Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron degenerative disease. ALS-affected motor neurons exhibit aberrant localization of a nuclear RNA binding protein, TDP-43, into cytoplasmic aggregates, which contributes to pathology via unclear mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate that TDP-43 turnover and toxicity depend in part upon the endocytosis pathway. TDP-43 inhibits endocytosis, and co-localizes strongly with endocytic proteins, including in ALS patient tissue. Impairing endocytosis increases TDP-43 toxicity, aggregation, and protein levels, whereas enhancing endocytosis reverses these phenotypes. Locomotor dysfunction in a TDP-43 ALS fly model is also exacerbated and suppressed by impairment and enhancement of endocytic function, respectively. Thus, endocytosis dysfunction may be an underlying cause of ALS pathology.
Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) constitutes 85% of all lung cancers, and is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The poor prognosis and resistance to both radiation and chemotherapy warrant further investigation into the molecular mechanisms of NSCLC and the development of new, more efficacious therapeutics. The processes of autophagy and apoptosis, which induce degradation of proteins and organelles or cell death upon cellular stress, are crucial in the pathophysiology of NSCLC. The close interplay between autophagy and apoptosis through shared signaling pathways complicates our understanding of how NSCLC pathophysiology is regulated. The apoptotic effect of autophagy is controversial as both inhibitory and stimulatory effects have been reported in NSCLC. In addition, crosstalk of proteins regulating both autophagy and apoptosis exists. Here, we review the recent advances of the relationship between autophagy and apoptosis in NSCLC, aiming to provide few insights into the discovery of novel pathogenic factors and the development of new cancer therapeutics.
Eukaryotic cells respond to cellular stresses by the inhibition of translation and the accumulation of mRNAs in cytoplasmic RNA-protein (ribonucleoprotein) granules termed stress granules and P-bodies. An unresolved issue is how different stresses affect formation of messenger RNP (mRNP) granules. In the present study, we examine how sodium azide (NaN(3)), which inhibits mitochondrial respiration, affects formation of mRNP granules as compared with glucose deprivation in budding yeast. We observed that NaN(3) treatment inhibits translation and triggers formation of P-bodies and stress granules. The composition of stress granules induced by NaN(3) differs from that of glucose-deprived cells by containing eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF)3, eIF4A/B, eIF5B and eIF1A proteins, and by lacking the heterogeneous nuclear RNP (hnRNP) protein Hrp1. Moreover, in contrast with glucose-deprived stress granules, NaN(3)-triggered stress granules show different assembly rules, form faster and independently from P-bodies and dock or merge with P-bodies over time. Strikingly, addition of NaN(3) and glucose deprivation in combination, regardless of the order, always results in stress granules of a glucose deprivation nature, suggesting that both granules share an mRNP remodeling pathway. These results indicate that stress granule assembly, kinetics and composition in yeast can vary in a stress-specific manner, which we suggest reflects different rate-limiting steps in a common mRNP remodeling pathway.
In this issue, Takahara and Maeda (2012) discover that together, Pbp1 and sequestration of the TORC1 complex in cytoplasmic mRNP stress granules provides a negative regulatory mechanism for TORC1 signaling during stress.
Eukaryotic cells contain at least two types of cytoplasmic RNA-protein (RNP) granules that contain nontranslating mRNAs. One such RNP granule is a P-body, which contains translationally inactive mRNAs and proteins involved in mRNA degradation and translation repression. A second such RNP granule is a stress granule which also contains mRNAs, some RNA binding proteins and several translation initiation factors, suggesting these granules contain mRNAs stalled in translation initiation. In this chapter, we describe methods to analyze P-bodies and stress granules in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, including procedures to determine if a protein or mRNA can accumulate in either granule, if an environmental perturbation or mutation affects granule size and number, and granule quantification methods.