ULK1 phosphorylates Ser30 of BECN1 in association with ATG14 to stimulate autophagy induction

Ji-Man Park, Minchul Seo, Chang Hwa Jung, Douglas Grunwald, Matthew Stone, Neil Michael Otto, Erik Toso, Yeseul Ahn, Michael Kyba, Timothy J Griffin, LeeAnn Higgins, Do-Hyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

ULK1 (unc51-like autophagy activating kinase 1) is a serine/threonine kinase that plays a key role in regulating macroautophagy/autophagy induction in response to amino acid starvation. Despite the recent progress in understanding ULK1 functions, the molecular mechanism by which ULK1 regulates the induction of autophagy remains elusive. In this study, we determined that ULK1 phosphorylates Ser30 of BECN1 (Beclin 1) in association with ATG14 (autophagy-related 14) but not with UVRAG (UV radiation resistance associated). The Ser30 phosphorylation was induced by deprivation of amino acids or treatments with Torin 1 or rapamycin, the conditions that inhibit MTORC1 (mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1), and requires ATG13 and RB1CC1 (RB1 inducible coiled-coil 1), proteins that interact with ULK1. Hypoxia or glutamine deprivation, which inhibit MTORC1, was also able to increase the phosphorylation in a manner dependent upon ULK1 and ULK2. Blocking the BECN1 phosphorylation by replacing Ser30 with alanine suppressed the amino acid starvation-induced activation of the ATG14-containing PIK3C3/VPS34 (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit type 3) kinase, and reduced autophagy flux and the formation of phagophores and autophagosomes. The Ser30-to-Ala mutation did not affect the ULK1-mediated phosphorylations of BECN1 Ser15 or ATG14 Ser29, indicating that the BECN1 Ser30 phosphorylation might regulate autophagy independently of those 2 sites. Taken together, these results demonstrate that BECN1 Ser30 is a ULK1 target site whose phosphorylation activates the ATG14-containing PIK3C3 complex and stimulates autophagosome formation in response to amino acid starvation, hypoxia, and MTORC1 inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-597
Number of pages14
JournalAutophagy
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018

Fingerprint

Autophagy
Phosphotransferases
Phosphorylation
Starvation
Amino Acids
Beclin-1
Class III Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
Sirolimus
Glutamine
Alanine

Keywords

  • ATG14
  • BECN1
  • MTORC1
  • PIK3C3
  • ULK1

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Cite this

ULK1 phosphorylates Ser30 of BECN1 in association with ATG14 to stimulate autophagy induction. / Park, Ji-Man; Seo, Minchul; Jung, Chang Hwa; Grunwald, Douglas; Stone, Matthew; Otto, Neil Michael; Toso, Erik; Ahn, Yeseul; Kyba, Michael; Griffin, Timothy J; Higgins, LeeAnn; Kim, Do-Hyung.

In: Autophagy, Vol. 14, No. 4, 03.04.2018, p. 584-597.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Park, Ji-Man ; Seo, Minchul ; Jung, Chang Hwa ; Grunwald, Douglas ; Stone, Matthew ; Otto, Neil Michael ; Toso, Erik ; Ahn, Yeseul ; Kyba, Michael ; Griffin, Timothy J ; Higgins, LeeAnn ; Kim, Do-Hyung. / ULK1 phosphorylates Ser30 of BECN1 in association with ATG14 to stimulate autophagy induction. In: Autophagy. 2018 ; Vol. 14, No. 4. pp. 584-597.
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abstract = "ULK1 (unc51-like autophagy activating kinase 1) is a serine/threonine kinase that plays a key role in regulating macroautophagy/autophagy induction in response to amino acid starvation. Despite the recent progress in understanding ULK1 functions, the molecular mechanism by which ULK1 regulates the induction of autophagy remains elusive. In this study, we determined that ULK1 phosphorylates Ser30 of BECN1 (Beclin 1) in association with ATG14 (autophagy-related 14) but not with UVRAG (UV radiation resistance associated). The Ser30 phosphorylation was induced by deprivation of amino acids or treatments with Torin 1 or rapamycin, the conditions that inhibit MTORC1 (mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1), and requires ATG13 and RB1CC1 (RB1 inducible coiled-coil 1), proteins that interact with ULK1. Hypoxia or glutamine deprivation, which inhibit MTORC1, was also able to increase the phosphorylation in a manner dependent upon ULK1 and ULK2. Blocking the BECN1 phosphorylation by replacing Ser30 with alanine suppressed the amino acid starvation-induced activation of the ATG14-containing PIK3C3/VPS34 (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit type 3) kinase, and reduced autophagy flux and the formation of phagophores and autophagosomes. The Ser30-to-Ala mutation did not affect the ULK1-mediated phosphorylations of BECN1 Ser15 or ATG14 Ser29, indicating that the BECN1 Ser30 phosphorylation might regulate autophagy independently of those 2 sites. Taken together, these results demonstrate that BECN1 Ser30 is a ULK1 target site whose phosphorylation activates the ATG14-containing PIK3C3 complex and stimulates autophagosome formation in response to amino acid starvation, hypoxia, and MTORC1 inhibition.",
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T1 - ULK1 phosphorylates Ser30 of BECN1 in association with ATG14 to stimulate autophagy induction

