Dr. Chun Hei Antonio Cheung
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.
Special Issue Introduction
Autophagy is a fundamental process for cells to degrade unwanted proteins/damaged organelles and also to recycle cellular components. Since its discovery in the 1960s, a vast amount of effort has been made in understanding the physiological roles of this process. For example, it is now known that mitosis, apoptosis, and autophagy are inter-connected and inter-regulated in cells. It is also known that upregulation of autophagy is a double-edged sword that promotes both cell survival and cell death, depending on the circumstances. However, the pathological role of autophagy in normal-to-cancer cell transformation, tumor development, and tumor drug resistance was not clear until the arrival of various breakthrough discoveries in the past 15 years. Noticeably, it has been demonstrated that dysregulation of autophagy (and probably downregulation) induces genomic instability in non-cancerous cells and subsequently promotes tumorigenesis. In contrast, upregulation of autophagy has been shown to enhance the survival ability of cancer cells in response to various micro-environmental stresses and different chemotherapeutic agents. Therefore, autophagy is currently a "hot" cellular pathway target for the development of cancer therapeutics.
This Special Issue contains reviews focusing on recent understandings on the regulation of autophagy in non-cancerous cells and dysregulation of this process in cancer cells. Reviews on recent advances in the development of autophagy modulators for cancer treatment are also included in this Special Issue.
31 Jul 2019