Autophagy in Lepidoptera: more than old wine in new bottle
Keywords:autophagy, Lepidoptera, Bombyx mori, ATG genes, apoptosis
Autophagy is a cellular pathway that leads to the degradation of proteins and organelles. This
process is usually involved in the maintenance of cell homeostasis when the organism experiences nutrient starvation, but in holometabolous insects autophagy also intervenes in the demolition of larval tissues and organs during metamorphosis. This review summarizes the current knowledge about autophagy research in Lepidoptera and discusses the use of moths and butterflies as models for studying the roles and regulation of autophagy. It also gives insights into the cooperation between autophagy and apoptosis in cell death events that occur in lepidopteran in vivo and in vitro systems.