ATG12

Animal Models to Study Autophagy

Autophagy independent roles of the core ATG proteins

WIPI1 - An essential regulator of early autophagosome assembly

WD repeat domain phosphoinositide-interacting protein 1 (WIPI) is involved in the lysosomal degradation of cytoplasmic components during starvation-induced autophagy. WIPI1 is a seven bladed beta-propeller protein that provides a scaffold for the assembly of multimeric protein complexes (1). During the assembly of the autophagosome WIPI1 interacts with the lipid phosphatidylinositol-3 phosphate (PI3P) and mediates the recruitment of the large multimeric complex of ATG12-ATG5-ATG16 (1).

ATG4C - A regulator of the early steps of autophagosome assembly

Autophagy is an important cellular process that maintains homeostasis by degrading and recycling damaged proteins and organelles. Autophagy receptors, such as p62/SQSTM1, recognize these intracellular cargo and mediate their engulfment by the double-membrane autophagosome. The autophagosomes are subsequently targeted to the lysosome for degradation. An early regulatory step in this process is the activation and lipidation of ATG8 related proteins such as microtubule-associated protein-1 light chain 3 (LC3).

ATG16L2 - An autophagy-related protein with unknown functions

Autophagy is a process by which cells degrade and recycle damaged organelles or misfolded proteins. These various cargo are engulfed in a double-membrane structure called the autophagosome. The autophagosome then fuses with the lysosome to facilitate the degradation of the cargo. This process requires the concerted effort of an extensive network of proteins. One of the early steps of autophagosome assembly is the formation of the large multimeric ATG12-ATG5-ATG16 complex.

ATG4D - A regulator of autophagy and apoptosis

Autophagy is an essential cellular process whereby damaged proteins and organelles are degraded and recycled. Autophagy, while happening constantly at a basal level, is tightly regulated and can be further induced under cellular stress. One of the regulators of the early steps of autophagy is ATG4. The ATG4 family of cysteine proteases consists of 4 homologs: ATG4A, ATG4B, ATG4C, and ATG4D.

ATG4B - a cysteine protease involved in autophagosome elongation

Autophagy can be broken down into 4 main stages: phagophore nucleation, autophagosome elongation, autophagosome docking and fusion with a lysosome, and vesicle breakdown and degradation. ATG4B is one of four ATG4 homologs (ATG4A, ATG4B, ATG4C, and ATG4D) involved in autophagosome elongation. ATG4B encodes a 48 kDa protein called autophagin-1 that is a member of the C54 family of cysteine proteases.

ATG16L1 - a key player in the development of the autophagosome

ATG5 - an essential regulator of autophagosome assembly

Autophagy is important for the removal of damaged organelles or proteins as well as for the regulation of cellular homeostasis in response to stress. Proteins or organelles that are targeted for degradation are engulfed in a double-membrane structure called the autophagosome that eventually fuses with the lysosome to mediate cargo degradation. Atg5 plays an important regulatory role in the early steps of this process.

ATG7 - an E1 enzyme for the ubiquitin-like autophagy proteins

Autophagy is an essential cellular process that maintains homeostasis through the degradation and recycling of cytoplasmic organelles and macromolecules. Substrates targeted for autophagy are engulfed in a double-membrane structure called the autophagosome which is then targeted to the lysosome for degradation. The initiation of autophagy requires two separate ubiquitin-like protein (UBL) systems that regulate autophagosome assembly. In these systems Atg7 acts as an E1-like enzyme for the UBLs Atg12 and Atg8.

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