The ULK complex is recruited to the membrane site of phagophore nucleation, which is likely to be a pre-existing ER structure containing the multi-membrane spanning protein vacuole membrane protein 1 (VMP1) (Wirth et al. 2013, Koyama-Honda et al. 2013). This may be mediated by the C-terminal early autophagy targeting/tethering (EAT) domain of ULK1, which appears to be essential for recruitment to the site of phagophore nucleation (Chan et al. 2009, Ragusa et al. 2012). The N-terminus of the ATG13 component of the ULK complex may also contribute to membrane association as it can interact with acidic phospholipids and is required for the translocation of ATG13 to omegasomes (Karanasios et al. 2013).