Florey Group

Florey Group
Florey Group

Research Summary

Research in our lab focuses on a non-canonical autophagy pathway, associated with CASM (conjugation of ATG8 to single-membranes), and its role in lysosomal biology. We aim to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation and function of this pathway in cellular processes such as cell stress responses and infection.

Vesicle section

Our work exploits a combination of molecular and cellular biology, state-of-the-art microscopy (long-term time-lapse imaging, spinning disk confocal and electron microscopy) and proteomics (mass spectrometry).

Existing projects aim to define the molecular mechanisms which underlie non-canonical autophagy, and exploring the potential to manipulate the pathway for therapeutic benefit.

Latest Publications

Open Access
Cross J, Durgan J, McEwan DG, Tayler M, Ryan KM, Florey O Signalling

Cells harness multiple pathways to maintain lysosome integrity, a central homeostatic process. Damaged lysosomes can be repaired or targeted for degradation by lysophagy, a selective autophagy process involving ATG8/LC3. Here, we describe a parallel ATG8/LC3 response to lysosome damage, mechanistically distinct from lysophagy. Using a comprehensive series of biochemical, pharmacological, and genetic approaches, we show that lysosome damage induces non-canonical autophagy and Conjugation of ATG8s to Single Membranes (CASM). Following damage, ATG8s are rapidly and directly conjugated onto lysosome membranes, independently of ATG13/WIPI2, lipidating to PS (and PE), a molecular hallmark of CASM. Lysosome damage drives V-ATPase V0-V1 association, direct recruitment of ATG16L1 via its WD40-domain/K490A, and is sensitive to Salmonella SopF. Lysosome damage-induced CASM is associated with formation of dynamic, LC3A-positive tubules, and promotes robust LC3A engagement with ATG2, a lipid transfer protein central to lysosome repair. Together, our data identify direct ATG8 conjugation as a rapid response to lysosome damage, with important links to lipid transfer and dynamics.

+view abstract The Journal of cell biology, PMID: 37796195

Open Access
Florey O Signalling

Maintaining the integrity of the endolysosomal system is of great importance for cellular homeostasis. Recent work published in The EMBO Journal and EMBO Reports reveals a novel role for the protein TECPR1 as a sensor for stressed membranes and regulator of lysosomal membrane repair.

+view abstract The EMBO journal, PMID: 37638605

Durgan J, Florey O Signalling

Autophagy is a fundamental catabolic process coordinated by a network of autophagy-related (ATG) proteins. These ATG proteins also perform an important parallel role in "noncanonical" autophagy, a lysosome-associated signaling pathway with key functions in immunity, inflammation, cancer, and neurodegeneration. While the noncanonical autophagy pathway shares the common ATG machinery, it bears key mechanistic and functional distinctions, and is characterized by conjugation of ATG8 to single membranes (CASM). Here, we review the diverse, and still expanding, collection of stimuli and processes now known to harness the noncanonical autophagy pathway, including engulfment processes, drug treatments, TRPML1 and STING signaling, viral infection, and other pathogenic factors. We discuss the multiple associated routes to CASM and assess their shared and distinctive molecular features. By integrating these findings, we propose an updated and unifying mechanism for noncanonical autophagy, centered on ATG16L1 and V-ATPase.

+view abstract Science advances, PMID: 36288315

Group Members

Oliver Florey

Group Leader

Jake Cross

PhD Student

Joanne Durgan

Principal Staff Scientist