Chaperone-mediated autophagy activity, essential in the cellular defense against proteotoxicity, declines with age, and preventing this decline in experimental genetic models has proven beneficial. Here, we have identified the mechanism of action of selective chaperone-mediated autophagy activators previously developed by our group and have leveraged that information to generate orally bioavailable chaperone-mediated autophagy activators with favorable brain exposure. Chaperone-mediated autophagy activating molecules stabilize the interaction between retinoic acid receptor alpha - a known endogenous inhibitor of chaperone-mediated autophagy - and its co-repressor, nuclear receptor corepressor 1, resulting in changes of a discrete subset of the retinoic acid receptor alpha transcriptional program that leads to selective chaperone-mediated autophagy activation. Chaperone-mediated autophagy activators molecules activate this pathway in vivo and ameliorate retinal degeneration in a retinitis pigmentosa mouse model. Our findings reveal a mechanism for pharmacological targeting of chaperone-mediated autophagy activation and suggest a therapeutic strategy for retinal degeneration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)