Recent Advances in Membrane Shaping for Plant Autophagosome Biogenesis.
ABSTRACT: Autophagy is an intracellular degradation process, which is highly conserved in eukaryotes. During this process, unwanted cytosolic constituents are sequestered and delivered into the vacuole/lysosome by a double-membrane organelle known as an autophagosome. The autophagosome initiates from a membrane sac named the phagophore, and after phagophore expansion and closure, the outer membrane fuses with the vacuole/lysosome to release the autophagic body into the vacuole. Membrane sources derived from the endomembrane system (e.g., Endoplasmic Reticulum, Golgi and endosome) have been implicated to contribute to autophagosome in different steps (initiation, expansion or maturation). Therefore, coordination between the autophagy-related (ATG) proteins and membrane tethers from the endomembrane system is required during autophagosome biogenesis. In this review, we will update recent findings with a focus on comparing the selected core ATG complexes and the endomembrane tethering machineries for shaping the autophagosome membrane in yeast, mammal, and plant systems.
Project description:Macroautophagy (hereafter autophagy) is one of the major degradation systems in eukaryotic cells, and its dysfunction may result in diseases ranging from neurodegeneration to cancer. Although most of the autophagy-related (Atg) proteins that function in this pathway were first identified in yeast, many were subsequently shown to have homologs in higher eukaryotes including humans, and the overall mechanism of autophagy is highly conserved. The most prominent feature of autophagy is the formation of a double-membrane sequestering compartment, the phagophore; this transient organelle surrounds part of the cytoplasm and matures into an autophagosome, which subsequently fuses with the vacuole or lysosome to allow degradation of the cargo. Much attention has focused on the process involved in phagophore nucleation and expansion, but many questions remain. Here, we identified the yeast protein Icy2, which we now name Atg41, as playing a role in autophagosome formation. Atg41 interacts with the transmembrane protein Atg9, a key component involved in autophagosome biogenesis, and both proteins display a similar localization profile. Under autophagy-inducing conditions the expression level of Atg41 increases dramatically and is regulated by the transcription factor Gcn4. This work provides further insight into the mechanism of Atg9 function and the dynamics of sequestering membrane formation during autophagy.
Project description:Macroautophagy (hereafter autophagy) is a conserved intracellular degradation mechanism required for cell survival. A double-membrane structure, the phagophore, is generated to sequester cytosolic cargos destined for degradation in the vacuole. The mechanism involved in the biogenesis of the phagophore is still an open question. We focused on 4 autophagy-related (Atg) proteins (Atg2, Atg9, Atg14, and Atg18), which are involved in the formation of the phagophore in order to gain a more complete understanding of the membrane dynamics that occur during formation of the autophagosome. The corresponding mutants, while defective in autophagy, nonetheless generate the membrane-bound form of Atg8, allowing us to use this protein as a marker for the nascent autophagosome precursor membrane. Using electron microscopy (EM), we discovered in these atg mutants a novel single-membrane structure (~120 to 150 nm in size). Electron tomography revealed that this structure originates from a part of the nuclear membrane, and we have named it the alphasome. Our data suggest that the alphasome is associated with Atg8, and sequesters selective cargo, the Cvt complex, during autophagy. Abbreviations: 3D: three-dimensional; AB: autophagic body; AP: autophagosome; Atg: autophagy-related; Cvt: cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting; EM: electron microscopy; IEM: immunoelectron microscopy; L: lipid droplet; N: nucleus; NM: nuclear membrane; PAS: phagophore assembly site; PE: phosphatidylethanolamine; prApe1: precursor aminopeptidase I; rER: rough endoplasmic reticulum; TEM: transmission electron microscopy; V: vacuole; VLP: virus-like particle.
Project description:Macroautophagy/autophagy is a cellular degradation process that sequesters organelles or proteins into a double-membrane structure called the phagophore; this transient compartment matures into an autophagosome, which then fuses with the lysosome or vacuole to allow hydrolysis of the cargo. Factors that control membrane traffic are also essential for each step of autophagy. Here we demonstrate that 2 monomeric GTP-binding proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Arl1 and Ypt6, which belong to the Arf/Arl/Sar protein family and the Rab family, respectively, and control endosome-trans-Golgi traffic, are also necessary for starvation-induced autophagy under high temperature stress. Using established autophagy-specific assays we found that cells lacking either ARL1 or YPT6, which exhibit synthetic lethality with one another, were unable to undergo autophagy at an elevated temperature, although autophagy proceeds normally at normal growth temperature; specifically, strains lacking one or the other of these genes are unable to construct the autophagosome because these 2 proteins are required for proper traffic of Atg9 to the phagophore assembly site (PAS) at the restrictive temperature. Using degron technology to construct an inducible arl1? ypt6? double mutant, we demonstrated that cells lacking both genes show defects in starvation-inducted autophagy at the permissive temperature. We also found Arl1 and Ypt6 participate in autophagy by targeting the Golgi-associated retrograde protein (GARP) complex to the PAS to regulate the anterograde trafficking of Atg9. Our data show that these 2 membrane traffic regulators have novel roles in autophagy.
Project description: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.
