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Autophagy. 2015 Nov 2;11(11):2134-2137. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2015.1091552.

Autophagosome closure requires membrane scission.

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a Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces; Science Park Golm ; Potsdam , Germany.


During the intracellular process of macroautophagy (hereafter autophagy), a membrane-bound organelle, the autophagosome, is generated de novo. The remodeling of the autophagic membrane during the life cycle of the organelle is a complex multistep process and involves several changes in the topology of the autophagic membrane. Here, we focus on the final step of autophagosome formation, the closure of the phagophore, during which the inner and outer autophagic membranes become separate entities. We argue that this topological membrane transformation is a membrane scission event. Surprisingly, not a single recent review describes this substep as membrane scission (or membrane fission). In contrast, a number of publications imply that membrane fusion is involved. We discuss the potential sources for misinterpretation and recommend to consistent use of the unambiguous term "membrane scission."


autophagy; closure; membrane fission; membrane fusion; membrane neck; membrane scission; nuclear pore; phagophore; sporulation; yeast

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