The class III phosphoinositide 3-kinase VPS34 plays a key role in the regulation of vesicular trafficking and macroautophagy. So far, we know little about the molecular mechanism of VPS34 activation besides its interaction with regulatory proteins to form complexes. Here, we report that VPS34 is specifically acetylated by the acetyltransferase p300, and p300-mediated acetylation represses VPS34 activity. Acetylation at K771 directly diminishes the affinity of VPS34 for its substrate PI, while acetylation at K29 hinders the VPS34-Beclin 1 core complex formation. Inactivation of p300 induces VPS34 deacetylation, PI3P production, and autophagy, even in AMPK−/−, TSC2−/−, or ULK1−/− cells. In fasting mice, liver autophagy correlates well with p300 inactivation/VPS34 deacetylation, which facilitates the clearance of lipid droplets in hepatocytes. Thus, p300-dependent VPS34 acetylation/deacetylation is the physiological key to VPS34 activation, which controls the initiation of canonical autophagy and of non-canonical autophagy in which the upstream kinases of VPS34 can be bypassed. Su et al. report a novel mechanism for the activity regulation of lipid kinase VPS34. The acetyltransferase p300-mediated acetylation inhibits VPS34 activity. Deacetylation of VPS34 enhances VPS34-PI interaction and VPS34-Beclin 1 core complex formation. This p300-VPS34 pathway is critical to the initiation of canonical and non-canonical autophagy.
Su, H., Yang, F., Wang, Q., Shen, Q., Huang, J., Peng, C., … Liu, W. (2017). VPS34 Acetylation Controls Its Lipid Kinase Activity and the Initiation of Canonical and Non-canonical Autophagy. Molecular Cell, 67(6), 907-921.e7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2017.07.024