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Nat Rev Cancer. 2007 Dec;7(12):961-7. doi: 10.1038/nrc2254.

Role of autophagy in cancer.

Author information

1
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA.

Abstract

Autophagy is a cellular degradation pathway for the clearance of damaged or superfluous proteins and organelles. The recycling of these intracellular constituents also serves as an alternative energy source during periods of metabolic stress to maintain homeostasis and viability. In tumour cells with defects in apoptosis, autophagy allows prolonged survival. Paradoxically, autophagy defects are associated with increased tumorigenesis, but the mechanism behind this has not been determined. Recent evidence suggests that autophagy provides a protective function to limit tumour necrosis and inflammation, and to mitigate genome damage in tumour cells in response to metabolic stress.

PMID:
17972889
PMCID:
PMC2866167
DOI:
10.1038/nrc2254
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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