How the cell prioritizes and targets organelles and protein aggregates for degradation by autophagy
Autophagy is a cellular defense mechanism that gathers protein aggregates, pathogens, and damaged or dysfunctional organelles into vesicles within the cell and then delivers them for destruction. Subsequently, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids are released for energy and re-use. The process of autophagy is activated by cellular stressors such as nutrient depletion, hypoxia, and the presence of toxins. It performs a general housekeeping role and maintains cellular quality control, but it can also respond to cues from damaged organelles, pathogens, or protein aggregates that demarcate them for destruction. In this way, it serves as a targeted cleansing program that removes slightly damaged or aging parts of the cell. In this clip, Dr. Guido Kroemer describes the cellular process of autophagy and what factors trigger its activation.
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