Identification of HPCAL1 as a specific autophagy receptor involved in ferroptosis

Xin Chen, Xinxin Song, Jingbo Li, Ruoxi Zhang, Chunhua Yu, Zhuan Zhou, Jiao Liu, Siyan Liao, Daniel J. Klionsky, Guido Kroemer, Jinbao Liu, Daolin Tang, Rui Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Selective macroautophagy/autophagy maintains cellular homeostasis through the lysosomal degradation of specific cellular proteins or organelles. The pro-survival effect of selective autophagy has been well-characterized, but the mechanism by which it drives cell death is still poorly understood. Here, we use a quantitative proteomic approach to identify HPCAL1 (hippocalcin like 1) as a novel autophagy receptor for the selective degradation of CDH2 (cadherin 2) during ferroptosis. HPCAL1-dependent CDH2 depletion increases susceptibility to ferroptotic death by reducing membrane tension and favoring lipid peroxidation. Site-directed mutagenesis aided by bioinformatic analyses revealed that the autophagic degradation of CDH2 requires PRKCQ (protein kinase C theta)-mediated HPCAL1 phosphorylation on Thr149, as well as a non-classical LC3-interacting region motif located between amino acids 46–51. An unbiased drug screening campaign involving 4208 small molecule compounds led to the identification of a ferroptosis inhibitor that suppressed HPCAL1 expression. The genetic or pharmacological inhibition of HPCAL1 prevented ferroptosis-induced tumor suppression and pancreatitis in suitable mouse models. These findings provide a framework for understanding how selective autophagy promotes ferroptotic cell death.Abbreviations: ANXA7: annexin A7; ARNTL: aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator like; CCK8: cell counting kit-8; CDH2: cadherin 2; CETSAs: cellular thermal shift assays; CPT2: carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2; DAMP, danger/damage-associated molecular pattern; DPPH: 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl; DFO: deferoxamine; EBNA1BP2: EBNA1 binding protein 2; EIF4G1: eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4 gamma 1; FBL: fibrillarin; FKBP1A: FKBP prolyl isomerase 1A; FTH1: ferritin heavy chain 1; GPX4: glutathione peroxidase 4; GSDMs: gasdermins; HBSS: Hanks’ buffered salt solution; HMGB1: high mobility group box 1; HNRNPUL1: heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein U like 1; HPCAL1: hippocalcin like 1; H1-3/HIST1H1D: H1.3 linker histone, cluster member; IKE: imidazole ketone erastin; KD: knockdown; LDH: lactate dehydrogenase; LIR: LC3-interacting region; MAGOH: mago homolog, exon junction complex subunit; MAP1LC3B: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta; MDA: malondialdehyde; MLKL: mixed lineage kinase domain like pseudokinase; MPO: myeloperoxidase; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; OE: overexpressing; OSTM1: osteoclastogenesis associated transmembrane protein 1; PRKC/PKC: protein kinase C; PRKAR1A: protein kinase cAMP-dependent type I regulatory subunit alpha; PRDX3: peroxiredoxin 3; PTGS2: prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2; ROS: reactive oxygen species; SLC7A11: solute carrier family 7 member 11; SLC40A1: solute carrier family 40 member 1; SPTAN1: spectrin alpha, non-erythrocytic 1; STS: staurosporine; UBE2M: ubiquitin conjugating enzyme E2 M; ZYX: zyxin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Autophagy
  • degradation
  • ferroptosis
  • inhibitor
  • mechanotransduction
  • pancreas
  • phosphorylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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