XBeclin 2 functions in autophagy, degradation of G protein-coupled receptors, and metabolism

Congcong He, Yongjie Wei, Kai Sun, Binghua Li, Xiaonan Dong, Zhongju Zou, Yang Liu, Lisa N. Kinch, Shaheen Khan, Sangita Sinha, Ramnik J. Xavier, Nick V. Grishin, Guanghua Xiao, Eeva Liisa Eskelinen, Philipp E. Scherer, Jennifer L. Whistler, Beth Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


The molecular mechanism of autophagy and its relationship to other lysosomal degradation pathways remain incompletely understood. Here, we identified a previously uncharacterized mammalian-specific protein, Beclin 2, which, like Beclin 1, functions in autophagy and interacts with class III PI3K complex components and Bcl-2. However, Beclin 2, but not Beclin 1, functions in an additional lysosomal degradation pathway. Beclin 2 is required for ligand-induced endolysosomal degradation of several G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) through its interaction with GASP1. Beclin 2 homozygous knockout mice have decreased embryonic viability, and heterozygous knockout mice have defective autophagy, increased levels of brain cannabinoid 1 receptor, elevated food intake, and obesity and insulin resistance. Our findings identify Beclin 2 as a converging regulator of autophagy and GPCR turnover and highlight the functional and mechanistic diversity of Beclin family members in autophagy, endolysosomal trafficking, and metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)X1085-1099
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 29 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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