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              Advocacy & Research for Unlimited Lifespans


Autophagy as a modulator of cell death machinery

cancer autophagy

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#1 Zaul

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 11:32 AM




The balance between cell death and survival is a critical parameter in the regulation of cells and the maintenance of homeostasis in vivo. Three major mechanisms for cell death have been identified in mammalian cells: apoptosis (type I), autophagic cell death (type II), and necrosis (type III). These three mechanisms have been suggested to engage in cross talk with each other. Among them, autophagy was originally characterized as a cell survival mechanism for amino acid recycling during starvation. Whether autophagy functions primarily in cell survival or cell death is a critical question yet to be answered. Here, we present a comprehensive review of the cell death-related events that take place during autophagy and their underlying mechanisms in cancer and autoimmune disease development.

  • Autophagy is a conserved catabolic process essential for homeostasis, however, its role as a protective mechanism in cancer remains controversial.

  • The complex cross talk between apoptosis, autophagic cell death, and necrosis underlies the pathogenesis of multiple diseases.

  • The serine/threonine kinase Akt and its downstream signaling molecules at the lysosome may have a role in the interaction between the autophagic and apoptotic pathways.

  • Autophagy may underly the pathological conditions of cancer and autoimmune diseases by altering metabolic conditions.

Open questions
  1. 1.

    Whether and how autophagy has a role in the cell death machinery remain unclear.

  2. 2.

    How the three forms of cell death, autophagy, apoptosis, and necrosis are mechanistically interconnected each other remain unclear.

  3. 3.

    How autophagy could underlie the pathogenesis of cancer and/or the carcinogenesis needs to be clarified.

  4. 4.

    How autophagy mechanistically is involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases needs to be clarified.

  5. 5.

    Understanding the precise modulation of autophagy may lead to novel therapeutic approaches for several diseases, including cancer and autoimmune diseases.

  6. https://www.nature.c...1419-020-2724-5


Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: cancer, autophagy

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