TSC13 is required for the biosynthesis of very-long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) in yeast. Tsc13p is a polytopic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane protein that accumulates at nucleus-vacuole (NV) junctions, which are formed through Velcro-like interactions between Nvj1p in the perinuclear ER and Vac8p on the vacuole membrane. NV junctions mediate piecemeal microautophagy of the nucleus (PMN), during which bleb-like portions of the nucleus are extruded into invaginations of the vacuole membrane and degraded in the vacuole lumen. We report that Tsc13p is sequestered into NV junctions from the peripheral ER through Vac8p-independent interactions with Nvj1p. During nutrient limitation, Tsc13p is incorporated into PMN vesicles in an Nvj1p-dependent manner. The lumenal diameters of PMN blebs and vesicles are significantly reduced in tsc13-1 and tsc13-1 elo3-Delta mutant cells. PMN structures are also smaller in cells treated with cerulenin, an inhibitor of de novo fatty acid synthesis and elongation. The targeting of Tsc13p-GFP into NV junctions is perturbed by cerulenin, suggesting that its binding to Nvj1p depends on the availability of fatty acid substrates. These results indicate that Nvj1p retains and compartmentalizes Tsc13p at NV junctions and that VLCFAs contribute to the normal biogenesis of trilaminar PMN structures in yeast.
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