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Trends Cell Biol. 2011 Feb;21(2):67-73. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2010.09.009. Epub 2010 Oct 18.

Autophagy: a broad role in unconventional protein secretion?

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1
Section of Molecular Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0322, USA.

Abstract

Autophagy, a cellular 'self-eating' process in eukaryotic cells, exists in both a basal and in an activated state that is induced in response to starvation. Basal and induced autophagy are associated with the packaging of cellular components, including damaged and/or redundant organelles, into double-membrane vesicles called autophagosomes, followed by autophagosome fusion with lysosomes, in which their contents are degraded and recycled. Recent results highlight a novel role for autophagy that does not involve lysosomal degradation of autophagosomal contents, but instead involves their redirection towards the extracellular delivery of an unconventionally secreted protein. Here, we discuss these findings, evaluate the strength of evidence, consider their implications for the field of protein trafficking, and suggest the next steps required to probe this interesting pathway.

PMID:
20961762
PMCID:
PMC3025270
DOI:
10.1016/j.tcb.2010.09.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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