The Francis Crick Institute
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Autophagosome membrane expansion is mediated by the N-terminus and cis-membrane association of human ATG8s.

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-29, 10:06 authored by Wenxin Zhang, Taki Nishimura, Deepanshi Gahlot, Chieko Saito, Colin Davis, Harold BJ Jefferies, Anne Schreiber, Lipi Thukral, Sharon A Tooze
Autophagy is an essential catabolic pathway which sequesters and engulfs cytosolic substrates via autophagosomes, unique double-membraned structures. ATG8 proteins are ubiquitin-like proteins recruited to autophagosome membranes by lipidation at the C-terminus. ATG8s recruit substrates, such as p62, and play an important role in mediating autophagosome membrane expansion. However, the precise function of lipidated ATG8 in expansion remains obscure. Using a real-time in vitro lipidation assay, we revealed that the N-termini of lipidated human ATG8s (LC3B and GABARAP) are highly dynamic and interact with the membrane. Moreover, atomistic MD simulation and FRET assays indicate that N-termini of LC3B and GABARAP associate in cis on the membrane. By using non-tagged GABARAPs, we show that GABARAP N-terminus and its cis-membrane insertion are crucial to regulate the size of autophagosomes in cells irrespectively of p62 degradation. Our study provides fundamental molecular insights into autophagosome membrane expansion, revealing the critical and unique function of lipidated ATG8.


Crick (Grant ID: CC2134, Grant title: Tooze CC2134) Crick (Grant ID: CC2064, Grant title: Schreiber CC2064)