A structural view of xenophagy, a battle between host and microbes

Do Hoon Kwon, Hyun Kyu Song

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The cytoplasm in mammalian cells is a battlefield between the host and invading microbes. Both the living organisms have evolved unique strategies for their survival. The host utilizes a specialized autophagy system, xenophagy, for the clearance of invading pathogens, whereas bacteria secrete proteins to defend and escape from the host xenophagy. Several molecules have been identified and their structural investigation has enabled the comprehension of these mechanisms at the molecular level. In this review, we focus on one example of host autophagy and the other of bacterial defense: the autophagy receptor, NDP52, in conjunction with the sugar receptor, galectin-8, plays a critical role in targeting the autophagy machinery against Salmonella; and the cysteine protease, RavZ secreted by Legionella pneumophila cleaves the LC3-PE on the phagophore membrane. The structure-function relationships of these two examples and the directions of future research will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalMolecules and cells
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We apologize to the researchers who were not referenced because of space limitations or unintentional omissions. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grants from the Korean government (BRL grant: No. 2015041919 and International Cooperation Program: No. 2015K2A2A6002008) and supported by a grant from the Samsung Science & Technology Foundation (SSTF-BA 1701-14).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology. All rights reserved.


  • Galectin-8
  • Legionella
  • NDP52
  • RavZ
  • Salmonella

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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