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Ferritinophagy

This term (Mancias et al, 2014) pertains to the uptake of iron, which has been shown to be regulated by autophagy mechanisms involving autophagosomes. The process utilises a cargo receptor, NCOA4 [nuclear receptor coactivator 4], highly enriched in autophagosomes, and association with the autophagy protein ATG8, that recruit cargo-receptor complexes into autophagosomes. NCOA4 directly binds ferritin heavy chain-1 (FTH1) to target the iron-binding ferritin complex to autolysosomes following starvation or iron depletion (Dowdie et al, 2014).

Ferritinophagy can be considered as a specialised form of xenophagy since iron is a foreign body providing an outside stimulus.

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