Emerging roles of autophagy in metabolism and metabolic disorders

Altea Rocchi, Congcong He*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The global prevalence of metabolic disorders is an immediate threat to human health. Genetic features, environmental aspects and lifestyle changes are the major risk factors determining metabolic dysfunction in the body. Autophagy is a housekeeping stress-induced lysosomal degradation pathway, which recycles macromolecules and metabolites for new protein synthesis and energy production and regulates cellular homeostasis by clearance of damaged protein or organelles. Recently, a dramatically increasing number of literatures has shown that defects of the autophagic machinery is associated with dysfunction of multiple metabolic tissues including pancreatic β cells, liver, adipose tissue and muscle, and is implicated in metabolic disorders such as obesity and insulin resistance. Here in this review, we summarize the representative works on these topics and discuss the versatile roles of autophagy in the regulation of cellular metabolism and its possible implication in metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-164
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • autophagy
  • diabetes
  • metabolic disease
  • metabolism
  • obesity
  • selective autophagy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Genetics


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