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Autophagy: Supporting cellular and organismal homeostasis by self-eating
- Eskelinen, Eeva-Liisa
- The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 2019 v.111 pp. 1-10
- autophagy, biosynthesis, energy, homeostasis, inflammation, longevity, lysosomes, models, neoplasms, neurons, proteins, stem cells
- Autophagy is a conserved catabolic process that delivers cytoplasmic components and organelles to lysosomes for degradation and recycling. This pathway serves to degrade nonfunctional organelles and aggregate-prone proteins, as well as to produce substrates for energy production and biosynthesis. Autophagy is especially important for the maintenance of stem cells, and for the survival and homeostasis of post-mitotic cells like neurons. Functional autophagy promotes longevity in several model organisms. Autophagy regulates immunity and inflammation at several levels and has both anti- and pro-tumorigenic roles in cancer. This review provides a concise overview of autophagy and its importance in cellular and organismal homeostasis, with emphasis on aging, stem cells, neuronal cells, immunity, inflammation, and cancer.