In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field
Caveolae are vesicular invaginations of the plasma membrane. The chief structural proteins of caveolae are the caveolins. Caveolins form a scaffold onto which many classes of signaling molecules can assemble to generate preassembled signaling complexes. In addition to concentrating these signal transducers within a distinct region of the plasma membrane, caveolin binding may functionally regulate the activation state of caveolae-associated signaling molecules. Because the responsibilities assigned to caveolae continue to increase, this review will focus on: (i) caveolin structure/function and (ii) caveolae-associated signal transduction. Studies that link caveolae to human diseases will also be considered.The Caveolin Gene Family: Caveolin-1, -2, and -3 Molecular cloning has identified three distinct caveolin genes (1-6), caveolin-1, caveolin-2, and caveolin-3. Two isoforms of caveolin-1 (Cav-1␣ and Cav-1␤) are derived from alternate initiation during translation. Caveolin-1 and -2 are most abundantly expressed in adipocytes, endothelial cells, and fibroblastic cell types, whereas the expression of caveolin-3 is muscle-specific.Caveolin proteins interact with themselves to form homo-and hetero-oligomers (7-9), which directly bind cholesterol (10) and require cholesterol for insertion into model lipid membranes (10,11). Caveolin oligomers may also interact with glycosphingolipids (12). These protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions are thought to be the driving force for caveolae formation (7). In addition, the caveolin gene family is structurally and functionally conserved from worms (Caenorhabditis elegans) to man (13), supporting the idea that caveolins play an essential role.Caveolin-1 assumes an unusual topology. A central hydrophobic domain (residues 102-134) is thought to form a hairpin-like structure within the membrane. As a consequence, both the N-terminal domain (residues 1-101) and the C-terminal domain (residues 135-178) face the cytoplasm. A 41-amino acid region of the N-terminal domain (residues 61-101) directs the formation of caveolin homooligomers (7), whereas the 44-amino acid C-terminal domain acts as a bridge to allow these homo-oligomers to interact with each other, thereby forming a caveolin-rich scaffold (14).Recent co-immunoprecipitation and dual labeling experiments directly show that caveolin-1 and -2 form a stable hetero-oligomeric complex and are strictly co-localized (9). Caveolin-2 localization corresponds to caveolae membranes as visualized by immunoelectron microscopy (9). Thus, caveolin-2 may function as an "accessory protein" in conjunction with caveolin-1. Caveolin-interacting ProteinsA number of studies support the hypothesis that caveolin proteins provide a direct means for resident caveolae proteins to be sequestered within caveolae microdomains. These caveolin-interacting proteins include G-protein ␣ subunits, Ha-Ras, Src family tyrosine kinases, endothelial NOS, 1 EGF-R and related receptor tyrosine kinases, and protein kinase C isoforms (11, 15-18, 20 -32).Heterotri...
Here, we propose a new model for understanding the Warburg effect in tumor metabolism. Our hypothesis is that epithelial cancer cells induce the Warburg effect (aerobic glycolysis) in neighboring stromal fibroblasts. These cancer-associated fibroblasts, then undergo myo-fibroblastic differentiation, and secrete lactate and pyruvate (energy metabolites resulting from aerobic glycolysis). Epithelial cancer cells could then take up these energy-rich metabolites and use them in the mitochondrial TCA cycle, thereby promoting efficient energy production (ATP generation via oxidative phosphorylation), resulting in a higher proliferative capacity. In this alternative model of tumorigenesis, the epithelial cancer cells instruct the normal stroma to transform into a wound-healing stroma, providing the necessary energy-rich micro-environment for facilitating tumor growth and angiogenesis. In essence, the fibroblastic tumor stroma would directly feed the epithelial cancer cells, in a type of host-parasite relationship. We have termed this new idea the "Reverse Warburg Effect." In this scenario, the epithelial tumor cells "corrupt" the normal stroma, turning it into a factory for the production of energy-rich metabolites. This alternative model is still consistent with Warburg's original observation that tumors show a metabolic shift towards aerobic glycolysis. In support of this idea, unbiased proteomic analysis and transcriptional profiling of a new model of cancer-associated fibroblasts (caveolin-1 (Cav-1) deficient stromal cells), shows the upregulation of both (1) myo-fibroblast markers and (2) glycolytic enzymes, under normoxic conditions. We validated the expression of these proteins in the fibroblastic stroma of human breast cancer tissues that lack stromal Cav-1. Importantly, a loss of stromal Cav-1 in human breast cancers is associated with tumor recurrence, metastasis, and poor clinical outcome. Thus, an absence of stromal Cav-1 may be a biomarker for the "Reverse Warburg Effect," explaining its powerful predictive value.
