Autophagy is a catabolic cellular process that targets cytosolic material, including mitochondria, to the vacuole or lysosomes for degradation. The selective degradation of mitochondria by autophagy is termed mitophagy. Dysfunctional mitophagy, which leads to the accumulation of damaged mitochondria, has been implicated in Parkinson's disease, cancer, cardiac disease and metabolic disease. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mitophagy is initiated by the autophagy receptor Atg32, an outer mitochondrial membrane protein. A lack of structural information for Atg32 has hindered our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of mitophagy initiation. To gain new structural insight into Atg32, we have identified the location of a structured domain within the cytosolic region of Atg32 and completed the backbone and side chain resonance assignments for this domain.
Keywords: Atg32; Autophagy; Mitophagy; NMR.