Autophagy is an important lysosomal degradation pathway that aids in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis by breaking down and recycling intracellular contents. Dysregulation of autophagy is linked to a growing number of human diseases. The Beclin 1-Vps34 protein-protein interaction network is critical for autophagy regulation and is therefore essential to cellular integrity. Manipulation of autophagy, in particular via modulation of the action of the Beclin 1-Vps34 complexes, is considered a promising route to combat autophagy-related diseases. Here we summarize recent findings on the core components and structural architecture of the Beclin 1-Vps34 complexes, and how these findings provide valuable insights into the molecular mechanisms that underlie the multiple functions of these complexes and for devising therapeutic strategies.
Keywords: Beclin 1; CX-MS; EM; Nrbf2; Vps34; complex; drug design; inhibitor; structure.