Autophagy-dependent clearance of ubiquitinated and aggregated proteins is critical to protein quality control, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Here, we report the essential role of the BEACH (beige and Chediak–Higashi) and WD40 repeat-containing protein WDR81 in eliminating ubiquitinated proteins through autophagy. WDR81 associates with ubiquitin (Ub)-positive protein foci, and its loss causes accumulation of Ub proteins and the autophagy cargo receptor p62. WDR81 interacts with p62, facilitating recognition of Ub proteins by p62. Furthermore, WDR81 interacts with LC3C through canonical LC3-interacting regions in the BEACH domain, promoting LC3C recruitment to ubiquitinated proteins. Inactivation of LC3C or defective autophagy results in accumulation of Ub protein aggregates enriched for WDR81. In mice, WDR81 inactivation causes accumulation of p62 bodies in cortical and striatal neurons in the brain. These data suggest that WDR81 coordinates p62 and LC3C to facilitate autophagic removal of Ub proteins, and provide important insights into CAMRQ2 syndrome, a WDR81-related developmental disorder.
- Submitted: 11 August 2016
- Revision received 23 December 2016
- Accepted: 2 March 2017
This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see http://www.rupress.org/terms/). After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 4.0 International license, as described at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/).