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Methods Mol Biol. 2008;445:245-59. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-157-4_16.

Microautophagy in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Département de Biochimie, Université de Lausanne, Epalinges, Switzerland.


Microautophagy involves direct invagination and fission of the vacuolar/lysosomal membrane under nutrient limitation. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae microautophagic uptake of soluble cytosolic proteins occurs via an autophagic tube, a highly specialized vacuolar membrane invagination. At the tip of an autophagic tube vesicles (autophagic bodies) pinch off into thevacuolar lumen for degradation. Formation of autophagic tubes is topologically equivalent to other budding processes directed away from the cytosolic environment, e.g., the invagination of multivesicular endosomes, retroviral budding, piecemeal microautophagy of the nucleus and micropexophagy. This clearly distinguishes microautophagy from other membrane fission events following budding toward the cytosol. Such processes are implicated in transport between organelles like the plasma membrane, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and the Golgi. Over many years microautophagy only could be characterized microscopically. Recent studies provided the possibility to study the process in vitro and have identified the first molecules that are involved in microautophagy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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