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Mol Aspects Med. 2006 Oct-Dec;27(5-6):426-43. Epub 2006 Sep 26.

Nutrient control of macroautophagy in mammalian cells.

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Department of Applied Biological Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, Niigata University, Ikarashi, Niigata 950-2181, Japan.


A growing number of evidences indicate a strict causality between the reduction of autophagic functionality and aging. In this context the preservation of a proper autophagic response is of paramount importance to preserve the cellular processes in aging cell. Nutrients availability, especially for amino acids, is the most physiological key regulator of macroautophagy. In mammalian cells the knowledge of the mechanism and the underlying regulation of macroautophagy has been greatly improved in recent years and we focus on the role of nutrients, in particular on their involvement in preventing cellular aging through the modulation of autophagy. This review covers the main features of macroautophagy regulation by nutrients, in particular amino acids as well as glucose and vitamins, and its mechanisms, focusing primarily on the mammalian hepatocyte, which has been extensively utilized to dissect signaling pathways underlying the regulation of macroautophagy.

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