By Christina Towers, PhD.
Autophagy and ATG Proteins
Autophagy is a nutrient recycling process that cells use to fuel metabolism, particularly in response to nutrient deprivation. It is critical for removal of damaged proteins as well as clearing certain infections. It is a complex process that involves over 20 core autophagy genes (ATGs), most of which were originally identified in yeast but the mammalian homologs have now been well characterized.
The formation of a double membrane vesicle termed the phagophore is initiated by the ULK complex where the protein kinases ULK1 and...