Beclin-1 plays a central role in autophagy and is involved in autophagosome formation. It acts as core subunit of the PI3K complex that mediates formation of phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate. Beclin-1 is necessary for the initiation of autophagy, and it has been shown to be reduced in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Reduced Beclin-1 levels lead to decreased autophagy, the accumulation of Aβ peptides, and neurodegeneration in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease.
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