• MinireviewJanuary 31, 2018

    0 410 1612

    The Role of Autophagy in Systemic Metabolism and Human-Type Diabetes

    Jinyoung Kim, Yu-Mi Lim, and Myung-Shik Lee

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(1): 11-17

    Abstract : Autophagy is critical for the maintenance of organelle function and intracellular nutrient environment. Autophagy is also involved in systemic metabolic homeostasis, and its dysregulation can lead to or accelerate the development of metabolic disorders. While the role of autophagy in the global metabolism of model organisms has been investigated mostly using site-specific genetic knockout technology, the impact of dysregulated autophagy on systemic metabolism has been unclear. Here, we review recent papers showing the role of autophagy in systemic metabolism and in the development of metabolic disorders. Also included are data suggesting the role of autophagy in human-type diabetes, which are different in several key aspects from murine models of diabetes. The results shown here support the view that autophagy modulation could be a new modality for the treatment of metabolic syndrome associated with lipid overload and human-type diabetes.

  • MinireviewJanuary 31, 2018

    0 436 2033

    Pexophagy: Molecular Mechanisms and Implications for Health and Diseases

    Dong-Hyung Cho, Yi Sak Kim, Doo Sin Jo, Seong-Kyu Choe, and Eun-Kyeong Jo

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(1): 55-64

    Abstract : Autophagy is an intracellular degradation pathway for large protein aggregates and damaged organelles. Recent studies have indicated that autophagy targets cargoes through a selective degradation pathway called selective autophagy. Peroxisomes are dynamic organelles that are crucial for health and development. Pexophagy is selective autophagy that targets peroxisomes and is essential for the maintenance of homeostasis of peroxisomes, which is necessary in the prevention of various peroxisome-related disorders. However, the mechanisms by which pexophagy is regulated and the key players that induce and modulate pexophagy are largely unknown. In this review, we focus on our current understanding of how pexophagy is induced and regulated, and the selective adaptors involved in mediating pexophagy. Furthermore, we discuss current findings on the roles of pexophagy in physiological and pathological responses, which provide insight into the clinical relevance of pexophagy regulation. Understanding how pexophagy interacts with various biological functions will provide fundamental insights into the function of pexophagy and facilitate the development of novel therapeutics against peroxisomal dysfunction-related diseases.

  • MinireviewJanuary 31, 2018

    0 470 1610

    Abstract : Autophagy is a lysosome-dependent degradation process that is essential for maintaining cellular homeostasis. In recent years, more studies have focused on the late stages of autophagy. Our group discovered and studied the terminal step of autophagy, namely autophagic lysosome reformation (ALR). ALR is the process that regenerates functional lysosomes from autolysosomes, thus maintaining lysosome homeostasis. ALR involves clathrin-mediated membrane budding from autolysosomes, elongation of membrane tubules along microtubules with the pulling force provided by the motor protein KIF5B, proto-lysosome scission by dynamin 2, and finally maturation of proto-lysosomes to functional lysosomes. In this review, we will summarize progress in unveiling the molecular mechanisms underlying ALR and its potential pathophysiological roles.

  • MinireviewJanuary 31, 2018

    0 330 2279

    Abstract : The cytoplasm in mammalian cells is a battlefield between the host and invading microbes. Both the living organisms have evolved unique strategies for their survival. The host utilizes a specialized autophagy system, xenophagy, for the clearance of invading pathogens, whereas bacteria secrete proteins to defend and escape from the host xenophagy. Several molecules have been identified and their structural investigation has enabled the comprehension of these mechanisms at the molecular level. In this review, we focus on one example of host autophagy and the other of bacterial defense: the autophagy receptor, NDP52, in conjunction with the sugar receptor, galectin-8, plays a critical role in targeting the autophagy machinery against Salmonella; and the cysteine protease, RavZ secreted by Legionella pneumophila cleaves the LC3-PE on the phagophore membrane. The structure-function relationships of these two examples and the directions of future research will be discussed.

