Belcin1 is essential for autophagosome membrane expansion. Beclin1 is known to form a complex with VPS34 and ATG14 and its recruitment to membranes is dependent on ATG14. We have found that a novel domain of Beclin1 is required for membrane binding and for autophagy induction. We have confirmed that the autophagy activity and membrane targeting function of this domain is conserved in the yeast orthologue of Beclin1, ATG6. Fusion of this domain to the apoptosis inducing protein Bax spontaneously activated Bax indicating that this domain can target mitochondrial membranes. We have also collaborated in the identification of a role of HSP90 in mitophagy. We are also exploring how mitochondrial fission is coupled to selective autophagy of mitochondria.

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Sekine, Shiori; Youle, Richard J (2018) PINK1 import regulation; a fine system to convey mitochondrial stress to the cytosol. BMC Biol 16:2
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