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Cambridge Institute for Medical Research


VCP/p97 is an evolutionarily-conserved ATPase with a role in cellular protein homeostasis and quality control. A human VCP mutation that decreases its activity causes dementia associated with tau accumulation. Dr Sandra Hill and colleagues from the Rubinsztein lab, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, have shown a new role for VCP in the initiation of autophagy. Publishing in Nature Chemical Biology, the authors demonstrate a dual mechanism by which VCP stimulates the production of PI(3)P, a key event in the generation of early autophagosomes.