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Ubiquitin-like-conjugating enzyme ATG3 (EC 2.3.2.-) (Autophagy-related protein 3) (APG3-like) (hApg3) (Protein PC3-96) [APG3] [APG3L]


Estrogen Signaling Induces Mitochondrial Dysfunction-Associated Autophagy and Senescence in Breast Cancer Cells.

Previous work has shown that although estrogen (E2) disrupts cellular iron metabolism and induces oxidative stress in breast and ovarian cancer cells, it fails to induce apoptosis. However, E2 treatment was reported to enhance the apoptotic effects of doxorubicin in cancer cells. This suggests that E2 can precipitate anti-growth effects that render cancer cells more susceptible to chemotherapy. To investigate such anti-growth non-apoptotic, effects of E2 in cancer cells, MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells were evaluated for the expression of key autophagy and senescence markers and for mitochondrial damage following E2 treatment. Treated cells experienced mitochondrial membrane depolarization along with increased expression of LC3-I/II, Pink1 and LAMP2, increased LC3-II accumulation and increased lysosomal and mitochondrial accumulation and flattening. E2-treated MCF-7 cells also showed reduced P53 and pRb780 expression and increased Rb and P21 expression. Increased expression of the autophagy markers ATG3 and Beclin1 along with increased levels of β-galactosidase activity and IL-6 production were evident in E2-treated MCF-7 cells. These findings suggest that E2 precipitates a form of mitochondrial damage that leads to cell senescence and autophagy in breast cancer cells.


  • Estrogen
  • MCF-7
  • MDA-MB-231
  • autophagy
  • mitochondria
  • senescence

SIRT6 histone deacetylase functions as a potential oncogene in human melanoma.

Melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer that can rapidly metastasize to become fatal, if not diagnosed early. Despite recent therapeutic advances, management of melanoma remains difficult. Therefore, novel molecular targets and strategies are required to manage this neoplasm. This study was undertaken to determine the role of the sirtuin SIRT6 in melanoma. Employing a panel of human melanoma cells and normal human melanocytes, we found significant SIRT6 mRNA and protein upregulation in melanoma cells. Further, using a tissue microarray coupled with quantitative Vectra analysis, we demonstrated significant SIRT6 overexpression in human melanoma tissues. Lentiviral short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of SIRT6 in A375 and Hs 294T human melanoma cells significantly decreased cell growth, viability, and colony formation, induced G1-phase arrest and increased senescence-associated beta-galactosidase staining. As autophagy is important in melanoma and is associated with SIRT6, we used a qPCR array to study SIRT6 knockdown in A375 cells. We found significant modulation in several genes and/or proteins (decreases in AKT1, ATG12, ATG3, ATG7, BAK1, BCL2L1, CLN3, CTSB, CTSS, DRAM2, HSP90AA1, IRGM, NPC1, SQSTM1, TNF, and BECN1; increases in GAA, ATG10). Our data suggests that increased SIRT6 expression may contribute to melanoma development and/or progression, potentially via senescence-and autophagy-related pathways.


  • SIRT6
  • autophagy
  • melanoma
  • senescence
  • sirtuins

Changes in macroautophagy, chaperone-mediated autophagy, and mitochondrial metabolism in murine skeletal and cardiac muscle during aging.

Aging causes a general decline in cellular metabolic activity, and function in different tissues and whole body homeostasis. However, the understanding about the metabolomic and autophagy changes in skeletal muscle and heart during aging is still limited. We thus examined markers for macroautophagy, chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), mitochondrial quality control, as well as cellular metabolites in skeletal and cardiac muscle from young (5 months old) and aged (27 months old) mice. We found decreased autophagic degradation of p62 and increased ubiquitinated proteins in both tissues from aged mice, suggesting a decline in macroautophagy during aging. In skeletal muscle from aged mice, there also was a decline in LC3B-I conjugation to phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) possibly due to decreased protein levels of ATG3 and ATG12-ATG5. The CMA markers, LAMP-2A and Hsc70, and mitochondrial turnover markers, Drp1, PINK1 and PGC1α also were decreased. Metabolomics analysis showed impaired β-oxidation in heart of aged mice, whereas increased branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and ceramide levels were found in skeletal muscle of aged mice that in turn, may contribute to insulin resistance in muscle. Taken together, our studies showed similar declines in macroautophagy but distinct effects on CMA, mitochondrial turnover, and metabolic dysfunction in muscle [i]vs.[/i] heart during aging.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Autophagy
  • Biomarkers
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Lysosomes
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Myocardium


  • aging
  • autophagy
  • ceramide
  • chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA)
  • fatty acid oxidation
  • heart
  • muscle

Subversion of autophagy by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus impairs oncogene-induced senescence.

Acute oncogenic stress can activate autophagy and facilitate permanent arrest of the cell cycle through a failsafe mechanism known as oncogene-induced senescence (OIS). Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) proteins are known to subvert autophagic pathways, but the link to Kaposi's sarcoma pathogenesis is unclear. We find that oncogenic assault caused by latent KSHV infection elicits DNA damage responses (DDRs) characteristic of OIS, yet infected cells display only modest levels of autophagy and fail to senesce. These aberrant responses result from the combined activities of tandemly expressed KSHV v-cyclin and v-FLIP proteins. v-Cyclin deregulates the cell cycle, triggers DDRs, and if left unchecked can promote autophagy and senescence. However, during latency v-FLIP blocks v-cyclin-induced autophagy and senescence in a manner that requires intact v-FLIP ATG3-binding domains. Together, these data reveal a coordinated viral gene expression program that usurps autophagy, blocks senescence, and facilitates the proliferation of KSHV-infected cells.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Autophagy
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Immune Evasion
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • Virulence Factors