Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 67, Issue 10, pp 1581–1588

Regulation of autophagy in mammals and its interplay with apoptosis

Multi-author Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-010-0284-z

Cite this article as:
Fimia, G.M. & Piacentini, M. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2010) 67: 1581. doi:10.1007/s00018-010-0284-z


A growing number of publications show that apoptosis induction is often associated with increased autophagy indicating the existence of an interplay between these two important cellular events. The simultaneous activation of both phenomena has been detected not only in experimental settings but also in vivo under physiological and pathological conditions. Despite these studies, the reciprocal influence of the two pathways in vivo has still not been completely understood. It is clear that autophagy and apoptosis are strictly interconnected, as highlighted by the finding that the two pathways share key molecular regulators. Many novel aspects of the crosstalk between apoptosis and autophagy have recently emerged showing how complex is this relationship and how critical is for the overall fate of the cell. In this mini-review we will focus on some key experiments trying to decipher as to whether autophagy contributes to apoptosis modulation in vivo.


Ambra1Beclin1 protein complexATG proteinsBH3-only proteinsp53ER stressGenotoxic stress

Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for Infectious Diseases IRCCS “Lazzaro Spallanzani”RomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly