Autophagy as an emerging target in cardiorenal metabolic disease: From pathophysiology to management

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Although advances in medical technology and health care have improved the early diagnosis and management for cardiorenal metabolic disorders, the prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and kidney disease remains high. Findings from numerous population-based studies, clinical trials, and experimental evidence have consolidated a number of theories for the pathogenesis of cardiorenal metabolic anomalies including resistance to the metabolic action of insulin, abnormal glucose and lipid metabolism, oxidative and nitrosative stress, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, apoptosis, mitochondrial damage, and inflammation. Accumulating evidence has recently suggested a pivotal role for proteotoxicity, the unfavorable effects of poor protein quality control, in the pathophysiology of metabolic dysregulation and related cardiovascular complications. The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and autophagy-lysosomal pathways, two major although distinct cellular clearance machineries, govern protein quality control by degradation and clearance of long-lived or damaged proteins and organelles. Ample evidence has depicted an important role for protein quality control, particularly autophagy, in the maintenance of metabolic homeostasis. To this end, autophagy offers promising targets for novel strategies to prevent and treat cardiorenal metabolic diseases. Targeting autophagy using pharmacological or natural agents exhibits exciting new strategies for the growing problem of cardiorenal metabolic disorders.

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