Primary cilia and the reciprocal activation of AKT and SMAD2/3 regulate stretch-induced autophagy in trabecular meshwork cells.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Activation of autophagy is one of the responses elicited by high intraocular pressure (IOP) and mechanical stretch in trabecular meshwork (TM) cells. However, the mechanosensor and the molecular mechanisms by which autophagy is induced by mechanical stretch in these or other cell types is largely unknown. Here, we have investigated the mechanosensor and downstream signaling pathway that regulate cyclic mechanical stretch (CMS)-induced autophagy in TM cells. We report that primary cilia act as a mechanosensor for CMS-induced autophagy and identified a cross-regulatory talk between AKT1 and noncanonical SMAD2/3 signaling as critical components of primary cilia-mediated activation of autophagy by mechanical stretch. Furthermore, we demonstrated the physiological significance of our findings in ex vivo perfused eyes. Removal of primary cilia disrupted the homeostatic IOP compensatory response and prevented the increase in LC3-II protein levels in response to elevated pressure challenge, strongly supporting a role of primary cilia-mediated autophagy in regulating IOP homeostasis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shim, MS; Nettesheim, A; Dixon, A; Liton, PB

Published Date

  • March 30, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 118 / 13

PubMed ID

  • 33753495

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8020776

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.2021942118


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States