Stages of autophagy, illustration

Stages of autophagy, illustration

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Credit: KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Autophagy, computer illustration. Autophagy (autophagocytosis) is the natural mechanism that destroys unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components and recycles their materials. The stages of autophagy are shown clockwise from top left. First cellular components for degradation are collected together. The double-membrane of the autophagosome forms around the components. The autophagosome fuses with a lysosome to form an autolysosome, within which hydrolytic enzymes degrade the cellular components. The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.

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