Nanoparticle triggered autophagic cell death (WP2509)

Programmed cell death: autophagic cell death. Autophagy (self-eating) is a survival mechanism deployed by cells to cope with conditions of nutrient deprivation. However, unrestrained autophagy can result in genetically programmed cell death. Carbon nanotubes, PAMAMs, and iron oxide nanoparticles were reported to trigger autophagic cell death through the perturbation of the mTOR pathway, while gold nanoparticles may induce autophagy blockade through lysosomal impairment.
last edited


Egonw, Andra, Bart Smeets, MaintBot, and Fehrhart

Cited In


Homo sapiens


Adverse Outcome Pathways Nanomaterials Pathways


Pathway Ontology: nanomaterial response pathway


Label Type Compact Identifier
PI3k/AKT GeneProduct None
AMPK Protein None
PI3KCIII GeneProduct None
3-MA Metabolite pubchem.compound:1673
BCL-2 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000171791
mTORC1 Complex wikidata:Q6718498
TCS-1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000165699
ATG10 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000152348
Ambra1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000110497
Carbon nanotube Unknown NA:NPO_606
VMP1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000062716
IR GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000171105
LC3-II GeneProduct None
ATG9 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000181652
ULK1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000177169
Insulin Protein uniprot:P01308
TCS-2 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000103197
Beclin1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000126581
Atg14L GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000126775
p150 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000167670
PI3KCIII GeneProduct None
UVRAG GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000198382
Beclin1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000126581
Bif1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000097033
p150 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000167670
PI3KCIII GeneProduct None
LC3-I GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000101460
ATG3 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000144848
ATG4 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000101844
ATG7 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000197548
ATG12 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000145782
ATG5 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000057663
ATG16L GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000085978
Au NP Unknown NA:NPO_401
ULK2 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000083290
PAMAM Unknown NA:NPO_965
FeO NP Unknown NA:NPO_273


  1. Li C, Liu H, Sun Y, Wang H, Guo F, Rao S, et al. PAMAM nanoparticles promote acute lung injury by inducing autophagic cell death through the Akt-TSC2-mTOR signaling pathway. J Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Oct;1(1):37–45. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  2. Liu H-L, Zhang Y-L, Yang N, Zhang Y-X, Liu X-Q, Li C-G, et al. A functionalized single-walled carbon nanotube-induced autophagic cell death in human lung cells through Akt-TSC2-mTOR signaling. Cell Death Dis. 2011 May 19;2(5):e159. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  3. Ma X, Wu Y, Jin S, Tian Y, Zhang X, Zhao Y, et al. Gold nanoparticles induce autophagosome accumulation through size-dependent nanoparticle uptake and lysosome impairment. ACS Nano. 2011 Nov 22;5(11):8629–39. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  4. Khan MI, Mohammad A, Patil G, Naqvi SAH, Chauhan LKS, Ahmad I. Induction of ROS, mitochondrial damage and autophagy in lung epithelial cancer cells by iron oxide nanoparticles. Biomaterials. 2012 Feb;33(5):1477–88. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  5. Andón FT, Fadeel B. Programmed cell death: molecular mechanisms and implications for safety assessment of nanomaterials. Acc Chem Res. 2013 Mar 19;46(3):733–42. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia