Nature communications 2018 04 129(1) 1438 doi 10.1038/s41467-018-03939-w


Autophagy is a critical regulator of cellular homeostasis, dysregulation of which is associated with diverse diseases. Here we show therapeutic effects of a novel autophagy enhancer identified by high-throughput screening of a chemical library against metabolic syndrome. An autophagy enhancer increases LC3-I to LC3-II conversion without mTOR inhibition. MSL, an autophagy enhancer, activates calcineurin, and induces dephosphorylation/nuclear translocation of transcription factor EB (TFEB), a master regulator of lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy gene expression. MSL accelerates intracellular lipid clearance, which is reversed by lalistat 2 or Tfeb knockout. Its administration improves the metabolic profile of ob/ob mice and ameliorates inflammasome activation. A chemically modified MSL with increased microsomal stability improves the glucose profile not only of ob/ob mice but also of mice with diet-induced obesity. Our data indicate that our novel autophagy enhancer could be a new drug candidate for diabetes or metabolic syndrome with lipid overload.