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      Autophagy fights disease through cellular self-digestion.

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          Abstract

          Autophagy, or cellular self-digestion, is a cellular pathway involved in protein and organelle degradation, with an astonishing number of connections to human disease and physiology. For example, autophagic dysfunction is associated with cancer, neurodegeneration, microbial infection and ageing. Paradoxically, although autophagy is primarily a protective process for the cell, it can also play a role in cell death. Understanding autophagy may ultimately allow scientists and clinicians to harness this process for the purpose of improving human health.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Nature
          Nature
          Springer Science and Business Media LLC
          1476-4687
          0028-0836
          Feb 28 2008
          : 451
          : 7182
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan.
          Article
          nature06639 NIHMS101429
          10.1038/nature06639
          2670399
          18305538
          69676c5c-8376-4315-b85b-8312c7d7e22a
          History

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