Targeting Autophagy with Natural Products as a Potential Therapeutic Approach for Cancer
Macro-autophagy (autophagy) is a highly conserved eukaryotic intracellular process of
self-digestion caused by lysosomes on demand, which is upregulated as a survival strategy upon
exposure to various stressors, such as metabolic insults, cytotoxic drugs, and alcohol abuse. Paradoxically, autophagy dysfunction also contributes to cancer and aging. It is well known that regulating autophagy by targeting specific regulatory molecules in its machinery can modulate multiple
disease processes. Therefore, autophagy represents a significant pharmacological target for drug
development and therapeutic interventions in various diseases, including cancers. According to the
framework of autophagy, the suppression or induction of autophagy can exert therapeutic properties through the promotion of cell death or cell survival, which are the two main events targeted by
cancer therapies. Remarkably, natural products have attracted attention in the anticancer drug discovery field, because they are biologically friendly and have potential therapeutic effects. In this
review, we summarize the up-to-date knowledge regarding natural products that can modulate
autophagy in various cancers. These findings will provide a new position to exploit more natural
compounds as potential novel anticancer drugs and will lead to a better understanding of molecular
pathways by targeting the various autophagy stages of upcoming cancer therapeutics.
" Remarkably, natural products have attracted attention in the anticancer drug discovery field, because they are biologically friendly and have potential therapeutic effects."
Sometimes it feels like we're not getting anywhere, a bit like going around in circles. Maybe it's by design.
"Practically, the take home action of autophagy in cancers depends on the type of tumor, stage of tumorigenesis, tumor niches, as well as the genetic, epigenetic and metabolic contexts."
Couldn't they have known this right from the onset? 😉
Academia really adores complexity.