Shared developmental roles and transcriptional control of autophagy and apoptosis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Erdélyi, Péter and Borsos, Éva and Takács-Vellai, Krisztina and Kovács, T. and Kovács, A. L. and Sigmond, Tímea and Hargitai, Balázs and Pásztor, László and Sengupta, T. and Dengg, M. and Pécsi, Ildikó and Tóth, Judit and Nilsen, H. and Vértessy G., Beáta and Vellai, Tibor (2011) Shared developmental roles and transcriptional control of autophagy and apoptosis in Caenorhabditis elegans. JOURNAL OF CELL SCIENCE. ISSN 0021-9533

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Autophagy is a lysosome-mediated self-degradation process of eukaryotic cells that, depending on the cellular milieu, can either promote survival or act as an alternative mechanism of programmed cell death (PCD) in terminally differentiated cells. Despite the important developmental and medical implications of autophagy and the main form of PCD, apoptosis, orchestration of their regulation remains poorly understood. Here, we show in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, that various genetic and pharmacological interventions causing embryonic lethality trigger a massive cell death response that has both autophagic and apoptotic features. The two degradation processes are also redundantly required for normal development and viability in this organism. Furthermore, the CES-2-like basic region leucine-zipper (bZip) transcription factor ATF-2, an upstream modulator of the core apoptotic cell death pathway, is able to directly regulate the expression of at least two key autophagy-related genes, bec-1/ATG6 and lgg-1/ATG8. Thus, the two cell death mechanisms share a common method of transcriptional regulation. Together, these results imply that under certain physiological and pathological conditions, autophagy and apoptosis are co-regulated to ensure the proper morphogenesis and survival of the developing organism. The identification of apoptosis and autophagy as compensatory cellular pathways in C. elegans might help us to understand how dysregulated PCD in humans can lead to diverse pathologies, including cancer, neurodegeneration and diabetes.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > Q1 Science (General) / természettudomány általában
Depositing User: Dr Judit Tóth
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2015 09:42
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 09:42

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