  • MinireviewJanuary 31, 2018

    0 2212 7564

    Abstract : Mitochondrial quality control systems are essential for the maintenance of functional mitochondria. At the organelle level, they include mitochondrial biogenesis, fusion and fission, to compensate for mitochondrial function, and mitophagy, for degrading damaged mitochondria. Specifically, in mitophagy, the target mitochondria are recognized by the autophagosomes and delivered to the lysosome for degradation. In this review, we describe the mechanisms of mitophagy and the factors that play an important role in this process. In particular, we focus on the roles of mitophagy adapters and receptors in the recognition of damaged mitochondria by autophagosomes. In addition, we also address a functional association of mitophagy with mitochondrial dynamics through the interaction of mitophagy adaptor and receptor proteins with mitochondrial fusion and fission proteins.

  • MinireviewJanuary 31, 2018

    0 715 2991

    Autophagy and Longevity

    Shuhei Nakamura, and Tamotsu Yoshimori

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(1): 65-72

    Abstract : Autophagy is an evolutionally conserved cytoplasmic degradation system in which varieties of materials are sequestered by a double membrane structure, autophagosome, and delivered to the lysosomes for the degradation. Due to the wide varieties of targets, autophagic activity is essential for cellular homeostasis. Recent genetic evidence indicates that autophagy has a crucial role in the regulation of animal lifespan. Basal level of autophagic activity is elevated in many longevity paradigms and the activity is required for lifespan extension. In most cases, genes involved in autophagy and lysosomal function are induced by several transcription factors including HLH-30/TFEB, PHA-4/FOXA and MML-1/Mondo in long-lived animals. Pharmacological treatments have been shown to extend lifespan through activation of autophagy, indicating autophagy could be a potential and promising target to modulate animal lifespan. Here we summarize recent progress regarding the role of autophagy in lifespan regulation.

  • MinireviewDecember 31, 2017

    0 511 3013

    Emerging Paradigm of Crosstalk between Autophagy and the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System

    Taewook Nam, Jong Hyun Han, Sushil Devkota, and Han-Woong Lee

    Mol. Cells 2017; 40(12): 897-905

    Abstract : Cellular protein homeostasis is maintained by two major degradation pathways, namely the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and autophagy. Until recently, the UPS and autophagy were considered to be largely independent systems targeting proteins for degradation in the proteasome and lysosome, respectively. However, the identification of crucial roles of molecular players such as ubiquitin and p62 in both of these pathways as well as the observation that blocking the UPS affects autophagy flux and vice versa has generated interest in studying crosstalk between these pathways. Here, we critically review the current understanding of how the UPS and autophagy execute coordinated protein degradation at the molecular level, and shed light on our recent findings indicating an important role of an autophagy-associated transmembrane protein EI24 as a bridging molecule between the UPS and autophagy that functions by regulating the degradation of several E3 ligases with Really Interesting New Gene (RING)-domains.

  • MinireviewDecember 31, 2017

    0 335 1376

    Abstract : Nuclear bodies are subnuclear, spheroidal, and membraneless compartments that concentrate specific proteins and/or RNAs. They serve as sites of biogenesis, storage, and sequestration of specific RNAs, proteins, or ribonucleoprotein complexes. Recent studies reveal that a subset of nuclear bodies in various eukaryotic organisms is constructed using architectural long noncoding RNAs (arcRNAs). Here, we describe the unifying mechanistic principles of the construction and function of these bodies, especially focusing on liquid-liquid phase separation induced by architectural molecules that form multiple weakly adhesive interactions. We also discuss three possible advantages of using arcRNAs rather than architectural proteins to build the bodies: position-specificity, rapidity, and economy in sequestering nucleic acid-binding proteins. Moreover, we introduce two recently devised methods to discover novel arcRNA-constructed bodies; one that focuses on the RNase-sensitivity of these bodies, and another that focuses on “semi-extractability” of arcRNAs.

  • MinireviewNovember 30, 2017

    0 461 1386

    Phospholipase D and Its Essential Role in Cancer

    Ju Hwan Cho, and Joong-Soo Han

    Mol. Cells 2017; 40(11): 805-813

    Abstract : The role of phospholipase D (PLD) in cancer development and management has been a major area of interest for researchers. The purpose of this mini-review is to explore PLD and its distinct role during chemotherapy including anti-apoptotic function. PLD is an enzyme that belongs to the phospholipase super family and is found in a broad range of organisms such as viruses, yeast, bacteria, animals, and plants. The function and activity of PLD are widely dependent on and regulated by neurotransmitters, hormones, small monomeric GTPases, and lipids. A growing body of research has shown that PLD activity is significantly increased in cancer tissues and cells, indicating that it plays a critical role in signal transduction, cell proliferation, and anti-apoptotic processes. In addition, recent studies show that PLD is a downstream transcriptional target of proteins that contribute to inflammation and carcinogenesis such as Sp1, NFκB, TCF4, ATF-2, NFATc2, and EWS-Fli. Thus, compounds that inhibit expression or activity of PLD in cells can be potentially useful in reducing inflammation and sensitizing resistant cancers during chemotherapy.

