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Autophagy. 2008 Jul;4(5):607-11. Epub 2008 Jun 3.

Eating for good health: linking autophagy and phagocytosis in host defense.

Author information

1
Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA. miguel.sanjuan@stjude.org

Abstract

Autophagy is a conserved pathway that sequesters cytoplasmic material and delivers it to lysosomes for degradation. Digestion of portions of the cell interior plays a key role in the recycling of nutrients, remodeling, and disposal of superfluous organelles. Along with its metabolic function, autophagy is an important mechanism for innate immunity against invading bacteria and other pathogens. Multicellular organisms seem to have exploited autophagy to eliminate intracellular pathogens that would otherwise grow in the cytoplasm. Surprisingly, autophagy is involved in the response to extracellular pathogens as well, following their engulfment by conventional phagocytosis. Possible links between these two forms of cellular "eating" represent a new dimension in host defense.

PMID:
18552553
PMCID:
PMC2612584
DOI:
10.4161/auto.6397
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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