Oxidation of SQSTM1/p62 mediates the link between redox state and protein homeostasis

Bernadette Carroll, Elsje Otten, Diego Manni, Rhoda K Stefanatos, Fiona M Menzies, Graham R Smith, Diana Jurk, Kenneth Niall, Simon Wilkinson, João F. Passos, Johannes Attems, Elizabeth Veal, Elizabeth Teyssou, Danielle Seilhean, Stéphanie Millecamps, Eeva-Liisa Eskelinen, Agnieszka Bronowska, D C Rubinsztein, Alberto Sanz, Viktor I Korolchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cellular homeostatic pathways such as macroautophagy (hereinafter autophagy) are regulated by basic mechanisms that are conserved throughout the eukaryotic kingdom. However, it remains poorly understood how these mechanisms further evolved in higher organisms. Here we describe a modification in the autophagy pathway in vertebrates which promotes its activity in response to oxidative stress. We have identified two oxidation-sensitive cysteine residues in a prototypic autophagy receptor SQSTM1/p62 which allow activation of pro-survival autophagy in stress conditions. The Drosophila p62 homologue, Ref(2)P, lacks these oxidation sensitive cysteine residues and their introduction into the protein increases protein turnover and stress resistance of flies, whereas perturbation of p62 oxidation in humans may result in age-related pathology. We propose that the redox-sensitivity of p62 may have evolved in vertebrates as a mechanism that allows activation of autophagy in response to oxidative stress in order to maintain cellular homeostasis and increase cell survival.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Communications
Early online date17 Jan 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jan 2018


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