Liver autophagy: physiology and pathology

J Biochem. 2012 Jul;152(1):5-15. doi: 10.1093/jb/mvs059. Epub 2012 Jun 1.


Autophagy has long been thought of as a bulk degradation system in which cytoplasmic components are sequestered by double-membrane structures called autophagosomes, and the contents are then degraded after autophagosomes fuse with lysosomes. Genetic experiments in yeast identified a set of Autophagy-related (ATG) genes that are essential for autophagy. We have since elucidated many of the molecular underpinnings of autophagy and the physiologic roles of these processes in various systems. This review summarizes the physiologic roles of autophagy with a particular focus on liver autophagy based on analyses of knockout mice lacking Atg genes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Liver / physiology
  • Liver Diseases / metabolism
  • Liver Diseases / pathology
  • Mice
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • RNA-Binding Proteins