Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 285–292 | Cite as

Sorting Through the Roles of Beclin 1 in Microglia and Neurodegeneration

  • Caitlin E. O’Brien
  • Tony Wyss-CorayEmail author


Beclin 1 has a well-established role in regulating autophagy, a cellular degradation pathway. Although the yeast ortholog of beclin 1 (Atg6/Vps30) was discovered to also regulate vacuolar protein sorting nearly 30 years ago, the varied functions of beclin 1 in mammalian cells are only beginning to be sorted out. We recently described a role for beclin 1 in regulating recycling of phagocytic receptors in microglia, a function analogous to that of its yeast ortholog. Microglia lacking beclin 1 have a reduced phagocytic capacity, which impairs clearance of amyloid β (Aβ) in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Here we summarize these findings and discuss the implications for beclin 1-regulated receptor recycling in neurodegenerative disease.


Beclin 1 Phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate PI3P Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase PI3K VPS35 retromer Receptor recycling Phagocytosis Alzheimer’s Disease Neurodegeneration 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cell and Molecular Biology ProgramStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neurology and Neurological SciencesStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Center for Tissue Regeneration, Repair, and RestorationVeterans Administration Palo Alto, Health Care SystemPalo AltoUSA

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