Autophagy, reactive oxygen species and the fate of mammalian cells

Irena Szumiel
Free Radical Research 2011, 45 (3): 253-65
The paper reviews the rapidly expanding pool of information on cellular and molecular mechanisms of autophagy, including autophagy types, macroautophagy induction, formation of autophagosomes and cross-talk between autophagy and apoptosis. Special attention is given to generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in various cellular compartments of cells under stress conditions inducing autophagy. The roles of hydrogen peroxide and superoxide in autophagy are analysed based on the recent experimental work. The relation between ROS and life span prolongation is briefly discussed, with the final conclusion that the paradox of dual role of ROS in life and death may be solved to a considerable extent due to research on autophagy.

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