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Methods. 2015 Mar;75:151-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2014.11.016. Epub 2014 Dec 3.

How and why to study autophagy in Drosophila: it's more than just a garbage chute.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy, Cell and Developmental Biology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány s. 1/C. 6.520, Budapest H-1117, Hungary.
2
Department of Anatomy, Cell and Developmental Biology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány s. 1/C. 6.520, Budapest H-1117, Hungary. Electronic address: szmrt@elte.hu.

Abstract

During the catabolic process of autophagy, cytoplasmic material is transported to the lysosome for degradation and recycling. This way, autophagy contributes to the homeodynamic turnover of proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, glycogen, and even whole organelles. Autophagic activity is increased by adverse conditions such as nutrient limitation, growth factor withdrawal and oxidative stress, and it generally protects cells and organisms to promote their survival. Misregulation of autophagy is likely involved in numerous human pathologies including aging, cancer, infections and neurodegeneration, so its biomedical relevance explains the still growing interest in this field. Here we discuss the different microscopy-based, biochemical and genetic methods currently available to study autophagy in various tissues of the popular model Drosophila. We show examples for results obtained in different assays, explain how to interpret these with regard to autophagic activity, and how to find out which step of autophagy a given gene product is involved in.

KEYWORDS:

Atg8; Autophagosome; Autophagy; Drosophila; Flux; p62/Ref(2)P

PMID:
25481477
PMCID:
PMC4358840
DOI:
10.1016/j.ymeth.2014.11.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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