Medical research

Enhanced autophagy could help treat diabetes

Enhancing autophagy—the cellular process that breaks down and removes unneeded components—in fat tissue could help treat diabetes, according to a Northwestern Medicine study published in Cell Reports.

Oncology & Cancer

Reversing pancreatic cancer's gluttony

In new findings published online March 18, 2021 in the journal Cancer Cell, an international team of researchers, led by scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center, describe ...

Medications

Drug may boost vaccine responses in older adults

A drug that boosts the removal of cellular debris in immune cells may increase the protective effects of vaccines in older adults, a study published today in eLife shows.

Genetics

Gene that protects against osteoarthritis identified

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common problems associated with aging, and although there are therapies to treat the pain that results from the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions joints, there are no available therapies ...

Medical research

Taking out the trash is essential for brain health

A little mess never killed anyone, right? Wrong. Researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) have recently shown that a build-up of cellular 'trash' in the brain can actually cause neurodegeneration, and even ...

Neuroscience

Surprising insights into the role of autophagy in neuron

It appears that autophagy protects neurons in the brain, but for different reasons than previously assumed, as researchers from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Charité in Berlin have ...

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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