Autophagy dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease

Liang Li, Xiaojie Zhang, Weidong Le

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Autophagy is a lysosome degradation pathway that turns over cytoplasmic materials and helps the cell to maintain homeostasis. Usually, it is activated under conditions of nutrient deprivation in order to enhance cell survival. Dysfunction in autophagy has been reported to contribute to several neurodegenerative diseases. Recent studies have shown that both amyloid β precursor protein and tau protein are associated with the autophagic pathway. Abnormal processing or modification of these proteins may cause an impairment in the autophagy-lysosome pathway, which constitutively promotes the generation of amyloid β peptides in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In addition, the impairment in the autophagy-lysosome system disturbs the turnover of other molecules associated with AD, which may also contribute to the neuronal dysfunction in AD. In this article, we have reviewed recent reports related to this topic and analyzed the dynamic changes in the autophagic pathway in AD. The findings from the studies reviewed suggest that autophagy is altered in the early stage of the disease, and dysfunction in autophagy may play an important role in the pathological process of AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
JournalNeurodegenerative Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • APP
  • Autophagy
  • Lysosome
  • Tau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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