The role of 'eat-me' signals and autophagy cargo receptors in innate immunity

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2013 Jun;16(3):339-48. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2013.03.010. Epub 2013 Apr 23.


Selective autophagy is an important effector mechanism of cell autonomous immunity, in particular against invasive bacterial species. Anti-bacterial autophagy is activated by rupture of bacteria-containing vacuoles and exposure of bacteria to the cytosol. The autophagy cargo receptors p62, NDP52 and Optineurin detect incoming bacteria that have become associated with specific 'eat-me' signals such as Galectin-8 and poly-ubiquitin and feed them into the autophagy pathway via interactions with phagophore-associated ATG8-like proteins. Here we review recent progress in the field regarding the origin of bacteria-associated 'eat-me' signals, the specific roles of individual cargo receptors and how disrupting cargo receptor function may be important for bacterial evasion of autophagy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Autophagy*
  • Bacteria / immunology*
  • Cell Physiological Phenomena*
  • Cytoplasm / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequestosome-1 Protein
  • Transcription Factor TFIIIA / metabolism


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • CALCOCO2 protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • OPTN protein, human
  • SQSTM1 protein, human
  • Sequestosome-1 Protein
  • Transcription Factor TFIIIA