Maintaining autophagic balance: A role for brakes

Salvatore J. Cherra, Charleen T. Chu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Dysregulation of macroautophagy has been implicated in multiple disease processes, from neurodegeneration to neoplasia. Basal autophagy is essential for maintaining cellular health, particularly in post-mitotic cells such as neurons, and autophagy is induced in response to a wide array of physiological and pathological stresses. Clearly, maintaining a finely tuned balance between protein/organelle degradation and reparative biosynthesis is crucial to cellular and organismic health. Moreover, autophagy induction that outstrips cellular capacities for autophagosome maturation/clearance places neurons under additional autophagic stress. While much has been learned within the last ten years about processes necessary for autophagy to proceed, our understanding of braking mechanisms to reduce or slow the degree of autophagy induction is just beginning to emerge. Mechanisms applicable to both canonical nucleation and Beclin 1-independent autophagy are reviewed in context with the pathological consequences of insufficient negative regulation in models of acute neuronal injury and Parkinson’s disease.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAutophagy of the Nervous System
Subtitle of host publicationCellular Self-Digestion in Neurons and Neurological Diseases
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9789814350457
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Medicine (all)
  • Neuroscience (all)


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