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  • 1. Aufschnaiter, Andreas
    et al.
    Büttner, Sabrina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute. University of Graz, Austria.
    The vacuolar shapes of ageing: From function to morphology2019In: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. Molecular Cell Research, ISSN 0167-4889, E-ISSN 1879-2596, Vol. 1866, no 5, p. 957-970Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cellular ageing results in accumulating damage to various macromolecules and the progressive decline of organelle function. Yeast vacuoles as well as their counterpart in higher eukaryotes, the lysosomes, emerge as central organelles in lifespan determination. These acidic organelles integrate enzymatic breakdown and recycling of cellular waste with nutrient sensing, storage, signalling and mobilization. Establishing physical contact with virtually all other organelles, vacuoles serve as hubs of cellular homeostasis. Studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae contributed substantially to our understanding of the ageing process per se and the multifaceted roles of vacuoles/lysosomes in the maintenance of cellular fitness with progressing age. Here, we discuss the multiple roles of the vacuole during ageing, ranging from vacuolar dynamics and acidification as determinants of lifespan to the function of this organelle as waste bin, recycling facility, nutrient reservoir and integrator of nutrient signalling.

  • 2. Aufschnaiter, Andreas
    et al.
    Kohler, Verena
    Walter, Corvin
    Tosal-Castano, Sergi
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Habernig, Lukas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Wolinski, Heimo
    Keller, Walter
    Vögtle, F-Nora
    Büttner, Sabrina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute. University of Graz, Austria.
    The Enzymatic Core of the Parkinson's Disease-Associated Protein LRRK2 Impairs Mitochondria Biogenesis in Aging Yeast2018In: Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5099, Vol. 11, article id 205Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is a prominent trait of cellular decline during aging and intimately linked to neuronal degeneration during Parkinson's disease (PD). Various proteins associated with PD have been shown to differentially impact mitochondrial dynamics, quality control and function, including the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2). Here, we demonstrate that high levels of the enzymatic core of human LRRK2, harboring GTPase as well as kinase activity, decreases mitochondrial mass via an impairment of mitochondria! biogenesis in aging yeast. We link mitochondrial depletion to a global downregulation of mitochondria-related gene transcripts and show that this catalytic core of LRRK2 localizes to mitochondria and selectively compromises respiratory chain complex IV formation. With progressing cellular age, this culminates in dissipation of mitochondrial transmembrane potential, decreased respiratory capacity, ATP depletion and generation of reactive oxygen species. Ultimately, the collapse of the mitochondrial network results in cell death. A point mutation in LRRK2 that increases the intrinsic GTPase activity diminishes mitochondrial impairment and consequently provides cytoprotection. In sum, we report that a downregulation of mitochondrial biogenesis rather than excessive degradation of mitochondria underlies the reduction of mitochondrial abundance induced by the enzymatic core of LRRK2 in aging yeast cells. Thus, our data provide a novel perspective for deciphering the causative mechanisms of LRRK2-associated PD pathology.

  • 3. Gross, Angelina S.
    et al.
    Zimmermann, Andreas
    Pendl, Tobias
    Schroeder, Sabrina
    Schoenlechner, Hannes
    Knittelfelder, Oskar
    Lamplmayr, Laura
    Santiso, Ana
    Aufschnaiter, Andreas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute. University of Graz, Austria.
    Waltenstorfer, Daniel
    Ortonobes Lara, Sandra
    Stryeck, Sarah
    Kast, Christina
    Ruckenstuhl, Christoph
    Hofer, Sebastian J.
    Michelitsch, Birgit
    Woelflingseder, Martina
    Müller, Rolf
    Carmona-Gutierrez, Didac
    Madl, Tobias
    Büttner, Sabrina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute. University of Graz, Austria.
    Fröhlich, Kai-Uwe
    Shevchenko, Andrej
    Eisenberg, Tobias
    Acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1-dependent lipogenesis promotes autophagy downstream of AMPK2019In: Journal of Biological Chemistry, ISSN 0021-9258, E-ISSN 1083-351X, Vol. 294, no 32, p. 12020-12039Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Autophagy, a membrane-dependent catabolic process, ensures survival of aging cells and depends on the cellular energetic status. Acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (Acc1) connects central energy metabolism to lipid biosynthesis and is rate-limiting for the de novo synthesis of lipids. However, it is unclear how de novo lipogenesis and its metabolic consequences affect autophagic activity. Here, we show that in aging yeast, autophagy levels highly depend on the activity of Acc1. Constitutively active Acc1 (acc1(S/A)) or a deletion of the Acc1 negative regulator, Snf1 (yeast AMPK), shows elevated autophagy levels, which can be reversed by the Acc1 inhibitor soraphen A. Vice versa, pharmacological inhibition of Acc1 drastically reduces cell survival and results in the accumulation of Atg8-positive structures at the vacuolar membrane, suggesting late defects in the autophagic cascade. As expected, acc1(S/A) cells exhibit a reduction in acetate/acetyl-CoA availability along with elevated cellular lipid content. However, concomitant administration of acetate fails to fully revert the increase in autophagy exerted by acc1(S/A). Instead, administration of oleate, while mimicking constitutively active Acc1 in WT cells, alleviates the vacuolar fusion defects induced by Acc1 inhibition. Our results argue for a largely lipid-dependent process of autophagy regulation downstream of Acc1. We present a versatile genetic model to investigate the complex relationship between acetate metabolism, lipid homeostasis, and autophagy and propose Acc1-dependent lipogenesis as a fundamental metabolic path downstream of Snf1 to maintain autophagy and survival during cellular aging.

  • 4. Kohler, Verena
    et al.
    Goessweiner-Mohr, Nikolaus
    Aufschnaiter, Andreas
    Fercher, Christian
    Probst, Ines
    Pavkov-Keller, Tea
    Hunger, Kristin
    Wolinski, Heimo
    Büttner, Sabrina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute. University of Graz, Austria.
    Grohmann, Elisabeth
    Keller, Walter
    TraN: A novel repressor of an Enterococcus conjugative type IV secretion system2018In: Nucleic Acids Research, ISSN 0305-1048, E-ISSN 1362-4962, Vol. 46, no 17, p. 9201-9219Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The dissemination of multi-resistant bacteria represents an enormous burden on modern healthcare. Plasmid-borne conjugative transfer is the most prevalent mechanism, requiring a type IV secretion system that enables bacteria to spread beneficial traits, such as resistance to last-line antibiotics, among different genera. Inc18 plasmids, like the Gram-positive broad host-range plasmid pIP501, are substantially involved in propagation of vancomycin resistance from Enterococci to methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus. Here, we identified the small cytosolic protein TraN as a repressor of the pIP501-encoded conjugative transfer system, since deletion of traN resulted in upregulation of transfer factors, leading to highly enhanced conjugative transfer. Furthermore, we report the complex structure of TraN with DNA and define the exact sequence of its binding motif. Targeting this protein-DNA interaction might represent a novel therapeutic approach against the spreading of antibiotic resistances.

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