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Targeting ATG4 in Cancer Therapy

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of New Drug Design and Evaluation, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macau, China
State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 511436, China
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Cancers 2019, 11(5), 649;
Received: 23 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Autophagy in Cancer Progression and Drug Resistance)
PDF [2417 KB, uploaded 22 May 2019]


Autophagy is a lysosome-mediated degradation pathway that enables the degradation and recycling of cytoplasmic components to sustain metabolic homoeostasis. Recently, autophagy has been reported to have an astonishing number of connections to cancer, as tumor cells require proficient autophagy in response to metabolic and therapeutic stresses to sustain cell proliferation. Autophagy-related gene 4 (ATG4) is essential for autophagy by affecting autophagosome formation through processing full-length microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (pro-LC3) and lipidated LC3. An increasing amount of evidence suggests that ATG4B expression is elevated in certain types of cancer, implying that ATG4B is a potential anticancer target. In this review, we address the central roles of ATG4B in the autophagy machinery and in targeted cancer therapy. Specifically, we discuss how pharmacologically inhibiting ATG4B can benefit cancer therapies. View Full-Text
Keywords: autophagy; ATG4; ATG4B; cancer therapy autophagy; ATG4; ATG4B; cancer therapy

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Fu, Y.; Huang, Z.; Hong, L.; Lu, J.-H.; Feng, D.; Yin, X.-M.; Li, M. Targeting ATG4 in Cancer Therapy. Cancers 2019, 11, 649.

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