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Cabello J.,Center for Biomedical Research of La Rioja | Samann J.,Center for Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Research | Gomez-Orte E.,Center for Biomedical Research of La Rioja | Erazo T.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | And 15 more authors.
Cell Death and Disease | Year: 2014

Apoptotic cell death is an integral part of cell turnover in many tissues, and proper corpse clearance is vital to maintaining tissue homeostasis in all multicellular organisms. Even in tissues with high cellular turnover, apoptotic cells are rarely seen because of efficient clearance mechanisms in healthy individuals. In Caenorhabditis elegans, two parallel and partly redundant conserved pathways act in cell corpse engulfment. The pathway for cytoskeletal rearrangement requires the small GTPase CED-10 Rac1 acting for an efficient surround of the dead cell. The CED-10 Rac pathway is also required for the proper migration of the distal tip cells (DTCs) during the development of the C. elegans gonad. Parkin, the mammalian homolog of the C. elegans PDR-1, interacts with Rac1 in aged human brain and it is also implicated with actin dynamics and cytoskeletal rearrangements in Parkinsons's disease, suggesting that it might act on engulfment. Our genetic and biochemical studies indicate that PDR-1 inhibits apoptotic cell engulfment and DTC migration by ubiquitylating CED-10 for degradation. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source


Qi W.,Center for Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Research | Huang X.,Center for Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Research | Neumann-Haefelin E.,University Hospital Freiburg | Schulze E.,Center for Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Research | And 2 more authors.
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2012

In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), the promotion of longevity by the transcription factor DAF-16 requires reduced insulin/IGF receptor (IIR) signaling or the ablation of the germline, although the reason for the negative impact of germ cells is unknown. FOXO/DAF-16 activity inhibits germline proliferation in both daf-2 mutants and gld-1 tumors. In contrast to its function as a germline tumor suppressor, we now provide evidence that somatic DAF-16 in the presence of IIR signaling can also result in tumorigenic activity, which counteracts robust lifespan extension. In contrast to the cell-autonomous IIR signaling, which is required for larval germline proliferation, activation of DAF-16 in the hypodermis results in hyperplasia of the germline and disruption of the surrounding basement membrane. SHC-1 adaptor protein and AKT-1 kinase antagonize, whereas AKT-2 and SGK-1 kinases promote, this cell-nonautonomous DAF-16 function. Our data suggest that a functional balance of DAF-16 activities in different tissues determines longevity and reveals a novel, cell-nonautonomous role of FOXO/DAF-16 to affect stem cells. © 2012 Qi et al. Source


Fatouros C.,Institute of Biology III | Fatouros C.,Center for Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Research | Fatouros C.,Center for Biological Systems Analysis | Fatouros C.,International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cell Biology IMPRS MCB | And 15 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2012

Increased Tau protein amyloidogenicity has been causatively implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases, collectively called tauopathies. In pathological conditions, Tau becomes hyperphosphorylated and forms intracellular aggregates. The deletion of K280, which is a mutation that commonly appears in patients with frontotemporal dementia with Parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17, enhances Tau aggregation propensity (pro-aggregation). In contrast, introduction of the I277P and I308P mutations prevents β-sheet formation and subsequent aggregation (anti-aggregation). In this study, we created a tauopathy model by expressing pro- or anti-aggregant Tau species in the nervous system of Caenorhabditis elegans. Animals expressing the highly amyloidogenic Tau species showed accelerated Tau aggregation and pathology manifested by severely impaired motility and evident neuronal dysfunction. In addition, we observed that the axonal transport of mitochondria was perturbed in these animals. Control animals expressing the anti-aggregant combination had rather mild phenotype. We subsequently tested several Tau aggregation inhibitor compounds and observed a mitigation of Tau proteotoxicity. In particular, a novel compound that crosses the blood-brain barrier of mammals proved effective in ameliorating the motility as well as delaying the accumulation of neuronal defects. Our study establishes a new C. elegans model of Tau aggregation-mediated toxicity and supports the emerging notion that inhibiting the nucleation of Tau aggregation can be neuroprotective. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

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