An enigmatic step in de novo formation of the autophagosome membrane compartment is the expansion of the precursor membrane phagophore, which requires the acquisition of lipids to serve as building blocks. Autophagy-related 2 (ATG2), the rod-shaped protein that tethers phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PI3P)-enriched phagophores to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), is suggested to be essential for phagophore expansion, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that human ATG2A is a lipid-transferring protein. ATG2A can extract lipids from membrane vesicles and unload them to other vesicles. Lipid transfer by ATG2A is more efficient between tethered vesicles than between untethered vesicles. The PI3P effectors WIPI4 and WIPI1 associate ATG2A stably to PI3P-containing vesicles, thereby facilitating ATG2A-mediated tethering and lipid transfer between PI3P-containing vesicles and PI3P-free vesicles. Based on these results, we propose that ATG2-mediated transfer of lipids from the ER to the phagophore enables phagophore expansion.
All data generated and analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Takanori Otomo
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Pedro Carvalho, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
© 2019, Maeda et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
An imbalance of the gut microbiota, termed dysbiosis, has a substantial impact on host physiology. However, the mechanism by which host deals with gut dysbiosis to maintain fitness remains largely unknown. In Caenorhabditis elegans, Escherichia coli, which is its bacterial diet, proliferates in its intestinal lumen during aging. Here, we demonstrate that progressive intestinal proliferation of E. coli activates the transcription factor DAF-16, which is required for maintenance of longevity and organismal fitness in worms with age. DAF-16 up-regulates two lysozymes lys-7 and lys-8, thus limiting the bacterial accumulation in the gut of worms during aging. During dysbiosis, the levels of indole produced by E. coli are increased in worms. Indole is involved in the activation of DAF-16 by TRPA-1 in neurons of worms. Our finding demonstrates that indole functions as a microbial signal of gut dysbiosis to promote fitness of the host.
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