Letter abstract

Nature Cell Biology 11, 1433 - 1437 (2009)
Published online: 8 November 2009 | doi:10.1038/ncb1991

A subdomain of the endoplasmic reticulum forms a cradle for autophagosome formation

Mitsuko Hayashi-Nishino1,2, Naonobu Fujita3, Takeshi Noda3, Akihito Yamaguchi1, Tamotsu Yoshimori3 & Akitsugu Yamamoto2


Autophagy is a bulk degradation process in eukaryotic cells and has fundamental roles in cellular homeostasis.The origin and source of autophagosomal membranes are long-standing questions in the field. Using electron microscopy, we show that, in mammalian culture cells, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) associates with early autophagic structures called isolation membranes (IMs). Overexpression of an Atg4B mutant, which causes defects in autophagosome formation, induces the accumulation of ER–IM complexes. Electron tomography revealed that the ER–IM complex appears as a subdomain of the ER that formed a cradle encircling the IM, and showed that both ER and isolation membranes are interconnected.

  1. Department of Cell Membrane Biology, Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, Osaka University, Ibaraki, Osaka 567-0047, Japan.
  2. Faculty of Bioscience, Nagahama Institute of Bio-Science and Technology, Nagahama, Shiga 526-0829, Japan.
  3. Department of Cellular Regulation, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, 3-1Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.

Correspondence to: Tamotsu Yoshimori3 e-mail: tamyoshi@biken.osaka-u.ac.jp

Correspondence to: Akitsugu Yamamoto2 e-mail: a_yamamoto@nagahama-i-bio.ac.jp


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