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International Journal of Cell Biology
Volume 2012, Article ID 931956, 10 pages
Review Article

Forms, Crosstalks, and the Role of Phospholipid Biosynthesis in Autophagy

1Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1
2Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Animal Science and Nutrition Building, Room 346, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1

Received 1 August 2011; Revised 4 October 2011; Accepted 13 October 2011

Academic Editor: Liza Pon

Copyright © 2012 Leanne Pereira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Autophagy is a highly conserved cellular process occurring during periods of stress to ensure a cell's survival by recycling cytosolic constituents and making products that can be used in energy generation and other essential processes. Three major forms of autophagy exist according to the specific mechanism through which cytoplasmic material is transported to a lysosome. Chaperone-mediated autophagy is a highly selective form of autophagy that delivers specific proteins for lysosomal degradation. Microautophagy is a less selective form of autophagy that occurs through lysosomal membrane invaginations, forming tubes and directly engulfing cytoplasm. Finally, macroautophagy involves formation of new membrane bilayers (autophagosomes) that engulf cytosolic material and deliver it to lysosomes. This review provides new insights on the crosstalks between different forms of autophagy and the significance of bilayer-forming phospholipid synthesis in autophagosomal membrane formation.