Autophagy links MTOR and GABA signaling in the brain

Kelvin K. Hui, Motomasa Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The disruption of MTOR-regulated macroautophagy/autophagy was previously shown to cause autistic-like abnormalities; however, the underlying molecular defects remained largely unresolved. In a recent study, we demonstrated that autophagy deficiency induced by conditional Atg7 deletion in either forebrain GABAergic inhibitory or excitatory neurons leads to a similar set of autistic-like behavioral abnormalities even when induced following the peak period of synaptic pruning during postnatal neurodevelopment. Our proteomic analysis and molecular dissection further revealed a mechanism in which the GABAA receptor trafficking function of GABARAP (gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor associated protein) family proteins was compromised as they became sequestered by SQSTM1/p62-positive aggregates formed due to autophagy deficiency. Our discovery of autophagy as a link between MTOR and GABA signaling may have implications not limited to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, but could potentially be involved in other human pathologies such as cancer and diabetes in which both pathways are implicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1848-1849
Number of pages2
JournalAutophagy
Volume15
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • GABA receptor trafficking
  • MTOR hyperactivation
  • excitatory-inhibitory imbalance (E-I imbalance)
  • protein aggregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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