Transforming growth factor β-activated protein kinase 1 (TAK1)-binding protein 2 (TAB2) and its close homolog TAB3 are initially characterized as adapter proteins essential for TAK1 activation in response to interleukin-1β and tumour necrosis factor-α. However, the physiological roles of TAB2 and TAB3 are still not fully understood. Here we report that TAB2 and TAB3 bind to Beclin1 and colocalize in the cytoplasm. TAB2 also interacts with ATG13 and is phosphorylated by ULK1. Overexpression of TAB2 or TAB3 induces punctate localization of ATG5 under the normal culture condition. Knockdown of TAB2 and TAB3 results in the decrease in endogenous protein level of p62/SQSTM1 under the normal culture condition, while overexpression of TAB2 results in the accumulation of p62/SQSTM1 independently of TAK1. The decrease of p62/SQSTM1 induced by the knockdown of TAB2 and TAB3 is largely dependent on ATG5. These results suggest that TAB2 and TAB3 negatively regulate autophagy independently of TAK1 activity.
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