Macroautophagy/autophagy has profound implications for aging. However, the true features of autophagy in the progression of aging remain to be clarified. In the present study, we explored the status of autophagic flux during the development of cell senescence induced by oxidative stress. In this system, although autophagic structures increased, the degradation of SQSTM1/p62 protein, the yellow puncta of mRFP-GFP-LC3 fluorescence and the activity of lysosomal proteolytic enzymes all decreased in senescent cells, indicating impaired autophagic flux with lysosomal dysfunction. The influence of autophagy activity on senescence development was confirmed by both positive and negative autophagy modulators; and MTOR-dependent autophagy activators, rapamycin and PP242, efficiently suppressed cellular senescence through a mechanism relevant to restoring autophagic flux. By time-phased treatment of cells with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC), the mitochondria uncoupler carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazone (CCCP) and ambroxol, a reagent with the effect of enhancing lysosomal enzyme maturation, we found that mitochondrial dysfunction plays an initiating role, while lysosomal dysfunction is more directly responsible for autophagy impairment and senescence. Interestingly, the effect of rapamycin on autophagy flux is linked to its role in functional revitalization of both mitochondrial and lysosomal functions. Together, this study demonstrates that autophagy impairment is crucial for oxidative stressinduced cell senescence, thus restoring autophagy activity could be a promising way to retard senescence.
Summary AMPK activation is beneficial for cellular homeostasis and senescence prevention. However, the molecular events involved in AMPK activation are not well defined. In this study, we addressed the mechanism underlying the protective effect of AMPK on oxidative stress‐induced senescence. The results showed that AMPK was inactivated in senescent cells. However, pharmacological activation of AMPK by metformin and berberine significantly prevented the development of senescence and, accordingly, inhibition of AMPK by Compound C was accelerated. Importantly, AMPK activation prevented hydrogen peroxide‐induced impairment of the autophagic flux in senescent cells, evidenced by the decreased p62 degradation, GFP‐RFP‐LC3 cancellation, and activity of lysosomal hydrolases. We also found that AMPK activation restored the NAD + levels in the senescent cells via a mechanism involving mostly the salvage pathway for NAD + synthesis. In addition, the mechanistic relationship of autophagic flux and NAD + synthesis and the involvement of mTOR and Sirt1 activities were assessed. In summary, our results suggest that AMPK prevents oxidative stress‐induced senescence by improving autophagic flux and NAD + homeostasis. This study provides a new insight for exploring the mechanisms of aging, autophagy and NAD + homeostasis, and it is also valuable in the development of innovative strategies to combat aging.
Global germ line loss of fat mass- and obesity-associated (FTO) gene results in both the reduction of fat mass and lean mass in mice. The role of FTO in adipogenesis has been proposed, however, that in myogenesis has not. Skeletal muscle is the main component of body lean mass, so its connection with FTO physiologic significance need to be clarified. Here, we assessed the impact of FTO on murine skeletal muscle differentiation by in vitro and in vivo experiments. We found that FTO expression increased during myoblasts differentiation, while the silence of FTO inhibited the differentiation; in addition, skeletal muscle development was impaired in skeletal muscle FTO-deficient mice. Significantly, FTO-promoted myogenic differentiation was dependent on its m6A demethylase activity. Mechanically, we found that FTO downregulation suppressed mitochondria biogenesis and energy production, showing as the decreased mitochondria mass and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content, the downregulated expression of mtDNA-encoding genes and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1α) gene, together with declined ATP level. Moreover, the involvement of mTOR-PGC-1α pathway in the connection between FTO and muscle differentiation is displayed, since the expression of FTO affected the activity of mTOR and rapamycin blocked FTO-induced PGC-1α transcription, along with the parallel alteration pattern of FTO expression and mTOR phosphorylation during myoblasts differentiation. Summarily, our findings provide the first evidence for the contribution of FTO for skeletal muscle differentiation and a new insight to study the physiologic significance of RNA methylation.
