Autophagy

Definition

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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Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • 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
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Anne Simonsen is a Professor at the Department of Molecular Medicine at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences of the University of Oslo, Norway. Her work focuses on lipid-binding proteins in membrane trafficking and autophagy, and their links to disease.

    • Anne Simonsen
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Maho Hamasaki is an associate professor at Osaka University, Japan. Maho’s laboratory focuses on investigating the mechanistic underpinnings of autophagy and the role of the autophagic process in disease.

    • Maho Hamasaki