Endosome-mediated autophagy: An unconventional MIIC-driven autophagic pathway operational in dendritic cells

Vangelis Kondylis, Hezder E. Van Nispen Tot Pannerden, Suzanne Van Dijk, Toine Ten Broeke, Richard Wubbolts, Willie J. Geerts, Cor Seinen, Tuna Mutis, Harry F G Heijnen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Activation of TLR signaling has been shown to induce autophagy in antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Using high-resolution microscopy approaches, we show that in LPS-stimulated dendritic cells (DCs), autophagosomes emerge from MHC class II compartments (MIIC s) and harbor both the molecular machinery for antigen processing and the autophagosome markers LC3 and ATG16L1. This ENdosome-Mediated Autophagy (ENMA) appears to be the major type of autophagy in DCs, as similar structures were observed upon established autophagy-inducing conditions (nutrient deprivation, rapamycin) and under basal conditions in the presence of bafilomycin A1. Autophagosome formation was not significantly affected in DCs expressing ATG4BC74A mutant and atg4b-/- bone marrow DCs, but the degradation of the autophagy substrate SQSTM1/p62 was largely impaired. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the previously described DC aggresome-like LPSinduced structures (DALIS) contain vesicular membranes, and in addition to SQSTM1 and ubiquitin, they are positive for LC3. LC3 localization on DALIS is independent of its lipidation. MIIC -driven autophagosomes preferentially engulf the LPS-induced SQSTM1-positive DALIS, which become later degraded in autolysosomes. DALIS-associated membranes also contain ATG16L1, ATG9 and the Q-SNARE VTI1B, suggesting that they may represent (at least in part) a membrane reservoir for autophagosome expansion. We propose that ENMA constitutes an unconventional, APC-specific type of autophagy, which mediates the processing and presentation of cytosolic antigens by MHC class II machinery, and/or the selective clearance of toxic by-products of elevated ROS/RNS production in activated DCs, thereby promoting their survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)861-880
Number of pages20
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Autophagy
  • Dendritic cell
  • Electron tomography
  • LC3
  • MHC class II

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