Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.338, No.4, 1884-1889, 2005
Characterization of a novel autophagy-specific gene, ATG29
Autophagy is a process whereby cytoplasmic proteins and organelles are sequestered for bulk degradation in the vacuole/lyso some. At present, 16 ATG genes have been found that are essential for autophagosome formation in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Most of these genes are also involved in the cytoplasm to vacuole transport pathway, which shares machinery with autophagy. Most Atg proteins are colocalized at the pre-autophagosomal structure (PAS), from which the autophagosome is thought to originate, but the precise mechanism of autophagy remains poorly understood. During a genetic screen aimed to obtain novel gene(s) required for autophagy, we identified a novel ORF, ATG29/YPL166w. atg29 Delta cells were sensitive to starvation and induction of autophagy was severely retarded. However, the Cvt pathway operated normally. Therefore, ATG29 is an ATG gene specifically required for autophagy. Additionally, an Atg29-GFP fusion protein was observed to localize to the PAS. From these results, we propose that Atg29 functions in autophagosome formation at the PAS in collaboration with other Atg proteins. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.