Autophagy, the pathways that degrade cytoplasmic constituents in lysosomes, contribute to most biological processes from aging and neurodegeneration to pathogen restriction and immunity. In recent years, it was realized that the autophagy machinery serves additional functions, primarily in endo- and exocytosis. In this review, I summarize recent advances in our understanding on how these non-canonical functions differ from canonical macroautophagy, and contribute to immune activation and viral replication. Understanding these pathways will allow us to harness them for the treatment of human diseases, as well as appreciate how cells use modules of membrane remodeling and trafficking for multiple biological functions.

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