Most autophagy-deficient mice are lethal embryonic or at the early postnatal stages. This reflects the importance of autophagy for development and differentiation. One of our main scientific interests is to understand how autophagy regulates the development of the nervous system using the retina as a model. Our group has shown that autophagy is necessary for neuronal differentiation and for the removal of apoptotic cells that occur during normal development of the nervous system. In addition, we have evidence that autophagy may have a metabolic role allowing ATP to be obtained through the degradation of cellular components.

In addition, we have shown that selective mitochondrial degradation, a process known as mitophagy, regulates metabolic reprogramming during neuronal differentiation and is an essential processes for neuronal differentiation. In addition, this role of mitophagy in regulating the metabolism seems universal since it is also observed during the polarization of macrophages to a proinflammatory phenotype. Therefore my research points to a new metabolic role of autophagy during cellular development and differentiation and we hope to understand in precise molecular mechanism in the future.




Selected Publications

Acyl-CoA-Binding Protein Is a Lipogenic Factor that Triggers Food Intake and Obesity. Bravo-San Pedro JM, Sica V, Martins I, Pol J, Loos F, Maiuri MC, Durand S, Bossut N, Aprahamian F, Anagnostopoulos G, Niso-Santano M, Aranda F, Ramírez-Pardo I, Lallement J, Denom J, Boedec E, Gorwood P, Ramoz N, Clément K, Pelloux V, Rohia A, Pattou F, Raverdy V, Caiazzo R, Denis RGP, Boya P, Galluzzi L, Madeo F, Migrenne-Li S, Cruciani-Guglielmacci C, Tavernarakis N, López-Otín C, Magnan C, Kroemer G. Cell Metab. 2019;30(4):754-767. 

Immunological Synapse Induces Mitochondrial Clustering and Mitophagy in Dendritic cells. Gómez-Cabañas L, López-Cotarelo P, Criado-García O, Murphy MP, Boya P, Rodríguez-Fernández JL. J Immunol. 2019 202:1715-1723. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1800575. 

Lipotoxic Effects of Palmitic Acid on Astrocytes Are Associated with Autophagy Impairment. Ortiz-Rodriguez A, Acaz-Fonseca E, Boya P, Arevalo MA, Garcia-Segura LM. Mol Neurobiol. 2019 56:1665-1680. doi: 10.1007/s12035-018-1183-9. 

Programmed mitophagy is essential for the glycolytic switch during cell differentiationEsteban-Martínez L, Sierra-Filardi E, McGreal RS, Salazar-Roa M, Mariño G, Seco E, Durand S, Enot S, Graña O, Malumbres M, Cvekl A, Cuervo AM, Kroemer G and  Boya P. EMBO J. 2017;36:1688-1706. 

AMPK and PFKFB3 mediate glycolysis and survival in response to mitophagy during mitotic arrest. Doménech E, Maestre C, Esteban-Martínez L, Partida D, Pascual R, Fernández-Miranda G, Seco E, Campos-Olivas R, Pérez M, Megias D, Allen K, López M, Saha AK, Velasco G, Rial E, Méndez R, Boya P, Salazar-Roa M, Malumbres M.  Nat Cell Biol. 2015; 17:1304-16. 

Atg5 and Ambra1 differentially modulate neurogenesis in neural stem cells. Vázquez P, Arroba AI, Cecconi F, de la Rosa EJ, Boya P*, De Pablo F*. Autophagy. 2012; 8:187-99.



Autophagy in stem cells: repair, remodelling and metabolic reprogramming. Boya P, Codogno P, Rodriguez-Muela N. Development. 2018;145(4).

Autophagy: New emerging functions and concepts. Boya P, Reggiori F and Codogno P. Nature Cell Biology. 2013;15:713-20.

Boya P. Why autophagy is good for retinal ganglion cells? Eye. 2017;31:185-190.

Boya P, Esteban-Martínez L, Serrano-Puebla A, Gómez-Sintes R, Villarejo-Zori B. 2016. Autophagy in the eye: Development, degeneration, and aging. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2016; 55:206-245