Overweight & Obesity

Furthering fat loss in the fasting response

The coming of spring harkens spring cleaning; a time to de-clutter your home and discard things that are no longer needed. In the body, a cellular process calledautophagy occurs regularly to "de-clutter" our cells. Recently, ...

Neuroscience

Brain stress factor regulates obesity

For the first time, the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry and the University Hospital Bonn have been able to directly link a stress factor in the brain to the cell's recycling system and obesity. This could enable a completely ...

Neuroscience

How the brain knows when to take out the trash

The brain has its own housekeeping service, a sophisticated mechanism that cleans up debris that is left over from cellular activity. But scientists have had a hard time figuring out exactly how the brain knows when to initiate ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Can antiviral agents help immune systems fight mosquito-borne dengue?

Can the dengue virus be prevented using antiviral agents such as antibiotics or vaccines? Before considering that step, University of Florida scientists are taking a closer look at whether mosquito immune systems can be influenced ...

page 1 from 18

Autophagy

In cell biology, autophagy, or autophagocytosis, is a catabolic process involving the degradation of a cell's own components through the lysosomal machinery. It is a tightly regulated process that plays a normal part in cell growth, development, and homeostasis, helping to maintain a balance between the synthesis, degradation, and subsequent recycling of cellular products. It is a major mechanism by which a starving cell reallocates nutrients from unnecessary processes to more-essential processes.

A variety of autophagic processes exist, all having in common the degradation of intracellular components via the lysosome. The most well-known mechanism of autophagy involves the formation of a membrane around a targeted region of the cell, separating the contents from the rest of the cytoplasm. The resultant vesicle then fuses with a lysosome and subsequently degrades the contents.

It was first described in the 1960s, but many questions about the actual processes and mechanisms involved still remain to be elucidated. Its role in disease is not well categorized; it may help to prevent or halt the progression of some diseases such as some types of neurodegeneration and cancer, and play a protective role against infection by intracellular pathogens; however, in some situations, it may actually contribute to the development of a disease.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA