LIRcentral: a manually curated online database of experimentally validated functional LIR motifs

Autophagy. 2023 Dec;19(12):3189-3200. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2023.2235851. Epub 2023 Aug 2.


Several selective macroautophagy receptor and adaptor proteins bind members of the Atg8 (autophagy related 8) family using short linear motifs (SLiMs), most often referred to as Atg8-family interacting motifs (AIMs) or LC3-interacting regions (LIRs). AIM/LIR motifs have been extensively studied during the last fifteen years, since they can uncover the underlying biological mechanisms and possible substrates for this key catabolic process of eukaryotic cells. Prompted by the fact that experimental information regarding LIR motifs can be found scattered across heterogeneous literature resources, we have developed LIRcentral (, a freely available online repository for user-friendly access to comprehensive, high-quality information regarding LIR motifs from manually curated publications. Herein, we describe the development of LIRcentral and showcase currently available data and features, along with our plans for the expansion of this resource. Information incorporated in LIRcentral is useful for accomplishing a variety of research tasks, including: (i) guiding wet biology researchers for the characterization of novel instances of LIR motifs, (ii) giving bioinformaticians/computational biologists access to high-quality LIR motifs for building novel prediction methods for LIR motifs and LIR containing proteins (LIRCPs) and (iii) performing analyses to better understand the biological importance/features of functional LIR motifs. We welcome feedback on the LIRcentral content and functionality by all interested researchers and anticipate this work to spearhead a community effort for sustaining this resource which will further promote progress in studying LIR motifs/LIRCPs.Abbreviations: AIM, Atg8-family interacting motif; Atg8, autophagy related 8; GABARAP, GABA type A receptor-associated protein; LIR, LC3-interacting region; LIRCP, LIR-containing protein; MAP1LC3/LC3, microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; PMID, PubMed identifier; PPI, protein-protein interaction; SLiM, short linear motif.

Keywords: Atg8 family; database; manual literature curation/annotation; online resource; peptide-protein interaction; selective macroautophagy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Autophagy* / physiology
  • Autophagy-Related Protein 8 Family / metabolism
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins* / metabolism


  • Autophagy-Related Protein 8 Family
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins

Grants and funding

This work has been co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation (Project: EXCELLENCE/0421/0576) and by the University of Cyprus [Computational approaches towards mechanistic insights and improved detection of functional LIR-motifs in selective autophagy receptors and adaptors. (idLIR)] internal grant (to V.J.P.).