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Exp Eye Res. 2016 Mar;144:22-8. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2015.08.019. Epub 2015 Aug 21.

Autophagy in the lens.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Graduate School and Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, 113-0033, Japan.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Graduate School and Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, 113-0033, Japan. Electronic address: nmizu@m.u-tokyo.ac.jp.

Abstract

The lens of the eye is a transparent tissue composed of lens fiber cells that differentiate from lens epithelial cells and degrade all cytoplasmic organelles during terminal differentiation. Autophagy is a major intracellular degradation system in which cytoplasmic proteins and organelles are degraded in the lysosome. Although autophagy is constitutively activated in the lens and has been proposed to be involved in lens organelle degradation, its precise role is not well understood. Recent genetic studies in mice have demonstrated that autophagy is critically important for intracellular quality control in the lens but can be dispensable for lens organelle degradation. Here, we review recent findings on the roles of autophagy and lysosomes in organelle degradation and intracellular quality control in the lens, and discuss their possible involvement in the development of human cataract.

KEYWORDS:

Autophagy; Cataract; Intracellular quality control; Lens; Organelle degradation

PMID:
26302409
DOI:
10.1016/j.exer.2015.08.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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