The mechanisms that regulate programmed cell death, such as apoptosis, and the cellular “selfeating” phenomenon of autophagy, share many regulatory systems and common pathways. These mechanisms have been extensively investigated over the last few years. Some intracellular structures may determine and control the autophagic fate of the cell such as the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, and lysosomes. The coordination and interrelation of these organelles are crucial in maintaining calcium levels and general cellular homeostasis, as well as in regulating cell life and death under physiological and pathological conditions, including cancer, neurodegeneration, and aging. In this review, we discuss the crosstalk between the aforementioned organelles and their influence in apoptotic and autophagic processes.
Keywords: Apoptosis, autophagy, calcium signaling, calcium stores, endoplasmic reticulum, lysosomes, mitochondria, orchestration, homeostasis, programmed cell death, catabolic proteases, stress, macroautophagy, proton gradient, uniporter.