AU - Park, Ji-Man

AU - Seo, Minchul

AU - Jung, Chang Hwa

AU - Grunwald, Douglas

AU - Stone, Matthew

AU - Otto, Neil Michael

AU - Toso, Erik

AU - Ahn, Yeseul

AU - Kyba, Michael

AU - Griffin, Timothy J

AU - Higgins, LeeAnn

AU - Kim, Do-Hyung

PY - 2018/4/3

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N2 - ULK1 (unc51-like autophagy activating kinase 1) is a serine/threonine kinase that plays a key role in regulating macroautophagy/autophagy induction in response to amino acid starvation. Despite the recent progress in understanding ULK1 functions, the molecular mechanism by which ULK1 regulates the induction of autophagy remains elusive. In this study, we determined that ULK1 phosphorylates Ser30 of BECN1 (Beclin 1) in association with ATG14 (autophagy-related 14) but not with UVRAG (UV radiation resistance associated). The Ser30 phosphorylation was induced by deprivation of amino acids or treatments with Torin 1 or rapamycin, the conditions that inhibit MTORC1 (mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1), and requires ATG13 and RB1CC1 (RB1 inducible coiled-coil 1), proteins that interact with ULK1. Hypoxia or glutamine deprivation, which inhibit MTORC1, was also able to increase the phosphorylation in a manner dependent upon ULK1 and ULK2. Blocking the BECN1 phosphorylation by replacing Ser30 with alanine suppressed the amino acid starvation-induced activation of the ATG14-containing PIK3C3/VPS34 (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit type 3) kinase, and reduced autophagy flux and the formation of phagophores and autophagosomes. The Ser30-to-Ala mutation did not affect the ULK1-mediated phosphorylations of BECN1 Ser15 or ATG14 Ser29, indicating that the BECN1 Ser30 phosphorylation might regulate autophagy independently of those 2 sites. Taken together, these results demonstrate that BECN1 Ser30 is a ULK1 target site whose phosphorylation activates the ATG14-containing PIK3C3 complex and stimulates autophagosome formation in response to amino acid starvation, hypoxia, and MTORC1 inhibition.

AB - ULK1 (unc51-like autophagy activating kinase 1) is a serine/threonine kinase that plays a key role in regulating macroautophagy/autophagy induction in response to amino acid starvation. Despite the recent progress in understanding ULK1 functions, the molecular mechanism by which ULK1 regulates the induction of autophagy remains elusive. In this study, we determined that ULK1 phosphorylates Ser30 of BECN1 (Beclin 1) in association with ATG14 (autophagy-related 14) but not with UVRAG (UV radiation resistance associated). The Ser30 phosphorylation was induced by deprivation of amino acids or treatments with Torin 1 or rapamycin, the conditions that inhibit MTORC1 (mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1), and requires ATG13 and RB1CC1 (RB1 inducible coiled-coil 1), proteins that interact with ULK1. Hypoxia or glutamine deprivation, which inhibit MTORC1, was also able to increase the phosphorylation in a manner dependent upon ULK1 and ULK2. Blocking the BECN1 phosphorylation by replacing Ser30 with alanine suppressed the amino acid starvation-induced activation of the ATG14-containing PIK3C3/VPS34 (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit type 3) kinase, and reduced autophagy flux and the formation of phagophores and autophagosomes. The Ser30-to-Ala mutation did not affect the ULK1-mediated phosphorylations of BECN1 Ser15 or ATG14 Ser29, indicating that the BECN1 Ser30 phosphorylation might regulate autophagy independently of those 2 sites. Taken together, these results demonstrate that BECN1 Ser30 is a ULK1 target site whose phosphorylation activates the ATG14-containing PIK3C3 complex and stimulates autophagosome formation in response to amino acid starvation, hypoxia, and MTORC1 inhibition.

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