Apoptosis pp 95-103 | Cite as

Detection of Cell Death by Autophagy

  • Narasimman Gurusamy
  • Dipak K. Das
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 559)


Autophagy (Greek: Self digestion) is an intracellular process involved in removal of damaged or misfolded proteins or organelles. Damaged or misfolded proteins or organelles are first engulfed in a membraneous structure called autophagosome, and then the autophagosome fuse with lysosome to form autophagolysosome, where the contents are digested. Autophagy is a catabolic process induced during nutritional depletion via phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase pathway. Autophagy is induced in several diseases such as various cancers, heart failure, etc. When autophagy is induced, several autophagic genes are upregulated that help the formation of autophagosome. Several autophagosome specific marker proteins have been identified, among them MAP1LC3-II protein, which is cleaved from MAP1LC3-I, is specifically incorporated into the autophagosomal membrane. The formation of MAP1LC3-II can be analyzed by Western immunoblotting or immunofluorescence. Detailed methods of detection of MAP1LC3-II by Western immunoblotting and immunofluorescence are described.

Key words

Autophagy LC3 Autophagosome 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Narasimman Gurusamy
    • 1
  • Dipak K. Das
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiovascular Research CenterUniversity of Connecticut, School of MedicineFarmingtonUSA

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