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Autophagy. 2007 Jul-Aug;3(4):393-5. Epub 2007 Jul 10.

The heterotrimeric G protein G(i3) regulates hepatic autophagy downstream of the insulin receptor.

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Institut für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie II, Klinikum der Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf, Germany.


Compelling evidence suggests that the heterotrimeric G protein G(i3) specifically transmits the antiautophagic effects of insulin and amino acids in the liver. This points to a previously unrecognized cross talk between the insulin receptor tyrosine kinase and G(i3). Interestingly, G(i3) is localized not only to plasma membranes but also to membranes of the autophagosomal compartment. Furthermore, as part of insulin's or phenylalanine's actions to inhibit autophagy, G(i3) is redistributed away from autophagosomes. Therefore, endomembrane-associated rather than plasma membrane-localized G(i3) may serve as the target of insulin's endocrine and metabolic actions. We therefore propose that the function and regulation of organelle-associated heterotrimeric G proteins may be different from their roles at the plasma membrane where they act as signal transducers of seven-transmembrane receptors. Here, we discuss recent findings and propose a function for G(i3) in mTOR-dependent signaling pathways. We hypothesize that G(i) family members may have tissue-specific roles in the regulation of autophagy under different physiological and pathological conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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