Mitochondrial dysfunction is a major hallmark of ageing and related chronic disorders. Controlled removal of damaged mitochondria by the autophagic machinery, a process known as mitophagy, is vital for mitochondrial homeostasis and cell survival. The central role of mitochondria in cellular metabolism places mitochondrial removal at the interface of key metabolic pathways affecting the biosynthesis or catabolism of acetyl-coenzyme A, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, polyamines, as well as fatty acids and amino acids. Molecular switches that integrate the metabolic status of the cell, like AMP-dependent protein kinase, protein kinase A, mechanistic target of rapamycin and sirtuins, have also emerged as important regulators of mitophagy. In this review, we discuss how metabolic regulation intersects with mitophagy. We place special emphasis on the metabolic regulatory circuits that may be therapeutically targeted to delay ageing and mitochondria-associated chronic diseases. Moreover, we identify outstanding knowledge gaps, such as the ill-defined distinction between basal and damage-induced mitophagy, which must be resolved to boost progress in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14138
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • AMPK
  • NAD
  • acetyl-CoA
  • ageing
  • ageing-related disease
  • metabolism
  • mitophagy
  • spermidine


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