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In this Review Article, Klionsky and co-authors discuss selective autophagy pathways that degrade unwanted cytosolic components and organelles, and how these pathways require ligand receptors and scaffold proteins for cargo specificity.
Selective autophagy pathways engage selective autophagy receptors (SARs) that identify and bind to cellular cargoes (proteins or organelles) destined for degradation. Recent yeast studies have provided insights into the regulation and mechanisms underlying SAR function. As these mechanisms are conserved from yeast to mammals, it is now possible to formulate general principles of how selectivity during autophagy is achieved.