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Nat Rev Cancer. 2012 Apr 26;12(6):401-10. doi: 10.1038/nrc3262.

Deconvoluting the context-dependent role for autophagy in cancer.

Author information

1
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, 195 Little Albany Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903, USA. whiteei@umdnj.edu

Abstract

Autophagy (also known as macroautophagy) captures intracellular components in autophagosomes and delivers them to lysosomes, where they are degraded and recycled. Autophagy can have two functions in cancer. It can be tumour suppressive through the elimination of oncogenic protein substrates, toxic unfolded proteins and damaged organelles. Alternatively, it can be tumour promoting in established cancers through autophagy-mediated intracellular recycling that provides substrates for metabolism and that maintains the functional pool of mitochondria. Therefore, defining the context-specific role for autophagy in cancer and the mechanisms involved will be important to guide autophagy-based therapeutic intervention.

PMID:
22534666
PMCID:
PMC3664381
DOI:
10.1038/nrc3262
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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