Autophagy Induction: A Promising Antiaging Strategy
Aging is a multifactorial biological phenomenon manifested by oxidative damage of biomolecules and cell organelles and their continuous accumulation, resulting in progressive loss of physiological functionality and high risk of mortality. Efforts to develop strategies for extending health span and lifespan are now in spotlight of geroscience. There are several studies suggesting the involvement of autophagy in aging. Autophagy is a conserved and protective intracellular lysosomal degradation process that ensures continuous removal and recycling of accumulated biomolecules and nonfunctional cell organelles to maintain cellular homeostasis and overall functionality of the cells. The age-dependent defective autophagy has also been suggested to further accelerate aging and increase the risk of other aging-related diseases. In addition, autophagy integrates several pro-survival pathway(s) as associated with AMP kinase (AMPK) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) to regulate growth, division, motility and overall survival of the cells. The pharmacological modulators of autophagy have been found rewarding in case of aging, and thus it is promising to expect autophagy modulators to be the next-generation antiaging drugs. This chapter summarizes the existing advances, perspectives, and challenges in the area of antiaging through induction of autophagy.
KeywordsAging AMPK Autophagy mTOR Oxidative stress Sirtuins
A. K. Singh would like to thank University Grants Commission, New Delhi, India, for providing Dr. D. S. Kothari postdoctoral fellowship and financial support (F.4-2/2006(BSR)/BL/14-15/0326). The Department of Biochemistry, University of Allahabad, is supported by the FIST grant from the DST-SERB and SAP-DRS I from University Grants Commission, Government of India.
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