Published: 2021-09-08 13:08 | Updated: 2021-09-08 13:31

Autophagy in major human diseases - new article in The EMBO Journal

Autophagy formation
Autophagy formation. Photo: Gerald McInerney

In this consensus article, Federico Pietrocola, at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, KI, and colleagues explore the pathophysiological relevance of autophagy in human illnesses, while highlighting the therapeutic potential of autophagy-centred strategies in the clinic. This article represents a remarkable collective effort by the international autophagy community, serving a guide for basic and clinical scientists to get more insights on this fascinating process.

Autophagy refers to molecular pathways for the preservation of cellular and organismal homeostasis and up to now three major forms have been described.

In a new article in The EMBO Journal, Federico Pietrocola, at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, and his team review and discuss preclinical data and link autophagy dysfunction to the pathogenesis of major human disorders, including cancer, as well as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, metabolic, pulmonary, renal, infectious, musculoskeletal, and ocular disorders.

They conclude with suggesting ideas for future studies and highlighting a few general concepts that emerged, like that modulation of autophagy for therapeutic purposes remains a promising strategy for the management of multiple human disorders.

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Federico Pietrocola Assistant professor