Autophagy as a cell-repair mechanism: Activation of chaperone-mediated autophagy during oxidative stress

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120 Scopus citations


Proper removal of oxidized proteins is an important determinant of success when evaluating the ability of cells to handle oxidative stress. The ubiquitin/proteasome system has been considered the main responsible mechanism for the removal of oxidized proteins, as it can discriminate between normal and altered proteins, and selectively target the latter ones for degradation. A possible role for lysosomes, the other major intracellular proteolytic system, in the removal of oxidized proteins has been often refused, mostly on the basis of the lack of selectivity of this system. Although most of the degradation of intracellular components in lysosomes (autophagy) takes place through "in bulk" sequestration of complete cytosolic regions, selective targeting of proteins to lysosomes for their degradation is also possible via what is known as chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA). In this work, we review recent evidence supporting the participation of CMA in the clearance of oxidized proteins in the forefront of the cellular response to oxidative stress. The consequences of an impairment in CMA activity, observed during aging and in some age-related disorders, are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-454
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular aspects of medicine
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Aging
  • Autophagy
  • Chaperone-mediated autophagy
  • Chaperones
  • Lysosomes
  • Oxidative stress
  • Protein aggregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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