Autophagy is a catabolic process mediated by incorporation of cellular material into cytosolic membrane vesicles for lysosomal degradation. It is crucial for maintaining cell viability and homeostasis in response to numerous stressful conditions. In this Review, the role of autophagy in both normal biology and disease is discussed. Emphasis is given to the interplay of autophagy with nutrient signaling through the ULK1 autophagy pre-initiation complex. Furthermore, related cellular processes utilizing components of the canonical autophagy pathway are discussed due to their potential roles in nutrient scavenging. Finally, the role of autophagy in cancer and its potential as a cancer therapeutic target are considered.
Xuejun Jiang, Michael Overholtzer, Craig B. Thompson