Autophagy is the process by which endogenous proteins and damaged organelles are destroyed intracellularly.autophagy is postulated to be essential for cell homeostasis and cell remodeling during differentiation, metamorphosis, non-apoptotic cell death, and aging. Reduced levels ofautophagy have been described in some malignant tumors, and a role forautophagy in controlling the unregulated cell growth linked to cancer has been proposed. This gene encodes a member of the autophagin protein family. The encoded protein is also designated as a member of the C-54 family of cysteine proteases. Alternate transcriptional splice variants, encoding the same protein, have been characterized. Cysteine protease required forautophagy, which cleaves the C-terminal part of either MAP1LC3, GABARAPL2 or GABARAP, allowing the liberation of form I. A subpopulation of form I is subsequently converted to a smaller form (form II). Form II, with a revealed C-terminal glycine, is considered to be the phosphatidylethanolamine (PE)-conjugated form, and has the capacity for the binding to autophagosomes.
Enzyme regulation: Inhibited by N-ethylmaleimide.
Tissue specificity: Highly expressed in skeletal muscle, heart, liver and testis. Also known as: ATG4C, autophagin-3, APG4C, AUTL1, AUTL3, APG4-C, FLJ14867, ATG4autophagy related 4 homolog C (S. cerevisiae),autophagy-related protein 4 homolog C,autophagy-related cysteine endopeptidase 3, AUT-like 3 cysteine endopeptidase.