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Trends Cell Biol. 2016 Aug;26(8):624-635. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2016.03.006. Epub 2016 Apr 2.

Digesting the Expanding Mechanisms of Autophagy.

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Signalling Programme, Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK. Electronic address:
Molecular Cell Biology of Autophagy, Francis Crick Institute, London, UK. Electronic address:


Autophagy is a catabolic 'self-eating' pathway that is emerging as a crucial integration point in cell physiology. With its own set of genes, the autophagy pathway communicates with virtually all signalling networks and organelles. Recent advances have been made in understanding the origin of the autophagosomal membrane, novel regulators, and the mechanisms by which specific intracellular membranes become autophagy substrates. New studies on noncanonical autophagy, mediated by subsets of autophagy proteins, and the role of autophagy proteins in non-autophagy pathways are also emerging in many different biological contexts. Our understanding of canonical autophagy, including membrane origin and autophagy proteins, needs to be considered together with emerging noncanonical pathways.


Vps34 complex; autophagosomes; noncanonical autophagy; organelles; selective autophagy

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