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Autophagy. 2009 Jul;5(5):738-40. Epub 2009 Jul 2.

A central role for autophagy in Alzheimer-type neurodegeneration.

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  • 1Division of Neuroscience, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, CA, USA.


The macroautophagy (autophagy) pathway is thought to be involved in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease (AD). It is not clear however, if autophagy plays a causative role, a protective role or is a consequence of the disease process itself. Using a Drosophila model of neuron-limited expression of AD-associated amyloid beta (Abeta) peptides, we have demonstrated an autophagy-mediated neurodegenerative cascade that is initiated by Abeta(1-42) and enhanced by aging. Our results suggest a central role for the autophagy pathway in AD type neurodegeneration and a new framework to understand seemingly unrelated AD phenotypes.

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