Non-canonical autophagy drives alternative ATG8 conjugation to phosphatidylserine.
journal contributionposted on 11.05.2021, 13:54 by Joanne Durgan, Alf H Lystad, Katherine Sloan, Sven R Carlsson, Michael I Wilson, Elena Marcassa, Rachel Ulferts, Judith Webster, Andrea F Lopez-Clavijo, Michael J Wakelam, Rupert Beale, Anne Simonsen, David Oxley, Oliver Florey
Autophagy is a fundamental catabolic process that uses a unique post-translational modification, the conjugation of ATG8 protein to phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). ATG8 lipidation also occurs during non-canonical autophagy, a parallel pathway involving conjugation of ATG8 to single membranes (CASM) at endolysosomal compartments, with key functions in immunity, vision, and neurobiology. It is widely assumed that CASM involves the same conjugation of ATG8 to PE, but this has not been formally tested. Here, we discover that all ATG8s can also undergo alternative lipidation to phosphatidylserine (PS) during CASM, induced pharmacologically, by LC3-associated phagocytosis or influenza A virus infection, in mammalian cells. Importantly, ATG8-PS and ATG8-PE adducts are differentially delipidated by the ATG4 family and bear different cellular dynamics, indicating significant molecular distinctions. These results provide important insights into autophagy signaling, revealing an alternative form of the hallmark ATG8 lipidation event. Furthermore, ATG8-PS provides a specific "molecular signature" for the non-canonical autophagy pathway.