Ion Channels and Transporters in Autophagy

Ruoxi Zhang, Rui Kang, Daniel J. Klionsky, Daolin Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Ion exchange between intracellular and extracellular spaces is the basic mechanism for controlling cell metabolism and signal transduction. This process is mediated by ion channels and transporters on the plasma membrane, or intracellular membranes that surround various organelles, in response to environmental stimuli. Macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy) is one of the lysosomal-dependent degradation pathways that maintains homeostasis through the degradation and recycling of cellular components (e.g., dysfunctional proteins and damaged organelles). Although autophagy-related (ATG) proteins play a central role in regulating the formation of autophagy-related member structures (e.g., phagophores, autophagosomes, and autolysosomes), the autophagic process also involves changes in expression and function of ion channels and transporters. Here we discuss current knowledge of the mechanisms that regulate autophagy in mammalian cells, with special attention to the ion channels and transporters. We also highlight prospects for the development of drugs targeting ion channels and transporters in autophagy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-23
Number of pages20
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Autophagy
  • channels
  • ion
  • lysosomes
  • mitochondria
  • transporters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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