Author(s): Nakatogawa H
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Abstract In autophagy, the autophagosome, a transient organelle specialized for the sequestration and lysosomal or vacuolar transport of cellular constituents, is formed via unique membrane dynamics. This process requires concerted actions of a distinctive set of proteins named Atg (autophagy-related). Atg proteins include two ubiquitin-like proteins, Atg12 and Atg8 [LC3 (light-chain 3) and GABARAP (γ-aminobutyric acid receptor-associated protein) in mammals]. Sequential reactions by the E1 enzyme Atg7 and the E2 enzyme Atg10 conjugate Atg12 to the lysine residue in Atg5, and the resulting Atg12-Atg5 conjugate forms a complex with Atg16. On the other hand, Atg8 is first processed at the C-terminus by Atg4, which is related to ubiquitin-processing/deconjugating enzymes. Atg8 is then activated by Atg7 (shared with Atg12) and, via the E2 enzyme Atg3, finally conjugated to the amino group of the lipid PE (phosphatidylethanolamine). The Atg12-Atg5-Atg16 complex acts as an E3 enzyme for the conjugation reaction of Atg8; it enhances the E2 activity of Atg3 and specifies the site of Atg8-PE production to be autophagy-related membranes. Atg8-PE is suggested to be involved in autophagosome formation at multiple steps, including membrane expansion and closure. Moreover, Atg4 cleaves Atg8-PE to liberate Atg8 from membranes for reuse, and this reaction can also regulate autophagosome formation. Thus these two ubiquitin-like systems are intimately involved in driving the biogenesis of the autophagosomal membrane.
This article was published in Essays Biochem
and referenced in Journal of Nuclear Medicine & Radiation Therapy