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Castillo, K., Rojas-Rivera, D., Lisbona, F., Caballero, B., Nassif, M., Court, F.A., Schuck, S., Ibar, C., Walter, P., Sierralta, J., Glavic, A., Hetz, C. (2011). BAX inhibitor-1 regulates autophagy by controlling the IRE1α branch of the unfolded protein response.  EMBO J. 30(21): 4465--4478.
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Research paper

Both autophagy and apoptosis are tightly regulated processes playing a central role in tissue homeostasis. Bax inhibitor 1 (BI-1) is a highly conserved protein with a dual role in apoptosis and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress signalling through the regulation of the ER stress sensor inositol requiring kinase 1 α (IRE1α). Here, we describe a novel function of BI-1 in the modulation of autophagy. BI-1-deficient cells presented a faster and stronger induction of autophagy, increasing LC3 flux and autophagosome formation. These effects were associated with enhanced cell survival under nutrient deprivation. Repression of autophagy by BI-1 was dependent on cJun-N terminal kinase (JNK) and IRE1α expression, possibly due to a displacement of TNF-receptor associated factor-2 (TRAF2) from IRE1α. Targeting BI-1 expression in flies altered autophagy fluxes and salivary gland degradation. BI-1 deficiency increased flies survival under fasting conditions. Increased expression of autophagy indicators was observed in the liver and kidney of bi-1-deficient mice. In summary, we identify a novel function of BI-1 in multicellular organisms, and suggest a critical role of BI-1 as a stress integrator that modulates autophagy levels and other interconnected homeostatic processes.

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PMC3230375 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    EMBO J.
    The EMBO Journal
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