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J Cell Sci. 2008 Aug 15;121(Pt 16):2685-95. doi: 10.1242/jcs.026005. Epub 2008 Jul 24.

The N-terminus and Phe52 residue of LC3 recruit p62/SQSTM1 into autophagosomes.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.

Abstract

LC3 belongs to a novel ubiquitin-like protein family that is involved in different intracellular trafficking processes, including autophagy. All members of this family share a unique three-dimensional structure composed of a C-terminal ubiquitin core and two N-terminal alpha-helices. Here, we focus on the specific contribution of these regions to autophagy induced by amino acid deprivation. We show that the ubiquitin core by itself is sufficient for LC3 processing through the conjugation machinery and for its consequent targeting to the autophagosomal membrane. The N-terminal region was found to be important for interaction between LC3 and p62/SQSTM1 (hereafter termed p62). This interaction is dependent on the first 10 amino acids of LC3 and on specific residues located within the ubiquitin core. Knockdown of LC3 isoforms and overexpression of LC3 mutants that fail to interact with p62 blocked the incorporation of p62 into autophagosomes. The accumulation of p62 was accompanied by elevated levels of polyubiquitylated detergent-insoluble structures. p62, however, is not required for LC3 lipidation, autophagosome formation and targeting to lysosomes. Our results support the proposal that LC3 is responsible for recruiting p62 into autophagosomes, a process mediated by phenylalanine 52, located within the ubiquitin core, and the N-terminal region of the protein.

PMID:
18653543
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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