Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Protoplasma. 2010 Dec;247(3-4):233-56. doi: 10.1007/s00709-010-0190-0. Epub 2010 Aug 24.

From signal transduction to autophagy of plant cell organelles: lessons from yeast and mammals and plant-specific features.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Organelle Research, University of Stavanger, 4021 Stavanger, Norway.


Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved intracellular process for the vacuolar degradation of cytoplasmic constituents. The central structures of this pathway are newly formed double-membrane vesicles (autophagosomes) that deliver excess or damaged cell components into the vacuole or lysosome for proteolytic degradation and monomer recycling. Cellular remodeling by autophagy allows organisms to survive extensive phases of nutrient starvation and exposure to abiotic and biotic stress. Autophagy was initially studied by electron microscopy in diverse organisms, followed by molecular and genetic analyses first in yeast and subsequently in mammals and plants. Experimental data demonstrate that the basic principles, mechanisms, and components characterized in yeast are conserved in mammals and plants to a large extent. However, distinct autophagy pathways appear to differ between kingdoms. Even though direct information remains scarce particularly for plants, the picture is emerging that the signal transduction cascades triggering autophagy and the mechanisms of organelle turnover evolved further in higher eukaryotes for optimization of nutrient recycling. Here, we summarize new research data on nitrogen starvation-induced signal transduction and organelle autophagy and integrate this knowledge into plant physiology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk