Autophagy in protists

Michael Duszenko, Michael L. Ginger, Ana Brennand, Melisa Gualdrón-López, Maria Isabel Colombo, Graham H. Coombs, Isabelle Coppens, Bamini Jayabalasingham, Gordon Langsley, Solange Lisboa De Castro, Rubem Menna-Barreto, Jeremy C. Mottram, Miguel Navarro, Daniel J. Rigden, Patricia S. Romano, Veronika Stoka, Boris Turk, Paul A M Michels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Autophagy is the degradative process by which eukaryotic cells digest their own components using acid hydrolases within the lysosome. Originally thought to function almost exclusively in providing starving cells with nutrients taken from their own cellular constituents, autophagy is in fact involved in numerous cellular events including differentiation, turnover of macromolecules and organelles and defense against parasitic invaders. During the past 10-20 years, molecular components of the autophagic machinery have been discovered, revealing a complex interactome of proteins and lipids, which, in a concerted way, induce membrane formation to engulf cellular material and target it for lysosomal degradation. Here, our emphasis is autophagy in protists. We discuss experimental and genomic data indicating that the canonical autophagy machinery characterized in animals and fungi appeared prior to the radiation of major eukaryotic lineages. Moreover, we describe how comparative bioinformatics revealed that this canonical machinery has been subject to moderation, outright loss or elaboration on multiple occasions in protist lineages, most probably as a consequence of diverse lifestyle adaptations. We also review experimental studies illustrating how several pathogenic protists either utilize autophagy mechanisms or manipulate host-cell autophagy in order to establish or maintain infection within a host. The essentiality of autophagy for the pathogenicity of many parasites, and the unique features of some of the autophagy-related proteins involved, suggest possible new targets for drug discovery. Further studies of the molecular details of autophagy in protists will undoubtedly enhance our understanding of the diversity and complexity of this cellular phenomenon and the opportunities it offers as a drug target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-158
Number of pages32
JournalAutophagy
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2011

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Autophagy
Eukaryotic Cells
Hydrolases
Drug Discovery
Lysosomes
Computational Biology
Organelles
Virulence
Life Style
Parasites
Fungi
Radiation
Lipids
Food
Acids
Membranes
Infection
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Keywords

  • Apicomplexa
  • Autophagy
  • Drug discovery
  • Evolution
  • Free-living protist
  • Life-cycle differentiation
  • Parasitic protist
  • Pexophagy
  • Trypanosomatidae
  • Ubiquitination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Duszenko, M., Ginger, M. L., Brennand, A., Gualdrón-López, M., Colombo, M. I., Coombs, G. H., ... Michels, P. A. M. (2011). Autophagy in protists. Autophagy, 7(2), 127-158. https://doi.org/10.4161/auto.7.2.13310

Autophagy in protists. / Duszenko, Michael; Ginger, Michael L.; Brennand, Ana; Gualdrón-López, Melisa; Colombo, Maria Isabel; Coombs, Graham H.; Coppens, Isabelle; Jayabalasingham, Bamini; Langsley, Gordon; De Castro, Solange Lisboa; Menna-Barreto, Rubem; Mottram, Jeremy C.; Navarro, Miguel; Rigden, Daniel J.; Romano, Patricia S.; Stoka, Veronika; Turk, Boris; Michels, Paul A M.

In: Autophagy, Vol. 7, No. 2, 02.2011, p. 127-158.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Duszenko, M, Ginger, ML, Brennand, A, Gualdrón-López, M, Colombo, MI, Coombs, GH, Coppens, I, Jayabalasingham, B, Langsley, G, De Castro, SL, Menna-Barreto, R, Mottram, JC, Navarro, M, Rigden, DJ, Romano, PS, Stoka, V, Turk, B & Michels, PAM 2011, 'Autophagy in protists', Autophagy, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 127-158. https://doi.org/10.4161/auto.7.2.13310
Duszenko M, Ginger ML, Brennand A, Gualdrón-López M, Colombo MI, Coombs GH et al. Autophagy in protists. Autophagy. 2011 Feb;7(2):127-158. https://doi.org/10.4161/auto.7.2.13310
Duszenko, Michael ; Ginger, Michael L. ; Brennand, Ana ; Gualdrón-López, Melisa ; Colombo, Maria Isabel ; Coombs, Graham H. ; Coppens, Isabelle ; Jayabalasingham, Bamini ; Langsley, Gordon ; De Castro, Solange Lisboa ; Menna-Barreto, Rubem ; Mottram, Jeremy C. ; Navarro, Miguel ; Rigden, Daniel J. ; Romano, Patricia S. ; Stoka, Veronika ; Turk, Boris ; Michels, Paul A M. / Autophagy in protists. In: Autophagy. 2011 ; Vol. 7, No. 2. pp. 127-158.
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