Molecular Biology

A small RNA regulator of autophagy

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Science  08 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6431, pp. 1053-1054
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6431.1053-f

Autophagy serves an essential cellular-garbage disposal function. For example, the autophagy receptor p62 (or sequestosome-1) is needed for selective removal of intracellular pathogen material to the autophagosome for degradation. Notably, p62 must oligomerize to be able to bind to the autophagosome membrane. Horos et al. discovered that p62 also binds to small noncoding vault RNA 1-1, which inhibits autophagy by preventing p62 oligomerization. During starvation, vault RNA 1-1 expression decreases, and autophagy is reactivated. Demonstration of the direct regulation of protein function by an RNA raises the intriguing possibility of the existence of other physiological riboregulators, including Toll-like receptors or protein kinases important in viral infections.

Cell 176, 1054 (2019).

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