Tia Cheunkarndee L&S Sciences
Investigating the Regulation of Atg40 Expression During Meiosis
Autophagy is a process of self-eating by which the cell targets specific cargo for degradation. While autophagy was initially believed to primarily be a response to stress or starvation, it is now known that it also plays important roles in cellular homeostasis and organismal development. This process can happen either non-selectively, where cargo is degraded randomly in bulk, or selectively, where degradation of a specific cargo, such as a protein aggregate, organelle, or pathogen, is specified by an autophagy receptor. In budding yeast, selective autophagy of the endoplasmic reticulum is mediated in part by the autophagy receptor Atg40. The work of my lab so far suggests that Atg40 expression is highly regulated, but it remains unknown what factors are controlling its expression. I aim to define the cis- and trans-acting factors required for Atg40 expression in meiosis. Identifying these regulatory factors will shed light on how dramatic changes in cell physiology are programmed into a gene regulatory network during transitions in cellular state.