Ksp1 is an autophagic receptor protein for the Snx4-assisted autophagy of Ssn2/Med13

Sara E. Hanley, Stephen D. Willis, Steven J. Doyle, Randy Strich, Katrina Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ksp1 is a casein II-like kinase whose activity prevents aberrant macroautophagy/autophagy induction in nutrient-rich conditions in yeast. Here, we describe a kinase-independent role of Ksp1 as a novel autophagic receptor protein for Ssn2/Med13, a known cargo of Snx4-assisted autophagy of transcription factors. In this pathway, a subset of conserved transcriptional regulators, Ssn2/Med13, Rim15, and Msn2, are selectively targeted for vacuolar proteolysis following nitrogen starvation, assisted by the sorting nexin heterodimer Snx4-Atg20. Here we show that phagophores also engulf Ksp1 alongside its cargo for vacuolar proteolysis. Ksp1 directly associates with Atg8 following nitrogen starvation at the interface of an Atg8-family interacting motif (AIM)/LC3-interacting region (LIR) in Ksp1 and the LIR/AIM docking site (LDS) in Atg8. Mutating the LDS site prevents the autophagic degradation of Ksp1. However, deletion of the C terminal canonical AIM still permitted Ssn2/Med13 proteolysis, suggesting that additional non-canonical AIMs may mediate the Ksp1-Atg8 interaction. Ksp1 is recruited to the perivacuolar phagophore assembly site by Atg29, a member of the trimeric scaffold complex. This interaction is independent of Atg8 and Snx4, suggesting that Ksp1 is recruited early to phagophores, with Snx4 delivering Ssn2/Med13 thereafter. Finally, normal cell survival following prolonged nitrogen starvation requires Ksp1. Together, these studies define a kinase-independent role for Ksp1 as an autophagic receptor protein mediating Ssn2/Med13 degradation. They also suggest that phagophores built by the trimeric scaffold complex are capable of receptor-mediated autophagy. These results demonstrate the dual functionality of Ksp1, whose kinase activity prevents autophagy while it plays a scaffolding role supporting autophagic degradation. Abbreviations: 3-AT: 3-aminotriazole; 17C: Atg17-Atg31-Atg29 trimeric scaffold complex; AIM: Atg8-family interacting motif; ATG: autophagy related; CKM: CDK8 kinase module; Cvt: cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting; IDR: intrinsically disordered region; LIR: LC3-interacting region; LDS: LIR/AIM docking site; MoRF: molecular recognition feature; NPC: nuclear pore complex; PAS: phagophore assembly site; PKA: protein kinase A; RBP: RNA-binding protein; UPS: ubiquitin-proteasome system. SAA-TF: Snx4-assisted autophagy of transcription factors; Y2H: yeast two-hybrid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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