Multifaceted membrane interactions of human Atg3 promote LC3-phosphatidylethanolamine conjugation during autophagy

Yansheng Ye, Erin R. Tyndall, Van Bui, Maria C. Bewley, Guifang Wang, Xupeng Hong, Yang Shen, John Flanagan, Hong Gang Wang, Fang Tian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Autophagosome formation, a crucial step in macroautophagy (autophagy), requires the covalent conjugation of LC3 proteins to the amino headgroup of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) lipids. Atg3, an E2-like enzyme, catalyzes the transfer of LC3 from LC3-Atg3 to PEs in targeted membranes. Here we show that the catalytically important C-terminal regions of human Atg3 (hAtg3) are conformationally dynamic and directly interact with the membrane, in collaboration with its N-terminal membrane curvature-sensitive helix. The functional relevance of these interactions was confirmed by in vitro conjugation and in vivo cellular assays. Therefore, highly curved phagophoric rims not only serve as a geometric cue for hAtg3 recruitment, but also their interaction with hAtg3 promotes LC3-PE conjugation by targeting its catalytic center to the membrane surface and bringing substrates into proximity. Our studies advance the notion that autophagosome biogenesis is directly guided by the spatial interactions of Atg3 with highly curved phagophoric rims.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5503
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this