Role of MST1 in the regulation of autophagy and mitophagy: implications for aging-related diseases

Huayu Shang, Chengdu Sport University
Trisha A. VanDusseldorp, Kennesaw State University
Ranggui Ma, Chengdu Sport University
Yan Zhao, Wenzhou University


As a key mechanism to maintain cellular homeostasis under stress conditions, autophagy/mitophagy is related to the occurrence of metabolic disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and other aging-related diseases, but the relevant signal pathways regulating autophagy have not been clarified. Mammalian sterile 20-like kinase 1 (MST1) is a central regulatory protein of many metabolic pathways involved in the pathophysiological processes of aging and aging-related diseases and has become a critical integrator affecting autophagic signaling. Recent studies show that MST1 not only suppresses autophagy through directly phosphorylating Beclin-1 and/or inhibiting the protein expression of silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1) in the cytoplasm, but also inhibits BCL2/adenovirus E1B protein-interacting protein 3 (BNIP3)–, FUN14 domain containing 1 (FUNDC1)–, and Parkin (Parkinson protein 2)–mediated mitophagy by interacting with factors such as Ras association domain family 1A (RASSF1A). Indeed, a common pharmacological strategy for anti-aging is to induce autophagy/mitophagy through MST1 inhibition. This article reviews the role and mechanism of MST1 in regulating autophagy during aging, to provide evidence for the development of drugs targeting MST1.