Distinct functions of ATG16L1 isoforms in membrane binding and LC3B lipidation in autophagy-related processes.
ABSTRACT: Covalent modification of LC3 and GABARAP proteins to phosphatidylethanolamine in the double-membrane phagophore is a key event in the early phase of macroautophagy, but can also occur on single-membrane structures. In both cases this involves transfer of LC3/GABARAP from ATG3 to phosphatidylethanolamine at the target membrane. Here we have purified the full-length human ATG12-5-ATG16L1 complex and show its essential role in LC3B/GABARAP lipidation in vitro. We have identified two functionally distinct membrane-binding regions in ATG16L1. An N-terminal membrane-binding amphipathic helix is required for LC3B lipidation under all conditions tested. By contrast, the C-terminal membrane-binding region is dispensable for canonical autophagy but essential for VPS34-independent LC3B lipidation at perturbed endosomes. We further show that the ATG16L1 C-terminus can compensate for WIPI2 depletion to sustain lipidation during starvation. This C-terminal membrane-binding region is present only in the ?-isoform of ATG16L1, showing that ATG16L1 isoforms mechanistically distinguish between different LC3B lipidation mechanisms under different cellular conditions.
Project description:Microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 ? (LC3)/GABA type A receptor-associated protein (GABARAP) comprises a family of ubiquitin-like proteins involved in (macro)autophagy, an important intracellular degradation pathway that delivers cytoplasmic material to lysosomes via double-membrane vesicles called autophagosomes. The only currently known cellular molecules covalently modified by LC3/GABARAP are membrane phospholipids such as phosphatidylethanolamine in the autophagosome membrane. Autophagy-related 4 cysteine peptidase (ATG4) proteases process inactive pro-LC3/GABARAP before lipidation, and the same proteases can also deconjugate LC3/GABARAP from lipids. To determine whether LC3/GABARAP has other molecular targets, here we generated a pre-processed LC3B mutant (Q116P) that is resistant to ATG4-mediated deconjugation. Upon expression in human cells and when assessed by immunoblotting under reducing and denaturing conditions, deconjugation-resistant LC3B accumulated in multiple forms and at much higher molecular weights than free LC3B. We observed a similar accumulation when pre-processed versions of all mammalian LC3/GABARAP isoforms were expressed in ATG4-deficient cell lines, suggesting that LC3/GABARAP can attach also to other larger molecules. We identified ATG3, the E2-like enzyme involved in LC3/GABARAP lipidation, as one target of conjugation with multiple copies of LC3/GABARAP. We show that LC3B-ATG3 conjugates are distinct from the LC3B-ATG3 thioester intermediate formed before lipidation, and we biochemically demonstrate that ATG4B can cleave LC3B-ATG3 conjugates. Finally, we determined ATG3 residue Lys-243 as an LC3B modification site. Overall, we provide the first cellular evidence that mammalian LC3/GABARAP post-translationally modifies proteins akin to ubiquitination ("LC3ylation"), with ATG4 proteases acting like deubiquitinating enzymes to counteract this modification ("deLC3ylation").
Project description:Members of the LC3/GABARAP family of ubiquitin-like proteins function during autophagy by serving as membrane linked protein-binding platforms. Their C-termini are physically attached to membranes through covalent linkage to primary amines on lipids such as phosphatidylethanolamine, while their ubiquitin-like fold domains bind "LIR" (LC3-Interacting Region) sequences found within an extraordinarily diverse array of proteins including regulators of autophagy, adaptors that recruit ubiquitinated cargoes to be degraded, and even proteins controlling processes at membranes that are not associated with autophagy. Recently, LC3/GABARAP proteins were found to bind the ubiquitin E3 ligase NEDD4 to influence ubiquitination associated with autophagy in human cell lines. Here, we use purified recombinant proteins to define LC3B interactions with a specific LIR sequence from NEDD4, present a crystal structure showing atomic details of the interaction, and show that LC3B-binding can steer intrinsic NEDD4 E3 ligase activity. The data provide detailed molecular insights underlying recruitment of an E3 ubiquitin ligase to phagophores during autophagy.
