Autophagy is a universal cellular homeostatic process, required for the clearance of dysfunctional macromolecules or organelles. This self-digestion mechanism modulates cell survival, either directly by targeting cell death players, or indirectly by maintaining cellular balance and bioenergetics. Nevertheless, under acute or accumulated stress, autophagy can also contribute to promote different modes of cell death, either through highly regulated signalling events, or in a more uncontrolled inflammatory manner. Conversely, apoptotic or necroptotic factors have also been implicated in the regulation of autophagy, while specific factors regulate both processes. Here, we survey both earlier and recent findings, highlighting the intricate interaction of autophagic and cell death pathways. We, Furthermore, discuss paradigms, where this cross-talk is disrupted, in the context of disease.

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