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Autophagy

Acidocalcisome is required for autophagy in Trypanosoma brucei.


PMID 25484093

Abstract

Lysosomes play important roles in autophagy, not only in autophagosome degradation, but also in autophagy initiation. In Trypanosoma brucei, an early divergent protozoan parasite, we discovered a previously unappreciated function of the acidocalcisome, a lysosome-related organelle characterized by acidic pH and large content of Ca(2+) and polyphosphates, in autophagy regulation. Starvation- and chemical-induced autophagy is accompanied with acidocalcisome acidification, and blocking the acidification completely inhibits autophagosome formation. Blocking acidocalcisome biogenesis by depleting the adaptor protein-3 complex, which does not affect lysosome biogenesis or function, also inhibits autophagy. Overall, our results support the role of the acidocalcisome, a conserved organelle from bacteria to human, as a relevant regulator in autophagy.