Abnormal lipid accumulation is associated to the development of metabolic diseases such as hepatic steatosis and lipid storage diseases. Pharmacological agents that can attenuate lipid accumulation therefore have therapeutic potentials for these diseases. Resveratrol (RSV), a natural active substance found in fruits and nuts, has been reported to effectively reduce the intracellular lipid accumulation, but the underlying mechanisms of RSV remain elusive. Here, we show that RSV triggers an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)- Ca2+ signaling that activates transcriptional factor EB (TFEB), a master transcriptional regulator of autophagic and lysosomal biogenesis. Moreover, RSV activates protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), which binds and dephosphorylates TFEB, promoting its nuclear translocation and the expression of TFEB target genes required for autophagosome and lysosomal biogenesis. Notably, genetic inhibition of TFEB significantly ameliorates RSV-mediated lipid clearance. Taken together, these data link RSV-induced ER calcium signaling, PP2A and TFEB activation to promote autophagy and lysosomal function, by which RSV may trigger a cellular self-defense mechanism that effectively mitigate lipid accumulation commonly associated with many metabolic diseases.

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