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FEBS J. 2018 May;285(10):1751-1766. doi: 10.1111/febs.14388. Epub 2018 Feb 1.

Functions of autophagy in the tumor microenvironment and cancer metastasis.

Mowers EE1,2,3, Sharifi MN1,2,4, Macleod KF1,2,5.

Author information

1
The Ben May Department for Cancer Research, University of Chicago, IL, USA.
2
The Committee on Cancer Biology, Chicago, IL, USA.
3
Inter-disciplinary Scientist Training Program, Chicago, IL, USA.
4
Medical Scientist Training Program, Chicago, IL, USA.
5
The University of Chicago, IL, USA.

Abstract

Macro-autophagy is an ancient and highly conserved self-degradative process that plays a homeostatic role in normal cells by eliminating organelles, pathogens, and protein aggregates. Autophagy, as it is routinely referred to, also allows cells to maintain metabolic sufficiency and survive under conditions of nutrient stress by recycling the by-products of autophagic degradation, such as fatty acids, amino acids, and nucleotides. Tumor cells are more reliant than normal cells on autophagy for survival in part due to their rapid growth rate, altered metabolism, and nutrient-deprived growth environment. How this dependence of tumor cells on autophagy affects their progression to malignancy and metastatic disease is an area of increasing research focus. Here, we review recent work identifying critical functions for autophagy in tumor cell migration and invasion, tumor stem cell maintenance and therapy resistance, and cross-talk between tumor cells and their microenvironment.

KEYWORDS:

autophagy; invasion; metastasis; mitophagy; tumor cell migration; tumor microenvironment; tumor stem cells

PMID:
29356327
PMCID:
PMC5992019
DOI:
10.1111/febs.14388
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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