Exp Neurobiol 2013; 22(3): 133-142
Published online September 30, 2013
© The Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences
Kyung-Min Lee1, Su-Kyung Hwang2 and Jin-A Lee3*
1Department of Anatomy, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, 2Department of Pediatrics, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu 700-422, 3Department of Biological Science and Biotechnology, College of Life Science and Nanotechnology, Hannam University, Dajeon 305-811, Korea
Correspondence to: *To whom correspondence should be addressed.
TEL: 82-42-629-8785, FAX: 82-42-629-8769
Neurodevelopmental disorders include a wide range of diseases such as autism spectrum disorders and mental retardation. Mutations in several genes that regulate neural development and synapse function have been identified in neurodevelopmental disorders. Interestingly, some affected genes and pathways in these diseases are associated with the autophagy pathway. Autophagy is a complex, bulky degradative process that involves the sequestration of cellular proteins, RNA, lipids, and cellular organelles into lysosomes. Despite recent progress in elucidating the genetics and molecular pathogenesis of these disorders, little is known about the pathogenic mechanisms and autophagy-related pathways involved in common neurodevelopmental disorders. Therefore, in this review, we focus on the current understanding of neuronal autophagy as well as recent findings on genetics and the roles of autophagy pathway in common neurodevelopmental disorders.
Keywords: mTOR, autophagy, neurodevelopment, homeostasis, neurodevelopmental disorders