Background: Heme-oxygenase (HO) catalyzes the main enzymatic step of heme degradation and
generates anti-inflammatory end products with protective roles in physiological and pathological situations. The
importance of HO in pathological conditions is evidenced by its pharmacological inhibition or genetic blockage
in different models of stress such as infection, inflammation and oxidative stress. Under these situations, another
well-known protective process triggered is autophagy. Autophagy is a homeostatic process that eliminates defective
cytosolic components and organelles, allowing cells and tissues to recover through recycling of functional
blocks for anabolic reactions. Recently, studies have demonstrated a link between HO activity and autophagy
Objective: In this review, we focus on the interplay between HO and autophagy, and highlight its importance in
homeostasis maintenance under stress conditions.
Keywords: heme oxygenase-1, autophagy, inflammation, cancer, sepsis, diabetes.
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