Research Topic

Defective Macroautophagy in Organelle Turnover: From Basic Mechanisms to Human Disease

About this Research Topic

Macroautophagy is a highly conserved intracellular degradation system in charge of intracellular cleaning. Double-membrane vesicles called autophagosomes sequester cytoplasmic content for degradation in different organisms, from yeast to mammals. Although initially macroautophagy was described as a cytoplasmic bulk degradation process triggered by the lack of nutrients to balance energy during starvation, an increasing literature support that macroautophagy contribute to the proper organelle turnover in a selective-manner. Organelle-specific autophagy remove damaged or obsolete organelle instead of random portions of cytoplasm to preserve organelle function. Multiples organelles including mitochondria, peroxisomes, endoplasmic reticulum and other organelles are engulfed by autophagosomes and targeted to the lysosomes for degradation. Also, selective autophagy in immune cells plays a major role in the capture of pathogens. 


Many on-going studies are trying to decipher them at molecular level and recent reports show that receptors and adaptors work together in the selection phase so autophagosomes can enwrap specific cargo. It has been showed that a defective performance of these proteins can cause disease. For instance, loss-of-function mutations in the autophagy receptor SQSTM1/p62 lead to a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disease presenting in childhood. Therefore, a more in detail description of selective autophagy can lead us to a better understanding of disorders yet undiagnosed and next generation sequencing for patients suffering disorders help to identify candidate genes involved in selective autophagy.


This Research Topic offers the opportunity to contribute and publish research findings, reviews, and perspectives in the area of organelle-specific autophagy. We invite submissions (Original Research, Review articles, Protocols) that provide molecular insight into the modulation of organelle turnover as well as how the deregulation of this process can lead to pathophysiological conditions. This Research Topic will cover the following aspects:


• Regulation of selective autophagy (mitophagy, ER-phagy, pexophagy, lipophagy, xenophagy,etc)

• New mechanisms involved in selective autophagy

• Deregulation of autophagy in human pathologies (neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, etc)

• Potential disease-causing genes involved in autophagy function


Keywords: Macroautophagy, selective autophagy, neurodegeneration, cancer, SQSTM1


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Macroautophagy is a highly conserved intracellular degradation system in charge of intracellular cleaning. Double-membrane vesicles called autophagosomes sequester cytoplasmic content for degradation in different organisms, from yeast to mammals. Although initially macroautophagy was described as a cytoplasmic bulk degradation process triggered by the lack of nutrients to balance energy during starvation, an increasing literature support that macroautophagy contribute to the proper organelle turnover in a selective-manner. Organelle-specific autophagy remove damaged or obsolete organelle instead of random portions of cytoplasm to preserve organelle function. Multiples organelles including mitochondria, peroxisomes, endoplasmic reticulum and other organelles are engulfed by autophagosomes and targeted to the lysosomes for degradation. Also, selective autophagy in immune cells plays a major role in the capture of pathogens. 


Many on-going studies are trying to decipher them at molecular level and recent reports show that receptors and adaptors work together in the selection phase so autophagosomes can enwrap specific cargo. It has been showed that a defective performance of these proteins can cause disease. For instance, loss-of-function mutations in the autophagy receptor SQSTM1/p62 lead to a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disease presenting in childhood. Therefore, a more in detail description of selective autophagy can lead us to a better understanding of disorders yet undiagnosed and next generation sequencing for patients suffering disorders help to identify candidate genes involved in selective autophagy.


This Research Topic offers the opportunity to contribute and publish research findings, reviews, and perspectives in the area of organelle-specific autophagy. We invite submissions (Original Research, Review articles, Protocols) that provide molecular insight into the modulation of organelle turnover as well as how the deregulation of this process can lead to pathophysiological conditions. This Research Topic will cover the following aspects:


• Regulation of selective autophagy (mitophagy, ER-phagy, pexophagy, lipophagy, xenophagy,etc)

• New mechanisms involved in selective autophagy

• Deregulation of autophagy in human pathologies (neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, etc)

• Potential disease-causing genes involved in autophagy function


Keywords: Macroautophagy, selective autophagy, neurodegeneration, cancer, SQSTM1


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

14 June 2021 Abstract
12 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

14 June 2021 Abstract
12 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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