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Med Sci (Paris). 2017 Mar;33(3):268-274. doi: 10.1051/medsci/20173303013. Epub 2017 Apr 3.

[Autophagy and brain: the case of neurodegenerative diseases].

[Article in French]

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Université de Bordeaux, Institut des maladies neurodégénératives, UMR 5293, F-33000 Bordeaux, France - CNRS, Institut des maladies neurodégénératives, UMR 5293, F-33000 Bordeaux, France.


The autophagy-lysosome system is an essential pathway to get rid of unwanted cellular components (proteins and organelles). The brain, and specifically neurons, are very sensitive to abnormalities of the proteome because altered proteins or damaged organelles cannot be diluted by cell division that does not occur in these cells. Most neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by accumulation of undegraded misfolded proteins and are currently associated with autophagy-lysosome dysfunctions. Recent studies have highlighted the modulation of this complex pathway as a putative therapeutic strategy. This review provides an update on the brain-related specificities and dysfunctions of this pathway and discusses the autophagy-based therapies couteracting neurodegeneration.

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