  • MinireviewNovember 30, 2017

    0 391 1302

    Abstract : Meiotic homologous recombination generates new combinations of preexisting genetic variation and is a crucial process in plant breeding. Within the last decade, our understanding of plant meiotic recombination and genome diversity has advanced considerably. Innovation in DNA sequencing technology has led to the exploration of high-resolution genetic and epigenetic information in plant genomes, which has helped to accelerate plant breeding practices via high-throughput genotyping, and linkage and association mapping. In addition, great advances toward understanding the genetic and epigenetic control mechanisms of meiotic recombination have enabled the expansion of breeding programs and the unlocking of genetic diversity that can be used for crop improvement. This review highlights the recent literature on plant meiotic recombination and discusses the translation of this knowledge to the manipulation of meiotic recombination frequency and location with regards to crop plant breeding.

  • MinireviewOctober 31, 2017

    11 500 2303

    Cross-talk between Phosphate Starvation and Other Environmental Stress Signaling Pathways in Plants

    Dongwon Baek, Hyun Jin Chun, Dae-Jin Yun, and Min Chul Kim

    Mol. Cells 2017; 40(10): 697-705

    Abstract : The maintenance of inorganic phosphate (Pi) homeostasis is essential for plant growth and yield. Plants have evolved strategies to cope with Pi starvation at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and post-translational levels, which maximizes its availability. Many transcription factors, miRNAs, and transporters participate in the Pi starvation signaling pathway where their activities are modulated by sugar and phytohormone signaling. Environmental stresses significantly affect the uptake and utilization of nutrients by plants, but their effects on the Pi starvation response remain unclear. Recently, we reported that Pi starvation signaling is affected by abiotic stresses such as salt, abscisic acid, and drought. In this review, we identified transcription factors, such as MYB, WRKY, and zinc finger transcription factors with functions in Pi starvation and other environmental stress signaling. In silico analysis of the promoter regions of Pi starvation-responsive genes, including phosphate transporters, microRNAs, and phosphate starvation?induced genes, suggest that their expression may be regulated by other environmental stresses, such as hormones, drought, cold, heat, and pathogens as well as by Pi starvation. Thus, we suggest the possibility of cross-talk between Pi starvation signaling and other environmental stress signaling pathways.

  • MinireviewOctober 31, 2017

    90 890 4488

    Abstract : Osteoclasts are bone-resorbing cells that are derived from hematopoietic precursor cells and require macrophage-colony stimulating factor and receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) for their survival, proliferation, differentiation, and activation. The binding of RANKL to its receptor RANK triggers osteoclast precursors to differentiate into osteoclasts. This process depends on RANKL-RANK signaling, which is temporally regulated by various adaptor proteins and kinases. Here we summarize the current understanding of the mechanisms that regulate RANK signaling during osteoclastogenesis. In the early stage, RANK signaling is mediated by recruiting adaptor molecules such as tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), which leads to the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), and the transcription factors nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and activator protein-1 (AP-1). Activated NF-κB induces the nuclear factor of activated T-cells cytoplasmic 1 (NFATc1), which is the key osteoclastogenesis regulator. In the intermediate stage of signaling, the co-stimulatory signal induces Ca2+ oscillation via activated phospholipase Cγ2 (PLCγ2) together with c-Fos/AP-1, wherein Ca2+ signaling facilitates the robust production of NFATc1. In the late stage of osteoclastogenesis, NFATc1 translocates into the nucleus where it induces numerous osteoclast-specific target genes that are responsible for cell fusion and function.

Mol. Cells
Jul 31, 2022 Vol.45 No.7, pp. 435~512
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells capable of differentiating into mesodermal lineages like adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic. Alcian blue-positive extracellular matrix secreted by chondrocytes in the lacuna confirmed the chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs (Bashyal et al., pp. 479-494).

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