1. “Phospholipase D1 regulates autophagic flux and clearance of a-synuclein aggregates.”, Bae EJ, Lee HJ, Jang YH, Michael S, Masliah E, Min DS, Lee SJ., Cell Death Differ., 2014.3.14 (SCI, IF: 8.371)
Many neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, are characterized by abnormal accumulations of aggregated proteins. Brains in these diseases also show accumulation of autophagic vesicles in the neuronal cytoplasm, suggesting impairment of the autophagic process. As autophagy involves de novo membrane production and vesicle fusion, extensive changes in lipid molecules are necessary. However, the involvement of signaling lipid-modifying enzymes in autophagy and their roles in neurodegenerative diseases are not clear. Using specific inhibitor, we show that loss of phospholipase D1 (PLD1) activity resulted in an accumulation of microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3), p62, and polyubiquitinated proteins, signs representing malfunction in autophagic flux. Fluorescence and electron microscopic analyses demonstrated impaired fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes, resulting in accumulation of autophagosomes. Within the cells with impaired autophagic flux, α-synuclein aggregates accumulated in autophagosomes. Knockdown of PLD1 expression using small interfering RNA also resulted in impaired autophagic flux and accumulation of α-synuclein aggregates in autophagosomes. Neuronal toxicity caused by α-synuclein accumulation was rescued by overexpression of PLD1; however, expression of activity-deficient mutant, PLD1-KRM, showed reduced rescue effects. Finally, we demonstrated that both PLD activity and expression levels were reduced in brain tissues of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) patients, whereas the amounts of α-synuclein and p62 were increased in the same tissue samples. Collectively, these results suggest that insufficient PLD activity, and therefore, the changes in phospholipid compositions within membranes, might be an important contributor to impaired autophagic process and protein accumulation in Lewy body diseases.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 14 March 2014; doi:10.1038/cdd.2014.30.
2. “The impact of the hepatitis B virus polymerase rtA181T mutation on replication and drug resistance is potentially affected by overlapping changes in surface gene.”, Ahn SH1, Park YK, Park ES, Kim JH, Kim DH, Lim KH, Jang MS, Choe WH, Ko SY, Sung IK, Kwon SY, Kim KH., J Virol., 2014.4.2 (SCI, IF: 5.076)
The emergence of drug-resistant hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major problem for antiviral treatment in chronic hepatitis B infection. In this study, we analyzed the evolution of drug-resistant mutations and characterized the effects of the rtA181T and rtI233V mutations on viral replication and drug resistance.We performed a clonal analysis of the HBV polymerase gene from serum samples during viral breakthrough treated with antiviral agents. A series of mutant clones containing rtA181T and/or rtI233V mutations were constructed and determined the effect of these mutations on the replication ability and drug resistance.An in vitro study revealed that the effect of the rtA181T mutation on viral replication and drug resistance is dependent on the mutations in the overlapping surface gene. Compared to the rtA181T surface missense mutation (rtA181T/sW172S), the introduction of rtA181T surface nonsense mutation (rtA181T/sW172*) resulted in decreased viral replication and increased drug resistance. Complementation assay revealed that the truncated PreS1 is responsible for reduced replication of rtA181T/sW172* mutant. Moreover, the rtA181T/sW172* mutant exhibited a defect in viral particle secretion. The rtI233V mutation that emerged during adefovir therapy reduced viral replication and conferred resistance to adefovir.Our data suggest that the impact of the rtA181T mutation on replication and drug resistance differs based on the mutation status of the corresponding surface gene. The rtI233V mutation also affects replication ability and drug resistance. This observation suggests the need for genotypic analysis of overlapping surface genes to manage antiviral drug resistance if clinical isolates harbor the rtA181T mutation.
The emergence of drug-resistant HBV that are no longer susceptible to nucleos(t)ide analogues is a major problem for antiviral treatment in chronic hepatitis B infection. Among drug resistant mutations, the single rtA181T mutation is known to confer cross-resistance to antiviral drugs. This mutation causes intermediate or reduced susceptibility to tenofovir. Moreover, the clinical occurrence of the rtA181T mutation during antiviral therapy is also high. Our study revealed that the effect of the rtA181T mutation on viral replication and drug resistance is dependent on the mutations in the overlapping surface gene. This observation suggests the need for genotypic analysis of overlapping surface genes to manage antiviral drug resistance if clinical isolates harbor the rtA181T mutation. We believe that our study will not only extend the understanding of the drug resistance mechanism, but it will also ultimately provide new treatment options for patients with multidrug resistant HBV.