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Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved central process in host metabolism. Among its major functions are conservation of energy during starvation, recycling organelles, and turnover of long-lived proteins. Besides, autophagy plays a critical role in removing intracellular pathogens and very likely represents a primordial intrinsic cellular defence mechanism. More recent findings indicate that it has not only retained its ability to degrade intracellular pathogens, but also functions todoi:10.20944/preprints201905.0126.v1 fatcat:x2tfm5trqfhzdarvmtuicbzzji