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Akt-Mediated Regulation of Autophagy and Tumorigenesis through Beclin 1 Phosphorylation

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Julia Reichelt

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Abstract

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.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Wang RC, Wei Y, An Z, Zou Z, White M, Reichelt J, Levine B

Publication type: Letter

Journal: Science

Year: 2012

Volume: 338

Issue: 6109

Pages: 956-959

ISSN (print): 0036-8075

ISSN (electronic): 1095-9203

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1225967

DOI: 10.1126/science.1225967


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