The potent BECN2-ATG14 coiled-coil interaction is selectively critical for endolysosomal degradation of GPRASP1/GASP1-associated GPCRs

Xianxiu Qiu, Na Li, Qifan Yang, Shuai Wu, Xiaohua Li, Xuehua Pan, Soh Yamamoto, Xiaozhe Zhang, Jincheng Zeng, Jiahao Liao, Congcong He, Renxiao Wang*, Yanxiang Zhao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BECN2 is a mammal-specific homolog of BECN1. Both proteins serve as a scaffolding molecule in the class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase complex (PtdIns3K) to promote macroautophagy/autophagy and endolysosomal trafficking. Our previous studies have shown that the BECN1 coiled-coil domain forms a metastable homodimer and readily self-dissociate to form the BECN1-ATG14 or BECN1-UVRAG coiled-coil complex as part of the scaffolding “arm” of the PtdIns3K complex. Here we report the crystal structure of the BECN2 coiled-coil domain, which forms a metastable homodimer similar to BECN1 but shows reduced stability and large deviation from the ideal coiled-coil geometry due to extra “imperfect” residues. We also report the crystal structure of BECN2-ATG14 coiled-coil complex, which is structurally similar to the BECN1-UVRAG coiled-coil complex we reported previously but functionally distinct. The potent BECN2-ATG14 interaction is selectively critical for endolysosomal degradation of the GPRASP1-associated DRD2/D2R but shows limited effect on EGFR, a cargo that depends on the BECN1-UVRAG interaction. We designed stapled peptides that selectively interacted with the BECN2 coiled-coil domain to enhance the BECN2-ATG14 or BECN1-UVRAG interaction. One such peptide specifically promoted BECN2-dependent processes including autophagy and endolysosomal degradation of DRD2/D2R but did not affect BECN1-dependent EGFR degradation. Our findings suggest that, despite high sequence identity to BECN1, BECN2 coiled-coil domain has unique structural features and the BECN2-ATG14 interaction selectively promotes autophagic or endolysosomal degradation of BECN2-specific cargos including GPRASP1-associated GPCRs. Abbreviations: AMBRA1 autophagy and beclin 1 regulator 1; ATG14 autophagy related 14; ATG5autophagy related 5; ATG7autophagy related 7; BECN1beclin 1; BECN2beclin 2; CCcoiled-coil; CQchloroquine CNR1/CB1Rcannabinoid receptor 1 DAPI4ʹ,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole; dCCD delete CCD; DRD2/D2Rdopamine receptor D2 GPRASP1/GASP1 G protein-coupled receptor associated sorting protein 1 GPCRG-protein coupled receptor; ITCisothermal titration calorimetry; IPimmunoprecipitation; KD knockdown; KO knockout; MAP1LC3/LC3 microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; NRBF2nuclear receptor binding factor 2; OPRD1/DORopioid receptor delta 1 PIK3C3/VPS34 phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit type 3; PIK3R4/VPS15 phosphoinositide-3-kinase regulatory subunit 4; PtdIns3K class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; PtdIns3P phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate; RUBCNrubicon autophagy regulator; SQSTM1/p62 sequestosome 1; UVRAG UV radiation resistance associated; VPS vacuolar protein sorting; WT wild type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • ATG14
  • autophagy
  • BECN2
  • coiled-coil
  • PtdIns3K

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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