Yoshinori Ohsumi Wins 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine TrendyVoice

3 October 2016

Yoshinori Ohsumi Wins 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is
awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discoveries of
mechanisms for autophagy. Autophagy ("self-eating") is an evolutionarily conserved process whereby the eukaryotic cell can recycle part of its
own content by sequestering a portion of the cytoplasm in a double-membrane vesicle that is delivered to the lysosome for digestion.

Yoshinori Ohsumi
Born: 1945, Fukuoka, Japan

Affiliation at the time of the award: Tokyo
Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan

Prize motivation: "for his discoveries of
mechanisms for autophagy"

Prize share: 1/1

Ohsumi's discoveries led to a new paradigm in our
understanding of how the cell recycles its content.
His discoveries opened the path to understanding
the fundamental importance of autophagy in
many physiological processes, such as in the
adaptation to starvation or response to infection.
Mutations in autophagy genes can cause disease,
and the autophagic process is involved in several
conditions including cancer and neurological
Degradation – a central function in all living cells
In the mid 1950's scientists observed a new
specialized cellular compartment, called an
organelle, containing enzymes that digest
proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. This
specialized compartment is referred to as a
"lysosome" and functions as a workstation for
degradation of cellular constituents. The Belgian
scientist Christian de Duve was awarded the
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1974 for
the discovery of the lysosome. New observations
during the 1960's showed that large amounts of
cellular content, and even whole organelles, could
sometimes be found inside lysosomes. The cell
therefore appeared to have a strategy for
delivering large cargo to the lysosome.

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