REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0142.v1
Subject: Biology, Physiology Keywords: glycogen; autophagy; lysosome; Stbd1; Gabarapl1; acid α-glucosidase (Gaa)
Online: 8 August 2022 (09:58:31 CEST)
Degradation of intracellular components through autophagy is a fundamental process to maintain cellular integrity and homeostasis. Recently a glycogen-selective autophagy pathway has been described, termed ‘glycophagy’. Glycogen is a primary storage depot and regulator of glucose availability, and glycophagy is emerging as a critical physiological process involved in energy metabolism. Glycophagy-mediated degradation of glycogen appears to operate in parallel with the well-described canonical pathway of glycogenolysis involving glycogen phosphorylase. Evidence suggests that starch-binding domain protein-1 (Stbd1) is a key glycogen-binding protein involved in tagging glycogen for glycophagy, and that Gabarapl1 is primarily involved as the Atg8 family protein recruiting the Stbd1-glycogen complex into the forming glycophagosome. The nuances of glycophagy protein machinery, regulation and lysosomal glucose release are yet to be fully elucidated. In this mini-review, we critically analyze the current evidence base for glycophagy as a selective-autophagy process of physiological importance and highlight areas where further investigation is warranted.