Virchows Archiv B

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 219–234 | Cite as

Autophagy, heterophagy, microautophagy and crinophagy as the means for intracellular degradation

  • L. Marzella
  • J. Ahlberg
  • H. Glaumann


It is generally accepted that the lysosomal compartment plays an important role in the degradation of cellular components.

In this communication we discuss various experimental models which have been used to study mechanisms of intralysosomal degradation and also discuss the evidence obtained in support of the following proposals:
  1. 1.

    The autophagosomes can be isolated into high purity and are the subcellular locus of induced protein degradation.

  2. 2.

    Different membrane components such as proteins and lipids are degraded at different rates inside the lysosomes. Intralysosomal hydrolysis is not the rate limiting step in degradation.

  3. 3.

    Lysosomes take up soluble material in vitro by invagination and pinching off of their membranes (microautophagy).

  4. 4.

    Secretory vesicles can degrade their secretory contents by fusing with the lysosomes.


Key words

Lysosomes Autophagosomes Isolation Proteolysis Microautophagy Crinophagy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Marzella
    • 1
  • J. Ahlberg
    • 1
  • H. Glaumann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology, Karolinska InstitutetHuddinge University HospitalHuddingeSweden

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