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Special Issue "Microautophagy"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Masahide Oku
Website
Guest Editor
Division of Applied Life Sciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
Interests: autophagy; endosome; lysosome; vacuole

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The term microautophagy represents a category of autophagic pathways characterized by lysosomal (vacuolar) or endosomal membrane dynamics to enwrap cytoplasmic components. Although it was discovered in a very early stage of cell biology history (1960s) and has been found in three kingdoms (Plantae, Fungi, and Animalia), its molecular details and physiological functions are still mostly unknown. Recent studies with yeast experimental systems have demonstrated that some of the microautophagic processes rely on Atg (autophagy-related) proteins responsible for biogenesis of macroautophagic membrane structures (autophagosomes), while others do not, highlighting molecular variations in microautophagy.

Here, in this Special Issue, I would like to seek for novel microautophagic pathways operating in various experimental systems. Physiological functions of microautophagy are also discussed in this issue, since this process was suggested to contribute to basal-level, constitutive degradation of cytosolic proteins in a pioneering study on mammalian metabolism. I look forward to your contributions.

Dr. Masahide Oku
Guest Editor

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. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. 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.

Keywords

  • autophagy
  • endocytosis
  • lysosome
  • homeostasis
  • macroautophagy
  • vacuole

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Genomic Characterization and Expressional Profiles of Autophagy-Related Genes (ATGs) in Oilseed Crop Castor Bean (Ricinus communis L.)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020562 - 15 Jan 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
Cellular autophagy is a widely-occurring conserved process for turning over damaged organelles or recycling cytoplasmic contents in cells. Although autophagy-related genes (ATGs) have been broadly identified from many plants, little is known about the potential function of autophagy in mediating plant [...] Read more.
Cellular autophagy is a widely-occurring conserved process for turning over damaged organelles or recycling cytoplasmic contents in cells. Although autophagy-related genes (ATGs) have been broadly identified from many plants, little is known about the potential function of autophagy in mediating plant growth and development, particularly in recycling cytoplasmic contents during seed development and germination. Castor bean (Ricinus communis) is one of the most important inedible oilseed crops. Its mature seed has a persistent and large endosperm with a hard and lignified seed coat, and is considered a model system for studying seed biology. Here, a total of 34 RcATG genes were identified in the castor bean genome and their sequence structures were characterized. The expressional profiles of these RcATGs were examined using RNA-seq and real-time PCR in a variety of tissues. In particular, we found that most RcATGs were significantly up-regulated in the later stage of seed coat development, tightly associated with the lignification of cell wall tissues. During seed germination, the expression patterns of most RcATGs were associated with the decomposition of storage oils. Furthermore, we observed by electron microscopy that the lipid droplets were directly swallowed by the vacuoles, suggesting that autophagy directly participates in mediating the decomposition of lipid droplets via the microlipophagy pathway in germinating castor bean seeds. This study provides novel insights into understanding the potential function of autophagy in mediating seed development and germination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microautophagy)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Multifaceted Role of CMA in Glioma: Enemy or Ally?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 2217; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22042217 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 294
Abstract
Chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) is a catabolic pathway fundamental for cell homeostasis, by which specific damaged or non-essential proteins are degraded. CMA activity has three main levels of regulation. The first regulatory level is based on the targetability of specific proteins possessing a KFERQ-like [...] Read more.
Chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) is a catabolic pathway fundamental for cell homeostasis, by which specific damaged or non-essential proteins are degraded. CMA activity has three main levels of regulation. The first regulatory level is based on the targetability of specific proteins possessing a KFERQ-like domain, which can be recognized by specific chaperones and delivered to the lysosomes. Target protein unfolding and translocation into the lysosomal lumen constitutes the second level of CMA regulation and is based on the modulation of Lamp2A multimerization. Finally, the activity of some accessory proteins represents the third regulatory level of CMA activity. CMA’s role in oncology has not been fully clarified covering both pro-survival and pro-death roles in different contexts. Taking all this into account, it is possible to comprehend the actual complexity of both CMA regulation and the cellular consequences of its activity allowing it to be elected as a modulatory and not only catabolic machinery. In this review, the role covered by CMA in oncology is discussed with a focus on its relevance in glioma. Molecular correlates of CMA importance in glioma responsiveness to treatment are described to identify new early efficacy biomarkers and new therapeutic targets to overcome resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microautophagy)
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Open AccessReview
Nucleophagy—Implications for Microautophagy and Health
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(12), 4506; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21124506 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1279
Abstract
Nucleophagy, the selective subtype of autophagy that targets nuclear material for autophagic degradation, was not only shown to be a model system for the study of selective macroautophagy, but also for elucidating the role of the core autophagic machinery within microautophagy. Nucleophagy also [...] Read more.
Nucleophagy, the selective subtype of autophagy that targets nuclear material for autophagic degradation, was not only shown to be a model system for the study of selective macroautophagy, but also for elucidating the role of the core autophagic machinery within microautophagy. Nucleophagy also emerged as a system associated with a variety of disease conditions including cancer, neurodegeneration and ageing. Nucleophagic processes are part of natural cell development, but also act as a response to various stress conditions. Upon releasing small portions of nuclear material, micronuclei, the autophagic machinery transfers these micronuclei to the vacuole for subsequent degradation. Despite sharing many cargos and requiring the core autophagic machinery, recent investigations revealed the aspects that set macro- and micronucleophagy apart. Central to the discrepancies found between macro- and micronucleophagy is the nucleus vacuole junction, a large membrane contact site formed between nucleus and vacuole. Exclusion of nuclear pore complexes from the junction and its exclusive degradation by micronucleophagy reveal compositional differences in cargo. Regarding their shared reliance on the core autophagic machinery, micronucleophagy does not involve normal autophagosome biogenesis observed for macronucleophagy, but instead maintains a unique role in overall microautophagy, with the autophagic machinery accumulating at the neck of budding vesicles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microautophagy)
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