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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2014 Jan 20;20(3):460-73. doi: 10.1089/ars.2013.5371. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

An overview of autophagy: morphology, mechanism, and regulation.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Abstract

SIGNIFICANCE:

Autophagy is a highly conserved eukaryotic cellular recycling process. Through the degradation of cytoplasmic organelles, proteins, and macromolecules, and the recycling of the breakdown products, autophagy plays important roles in cell survival and maintenance. Accordingly, dysfunction of this process contributes to the pathologies of many human diseases.

RECENT ADVANCES:

Extensive research is currently being done to better understand the process of autophagy. In this review, we describe current knowledge of the morphology, molecular mechanism, and regulation of mammalian autophagy.

CRITICAL ISSUES:

At the mechanistic and regulatory levels, there are still many unanswered questions and points of confusion that have yet to be resolved.

FUTURE DIRECTIONS:

Through further research, a more complete and accurate picture of the molecular mechanism and regulation of autophagy will not only strengthen our understanding of this significant cellular process, but will aid in the development of new treatments for human diseases in which autophagy is not functioning properly.

PMID:
23725295
PMCID:
PMC3894687
DOI:
10.1089/ars.2013.5371
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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