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Blue-Print Autophagy: Potential for Cancer Treatment

Department of Biology and Evolution of Marine Organisms, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa Comunale, 80121 Napoli, Italy
Department of Biology, University of Naples Federico II, Complesso Universitario di Monte Sant’Angelo, Via Cinthia, 80126 Napoli, Italy
Bio-Organic Chemistry Unit, Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry-CNR, Via Campi Flegrei 34, Pozzuoli, 80078 Naples, Italy
CROM, Istituto Nazionale Tumori “Fondazione G. Pascale”, IRCCS, 80131 Napoli, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Friedemann Honecker and Sergey A. Dyshlovoy
Mar. Drugs 2016, 14(7), 138;
Received: 22 June 2016 / Revised: 11 July 2016 / Accepted: 14 July 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Compounds as Modulators of Autophagy and Lysosomal Activity)
The marine environment represents a very rich source of biologically active compounds with pharmacological applications. This is due to its chemical richness, which is claiming considerable attention from the health science communities. In this review we give a general overview on the marine natural products involved in stimulation and inhibition of autophagy (a type of programmed cell death) linked to pharmacological and pathological conditions. Autophagy represents a complex multistep cellular process, wherein a double membrane vesicle (the autophagosome) captures organelles and proteins and delivers them to the lysosome. This natural and destructive mechanism allows the cells to degrade and recycle its cellular components, such as amino acids, monosaccharides, and lipids. Autophagy is an important mechanism used by cells to clear pathogenic organism and deal with stresses. Therefore, it has also been implicated in several diseases, predominantly in cancer. In fact, pharmacological stimulation or inhibition of autophagy have been proposed as approaches to develop new therapeutic treatments of cancers. In conclusion, this blue-print autophagy (so defined because it is induced and/or inhibited by marine natural products) represents a new strategy for the future of biomedicine and of biotechnology in cancer treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: autophagy; cancer; marine environment; natural products autophagy; cancer; marine environment; natural products
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Ruocco, N.; Costantini, S.; Costantini, M. Blue-Print Autophagy: Potential for Cancer Treatment. Mar. Drugs 2016, 14, 138.

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