Autophagy is a cellular quality control mechanism crucial for neuronal homeostasis.
Defects in autophagy are critically associated with mechanisms underlying Parkinson´s disease (PD),
a common and debilitating neurodegenerative disorder. Autophagic dysfunction in PD can occur at
several stages of the autophagy/lysosomal degradative machinery, contributing to the formation of
intracellular protein aggregates and eventual neuronal cell death. Therefore, autophagy inducers may
comprise a promising new therapeutic approach to combat neurodegeneration in PD. Several
currently available FDA-approved drugs have been shown to enhance autophagy, which may allow
for their repurposing for use in novel clinical conditions including PD. This review summarizes our
current knowledge of deficits in the autophagy/lysosomal degradation pathways associated with PD, and highlight current
approaches which target this pathway as possible means towards novel therapeutic strategies.
Keywords: Parkinson´s disease, autophagy, α-synuclein, LRRK2, lysosome, mTOR, rapamycin, TFEB.
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