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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Interactome of Arabidopsis ATG5 Suggests Functions beyond Autophagy

Elander, Pernilla H.; Holla, Sanjana; Sabljic, Igor; Gutierrez-Beltran, Emilio; Willems, Patrick; Bozhkov, Peter V.; Minina, Elena A.


Autophagy is a catabolic pathway capable of degrading cellular components ranging from individual molecules to organelles. Autophagy helps cells cope with stress by removing superfluous or hazardous material. In a previous work, we demonstrated that transcriptional upregulation of two autophagy-related genes, ATG5 and ATG7, in Arabidopsis thaliana positively affected agronomically important traits: biomass, seed yield, tolerance to pathogens and oxidative stress. Although the occurrence of these traits correlated with enhanced autophagic activity, it is possible that autophagy-independent roles of ATG5 and ATG7 also contributed to the phenotypes. In this study, we employed affinity purification and LC-MS/MS to identify the interactome of wild-type ATG5 and its autophagy-inactive substitution mutant, ATG5(K128R) Here we present the first interactome of plant ATG5, encompassing not only known autophagy regulators but also stress-response factors, components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system, proteins involved in endomembrane trafficking, and potential partners of the nuclear fraction of ATG5. Furthermore, we discovered post-translational modifications, such as phosphorylation and acetylation present on ATG5 complex components that are likely to play regulatory functions. These results strongly indicate that plant ATG5 complex proteins have roles beyond autophagy itself, opening avenues for further investigations on the complex roles of autophagy in plant growth and stress responses.


plant proteomics; plant ubiquitin-like conjugation system; autophagy-unrelated functions; nuclear ATG5; nuclear ATG12; posttranslational modifications; PP2A; HXK1; endomembrane trafficking; proteasome

Published in

International Journal of Molecular Sciences
2023, Volume: 24, number: 15, article number: 12300
Publisher: MDPI