Beyond autophagy- Atg8-like protein biology


Autophagy is the highly conserved process of breaking down cellular components in eukaryotes with the goal of maintaining cell homeostasis. As such, the contribution to protein degradation by autophagy is as large as that of the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Impaired autophagy can lead to various (e.g. neurodegenerative) diseases. Autophagy relies on a series of so-called autophagy-related (Atg) proteins, and in higher organisms, entire protein families have evolved from one initial Atg protein. One such example is the Atg8 protein family, an interesting family of small ubiquitin-like modifiers. The more general concept of "Atg8ylation", in analogy to ubiquitination, emphasizes the property of Atg8-like proteins to make stressed or remodeled membrane systems visible to the cell due to their own lipidation. In humans, two Atg8 subfamilies exist, the LC3s and the GABARAPs. Our goal is to identify unique functions of GABARAP-like proteins at fundamental cellular processes beyond autophagy such as protein trafficking, unconventional protein secretion, and membrane remodeling.

Research Topics

  • Autophagy
  • Signalling
  • Secretion
  • Membrane Systems
  • ATG8


Dr. Silke Hoffmann


Building 05.8v / Room 3018

+49 2461/61-9389


M.Sc. Alina Üffing

M.Sc. Joana Wilms

B.Sc. Lisa Gold

Selected Publications

Last Modified: 22.01.2023