The mammalian ortholog of yeast Atg6/Vps30, Beclin 1, is an essential autophagy protein that has been linked to diverse biological processes, including immunity, development, tumor suppression, lifespan extension, and protection against certain cardiac and neurodegenerative diseases. In recent years, major advances have been made in identifying components of functionally distinct Beclin 1/class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase complexes, in characterizing the molecular regulation of interactions between Beclin 1 and the autophagy inhibitors, Bcl-2/BcL-XL, and in uncovering a role for viral antagonists of Beclin 1 in viral pathogenesis. The rapidly growing list of components of the 'Beclin 1 interactome' supports a model in which autophagy, and potentially other membrane trafficking functions of Beclin 1, are governed by differential interactions with different binding partners in different physiological or pathophysiological contexts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology