Novel inducers of BECN1-independent autophagy: Cis-unsaturated fatty acids
Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
Class III Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
The induction of autophagy usually requires the activation of PIK3C3/VPS34 (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, catalytic subunit type 3) within a multiprotein complex that contains BECN1 (Beclin 1, autophagy related). PIK3C3 catalyzes the conversion of phosphatidylinositol into phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns3P). PtdIns3P associates with growing phagophores, which recruit components of the autophagic machinery, including the lipidated form of MAP1LC3B/LC3 (microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 β). Depletion of BECN1, PIK3C3 or some of their interactors suppresses the formation of MAP1LC3B(+) phagophores or autophagosomes elicited by most physiological stimuli, including saturated fatty acids. We observed that cis-unsaturated fatty acids stimulate the generation of cytosolic puncta containing lipidated MAP1LC3B as well as the autophagic turnover of long-lived proteins in the absence of PtdIns3P accumulation. In line with this notion, cis-unsaturated fatty acids require neither BECN1 nor PIK3C3 to stimulate the autophagic flux. Such a BECN1-independent autophagic response is phylogenetically conserved, manifesting in yeast, nematodes, mice and human cells. Importantly, MAP1LC3B(+) puncta elicited by cis-unsaturated fatty acids colocalize with Golgi apparatus markers. Moreover, the structural and functional collapse of the Golgi apparatus induced by brefeldin A inhibits cis-unsaturated fatty acid-triggered autophagy. It is tempting to speculate that the well-established health-promoting effects of cis-unsaturated fatty acids are linked to their unusual capacity to stimulate noncanonical, BECN1-independent autophagic responses.