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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1694;

Molecular Interactions of Autophagy with the Immune System and Cancer

1,2,3,†, 2,3,4,†, 5,* and 1,2,3,4,*
Department of Rehabilitation Science, Graduate School of Inje University, Gimhae 50834, Korea
Ubiquitous Healthcare & Anti-Aging Research Center (u-HARC), Inje University, Gimhae 50834, Korea
Biohealth Products Research Center (BPRC), Inje University, Gimhae 50834, Korea
Department of Physical Therapy, College of Biomedical Science & Engineering, Inje University, Gimhae 50834, Korea
Department of Life Sciences, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan 44919, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 29 July 2017 / Published: 3 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autophagy at the Intersection of the Immune System and Cancer)
PDF [1148 KB, uploaded 3 August 2017]


Autophagy is a highly conserved catabolic mechanism that mediates the degradation of damaged cellular components by inducing their fusion with lysosomes. This process provides cells with an alternative source of energy for the synthesis of new proteins and the maintenance of metabolic homeostasis in stressful environments. Autophagy protects against cancer by mediating both innate and adaptive immune responses. Innate immune receptors and lymphocytes (T and B) are modulated by autophagy, which represent innate and adaptive immune responses, respectively. Numerous studies have demonstrated beneficial roles for autophagy induction as well as its suppression of cancer cells. Autophagy may induce either survival or death depending on the cell/tissue type. Radiation therapy is commonly used to treat cancer by inducing autophagy in human cancer cell lines. Additionally, melatonin appears to affect cancer cell death by regulating programmed cell death. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of autophagy and its regulation in cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: autophagy; immune system; cancer; cell death; metabolic homeostasis autophagy; immune system; cancer; cell death; metabolic homeostasis

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Jin, Y.; Hong, Y.; Park, C.Y.; Hong, Y. Molecular Interactions of Autophagy with the Immune System and Cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1694.

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