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AMPK is activated during lysosomal damage via a galectin-ubiquitin signal transduction system.

Autophagy. 2020;10.1080/15548627.2020.1788890. doi:10.1080/15548627.2020.1788890 [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 28]

Authors/Editors: Jia J, Bissa B, Brecht L, Allers L, Choi SW, Gu Y, Zbinden M, Burge MR, Timmins G, Hallows K, Behrends C, Deretic V.
Publication Date: 2020



Lysosomal damage activates AMPK, a regulator of macroautophagy/autophagy and metabolism, and elicits a strong ubiquitination response. Here we show that the cytosolic lectin LGALS9 detects lysosomal membrane breach by binding to lumenal glycoepitopes, and directs both the ubiquitination response and AMPK activation. Proteomic analyses have revealed increased LGALS9 association with lysosomes, and concomitant changes in LGALS9 interactions with its newly identified partners that control ubiquitination-deubiquitination processes. An LGALS9-inetractor, deubiquitinase USP9X, dissociates from damaged lysosomes upon recognition of lumenal glycans by LGALS9. USP9X’s departure from lysosomes promotes K63 ubiquitination and stimulation of MAP3K7/TAK1, an upstream kinase and activator of AMPK hitherto orphaned for a precise physiological function. Ubiquitin-activated MAP3K7/TAK1 controls AMPK specifically during lysosomal injury, caused by a spectrum of membrane-damaging or -permeabilizing agents, including silica crystals, the intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, TNFSF10/TRAIL signaling, and the anti-diabetes drugs metformin. The LGALS9-ubiquitin system activating AMPK represents a novel signal transduction system contributing to various physiological outputs that are under the control of AMPK, including autophagy, MTOR, lysosomal maintenance and biogenesis, immunity, defense against microbes, and metabolic reprograming.

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