An appetite for destruction: From self-eating to cell cannibalism as a neuronal survival strategy
Volume 8, Issue 9
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Pages 1401 - 1403http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/auto.21052
: AMPK, Drosophila, autophagy, cell death, croquemort, metabolism, neurodegeneration, phagocytosis, photoreceptor
Authors: Jeroen Poels, Miloš R. Spasić, Patrick Callaerts and Koenraad K. Norga View affiliations
Autophagy plays an important role in cellular survival by resupplying cells with nutrients during starvation or by clearing misfolded proteins and damaged organelles and thereby preventing degenerative diseases. Conversely, the autophagic process is also recognized as a cellular death mechanism. The circumstances that determine whether autophagy has a beneficial or a detrimental role in cellular survival are currently unclear. We recently showed that autophagy induction is detrimental in neurons that lack a functional AMPK enzyme (AMP-activated protein kinase) and that suffer from severe metabolic stress. We further demonstrated that autophagy and AMPK are interconnected in a negative feedback loop that prevents excessive and destructive stimulation of the autophagic process. Finally, we uncovered a new survival mechanism in AMPK-deficient neurons—cell cannibalism.
Autophagic Punctum to:
J Poels, MR Spasić, M Gistelinck, J Mutert, A Schellens, P Callaerts, et al. Autophagy and phagocytosis-like cell cannibalism exert opposing effects on cellular survival during metabolic stress. Cell Death Differ 2012;
PMID: 22498699 DOI: 10.1038/cdd.2012.37
Received: June 5, 2012; Accepted: June 7, 2012; Published Online: August 13, 2012
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