Autophagy is a catabolic membrane-trafficking process that occurs in all eukaryotic organisms analyzed to date. The study of autophagy has exploded over the last decade or so, branching into numerous aspects of cellular and organismal physiology. From basic functions in starvation and quality control, autophagy has expanded into innate immunity, aging, neurological diseases, redox regulation, and ciliogenesis, to name a few roles. In the present review, I would like to narrow the discussion to the more classical roles of autophagy in supporting viability under nutrient limitation. My aim is to provide a semblance of a historical overview, together with a concise, and perhaps subjective, mechanistic and functional analysis of the central questions in the autophagy field.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
I would like to thank all the workers in the field who greatly contributed to our understanding of autophagy and to apologize to those whose work I could not cite due to time and space constraints. I would also like to thank Drs. Nicholas Ktistakis and Ronit Weisman for critical reading of the manuscript. Work in my lab is supported by Israel Science Fund Grant 422/12.
© 2014 Springer-Verlag Wien.
- Amino acids
- Nitrogen starvation