Autophagy and Related Mechanisms of Lysosome-Mediated Protein Degradation

Trends Cell Biol. 1994 Apr;4(4):139-43. doi: 10.1016/0962-8924(94)90069-8.


Lysosomes play a central role in the degradation of extracellular and intracellular macromolecules. These organelles contain hydrolytic enzymes capable of degrading proteins, proteoglycans, nucleic acids, and lipids. The mechanisms involved in the delivery of such intracellular compounds to the lysosome have been characterized in several recent studies. The sequestration of intracellular macromolecules for intralysosomal degradation can occur by crinophagy, hsc73-mediated carrier transport, or autophagy. The major route of delivery of cellular proteins and RNA into lysosomes is by autophagy. Furthermore, autophagy is regulated by nutrients and hormones, thus allowing the cell to adjust its degradative state to environmental changes.