Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (2 nd edition)

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Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (2 nd edition)

Published Article
Landes Bioscience
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2015.1100356
  • Autophagy
  • Guidelines
  • Monitoring Autophagy


Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for 2100 reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appro-priate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no indi- 2105 vidual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. Along these lines, because of the potential for pleiotropic effects due to blocking autophagy through genetic manipulation it is imperative to delete or 2110 knock down more than one autophagy-related gene. In addi-tion, some individual Atg proteins, or groups of proteins, are involved in other cellular pathways so not all Atg proteins can be used as a specific marker for an autophagic process. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing 2115 autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.

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