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The Role of Autophagy in Crohn’s Disease

Department of Child Life and Health, 20 Sylvan Place, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 1UW, UK
Gastrointestinal Unit, Institute for Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK
Faculty of Life, Sport and Social Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University, Sighthill Campus, Edinburgh EH11 4BN, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2012, 1(3), 492-519;
Received: 18 June 2012 / Revised: 20 July 2012 / Accepted: 23 July 2012 / Published: 3 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autophagy)
PDF [669 KB, uploaded 3 August 2012]


(Macro)-autophagy is a homeostatic process by which eukaryotic cells dispose of protein aggregates and damaged organelles. Autophagy is also used to degrade micro-organisms that invade intracellularly in a process termed xenophagy. Genome-wide association scans have recently identified autophagy genes as conferring susceptibility to Crohn’s disease (CD), one of the chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, with evidence suggesting that CD arises from a defective innate immune response to enteric bacteria. Here we review the emerging role of autophagy in CD, with particular focus on xenophagy and enteric E. coli strains with an adherent and invasive phenotype that have been consistently isolated from CD patients with ileal disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: autophagy; Crohn’s disease; inflammatory bowel disease; ATG16L1; NOD2; IRGM autophagy; Crohn’s disease; inflammatory bowel disease; ATG16L1; NOD2; IRGM

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Henderson, P.; Stevens, C. The Role of Autophagy in Crohn’s Disease. Cells 2012, 1, 492-519.

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