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Autophagy in astrocytes and its implications in neurodegeneration

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2605-2621
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number8
Early online date10 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

King's Authors


Autophagy is a major degradation pathway where double-membrane vesicles called autophagosomes deliver cytoplasmic content to the lysosome. Increasing evidence suggests that autophagy dysfunction contributes to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, misfolded proteins that accumulate in these diseases and constitute a common pathological hallmark are substrates for autophagic degradation. Astrocytes, a major type of glial cells, are emerging as a critical component in most neurodegenerative diseases. This review will summarize the recent efforts to investigate the role that autophagy plays in astrocytes in the context of neurodegenerative diseases. While the field has mostly focused on the implications of autophagy in neurons, autophagy may also be involved in the clearance of disease-related proteins in astrocytes as well as in maintaining astrocyte function, which could impact the cell autonomous and non-cell autonomous contribution of astrocytes to neurodegeneration.

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