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

Xiao Hong Bao, Yoshio Naomoto, Hui Fang Hao, Nobuyuki Watanabe, Kazufumi Sakurama, Kazuhiro Noma, Takayuki Motoki, Yasuko Tomono, Takuya Fukazawa, Yasuhiro Shirakawa, Tomoki Yamatsuji, Junji Matsuoka, Munenori Takaoka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-503
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of molecular medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Autophagy
  • Homeostasis
  • Human diseases
  • Physiological and pathological roles
  • Protector
  • Protein and organelle degradation
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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