Selective mitochondrial autophagy, or mitophagy, as a targeted defense against oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and aging

Rejuvenation Res. 2005 Spring;8(1):3-5. doi: 10.1089/rej.2005.8.3.


In autophagy, portions of cytoplasm are sequestered into autophagosomes and delivered to lysosomes for degradation. Long assumed to be a random process, increasing evidence suggests that autophagy of mitochondria, peroxisomes, and possibly other organelles is selective. A recent paper (Kissova et al., J. Biol. Chem. 2004;279:39068-39074) shows in yeast that a specific outer membrane protein, Uth1p, is required for efficient mitochondrial autophagy. For this selective autophagy of mitochondria, we propose the term "mitophagy" to emphasize the non-random nature of the process. Mitophagy may play a key role in retarding accumulation of somatic mutations of mtDNA with aging.

MeSH terms

  • Autophagy / physiology*
  • Cell Respiration / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism


  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins