Send to

Choose Destination
Plant Cell. 2011 Oct;23(10):3761-79. doi: 10.1105/tpc.111.090993. Epub 2011 Oct 7.

The ATG1/ATG13 protein kinase complex is both a regulator and a target of autophagic recycling in Arabidopsis.

Author information

Department of Genetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.


Autophagy is an intracellular recycling route in eukaryotes whereby organelles and cytoplasm are sequestered in vesicles, which are subsequently delivered to the vacuole for breakdown. The process is induced by various nutrient-responsive signaling cascades converging on the Autophagy-Related1 (ATG1)/ATG13 kinase complex. Here, we describe the ATG1/13 complex in Arabidopsis thaliana and show that it is both a regulator and a target of autophagy. Plants missing ATG13 are hypersensitive to nutrient limitations and senesce prematurely similar to mutants lacking other components of the ATG system. Synthesis of the ATG12-ATG5 and ATG8-phosphatidylethanolamine adducts, which are essential for autophagy, still occurs in ATG13-deficient plants, but the biogenesis of ATG8-decorated autophagic bodies does not, indicating that the complex regulates downstream events required for autophagosome enclosure and/or vacuolar delivery. Surprisingly, levels of the ATG1a and ATG13a phosphoproteins drop dramatically during nutrient starvation and rise again upon nutrient addition. This turnover is abrogated by inhibition of the ATG system, indicating that the ATG1/13 complex becomes a target of autophagy. Consistent with this mechanism, ATG1a is delivered to the vacuole with ATG8-decorated autophagic bodies. Given its responsiveness to nutrient demands, the turnover of the ATG1/13 kinase likely provides a dynamic mechanism to tightly connect autophagy to a plant's nutritional status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center