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The physiological significance of autophagy, the intracellular degradation system underlying the maintenance and change of homeostasis.

Akiko Kuma (photo)

Akiko Kuma

Research SiteOsaka University
Graduate School of Medicine
Project Associate Professor


Living organisms continuously undergo synthesis and degradation of cellular materials. In this dynamic process, homeostasis is maintained when old components are replaced with fresh ones and it reaches a new state when components are replaced with different types. Since degraded components are reused as building blocks, degradation system can be the driving force of the maintenance or change of homeostasis. In this study, we focus on autophagy, one of the major degradation systems, and investigate the mechanism of the maintenance and transfiguration of homeostasis in living body by understanding the physiological role of autophagy.


  1. Takako Naito, Akiko Kuma, and Noboru Mizushima Differential contribution of insulin and amino acids to the mTORC1-autophagy pathway in the liver and muscle. The Journal of Biological Chemistry (2013) 288(29) 21074-81.
  2. Takako Watanabe-Asano, Akiko Kuma, Noboru Mizushima
    Cycloheximide inhibits starvation-induced autophagy through mTORC1 activation. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (2014) 445(2) 334-9.