Functional role of autophagy in gastric cancer

Hao-ran Qian _ and Yi Yang

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:17641-17651. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7508

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Hao-ran Qian1,* and Yi Yang2,*

1 Department of General Surgery, Institute of Micro-Invasive Surgery of Zhejiang University, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Medical College of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, PR China

2 Department of Pharmacology, Hangzhou Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, School of Medicine, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, PR China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Hao-ran Qian, email:

Yi Yang, email:

Keywords: autophagy, autophagy-related gene, gastric cancer, tumorigenesis, progression

Received: September 16, 2015 Accepted: February 06, 2016 Published: February 19, 2016


Autophagy is a highly regulated catabolic pathway responsible for the degradation of long-lived proteins and damaged intracellular organelles. Perturbations in autophagy are found in gastric cancer. In host gastric cells, autophagy can be induced by Helicobacter pylori (or H. pylori) infection, which is associated with the oncogenesis of gastric cancer. In gastric cancer cells, autophagy has both pro-survival and pro-death functions in determining cell fate. Besides, autophagy modulates gastric cancer metastasis by affecting a wide range of pathological events, including extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), tumor angiogenesis, and tumor microenvironment. In addition, some of the autophagy-related proteins, such as Beclin 1, microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (MAP1-LC3), and p62/sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) have certain prognostic values for gastric cancer. In this article, we review the recent studies regarding the functional role of autophagy in gastric cancer.

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