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Biochem Soc Trans. 2011 Oct;39(5):1514-9. doi: 10.1042/BST0391514.

Mitophagy, mitochondrial dynamics and the general stress response in yeast.

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  • 1Mitochondrial Biology, Medical School, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


Autophagy is a fundamental cellular process promoting survival under various environmental stress conditions. Selective types of autophagy have gained much interest recently as they are involved in specific quality control mechanisms removing, for example, aggregated proteins or dysfunctional mitochondria. This is considered to counteract the development of a number of neurodegenerative disorders and aging. Here we review the role of mitophagy and mitochondrial dynamics in ensuring quality control of mitochondria. In particular, we provide possible explanations why mitophagy in yeast, in contrast with the situation in mammals, was found to be independent of mitochondrial fission. We further discuss recent findings linking these processes to nutrient sensing pathways and the general stress response in yeast. In particular, we propose a model for how the stress response protein Whi2 and the Ras/PKA (protein kinase A) signalling pathway are possibly linked and thereby regulate mitophagy.

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