ULK2 is a serine/threonine protein kinase that plays critical role during initial stages of autophagy which is a vital response to nutrient starvation. Mammalian Atg13 binds ULK2 and mediates the interaction of the ULK protein with FIP200. The binding of Atg13 stabilizes and activates ULK and facilitates the phosphorylation of FIP200 by ULK. The ULK-Atg13-FIP200 complex is a direct target of mTOR and important regulator of autophagy in response to mTOR signalling. Yeast 2-hybrid assays showed the C-terminus of ULK2 binds the C-terminus of SynGAP, a negative regulator of Ras that is associated with neural development. Recombinant human ULK2 (1-478) was expressed by baculovirus in Sf9 insect cells using an N-terminal GST tag.
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