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J Bacteriol. 2001 Oct;183(20):5942-55.

Aut5/Cvt17p, a putative lipase essential for disintegration of autophagic bodies inside the vacuole.

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  • 1Institute of Biochemistry, University of Stuttgart, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany.


Selective disintegration of membrane-enclosed autophagic bodies is a feature of eukaryotic cells not studied in detail. Using a Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutant defective in autophagic-body breakdown, we identified and characterized Aut5p, a glycosylated integral membrane protein. Site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated the relevance of its putative lipase active-site motif for autophagic-body breakdown. aut5Delta cells show reduced protein turnover during starvation and are defective in maturation of proaminopeptidase I. Most recently, by means of the latter phenotype, Aut5p was independently identified as Cvt17p. In this study we additionally checked for effects on vacuolar acidification and detected mature vacuolar proteases, both of which are prerequisites for autophagic-body lysis. Furthermore, biologically active hemagglutinin-tagged Aut5p (Aut5-Ha) localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum (nuclear envelope) and is targeted to the vacuolar lumen independent of autophagy. In pep4Delta cells immunogold electron microscopy located Aut5-Ha at approximately 50-nm-diameter intravacuolar vesicles. Characteristic missorting in vps class E and fab1Delta cells, which affects the multivesicular body (MVB) pathway, suggests vacuolar targeting of Aut5-Ha similar to that of the MVB pathway. In agreement with localization of Aut5-Ha at intravacuolar vesicles in pep4Delta cells and the lack of vacuolar Aut5-Ha in wild-type cells, our pulse-chase experiments clearly indicated that Aut5-Ha degradation with 50 to 70 min of half-life is dependent on vacuolar proteinase A.

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