The ubiquitin-like protein Atg8, in its lipidated form, plays central roles in autophagy. Yet, remarkably, Atg8 also carries out lipidation-independent functions in non-autophagic processes. How Atg8 performs its moonlighting roles is unclear. Here we report that in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the lipidation-independent roles of Atg8 in maintaining normal morphology and functions of the vacuole require its interaction with a vacuole membrane protein Hfl1 (homolog of human TMEM184 proteins). Crystal structures revealed that the Atg8-Hfl1 interaction is not mediated by the typical Atg8-family-interacting motif (AIM) that forms an intermolecular β-sheet with Atg8. Instead, the Atg8-binding regions in Hfl1 proteins adopt a helical conformation, thus representing a new type of AIMs (termed helical AIMs here). These results deepen our understanding of both the functional versatility of Atg8 and the mechanistic diversity of Atg8 binding.
- Akinori Yamasaki
- Nobuo N Noda
- Nobuo N Noda
- Jian-Qiu Wu
- Li-Lin Du
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Noboru Mizushima, The University of Tokyo, Japan
© 2018, Liu et al.
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