Large metal ions (>0.9 A ionic radius) have previously been found to bind only weakly to human serum transferrin (hTF, 80 kDa), presumably because the interdomain cleft cannot close around the metal and synergistic anion. Surprisingly, therefore, we report that Bi3+ (ionic radius 1.03 A), a metal ion widely used in anti-ulcer drugs, binds strongly to both the N- and C-lobes with log K1* = 19.42 and log K2* = 18.58 (10 mM Hepes, 5 mM bicarbonate, 310 K). The uptake of Bi3+ by apo-hTF from bismuth citrate complexes is very slow (hours), whereas that from bismuth nitrilotriacetate is rapid (minutes). Evidence from absorption and NMR spectroscopy is presented to show that Bi3+ binds to the specific Fe3+ binding sites along with carbonate as the synergistic anion. Under the conditions used, preferential binding of Bi3+ to the C-lobe of hTF is observed. Linear free energy relationships show that there is a strong correlation between the strength of binding of Bi3+ and Fe3+ to a wide variety of ligands which include transferrin. Therefore we conclude that the strength of metal ion binding to transferrin is determined more by the ligand donor set than by the size of the ion.
6Caveolae were originally identified as flask-shaped invaginations of the plasma membrane in endothelial and epithelial cells (14). Prior to the development of biochemical methods for their purification, caveolae were thought to principally mediate the transcellular movement of molecules (101,145). Recently, the development of novel purification procedures has greatly expanded our knowledge regarding the putative functions of caveolae in vivo. In this review, we seek to update the working definition of caveolae, describe the functional roles of the caveolin gene family, and summarize the evidence that supports a role for caveolae as mediators of a number of cellular signaling processes. OVERVIEW: CAVEOLAE AND CAVEOLA-RELATED DOMAINS ARE LIQUID-ORDERED MICRODOMAINSAlthough caveolae were classically defined as plasma membrane invaginations with a characteristic diameter of ϳ50 to 100 nm, this morphological description is inadequate. Caveolae can be invaginated, flat within the plane of the plasma membrane, or detached vesicles. In addition, caveolae can fuse to form grape-like structures (132) and tubules (116) with sizes significantly larger than 100 nm. Morphologically, they are abundant in endothelia, muscle cell types, adipocytes, and lung epithelial cells (34,112). Recent investigations have also revealed that caveola-like structures are present within the nervous system (15,50,71).Caveolae have a unique lipid composition. They are mainly composed of cholesterol and sphingolipids. In contrast, noncaveolar regions of the plasma membrane are composed mainly of phospholipids. Cholesterol and sphingolipids can form a liquid-ordered (l o ) phase, which is resistant to detergent solubilization (13). These detergent-resistant liquid-ordered domains purified from mammalian cells and tissues are currently referred to as detergent-insoluble glycolipid-rich membranes, cholesterolsphingolipid rafts, glycolipid-enriched membranes, detergentresistant membranes, caveolin-enriched membranes, low-density Triton-insoluble domains, caveola-like domains, and caveolarelated domains. Here, we will refer to liquid-ordered domains that contain caveolins as caveolae and liquid-ordered domains lacking caveolins as caveola-related domains (Fig. 1). In addition, experiments with liposomes in vitro have provided evidence that cholesterol and sphingolipids alone can form liquid-ordered lipid domains which are resistant to detergent solubilization (13). The idea that caveolae and caveola-related domains are liquid-ordered membranous structures is not new and has been proposed by other investigators as well (1,12,13,120,142). For a more complete definition of liquid-ordered domains, see the work of Brown and London (12, 13). Furthermore, by using multiple independent approaches, several laboratories have now provided evidence that these microdomains exist in living cells in vivo (12,13,46,65,72,120).Caveolins are the defining protein components of caveolae. Interestingly, caveolins bind cholesterol directly. In addition, cholesterol binding...
Awareness that the metabolic phenotype of cells within tumours is heterogeneous - and distinct from that of their normal counterparts - is growing. In general, tumour cells metabolize glucose, lactate, pyruvate, hydroxybutyrate, acetate, glutamine, and fatty acids at much higher rates than their nontumour equivalents; however, the metabolic ecology of tumours is complex because they contain multiple metabolic compartments, which are linked by the transfer of these catabolites. This metabolic variability and flexibility enables tumour cells to generate ATP as an energy source, while maintaining the reduction-oxidation (redox) balance and committing resources to biosynthesis - processes that are essential for cell survival, growth, and proliferation. Importantly, experimental evidence indicates that metabolic coupling between cell populations with different, complementary metabolic profiles can induce cancer progression. Thus, targeting the metabolic differences between tumour and normal cells holds promise as a novel anticancer strategy. In this Review, we discuss how cancer cells reprogramme their metabolism and that of other cells within the tumour microenvironment in order to survive and propagate, thus driving disease progression; in particular, we highlight potential metabolic vulnerabilities that might be targeted therapeutically.
Among the membrane compartments of a cell, vesicles known as "caveolae" have long defied functional characterization. However, since the identification of a family of proteins termed "caveolins", that form and reside in caveolae, a better understanding has emerged. It is now clear that caveolae do not merely play a singular role in the cell, but are pleiotropic in nature-serving to modulate many cellular functions. The purpose of this review is to explicate what is known about caveolins/caveolae and highlight growing areas of caveolar research.
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