of secretion/passive release of the potent pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β, as a prototypical leaderless cytosolic protein cargo studied in the context of secretory autophagy.
Mechanism of Stx17 recruitment to autophagosomes via IRGM and mammalian Atg8 proteins
Kumar S1,2, Jain A3, Farzam F4, Jia J1,2, Gu Y1,2, Choi SW1,2, Mudd MH1,2, Claude-Taupin A1,2, Wester MJ5, Lidke KA4, Rusten TE3, Deretic V6,2
Autophagy is a conserved eukaryotic process with metabolic, immune, and general homeostatic functions in mammalian cells. Mammalian autophagosomes fuse with lysosomes in a SNARE-driven process that includes syntaxin 17 (Stx17). How Stx17 translocates to autophagosomes is unknown. In this study, we show that the mechanism of Stx17 recruitment to autophagosomes in human cells entails the small guanosine triphosphatase IRGM. Stx17 directly interacts with IRGM, and efficient Stx17 recruitment to autophagosomes requires IRGM. Both IRGM and Stx17 directly interact with mammalian Atg8 proteins, thus being guided to autophagosomes. We also show that Stx17 is significant in defense against infectious agents and that Stx17-IRGM interaction is targeted by an HIV virulence factor Nef.
Autophagy and inflammation: A special review issue
Macroautophagy/autophagy is a fundamental intracellular homeostatic process that is of interest both for its basic biology and for its effect on human physiology in a wide spectrum of conditions and diseases. Autophagy was first appreciated primarily as a metabolic and cytoplasmic quality control process, but in the past decade its role in immunity has been steadily growing. The connections between these aspects beckon explorations of the network and connections that exist between metabolism, quality control, and inflammation and immunity processes, which are so key to many human diseases including neurodegeneration, obesity and diabetes, chronic inflammatory conditions, cancer, infection, and aging. The purpose of this issue is to stimulate further the burgeoning studies of the intersections between autophagy and inflammation, and the inevitable overlaps with metabolic and quality control functions of autophagy.
Autophagy balances inflammation in innate immunity
Macroautophagy/autophagy is a homeostatic process with multiple effects on immunity. One of the pivotal contributions of autophagy in immunity is the cell autonomous control of inflammation. This property leads to systemic consequences and thereby influences the development of innate and adaptive immunity, which promotes or suppresses pathology in various disease contexts. In this review we focus on the intersections between autophagy and inflammasome activation, autophagy and interferons, and autophagy and inflammation in association with infection.
Autophagy's secret life: secretion instead of degradation
Autophagy is conventionally described as a degradative, catabolic pathway and a tributary to the lysosomal system where the cytoplasmic material sequestered by autophagosomes gets degraded. However, autophagosomes or autophagosome-related organelles do not always follow this route. It has recently come to light that autophagy can terminate in cytosolic protein secretion or release of sequestered material from the cells, rather than in their degradation. In this review, we address this relatively new but growing aspect of autophagy as a complex pathway, which is far more versatile than originally anticipated.
Galectins Control mTOR in Response to Endomembrane Damage
Jingyue Jia1,2, Yakubu Princely Abudu3, Aurore Claude-Taupin1,2, Yuexi Gu1,2,Suresh Kumar1,2, Seong Won Choi1,2, Ryan Peters1,2, Michal H. Mudd1,2, Lee Allers1,2, Michelle Salemi4, Brett Phinney4, Terje Johansen3,Vojo Deretic1,2,5
The Ser/Thr protein kinase mTOR controls metabolic pathways, including the catabolic process of autophagy. Autophagy plays additional, catabolism-independent roles in homeostasis of cytoplasmic endomembranes and whole organelles. How signals from endomembrane damage are transmitted to mTOR to orchestrate autophagic responses is not known. Here we show that mTOR is inhibited by lysosomal damage. Lysosomal damage, recognized by galectins, leads to association of galectin-8 (Gal8) with the mTOR apparatus on the lysosome. Gal8 inhibits mTOR activity through its Ragulator-Rag signaling machinery, whereas galectin-9 activates AMPK in response to lysosomal injury. Both systems converge upon downstream effectors including autophagy and defense against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Thus, a novel galectin-based signal-transduction system, termed here GALTOR, intersects with the known regulators of mTOR on the lysosome and controls them in response to lysosomal damage.