Differential activation of eMI by distinct forms of cellular stress

Ana Mesquita, James Glenn, Andreas Jenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


As one of the major, highly conserved catabolic pathways, autophagy delivers cytosolic components to lysosomes for degradation. It is essential for development, cellular homeostasis, and coping with stress. Reduced autophagy increases susceptibility to protein aggregation diseases and leads to phenotypes associated with aging. Of the three major forms of autophagy, macroautophagy (MA) can degrade organelles or aggregated proteins, and chaperone-mediated autophagy is specific for soluble proteins containing KFERQ-related targeting motifs. During endosomal microautophagy (eMI), cytoplasmic proteins are engulfed into late endosomes in an ESCRT machinery-dependent manner. eMI can be KFERQ-specific or occur in bulk and be induced by prolonged starvation. Its physiological regulation and function, however, are not understood. Here, we show that eMI in the Drosophila fat body, akin to the mammalian liver, is induced upon oxidative or genotoxic stress in an ESCRT and partially Hsc70-4-dependent manner. Interestingly, eMI activation is selective, as ER stress fails to elicit a response. Intriguingly, we find that reducing MA leads to a compensatory enhancement of eMI, suggesting a tight interplay between these degradative processes. Furthermore, we show that mutations in DNA damage response genes are sufficient to trigger eMI and that the response to oxidative stress is under the control of MAPK/JNK signaling. Our data suggest that, controlled by various signaling pathways, eMI allows an organ to react and adapt to specific types of stress and is thus likely critical to prevent disease. Abbreviations: Atg: autophagy-related; CMA: chaperone-mediated autophagy; DDR: DNA damage repair; Df: deficiency (deletion); (E)GFP: (enhanced) green fluorescent protein; eMI: endosomal microautophagy; ER: endoplasmatic reticulum; ESCRT: endosomal sorting complexes required for transport; Eto: etoposide; FLP: flipase; Hsc: heat shock cognate protein; LAMP2A: lysosomal-associated membrane protein 2A; LE: late endosome; MA: macroautophagy; MI: microautophagy; MVB: multivesicular body; PA: photoactivatable; Para: paraquat; ROS: reactive oxygen species; SEM: standard error of means; Tor: target of rapamycin [serine/threonine kinase]; UPR: unfolded protein response; Vps: vacuolar protein sorting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2020


  • Autophagy
  • DNA damage
  • ER stress
  • ROS
  • microautophagy
  • oxidative stress
  • proteostasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential activation of eMI by distinct forms of cellular stress'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this