Autophagy and Cell Death Eric H. Baehrecke Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA
Autophagy (self-eating) is a catabolic process that targets cytoplasmic components for degradation by the lysosome. Autophagy is an important cellular response to stress and nutrient availability, and plays essential roles in development, aging, immunity, neurodegeneration and cancer. Studies of yeast led to the identification of conserved factors that regulate autophagy, but differences in the role of autophagy in distinct cell contexts suggest that specific regulators of this process exist in multi-cellular organisms. Recent studies of the mechanisms that distinguish autophagy during cell survival and death, and a novel regulator of autophagy that is required for cell death will be presented.
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