The non-receptor tyrosine kinase Ack1 regulates the fate of activated EGFR by inducing trafficking to the p62/NBR1 pre-autophagosome

Sylwia Jones, Debbie L. Cunningham, Joshua Z. Rappoport*, John K. Heath

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Growth factor signalling regulates multiple cellular functions and its misregulation has been linked to the development and progression of cancer. Ack1 (activated Cdc42-associated kinase 1, also known as TNK2) is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase that has been implicated in trafficking and degradation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), yet its precise functions remain elusive. In this report, we investigate the role of Ack1 in EGFR trafficking and show that Ack1 partially colocalises to Atg16L-positive structures upon stimulation with EGF. These structures are proposed to be the isolation membranes that arise during formation of autophagosomes. In addition, we find that Ack1 colocalises and interacts with sequestosome 1 (p62/SQSTM1), a receptor for selective autophagy, through a ubiquitin-associated domain, and this interaction decreases upon treatment with EGF, thus suggesting that Ack1 moves away from p62/SQSTM1 compartments. Furthermore, Ack1 interacts and colocalises with NBR1, another autophagic receptor, and this colocalisation is enhanced in the presence of ectopically expressed p62/SQSTM1. Finally, knockdown of Ack1 results in accelerated localisation of EGFR to lysosomes upon treatment with EGF. Structure-function analyses of a panel of Ack1 deletion mutants revealed key mechanistic aspects of these relationships. The Mig6-homology domain and clathrinbinding domain both contribute to colocalisation with EGFR, whereas the UBA domain is essential for colocalisation with p62/ SQSTM1, but not NBR1. Taken together, our studies demonstrate a novel role for Ack1 in diverting activated EGFR into a non-canonical degradative pathway, marked by association with p62/SQSTM1, NBR1 and Atg16L.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-1006
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014


  • Ack1/TNK2
  • Autophagy
  • EGFR
  • NBR1
  • P62/SQSTM1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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