In kidney, proximal tubules consume a large amount of energy in the process of electrolyte reabsorption. These tubules contain large quantities of mitochondria which provide the energy for this reabsorption. Proximal tubules are susceptible to many kinds of insults such as ischemia-reperfusion injury and nephrotoxic substrates, but little is known of the factors that counteract cellular stress signaling pathways. Autophagy mediates bulk degradation and recycling of cytoplasmic constituents to maintain cellular homeostasis. We demonstrated the critical role of autophagy in normal proximal tubule function and protection against acute tubular injury.