The transcription factor EB (TFEB) has emerged as a master regulator of lysosomal biogenesis, exocytosis, and autophagy, promoting the clearance of substrates stored in cells. c-Abl is a tyrosine kinase that participates in cellular signaling in physiological and pathophysiological conditions. In this study, we explored the connection between c-Abl and TFEB. Here, we show that under pharmacological and genetic c-Abl inhibition, TFEB translocates into the nucleus promoting the expression of its target genes independently of its well-known regulator, mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1. Active c-Abl induces TFEB phosphorylation on tyrosine and the inhibition of this kinase promotes lysosomal biogenesis, autophagy, and exocytosis. c-Abl inhibition in Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) models, a neurodegenerative disease characterized by cholesterol accumulation in lysosomes, promotes a cholesterol-lowering effect in a TFEB-dependent manner. Thus, c-Abl is a TFEB regulator that mediates its tyrosine phosphorylation, and the inhibition of c-Abl activates TFEB promoting cholesterol clearance in NPC models.
Biological Sciences, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology