“Reverse engineering” autophagosome biogenesis reveals new protein interactions

Reconstitution from PI(3)P production to LC3 lipidation on synthetic membranes by the human autophagy machinery. ©Art&Science by Dorotea Fracchiolla www.my-art-science.com

Scientists from Sascha Martens Lab at the Max Perutz Labs and their colleagues from the University of Berkeley (USA) have reconstituted the activity of key proteins involved in the growth of autophagosome precursors, a process essential for encapsulating cellular components targeted for degradation and recycling. Their results reveal a previously unknown positive feedback loop and activation mechanism that help explain how the autophagy machinery rapidly generates the autophagosomal membrane. The study is published in the Journal of Cell Biology.

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