SUMMARY PARAGRAPH for ATG31
Autophagy is a highly conserved eukaryotic pathway for sequestering and transporting bulk cytoplasm, including proteins and organelle material, to the lysosome for degradation (reviewed in 5). Upon starvation for nutrients such as carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and various amino acids, or upon endoplasmic reticulum stress, cells initiate formation of a double-membrane vesicle, termed an autophagosome, that mediates this process (6, 7, reviewed in 8). Approximately 30 autophagy-related (Atg) proteins have been identified in S. cerevisiae, 17 of which are essential for formation of the autophagosome (reviewed in 9). Null mutations in most of these genes prevent induction of autophagy, and cells do not survive nutrient starvation; however, these mutants are viable in rich medium. Some of the Atg proteins are also involved in a constitutive biosynthetic process termed the cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway, which uses autophagosomal-like vesicles for selective transport of hydrolases aminopeptidase I (Lap4p) and alpha-mannosidase (Ams1p) to the vacuole (10, 11).
Autophagy proceeds via a multistep pathway (a summary diagram (download pdf) kindly provided by Dan Klionsky). First, nutrient availability is sensed by the TORC1 complex and also cooperatively by protein kinase A and Sch9p (12, 13). Second, signals generated by the sensors are transmitted to the autophagosome-generating machinery comprised of the 17 Atg gene products. These 17 proteins collectively form the pre-autophagosomal structure/phagophore assembly site (PAS). The PAS generates an isolation membrane (IM), which expands and eventually fuses along the edges to complete autophagosome formation. At the vacuole the outer membrane of the autophagosome fuses with the vacuolar membrane and autophagic bodies are released, disintegrated, and their contents degraded for reuse in biosynthesis (14 and reviewed in 9).
CIS1 (also known as ATG31) was originally identified as a suppressor of a mutation in CIK1 and encodes a protein that specifically functions in autophagy (2, 1, 3 and references therein). Cis1p interacts with Atg17p and localizes to the PAS in a Atg17p-dependent manner (1). Cis1p may form a complex with the autophagy-specific proteins Atg17p and Atg29p that is involved in localizing other ATG proteins to the PAS (3). cis1 mutants are defective in autophagy, sporulation, and survival under starvation conditions (1, 15).
about autophagy nomenclature
The initial identification of factors involved in autophagy was carried out by several independent labs, which led to a proliferation of nomenclature for the genes and gene products involved. The differing gene name acronyms from these groups included APG, AUT, CVT, GSA, PAG, PAZ, and PDD (4 and references therein). A concerted effort was made in 2003 by the scientists working in the field to unify the nomenclature for these genes, and "AuTophaGy-related" genes are now denoted by the letters ATG (4). In addition to the ATG gene names that have been assigned to S. cerevisiae proteins and their orthologs, several ATG gene names, including ATG25, ATG28, and ATG30, have been used to designate proteins in other ascomycete yeast species for which there is no identifiable equivalent in S. cerevisiae (16, 17).
Last updated: 2008-02-08