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Development. 2008 Aug;135(14):2347-60. doi: 10.1242/dev.016105.

The cell biology of autophagy in metazoans: a developing story.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Queens College, Flushing, NY 11367, USA. alicia.melendez@qc.cuny.edu


The cell biological phenomenon of autophagy (or ;self-eating') has attracted increasing attention in recent years. In this review, we first address the cell biological functions of autophagy, and then discuss recent insights into the role of autophagy in animal development, particularly in C. elegans, Drosophila and mouse. Work in these and other model systems has also provided evidence for the involvement of autophagy in disease processes, such as neurodegeneration, tumorigenesis, pathogenic infection and aging. Insights gained from investigating the functions of autophagy in normal development should increase our understanding of its roles in human disease and its potential as a target for therapeutic intervention.

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