Chaperone-mediated autophagy: Molecular mechanisms and physiological relevance

Samantha J. Orenstein, Ana Maria Cuervo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

200 Scopus citations


Chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) is a selective lysosomal pathway for the degradation of cytosolic proteins. We review in this work some of the recent findings on this pathway regarding the molecular mechanisms that contribute to substrate targeting, binding and translocation across the lysosomal membrane. We have placed particular emphasis on the critical role that changes in the lipid composition of the lysosomal membrane play in the regulation of CMA, as well as the modulatory effect of other novel CMA components. In the second part of this review, we describe the physiological relevance of CMA and its role as one of the cellular mechanisms involved in the response to stress. Changes with age in CMA activity and the contribution of failure of CMA to the phenotype of aging and to the pathogenesis of several age-related pathologies are also described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-726
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Chaperones
  • Lysosomes
  • Membrane proteins
  • Proteases
  • Protein translocation
  • Proteolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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