Oxidative stress-induced DNA damage, the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), and impaired autophagy all are general features of senescent cells. However, the cross-talk among these events and processes is not fully understood. Here, using NIH3T3 cells exposed to hydrogen peroxide stress, we show that stress-induced DNA damage provokes the SASP largely via cytosolic chromatin fragment (CCF) formation, which activates a cascade comprising cGMP-AMP synthase (cGAS), stimulator of interferon genes protein (STING), NF-κB, and SASP, and that autolysosomal function inhibits this cascade. We found that CCFs accumulate in senescent cells with activated cGAS-STING-NF-κB signaling, promoting SASP and cellular senescence. We also present evidence that the persistent accumulation of CCFs in prematurely senescent cells is partially associated with a defect in DNA-degrading activity in autolysosomes and reduced abundance of activated DNase 2α. Intriguingly, we found that metformin- or rapamycin-induced activation of autophagy significantly lessened the size and levels of CCFs and repressed the activation of the cGAS-STING-NF-κB-SASP cascade and cellular senescence. These effects of autophagy activators indicated that autolysosomal function contributes to CCF clearance and SASP suppression, further supported by the fact that the lysosome inhibitor bafilomycin A1 blocked the role of autophagy-mediated CCF clearance and senescence repression.
We propose that the FTO-dependent control of cholesterol deposition may provide avenues for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is implicated in inflammation processing, but the mechanism of its regulation mostly remains limited to Janus kinase (JAK)-mediated phosphorylation. Although AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-mediated STAT3 inactivation has got documented, the molecular signaling cascade connecting STAT3 inactivation and the anti-inflammatory role of AMPK is far from established. In the present study, we addressed the interplay between AMPK and STAT3, and revealed the important role of STAT3 inactivation in the anti-inflammatory function of AMPK in lipopolysaccharide-stressed macrophages and mice. Firstly, we found that pharmacological inhibition of STAT3 can improve the anti-inflammatory effect of AMPK in wild-type mice, and the expression of STAT3 in macrophage of mice is a prerequisite for the anti-inflammatory effect of AMPK. As to the molecular signaling cascade linking AMPK to STAT3, we disclosed that AMPK suppressed STAT3 not only by attenuating JAK signaling but also by activating nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor-2 (Nrf2), a redox-regulating transcription factor, which consequently increased the expression of small heterodimer protein (SHP), thus repressing the transcriptional activity of STAT3. In summary, this study provided a unique set of evidence showing the relationship between AMPK and STAT3 signaling and explored a new mechanism of AMPK-driven STAT3 inactivation that involves Nrf2-SHP signaling cascade. These findings expand our understanding of the interplay between pro-and anti-inflammatory signaling pathways and are beneficial for the therapeutic development of sepsis treatments.
Protein kinase Cβ (PKCβ) is a serine-threonine kinase associated with obesity and diabetic complications; its activation contributes to weight gain, and deletion of its gene results in resistance to genetic- and diet-induced obesity. Fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) protein is a recently identified RNA demethylase, and its overexpression in mice leads to increased body weight as well as fat mass. Although sharing some features in anabolism regulation, PKCβ and FTO have not been investigated together; therefore, their relationship has not been established. We report that PKCβ positively regulates FTO on the posttranslation level, evidenced by the facts that PKCβ activation contributes to high-glucose-induced FTO up-regulation, and overexpression of PKCβ suppresses ubiquitin-proteasome degradation of FTO, whereas PKCβ inactivation acts in the opposite manner. It was also found that PKCβ can phosphorylate FTO on threonine, and this phosphorylation requires both catalytic and regulatory domains of PKCβ. Moreover, PKCβ inhibition can suppress 3T3-L1 cell differentiation in normal and FTO-overexpressing cells but not in FTO-silenced or -inhibited cells. We propose that PKCβ acts to suppress the degradation of FTO protein and reveals the associated role of PKCβ and FTO in adipogenesis, suggesting a new pathway that affects the development of obesity and metabolic diseases.-Tai, H., Wang, X., Zhou, J., Han, X., Fang, T., Gong, H., Huang, N., Chen, H., Qin, J., Yang, M., Wei, X., Yang, L., Xiao, H. Protein kinase Cβ activates fat mass and obesity-associated protein by influencing its ubiquitin/proteasome degradation.
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