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Phagocytosis and autophagy are two ancient, highly conserved processes involved, respectively, in the removal of extracellular organisms and the destruction of organisms in the cytosol. Autophagy, for either metabolic regulation or defence, involves the formation of a double membrane called the autophagosome, which then fuses with lysosomes to degrade the(More)
Atg7 is a noncanonical, homodimeric E1 enzyme that interacts with the noncanonical E2 enzyme, Atg3, to mediate conjugation of the ubiquitin-like protein (UBL) Atg8 during autophagy. Here we report that the unique N-terminal domain of Atg7 (Atg7(NTD)) recruits a unique "flexible region" from Atg3 (Atg3(FR)). The structure of an Atg7(NTD)-Atg3(FR) complex(More)
In cells undergoing apoptosis, mitochondrial outer-membrane permeabilization (MOMP) is followed by caspase activation promoted by released cytochrome c. Although caspases mediate the apoptotic phenotype, caspase inhibition is generally not sufficient for survival following MOMP; instead cells undergo a "caspase-independent cell death" (CICD). Thus, MOMP may(More)
Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation pathway that converts macromolecules into substrates for energy production during nutrient-scarce conditions such as those encountered in tumor microenvironments. Constitutive mitochondrial uptake of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca²⁺ mediated by inositol triphosphate receptors (IP₃Rs) maintains cellular bioenergetics, thus(More)
Apoptotic cell death inhibits oncogenesis at multiple stages, ranging from transformation to metastasis. Consequently, in order for cancer to develop and progress, apoptosis must be inhibited. Cell death also plays major roles in cancer treatment, serving as the main effector function of many anti-cancer therapies. In this review, we discuss the role of(More)
During apoptosis, the mitochondrial outer membrane is permeabilized, leading to the release of cytochrome c that activates downstream caspases. Mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) has historically been thought to occur synchronously and completely throughout a cell, leading to rapid caspase activation and apoptosis. Using a new imaging(More)
Macroautophagy (hereafter termed autophagy) is a cellular membrane-trafficking process that functions to deliver cytoplasmic constituents to lysosomes for degradation. Autophagy operates at basal levels to turn over damaged and misfolded proteins and it is the only process for the turnover of organelles. The process is therefore critically important for the(More)
During macroautophagy, conjugation of ATG12 to ATG5 is essential for LC3 lipidation and autophagosome formation. Additionally, ATG12 has ATG5-independent functions in diverse processes including mitochondrial fusion and mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis. In this study, we investigated the regulation of free ATG12. In stark contrast to the stable ATG12-ATG5(More)
BH3-only protein Bid is a key player in death receptor-induced apoptosis, because it provides the link with the mitochondrial route for caspase activation. In this pathway, Bid is activated upon cleavage by caspase-8. Its BH3 domain-containing carboxy-terminal fragment subsequently provokes mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization by Bak/Bax(More)
Most apoptotic stimuli require mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) in order to execute cell death. As such, MOMP is subject to tight control by Bcl-2 family proteins. We have developed a powerful new technique to investigate Bcl-2-mediated regulation of MOMP. This method, called mito-priming, uses co-expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic(More)