Here, there be dragons: charting autophagy-related alterations in human tumors.
|Authors||Lebovitz CB, Bortnik SB & Gorski SM.|
|Abstract||Macroautophagy (or autophagy) is a catabolic cellular process that is both homeostatic and stress adaptive. Normal cells rely on basal levels of autophagy to maintain cellular integrity (via turnover of long-lived proteins and damaged organelles) and increased levels of autophagy to buoy cell survival during various metabolic stresses (via nutrient and energy provision through lysosomal degradation of cytoplasmic components). Autophagy can function in both tumor suppression and tumor progression, and is under investigation in clinical trials as a novel target for anticancer therapy. However, its role in cancer pathogenesis has yet to be fully explored. In particular, it remains unknown whether in vitro observations will be applicable to human cancer patients. Another outstanding question is whether there exists tumor-specific selection for alterations in autophagy function. In this review, we survey reported mutations in autophagy genes and key autophagy regulators identified in human tumor samples and summarize the literature regarding expression levels of autophagy genes and proteins in various cancer tissues. Although it is too early to draw inferences from this collection of in vivo studies of autophagy-related alterations in human cancers, their results highlight the challenges that must be overcome before we can accurately assess the scope of autophagy's predicted role in tumorigenesis.|
|Journal Name and Citation||
Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Mar 1;18(5):1214-26.
|Date of Publication||2012/03/01|