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Overview of Autophagy

Autophagy is an intracellular degradation system that delivers cytoplasmic constituents to the lysosome. Autophagy plays a wide variety of physiological and pathophysiological roles. Different selective forms of autophagy have been identified and characterized, leading to the specific degradation of organelles or pathogens. These selective pathways include the autophagic degradation of mitochondria (mitophagy), peroxisomes (pexophagy), endoplasmic reticulum (reticulophagy or ER-phagy), ribosomes (ribophagy), protein aggregates (aggrephagy), lipid droplets (lipophagy), spermatozoon-inherited organelles following fertilization (allophagy), secretory granules within pancreatic cells (zymophagy), or intracellular pathogens (xenophagy).

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