ULK1-mediated metabolic reprogramming regulates Vps34 lipid kinase activity by its lactylation

Sci Adv. 2023 Jun 2;9(22):eadg4993. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.adg4993. Epub 2023 Jun 2.


Autophagy and glycolysis are highly conserved biological processes involved in both physiological and pathological cellular programs, but the interplay between these processes is poorly understood. Here, we show that the glycolytic enzyme lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA) is activated upon UNC-51-like kinase 1 (ULK1) activation under nutrient deprivation. Specifically, ULK1 directly interacts with LDHA, phosphorylates serine-196 when nutrients are scarce and promotes lactate production. Lactate connects autophagy and glycolysis through Vps34 lactylation (at lysine-356 and lysine-781), which is mediated by the acyltransferase KAT5/TIP60. Vps34 lactylation enhances the association of Vps34 with Beclin1, Atg14L, and UVRAG, and then increases Vps34 lipid kinase activity. Vps34 lactylation promotes autophagic flux and endolysosomal trafficking. Vps34 lactylation in skeletal muscle during intense exercise maintains muscle cell homeostasis and correlates with cancer progress by inducing cell autophagy. Together, our findings describe autophagy regulation mechanism and then integrate cell autophagy and glycolysis.

MeSH terms

  • Autophagy-Related Protein-1 Homolog / genetics
  • Autophagy-Related Protein-1 Homolog / metabolism
  • Autophagy-Related Proteins / metabolism
  • Class III Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases* / genetics
  • Class III Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases* / metabolism
  • Lipids
  • Lysine*


  • Autophagy-Related Protein-1 Homolog
  • Autophagy-Related Proteins
  • Lysine
  • Class III Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Lipids