Abstract by Misael Lazaro
Chemistry and Biochemistry
The mechanism of Autophagy Initiation
Autophagy is a catabolic process that degrades organelles, antigens, and bulk cytoplasm to provide energy in the cell. This process is essential for cell survival and repairing organelles that brake down over time. However, autophagy can also enable tumor cell survival by providing nutrients under stress conditions such as chemotherapy. ATG9A, ATG101, FIP200, ULK1, and ATG13 are key proteins used in autophagy initiation. Exactly how this protein machinery works is not well understood. We are currently investigating the importance of ATG9A-ATG13 direct interaction on ATG9A trafficking. I am using viral cloning techniques to create ATG13 mutants to study the importance of this protein interaction. Understanding the mechanisms that regulate autophagy plays an important role in developing therapeutic treatments for a variety of health problems. Thus, a more complete understanding of the overall mechanism could lead to the ability of inhibiting authophagy when necessary.