Autophagy is a highly conserved eukaryotic process in which components of the cytoplasm, including damaged organelles and misfolded proteins, are sequestered into double membrane-bound vesicles called autophagosomes that are subsequently delivered to the vacuole for recycling. In fungi, autophagy is linked to cellular remodeling and differentiation, while in mammals dysfunction in the autophagy pathway has been implicated in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Here we explore the role of microtubule-based motors in the spatiotemporal control of autophagy in the model filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. Using a molecular genetic and live-cell imaging approach, we identify the motors responsible for autophagosome motility, and dissect their role in the delivery and fusion of autophagic vesicles with the vacuolar system. Furthermore, we examine the role of microtubule-based motors in the clearance of aggregation-prone proteins associated with motor neuron disease, and determine the effect of these aggregates on normal microtubule-based transport processes.
Full conference title:
27th Fungal Genetics Conference
- FGC 27th (2013)