Animal Models to Study Autophagy

Beclin 2, a mammal-specific homolog of Beclin 1 with unique functional similarities and differences

Beclin 2 (BECN2) is also called Beclin-1-like protein 1/ BECN1P1 and it was recently identified by He et al 2013 as a mammal-specific homolog of the evolutionarily conserved protein Beclin 1 which is well established for its role in the regulation of autophagy and oncogenic suppression (1). He et al 2013 documented that human Beclin 2 is 57% similar to Beclin 1, and they confirmed its presence in several tissues including brain, placenta, thymus, uterus and skeletal muscles.

ATG9A - early marker autophagosome assembly

ATG9A is the only essential integral membrane protein involved in autophagy. ATG9A contains six transmembrane domains and initiates the assembly of autophagosomes. The autophagosome is a double-membrane structure that engulfs and eventually degrades cytoplasmic materials such as organelles or macromolecules. Assembly of the autophagosome requires the delivery of lipids and membrane components to initiate and expand the double-membrane pre-autophagosome structure called the isolation membrane.