Inactivation of the autophagy Gene bec-1 triggers apoptotic cell death in C. elegans

K. Takács-Vellai, T. Vellai, Alessandro Puoti, Myriam Passannante, Chantal Wicky, Adrian Streit, A. Kovács, Fritz Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

170 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Programmed cell death (PCD) is an essential and highly orchestrated process that plays a major role in morphogenesis and tissue homeostasis during development. In humans, defects in regulation or execution of cell death lead to diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer [1]. Two major types of PCD have been distinguished: the caspase-mediated process of apoptosis and the caspase-independent process involving autophagy [1, 2]. Although apoptosis and autophagy are often activated together in response to stress [3], the molecular mechanisms underlying their interplay remain unclear. Here we show that BEC-1, the C. elegans ortholog of the yeast and mammalian autophagy proteins Atg6/Vps30 and Beclin 1, is essential for development. We demonstrate that BEC-1 is necessary for the function of the class III PI3 kinase LET-512/Vps34, an essential protein required for autophagy, membrane trafficking, and endocytosis. Furthermore, BEC-1 forms a complex with the antiapoptotic protein CED-9/Bcl-2, and its depletion triggers CED-3/Caspase-dependent PCD. Based on our results, we propose that bec-1 represents a link between autophagy and apoptosis, thus supporting the view that the two processes act in concerted manner in the cell death machinery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1513-1517
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume15
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 23 2005

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autophagy
Autophagy
Gene Silencing
Cell death
cell death
inactivation
Cell Death
apoptosis
Genes
caspases
Apoptosis
Caspases
genes
Tissue homeostasis
Linear Energy Transfer
Proteins
Medical problems
Endocytosis
Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
Morphogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Inactivation of the autophagy Gene bec-1 triggers apoptotic cell death in C. elegans. / Takács-Vellai, K.; Vellai, T.; Puoti, Alessandro; Passannante, Myriam; Wicky, Chantal; Streit, Adrian; Kovács, A.; Müller, Fritz.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 15, No. 16, 23.08.2005, p. 1513-1517.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Takács-Vellai, K. ; Vellai, T. ; Puoti, Alessandro ; Passannante, Myriam ; Wicky, Chantal ; Streit, Adrian ; Kovács, A. ; Müller, Fritz. / Inactivation of the autophagy Gene bec-1 triggers apoptotic cell death in C. elegans. In: Current Biology. 2005 ; Vol. 15, No. 16. pp. 1513-1517.
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