The transcription factor EB (TFEB) plays a pivotal role in the regulation of basic cellular processes, such as lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy. The subcellular localization and activity of TFEB are regulated by mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR)-mediated phosphorylation, which occurs at the lysosomal surface. Phosphorylated TFEB is retained in the cytoplasm, whereas dephosphorylated TFEB translocates to the nucleus to induce the transcription of target genes. Thus, a lysosome-to-nucleus signaling pathway regulates cellular energy metabolism through TFEB. Recently, in vivo studies have revealed that TFEB is also involved in physiological processes, such as lipid catabolism. TFEB has attracted a lot of attention owing to its ability to induce the intracellular clearance of pathogenic factors in a variety of murine models of disease, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, suggesting that novel therapeutic strategies could be based on the modulation of TFEB activity. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and accompanying poster, we present an overview of the latest research on TFEB function and its implication in human diseases.
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