open access

Vol 72, No 2 (2013)
REVIEW ARTICLES
Published online: 2013-06-01
Submitted: 2013-06-03
Accepted: 2013-06-03
Get Citation

The significance of macroautophagy in health and disease

C. Tukaj
DOI: 10.5603/FM.2013.0015
·
Folia Morphol 2013;72(2):87-93.

open access

Vol 72, No 2 (2013)
REVIEW ARTICLES
Published online: 2013-06-01
Submitted: 2013-06-03
Accepted: 2013-06-03

Abstract

During the past decade there has been a substantial increase in macroautophagy (herein simply referred to as autophagy) research due to a growing understandingof this process, coupled with improved new techniques for its detection. Autophagy (auto — self, phagy — eating) is defined as a fundamental lysosomalcatabolic pathway responsible for degrading long-lived proteins, protein aggregates, oxidised lipids, damaged organelles, and even microbial invaders. Although autophagy occurs at basal levels in normal conditions, many different forms ofmetabolic stress, including starvation, hypoxia, high temperature, high culturedensity, hormones, and growth factor deprivation can dramatically stimulatean autophagic response. Autophagy plays a critical role in maintaining cellularhomeostasis and genomic integrity and therefore has been implicated in manyphysiological activities such development, differentiation, and tissue remodelling.Consequently, defects in autophagy have been linked to various human diseasessuch as neurodegenerative and muscle disorders, cancers, cardiac failure, andinflammatory disorders. This mini-review summarises current knowledge in a fieldof mammalian autophagy and considers the significance of autophagy in humanphysiology and pathology.

Abstract

During the past decade there has been a substantial increase in macroautophagy (herein simply referred to as autophagy) research due to a growing understandingof this process, coupled with improved new techniques for its detection. Autophagy (auto — self, phagy — eating) is defined as a fundamental lysosomalcatabolic pathway responsible for degrading long-lived proteins, protein aggregates, oxidised lipids, damaged organelles, and even microbial invaders. Although autophagy occurs at basal levels in normal conditions, many different forms ofmetabolic stress, including starvation, hypoxia, high temperature, high culturedensity, hormones, and growth factor deprivation can dramatically stimulatean autophagic response. Autophagy plays a critical role in maintaining cellularhomeostasis and genomic integrity and therefore has been implicated in manyphysiological activities such development, differentiation, and tissue remodelling.Consequently, defects in autophagy have been linked to various human diseasessuch as neurodegenerative and muscle disorders, cancers, cardiac failure, andinflammatory disorders. This mini-review summarises current knowledge in a fieldof mammalian autophagy and considers the significance of autophagy in humanphysiology and pathology.
Get Citation

Keywords

autophagosome, autophagic response, cytoprotection, pathology

About this article
Title

The significance of macroautophagy in health and disease

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 72, No 2 (2013)

Pages

87-93

Published online

2013-06-01

DOI

10.5603/FM.2013.0015

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2013;72(2):87-93.

Keywords

autophagosome
autophagic response
cytoprotection
pathology

Authors

C. Tukaj

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