Recent Publications (Original)
Experimental determination and mathematical modeling of standard shapes of forming autophagosomes (Sakai et al., Nat. Commun.)
2024.01.04 Recent Publications (Original)
Yuji Sakai, Satoru Takahashi, Ikuko Koyama-Honda, Chieko Saito, Noboru Mizushima
Experimental determination and mathematical modeling of standard shapes of forming autophagosomes
Nat. Commun. 2024 Jan 2;15(1):91. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-44442-1
The formation of autophagosomes involves dynamic morphological changes of a phagophore from a flat membrane cisterna into a cup-shaped intermediate and a spherical autophagosome. However, the physical mechanism behind these morphological changes remains elusive. Here, we determine the average shapes of phagophores by statistically investigating three-dimensional electron micrographs of more than 100 phagophores. The results show that the cup-shaped structures adopt a characteristic morphology; they are longitudinally elongated, and the rim is catenoidal with an outwardly recurved shape. To understand these characteristic shapes, we establish a theoretical model of the shape of entire phagophores. The model quantitatively reproduces the average morphology and reveals that the characteristic shape of phagophores is primarily determined by the relative size of the open rim to the total surface area. These results suggest that the seemingly complex morphological changes during autophagosome formation follow a stable path determined by elastic bending energy minimization.