Interaction of caveolin-1 with ATG12-ATG5 system suppresses autophagy in lung epithelial cells

Zhi Hua Chen, Jiao Fei Cao, Jie Sen Zhou, Hui Liu, Luan Qing Che, Kenji Mizumura, Wen Li, Augustine M.K. Choi, Hua Hao Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Autophagy plays a pivotal role in cellular homeostasis and adaptation to adverse environments, although the regulation of this process remains incompletely understood. We have recently observed that caveolin-1 (Cav-1), a major constituent of lipid rafts on plasma membrane, can regulate autophagy in cigarette smoking-induced injury of lung epithelium, although the underlying molecular mechanisms remain incompletely understood. In the present study we found that Cav-1 interacted with and regulated the expression of ATG12-ATG5, an ubiquitin-like conjugation system crucial for autophagosome formation, in lung epithelial Beas-2B cells. Deletion of Cav-1 increased basal and starvation-induced levels of ATG12-ATG5 and autophagy. Biochemical analyses revealed that Cav-1 interacted with ATG5, ATG12, and their active complex ATG12-ATG5. Overexpression of ATG5 or ATG12 increased their interactions with Cav-1, the formation of ATG12-ATG5 conjugate, and the subsequent basal levels of autophagy but resulted in decreased interactions between Cav-1 and another molecule. Knockdown of ATG12 enhanced the ATG5-Cav-1 interaction. Mutation of the Cav-1 binding motif on ATG12 disrupted their interaction and further augmented autophagy. Cav-1 also regulated the expression of ATG16L, another autophagy protein associating with the ATG12-ATG5 conjugate during autophagosome formation. Altogether these studies clearly demonstrate that Cav-1 competitively interacts with the ATG12-ATG5 system to suppress the formation and function of the latter in lung epithelial cells, thereby providing new insights into the molecular mechanisms by which Cav-1 regulates autophagy and suggesting the important function of Cav-1 in certain lung diseases via regulation of autophagy homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L1016-L1025
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014


  • ATG12-ATG5
  • ATG16L
  • Autophagy
  • Caveolin-1
  • Lung diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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