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Autophagy as a Therapeutic Target in Cancer

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Part of the Current Cancer Research book series (CUCR)

Abstract

Autophagy is the process by which cellular material is delivered to the lysosome for degradation and recycling. Macroautophagy involves delivery of macromolecules and organelles to double membrane vesicles called autophagosomes that fuse with lysosomes leading to degradation of the contents of the autophagosomes. Chaperone-mediated autophagy involves direct recognition of specific proteins by chaperone complexes that then directly deliver the protein target to the lysosome. Microautophagy involves direct lysosomal capture of cytoplasmic material. Of these three types, macroautophagy is by far the most studied and is known to have multiple roles in cancer development, progression and response to therapy. This has led to autophagy being widely viewed as a potential therapeutic target in cancer. Important questions that must be answered include: Which tumors should or should not be treated by direct autophagy inhibition? And, what is the best way to target autophagy for cancer therapy? In this overview we summarize the background and some current ideas about the answers to such questions.

Keywords

Autophagy Apoptosis Cancer therapy ATG7 BRAF KRAS 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineAuroraUSA

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