The Beclin 1-VPS34 complex - at the crossroads of autophagy and beyond

Sarah F. Funderburk, Qing Jun Wang, Zhenyu Yue

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

592 Scopus citations

Abstract

An increasing body of research on autophagy provides overwhelming evidence for its connection to diverse biological functions and human diseases. Beclin 1, the first mammalian autophagy protein to be described, appears to act as a nexus point between autophagy, endosomal, and perhaps also cell death pathways. Beclin 1 performs these roles as part of a core complex that contains vacuolar sorting protein 34 (VPS34), a class III phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase. The precise mechanism of Beclin 1-mediated regulation of these cellular functions is unclear, but substantial progress has recently been made in identifying new players and their functions in Beclin 1-VSP34 complexes. Here we review emerging studies that are beginning to unveil the physiological functions of Beclin 1-VPS34 in the central control of autophagic activity and other trafficking events through the formation of distinct Beclin 1-VPS34 protein complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-362
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Volume20
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank members of Yue laboratory and Dr. Qing Zhong for critical reading. This work was supported by NIH grant RO1NS060123 (Z.Y.), Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (Z.Y.) and NIH COBRE 2P20RR020171 (Q.J.W.). We apologize to colleagues whose publications could not be cited owing to space limit.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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