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AMBRA1 is able to induce mitophagy via LC3 binding, regardless of PARKIN and p62/SQSTM1.

Strappazzon F., Nazio F., Corrado M., Cianfanelli V., Romagnoli A., Fimia G.M., Campello S., Nardacci R., Piacentini M., Campanella M., Cecconi F.

Damaged mitochondria are eliminated by mitophagy, a selective form of autophagy whose dysfunction associates with neurodegenerative diseases. PINK1, PARKIN and p62/SQTMS1 have been shown to regulate mitophagy, leaving hitherto ill-defined the contribution by key players in 'general' autophagy. In basal conditions, a pool of AMBRA1 - an upstream autophagy regulator and a PARKIN interactor - is present at the mitochondria, where its pro-autophagic activity is inhibited by Bcl-2. Here we show that, upon mitophagy induction, AMBRA1 binds the autophagosome adapter LC3 through a LIR (LC3 interacting region) motif, this interaction being crucial for regulating both canonical PARKIN-dependent and -independent mitochondrial clearance. Moreover, forcing AMBRA1 localization to the outer mitochondrial membrane unleashes a massive PARKIN- and p62-independent but LC3-dependent mitophagy. These results highlight a novel role for AMBRA1 as a powerful mitophagy regulator, through both canonical or noncanonical pathways.

Cell Death Differ. 22:419-432(2015) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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