Autophagy is a major pathway for the clearance of harmful material from the cytoplasm. During autophagy cytoplasmic material is delivered into the lysosomal system by organelles called autophagosomes. Autophagosomes form in a de novo manner and, in the course of their formation, isolate cargo material from the rest of the cytoplasm. Cargo specificity is conferred by autophagic cargo receptors that selectively link the cargo to the autophagosomal membrane decorated with ATG8 family proteins such as LC3B. Here we show that the human cargo receptor p62/SQSTM-1 employs oligomerization to stabilize its interaction with LC3B and linear ubiquitin when they are clustered on surfaces. Thus, oligomerization enables p62 to simultaneously select for the isolation membrane and the ubiquitinated cargo. We further show in a fully reconstituted system that the interaction of p62 with ubiquitin and LC3B is sufficient to bend the membrane around the cargo.
- Randy Schekman, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley, United States
© 2015, Wurzer et al.
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The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum synthesizes significant amounts of phospholipids to meet the demands of replication within red blood cells. De novo phosphatidylcholine (PC) biosynthesis via the Kennedy pathway is essential, requiring choline that is primarily sourced from host serum lysophosphatidylcholine (lysoPC). LysoPC also acts as an environmental sensor to regulate parasite sexual differentiation. Despite these critical roles for host lysoPC, the enzyme(s) involved in its breakdown to free choline for PC synthesis are unknown. Here, we show that a parasite glycerophosphodiesterase (PfGDPD) is indispensable for blood stage parasite proliferation. Exogenous choline rescues growth of PfGDPD-null parasites, directly linking PfGDPD function to choline incorporation. Genetic ablation of PfGDPD reduces choline uptake from lysoPC, resulting in depletion of several PC species in the parasite, whilst purified PfGDPD releases choline from glycerophosphocholine in vitro. Our results identify PfGDPD as a choline-releasing glycerophosphodiesterase that mediates a critical step in PC biosynthesis and parasite survival.
Ferroportin (Fpn) is a transporter that releases ferrous ion (Fe2+) from cells and is important for homeostasis of iron in circulation. Export of one Fe2+ by Fpn is coupled to import of two H+ to maintain charge balance. Here, we show that human Fpn (HsFpn) binds to and mediates Ca2+ transport. We determine the structure of Ca2+-bound HsFpn and identify a single Ca2+ binding site distinct from the Fe2+ binding sites. Further studies validate the Ca2+ binding site and show that Ca2+ transport is not coupled to transport of another ion. In addition, Ca2+ transport is significantly inhibited in the presence of Fe2+ but not vice versa. Function of Fpn as a Ca2+ uniporter may allow regulation of iron homeostasis by Ca2+.