Current Autophagy News and Events

Current Autophagy News and Events, Autophagy News Articles.
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Protein sequences provide clues to how SARS-CoV-2 infects cells
Researchers at EMBL Heidelberg have identified sequences in human proteins that might be used by SARS-CoV-2 to infect cells. They have discovered that the virus might hijack certain cellular processes, and they discuss potentially relevant drugs for treating COVID-19. (2021-02-11)

HIV: an innovative therapeutic breakthrough to optimize the immune system
Prompted by the need to improve conventional treatments for people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), a team from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has identified a therapeutic approach to restore the effectiveness of immune cells. The study, led by doctoral student Hamza Loucif and Professor Julien van Grevenynghe, was published in the journal Autophagy. (2021-02-08)

New clues to how SARS-CoV-2 infects cells
The molecular details of how SARS-CoV-2 enters cells and infects them are still not clear. Researchers at Uppsala University have tested the bioinformatic predictions made by another research group and have identified receptors that could be important players in the process. The results are presented in the journal Science Signaling and at the AAAS Annual Meeting held this week. (2021-02-08)

Halt cell recycling to treat cancer
Targeting and changing autophagy, otherwise known as cell recycling, has been linked to helping control or diminish certain cancers. Now, University of Cincinnati researchers have shown that completely halting this process in a very aggressive form of breast cancer may improve outcomes for patients one day. (2021-02-08)

How cells 'eat' their own fluid components
Autophagy is a fundamental cellular process by which cells capture and degrade their own dysfunctional or superfluous components for degradation and recycling. Recent research has revealed that phase separated droplets have a range of important functions in cells. An international collaboration between German, Norwegian, and Japanese researchers has unravelled the mechanisms underpinning both how these droplets are captured through autophagy, as well as how droplets can serve as a platform from which structures facilitating cytosolic autophagy arise. (2021-01-21)

New biochemical clues in cell receptors help explain how SARS-CoV-2 may hijack human cells
The SARS-CoV-2 virus may enter and replicate in human cells by exploiting newly-identified sequences within cell receptors, according to work from two teams of scientists. (2021-01-21)

Cancer cells hibernate like bears to evade harsh chemotherapy
Dr. Catherine O'Brien's study is the first to identify that cancer cells hijack an evolutionary conserved program to survive chemotherapy. Furthermore, the researchers show that novel therapeutic strategies aimed at specifically targeting cancer cells in this slow-dividing state can prevent cancer regrowth. (2021-01-07)

Liver cancer cells manipulate stromal cells involved in fibrosis to promote tumor growth
Researchers led by Osaka University have found that liver cancer cells induce autophagy in hepatic stellate cells, causing them to produce a growth factor called GDF15 that promotes tumor growth. GDF15 was more highly expressed in tumor tissue than normal liver tissue, and patients with higher levels of GDF15 had a poorer prognosis. New therapies targeting GDF15 may help prevent the development and proliferation of hepatocellular carcinoma. (2021-01-06)

Changing the perspective on the 'Cinderella of the cytoskeleton'
SETD2, known for its involvement on gene expression, also can affect functions controlled by the cytoskeleton, such as movement, metastasis and migration, which are very important for cancer cells. (2020-12-23)

Anti-diarrhoea drug drives cancer cells to cell death
In cell culture, loperamide, a drug commonly used against diarrhoea, proves effective against glioblastoma cells. A research team at Goethe University has now unravelled the drug's mechanisms of action of cell death induction and - in doing so - has shown how this compound could help attack brain tumours that otherwise are difficult to treat. (2020-12-21)

Giving cells an appetite for viruses
A team led by UT Southwestern researchers has identified a key gene necessary for cells to consume and destroy viruses. The findings, reported online today in Nature, could lead to ways to manipulate this process to improve the immune system's ability to combat viral infections, such as those fueling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-12-16)

Drug may boost vaccine responses in older adults
A drug that boosts the removal of cellular debris in immune cells may increase the protective effects of vaccines in older adults, a study published today in eLife shows. (2020-12-15)

Amino acid recycling in cells: Autophagy helps cells adapt to changing conditions
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), Japan, have shown for the first time how specific metabolites produced by autophagy are utilized by a cell. They discovered that in budding yeast adapting to respiratory growth, autophagy--an intracellular recycling system--recycles the amino acid serine to trigger growth through mitochondrial one-carbon metabolism. This study shows how the recycling function of autophagy is crucial for adaptation to fluctuating environmental conditions. (2020-12-10)

Huntsman Cancer Institute researchers identify promising drug combination for melanoma
Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have identified a potential drug combination to treat uveal melanoma, a type of eye cancer. Lead author Amanda Truong, trainee in the McMahon Lab at HCI and student at the U of U, explains uveal melanoma patients frequently have changes in genes called GNAQ and GNA11, which are key targets for these drugs. This study was published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. (2020-12-03)

Study: Early, late stages of degenerative diseases are distinct
Rice University biochemists have proposed that degenerative diseases as varied as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and muscle atrophy occur in two distinct phases marked by protein signaling changes that could result in patients responding differently to the same treatment. (2020-11-23)

