Autophagy in the Pathogenesis of Disease

Cell. 2008 Jan 11;132(1):27-42. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2007.12.018.

Abstract

Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation pathway that is essential for survival, differentiation, development, and homeostasis. Autophagy principally serves an adaptive role to protect organisms against diverse pathologies, including infections, cancer, neurodegeneration, aging, and heart disease. However, in certain experimental disease settings, the self-cannibalistic or, paradoxically, even the prosurvival functions of autophagy may be deleterious. This Review summarizes recent advances in understanding the physiological functions of autophagy and its possible roles in the causation and prevention of human diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Autophagy / genetics
  • Autophagy / physiology*
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Disease / etiology
  • Genomic Instability / physiology
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lysosomes / metabolism*
  • Lysosomes / ultrastructure
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology