New insights into the function of Atg9
Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation pathway that is essential for cellular homeostasis. Identification of more than 30 autophagy related proteins including a multi-spanning membrane protein, Atg9, has increased our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in autophagy. Atg9 is required for autophagy in several eukaryotic organisms although its function is unknown. Recently, we identified a novel interacting partner of mAtg9, p38 MAPK interacting protein, p38IP. We summarise recent data on the role of Atg9 trafficking in yeast and mammalian autophagy and discuss the role of p38IP and p38 MAPK in regulation of mAtg9 trafficking and autophagy.