Autophagy: in: Cell Death

Colombo, María Isabel; Simon, Hans-Uwe (2010). Autophagy: in: Cell Death. In: Melino, Gerry; Vaux, David (eds.) Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (pp. 175-188). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 10.1002/9780470015902.a0021581

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Autophagy is a conserved proteolytic mechanism that degrades cytoplasmic material including cell organelles. Although the importance of autophagy for cell homeostasis and survival has long been appreciated, our understanding of how autophagy is regulated at a molecular level just recently evolved. The importance of autophagy for the quality control of proteins is underscored by the fact that many neurodegenerative and myodegenerative diseases are characterized by an increased but still insufficient autophagic activity. Similarly, if the cellular stress, leading to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage, mitochondrial damage and/or damaged proteins, does not result in sufficient autophagic repair mechanisms, cells seem to be prone to transform into tumour cells. Therefore, autophagy has multiple roles to play in the causation and prevention of human diseases.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology

UniBE Contributor:

Simon, Hans-Uwe


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health


John Wiley & Sons Ltd.




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:09

Last Modified:

28 Nov 2020 02:19

Publisher DOI:


URI: (FactScience: 201316)

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