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author:("rdi, Balázs")
1.  Atg17/FIP200 localizes to perilysosomal Ref(2)P aggregates and promotes autophagy by activation of Atg1 in Drosophila 
Autophagy  2014;10(3):453-467.
Phagophore-derived autophagosomes deliver cytoplasmic material to lysosomes for degradation and reuse. Autophagy mediated by the incompletely characterized actions of Atg proteins is involved in numerous physiological and pathological settings including stress resistance, immunity, aging, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. Here we characterized Atg17/FIP200, the Drosophila ortholog of mammalian RB1CC1/FIP200, a proposed functional equivalent of yeast Atg17. Atg17 disruption inhibits basal, starvation-induced and developmental autophagy, and interferes with the programmed elimination of larval salivary glands and midgut during metamorphosis. Upon starvation, Atg17-positive structures appear at aggregates of the selective cargo Ref(2)P/p62 near lysosomes. This location may be similar to the perivacuolar PAS (phagophore assembly site) described in yeast. Drosophila Atg17 is a member of the Atg1 kinase complex as in mammals, and we showed that it binds to the other subunits including Atg1, Atg13, and Atg101 (C12orf44 in humans, 9430023L20Rik in mice and RGD1359310 in rats). Atg17 is required for the kinase activity of endogenous Atg1 in vivo, as loss of Atg17 prevents the Atg1-dependent shift of endogenous Atg13 to hyperphosphorylated forms, and also blocks punctate Atg1 localization during starvation. Finally, we found that Atg1 overexpression induces autophagy and reduces cell size in Atg17-null mutant fat body cells, and that overexpression of Atg17 promotes endogenous Atg13 phosphorylation and enhances autophagy in an Atg1-dependent manner in the fat body. We propose a model according to which the relative activity of Atg1, estimated by the ratio of hyper- to hypophosphorylated Atg13, contributes to setting low (basal) vs. high (starvation-induced) autophagy levels in Drosophila.
PMCID: PMC4077884  PMID: 24419107
Atg1; Atg13; autophagy; Drosophila; Atg17/FIP200; lysosome; Ref(2)P/p62; TOR
2.  Loss of the starvation-induced gene Rack1 leads to glycogen deficiency and impaired autophagic responses in Drosophila 
Autophagy  2012;8(7):1124-1135.
Autophagy delivers cytoplasmic material for lysosomal degradation in eukaryotic cells. Starvation induces high levels of autophagy to promote survival in the lack of nutrients. We compared genome-wide transcriptional profiles of fed and starved control, autophagy-deficient Atg7 and Atg1 null mutant Drosophila larvae to search for novel regulators of autophagy. Genes involved in catabolic processes including autophagy were transcriptionally upregulated in all cases. We also detected repression of genes involved in DNA replication in autophagy mutants compared with control animals. The expression of Rack1 (receptor of activated protein kinase C 1) increased 4.1- to 5.5-fold during nutrient deprivation in all three genotypes. The scaffold protein Rack1 plays a role in a wide range of processes including translation, cell adhesion and migration, cell survival and cancer. Loss of Rack1 led to attenuated autophagic response to starvation, and glycogen stores were decreased 11.8-fold in Rack1 mutant cells. Endogenous Rack1 partially colocalized with GFP-Atg8a and early autophagic structures on the ultrastructural level, suggesting its involvement in autophagosome formation. Endogenous Rack1 also showed a high degree of colocalization with glycogen particles in the larval fat body, and with Shaggy, the Drosophila homolog of glycogen synthase kinase 3B (GSK-3B). Our results, for the first time, demonstrated the fundamental role of Rack1 in autophagy and glycogen synthesis.
PMCID: PMC3429548  PMID: 22562043
antimicrobial peptides; Atg8; autophagy; Drosophila; fat body; glycogen; GSK-3B; microarray; Rack1; starvation
3.  Gene Expression Profiling Identifies FKBP39 as an Inhibitor of Autophagy in Larval Drosophila Fat Body 
Cell death and differentiation  2007;14(6):1181-1190.
In Drosophila, the fat body undergoes a massive burst of autophagy at the end of larval development in preparation for the pupal transition. To identify genes involved in this process, we carried out a microarray analysis. We found that mRNA levels of the homologs of Atg8, the coat protein of early autophagic structures, and lysosomal hydrolases were upregulated, consistent with previous results. Genes encoding mitochondrial proteins and many chaperones were downregulated, including the inhibitor of eIF2alpha kinases and the peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase (PPiase) FKBP39. Genetic manipulation of FKBP39 expression had a significant effect on autophagy, potentially through modulation of the transcription factor Foxo. Accordingly, we found that Foxo mutants can not properly undergo autophagy in response to starvation, and that overexpression of Foxo induces autophagy.
PMCID: PMC2084463  PMID: 17363962
autophagy; Drosophila; FKBP39; Foxo; microarray

Results 1-3 (3)