Autophagy in Algae
Pérez-Pérez, María Esther; Crespo, José L.
Abstract Autophagy is a complex and highly conserved catabolic process by which eukaryotic cells recycle or degrade internal constituents in a membrane-trafficking pathway. Autophagy has been recently described in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii where it may play an important role in the cellular adaptive response to stress conditions such as nutrient limitation or oxidative stress. Most of the proteins that compose the autophagy core machinery are conserved in Chlamydomonas, indicating that the molecular mechanisms of autophagy operating in this microalga may be similar to other organisms. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge of autophagy in Chlamydomonas and other algae, and analyze the participation of this degradative process in the cellular adaptation to different stresses including photo-oxidative damage.