Taking out the trash is essential for brain health
Researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) have identified a protein called Wipi3 that is essential for cellular waste disposal via the alternative autophagy system. Deletion of Wipi3 in the brains of mice causes growth and motor defects attributed to neuronal accumulation of iron, resulting in neurodegeneration. However, over-expression of another alternative autophagy protein, Dram1, reverses the effects in Wipi3 deficiency, and may represent a novel treatment for neurodegenerative diseases. (2020-11-19)

Surprising insights into the role of autophagy in neuron
Autophagy protects our neurons in the brain, but for entirely different reasons than previously assumed, as researchers from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Charité in Berlin have shown. When the scientists used a genetic trick to switch off autophagy-mediated ''cellular waste disposal'', they found elevated levels of the endoplasmic reticulum, which acts, among other functions, as a calcium store. This leads to elevated neurotransmitter release and, ultimately, to fatal neuronal hyperexcitability. (2020-11-05)

Revealing the identity of the last unknown protein of autophagy
Japanese scientists discovered that Atg9, one of the proteins that function to mediate autophagy, has phospholipid-translocation activity (the lipid scramblase activity) between the two layers of the lipid bilayer?and elucidated that the protein's activity brings about autophagosome membrane expansion. The artificial control of autophagy is expected to promote the research and development of treating and preventing various diseases. (2020-11-04)

Eating less suppresses liver cancer due to fatty liver
Liver cancer from too much fat accumulation in the liver has been increasing in many countries including Japan. In order to change this unfortunate state of affairs, it is important to improve the prognosis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Fatty liver is often improved through eating less, getting more exercise, and reducing body weight. The research group posed the question, ''Can eating less also suppress liver cancer caused by fatty liver?'' (2020-10-29)

Study explains the process that exacerbates MS
People with multiple sclerosis (MS) gradually develop increasing functional impairment. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now found a possible explanation for the progressive course of the disease in mice and how it can be reversed. The study, which is published in Science Immunology, can prove valuable to future treatments. (2020-10-16)

Enzyme SSH1 impairs disposal of accumulating cellular garbage, leading to brain cell death
The protein p62 plays a major role in clearing misfolded tau proteins and dysfunctional mitochondria, the energy powerhouse in all cells including neurons. Neuroscientists at the University of South Florida Health (USF Health) Byrd Alzheimer's Center report for the first time that the protein phosphatase Slingshot-1, or SSH1 for short, disrupts p62's ability to function as an efficient 'garbage collector' and thereby impairs the disposal of both damaged tau and mitochondria leaking toxins. (2020-10-12)

New research provides fresh hope for children suffering from rare muscle diseases
Results of an international study published today in Autophagy and led by researchers from Monash University, School of Biological Sciences, provides renewed hope for children suffering from a progressive and devastating muscle disease. (2020-10-09)

Blocking enzyme's self-destruction process may mitigate age-related diseases
Stopping the cannibalistic behavior of a well-studied enzyme could be the key to new drugs to fight age-related diseases, according to a new study published online in Nature Cell Biology. For the first time, researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania show how the self-eating cellular process known as autophagy is causing the SIRT1 enzyme, long known to play a role in longevity, to degrade over time in cells and tissue in mice. (2020-09-29)

Lipids, lysosomes, and autophagy: The keys to preventing kidney injury
Lysosomes are cellular waste disposal organelles containing potent enzymes that cause cellular damage if they leak out of ruptured lysosomes. In a recent study led by Osaka University, researchers found that several distinct pathways involved in the repair or elimination of damaged lysosomes work together in response to lysosomal damage. The proper activation and function of these pathways was essential for preventing kidney injury in a mouse model of oxalate crystal-induced kidney damage. (2020-09-28)

How zika virus degrades essential protein for neurological development via autophagy
Researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) shed new light on how Zika virus hijacks our own cellular machinery to break down an essential protein for neurological development, getting it to ''eat itself''. By triggering this process known as autophagy, Zika virus is able to degrade an important protein, a process that may contribute to the development of neurological or brain deficiencies and congenital birth defects in the newborns of infected pregnant women. (2020-09-28)

Decreased protein degradation in cerebellum leads to motor dysfunction
A research team from Kumamoto University, Japan has developed an animal model that reproduces motor dysfunction and cerebellar neurodegeneration similar to that in spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) by inhibiting chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) in cerebellar neurons. Since CMA activity is reduced in cells expressing SCA causing proteins, CMA is expected to become a new therapeutic target for SCA--a disease that currently has no basic treatment. (2020-09-23)

Scientists identify dozens of genes allowing cancer cells to evade the immune system
Cancer immunotherapy can be extremely successful but so far has only worked in a fraction of patients and tumour types. To make it more widely available, more knowledge is needed about the genes involved in the interaction between cancer and immune cells. In the most comprehensive study to date, Toronto scientists have mapped 182 genes that make cancer cells more susceptible or resistant to T cell killing that could be harnessed to boost immunotherapy success. (2020-09-23)

