The ubiquitin-proteasome and autophagy-lysosome systems are major proteolytic pathways, whereas function of the Ub-independent proteasome pathway is yet to be clarified. Here, we investigated roles of the Ub-independent REGγ-proteasome proteolytic system in regulating metabolism. We demonstrate that mice deficient for the proteasome activator REGγ exhibit dramatic autophagy induction and are protected against high-fat diet (HFD)-induced liver steatosis through autophagy. Molecularly, prevention of steatosis in the absence of REGγ entails elevated SirT1, a deacetylase regulating autophagy and metabolism. REGγ physically binds to SirT1, promotes its Ub-independent degradation, and inhibits its activity to deacetylate autophagy-related proteins, thereby inhibiting autophagy under normal conditions. Moreover, REGγ and SirT1 dissociate from each other through a phosphorylation-dependent mechanism under energy-deprived conditions, unleashing SirT1 to stimulate autophagy. These observations provide a function of the REGγ proteasome in autophagy and hepatosteatosis, underscoring mechanistically a crosstalk between the proteasome and autophagy degradation system in the regulation of lipid homeostasis.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.