ATG7(2) Interacts With Metabolic Proteins and Regulates Central Energy Metabolism

Kevin Ostacolo, Adrián López García de Lomana, Clémence Larat, Valgerdur Hjaltalin, Kristrun Yr Holm, Sigríður S. Hlynsdóttir, Margaret Soucheray, Linda Sooman, Ottar Rolfsson, Nevan J. Krogan, Eirikur Steingrimsson, Danielle L. Swaney, Margret H. Ogmundsdottir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Macroautophagy/autophagy is an essential catabolic process that targets a wide variety of cellular components including proteins, organelles, and pathogens. ATG7, a protein involved in the autophagy process, plays a crucial role in maintaining cellular homeostasis and can contribute to the development of diseases such as cancer. ATG7 initiates autophagy by facilitating the lipidation of the ATG8 proteins in the growing autophagosome membrane. The noncanonical isoform ATG7(2) is unable to perform ATG8 lipidation; however, its cellular regulation and function are unknown. Here, we uncovered a distinct regulation and function of ATG7(2) in contrast with ATG7(1), the canonical isoform. First, affinity-purification mass spectrometry analysis revealed that ATG7(2) establishes direct protein–protein interactions (PPIs) with metabolic proteins, whereas ATG7(1) primarily interacts with autophagy machinery proteins. Furthermore, we identified that ATG7(2) mediates a decrease in metabolic activity, highlighting a novel splice-dependent function of this important autophagy protein. Then, we found a divergent expression pattern of ATG7(1) and ATG7(2) across human tissues. Conclusively, our work uncovers the divergent patterns of expression, protein interactions, and function of ATG7(2) in contrast to ATG7(1). These findings suggest a molecular switch between main catabolic processes through isoform-dependent expression of a key autophagy gene.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12933
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • ATG7
  • ATG7(2)
  • autophagy
  • glycolysis
  • GTEx
  • isoforms
  • lipidation
  • mitochondrial activity
  • PPI


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