Constitutive Activation of p62/Sequestosome-1-Mediated Proteaphagy Regulates Proteolysis and Impairs Cell Death in Bortezomib-Resistant Mantle Cell LymphomaCancers 2022, 12 Feb 2022, 14 (4) 923. Epub 12 Feb 2022
Protein ubiquitylation coordinates crucial cellular events in physiological and pathological conditions. A comparative analysis of the ubiquitin proteome from bortezomib (BTZ)-sensitive and BTZ-resistant mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) revealed an enrichment of the autophagy–lysosome system (ALS) in BTZ-resistant cells. Pharmacological inhibition of autophagy at the level of lysosome-fusion revealed a constitutive activation of proteaphagy and accumulation of proteasome subunits within autophagosomes in different MCL cell lines with acquired or natural resistance to BTZ. Inhibition of the autophagy receptor p62/SQSTM1 upon verteporfin (VTP) treatment disrupted proteaphagosome assembly, reduced co-localization of proteasome subunits with autophagy markers and negatively impacted proteasome activity. Finally, the silencing or pharmacological inhibition of p62 restored the apoptosis threshold at physiological levels in BTZ-resistant cells both in vitro and in vivo. In total, these results demonstrate for the first time a proteolytic switch from the ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS) to ALS in B-cell lymphoma refractory to proteasome inhibition, pointing out a crucial role for proteaphagy in this phenomenon and paving the way for the design of alternative therapeutic venues in treatment-resistant tumors.