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Mol Biol Cell. 2009 Nov;20(22):4730-8. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E09-03-0225. Epub 2009 Sep 30.

A genomic screen for yeast mutants defective in selective mitochondria autophagy.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Kyushu University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan.


Mitophagy is the process of selective mitochondrial degradation via autophagy, which has an important role in mitochondrial quality control. Very little is known, however, about the molecular mechanism of mitophagy. A genome-wide yeast mutant screen for mitophagy-defective strains identified 32 mutants with a block in mitophagy, in addition to the known autophagy-related (ATG) gene mutants. We further characterized one of these mutants, ylr356wDelta that corresponds to a gene whose function has not been identified. YLR356W is a mitophagy-specific gene that was not required for other types of selective autophagy or macroautophagy. The deletion of YLR356W partially inhibited mitophagy during starvation, whereas there was an almost complete inhibition at post-log phase. Accordingly, we have named this gene ATG33. The new mutants identified in this analysis will provide a useful foundation for researchers interested in the study of mitochondrial homeostasis and quality control.

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