Endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex: Contributions to, and turnover by, autophagy

Traffic. 2006 Dec;7(12):1590-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0854.2006.00495.x. Epub 2006 Oct 16.


The degradation of cytoplasmic contents, especially organelles [mitochondria, peroxisomes, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi complex (GC)], cannot be accomplished solely by the cytosolic degradation machinery, of which the most prominent component is the proteasome. However, it is possible that such organelles (or portions thereof) can be degraded by the cell's autophagic machinery. In this manner, organelles can be either specifically or non-specifically targeted to the vacuole/lysosome for degradation. These processes can be triggered in response to different environmental cues. Here, we focus on two particular organelles, the ER and the GC, and their relationship with the autophagic process. Firstly, we briefly consider how these two organelles contribute to the synthesis and delivery of hydrolytic enzymes involved in autophagy as well as how they may potentially contribute to their own degradation by addressing the origin of the autophagic membrane. Secondly, we summarize the evidence for the turnover of these two organelles by autophagic processes in different organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism*
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism
  • Organelles / metabolism
  • Protein Transport