Autophagosome fuses with lysosome and allows internal components to be degraded or processed. The membrane fusion might start with tethering factors that bring autophagosome and lysosome to close proximity. We found that, lysosome localized TECPR1 physically interacts with autophagosome localized Atg12-Atg5 conjugate, and this interaction is crucial for autophagosome maturation. TECPR1 also contains a PH domain for PI3P binding. We are currently investigating the biochemical activity and regulation of TECPR1 as a possible membrane tethering factor and fusion promoter.
- Chen D, Fan W, Lu Y, Ding X, Chen S, Zhong Q. A mammalian autophagosome maturation mechanism mediated by TECPR1 and the Atg12-Atg5 conjugate. Mol Cell, 2012 Mar 9;45(5):629-41.