This gene encodes an E1-like activating enzyme that is essential for autophagy and cytoplasmic to vacuole transport. The encoded protein is also thought to modulate p53-dependent cell cycle pathways during prolonged metabolic stress. It has been associated with multiple functions, including axon membrane trafficking, axonal homeostasis, mitophagy, adipose differentiation, and hematopoietic stem cell maintenance. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2015].