Macroautophagy is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic mechanism that delivers intracellular constituents to lysosomes using autophagosomes. To achieve degradation, lysosomes must fuse with closed autophagosomes. We previously reported that the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) protein syntaxin (STX) 17 translocates to autophagosomes to mediate fusion with lysosomes. In this study, we report an additional mechanism. We found that autophagosome-lysosome fusion is retained to some extent even in STX17 knockout (KO) HeLa cells. By screening other human SNAREs, we identified YKT6 as a novel autophagosomal SNARE protein. Depletion of YKT6 inhibited autophagosome-lysosome fusion partially in wild-type and completely in STX17 KO cells, suggesting that YKT6 and STX17 are independently required for fusion. YKT6 formed a SNARE complex with SNAP29 and lysosomal STX7, both of which are required for autophagosomal fusion. Recruitment of YKT6 to autophagosomes depends on its N-terminal longin domain but not on the C-terminal palmitoylation and farnesylation that are essential for its Golgi localization. These findings suggest that two independent SNARE complexes mediate autophagosome-lysosome fusion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology