Targeting autophagy as a strategy for drug discovery and therapeutic modulation

Lixia Gao, Catherine E. Jauregui, Yong Teng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Autophagy is a self-protective mechanism of living cells or organisms under various stress conditions. Studies of human genetics and pathophysiology have implicated that alterations in autophagy affect the context of cellular homeostasis and disease-Associated phenotypes. The molecular components of autophagy are currently being explored as new pharmacologic targets for drug development and therapeutic intervention of various diseases. Drugs that restore the normal autophagic pathways have the potential for effectively treating human disorders that depend on aberrations of autophagy. Here, we review the role of autophagy and its alterations in the pathogenesis of diverse diseases, and drug discovery strategies for modulating autophagy for therapeutic benefits as well as possible safety concerns and caveats associated with such approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-345
Number of pages11
JournalFuture Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • autophagy
  • chemical drugs
  • drug development
  • human diseases
  • therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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