Role of autophagy in IL-1β export and release from cells.
The autophagy pathway known also as macroautophagy (herein referred to as autophagy) is characterized by the formation of double-membrane organelles that capture cytosolic material. Based on pathway termination alternatives, autophagy has been divided into degradative and secretory. During degradative autophagy, autophagosomes typically fuse with lysosomes upon which the sequestered material is degraded. During secretory autophagy, instead of degradation the sequestered cargo is subjected to active secretion or passive release. In this review, we focus on the mechanisms of secretion/passive release of the potent pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β, as a prototypical leaderless cytosolic protein cargo studied in the context of secretory autophagy.