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Sorting nexins are a conserved protein family involved in vesicle transport, membrane trafficking and protein sorting. The sorting nexin ATG24/SNX4 has been demonstrated to be involved in different autophagy pathways and in endosomal trafficking. However, its impact on cellular quality control and on aging and development is still elusive. Here we report studies analyzing the function of PaATG24 in the aging model Podospora anserina. Ablation of PaATG24 leads to a reduced growth rate, infertility, and to a pronounced lifespan reduction. These characteristics are accompanied by alterations of the morphology and size distribution of vacuoles and severe impairments in non-selective and selective autophagy of peroxisomes (pexophagy) and mitochondria (mitophagy). While general autophagy and pexophagy are almost completely blocked, a PaATG24-independent form of mitophagy is induced during aging. In the ΔPaAtg24 mutant a strong accumulation of peroxisomes occurs while mitochondrial abundance is only slightly increased. These mitochondria are partially affected in function. Most strikingly, although some PaATG24-independent mitophagy exists, it appears that this is not sufficient to remove dysfunctional mitochondria efficiently enough to prevent premature aging. Overall our data emphasize the key role of mitochondria in aging and of mitophagy in quality control to keep a population of "healthy" mitochondria during aging. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Vanessa Henkel, Lea Schürmanns, Miriam Brunner, Andrea Hamann, Heinz D Osiewacz. Role of sorting nexin PaATG24 in autophagy, aging and development of Podospora anserina. Mechanisms of ageing and development. 2020 Mar;186:111211

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PMID: 32007577

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