Oncology & Cancer

Immune cell health discovery could optimise cancer therapies

Scientists at UCL have discovered how immune cells, essential for tackling life-threatening infections and cancers, are able to 'recycle' material within themselves in order to stay healthy and function, a breakthrough finding ...

Oncology & Cancer

Research finds potential target for tumor-causing condition

University of Cincinnati researchers have found additional ways to target the molecular processes involved in activating a certain protein complex to potentially develop new therapies for a tumor-causing disorder.

Medications

Why beta-blockers cause skin inflammation

Beta-blockers are often used to treat high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. However, in some patients they can trigger or exacerbate psoriasis, an inflammatory skin disease. Scientists at the University of ...

Medical research

Exploring the effect of fasting on age-related diseases

There are many indications that fasting promotes longevity. In recent years, much attention has been devoted to so-called caloric restriction mimetics (CMRs), substances that simulate the health-promoting effects of fasting ...

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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.

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