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
The novel COVID-19 outbreak has affected more than 200 countries and territories as of March 2020. Given that patients with cancer are generally more vulnerable to infections, systematic analysis of diverse cohorts of patients with cancer affected by COVID-19 is needed. We performed a multicenter study including 105 patients with cancer and 536 age-matched noncancer patients confirmed with COVID-19. Our results showed COVID-19 patients with cancer had higher risks in all severe outcomes. Patients with hematologic cancer, lung cancer, or with metastatic cancer (stage IV) had the highest frequency of severe events. Patients with nonmetastatic cancer experienced similar frequencies of severe conditions to those observed in patients without cancer. Patients who received surgery had higher risks of having severe events, whereas patients who underwent only radiotherapy did not demonstrate significant differences in severe events when compared with patients without cancer. These findings indicate that patients with cancer appear more vulnerable to SARS-COV-2 outbreak.SIgnIfICAnCe: Because this is the first large cohort study on this topic, our report will provide muchneeded information that will benefit patients with cancer globally. As such, we believe it is extremely important that our study be disseminated widely to alert clinicians and patients.
Key PointsQuestionWhat is the effect of convalescent plasma therapy added to standard treatment, compared with standard treatment alone, on clinical outcomes in patients with severe or life-threatening coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?FindingIn this randomized clinical trial that included 103 patients and was terminated early, the hazard ratio for time to clinical improvement within 28 days in the convalescent plasma group vs the standard treatment group was 1.40 and was not statistically significant.MeaningAmong patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19, convalescent plasma therapy added to standard treatment did not significantly improve the time to clinical improvement within 28 days, although the trial was terminated early and may have been underpowered to detect a clinically important difference.
Sirtuins are NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases and mediate adaptive responses to a variety of stresses, including calorie restriction and metabolic stress. Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) is localized in the mitochondrial matrix where it regulates the acetylation levels of metabolic enzymes, including acetyl coenzyme A synthetase 21,2. Mice lacking both SIRT3 alleles appear phenotypically normal under basal conditions, but show marked hyperacetylation of several mitochondrial proteins3. We report that SIRT3 expression is upregulated during fasting in liver and brown adipose tissues. Livers from mice lacking SIRT3 show higher levels of fatty acid oxidation intermediate products and triglycerides during fasting associated with decreased levels of fatty acid oxidation when compared to wild-type mice. Mass spectrometry analysis of mitochondrial proteins shows that long-chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase (LCAD) is hyperacetylated at lysine 42 in the absence of SIRT3. LCAD is deacetylated in wild-type mice under fasted conditions and by SIRT3 in vitro and in vivo, and hyperacetylation of LCAD reduces its enzymatic activity. Mice lacking SIRT3 exhibit hallmarks of fatty acid oxidation disorders during fasting including reduced ATP levels and intolerance to cold exposure. These findings identify acetylation as a novel regulatory mechanism for mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and demonstrate that SIRT3 modulates mitochondrial intermediary metabolism and fatty acid utilization during fasting.
Osteoarthritis is a highly prevalent and debilitating joint disorder. There is no effective medical therapy for osteoarthritis due to limited understanding of osteoarthritis pathogenesis. We show that TGF–β1 is activated in the subchondral bone in response to altered mechanical loading in an anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT) osteoarthritis mouse model. TGF–β1 concentrations also increased in human osteoarthritis subchondral bone. High concentrations of TGF–β1 induced formation of nestin+ mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) clusters leading to aberrant bone formation accompanied by increased angiogenesis. Transgenic expression of active TGF–β1 in osteoblastic cells induced osteoarthritis. Inhibition of TGF–β activity in subchondral bone attenuated degeneration of osteoarthritis articular cartilage. Notably, knockout of the TGF–β type II receptor (TβRII) in nestin+ MSCs reduced development of osteoarthritis in ACLT mice. Thus, high concentrations of active TGF–β1 in the subchondral bone initiated the pathological changes of osteoarthritis, inhibition of which could be a potential therapeutic approach.
SUMMARY Analysis of molecular aberrations across multiple cancer types, known as pan-cancer analysis, identifies commonalities and differences in key biological processes dysregulated in cancer cells from diverse lineages. Pan-cancer analyses have been performed for adult1–4 but not pediatric cancers, which commonly occur in developing mesodermic rather than adult epithelial tissues5. Here we present a pan-cancer study of somatic alterations, including single nucleotide variants (SNVs), small insertion/deletions (indels), structural variations (SVs), copy number alterations (CNAs), gene fusions and internal tandem duplications (ITDs), in 1,699 pediatric leukemia and solid tumours across six histotypes, with whole-genome (WGS), whole-exome (WES) and transcriptome (RNA-seq) sequencing data processed under a uniform analytical framework (Online Methods and Extended Data Fig. 1). We report 142 driver genes in pediatric cancers, of which only 45% matched those found in adult pan-cancer studies and CNAs and SVs constituted the majority (62%) of events. Eleven genome-wide mutational signatures were identified, including one attributed to ultraviolet-light exposure in eight aneuploid leukemias. Transcription of the mutant allele was detectable for 34% of protein-coding mutations, and 20% exhibited allele-specific expression. These data provide a comprehensive genomic architecture for pediatric cancers and emphasize the need for pediatric cancer-specific development of precision therapies.
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