Autophagy Is Polarized toward Cell Front during Migration and Spatially Perturbed by Oncogenic Ras

Nom de la revue
Manish Kumar Singh, Giulia Zago, Irina Veith, Jacques Camonis, Mathieu Coppey, Maria Carla Parrini

Autophagy is a physiological degradation process that removes unnecessary or dysfunctional components of cells. It is important for normal cellular homeostasis and as a response to a variety of stresses, such as nutrient deprivation. Defects in autophagy have been linked to numerous human diseases, including cancers. Cancer cells require autophagy to migrate and to invade. Here, we study the intracellular topology of this interplay between autophagy and cell migration by an interdisciplinary live imaging approach which combines micro-patterning techniques and an autophagy reporter (RFP-GFP-LC3) to monitor over time, during directed migration, the back–front spatial distribution of LC3-positive compartments (autophagosomes and autolysosomes). Moreover, by exploiting a genetically controlled cell model, we assessed the impact of transformation by the Ras oncogene, one of the most frequently mutated genes in human cancers, which is known to increase both cell motility and basal autophagy. Static cells displayed an isotropic distribution of autophagy LC3-positive compartments. Directed migration globally increased autophagy and polarized both autophagosomes and autolysosomes at the front of the nucleus of migrating cells. In Ras-transformed cells, the front polarization of LC3 compartments was much less organized, spatially and temporally, as compared to normal cells. This might be a consequence of altered lysosome positioning. In conclusion, this work reveals that autophagy organelles are polarized toward the cell front during migration and that their spatial-temporal dynamics are altered in motile cancer cells that express an oncogenic Ras protein.