The role of the selective adaptor p62 and ubiquitin-like proteins in autophagy

Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:832704. doi: 10.1155/2014/832704. Epub 2014 Jun 12.


The ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy were long viewed as independent, parallel degradation systems with no point of intersection. By now we know that these degradation pathways share certain substrates and regulatory molecules and show coordinated and compensatory function. Two ubiquitin-like protein conjugation pathways were discovered that are required for autophagosome biogenesis: the Atg12-Atg5-Atg16 and Atg8 systems. Autophagy has been considered to be essentially a nonselective process, but it turned out to be at least partially selective. Selective substrates of autophagy include damaged mitochondria, intracellular pathogens, and even a subset of cytosolic proteins with the help of ubiquitin-binding autophagic adaptors, such as p62/SQSTM1, NBR1, NDP52, and Optineurin. These proteins selectively recognize autophagic cargo and mediate its engulfment into autophagosomes by binding to the small ubiquitin-like modifiers that belong to the Atg8/LC3 family.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autophagy / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factor TFIIIA / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitins / genetics
  • Ubiquitins / metabolism*


  • CALCOCO2 protein, human
  • NBR1 protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • OPTN protein, human
  • P62 protein, human
  • Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factor TFIIIA
  • Ubiquitin
  • Ubiquitins