Special Issue "Chaperone-Mediated Autophagy"

A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409). This special issue belongs to the section "Autophagy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Mario Tschan

Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: autophagy; CMA; acute myeloid leukemias; targeted cancer therapies; retinoids; transcription factors
Assistant Guest Editor
Dr. Magali Humbert

Tumor Pathology TP2, Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: autophagy; chaperone-mediated autophagy; acute myeloid leukemias; breast cancer; retinoids; differentiation therapy; transcription factors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) is a subtype of autophagy whereby the molecular chaperone HSC70/HSPA8 binds protein substrates containing a specific amino acid signature KFERQ (Lys-Phe-Glu-Arg-Gln) and targets them to the lysosome. The direct shuttling of soluble proteins trough the lysosomal membrane also requires the multimerization of LAMP2A, a lysosomal membrane-spanning protein, stabilized by HSP90. Physiological CMA, similar to macroautophagy, contributes to cellular homeostasis by protein quality control and the regulation of particular substrates involved in specific cellular pathways. More and more CMA substrates containing the KFERQ-like amino acid motif are being identified in parallel with the observation that a variety of diseases are affected by altered CMA activity. Of note, CMA may also be linked to cancerous glycolysis, as PKM2 and HK2, two key glycolytic enzymes highly expressed in cancer cells, are CMA substrates.

A better understanding of CMA regulation and function is the basis for proposing new treatment strategies in a variety of diseases and to develop new CMA targeting drugs. In neurodegenerative disease for instance, CMA deficiency—due to either substrate mutation or low LAMP2A expression—leads to an accumulation of protein aggregates that contributes to neuronal demise. In contrast, in a variety of cancers, CMA activity is increased, leading, for example, to the aberrant degradation of tumor suppressor proteins. Thus, on the one hand CMA supports the degradation of pathogenic proteins, on the other hand it promotes tumor cell proliferation. Extensive research remains to be done to understand the context-dependent impact of CMA on human health.

Moreover, CMA is involved in antigen presentation and T-cell signaling. CMA has been identified as a therapeutic target in autoimmune diseases. A first "CMA drug" in clinical trials to treat systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the peptide P140/Lupuzor™, which attenuates CMA activity in lymphocytes.

This Special Issue of Cells is dedicated to all sorts of molecular, cellular and disease-associated aspects of CMA. In contrast to macroautophagy, there are currently fewer data on CMA regulation and function available. Therefore, we are really looking forward to receiving your manuscripts on this exciting topic to start closing this knowledge gap.

Thank you in advance for submitting your contributions for publication in this Special Issue of Cells.


Prof. Mario Tschan
Dr. Magali Humbert
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Cells is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Chaperone-mediated autophagy
  • disease
  • therapy
  • LAMP2A
  • degradation
  • lysosome
  • CMA
  • cancer

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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