Organelle-specific autophagy directs degradation of eukaryotic organelles under certain conditions. Like other organelles, peroxisomes are subject to autophagic turnover at lysosomes. However, peroxisome autophagy (pexophagy) has yet to be analyzed in a live-animal system, limiting knowledge on its regulation during an animal's life. Here, we generated a tandem-fluorophore reporter that enabled real-time tracking of pexophagy in live Caenorhabditis elegans. We observed that pexophagy occurred at a population of non-canonical, tubular lysosomes specifically during starvation and aging. Remarkably, in these contexts, tubular lysosomes were the predominant type of lysosome in the intestine, transforming from vesicles. Though we found that peroxisomes were largely eliminated in early adulthood, they appeared restored in new generations. We identified peroxisomal genes that regulated age-dependent peroxisome loss and demonstrated that modifying this process altered animal lifespan. These findings reveal new facets of peroxisome homeostasis relevant to aging and challenge the prevailing perception of lysosome homogeneity in autophagy.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Dolese, D. A., Junot, M. P., Ghosh, B., Butsch, T. J., Dolese, D. A., & Bohnert, K. A. (2021). Degradative Tubular Lysosomes Link Pexophagy To Starvation And Early Aging In C. Elegans. Autophagy https://doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2021.1990647