Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a debilitating movement disorder typically associated with the accumulation of intracytoplasmic aggregate prone protein deposits. Over recent years, increasing evidence has led to the suggestion that the mutations underlying certain forms of PD impair autophagy. Autophagy is a degradative pathway that delivers cytoplasmic content to lysosomes for degradation and represents a major route for degradation of aggregated cellular proteins and dysfunctional organelles. Autophagy up-regulation is a promising therapeutic strategy that is being explored for its potential to protect cells against the toxicity of aggregate-prone proteins in neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we describe how the mutations in different subtypes of PD can affect different stages of autophagy.

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