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      Acetylation of Beclin 1 inhibits autophagosome maturation and promotes tumour growth

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          Abstract

          Beclin 1, a protein essential for autophagy, regulates autophagy by interacting with Vps34 and other cofactors to form the Beclin 1 complex. Modifications of Beclin 1 may lead to the induction, inhibition or fine-tuning of the autophagic response under a variety of conditions. Here we show that Beclin 1 is acetylated by p300 and deacetylated by SIRT1 at lysine residues 430 and 437. In addition, the phosphorylation of Beclin 1 at S409 by CK1 is required for the subsequent p300 binding and Beclin 1 acetylation. Beclin 1 acetylation inhibits autophagosome maturation and endocytic trafficking by promoting the recruitment of Rubicon. In tumour xenografts, the expression of 2KR mutant Beclin 1 (substitution of K430 and K437 to arginines) leads to enhanced autophagosome maturation and tumour growth suppression. Therefore, our study identifies an acetylation-dependent regulatory mechanism governing Beclin 1 function in autophagosome maturation and tumour growth.

          Abstract

          Beclin 1 is an essential autophagy effector, necessary to form the autophagosome. Here Sun et al. show that Beclin 1 acetylation regulated by p300 and SIRT1 inhibits autophagosome maturation, and mutation of the acetylation sites leads to tumour growth suppression in vivo.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy.

          In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
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            Distinct regulation of autophagic activity by Atg14L and Rubicon associated with Beclin 1-phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase complex.

            Beclin 1, a mammalian autophagy protein that has been implicated in development, tumour suppression, neurodegeneration and cell death, exists in a complex with Vps34, the class III phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI(3)K) that mediates multiple vesicle-trafficking processes including endocytosis and autophagy. However, the precise role of the Beclin 1-Vps34 complex in autophagy regulation remains to be elucidated. Combining mouse genetics and biochemistry, we have identified a large in vivo Beclin 1 complex containing the known proteins Vps34, p150/Vps15 and UVRAG, as well as two newly identified proteins, Atg14L (yeast Atg14-like) and Rubicon (RUN domain and cysteine-rich domain containing, Beclin 1-interacting protein). Characterization of the new proteins revealed that Atg14L enhances Vps34 lipid kinase activity and upregulates autophagy, whereas Rubicon reduces Vps34 activity and downregulates autophagy. We show that Beclin 1 and Atg14L synergistically promote the formation of double-membraned organelles that are associated with Atg5 and Atg12, whereas forced expression of Rubicon results in aberrant late endosomal/lysosomal structures and impaired autophagosome maturation. We hypothesize that by forming distinct protein complexes, Beclin 1 and its binding proteins orchestrate the precise function of the class III PI(3)K in regulating autophagy at multiple steps.
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              Akt-mediated regulation of autophagy and tumorigenesis through Beclin 1 phosphorylation.

              Aberrant signaling through the class I phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt axis is frequent in human cancer. Here, we show that Beclin 1, an essential autophagy and tumor suppressor protein, is a target of the protein kinase Akt. Expression of a Beclin 1 mutant resistant to Akt-mediated phosphorylation increased autophagy, reduced anchorage-independent growth, and inhibited Akt-driven tumorigenesis. Akt-mediated phosphorylation of Beclin 1 enhanced its interactions with 14-3-3 and vimentin intermediate filament proteins, and vimentin depletion increased autophagy and inhibited Akt-driven transformation. Thus, Akt-mediated phosphorylation of Beclin 1 functions in autophagy inhibition, oncogenesis, and the formation of an autophagy-inhibitory Beclin 1/14-3-3/vimentin intermediate filament complex. These findings have broad implications for understanding the role of Akt signaling and intermediate filament proteins in autophagy and cancer.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nat Commun
                Nat Commun
                Nature Communications
                Nature Pub. Group
                2041-1723
                26 May 2015
                2015
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-sen University , Guangzhou 510060, China
                [2 ]Department of Clinical Laboratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University , Zhengzhou 450002, China
                Author notes
                [*]

                These authors contributed equally to this work.

                Article
                ncomms8215
                10.1038/ncomms8215
                4455096
                26008601
                Copyright © 2015, Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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