The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a single layer of nonregenerating cells essential to homeostasis in the retina and the preservation of vision. While the RPE perform a number of important functions, 2 essential processes are phagocytosis, which removes the most distal tips of the photoreceptors to support disk renewal, and the visual cycle, which maintains the supply of chromophore for regeneration of photobleached visual pigments. We recently reported that these processes are linked by a noncanonical form of autophagy termed LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP) in which components of the autophagy pathway are co-opted by phagocytosis to recover vitamin A in support of optimal vision. Here we summarize these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-167
Number of pages3
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • 11-cis retinal
  • ATG5
  • All-trans retinol
  • Autophagy
  • LC3
  • Phagocytosis
  • Photoreceptors
  • Retinal pigment epithelium
  • Vision
  • Visual cycle
  • Vitamin A


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