Cargo recognition and degradation by selective autophagy

Nat Cell Biol. 2018 Mar;20(3):233-242. doi: 10.1038/s41556-018-0037-z. Epub 2018 Feb 23.


Macroautophagy, initially described as a non-selective nutrient recycling process, is essential for the removal of multiple cellular components. In the past three decades, selective autophagy has been characterized as a highly regulated and specific degradation pathway for removal of unwanted cytosolic components and damaged and/or superfluous organelles. Here, we discuss different types of selective autophagy, emphasizing the role of ligand receptors and scaffold proteins in providing cargo specificity, and highlight unanswered questions in the field.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagosomes / metabolism*
  • Autophagosomes / pathology
  • Autophagy*
  • Autophagy-Related Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Lysosomes / metabolism*
  • Lysosomes / pathology
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / pathology
  • Mitophagy*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Autophagy-Related Proteins
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear