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Autophagy

New method to assess mitophagy flux by flow cytometry.


PMID 25945953

Abstract

Mitochondrial autophagy, also known as mitophagy, is an autophagosome-based mitochondrial degradation process that eliminates unwanted or damaged mitochondria after cell stress. Most studies dealing with mitophagy rely on the analysis by fluorescence microscopy of mitochondrial-autophagosome colocalization. However, given the fundamental role of mitophagy in the physiology and pathology of organisms, there is an urgent need for novel quantitative methods with which to study this process. Here, we describe a flow cytometry-based approach to determine mitophagy by using MitoTracker Deep Red, a widely used mitochondria-selective probe. Used in combination with selective inhibitors it may allow for the determination of mitophagy flux. Here, we test the validity of the use of this method in cell lines and in primary cell and tissue cultures.