Articles by Kunal Baxi in JoVE
Assessing Lysosomal Alkalinization in the Intestine of Live Caenorhabditis elegans Kunal Baxi1, Carlos E. de Carvalho1 1Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan A step-by-step guide to probe loss of lysosomal acidity in the intestine of C. elegans using the pH-sensitive vital dye 5(6)-carboxy-2',7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate (cDCFDA)
Other articles by Kunal Baxi on PubMed
A Genome Scale Screen for Mutants with Delayed Exit from Mitosis: Ire1-Independent Induction of Autophagy Integrates ER Homeostasis into Mitotic Lifespan PLoS Genetics. Aug, 2015 | Pubmed ID: 26247883 Proliferating eukaryotic cells undergo a finite number of cell divisions before irreversibly exiting mitosis. Yet pathways that normally limit the number of cell divisions remain poorly characterized. Here we describe a screen of a collection of 3762 single gene mutants in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, accounting for 2/3 of annotated yeast ORFs, to search for mutants that undergo an atypically high number of cell divisions. Many of the potential longevity genes map to cellular processes not previously implicated in mitotic senescence, suggesting that regulatory mechanisms governing mitotic exit may be broader than currently anticipated. We focused on an ER-Golgi gene cluster isolated in this screen to determine how these ubiquitous organelles integrate into mitotic longevity. We report that a chronic increase in ER protein load signals an expansion in the assembly of autophagosomes in an Ire1-independent manner, accelerates trafficking of high molecular weight protein aggregates from the cytoplasm to the vacuoles, and leads to a profound enhancement of daughter cell production. We demonstrate that this catabolic network is evolutionarily conserved, as it also extends reproductive lifespan in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Our data provide evidence that catabolism of protein aggregates, a natural byproduct of high protein synthesis and turn over in dividing cells, is among the drivers of mitotic longevity in eukaryotes.
Regulation of Lysosomal Function by the DAF-16 Forkhead Transcription Factor Couples Reproduction to Aging in Genetics. 09, 2017 | Pubmed ID: 28696216 Aging in eukaryotes is accompanied by widespread deterioration of the somatic tissue. Yet, abolishing germ cells delays the age-dependent somatic decline in In adult worms lacking germ cells, the activation of the DAF-9/DAF-12 steroid signaling pathway in the gonad recruits DAF-16 activity in the intestine to promote longevity-associated phenotypes. However, the impact of this pathway on the fitness of normally reproducing animals is less clear. Here, we explore the link between progeny production and somatic aging and identify the loss of lysosomal acidity-a critical regulator of the proteolytic output of these organelles-as a novel biomarker of aging in The increase in lysosomal pH in older worms is not a passive consequence of aging, but instead is timed with the cessation of reproduction, and correlates with the reduction in proteostasis in early adult life. Our results further implicate the steroid signaling pathway and DAF-16 in dynamically regulating lysosomal pH in the intestine of wild-type worms in response to the reproductive cycle. In the intestine of reproducing worms, DAF-16 promotes acidic lysosomes by upregulating the expression of v-ATPase genes. These findings support a model in which protein clearance in the soma is linked to reproduction in the gonad via the active regulation of lysosomal acidification.
Rapid Nuclear Exclusion of Hcm1 in Aging Leads to Vacuolar Alkalization and Replicative Senescence G3 (Bethesda, Md.). Mar, 2018 | Pubmed ID: 29519938 The yeast, , like other higher eukaryotes, undergo a finite number of cell divisions before exiting the cell cycle due to the effects of aging. Here, we show that yeast aging begins with the nuclear exclusion of Hcm1 in young cells, resulting in loss of acidic vacuoles. Autophagy is required for healthy aging in yeast, with proteins targeted for turnover by autophagy directed to the vacuole. Consistent with this, vacuolar acidity is necessary for vacuolar function and yeast longevity. Using yeast genetics and immunofluorescence microscopy, we confirm that vacuolar acidity plays a critical role in cell health and lifespan, and is potentially maintained by a series of Forkhead Box (Fox) transcription factors. An interconnected transcriptional network involving the Fox proteins (Fkh1, Fkh2 and Hcm1) are required for transcription of v-ATPase subunits and vacuolar acidity. As cells age, Hcm1 is rapidly excluded from the nucleus in young cells, blocking the expression of Hcm1 targets (Fkh1 and Fkh2), leading to loss of v-ATPase gene expression, reduced vacuolar acidification, increased α-syn-GFP vacuolar accumulation, and finally, diminished replicative lifespan (RLS). Loss of vacuolar acidity occurs about the same time as Hcm1 nuclear exclusion and is conserved; we have recently demonstrated that lysosomal alkalization similarly contributes to aging in following a transition from progeny producing to post-reproductive life. Our data points to a molecular mechanism regulating vacuolar acidity that signals the end of RLS when acidification is lost.