Biomolecules & Therapeutics
Neuronal Autophagy: Characteristic Features and Roles in Neuronal Pathophysiology
McNeil Valencia, Sung Rae Kim, Yeseul Jang and Sung Hoon Lee*
College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Republic of Korea
Tel: +82-2-820-5675, Fax: +82-2-815-0054
Received: January 14, 2021; Revised: March 2, 2021; Accepted: March 23, 2021; Published online: April 20, 2021.
© The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Autophagy is an important degradative pathway that eliminates misfolded proteins and damaged organelles from cells. Autophagy is crucial for neuronal homeostasis and function. A lack of or deficiency in autophagy leads to the accumulation of protein aggregates, which are associated with several neurodegenerative diseases. Compared with non-neuronal cells, neurons exhibit rapid autophagic flux because damaged organelles or protein aggregates cannot be diluted in post-mitotic cells; because of this, these cells exhibit characteristic features of autophagy, such as compartment-specific autophagy, which depends on polarized structures and rapid autophagy flux. In addition, neurons exhibit compartment-specific autophagy, which depends on polarized structures. Neuronal autophagy may have additional physiological roles other than amino acid recycling. In this review, we focus on the characteristics and regulatory factors of neuronal autophagy. We also describe intracellular selective autophagy in neurons and its association with neurodegenerative diseases.
Keywords: Neurons, Autophagy, Characteristic, Selective autophagy, Neurological disorder

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