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Ravikumar, B., Berger, Z., Vacher, C., O'Kane, C.J., Rubinsztein, D.C. (2006). Rapamycin pre-treatment protects against apoptosis.  Hum. Mol. Genet. 15(7): 1209--1216.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0190830
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

Macroautophagy (generally referred to as autophagy) mediates the bulk degradation of cytoplasmic contents, including proteins and organelles, in lysosomes. Rapamycin, a lipophilic, macrolide antibiotic, induces autophagy by inactivating the protein mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). We previously showed that rapamycin protects against mutant huntingtin-induced neurodegeneration in cell, fly and mouse models of Huntington's disease [Ravikumar, B., Duden, R. and Rubinsztein, D.C. (2002) Aggregate-prone proteins with polyglutamine and polyalanine expansions are degraded by autophagy. Hum. Mol. Genet., 11, 1107-1117, Ravikumar, B., Vacher, C., Berger, Z., Davies, J.E., Luo, S., Oroz, L.G., Scaravilli, F., Easton, D.F., Duden, R., O'Kane, C.J. et al. (2004) Inhibition of mTOR induces autophagy and reduces toxicity of polyglutamine expansions in fly and mouse models of Huntington disease. Nat. Genet., 36, 585-595]. This protective effect of rapamycin was attributed to enhanced clearance of the mutant protein via autophagy [Ravikumar, B., Duden, R. and Rubinsztein, D.C. (2002) Aggregate-prone proteins with polyglutamine and polyalanine expansions are degraded by autophagy. Hum. Mol. Genet., 11, 1107-1117, Ravikumar, B., Vacher, C., Berger, Z., Davies, J.E., Luo, S., Oroz, L.G., Scaravilli, F., Easton, D.F., Duden, R., O'Kane, C.J. et al. (2004) Inhibition of mTOR induces autophagy and reduces toxicity of polyglutamine expansions in fly and mouse models of Huntington disease. Nat. Genet., 36, 585-595]. Here, we show that rapamycin may have additional cytoprotective effects--it protects cells against a range of subsequent pro-apoptotic insults and reduces paraquat toxicity in Drosophila. This protection can be accounted for by enhanced clearance of mitochondria by autophagy, thereby reducing cytosolic cytochrome c release and downstream caspase activation after pro-apoptotic insults. Thus, rapamycin (pro-autophagic) treatment may be useful in certain disease conditions (including various neurodegenerative diseases) where a slow but increased rate of apoptosis is evident, even if they are not associated with overt aggregate formation.

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    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    Hum. Mol. Genet.
    Title
    Human Molecular Genetics
    Publication Year
    1992-
    ISBN/ISSN
    0964-6906
    Data From Reference
    Genes (1)