ATG9 resides on a unique population of small vesicles in presynaptic nerve terminals
Beyenech Binotti, Momchil Ninov, Andreia P. Cepeda, Marcelo Ganzella, Ulf Matti, Dietmar Riedel, Henning Urlaub, Sivakumar Sambandan, Reinhard Jahn
autophagy, autophagosome, ATG9, AP2-complex, vesicle, synapse
In neurons, autophagosome biogenesis occurs mainly in distal axons, followed by maturation during retrograde transport. Autophagosomal growth depends on the supply of membrane lipids which requires small vesicles containing ATG9, a lipid scramblase essential for macroautophagy/autophagy. Here, we show that ATG9-containing vesicles are enriched in synapses and resemble synaptic vesicles in size and density. The proteome of ATG9-containing vesicles immuno-isolated from nerve terminals showed conspicuously low levels of trafficking proteins except of the AP2-complex and some enzymes involved in endosomal phosphatidylinositol metabolism. Super resolution microscopy of nerve terminals and isolated vesicles revealed that ATG9-containing vesicles represent a distinct vesicle population with limited overlap not only with synaptic vesicles but also other membranes of the secretory pathway, uncovering a surprising heterogeneity in their membrane composition. Our results are compatible with the view that ATG9-containing vesicles function as lipid shuttles that scavenge membrane lipids from various intracellular membranes to support autophagosome biogenesis.