Research Papers:

Autophagic flux is highly active in early mitosis and differentially regulated throughout the cell cycle

Zhiyuan Li, Xinmiao Ji, Dongmei Wang, Juanjuan Liu and Xin Zhang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:39705-39718. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9451

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Zhiyuan Li1, Xinmiao Ji1, Dongmei Wang1,2, Juanjuan Liu1,2, Xin Zhang1

1High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, Anhui, 230031, P. R. China

2University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, 230036, P. R. China

Correspondence to:

Xin Zhang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: mitosis, autophagy, autophagic flux, LC3, cell synchronization

Received: February 26, 2016     Accepted: April 16, 2016     Published: May 18, 2016


Mitosis is a fast process that involves dramatic cellular remodeling and has a high energy demand. Whether autophagy is active or inactive during the early stages of mitosis in a naturally dividing cell is still debated. Here we aimed to use multiple assays to resolve this apparent discrepancy. Although the LC3 puncta number was reduced in mitosis, the four different cell lines we tested all have active autophagic flux in both interphase and mitosis. In addition, the autophagic flux was highly active in nocodazole-induced, double-thymidine synchronization released as well as naturally occurring mitosis in HeLa cells. Multiple autophagy proteins are upregulated in mitosis and the increased Beclin-1 level likely contributes to the active autophagic flux in early mitosis. It is interesting that although the autophagic flux is active throughout the cell cycle, early mitosis and S phase have relatively higher autophagic flux than G1 and late G2 phases, which might be helpful to degrade the damaged organelles and provide energy during S phase and mitosis.

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PII: 9451