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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(6), 10034-10051; doi:10.3390/ijms150610034
Review

Cytotoxic Autophagy in Cancer Therapy

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Received: 3 April 2014; in revised form: 17 April 2014 / Accepted: 19 May 2014 / Published: 5 June 2014
(This article belongs to the collection Programmed Cell Death and Apoptosis)
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Abstract: Autophagy is a process of cellular self-digestion, whereby the cell degrades subcellular materials in order to generate energy and metabolic precursors in order to prolong survival, classically under conditions of nutrient deprivation. Autophagy can also involve the degradation of damaged or aged organelles, and misfolded or damaged proteins to eliminate these components that might otherwise be deleterious to cellular survival. Consequently, autophagy has generally been considered a prosurvival response. Many, if not most chemotherapeutic drugs and radiation also promote autophagy, which is generally considered a cytoprotective response, in that its inhibition frequently promotes apoptotic cells death. Furthermore, it has been shown that conventional chemotherapeutic drugs and radiation alone rarely induce a form of autophagy that leads to cell death. However, there are multiple examples in the literature where newer chemotherapeutic agents, drug combinations or drugs in combination with radiation promote autophagic cell death. This review will describe autophagic cell death induced in breast tumor cells, lung cancer cells as well as glioblastoma, demonstrating that it cannot be concluded that stress induced autophagy is, of necessity, cytoprotective in function.
Keywords: autophagy; apoptosis; radiation; chemotherapy autophagy; apoptosis; radiation; chemotherapy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sharma, K.; Le, N.; Alotaibi, M.; Gewirtz, D.A. Cytotoxic Autophagy in Cancer Therapy. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 10034-10051.

AMA Style

Sharma K, Le N, Alotaibi M, Gewirtz DA. Cytotoxic Autophagy in Cancer Therapy. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2014; 15(6):10034-10051.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sharma, Khushboo; Le, Ngoc; Alotaibi, Moureq; Gewirtz, David A. 2014. "Cytotoxic Autophagy in Cancer Therapy." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 15, no. 6: 10034-10051.


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