Autophagy: The 2016 Nobel Prize

Cover image adjusted from Figure 3B in M. Sakoh-Nagatokawa et al. FEBS Letters (2015)

Last Updated: 4 October 2016

FEBS Letters congratulates Prof. Yoshinori Ohsumi on winning the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his groundbreaking research on the molecular mechanisms underlying autophagy in yeast. In an outstanding FEBS Letters article from 1993, Ohsumi reported the isolation of 15 mutants with defective accumulation of autophagic bodies under conditions of starvation. The mutants indicated that at least 15 independent genes encoded components of the autophagic machinery in yeast. Following this pioneering study, the proteins encoded by these genes were functionally characterized.

Autophagy is now known to be a very important physiological process involved in the cellular response to stress and infection, and to play a role in development and aging. Defects in the autophagic pathway have been linked to cancer, Parkinson's disease and diabetes, as well as other genetic diseases.

FEBS Letters is proud to have had the honor of publishing the above-mentioned paper, as well as many other excellent articles by Prof. Ohsumi, and to have contributed to the dissemination of Nobel Prize-worthy science. In a gesture of recognition of this outstanding work, we have collected under this Virtual Issue all autophagy-related articles contributed to FEBS Letters by Prof. Ohsumi and his colleagues.

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