As outlined in the accompanying Minireviews, autophagy is a complicated and highly regulated process that delivers cellular material to lysosomes for degrading, recycling, and generating molecules that fuel cellular metabolism. Autophagy is important for normal cellular and organismal physiology, and both increased and decreased autophagy has been associated with disease. Importantly, these connections are already being exploited to treat patients with dozens of clinical trials that aim to manipulate autophagy to treat (or prevent) disease. This Minireview discusses some of the important issues and problems to be solved if these efforts are to be successful.
Keywords: autophagy; cancer; disease; infectious disease; metabolic disease; neurodegeneration.
© 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.