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Autophagy: Can it become a potential therapeutic target? (Review)

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Autophagy is a cellular lysosomal degradation pathway involved in proteins and organelles recycling for promoting cell survival, development and homeostasis. It is a multistep process and genetic studies have identified many proteins that participate in autophagosome formation and fusion with lysosomes, and various signaling factors that associate with the regulation of autophagy. In general, autophagy acts as a cell protector and its dysfunction is correlated with diverse pathologies, such as neurodegeneration, liver, heart and muscle diseases, cancer, inflammation and ageing. However, its role in cell death increases the complexity of the autophagic degradation system. A broad understanding of autophagy, ranging from detailed processes, including induction, formation and degradation, to function in physiology and pathology, revealed by accumulating studies, may be helpful for formulating therapeutic strategies for autophagy-associated human diseases.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Transplant, and Surgical Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan

Publication date: April 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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