A Comparative Analysis of the Membrane Binding and Remodeling Properties of Two Related Sorting Nexin Complexes Involved in Autophagy

Biochemistry. 2023 Feb 7;62(3):657-668. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.2c00007. Epub 2022 Apr 14.


The sorting nexin (SNX) proteins, Atg20 and Atg24, are involved in nonselective autophagy, are necessary for efficient selective autophagy, and are required for the cytoplasm-to-vacuole transport pathway. However, the specific roles of these proteins in autophagy are not well understood. Atg20 and Atg24 each contain a Phox homology domain that facilitates phosphoinositide binding. They also each contain an SNX-Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs domain that forms a cup-shaped dimer, capable of binding to curved membranes and remodeling those membranes in some cases. Atg20 and Atg24 form two distinct complexes, an Atg24/Atg24 homodimer and an Atg20/Atg24 heterodimer. Despite the presence of Atg24 in both complexes, it is currently unclear if these complexes have different membrane binding and remodeling properties. Therefore, in this study, we explored the membrane binding and shaping properties of these two dimeric complexes. We found that Atg24/Atg24 and Atg20/Atg24 have distinct membrane binding preferences. Both dimers recognized membranes containing phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate [PI(3)P] and phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate, but Atg20/Atg24 bound to a broader array of liposomes, including those lacking phosphorylated phosphatidylinositol. In addition, we discovered that while both complexes bound to autophagosomal-like liposomes containing at least 5% PI(3)P, Atg20/Atg24 was capable of binding to autophagosomal-like liposomes lacking PI(3)P. Lastly, we observed that the Atg20/Atg24 heterodimer tubulates PI(3)P-containing and autophagosomal-like liposomes, but the Atg24/Atg24 homodimer could not tubulate these liposomes. Our findings suggest that these two dimers contain distinct membrane binding and shaping properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Autophagy
  • Liposomes* / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates
  • Sorting Nexins* / metabolism


  • phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate
  • Sorting Nexins
  • Liposomes
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates