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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Sep;1793(9):1444-51. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2008.12.010. Epub 2008 Dec 25.

Autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, N. Plastira 100, Vassilika Vouton, PO Box 1385, Heraklion 70013, Crete, Greece.


Macroautophagy (or autophagy) is a catabolic process responsible for the degradation of long-lived proteins, molecules and organelles. Cellular stressors such as food limitation, space restriction, oxidative stress, temperature shifts, and accumulation of protein aggregates induce autophagy. Cellular material to be degraded is engulfed in autophagosomes, which fuse with the lysosome where material is degraded. Cellular components can then be recycled. Autophagy has been assigned pro-survival and pro-death functions. Here, we reviewed the roles of autophagy in cell growth and death, in ageing and longevity, as well as in neurodegeneration in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

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