Volume 93 (2017) Issue 6 Pages 378-385
ATG5 and ATG7 are considered to be essential molecules for the induction of autophagy. However, we found that cells lacking ATG5 or ATG7 can still form autophagosomes/autolysosomes and perform autophagic protein degradation when subjected to certain types of stress. Although the lipidation of LC3 is accepted as a good indicator of autophagy, this did not occur during ATG5/ATG7-independent alternative autophagy. Unlike conventional autophagy, autophagosomes appeared to be generated in a Rab9-dependent manner by the fusion of the phagophores with vesicles derived from the trans-Golgi and late endosomes. Therefore, mammalian autophagy can occur via at least two different pathways; the ATG5/ATG7-dependent conventional pathway and an ATG5/ATG7-independent alternative pathway.