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Semin Cell Biol. 1990 Dec;1(6):441-8.

Non-selective autophagy.

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Department of Tissue Culture, Institute for Cancer Research, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Montebello, Oslo.


Autophagy is the major process by which cells degrade their own cytoplasm. Autophagy begins with the sequestration of a portion of the cytoplasm by a membraneous organelle called a phagophore. The resulting vacuole (autophagosome) can fuse with an endocytic vacuole to form am amphisome, which subsequently fuses with a lysosome to have its mixed autophagic/endocytic content degraded by lysosomal enzymes. Autophagy is a non-selective bulk process as indicated by the fact that hepatocytic cytosol enzymes with widely different half-lives are sequestered at the same rate. Regulation of autophagy is exerted at the sequestration step by amino acids, purines, ATP-depleting metabolites, cyclic nucleotides, phosphorylation, and hormones like insulin, glucagon and alpha-adrenergic agonists.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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