ULK1-ATG13 and Their Mitotic Phospho-regulation by CDK1 Connect Autophagy to Cell Cycle

June 18, 2020 | Biology

First appearing on Public Library of Science Biology, Lab.Equipment brings you this article to cover your daily Biology industry news fix.

by Zhiyuan Li, Xiaofei Tian, Xinmiao Ji, Junjun Wang, Hanxiao Chen, Dongmei Wang, Xin Zhang

Unc-51-like autophagy activating kinase 1 (ULK1)–autophagy-related 13 (ATG13) is the most upstream autophagy initiation complex that is phosphorylated by mammalian target-of-rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) to induce autophagy in asynchronous conditions. However, their phospho-regulation and functions in mitosis and cell cycle remain unknown. Here we show that ULK1-ATG13 complex is differentially regulated throughout the cell cycle, especially in mitosis, in which both ULK1 and ATG13 are highly phosphorylated by the key cell cycle machinery cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1)/cyclin B. Combining mass spectrometry and site-directed mutagenesis, we found that CDK1-induced ULK1-ATG13 phosphorylation promotes mitotic autophagy and cell cycle progression. Moreover, double knockout (DKO) of ULK1 and ATG13 could block cell cycle progression and significantly decrease cancer cell proliferation in cell line and mouse models. Our results not only bridge the mutual regulation between the core machinery of autophagy and mitosis but also illustrate the positive function of ULK1-ATG13 and their phosphorylation by CDK1 in mitotic autophagy regulation... Find the complete article at the PLOS Biology Blog.

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