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Cell biology

Autophagy and cancer

Autophagy is the degradation of redundant or faulty cell components. It occurs as part of a cell's everyday activities and as a response to stressful stimuli, such as starvation. Connections with cellular life-and-death decisions and with cancer are now emerging.

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Figure 1: Autophagy in action.


Figure 2: The autophagy pathway and its diverse cellular functions.
Figure 3: Conflicting effects of autophagy on cancer.
Figure 4: Relationship between the levels of autophagy and cell death.

Further Reading

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    Gozuacik, D. & Kimchi, A. Oncogene 23, 2891–2906 (2004).

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    Hippert, M., O'Toole, P. S. & Thorburn, A. Cancer Res. 66, 9349–9351 (2006).

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    Levine, B. Autophagy 2, 65–66 (2006).

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    Levine, B. & Klionsky, D. Dev. Cell 6, 463–477 (2004).

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    Lum, J. J., DeBarardinis, R. J. & Thompson, C. B. Nature Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 6, 439–448 (2005).

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    Ogier-Denis, E. & Codogno, P. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1603, 113–128 (2003).

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Levine, B. Autophagy and cancer. Nature 446, 745–747 (2007).

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