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Interest in autophagy has exploded over the last decade, with publications highlighting crosstalk with several other cellular processes including secretion, endocytosis, and cell suicide pathways including apoptosis. Autophagy proteins have also been implicated in other cellular processes independently of their roles in autophagy, creating complexities in the interpretation of autophagy (Atg) mutant gene data. Interestingly, this self-eating process is a survival mechanism that can also promote cell death, but when and how autophagy may 'switch' its function is still under debate. Indeed, there are currently many models of how autophagy actually influences cell death. In this review, we highlight some outstanding questions and possible controversies in the autophagy field.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cell death discovery

Publication Date

01/2015

Volume

1

Addresses

Cell Signalling and Cell Death Division, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Parkville, Victoria, Australia ; Department of Medical Biology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.