Background: Macroautophagy is the major inducible pathway for the general turnover of cytoplasmic constituents in eukaryotic cells, it is also responsible for the degradation of active cytoplasmic enzymes and organelles during nutrient starvation. Macroautophagy involves the formation of double-membrane bound autophagosomes which enclose the cytoplasmic constituent targeted for degradation in a membrane bound structure, which then fuse with the lysosome (or vacuole) releasing a single-membrane bound autophagic bodies which are then degraded within the lysosome (or vacuole). Two human homologs of the yeast autophagy-specific kinase exist: ULK1(APG1) and ULK2. APG1 plays a critical role in regulating key elements of the autophagy pathway. APG1 stimulates autophagy, leading to autophagy-dependent restriction of cell growth and ultimately cell apoptosis at high levels of activity, and is a negative regulator of mTOR signaling.