Age-related decline in chaperone-mediated autophagy

Ana Maria Cuervo, J. Fred Dice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

535 Scopus citations


Intracellular protein degradation rates decrease with age in many tissues and organs. In cultured cells, chaperone-mediated autophagy, which is responsible for the selective degradation of cytosolic proteins in lysosomes, decreases with age. In this work we use lysosomes isolated from rat liver to analyze age-related changes in the levels and activities of the main components of chaper-one-mediated autophagy. Lysosomes from 'old' (22-month-old) rats show lower rates of chaperone-mediated autophagy, and both substrate binding to the lysosomal membrane and transport into lysosomes decline with age. A progressive age-related decrease in the levels of the lysosome-associated membrane protein type 2a that acts as a receptor for chaperone-mediated autophagy was responsible for decreased substrate binding in lysosomes from old rats as well as from late passage human fibroblasts. The cytosolic levels and activity of the 73-kDa heat-shock cognate protein required for substrate targeting to lysosomes were unchanged with age. The levels of lysosome-associated hsc73 were increased only in the oldest rats. This increase may be an attempt to compensate for reduced activity of the pathway with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31505-31513
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 6 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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