• Natural, regulated mechanism of the cell.
  • Orderly degradation and recycling of cellular components.
  • Allows for rebuilding of the structures that have been destroyed.
  • Generally an adaptive response to stress, promoting survival (and avoiding cell death).
    • In some cases, can promote cell death and morbidity.
  • Triggered by absence of cell energy.
    • Absence, of nutrients, oxygen, growth factors.


  • Happens in the cytoplasm of the cell.
  • Damaged parts are isolated and captured in autophagosomes (the “mouth”).
  • Autophagosomes fuse with lysosomes (the “stomach”).
  • Contents are degraded and recycled.

Targeted tool against ageing.

  • When autophagy is triggered, has a preference for damaged cells.
  • Also triggers regeneration of damaged parts (such as mitochondria).
  • Explains its role as a device against ageing.

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