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J Biol Chem. 2009 Mar 6;284(10):6322-8. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M807135200. Epub 2009 Jan 5.

Regulation of autophagy by the p300 acetyltransferase.

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Translational Medicine Branch, NHLBI, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Autophagy is a regulated process of intracellular catabolism required for normal cellular maintenance, as well as serving as an adaptive response under various stress conditions, including starvation. The molecular regulation of autophagy in mammalian cells remains incompletely understood. Here we demonstrate a role for protein acetylation in the execution and regulation of autophagy. In particular, we demonstrate that the p300 acetyltransferase can regulate the acetylation of various known components of the autophagy machinery. Knockdown of p300 reduces acetylation of Atg5, Atg7, Atg8, and Atg12, although overexpressed p300 increases the acetylation of these same proteins. Furthermore, p300 and Atg7 colocalize within cells, and the two proteins physically interact. The interaction between p300 and Atg7 is dependent on nutrient availability. Finally, we demonstrate that knockdown of p300 can stimulate autophagy, whereas overexpression of p300 inhibits starvation-induced autophagy. These results demonstrate a role for protein acetylation and particularly p300 in the regulation of autophagy under conditions of limited nutrient availability.

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