A voltage-gated calcium channel regulates lysosomal fusion with endosomes and autophagosomes and is required for neuronal homeostasis

Xuejun Tian, Upasana Gala, Yongping Zhang, Weina Shang, Sonal Nagarkar Jaiswal, Alberto di Ronza, Manish Jaiswal, Shinya Yamamoto, Hector Sandoval, Lita Duraine, Marco Sardiello, Roy V Sillitoe, Kartik Venkatachalam, Hengyu Fan, Hugo J Bellen, Chao Tong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Autophagy helps deliver sequestered intracellular cargo to lysosomes for proteolytic degradation and thereby maintains cellular homeostasis by preventing accumulation of toxic substances in cells. In a forward mosaic screen in Drosophila designed to identify genes required for neuronal function and maintenance, we identified multiple cacophony (cac) mutant alleles. They exhibit an age-dependent accumulation of autophagic vacuoles (AVs) in photoreceptor terminals and eventually a degeneration of the terminals and surrounding glia. cac encodes an α1 subunit of a Drosophila voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) that is required for synaptic vesicle fusion with the plasma membrane and neurotransmitter release. Here, we show that cac mutant photoreceptor terminals accumulate AV-lysosomal fusion intermediates, suggesting that Cac is necessary for the fusion of AVs with lysosomes, a poorly defined process. Loss of another subunit of the VGCC, α2δ or straightjacket (stj), causes phenotypes very similar to those caused by the loss of cac, indicating that the VGCC is required for AV-lysosomal fusion. The role of VGCC in AV-lysosomal fusion is evolutionarily conserved, as the loss of the mouse homologues, Cacna1a and Cacna2d2, also leads to autophagic defects in mice. Moreover, we find that CACNA1A is localized to the lysosomes and that loss of lysosomal Cacna1a in cerebellar cultured neurons leads to a failure of lysosomes to fuse with endosomes and autophagosomes. Finally, we show that the lysosomal CACNA1A but not the plasma-membrane resident CACNA1A is required for lysosomal fusion. In summary, we present a model in which the VGCC plays a role in autophagy by regulating the fusion of AVs with lysosomes through its calcium channel activity and hence functions in maintaining neuronal homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1002103
JournalPLoS biology
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2015

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Autophagy
  • Calcium
  • Calcium Channels
  • Calcium Channels, N-Type
  • Cerebellum
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Endosomes
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Homeostasis
  • Lysosomes
  • Male
  • Membrane Fusion
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neurons
  • Phagosomes
  • Primary Cell Culture
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Synaptic Vesicles
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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