Autophagy is a complex process whereby organelles and other cellular structures are enclosed by newly-formed phospholipids membranes; this forms a new organelle called an “autophagosome. These autophagosomes can then fuse with lysosomes, allowing the original structures enclosed by the autophagosome to be destroyed by the acid hydrolases and other enzymes found in lysosomes. The diagram below shows a mitochondrion being surrounded by the double membrane that is characteristic of autophagy, and the subsequent fusion of the autophagosome with a lysosome. Autophagosome Outer autophagosomal membrane Acid hydrolase Inner autophagosomal membrane Lysosome

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