Glucose Deprivation Triggers Protein Kinase C Dependent {beta}-Catenin Proteasomal Degradation [Signal Transduction]

February 17th, 2015 by Choi, S.-W., Song, J.-k., Yim, Y.-S., Yun, H.-G., Chun, K.-H.

Autophagy is a conserved process that contributes to cell homeostasis. It is well known that induction mainly occurs in response to nutrient starvation, such as starvation of amino acids and insulin, and its mechanisms have been extensively characterized. However, the mechanisms behind cellular glucose deprivation-induced autophagy are as of yet poorly understood. In the present study, we determined a mechanism by which glucose deprivation induced the PKC-dependent proteasomal degradation of β-catenin, leading to autophagy. Glucose deprivation was shown to cause a sub-G1 transition and enhancement of the LC3-II protein levels, whereas β-catenin protein underwent degradation in a proteasome-dependent manner. Moreover, the inhibition of GSK3β was unable to abolish the glucose deprivation-mediated β-catenin degradation or up-regulation of LC3-II protein levels, which suggested GSK3β-independent protein degradation. Intriguingly, the inhibition of PKCα using a pharmacological inhibitor and transfection of siRNA for PKCα was observed to effectively block glucose deprivation-induced β-catenin degradation, as well as the increase in LC3-II levels, and the accumulation of a sub-G1 population. Together, our results demonstrated a molecular mechanism by which glucose deprivation can induce the GSK3β-independent protein degradation of β-catenin, leading to autophagy.