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Trehalose, a disaccharide present in many non-mammalian species, protects cells against various environmental stresses. Whereas some of the protective effects may be explained by its chemical chaperone properties, its actions are largely unknown. Here we report a novel function of trehalose as an mTOR-independent autophagy activator. Trehalose-induced(More)
Macroautophagy is a key pathway for the clearance of aggregate-prone cytosolic proteins. Currently, the only suitable pharmacologic strategy for up-regulating autophagy in mammalian cells is to use rapamycin, which inhibits the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a negative regulator of autophagy. Here we describe a novel mTOR-independent pathway that(More)
Autophagy is a major clearance route for intracellular aggregate-prone proteins causing diseases such as Huntington's disease. Autophagy induction with the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin accelerates clearance of these toxic substrates. As rapamycin has nontrivial side effects, we screened FDA-approved drugs to identify new autophagy-inducing pathways. We found(More)
mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) signalling and macroautophagy (henceforth autophagy) regulate numerous pathological and physiological processes, including cellular responses to altered nutrient levels. However, the mechanisms regulating mTOR and autophagy remain incompletely understood. Lysosomes are dynamic intracellular organelles intimately involved(More)
The target of rapamycin proteins regulate various cellular processes including autophagy, which may play a protective role in certain neurodegenerative and infectious diseases. Here we show that a primary small-molecule screen in yeast yields novel small-molecule modulators of mammalian autophagy. We first identified new small-molecule enhancers (SMER) and(More)
We recently showed that lithium induces autophagy via inositol monophosphatase (IMPase) inhibition, leading to free inositol depletion and reduced myo-inositol-1,4, 5-triphosphate (IP3) levels. This represents a novel way of regulating mammalian autophagy, independent of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Induction of autophagy by lithium led to(More)
The ability of certain plants, invertebrates, and microorganisms to survive almost complete loss of water has long been recognized, but the molecular mechanisms of this phenomenon remain to be defined. One phylogenetically widespread adaptation is the presence of abundant, highly hydrophilic proteins in desiccation-tolerant organisms. The best characterized(More)
The repair mechanisms acting on DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs) in eukaryotes are poorly understood. Here, we provide evidence for a pathway of ICL processing that uses components from both nucleotide excision repair (NER) and translesion synthesis (TLS) and predominates during the G1 phase of the yeast cell cycle. Our results suggest that repair is(More)
(Macro)autophagy is a bulk degradation process that mediates the clearance of long-lived proteins and organelles. Autophagy is initiated by double-membraned structures, which engulf portions of cytoplasm. The resulting autophagosomes ultimately fuse with lysosomes, where their contents are degraded. Although the term autophagy was first used in 1963, the(More)
Huntington disease (HD) is caused by a polyglutamine-expansion mutation in huntingtin (HTT) that makes the protein toxic and aggregate-prone. The subcellular localisation of huntingtin and many of its interactors suggest a role in endocytosis, and recently it has been shown that huntingtin interacts indirectly with the early endosomal protein Rab5 through(More)