Project description:Macroautophagy/autophagy is a cellular degradation pathway that delivers cytoplasmic material to lysosomes via double-membrane organelles called autophagosomes. Lipidation of ubiquitin-like LC3/GABARAP proteins on the autophagosome membrane is important for autophagy. The cysteine protease ATG4 executes 2 LC3/GABARAP processing events: priming of newly synthesized pro-LC3/GABARAP to enable subsequent lipidation, and delipidation/deconjugation of lipidated LC3/GABARAP (the exact purpose of which is unclear in mammals). Four ATG4 isoforms (ATG4A to ATG4D) exist in mammals; however, the functional redundancy of these proteins in cells is poorly understood. Here we show that human HAP1 and HeLa cells lacking ATG4B exhibit a severe but incomplete defect in LC3/GABARAP processing and autophagy. By further genetic depletion of ATG4 isoforms using CRISPR-Cas9 and siRNA we uncover that ATG4A, ATG4C and ATGD all contribute to residual priming activity, which is sufficient to enable lipidation of endogenous GABARAPL1 on autophagic structures. We also demonstrate that expressing high levels of pre-primed LC3B in ATG4-deficient cells can rescue a defect in autophagic degradation of the cargo receptor SQSTM1/p62, suggesting that delipidation by human ATG4 is not essential for autophagosome formation and fusion with lysosomes. Overall, our study provides a comprehensive characterization of ATG4 isoform function during autophagy in human cells. Abbreviations: Atg: autophagy-related; baf A1: bafilomycin A<sub>1;</sub> CASP3: caspase 3; CLEM: correlative light and electron microscopy; CMV: cytomegalovirus; CRISPR: clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats; DKO: double knockout; EGFP: enhanced green fluorescent protein; GABARAP: GABA type A receptor-associated protein; GABARAPL1: GABA type A receptor-associated protein like 1; GABARAPL2: GABA type A receptor-associated protein like 2; GFP: green fluorescent protein; HB: homogenization buffer; KO: knockout; LAMP1: lysosomal associated membrane protein 1; LIR: LC3 interacting region; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3; MFN2: mitofusin 2; N.A.: numerical aperture; NEM: N-ethylmaleimide; PDHA1: pyruvate dehydrogenase E1 alpha 1 subunit; PLD: phospholipase D; PE: phosphatidylethanolamine; RLUC: Renilla luciferase; SQSTM1: sequestosome 1; TEM: transmission electron microscopy; TKO: triple knockout; ULK1: unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1; VCL: vinculin; WT: wild-type.
Project description:The phospholipid cardiolipin (CL) has been proposed to play a role in selective mitochondrial autophagy, or mitophagy. CL externalization to the outer mitochondrial membrane would act as a signal for the human Atg8 ortholog subfamily, MAP1LC3 (LC3). The latter would mediate both mitochondrial recognition and autophagosome formation, ultimately leading to removal of damaged mitochondria. We have applied quantitative biophysical techniques to the study of CL interaction with various Atg8 human orthologs, namely LC3B, GABARAPL2 and GABARAP. We have found that LC3B interacts preferentially with CL over other di-anionic lipids, that CL-LC3B binding occurs with positive cooperativity, and that the CL-LC3B interaction relies only partially on electrostatic forces. CL-induced increased membrane fluidity appears also as an important factor helping LC3B to bind CL. The LC3B C terminus remains exposed to the hydrophilic environment after protein binding to CL-enriched membranes. In intact U87MG human glioblastoma cells rotenone-induced autophagy leads to LC3B translocation to mitochondria and subsequent delivery of mitochondria to lysosomes. We have also observed that GABARAP, but not GABARAPL2, interacts with CL in vitro. However neither GABARAP nor GABARAPL2 were translocated to mitochondria in rotenone-treated U87MG cells. Thus the various human Atg8 orthologs might play specific roles in different autophagic processes.
Project description:Short linear motifs, known as LC3-interacting regions (LIRs), interact with mactoautophagy/autophagy modifiers (Atg8/LC3/GABARAP proteins) via a conserved universal mechanism. Typically, this includes the occupancy of 2 hydrophobic pockets on the surface of Atg8-family proteins by 2 specific aromatic and hydrophobic residues within the LIR motifs. Here, we describe an alternative mechanism of Atg8-family protein interaction with the non-canonical UBA5 LIR, an E1-like enzyme of the ufmylation pathway that preferentially interacts with GABARAP but not LC3 proteins. By solving the structures of both GABARAP and GABARAPL2 in complex with the UBA5 LIR, we show that in addition to the binding to the 2 canonical hydrophobic pockets (HP1 and HP2), a conserved tryptophan residue N-terminal of the LIR core sequence binds into a novel hydrophobic pocket on the surface of GABARAP proteins, which we term HP0. This mode of action is unique for UBA5 and accompanied by large rearrangements of key residues including the side chains of the gate-keeping K46 and the adjacent K/R47 in GABARAP proteins. Swapping mutations in LC3B and GABARAPL2 revealed that K/R47 is the key residue in the specific binding of GABARAP proteins to UBA5, with synergetic contributions of the composition and dynamics of the loop L3. Finally, we elucidate the physiological relevance of the interaction and show that GABARAP proteins regulate the localization and function of UBA5 on the endoplasmic reticulum membrane in a lipidation-independent manner.Abbreviations: ATG: AuTophaGy-related; EGFP: enhanced green fluorescent protein; GABARAP: GABA-type A receptor-associated protein; ITC: isothermal titration calorimetry; KO: knockout; LIR: LC3-interacting region; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; NMR: nuclear magnetic resonance; RMSD: root-mean-square deviation of atomic positions; TKO: triple knockout; UBA5: ubiquitin like modifier activating enzyme 5.
