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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Autophagy and Tumorigenesis

  • Author(s): Roy, Srirupa
  • Debnath, Jayanta
  • et al.

Autophagy, a catabolic process involved in the sequestration and lysosomal degradation of cytoplasmic contents, is crucial for cellular homeostasis. The current literature supports that autophagy plays diverse roles in the development, maintenance, and progression of tumors. While genetic evidence indicates autophagy functions as a tumor suppressor mechanism, it is also apparent that autophagy can promote the survival of established tumors under stress conditions and in response to chemotherapy. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms and the evidence underlying these multifaceted roles of autophagy in tumorigenesis, the prospects for targeting autophagy in cancer therapy, and overview the potential markers that may be utilized to reliably detect autophagy in clinical settings.

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