Lecture Preview: “Regulation and function of autophagy in cell survival and cell death”

Written by Dr. Eric Baehrecke

Autophagy, or self-eating, in dying cells (Image by Christina McPhee)

Autophagy is a catabolic process that targets cytoplasmic components for degradation by the lysosome. Autophagy is an important cellular response to stress, and plays essential roles in development, aging, immunity, neurodegeneration and cancer. Studies of yeast led to the identification of conserved factors that regulate autophagy, but differences in the role of autophagy in specific animal cell contexts suggest that specific regulators of autophagy may exist in multi-cellular organisms. Our recent studies of the mechanisms that distinguish autophagy during cell survival and death, and how autophagy functions as a tumor suppressor mechanism, will be presented.

Dr. Baehrecke’s lecture “Regulation and function of autophagy in cell survival and death” will be in the Third Floor Lecture Hall of the Forchheimer Bulding at 12PM on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012.

Some references for consideration:

Berry D.L. and Baehrecke E.H. (2007) Growth arrest and autophagy are required for programmed salivary gland cell degradation in Drosophila. Cell 131, 1137-1148. pubmed

McPhee C.K., Logan M.A., Freeman M.R. and Baehrecke E.H. (2010) Activation of autophagy during cell death requires the engulfment receptor Draper. Nature 465, 1093-1096. PMCID: PMC2892814 pubmed

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