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J Biol Chem. 2012 Dec 7;287(50):42053-63. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.415968. Epub 2012 Oct 16.

The p53-induced gene Ei24 is an essential component of the basal autophagy pathway.

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State Key Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100101 Beijing, P.R. China.


Ei24 is a DNA damage response gene involved in growth suppression and apoptosis. The physiological function of Ei24, however, is poorly understood. Here we generated conditional knock-out mice of Ei24 and demonstrated that EI24 is an essential component of the basal autophagy pathway. Mice with neural-specific Ei24 deficiency develop age-dependent neurological abnormalities caused by massive axon degeneration and extensive neuron loss in brain and spinal cord. Notably, ablation of Ei24 leads to vacuolated oligodendroglial cells and demyelination of axons. Liver-specific depletion of Ei24 causes severe hepatomegaly with hepatocyte hypertrophy. Ei24 deficiency impairs autophagic flux, leading to accumulation of LC3, p62 aggregates, and ubiquitin-positive inclusions. Our study indicates that Ei24 is an essential autophagy gene and plays an important role in clearance of aggregate-prone proteins in neurons and hepatocytes.

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