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Nat Chem Biol. 2011 Jan;7(1):9-17. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.500.

Chemical modulators of autophagy as biological probes and potential therapeutics.

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Department of Medical Genetics, and Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism for protein degradation that is critical for the maintenance of homeostasis in man. Autophagy has unexpected pleiotropic functions that favor survival of the cell, including nutrient supply under starvation, cleaning of the cellular interior, defense against infection and antigen presentation. Moreover, defective autophagy is associated with a diverse range of disease states, including neurodegeneration, cancer and Crohn's disease. Here we discuss the roles of mammalian autophagy in health and disease and highlight recent advances in pharmacological manipulation of autophagic pathways as a therapeutic strategy for a variety of pathological conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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