Autophagy is an orchestrated homeostatic process to eliminate unwanted proteins and damaged organelles. The autophagic process is also used to remove intracellular microbial pathogens.
Several signaling pathways sense different types of cell stress, ranging from nutrient deprivation to microbial invasion, and converge to regulate autophagy at multiple stages of the process.
The primary step in inducing autophagy involves membrane nucleation, controlled by ULK complex and Beclin1. Inhibitors of positive regulators of of the ULK complex and Beclin1 have been demonstrated to block autophagy. These include inhibitors to the MAP kinases, JNK1, ERK and p38. The induction of Atg protein and LC3 proteins is required for vesicle expansion and formation. Inhibitors of the class III PI3 kinases can block autophagy. In a later step of the autophagic process, inhibitors that inhibit lysosome acidification essentially block the formation of autophagosome and autophagic degradation.
InvivoGen provides inhibitors that target molecules involved in these pathways that can impact autophagy and can be used to study autophagy in cells.
Inhibitors of Beclin1
Inhibitors of autophagosome / autophagolysosome formation