Relevance of autophagy to fatty liver diseases and potential therapeutic applications

Shengmin Yan, Nazmul Huda, Bilon Khambu, Xiao Ming Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

13 Scopus citations


Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved lysosome-mediated cellular degradation program. Accumulating evidence shows that autophagy is important to the maintenance of liver homeostasis. Autophagy involves recycling of cellular nutrients recycling as well as quality control of subcellular organelles. Autophagy deficiency in the liver causes various liver pathologies. Fatty liver disease (FLD) is characterized by the accumulation of lipids in hepatocytes and the dysfunction in energy metabolism. Autophagy is negatively affected by the pathogenesis of FLD and the activation of autophagy could ameliorate steatosis, which suggests a potential therapeutic approach to FLD. In this review, we will discuss autophagy and its relevance to liver diseases, especially FLD. In addition, we will discuss recent findings on potential therapeutic applications of autophagy modulators for FLD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1965-1979
Number of pages15
JournalAmino Acids
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Autophagy
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Lipophagy
  • Liver function
  • Metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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