Autophagy is a membrane-trafficking process that directs degradation of cytoplasmic material in lysosomes. The process promotes cellular fidelity, and while the core machinery of autophagy is known, the mechanisms that promote and sustain autophagy are less well defined. Here we report that the epigenetic reader BRD4 and the methyltransferase G9a repress a TFEB/TFE3/MITF-independent transcriptional program that promotes autophagy and lysosome biogenesis. We show that BRD4 knockdown induces autophagy in vitro and in vivo in response to some, but not all, situations. In the case of starvation, a signaling cascade involving AMPK and histone deacetylase SIRT1 displaces chromatin-bound BRD4, instigating autophagy gene activation and cell survival. Importantly, this program is directed independently and also reciprocally to the growth-promoting properties of BRD4 and is potently repressed by BRD4-NUT, a driver of NUT midline carcinoma. These findings therefore identify a distinct and selective mechanism of autophagy regulation.
Mechanisms regulating the surveillance and clearance of synaptic proteins are not well understood. Intriguingly, the loss of the presynaptic active zone proteins Piccolo and Bassoon triggers the loss of synaptic vesicles (SVs) and compromises synaptic integrity. Here we report that the destruction of SVs in boutons lacking Piccolo and Bassoon was associated with the induction of presynaptic autophagy, a process that depended on poly-ubiquitination, but not the E3 ubiquitin ligase Siah1. Surprisingly, gain or loss of function (LOF) of Bassoon alone suppressed or enhanced presynaptic autophagy, respectively, implying a fundamental role for Bassoon in the local regulation of presynaptic autophagy. Mechanistically, Bassoon was found to interact with Atg5, an E3-like ligase essential for autophagy, and to inhibit the induction of autophagy in heterologous cells. Importantly, Atg5 LOF as well as targeting an Atg5-binding peptide derived from Bassoon inhibited presynaptic autophagy in boutons lacking Piccolo and Bassoon, providing insights into the molecular mechanisms regulating presynaptic autophagy.
The ubiquitin ligase TRAF6 is a key regulator of canonical IκB kinase (IKK)/NF-κB signaling in response to interleukin-1 (IL-1) stimulation. Here, we identified the deubiquitinating enzyme YOD1 (OTUD2) as a novel interactor of TRAF6 in human cells. YOD1 binds to the C-terminal TRAF homology domain of TRAF6 that also serves as the interaction surface for the adaptor p62/Sequestosome-1, which is required for IL-1 signaling to NF-κB. We show that YOD1 competes with p62 for TRAF6 association and abolishes the sequestration of TRAF6 to cytosolic p62 aggregates by a non-catalytic mechanism. YOD1 associates with TRAF6 in unstimulated cells but is released upon IL-1β stimulation, thereby facilitating TRAF6 auto-ubiquitination as well as NEMO/IKKγ substrate ubiquitination. Further, IL-1 triggered IKK/NF-κB signaling and induction of target genes is decreased by YOD1 overexpression and augmented after YOD1 depletion. Hence, our data define that YOD1 antagonizes TRAF6/p62-dependent IL-1 signaling to NF-κB.