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Cell Struct Funct. 2008;33(1):109-22. Epub 2008 Apr 4.

Dynein-dependent movement of autophagosomes mediates efficient encounters with lysosomes.

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  • 1Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.


Autophagy is a membrane trafficking pathway that carries cytosolic components to the lysosome for degradation. During this process, the autophagosome, a double-membraned organelle, is generated de novo, sequesters cytoplasmic proteins and organelles, and delivers them to lysosomes. However, the mechanism by which autophagosomes are targeted to lysosomes has not been determined. Here, we observed the real-time behavior of microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3), which localizes to autophagosomes, and showed that autophagosomes move in a microtubule- and dynein-dynactin motor complex-dependent manner. After formation, autophagosomes show a rapid vectorial movement in the direction of the centrosome, where lysosomes are usually concentrated. Microinjection of antibodies against LC3 inhibited this movement; furthermore, using FRAP, we showed that anti-LC3 antibody injection caused a defect in targeting of autophagosomes to lysosomes. Collectively, our data demonstrate the functional significance of autophagosome movement that enables effective delivery from the cytosol to lysosomes.

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