Endoplasmic reticulum stress: a new pathway to induce autophagy

Autophagy. Mar-Apr 2007;3(2):160-2. doi: 10.4161/auto.3653. Epub 2007 Mar 4.


Autophagy is a response to the stress of nutrient limitation in yeast, whereby cytosolic long-lived proteins and organelles are nonselectively degraded, and the resulting macromolecules are recycled to allow new protein synthesis that is essential for survival. We recently revealed that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress induces autophagy. When misfolded proteins accumulate in the ER the resulting stress activates the unfolded protein response (UPR) to induce the expression of chaperones and proteins involved in the recovery process. Under conditions of ER stress, the preautophagosomal structure is assembled, and transport of autophagosomes to the vacuole is stimulated in an Atg protein-dependent manner. Interestingly, Atg1 has high kinase activity during ER stress-induced autophagy similar to the situation in starvation-induced autophagy.

MeSH terms

  • Autophagy* / drug effects
  • Dithiothreitol / pharmacology
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / drug effects
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / pathology
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal / drug effects
  • Protein Folding
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Tunicamycin / pharmacology
  • Yeasts / drug effects
  • Yeasts / metabolism


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Protein Precursors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Tunicamycin
  • Dithiothreitol