The role of Autophagy in Hepatocellular Carcinoma


Autophagy is a cellular catabolic process in which cytoplasmic material is delivered to lysosomes for degradation. The autophagy process is regulated by highly conserved autophagy-related genes (ATGs) via different signalling pathways. Among the various biological functions of autophagy, the link between autophagy and cancer has been extensively studied, demonstrating its dual role, of tumor suppressor or promoter in cancer development. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most lethal cancers that affects most of the world's population and it is caused by different etiological factors: HBV and HCV viral infections, heavy alcohol consumption, NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), aflatoxin B1 contaminated food. In recent years, the involvement of autophagy in both prevention and promotion of liver cancer has been increasingly studied. Here, we summarize molecular mechanisms and physiological function of liver autophagy, its dual role and its therapeutic potential in HCC.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i25327518v3i1p7

Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma; autophagy

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