Autophagy plays an important role in wreaking havoc

Autophagy plays an important role in wreaking havoc ...

Drosophila, a fruit fly, has shown that autophagy, which is a function of stress responses in cells, plays an important role in wound healing: When a wound heals, the process of autophagy is initiated and regulated by TORC1, the protein complex. This is a recent mechanism of autophagy, and the first evidence that autophagy is responsible for the formation of syncytia (multinucleated cells), however, their role in wound healing and the involvement of

Autophagy is a cellular recycling technique that has been preserved over the course of evolution from yeast to humans. Unlike yeast, small bubbles inside the cell, recognize, engulf, and digest invaders, such as bacteria and viruses, or the cell''s own material. This material is recycled, thus enhancing health. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer''s and Parkinson''s also face the risk of cancer and infections.

Scientists from the CECAD Cluster of Excellence for Aging Research, the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC) and the Institute of Genetics (all at the University of Cologne) investigated the function of autophagy in wound healing and in the healthy and uninjured epidermis (skin) of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In the new study, autophagy thus did not digest viruses or bacteria, but the cell''s own cell membrane, so that boundaries between cells were formed

The patient''s initial attention is shifted to cells surrounding the wound. This leads to a selective breakdown of the membranes that connect the cells. Eventually, a large, multinucleated cell (Syncytium) forms throughout the epidermis, according to Parisa Kakanj, the first author of the study. It is quite surprising that autophagy is also involved in wound healing. Multinuclear cells are also found in tumors and infected tissues.

The formation of a syncytium was demonstrated in previous studies to provide mechanical stability and a strong barrier function to safeguard tissues from pathogens. This is not the first time whether the process performs similar functions in wound healing. This will be discussed in future studies.

The investigators found that autophagic vesicles resemble the lateral plasma membrane of the cell in the healthy, undead epidermis, as well as in the cells surrounding the wound. In this context, the TORC1 protein complex, which controls cell metabolism, is vital in preventing the loss of epidermis, according to Maria Leptin. The exact extent and spatiotemporal activity of these factors are crucial to understanding how autophagy is activated and how autophagic vesic

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