Autophagy in metabolic syndrome: breaking the wheel by targeting the renin–angiotensin system

Kalhara R. Menikdiwela, Latha Ramalingam, Fahmida Rasha, Shu Wang, Jannette M. Dufour, Nishan S. Kalupahana, Karen K.S. Sunahara, Joilson O. Martins, Naima Moustaid-Moussa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a complex, emerging epidemic which disrupts the metabolic homeostasis of several organs, including liver, heart, pancreas, and adipose tissue. While studies have been conducted in these research areas, the pathogenesis and mechanisms of MetS remain debatable. Lines of evidence show that physiological systems, such as the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) and autophagy play vital regulatory roles in MetS. RAS is a pivotal system known for controlling blood pressure and fluid balance, whereas autophagy is involved in the degradation and recycling of cellular components, including proteins. Although RAS is activated in MetS, the interrelationship between RAS and autophagy varies in glucose homeostatic organs and their cross talk is poorly understood. Interestingly, autophagy is attenuated in the liver during MetS, whereas autophagic activity is induced in adipose tissue during MetS, indicating tissue-specific discordant roles. We discuss in vivo and in vitro studies conducted in metabolic tissues and dissect their tissue-specific effects. Moreover, our review will focus on the molecular mechanisms by which autophagy orchestrates MetS and the ways future treatments could target RAS in order to achieve metabolic homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number87
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Autophagy in metabolic syndrome: breaking the wheel by targeting the renin–angiotensin system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this