Sulfur depletion induces autophagy through Ecl1 family genes in fission yeast

Abstract

Autophagy is an intracellular degradation system widely conserved among various species. Autophagy is induced by the depletion of various nutrients, and this degradation mechanism is essential for adaptation to such conditions. In this study, we demonstrated that sulfur depletion induces autophagy in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Based on the finding that autophagy induced by sulfur depletion was completely abolished in a mutant in which the ecl1, ecl2 and ecl3 genes were deleted (Δecls), we report that these three genes are essential for the induction of autophagy by sulfur depletion. Furthermore, autophagy‐defective mutant cells exhibited poor growth and short lifespan (compared with wild‐type cells) under the sulfur‐depleted condition. These results indicated that the mechanism of autophagy is necessary for the appropriate adaptation to sulfur depletion.

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