Autophagy in malignant transformation and cancer progression Review uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Autophagy
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Neoplasms


  • Autophagy plays a key role in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. In healthy cells, such a homeostatic activity constitutes a robust barrier against malignant transformation. Accordingly, many oncoproteins inhibit, and several oncosuppressor proteins promote, autophagy. Moreover, autophagy is required for optimal anticancer immunosurveillance. In neoplastic cells, however, autophagic responses constitute a means to cope with intracellular and environmental stress, thus favoring tumor progression. This implies that at least in some cases, oncogenesis proceeds along with a temporary inhibition of autophagy or a gain of molecular functions that antagonize its oncosuppressive activity. Here, we discuss the differential impact of autophagy on distinct phases of tumorigenesis and the implications of this concept for the use of autophagy modulators in cancer therapy.

publication date

  • January 2015



  • Review



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC4388596

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.15252/embj.201490784

PubMed ID

  • 25712477

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 856

end page

  • 80


  • 34


  • 7