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Nature. 2008 Feb 28;451(7182):1069-75. doi: 10.1038/nature06639.

Autophagy fights disease through cellular self-digestion.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan.

Abstract

Autophagy, or cellular self-digestion, is a cellular pathway involved in protein and organelle degradation, with an astonishing number of connections to human disease and physiology. For example, autophagic dysfunction is associated with cancer, neurodegeneration, microbial infection and ageing. Paradoxically, although autophagy is primarily a protective process for the cell, it can also play a role in cell death. Understanding autophagy may ultimately allow scientists and clinicians to harness this process for the purpose of improving human health.

PMID:
18305538
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2670399
Free PMC Article

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