Project description:In autophagy, a cup-shaped membrane called the isolation membrane is formed, expanded, and sealed to complete a double membrane-bound vesicle called the autophagosome that encapsulates cellular constituents to be transported to and degraded in the lysosome/vacuole. The formation of the autophagosome requires autophagy-related (Atg) proteins. Atg8 is a ubiquitin-like protein that localizes to the isolation membrane; a subpopulation of this protein remains inside the autophagosome and is transported to the lysosome/vacuole. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Atg1 is a serine/threonine kinase that functions in the initial step of autophagosome formation and is also efficiently transported to the vacuole via autophagy. Here, we explore the mechanism and significance of this autophagic transport of Atg1. In selective types of autophagy, receptor proteins recognize degradation targets and also interact with Atg8, via the Atg8 family interacting motif (AIM), to link the targets to the isolation membrane. We find that Atg1 contains an AIM and directly interacts with Atg8. Mutations in the AIM disrupt this interaction and abolish vacuolar transport of Atg1. These results suggest that Atg1 associates with the isolation membrane by binding to Atg8, resulting in its incorporation into the autophagosome. We also show that mutations in the Atg1 AIM cause a significant defect in autophagy, without affecting the functions of Atg1 implicated in triggering autophagosome formation. We propose that in addition to its essential function in the initial stage, Atg1 also associates with the isolation membrane to promote its maturation into the autophagosome.
Project description:Macroautophagy (autophagy) is a bulk protein-degradation system ubiquitously conserved in eukaryotic cells. During autophagy, cytoplasmic components are enclosed in a membrane compartment, called an autophagosome. The autophagosome fuses with the vacuole/lysosome and is degraded together with its cargo. Because autophagy is important for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis by degrading unwanted proteins and organelles, identification of autophagosome cargo proteins (i.e., the targets of autophagy) will aid in understanding the physiological roles of autophagy. In this study, we developed a method for monitoring intact autophagosomes ex vivo by detecting the fluorescence of GFP-fused aminopeptidase I, the best-characterized selective cargo of autophagosomes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This method facilitated optimization of a biochemical procedure to fractionate autophagosomes. A combination of LC-MS/MS with subsequent statistical analyses revealed a list of autophagosome cargo proteins; some of these are selectively enclosed in autophagosomes and delivered to the vacuole in an Atg11-independent manner. The methods we describe will be useful for analyzing the mechanisms and physiological significance of Atg11-independent selective autophagy.
Project description:The biogenesis of autophagosomes, the hallmark of autophagy, depends on the function of the autophagy-related (Atg) proteins and the generation of phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PtdIns3P) at the phagophore assembly site (PAS), the location where autophagosomes arise. The current model is that PtdIns3P is involved primarily in the recruitment of Atg proteins to the PAS and that once an autophagosome is complete, the Atg machinery is released from its surface back into the cytoplasm and reused for the formation of new vesicles.We have identified a PtdIns3P phosphatase, Ymr1, that is essential for the normal progression of both bulk and selective types of autophagy. This protein is recruited to the PAS at an early stage of formation of this structure through a process that requires both its GRAM domain and its catalytic activity. In the absence of Ymr1, Atg proteins fail to dissociate from the limiting membrane of autophagosomes, and these vesicles accumulate in the cytoplasm.Our data thus reveal a key role for PtdIns3P turnover in the regulation of the late steps of autophagosome biogenesis and indicate that the disassembly of the Atg machinery from the surface of autophagosomes is a requisite for their fusion with the vacuole.
Project description:Autophagy is the degradation of a cell's own components within lysosomes (or the analogous yeast vacuole), and its malfunction contributes to a variety of human diseases. Atg9 is the sole integral membrane protein required in formation of the initial sequestering compartment, the phagophore, and is proposed to play a key role in membrane transport; the phagophore presumably expands by vesicular addition to form a complete autophagosome. It is not clear through what mechanism Atg9 functions at the phagophore assembly site (PAS). Here we report that Atg9 molecules self-associate independently of other known autophagy proteins in both nutrient-rich and starvation conditions. Mutational analyses reveal that self-interaction is critical for anterograde transport of Atg9 to the PAS. The ability of Atg9 to self-interact is required for both selective and nonselective autophagy at the step of phagophore expansion at the PAS. Our results support a model in which Atg9 multimerization facilitates membrane flow to the PAS for phagophore formation.
Project description:As a lysosomal/vacuolar degradative pathway that is conserved in eukaryotic organisms, autophagy mediates the turnover of long-lived proteins and excess or aberrant organelles. The main characteristic of autophagy is the formation of a double-membrane vesicle, the autophagosome, which envelops part of the cytoplasm and delivers it to the lysosome/vacuole for breakdown and eventual recycling of the degradation products. Among the approximately 30 autophagy-related (Atg) genes identified so far, there are two ubiquitin-like proteins, Atg12 and Atg8. Analogous to ubiquitination, Atg12 is conjugated to Atg5 by Atg7--an E1-like protein--and Atg10--an E2-like protein. Similarly, Atg7 and Atg3 are the respective E1-like and E2-like proteins that mediate the conjugation of Atg8 to phosphatidylethanolamine. Both Atg12-Atg5 and Atg8 localize to the developing autophagosome. The Atg12-Atg5 conjugate facilitates the lipidation of Atg8 and directs its correct subcellular localization. Atg8-phosphatidylethanolamine is probably a scaffold protein that supports membrane expansion and the amount present correlates with the size of autophagosomes.
Project description:When macroautophagy (autophagy) is induced by nutrient starvation or rapamycin treatment, Atg (autophagy-related) proteins are assembled at a restricted region close to the vacuole. Subsequently, the phagophore expands to form a closed autophagosome. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells overexpressing precursor Ape1 (prApe1), a specific autophagosome cargo protein, the phagophore can be visualized as a cup-shaped structure labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged Atg8. Previously, our group has shown that the maximum length of GFP-Atg8-labeled structures reflects the magnitude of bulk autophagy. In that study, the morphological parameters of the autophagy-related structures were extracted manually, requiring a great deal of time. Moreover, only well-expanded phagophores were subjected to further analysis. Here we report Qautas (Quantitative autophagy-related structure analysis system), a high-throughput and comprehensive system for morphological analysis of autophagy-related structures using a combination of image processing and machine learning. We describe both the manual method and Qautas in detail.