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Current Topics in Biochemical Research   Volumes    Volume 14  Issue 1
Atg1/ULK, the gateway to autophagy and beyond
Jing Cao, Young-Mi Kim, Do-Hyung Kim
Pages: 85 - 96
Number of pages: 12
Current Topics in Biochemical Research
Volume 14  Issue 1

Copyright © 2012 Research Trends. All rights reserved

Macroautophagy is a catabolic process conserved in eukaryotes that delivers cytoplasmic contents to the lysosome for degradation. Eukaryotic cells utilize autophagy to maintain the balance between the synthesis and the degradation of macromolecules and organelles in response to nutrient deprivation, stress, or availability of growth factors. Through autophagy, eukaryotic cells redistribute nutrients for the most essential processes for cell survival and functions. In addition to its fundamental    role in starvation adaptation, autophagy is also important in embryo development, protection against neurodegeneration, aging, tumor suppression, and processing of immunogen. The mammalian ULK1 (Unc51-like kinase 1), an evolutionarily conserved Ser/Thr kinase (Atg1 in yeast), is a key regulator of autophagy induction. Here, we review the recent progress in the autophagy field with a highlight on the functions and regulation of ULK1.
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