Autophagy is a cell self-digestive, lysosomal degradation pathway. The three subtypes of autophagy, macroautophagy, microautophagy and chaperone-mediated autophagy, differ in the way that materials are delivered to the lysosomes for degradation. While recent studies reveal that the cellular process of macroautophagy (involving critical steps such as formation, trafficking, fusion and degradation of autophagosomes) is evolutionarily conserved from yeast to mammals, the regulation and functional adaptation of autophagy in various cells and tissues is poorly understood. This chapter provides an overview of what is known about autophagy machinery and highlights the recent findings of autophagy regulation in neurons. Elucidation of neuronal autophagy function will ultimately aid in drug target identification and perhaps lead to a rational therapeutic strategy to combat neurodegenerative diseases.
|Title of host publication||Autophagy of the Nervous System|
|Subtitle of host publication||Cellular Self-Digestion in Neurons and Neurological Diseases|
|Publisher||World Scientific Publishing Co.|
|Number of pages||33|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2012|