Oncotarget 2017 Oct 6;8(52):89527-89538. Epub 2017 Jul 6.
Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France.
Beclin 1 (BECN1) is a multifunctional protein that activates the pro-autophagic class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PIK3C3, best known as VPS34), yet also interacts with multiple negative regulators. Here we report that BECN1 interacts with inhibitor of growth family member 4 (ING4), a tumor suppressor protein that is best known for its capacity to interact with the tumor suppressor protein p53 (TP53) and the acetyltransferase E1A binding protein p300 (EP300). Removal of TP53 or EP300 did not affect the BECN1/ING4 interaction, which however was lost upon culture of cells in autophagy-inducing, nutrient free conditions. Depletion of ING4 stimulated the enzymatic activity of PIK3C3, as visualized by means of a red fluorescent protein-tagged short peptide (FYVE) that specifically binds to phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PI3P)-containing subcellular vesicles and enhanced autophagy, as indicated by an enhanced lipidation of microtubule-associated proteins 1A/1B light chain 3 beta (LC3B) and the redistribution of a green-fluorescent protein (GFP)-LC3B fusion protein to cytoplasmic puncta. The generation of GFP-LC3B puncta stimulated by ING4 depletion was reduced by simultaneous depletion, or pharmacological inhibition, of PIK3C3/VPS34. In conclusion, ING4 acts as a negative regulator of the lipid kinase activity of the BECN1 complex, and starvation-induced autophagy is accompanied by the dissociation of the ING4/BECN1 interaction.