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Autophagy Defects in Skeletal Myopathies.

  • Author(s): Margeta, Marta
  • et al.

Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic process that targets different types of cytoplasmic cargo (such as bulk cytoplasm, damaged cellular organelles, and misfolded protein aggregates) for lysosomal degradation. Autophagy is activated in response to biological stress and also plays a critical role in the maintenance of normal cellular homeostasis; the latter function is particularly important for the integrity of postmitotic, metabolically active tissues, such as skeletal muscle. Through impairment of muscle homeostasis, autophagy dysfunction contributes to the pathogenesis of many different skeletal myopathies; the observed autophagy defects differ from disease to disease but have been shown to involve all steps of the autophagic cascade (from induction to lysosomal cargo degradation) and to impair both bulk and selective autophagy. To highlight the molecular and cellular mechanisms that are shared among different myopathies with deficient autophagy, these disorders are discussed based on the nature of the underlying autophagic defect rather than etiology or clinical presentation.

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