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Autophagy. 2006 Oct-Dec;2(4):325-7. Epub 2006 Oct 13.

Lysosomal chat maintains the balance.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


The original idea that each protein follows a particular proteolytic pathway for its degradation is no longer supported. Instead, different proteolytic systems can simultaneously contribute to the degradation of a particular protein, or they can alternate in this task depending, for the most part, on the cellular conditions. It is thus reasonable to expect that some level of communication exists among different proteolytic systems to orchestrate these coordinated activities. Direct cross-talk between two forms of autophagy, macroautophagy and chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) has been recently demonstrated. Cells respond to blockage of CMA by upregulating macroautophagy. Although macroautophagy cannot completely substitute for the lack of CMA, the partial redundancy between both pathways allows some level of compensation, enough to maintain protein degradation and preserve cell homeostasis. Understanding the cross-talk among different autophagic pathways and with other proteolytic systems is important to predict the type of compensatory mechanisms that could be elicited in response to failure of one of these systems, and to understand the consequences that manipulating one of these pathways for therapeutic purposes could have on the activity of the other pathways.

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