Eukaryotic cells use autophagy and the ubiquitin-proteasome system as their major protein degradation pathways. Upon proteasomal impairment, cells switch to autophagy to ensure proper clearance of clients (the proteasome-to-autophagy switch). The HSPA8 and HSPA1A cochaperone BAG3 has been suggested to be involved in this switch. However, at present it is still unknown whether and to which extent BAG3 can indeed reroute proteasomal clients to the autophagosomal pathway. Here, we show that BAG3 induces the sequestration of ubiquitinated clients into cytoplasmic puncta colabeled with canonical autophagy linkers and markers. Following proteasome inhibition, BAG3 upregulation significantly contributes to the compensatory activation of autophagy and to the degradation of the (poly)ubiquitinated proteins. BAG3 binding to the ubiquitinated clients occurs through the BAG domain, in competition with BAG1, another BAG family member, that normally directs ubiquitinated clients to the proteasome. Therefore, ...