The Role of Autophagy in Systemic Metabolism and Human-Type Diabetes

Mol Cells. 2018 Jan 31;41(1):11-17. doi: 10.14348/molcells.2018.2228. Epub 2018 Jan 23.


Autophagy is critical for the maintenance of organelle function and intracellular nutrient environment. Autophagy is also involved in systemic metabolic homeostasis, and its dysregulation can lead to or accelerate the development of metabolic disorders. While the role of autophagy in the global metabolism of model organisms has been investigated mostly using site-specific genetic knockout technology, the impact of dysregulated autophagy on systemic metabolism has been unclear. Here, we review recent papers showing the role of autophagy in systemic metabolism and in the development of metabolic disorders. Also included are data suggesting the role of autophagy in human-type diabetes, which are different in several key aspects from murine models of diabetes. The results shown here support the view that autophagy modulation could be a new modality for the treatment of metabolic syndrome associated with lipid overload and human-type diabetes.

Keywords: amyloid; autophagy; diabetes; inflammasome; metabolism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autophagy / physiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Metabolic Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Obesity / physiopathology