Diabetes dramatically reduces the kidney's ability clean itself
The kidneys often become bulky and dysfunctional in diabetes, and now scientists have found that one path to this damage dramatically reduces the kidney's ability to clean up after itself. (2020-09-22)

Autophagy: the beginning of the end
Autophagy, from the Greek for 'self-eating', is an essential process that isolates and recycles cellular components under conditions of stress or when resources are limited. Scientists led by Sascha Martens from the Max Perutz Labs have now reconstructed the first steps in the formation of autophagosomes. They show that tiny vesicles loaded with the pro-tein Atg9 act as the seed from which the autophagosome emerges. The study is published in 'Science'. (2020-09-04)

Fat crystals trigger chronic inflammation
A congenital disorder of the fat metabolism can apparently cause chronic hyperreaction of the immune system. This is the conclusion reached by researchers from the University of Bonn in a recent study. The results are published in the journal Autophagy. (2020-08-24)

Is turning back the clock in aging fat cells a remedy for lifestyle diseases?
Researchers from Osaka University found that lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and fatty liver are caused by age-related changes in fat cells. Loss of a protein called Rubicon in aged adipocytes allows intracellular degradation processes to kick into overdrive, disrupting normal cellular function and causing the onset of lifestyle diseases. By inhibiting this degradation and restoring a more youthful cellular environment, we may be able to prevent the onset of lifestyle diseases. (2020-08-18)

How protein protects against fatty liver
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common chronic liver disease in the world, with sometimes life-threatening consequences. A high-protein, calorie-reduced diet can cause the harmful liver fat to melt away - more effectively than a low-protein diet. A new study by DIfE/DZD researchers published in the journal 'Liver International' shows which molecular and physiological processes are potentially involved. (2020-08-18)

Targeting the LANDO pathway holds a potential clue to treating Alzheimer's disease
Reducing neuroinflammation by disrupting a protein involved in recycling cellular components may provide a potential therapeutic approach for treating neurodegeneration and memory loss. (2020-08-14)

'Self-eating' process of stem cells may be the key to new regenerative therapies
The self-eating process in embryonic stem cells known as chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) and a related metabolite may serve as promising new therapeutic targets to repair or regenerate damaged cells and organs, Penn Medicine researchers show in a new study published online in Science. (2020-07-23)

Cellular cleanup! Atg40 folds the endoplasmic reticulum to facilitate its autophagy
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Institute of Microbial Chemistry investigated 'ER-phagy,' the degradation mechanism of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), an important organelle with multiple biologically necessary functions like the synthesis of proteins and lipids. Degradation is critical for maintaining ER functions. Scientists found that the 'Atg40' protein not only marks ER parts to be degraded by autophagy, but also folds them for efficient degradation, contributing to our understanding of a critical process in cellular maintenance. (2020-07-22)

Self-eating decisions
Harvard Medical School researchers systematically surveyed the entire protein landscape of normal and nutrient-deprived cells to identify which proteins and organelles are degraded by autophagy. (2020-07-16)

OPTN-ATG9 interaction accelerates autophagic degradation of ubiquitin-labeled mitochondria
Damaged mitochondria are selectively eliminated via autophagy (called mitophagy). Parkin and PINK1, proteins mutated in hereditary Parkinson's disease, amplify ubiquitin signals on damaged mitochondria with the subsequent activation of autophagic machinery. Researchers in the Ubiquitin Project of Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science (TMIMS) discovered that the critical autophagy adaptor OPTN (optineurin) interacts with ATG9A, and this interaction plays a critical role in PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy. These studies were published in Journal of Cell Biology. (2020-07-09)

The study of lysosomal function during cell division and chromosomal instability
By studying the role of lysosomes in mitosis, an IDIBELL and UB group discovers that alterations in the separation of chromosomes cause a detectable nucleus morphology once mitosis has finished. This morphology would be useful to identify cells that have chromosomal instability inherent in cancer cells. (2020-07-07)

Host cell fusion in bacteria infection alarms immune system, causing host cell destruction
NUS Medicine researchers have identified a new trigger for our immune system--abnormal fusion of host cells to form giant cells after infection by pathogens such as the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. Cell fusion triggered the cGAS-STING pathway, activating a type 1 interferon response which kills pathogens. In extensive cell fusion, cGAS-STING caused the giant cells to self-destruct instead. Since the DNA in the giant cells was damaged, self-destruction likely prevents these cells from becoming cancerous. (2020-07-07)

Osmotic stress identified as stimulator of cellular waste disposal
Cellular waste disposal, where autophagy and lysosomes interact, performs elementary functions, such as degrading damaged protein molecules, which impair cellular function, and reintroducing the resulting building blocks such as amino acids into the metabolic system. This recycling process is known to keep cells young and, for instance, protects against protein aggregation, which occurs in neurodegenerative diseases. But what, apart from starvation, actually gets this important system going? Researchers have now discovered a previously unknown mechanism. (2020-06-29)

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