Project description:Specific protein-lipid interactions lead to a gradual recruitment of AuTophaGy-related (ATG) proteins to the nascent membrane during autophagosome (AP) formation. ATG3, a key protein in the movement of LC3 towards the isolation membrane, has been proposed to facilitate LC3/GABARAP lipidation in highly curved membranes. In this work we have performed a biophysical study of human ATG3 interaction with membranes containing phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine and anionic phospholipids. We have found that ATG3 interacts more strongly with negatively-charged phospholipid vesicles or nanotubes than with electrically neutral model membranes, cone-shaped anionic phospholipids (cardiolipin and phosphatidic acid) being particularly active in promoting binding. Moreover, an increase in membrane curvature facilitates ATG3 recruitment to membranes although addition of anionic lipid molecules makes the curvature factor relatively less important. The predicted N-terminus amphipathic ?-helix of ATG3 would be responsible for membrane curvature detection, the positive residues Lys 9 and 11 being essential in the recognition of phospholipid negative moieties. We have also observed membrane aggregation induced by ATG3 in vitro, which could point to a more complex function of this protein in AP biogenesis. Moreover, in vitro GABARAP lipidation assays suggest that ATG3-membrane interaction could facilitate the lipidation of ATG8 homologues.
Project description:Autophagy is a degradation pathway important for cellular homeostasis. The E1-like enzyme ATG7 is a key component of the autophagy machinery, with the main function of mediating the lipidation of LC3/GABARAP during autophagosome formation. By analysing mRNA-sequencing data we found that in addition to the full-length ATG7 isoform, various tissues express a shorter isoform lacking an exon of 27 amino acids in the C-terminal part of the protein, termed ATG7(2). We further show that ATG7(2) does not bind LC3B and fails to mediate the lipidation of members of the LC3/GABARAP family. We have thus identified an isoform of ATG7 that is unable to carry out the best characterized function of the protein during the autophagic response. This short isoform will have to be taken into consideration when further studying the role of ATG7.
Project description:Macroautophagy is a conserved degradative process for maintaining cellular homeostasis and plays a key role in aging and various human disorders. The microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B light chain 3B (MAP1LC3B or LC3B) is commonly analyzed as a key marker for autophagosomes and as a proxy for autophagic flux. Three paralogues of the LC3 gene exist in humans: LC3A, LC3B and LC3C. The molecular function, regulation and cellular localization of LC3A and LC3C have not been investigated frequently, even if a similar function to that described for LC3B appears likely. Here, we have selectively decapacitated LC3B by three separate strategies in primary human fibroblasts and analyzed the evoked effects on LC3A, LC3B and LC3C in terms of their cellular distribution and co-localization with p62, a ubiquitin and autophagy receptor. First, treatment with pharmacological sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) inhibitors to prevent the translocation of LC3B from the nucleus into the cytosol induced an increase in cytosolic LC3C, a heightened co-localization of LC3C with p62, and an increase LC3C-dependent autophagic flux as assessed by protein lipidation. Cytosolic LC3A, however, was moderately reduced, but also more co-localized with p62. Second, siRNA-based knock-down of SIRT1 broadly reproduced these findings and increased the co-localization of LC3A and particularly LC3C with p62 in presumed autophagosomes. These effects resembled the effects of pharmacological sirtuin inhibition under normal and starvation conditions. Third, siRNA-based knock-down of total LC3B in cytosol and nucleus also induced a redistribution of LC3C as if to replace LC3B in the nucleus, but only moderately affected LC3A. Total protein expression of LC3A, LC3B, LC3C, GABARAP and GABARAP-L1 following LC3B decapacitation was unaltered. Our data indicate that nuclear trapping and other causes of LC3B functional loss in the cytosol are buffered by LC3A and actively compensated by LC3C, but not by GABARAPs. The biological relevance of the potential functional compensation of LC3B decapacitation by LC3C and LC3A warrants further study.
Project description:Several autophagy proteins contain an LC3-interacting region (LIR) responsible for their interaction with Atg8 homolog proteins. Here, we show that ALFY binds selectively to LC3C and the GABARAPs through a LIR in its WD40 domain. Binding of ALFY to GABARAP is indispensable for its recruitment to LC3B-positive structures and, thus, for the clearance of certain p62 structures by autophagy. In addition, the crystal structure of the GABARAP-ALFY-LIR peptide complex identifies three conserved residues in the GABARAPs that are responsible for binding to ALFY. Interestingly, introduction of these residues in LC3B is sufficient to enable its interaction with ALFY, indicating that residues outside the LIR-binding hydrophobic pockets confer specificity to the interactions with Atg8 homolog proteins.
Project description:Gap junctions (GJ) are specialized cell-cell contacts formed by connexins (Cxs), which provide direct communication between adjacent cells. Cx43 ubiquitination has been suggested to induce the internalization of GJs, as well as the recruitment of the autophagy receptor p62 to mediate binding to LC3B and degradation by macroautophagy. In this report, we describe a functional LC3 interacting region (LIR), present in the amino terminal of most Cx protein family members, which can mediate the autophagy degradation of Cx43 without the need of ubiquitin. Mutation of the LIR motif on Cx37, Cx43, Cx46 and Cx50 impairs interaction with LC3B and GABARAP without compromising protein ubiquitination. Through in vitro protein-protein interaction assays, we demonstrate that this LIR motif is required for the binding of Cx43 to LC3B and GABARAP. Overall, our findings describe an alternative mechanism whereby Cxs interact with LC3/GABARAP proteins, envisioning a new model for the autophagy degradation of connexins.