Autophagy-Is it a preferred route for lifespan extension?

  • Dwivedi, Meenakshi (BK21 Life Science for Gloval Warming Team, Department of Life Science) ;
  • Ahnn, Joo-Hong (BK21 Life Science for Gloval Warming Team, Department of Life Science)
  • Published : 2009.02.28


Autophagy, which is a process of self eating, has gained interest in the past decade due to its both beneficial and controversial roles in various biological phenomena. The discovery of autophagy genes (ATG) in yeast has led to focused research designed to elucidate the mechanism and regulation of this process. The role of autophagy in a variety of biological phenomena, including human disease, is still the subject of debate. However, recent findings suggest that autophagy is a highly regulated process with both beneficial and negative effects. Indeed, studies conducted using various model organisms have demonstrated that increased autophagy leads to an extended lifespan. Despite these findings, it is still unknown if all pathways leading to extended lifespan converge at the process of autophagy or not. Here, an overview of modern developments related to the process of autophagy, its regulation and the molecular machinery involved is presented. In addition, this review focuses on one of the beneficial aspects of autophagy, its role in lifespan regulation.


Autophagosome;Autophagy;Insulin/IGF-1 pathway;Lifespan;Lysosome/vacuole;TOR pathway


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