Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The process of self-digestion by a cell through the action of enzymes originating within the same cell.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of feeding upon one's self.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Med.) The feeding of the body upon itself, as in fasting; nutrition by consumption of one's own tissues.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun biology The process of self-digestion by a cell through the action of enzymes originating within the same cell. Often a defensive and/or self-preservation measure.
  • noun biology A type of programmed cell death accomplished through self-digestion
  • noun rare Self-consumption; the act of eating oneself.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

auto- + -phagy

Examples

  • This process is called autophagy literally, self-eating, and it has an important role in other parts of the body to provide energy in times of starvation.

    Week in Ideas

  • The modified adenovirus homed in on malignant glioma cells in mice and induced enough self-cannibalization among the cancer cells — a process called autophagy — to reduce tumor size and extend survival, says senior author Seiji Kondo, M.D., Ph.

    Lean Left » Blog Archive » Forcing Cancer to Commit Suicide

  • THC has been proven to shrink tumours and promote the death of cancerous cells by making the cancer cells feed on themselves in a process called autophagy.

    Vault9.net

  • Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to autophagy as intercellular housecleaning; it should have been intracellular housecleaning.

    NYT > Home Page

  • When the body is starved of nutrition brain cells start eating themselves - a process called autophagy - to keep energy levels up.

    NEWS.com.au | Top Stories

  • "ATM recognizes damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and tells the cell to stop growing by suppressing the protein-synthesizing pathway mTORC1 or orders the cell to consume itself, a process called autophagy," Walker said.

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • "ATM recognizes damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and tells the cell to stop growing by suppressing the protein-synthesizing pathway mTORC1 or orders the cell to consume itself, a process called autophagy," Walker said.

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • Collectively known as autophagy (literally, "self-eating"), these processes keep cells clean and uncluttered and provide them with replacement parts that will function better.

    Newswise: Latest News

  • "ATM recognizes damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and tells the cell to stop growing by suppressing the protein-synthesizing pathway mTORC1 or orders the cell to consume itself, a process called autophagy," Walker said.

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • "ATM recognizes damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and tells the cell to stop growing by suppressing the protein-synthesizing pathway mTORC1 or orders the cell to consume itself, a process called autophagy," Walker said.

    innovations-report

Comments

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  • Feeding on body's own tissues. (from Phrontistery)

    May 22, 2008

  • ewwwwww

    December 11, 2012

  • Yoshinori Ohsumi of the Tokyo Institute of Technology has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries about "autophagy" — a fundamental process cells use to degrade and recycle parts of themselves.

    . . .

    Ohsumi's work opened the path to understanding how cells adapt to starvation and respond to infection, according to statement from the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute.

    Mutations in the genes that control autophagy can lead to a variety of conditions, including cancer, type 2 diabetes and neurological diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimers, according to the announcement.

    Autophagy, a term that comes from Greek words for "self-eating," is a basic process cells need to function properly.

    "Without autophagy, our cells won't survive," says Juleen Zierath, who chaired the committee that selected Ohsumi. "We need autophagy to ward off invading molecules, for example, to deal with very large proteins that might be long-lived or defective. But we also need autophagy for renewal."

    ...

    Before Ohsumi's work, scientists knew there was a structure inside cells that was considered the equivalent of a "waste dump," Zierath says.

    "What he showed was that it wasn't a waste dump. It was a recycling plant. This was a really sophisticated machinery that recycled damaged or long-lived proteins," Zierath says.

    Japanese Biologist Wins Nobel Prize In Physiology Or Medicine, NPR Morning Edition, Oct. 3, 2016

    October 4, 2016