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Cell Biochem Biophys. 2013 Sep;67(1):3-13. doi: 10.1007/s12013-013-9623-7.

Selective autophagy: talking with the UPS.

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Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology, Institute for Aging Studies, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA.


Far from now are the days when investigators raced to identify the proteolytic system responsible for the degradation of their favorite protein. Nowadays, it is well accepted that a given protein can be degraded by different systems depending on factors such as cell type, cellular conditions, or functionality of each proteolytic pathway. The realization of this sharing of substrates among pathways has also helped to unveil deeper levels of communication among the different proteolytic systems. Thus, cells often respond to blockage of one degradative mechanism by upregulating any of the other available pathways. In addition, effectors and regulators of one proteolytic system can be degraded by a different proteolytic pathway that exerts, in this way, a regulatory function. In this mini review, we describe the different levels of cross-talk among autophagic pathways and the ubiquitin/proteasome system. We also provide examples of how this proteolytic communication is used for compensatory purposes in different pathological conditions and discuss the possible therapeutic potential of targeting the modulators of the cross-talk among proteolytic pathways.

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