An ALS-associated variant of the autophagy receptor SQSTM1/p62 reprograms binding selectivity toward the autophagy-related hATG8 proteins

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Abstract

Recognition of human autophagy-related 8 (hATG8) proteins by autophagy receptors represents a critical step within this cellular quality control system. Autophagy impairment is known to be a pathogenic mechanism in the motor neuron disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Overlapping but specific roles of hATG8 proteins belonging to the LC3 and GABARAP subfamilies are incompletely understood, and binding selectivity is typically overlooked. We previously showed that an ALS-associated variant of the SQSTM1/p62 (p62) autophagy receptor bearing an L341V mutation within its ATG8-interacting motif (AIM) impairs recognition of LC3B in vitro, yielding an autophagy-deficient phenotype. Improvements in understanding of hATG8 recognition by AIMs now distinguish LC3-interaction and GABARAP-interaction motifs and predict the effects of L341V substitution may extend beyond loss of function to biasing AIM binding preference. Through biophysical analyses, we confirm impaired binding of the L341V-AIM mutant to LC3A, LC3B, GABARAP, and GABARAPL1. In contrast, p62 AIM interactions with LC3C and GABARAPL2 are unaffected by this mutation. Isothermal titration calorimetry and NMR investigations provided insights into the entropy-driven GABARAPL2/p62 interaction and how the L341V mutation may be tolerated. Competition binding demonstrated reduced association of the L341V-AIM with one hATG8 manifests as a relative increase in association with alternate hATG8s, indicating effective reprogramming of hATG8 selectivity. These data highlight how a single AIM peptide might compete for binding with different hATG8s and suggest that the L341V-AIM mutation may be neomorphic, representative of a disease mechanism that likely extends into other human disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101514
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume298
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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