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SNARE priming is essential for maturation of autophagosomes but not for their formation.


ABSTRACT: Autophagy, a unique intracellular membrane-trafficking pathway, is initiated by the formation of an isolation membrane (phagophore) that engulfs cytoplasmic constituents, leading to generation of the autophagosome, a double-membrane vesicle, which is targeted to the lysosome. The outer autophagosomal membrane consequently fuses with the lysosomal membrane. Multiple membrane-fusion events mediated by SNARE molecules have been postulated to promote autophagy. ?SNAP, the adaptor molecule for the SNARE-priming enzyme N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF) is known to be crucial for intracellular membrane fusion processes, but its role in autophagy remains unclear. Here we demonstrated that knockdown of ?SNAP leads to inhibition of autophagy, manifested by an accumulation of sealed autophagosomes located in close proximity to lysosomes but not fused with them. Under these conditions, moreover, association of both Atg9 and the autophagy-related SNARE protein syntaxin17 with the autophagosome remained unaffected. Finally, our results suggested that under starvation conditions, the levels of ?SNAP, although low, are nevertheless sufficient to partially promote the SNARE priming required for autophagy. Taken together, these findings indicate that while autophagosomal-lysosomal membrane fusion is sensitive to inhibition of SNARE priming, the initial stages of autophagosome biogenesis and autophagosome expansion remain resistant to its loss.

SUBMITTER: Abada A 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5715740 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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