BMB Rep. 2016; 49(8): 424-430  
Role of the mammalian ATG8/LC3 family in autophagy: differential and compensatory roles in the spatiotemporal regulation of autophagy
You-Kyung Lee & Jin-A Lee*
Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences and Nanotechnology, Hannam University, Daejeon 34054, Korea
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Published online: August 31, 2016.
© Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. All rights reserved.

Autophagy, an evolutionarily conserved cellular degradation pathway of the lysosome, is associated with many physiological and pathological processes. The hallmark of autophagy is the formation of the autophagosome that engulfs and degrades cytosolic components via its fusion with the lysosome, in either a selective or a non-selective manner. Autophagy is tightly regulated by proteins encoded by autophagy-related (atg) genes. Among these proteins, ATG8/LC3 is essential for autophagosome biogenesis/maturation and
it also functions as an adaptor protein for selective autophagy. In mammalian cells, several homologs of yeast Atg8 such as MAP1LC3, GABARAP, and GABARAPL 1/2 have been identified. However, the biological relevance of this gene diversity in higher eukaryotes, and their specific roles, are largely unknown. In this review, we describe the mammalian ATG8/LC3 family and discuss recent advancements in understanding their roles in the autophagic process.
Keywords: ATG8, Autophagy, GABARAP, GABARAPL, LC3

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