XBP1 (X-box-binding protein 1) is a key modulator of the UPR (unfolded protein response), which is involved in a wide range of pathological and physiological processes. The mRNA encoding the active spliced form of XBP1 (XBP1s) is generated from the unspliced form by IRE1 (inositol-requiring enzyme 1) during the UPR. However, the post-translational modulation of XBP1s remains largely unknown. In the present study, we demonstrate that XBP1s is a target of acetylation and deacetylation mediated by p300 and SIRT1 (sirtuin 1) respectively. p300 increases the acetylation and protein stability of XBP1s, and enhances its transcriptional activity, whereas SIRT1 deacetylates XBP1s and inhibits its transcriptional activity. Deficiency of SIRT1 enhances XBP1s-mediated luciferase reporter activity in HEK (human embryonic kidney)-293 cells and the up-regulation of XBP1s target gene expression under ER (endoplasmic reticulum) stress in MEFs (mouse embryonic fibroblasts). Consistent with XBP1s favouring cell survival under ER stress, Sirt1−/− MEFs display a greater resistance to ER-stress-induced apoptotic cell death compared with Sirt1+/+ MEFs. Taken together, these results suggest that acetylation/deacetylation constitutes an important post-translational mechanism in controlling protein levels, as well as the transcriptional activity, of XBP1s. The present study provides a novel insight into the molecular mechanisms by which SIRT1 regulates UPR signalling.

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