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Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved, lysosomal pathway of engulfment, degradation and recycling of cellular contents including long-lived proteins and organelles. Autophagy promotes cell survival, maintaining cellular homeostasis under resting andstress conditions.
Furthermore, it plays a critical role in a number of clinical disorders, including heart disease. Autophagy is a complex process occurring in a stepwise manner of several stages: nucleation, expansion, and maturation/retrieval (see top scheme