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Trends Biochem Sci. 2011 Jan;36(1):30-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2010.07.007. Epub 2010 Aug 20.

Regulation of autophagy by ROS: physiology and pathology.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are small and highly reactive molecules that can oxidize proteins, lipids and DNA. When tightly controlled, ROS serve as signaling molecules by modulating the activity of the oxidized targets. Accumulating data point to an essential role for ROS in the activation of autophagy. Be the outcome of autophagy survival or death and the initiation conditions starvation, pathogens or death receptors, ROS are invariably involved. The nature of this involvement, however, remains unclear. Moreover, although connections between ROS and autophagy are observed in diverse pathological conditions, the mode of activation of autophagy and its potential protective role remain incompletely understood. Notably, recent advances in the field of redox regulation of autophagy focus on the role of mitochondria as a source of ROS and on mitophagy as a means for clearance of ROS.

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