KATERYNA KON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KATERYNA KON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Autophagy. Computer illustration of a lysosome (orange) fusing with an autophagosome (large sphere). Autophagy (autophagocytosis) is the natural mechanism that destroys unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components and recycles their materials. The target components are first isolated from the rest of the cell within the double-membraned autophagosome. This then fuses with a lysosome, the contents of which degrade the target 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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