Zonda is a novel early component of the autophagy pathway in Drosophila

Mariana Melani, Ayelén Valko, Nuria M. Romero, Milton O. Aguilera, Julieta M. Acevedo, Zambarlal Bhujabal, Joel Perez-Perri, Rocío V. De La Riva-Carrasco, Maximiliano J. Katz, Eleonora Sorianello, Cecilia D'Alessio, Gabor Juhász, Terje Johansen, María I. Colombo, Pablo Wappner

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Autophagy is an evolutionary conserved process by which eukaryotic cells undergo self-digestion of cytoplasmic components. Here we report that a novel Drosophila immunophilin, which we have named Zonda, is critically required for starvation-induced autophagy. We show that Zonda operates at early stages of the process, specifically for Vps34-mediated phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PI3P) deposition. Zonda displays an even distribution under basal conditions and, soon after starvation, nucleates in endoplasmic reticulum-associated foci that colocalize with omegasome markers. Zonda nucleation depends on Atg1, Atg13, and Atg17 but does not require Vps34, Vps15, Atg6, or Atg14. Zonda interacts physically with Atg1 through its kinase domain, as well as with Atg6 and Vps34. We propose that Zonda is an early component of the autophagy cascade necessary for Vps34-dependent PI3P deposition and omegasome formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3070-3081
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Melani, M., Valko, A., Romero, N. M., Aguilera, M. O., Acevedo, J. M., Bhujabal, Z., Perez-Perri, J., De La Riva-Carrasco, R. V., Katz, M. J., Sorianello, E., D'Alessio, C., Juhász, G., Johansen, T., Colombo, M. I., & Wappner, P. (2017). Zonda is a novel early component of the autophagy pathway in Drosophila. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 28(22), 3070-3081. https://doi.org/10.1091/mbc.E16-11-0767