Autophagy and Cell Death

Autophagy Mediates Recycling, Cell Survival, and Death

Cancer cell cytoplasmic vesicles under circumstances of stress or limited nutrients can ingest organelles such as ribosomes and mitochondria, fuse them with lysosomes, and recycle them for energy and growth. Nobel Prize winner Christian de Duve coined this process “autophagy” (see Figure 2.6, Deter et al., 1967; Klionsky, 2008).
Figure 2.6 The Microenvironment and Therapeutic Targeting
Beclin-1, a member of the BCL-2 homology domain 3 (BH3), is bound to BCL-2/BCL-xL in an inactive state. When autophagy is triggered, Beclin-1 separates from BCL-2/BCL-xL analogous to apoptosis (see Figure 2.7 showing the various Bcl-2 family members).