Autophagy power expands: fuse those cells!

EMBO J. 2022 Jun 14;41(12):e111424. doi: 10.15252/embj.2022111424. Epub 2022 May 13.


The lysosomal degradation pathway of autophagy depends on a set of evolutionarily conserved autophagy-related molecules (ATGs) bestowed with the power to direct membrane trafficking and biology. In this issue of EMBO Journal, Kakanj P et al reveal a surprising role for the autophagy machinery in cell fusion (Kakanj et al, 2022). Autophagy is physiologically required for cell syncytium formation through dismantling the lateral plasma membrane during wound healing, and unchecked autophagy can drive cell fusion in epithelial tissues without compromising epithelial integrity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autophagy* / physiology
  • Cell Communication
  • Lysosomes* / metabolism