Autophagy is a process by which cellular material is degraded by lysosomes or vacuoles and recycled. Several autophagy pathways operate within a cell, including macroautophagy, microautophagy and chaperone-mediated autophagy.

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News and Comment

  • Research Highlights |

    Poillet-Perez et al. show that autophagy in non-tumour tissues in tumour-bearing mice inhibits release of the arginine-degrading enzyme arginase 1 (ARG1) from the liver into circulation, thereby maintaining the levels of arginine in the circulation and contributing to tumour growth.

    • Ulrike Harjes
  • News and Views |

    It is now clear that key autophagy proteins possess alternative functions, distinct from their conventional roles in autophagy. Adding to this emerging field, a new study shows how ATG16L1 acts to promote plasma membrane repair following damage by pore-forming bacteria.

    • Oliver Florey
    Nature Microbiology 3, 1334-1335
  • News and Views |

    Cellular components can be digested in the vacuole by autophagy, a critical process for homeostasis and stress tolerance. Functions of this recycling pathway in maize have now been defined, including lipid degradation, control of secondary metabolism and remodelling of the proteome.

    • Diane C. Bassham
    Nature Plants 4, 985-986
  • News and Views |

    How the immune system handles the relentless presence of commensal bacteria is an area of great interest. Here, researchers describe a role for autophagy in mediating tolerance to the microbiota, the absence of which can impart beneficial resistance to infection but also possible detriment in the form of autoimmunity.

    • Jennifer Martinez
    Nature Microbiology 3, 1080-1081