Ticks are obligate hematophagous ectoparasites with a life cycle characterized by a period of starvation; many ticks spend more than 95% of their life off the host. Autophagy, which is the process of bulk cytoplasmic degradation in eukaryotic cells, is induced by starvation and is essential for extension of the lifespan. Therefore, we hypothesized that autophagy also occurs in ticks; however, there has been no report on autophagy-related (ATG) genes in ticks.
BACKGROUND: Recent studies have demonstrated that activation of autophagy increases the lifespan of organisms from yeast to flies. In contrast to the lifespan extension effect in lower organisms, it has been reported that overexpression of unc-51-like kinase 3 (ULK3), the mammalian homolog of autophagy-specific gene 1 (ATG1), induces premature senescence in human fibroblasts. Therefore, we assessed whether the activation of autophagy would genuinely induce premature senescence in human cells.
Emerging lines of evidence suggest a relationship between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and protein sumoylation. Multiple studies have demonstrated that several of the proteins involved in the pathogenesis of ALS, including superoxide dismutase 1, fused in liposarcoma, and TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), are substrates for sumoylation.
SIRT1 is the closest mammalian homologue of yeast SIR2, an important ageing regulator that prolongs lifespan in response to caloric restriction. Despite its importance, the mechanisms that regulate SIRT1 activity are unclear. Our study identifies a novel post-translational modification of SIRT1, namely sumoylation at Lys 734. In vitro sumoylation of SIRT1 increased its deacetylase activity. Conversely, mutation of SIRT1 at Lys 734 or desumoylation by SENP1, a nuclear desumoylase, reduced its deacetylase activity.
Arsenic, an ancient drug used in traditional Chinese medicine, has attracted worldwide interest because it shows substantial anticancer activity in patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Arsenic trioxide (As2O3) exerts its therapeutic effect by promoting degradation of an oncogenic protein that drives the growth of APL cells, PML-RARalpha (a fusion protein containing sequences from the PML zinc finger protein and retinoic acid receptor alpha).
In this research, we have established a drug screening method based on the autophagy signal pathway using the bimolecular fluorescence complementation-fluorescence resonance energy transfer (BiFC-FRET) technique to develop novel anti-influenza A virus (IAV) drugs. We selected Evodia rutaecarpa Benth out of 83 examples of traditional Chinese medicine and explored the mechanisms of evodiamine, the major active component of Evodia rutaecarpa Benth, on anti-IAV activity.