Molecular Mechanisms of Noncanonical Autophagy

Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2017;328:1-23. doi: 10.1016/bs.ircmb.2016.08.001. Epub 2016 Sep 28.


Macroautophagy is a lysosomal catabolic process that maintains the homeostasis of eukaryotic cells, tissues, and organisms. Macroautophagy plays important physiological roles during development and aging processes and also contributes to immune responses. The process of macroautophagy is compromised in diseases, such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and diabetes. The autophagosome, the double-membrane-bound organelle that sequesters cytoplasmic material to initiate macroautophagy, is formed by the hierarchical recruitment of about 15 autophagy-related (ATG) proteins and associated proteins, such as DFCP1, AMBRA1, the class III phosphatidyl-inositol 3-kinase VPS34, and p150/VPS15. Evidence suggests that in addition to the canonical pathway, noncanonical pathways that do not require the entire repertoire of ATGs can also result in formation of autophagosomes. Here we will discuss recent discoveries concerning the molecular regulation of these noncanonical forms of macroautophagy and their potential roles in cellular responses to stressful situations.

Keywords: Beclin 1; VPS34; autophagosome; lysosome; macroautophagy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagosomes / metabolism
  • Autophagy / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction
  • Ubiquitins / metabolism


  • Ubiquitins