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K-State Today

April 26, 2018

Division of Biology presents Daniel Klionsky April 27

Submitted by Division of Biology

Daniel Klionsky, University of Michigan, will present "If You Only Have Time to Attend One Seminar on Autophagy Today, This is the One" as part of the Division of Biology Seminar Series at 4 p.m. Friday, April 27, in 221 Ackert Hall.

The abstract for the lecture will cover Macro autophagy/autophagy, a process of cellular self-digestion that plays a critical role in cytoprotective responses to stress. Defects in autophagy in humans are associated with a wide range of pathologies including cancer, neurodegeneration, diabetes, and heart disease. Designing effective therapies for these pathophysiologies will require a greater understanding of the mechanism and regulation of autophagy. The overall pathway and the protein components of autophagy are highly conserved from yeast to human; over forty autophagy-related (ATG) genes have been identified in yeast, and homologs exist for many of them in more complex eukaryotes. Many questions concerning the molecular basis of the autophagy pathway remain unanswered. For example, how is the initial sequestering compartment, the phagophore, nucleated? What is the origin of the membrane used for expansion of the phagophore to form the autophagosome? What are the roles of the various Atg proteins in the process of autophagosome biogenesis?

We have been analyzing the regulation of autophagy in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Two of the central autophagy-related proteins are Atg8 and Atg9: The amount of Atg8 determines the size of autophagosomes, whereas the Atg9 level controls the rate of autophagosome formation; therefore, we are interested in the transcriptional and post-transcriptional processes that regulate their function. The ATG8 gene in particular is controlled through a complex network that involves negative regulation through several distinct mechanisms; this ensures an appropriate level of homeostatic autophagy, while preparing cells to rapidly induce autophagy when they encounter stress.

If you would like to visit with Klionsky, please contact Akeem Waite at akeemw89@k-state.edu.

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