In Nature Communications, Alexandra Davies from Professor Margaret Robinson’s lab, CIMR, has uncovered a novel role for the adaptor protein AP-4 in regulating the cellular recycling process autophagy.
AP-4 belongs to a family of proteins that select cargo for vesicle transport between specific organelles. Although mutations in AP-4 have been linked to a severe recessive neurological disorder with early-onset progressive spastic paraplegia and intellectual disability, its function in cells has been elusive.
By applying unbiased proteomics methods, including ‘dynamic organellar maps’, Davies et al. define the composition of AP-4 vesicles, revealing that AP-4 is required for sorting of a key autophagy regulator ATG9A and spatial control of autophagy.