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      Impairment of starvation-induced and constitutive autophagy in Atg7-deficient mice

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          Abstract

          Autophagy is a membrane-trafficking mechanism that delivers cytoplasmic constituents into the lysosome/vacuole for bulk protein degradation. This mechanism is involved in the preservation of nutrients under starvation condition as well as the normal turnover of cytoplasmic component. Aberrant autophagy has been reported in several neurodegenerative disorders, hepatitis, and myopathies. Here, we generated conditional knockout mice of Atg7, an essential gene for autophagy in yeast. Atg7 was essential for ATG conjugation systems and autophagosome formation, amino acid supply in neonates, and starvation-induced bulk degradation of proteins and organelles in mice. Furthermore, Atg7 deficiency led to multiple cellular abnormalities, such as appearance of concentric membranous structure and deformed mitochondria, and accumulation of ubiquitin-positive aggregates. Our results indicate the important role of autophagy in starvation response and the quality control of proteins and organelles in quiescent cells.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Beclin 1, an autophagy gene essential for early embryonic development, is a haploinsufficient tumor suppressor.

          The biochemical properties of beclin 1 suggest a role in two fundamentally important cell biological pathways: autophagy and apoptosis. We show here that beclin 1-/- mutant mice die early in embryogenesis and beclin 1+/- mutant mice suffer from a high incidence of spontaneous tumors. These tumors continue to express wild-type beclin 1 mRNA and protein, establishing that beclin 1 is a haploinsufficient tumor suppressor gene. Beclin 1-/- embryonic stem cells have a severely altered autophagic response, whereas their apoptotic response to serum withdrawal or UV light is normal. These results demonstrate that beclin 1 is a critical component of mammalian autophagy and establish a role for autophagy in tumor suppression. They both provide a biological explanation for recent evidence implicating beclin 1 in human cancer and suggest that mutations in other genes operating in this pathway may contribute to tumor formation through deregulation of autophagy.
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            A ubiquitin-like system mediates protein lipidation.

            Autophagy is a dynamic membrane phenomenon for bulk protein degradation in the lysosome/vacuole. Apg8/Aut7 is an essential factor for autophagy in yeast. We previously found that the carboxy-terminal arginine of nascent Apg8 is removed by Apg4/Aut2 protease, leaving a glycine residue at the C terminus. Apg8 is then converted to a form (Apg8-X) that is tightly bound to the membrane. Here we report a new mode of protein lipidation. Apg8 is covalently conjugated to phosphatidylethanolamine through an amide bond between the C-terminal glycine and the amino group of phosphatidylethanolamine. This lipidation is mediated by a ubiquitination-like system. Apg8 is a ubiquitin-like protein that is activated by an E1 protein, Apg7 (refs 7, 8), and is transferred subsequently to the E2 enzymes Apg3/Aut1 (ref. 9). Apg7 activates two different ubiquitin-like proteins, Apg12 (ref. 10) and Apg8, and assigns them to specific E2 enzymes, Apg10 (ref. 11) and Apg3, respectively. These reactions are necessary for the formation of Apg8-phosphatidylethanolamine. This lipidation has an essential role in membrane dynamics during autophagy.
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              Dissection of Autophagosome Formation Using Apg5-Deficient Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells

              In macroautophagy, cytoplasmic components are delivered to lysosomes for degradation via autophagosomes that are formed by closure of cup-shaped isolation membranes. However, how the isolation membranes are formed is poorly understood. We recently found in yeast that a novel ubiquitin-like system, the Apg12-Apg5 conjugation system, is essential for autophagy. Here we show that mouse Apg12-Apg5 conjugate localizes to the isolation membranes in mouse embryonic stem cells. Using green fluorescent protein–tagged Apg5, we revealed that the cup-shaped isolation membrane is developed from a small crescent-shaped compartment. Apg5 localizes on the isolation membrane throughout its elongation process. To examine the role of Apg5, we generated Apg5-deficient embryonic stem cells, which showed defects in autophagosome formation. The covalent modification of Apg5 with Apg12 is not required for its membrane targeting, but is essential for involvement of Apg5 in elongation of the isolation membranes. We also show that Apg12-Apg5 is required for targeting of a mammalian Aut7/Apg8 homologue, LC3, to the isolation membranes. These results suggest that the Apg12-Apg5 conjugate plays essential roles in isolation membrane development.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Cell Biol
                The Journal of Cell Biology
                The Rockefeller University Press
                0021-9525
                1540-8140
                9 May 2005
                : 169
                : 3
                : 425-434
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Molecular Oncology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8613, Japan
                [2 ]Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
                [3 ]Department of Biochemistry, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan
                [4 ]Department of Bioregulation and Metabolism, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8613, Japan
                [5 ]Department of Cell Biology, National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan
                Author notes

                Correspondence to Tomoki Chiba: tchiba@ 123456rinshoken.or.jp

                Article
                200412022
                10.1083/jcb.200412022
                2171928
                15866887
                b4b7a304-290d-42ba-8586-b5df81b5c0ba
                Copyright © 2005, The Rockefeller University Press
                Categories
                Research Articles
                Article

                Cell biology

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