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The post‐translational regulation of transcription factor EB (TFEB) in health and disease

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Takla, Michael 
Rubinsztein, David C  ORCID logo


jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pTranscription factor EB (TFEB) is a basic helix–loop–helix leucine zipper transcription factor that acts as a master regulator of lysosomal biogenesis, lysosomal exocytosis, and macro‐autophagy. TFEB contributes to a wide range of physiological functions, including mitochondrial biogenesis and innate and adaptive immunity. As such, TFEB is an essential component of cellular adaptation to stressors, ranging from nutrient deprivation to pathogenic invasion. The activity of TFEB depends on its subcellular localisation, turnover, and DNA‐binding capacity, all of which are regulated at the post‐translational level. Pathological states are characterised by a specific set of stressors, which elicit post‐translational modifications that promote gain or loss of TFEB function in the affected tissue. In turn, the resulting increase or decrease in survival of the tissue in which TFEB is more or less active, respectively, may either benefit or harm the organism as a whole. In this way, the post‐translational modifications of TFEB account for its otherwise paradoxical protective and deleterious effects on organismal fitness in diseases ranging from neurodegeneration to cancer. In this review, we describe how the intracellular environment characteristic of different diseases alters the post‐translational modification profile of TFEB, enabling cellular adaptation to a particular pathological state.</jats:p>


Funder: Rosetrees Trust (Rosetrees); doi:

Funder: UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI); doi:

Funder: MRC; doi:

Funder: Alzheimer's Research UK

Funder: Alzheimer's Society; doi:

Funder: Cambridge University School of Clinical Medicine

Funder: James Baird Fund

Funder: F.E. Elmore Fund

Funder: Cambridge Commonwealth

Funder: European & International Trust

Funder: Nehru Trust for Cambridge University

Funder: Trinity‐Henry Barlow Scholarship


mitochondria, TFEB, post‐translational modification, lysosome, autophagy

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
NIHR ¦ NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR Cambridge BRC) (BRC‐1215‐20014)