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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1412; doi:10.3390/ijms18071412

Natural Compounds from Herbs that can Potentially Execute as Autophagy Inducers for Cancer Therapy

1
Department of Life Science and Institute of Biotechnology, National Dong Hwa University, 97401 Hualien, Taiwan
2
Department of Biomedical Science and Environmental Biology, Kaohsiung Medical University, 807 Kaohsiung city, Taiwan
3
Neural Regeneration Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, 11221 Taipei, Taiwan
4
Center for Neural Regeneration, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, 11221 Taipei, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 May 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autophagy at the Intersection of the Immune System and Cancer)
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Abstract

Accumulated evidence indicates that autophagy is a response of cancer cells to various anti-cancer therapies. Autophagy is designated as programmed cell death type II, and is characterized by the formation of autophagic vacuoles in the cytoplasm. Numerous herbs, including Chinese herbs, have been applied to cancer treatments as complementary and alternative medicines, supplements, or nutraceuticals to dampen the side or adverse effects of chemotherapy drugs. Moreover, the tumor suppressive actions of herbs and natural products induced autophagy that may lead to cell senescence, increase apoptosis-independent cell death or complement apoptotic processes. Hereby, the underlying mechanisms of natural autophagy inducers are cautiously reviewed in this article. Additionally, three natural compounds—curcumin, 16-hydroxycleroda-3,13-dien-15,16-olide, and prodigiosin—are presented as candidates for autophagy inducers that can trigger cell death in a supplement or alternative medicine for cancer therapy. Despite recent advancements in therapeutic drugs or agents of natural products in several cancers, it warrants further investigation in preclinical and clinical studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: autophagy inducer; autophagy inhibitor; natural compound; cancer therapy autophagy inducer; autophagy inhibitor; natural compound; cancer therapy
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Lin, S.-R.; Fu, Y.-S.; Tsai, M.-J.; Cheng, H.; Weng, C.-F. Natural Compounds from Herbs that can Potentially Execute as Autophagy Inducers for Cancer Therapy. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1412.

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