UVRAG - A regulator of membrane trafficking in autophagy and endocytosis

UV resistance-associated gene (UVRAG) is a tumor suppressor that is commonly mutated in colon and breast cancer. While UVRAG was discovered for its ability to complement UV sensitivity in xeroderma pigmentosum cells, its main functions are in autophagy, endocytosis, and apoptosis. During autophagy UVRAG interacts with Beclin 1 to promote autophagosome formation. UVRAG can also interact with VPS16 to recruit membrane fusion machinery to mediate autophagosome maturation.

TFEB - An essential regulator of lysosome biogenesis

Transcription factor EB (TFEB) is a member of the MiTF/TFE (Microphthalmia/TFE) subfamily of basic/helix-loop-helix/leucine zipper transcription factors. This group of proteins is involved in the proliferation and development of specific cell types such as osteoclasts or melanocytes. Recently scientists have begun to uncover the roles of MiTF/TFE proteins in organelle biogenesis and energy metabolism (1). TFEB, for example, is a known regulator of lysosome biogenesis.

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.