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    Macroautophagy/autophagy is an important catabolic process for maintaining cellular homeostasis by adapting to various stress conditions. Autophagy is mediated by a double-membrane autophagosome, which sequesters a portion of cytoplasmic components for delivery to the vacuole. Several autophagy-related (ATG) genes play crucial roles in autophagosome formation. The induction of ATG genes must be tightly regulated to maintain a proper autophagic activity, but their regulatory mechanisms are still largely unknown. Here, we report that the trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase Tps2 functions as a positive regulator of autophagy in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Cellular trehalose levels do not affect autophagy regulation by Tps2. Loss of Tps2 leads to impaired autophagic flux and reduced ATG8 expre/ssion under nitrogen starvation. In tps2Δ cells, Ume6 is predominantly dephosphorylated and represses ATG8 transcription by binding to its promoter region. Tps2 regulates nuclear translocation and activation of Rim15 kinase, a negative regulator of Ume6, by causing the dissociation of Rim15 from the 14-3-3 proteins Bmh1/2 under nitrogen starvation, suggesting that Rim15 mediates the function of Tps2 as a positive regulator of ATG8 induction. Furthermore, Tps2 plays a crucial role in the dephosphorylation of Ser1061 and Thr1075 residues of Rim15, which is important for controlling the dissociation of Rim15 from Bmh1/2 under nitrogen starvation. Together, our results reveal the role of Tps2 as a positive regulator of autophagy and provide new insight into the regulatory mechanisms of ATG gene expression.Abbreviations: ATG: autophagy-related; ChIP: chromatin immunoprecipitation; Co-IP: co-immunoprecipitation; DAPI: 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole; GFP: green fluorescent protein; PKA: protein kinase A; PtdIns3K: phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; Rim15KI: kinase-inactive Rim15; Rim15-2A: Rim15S1061A,T1075A; TEM: transmission electron microscopy; TORC1: target of rapamycin complex 1.


    Bongkeun Kim, Yongook Lee, Hyojeong Choi, Won-Ki Huh. The trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase Tps2 regulates ATG8 transcription and autophagy in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Autophagy. 2021 Apr;17(4):1013-1027

    PMID: 32240040

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