Membrane Curvature Sensing

During autophagosome biogenesis, membrane curvature sensors sense the curvature change from the flat membrane to the curved vesicle, subsequently recruit downstream effectors to membrane. They might also be involved in inducing membrane curvature change and membrane tethering/fusion. We demonstrate that Barkor/Atg14 functions as a membrane curvature sensor through its ALPS (Amphipathic Lipid Packing Sensor) motif within the BATS (Barkor/Atg14 Autophagosome Targeting Sequence) domain, therefore explains the nucleation of PI3KC3 on the autophagosome initiation membrane. We are currently testing its function in membrane dynamics regulation.

Representative paper:

  1. Fan W, Nassiri A, Zhong Q. Autophagosome targeting and membrane curvature sensing by Barkor/Atg14(L). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 May 10; 108(19):7769-7774.