New Strategy For Stimulating Autophagy
Autophagy is a process in which long-lived proteins, damaged cell organelles, and other cellular particles are sequestered and degraded. This process is important for maintaining the cellular microenvironment when the cell is under stress. Autophagy plays a direct or indirect role in health and disease. A simplified definition of autophagy is that it is an exceedingly complex process which degrades modified, superfluous (surplus) or damaged cellular macromolecules and whole organelles using hydrolytic enzymes in the lysosomes. It consists of sequential steps of induction of autophagy, formation of autophagosome precursor, formation of autophagosome, fusion between autophagosome and lysosome, degradation of cargo contents, efflux transportation of degraded products to the cytoplasm, and lysosome reformation
Autophagy has become a hot topic in recent years, earning its discoverer the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 2016. The process involves the rounding up of misfolded proteins and obsolete organelles within a cell into vesicles called autophagosomes. The autophagosomes then fuse with a lysosome, an enzyme-containing organelle that breaks down those cellular macromolecules and converts it into components the cell can re-use.