Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.389, No.4, 612-615, 2009
Characterization of the Atg17-Atg29-Atg31 complex specifically required for starvation-induced autophagy in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Nutrient starvation induces autophagy to degrade cytoplasmic materials in the vacuole/lysosomes. In the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Atg17, Atg29, and Atg31/Cis1 are specifically required for autophagosome formation by acting as a scaffold complex essential for pre-autophagosomal structure (PAS) organization. Here, we show that these proteins constitutively form an Atg17-Atg29-Atg31 ternary complex, in which phosphorylated Atg31 is included. Reconstitution analysis of the ternary complex in E coli indicates that. the three proteins are included in equimolar amounts in the complex. The molecular mass of a monomeric Atg17-Atg29-Atg31 complex is calculated at 97 kDa; however, analytical ultracentrifugation shows that the molecular mass of the ternary complex is 198 kDa, suggesting a dimeric complex. We propose that this ternary complex acts as a functional unit for autophagosome formation. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.