Dissecting the localization and function of Atg18, Atg21 and Ygr223c

Autophagy. 2008 Oct;4(7):896-910. doi: 10.4161/auto.6801. Epub 2008 Oct 18.


Atg18p and Atg21p are two highly homologous yeast autophagy proteins. Atg18p functions in both autophagy and the selective Cvt-pathway, while the function of Atg21p is restricted to the Cvt-pathway. The yeast genome encodes with Ygr223cp (Hsv2p), a third member of this protein family. So far no function has been assigned to Ygr223cp. By colocalization with the endosomal marker Snf7-RFP and an RFP-tagged FYVE domain, we here identify the localization of a pool of Atg18p, Atg21p and Ygr223cp at endosomes. Endosomal recruitment of all three proteins depends on PtdIns3P generated by the Vps34-complex II containing Vps38p, but not on the function of the Vps34-complex I. Since only the Vps34-complex I is essential for autophagy, we expect that at endosomes Atg18p, Atg21p and Ygr223cp have a function distinct from autophagy. Some Vps Class D mutants involved in Golgi-to-endosome transport are required for the endosomal recruitment of GFP-Atg18p, -Atg21p and -Ygr223cp. These include the Qa-SNARE Pep12p, its SM protein Vps45p, the Rab GTPase Vps21p and the Rab effector Vac1p. Deletion of ATG18, ATG21 and YGR223c, alone or simultaneously has no obvious function on the MVB-pathway and CPY-sorting. However, overexpression of ATG21 leads to CPY secretion. We further show, to our knowledge for the first time, that Ygr223cp affects an autophagic process, namely micronucleophagy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autophagy*
  • Autophagy-Related Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cathepsin A / metabolism
  • Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Endosomes / metabolism*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / ultrastructure
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*


  • ATG18 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Autophagy-Related Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • HSV2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • ATG21 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Endopeptidases
  • Cathepsin A