and Viktor Belay Section 1: How does the breakdown of a brain cell’s recycling plant lead to neurodegenerative disease?
Cellular functions are dependent on the activity of a vast ensemble of macromolecular machines, including many of the proteins
that we’ve discussed on this site as well as organelles
like mitochondria. As cells get older, these machines break down, become waste, and need to be recycled or removed. This happens via a biochemical process called autophagy
(literally, “self-eating”). Organelles called lysosomes
play a central role in this process. These are small, highly acidic membrane-bound compartments within...