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Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2009;335:71-84. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-00302-8_3.

Physiological functions of autophagy.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan. nmizu.phy2@tmd.ac.jp

Abstract

The field of autophagy research has advanced rapidly in recent years, with important discoveries made in relation to both molecular mechanisms and physiological functions. Initially, autophagy was thought to be primarily a response to starvation. Although this might be true in lower eukaryotes, this catabolic process exerts various physiological functions in higher eukaryotes. This review summarizes the physiological roles of autophagy in amino acid pool maintenance, intracellular quality control, development, cell death, tumor suppression and anti-aging.

PMID:
19802560
DOI:
10.1007/978-3-642-00302-8_3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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