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Methionine is a signal of amino acid sufficiency that inhibits autophagy through the methylation of PP2A

Sunil Laxman; Benjamin M. Sutter; Benjamin P. Tu

(Profiled Author: Benjamin P Tu)

Autophagy. 2014;10(2):386-387.

Abstract

Cells respond to the deprivation of nutrients by inducing autophagy. However, mechanisms through which cells coordinately regulate autophagy with metabolic state remain incompletely understood. We previously observed that prototrophic strains of yeast induce autophagy upon switch from a rich to minimal medium in the absence of severe nitrogen starvation. We determined that the sulfur-containing amino acid methionine and its downstream metabolite S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) are sufficient to strongly inhibit such autophagy. These metabolites function through Ppm1, an enzyme that methylates the catalytic subunit of the protein phosphatase PP2A. As such, methionine and SAM act as critical signals of amino acid sufficiency that reciprocally regulate autophagy and cell growth by modulating the methylation status of PP2A. © 2014 Landes Bioscience.

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