Science advances

A novel Rab10-EHBP1-EHD2 complex essential for the autophagic engulfment of lipid droplets.

PMID 28028537


The autophagic digestion of lipid droplets (LDs) through lipophagy is an essential process by which most cells catabolize lipids as an energy source. However, the cellular machinery used for the envelopment of LDs during autophagy is poorly understood. We report a novel function for a small Rab guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) in the recruitment of adaptors required for the engulfment of LDs by the growing autophagosome. In hepatocytes stimulated to undergo autophagy, Rab10 activity is amplified significantly, concomitant with its increased recruitment to nascent autophagic membranes at the LD surface. Disruption of Rab10 function by small interfering RNA knockdown or expression of a GTPase-defective variant leads to LD accumulation. Finally, Rab10 activation during autophagy is essential for LC3 recruitment to the autophagosome and stimulates its increased association with the adaptor protein EHBP1 (EH domain binding protein 1) and the membrane-deforming adenosine triphosphatase EHD2 (EH domain containing 2) that, together, are essential in driving the activated "engulfment" of LDs during lipophagy in hepatocytes.