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Autophagy. 2007 Mar-Apr;3(2):160-2. Epub 2007 Mar 4.

Endoplasmic reticulum stress: a new pathway to induce autophagy.

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Life Sciences Institute, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2216, USA.


Autophagy is a response to the stress of nutrient limitation in yeast, whereby cytosolic long-lived proteins and organelles are nonselectively degraded, and the resulting macromolecules are recycled to allow new protein synthesis that is essential for survival. We recently revealed that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress induces autophagy. When misfolded proteins accumulate in the ER the resulting stress activates the unfolded protein response (UPR) to induce the expression of chaperones and proteins involved in the recovery process. Under conditions of ER stress, the preautophagosomal structure is assembled, and transport of autophagosomes to the vacuole is stimulated in an Atg protein-dependent manner. Interestingly, Atg1 has high kinase activity during ER stress-induced autophagy similar to the situation in starvation-induced autophagy.

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