Exposure to microgravity is supposed to affect almost all biological systems, and we speculated that microgravity is potentially involved in autophagy regulation. A clinostat was used to simulate microgravity, and HEK293 cells that stably express GFP-LC3 were used for sensitive monitoring of autophagy induction. The clinorotation of GFP-LC3 cells resulted in autophagosome formation in the cytoplasm and a change in autophagosomal marker expression. Autophagy induction was accompanied by phosphorylation of AMPK (Thr 172) and by the dephosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin. To elucidate the role of AMPK in microgravity-induced autophagy, we suppressed AMPK expression by knockdown via siRNA, which inhibited the induction of autophagy upon exposure to microgravity. In addition, the clinorotation of C2C12 myotube cells resulted in the enlarged and distinctive LC3 spots in the cytoplasm and AMPK activation. These results indicate that simulated microgravity possibly contributes to autophagy induction by regulating AMPK.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology