Mitophagy as a stress response in mammalian cells and in respiring S. cerevisiae

Biochemical Society Transactions
Hagai Abeliovich, Jörn Dengjel


The degradation of malfunctioning or superfluous mitochondria in the lysosome/vacuole is an important housekeeping function in respiring eukaryotic cells. This clearance is thought to occur by a specific form of autophagic degradation called mitophagy, and plays a role in physiological homoeostasis as well as in the progression of late-onset diseases. Although the mechanism of bulk degradation by macroautophagy is relatively well established, the selective autophagic degradation of mitochondria has only recently begun to receive significant attention. In this mini-review, we introduce mitophagy as a form of mitochondrial quality control and proceed to provide specific examples from yeast and mammalian systems. We then discuss the relationship of mitophagy to mitochondrial stress, and provide a broad mechanistic overview of the process with an emphasis on evolutionarily conserved pathways.


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