Serine/threonine-protein kinase involved in autophagy in response to starvation. Acts upstream of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase PIK3C3 to regulate the formation of autophagophores, the precursors of autophagosomes. Part of regulatory feedback loops in autophagy: acts both as a downstream effector and a negative regulator of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) via interaction with RPTOR. Activated via phosphorylation by AMPK, also acts as a negative regulator of AMPK through phosphorylation of the AMPK subunits PRKAA1, PRKAB2 and PRKAG1. May phosphorylate ATG13/KIAA0652, FRS2, FRS3 and RPTOR; however such data need additional evidences. Not involved in ammonia-induced autophagy or in autophagic response of cerebellar granule neurons (CGN) to low potassium concentration. Plays a role early in neuronal differentiation and is required for granule cell axon formation: may govern axon formation via Ras-like GTPase signaling and through regulation of the Rab5-mediated endocytic pathways within developing axons.
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