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The hairpin-type tail-anchored SNARE syntaxin 17 targets to autophagosomes for fusion with endosomes/lysosomes.

Itakura E., Kishi-Itakura C., Mizushima N.

The lysosome is a degradative organelle, and its fusion with other organelles is strictly regulated. In contrast to fusion with the late endosome, the mechanisms underlying autophagosome-lysosome fusion remain unknown. Here, we identify syntaxin 17 (Stx17) as the autophagosomal SNARE required for fusion with the endosome/lysosome. Stx17 localizes to the outer membrane of completed autophagosomes but not to the isolation membrane (unclosed intermediate structures); for this reason, the lysosome does not fuse with the isolation membrane. Stx17 interacts with SNAP-29 and the endosomal/lysosomal SNARE VAMP8. Depletion of Stx17 causes accumulation of autophagosomes without degradation. Stx17 has a unique C-terminal hairpin structure mediated by two tandem transmembrane domains containing glycine zipper-like motifs, which is essential for its association with the autophagosomal membrane. These findings reveal a mechanism by which the SNARE protein is available to the completed autophagosome.

Cell 151:1256-1269(2012) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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