Autophagy: ‘Self-Eating’ Your Way to Longevity

  • Charlotte J. Pattison
  • Viktor I. KorolchukEmail author
Part of the Subcellular Biochemistry book series (SCBI, volume 90)


Ageing is the gradual decline in biological function both at the cellular and organismal level. One of the key characteristics of cellular ageing is the accumulation of damaged proteins and organelles which, in turn, can cause cellular toxicity and death. Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved process that is responsible for the sequestration of damaged or surplus cytoplasmic components which are then delivered to the lysosome for degradation. This house-keeping mechanism is essential to maintain cellular homeostasis and survival, particularly during stress. A decline or loss of sensitivity/responsiveness of autophagy is intimately linked with an accelerated rate of ageing as well as many age-related diseases including neurodegeneration, cancer and metabolic disease where damage accumulation exceeds damage removal. This chapter summarises current knowledge regarding the relationship between autophagy and ageing and outlines some strategies that can be implemented to promote the anti-ageing effects of autophagy to improve human health and lifespan.


Autophagy Damaged proteins Lysosome Cellular homeostasis Age-related disease Anti-ageing 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Cell and Molecular BiosciencesNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.Newcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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