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Autophagy in childhood neurological disorders

Journal title
Developmental medicine and child neurology
Publication year
2019
Author(s)
Zhu, Y.; Runwal, G.; Obrocki, P.; Rubinsztein, D. C.
Pages
639-645
Volume
61
Number
6

Autophagy is a tightly modulated lysosomal degradation pathway. Genetic disorders of autophagy during nervous system development may lead to developmental delay, neurodegeneration, and other neurological signs in children. Here we aimed to summarize single gene disorders that perturb various steps of autophagy pathway and their roles in the causation of childhood neurological diseases. Numerous childhood-onset disorders are caused by mutations that impact the autophagy pathway. These can manifest with a range of features including ataxia, spastic paraplegia, and intellectual disability. Defective proteins causing such diseases can interfere with autophagy flux at different stages of the itinerary. Defective autophagy may be an important contributor to the pathological features of various childhood neurodegenerative diseases and lead to the accumulation of aberrant protein and dysfunctional organelles. Insights into the relevant cell biological processes may help understand pathophysiological mechanisms and inspire autophagy-restoring therapeutic approaches. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Numerous childhood-onset disorders are caused by mutations that impact the autophagy pathway. Defective autophagy is a feature of some mutations that cause ataxia, spastic paraplegia, and intellectual disability.

Research abstracts