Advance online publication:

This section includes articles accepted for publication in Cell Stress, which have not been released in a regular issue, yet. Please note that the PDF versions of advance publication articles are generally paginated starting with page 1. This does not correspond to the final pagination upon release of the issue it will appear in.


Role of RNA Binding Proteins with prion-like domains in muscle and neuromuscular diseases

Gina Picchiarelli and Luc Dupuis

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A number of neuromuscular and muscular diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and several myopathies, are associated to mutations in related RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), including TDP-43, FUS, MATR3 or hnRNPA1/B2. These proteins harbor similar modular primary sequence with RNA binding motifs and low complexity domains, that enables them to phase separate and create liquid microdomains. These RBPs have been shown to critically regulate multiple events of RNA lifecycle, including transcriptional events, splicing and RNA trafficking and sequestration. Here, we review the roles of these disease-related RBPs in muscle and motor neurons, and how their dysfunction in these cell types might contribute to disease.

PDF | Published online: 10/03/2020 | In press

HIF1α-dependent mitophagy facilitates cardiomyoblast differentiation

Jin-Feng Zhao, Catherine E. Rodger, George F. G. Allen, Simone Weidlich and Ian G. Ganley

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Mitophagy is thought to play a key role in eliminating damaged mitochondria, with diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration exhibiting defects in this process. Mitophagy is also involved in cell differentiation and maturation, potentially through modulating mitochondrial metabolic reprogramming. Here we examined mitophagy that is induced upon iron chelation and found that the transcriptional activity of HIF1α, in part through upregulation of BNIP3 and NIX, is an essential mediator of this pathway in SH-SY5Y cells. In contrast, HIF1α is dispensable for mitophagy occurring upon mitochondrial depolarisation. To examine the role of this pathway in a metabolic reprogramming and differentiation context, we utilised the H9c2 cell line model of cardiomyocyte maturation. During differentiation of these cardiomyoblasts, mitophagy increased and required HIF1α-dependent upregulation of NIX. Though HIF1α was essential for expression of key cardiomyocyte markers, mitophagy was not directly required. However, enhancing mitophagy through NIX overexpression, accelerated marker gene expression. Taken together, our findings provide a molecular link between mitophagy signalling and cardiomyocyte differentiation and suggest that although mitophagy may not be essential per se, it plays a critical role in maintaining mitochondrial integrity during this energy demanding process.

PDF | Published online: 04/03/2020 | In press

Coronavirus infections: Epidemiological, clinical and immunological features and hypotheses

Didier Raoult, Alimuddin Zumla, Franco Locatelli, Giuseppe Ippolito and Guido Kroemer

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Coronaviruses (CoVs) are a large family of enveloped, positive-strand RNA viruses. Four human CoVs (HCoVs), the non-severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like HCoVs (namely HCoV 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1), are globally endemic and account for a substantial fraction of upper respiratory tract infections. Non-SARS-like CoV can occasionally produce severe diseases in frail subjects but do not cause any major (fatal) epidemics. In contrast, SARS like CoVs (namely SARS-CoV and Middle-East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, MERS-CoV) can cause intense short-lived fatal outbreaks. The current epidemic caused by the highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 and its rapid spread globally is of major concern. There is scanty knowledge on the actual pandemic potential of this new SARS-like virus. It might be speculated that SARS-CoV-2 epidemic is grossly underdiagnosed and that the infection is silently spreading across the globe with two consequences: (i) clusters of severe infections among frail subjects could haphazardly occur linked to unrecognized index cases; (ii) the current epidemic could naturally fall into a low-level endemic phase when a significant number of subjects will have developed immunity. Understanding the role of paucisymptomatic subjects and stratifying patients according to the risk of developing severe clinical presentations is pivotal for implementing reasonable measures to contain the infection and to reduce its mortality. Whilst the future evolution of this epidemic remains unpredictable, classic public health strategies must follow rational patterns. The emergence of yet another global epidemic underscores the permanent challenges that infectious diseases pose and underscores the need for global cooperation and preparedness, even during inter-epidemic periods.

PDF | Published online: 02/03/2020 | In press

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