Regulation of autophagy by protein post-translational modification

Willayat Yousuf Wani, Michaël Boyer-Guittaut, Matthew Dodson, John Chatham, Victor Darley-Usmar, Jianhua Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Autophagy is a lysosome-mediated intracellular protein degradation process that involves about 38 autophagy-related genes as well as key signaling pathways that sense cellular metabolic and redox status, and has an important role in quality control of macromolecules and organelles. As with other major cellular pathways, autophagy proteins are subjected to regulatory post-translational modification. Phosphorylation is so far the most intensively studied post-translational modification in the autophagy process, followed by ubiquitination and acetylation. An interesting and new area is also now emerging, which appears to complement these more traditional mechanisms, and includes O-GlcNAcylation and redox regulation at thiol residues. Identification of the full spectrum of post-translational modifications of autophagy proteins, and determination of their impact on autophagy will be crucial for a better understanding of autophagy regulation, its deficits in diseases, and how to exploit this process for disease therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-25
Number of pages12
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 31 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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