) is an intracellular degradation process used by cells to keep a “clean house”; as it degrades abnormal or damaged proteins and organelles, it helps to fight infections and also provides energy in times of fasting or exercising. Autophagy also plays a role in cancer, although its precise function in each cancer type is still obscure, and whether autophagy plays a protecting (through the clearing of damaged organelles and protein aggregates and preventing DNA damage) or a promoting (by fueling the already stablished tumor) role in cancer remains to be fully characterized. Beclin 1, the mammalian ortholog of yeast Atg6/Vps30, is an essential autophagy protein and has been shown to play a role in tumor suppression. Here, an update of the tumorigenesis regulation by Beclin 1-dependent autophagy is provided.
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