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Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat. 2016 Jan;122:54-63. doi: 10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2015.12.006. Epub 2015 Dec 28.

Cannabinoid-induced autophagy: Protective or death role?

Author information

1
Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal; UCIBIO, REQUIMTE, Laboratório de Bioquímica, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, Portugal.
2
UCIBIO, REQUIMTE, Laboratório de Bioquímica, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, Portugal.
3
UCIBIO, REQUIMTE, Laboratório de Bioquímica, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, Portugal. Electronic address: brunofonseca@ff.up.pt.

Abstract

Autophagy, the "self-digestion" mechanism of the cells, is an evolutionary conserved catabolic process that targets portions of cytoplasm, damaged organelles and proteins for lysosomal degradation, which plays a crucial role in development and disease. Cannabinoids are active compounds of Cannabis sativa and the most prevalent psychoactive substance is Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabinoid compounds can be divided in three types: the plant-derived natural products (phytocannabinoids), the cannabinoids produced endogenously (endocannabinoids) and the synthesized compounds (synthetic cannabinoids). Various studies reported a cannabinoid-induced autophagy mechanism in cancer and non-cancer cells. In this review we focus on the recent advances in the cannabinoid-induced autophagy and highlight the molecular mechanisms involved in these processes.

KEYWORDS:

Apoptosis; Autophagy; Cancer; Cannabinoids

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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