Cancer cells undergo a wide range of metabolic reprogramming to take advantage for supporting rapid growth and survival. Autophagy plays a critical role in directly regulating cellular metabolism as a main catabolic process mediated by lysosomal degradation in response to the metabolic stress. During cancer development, autophagy plays opposite functions in suppressing or promoting tumors dependent of distinct stage. Autophagy maintains cellular homeostasis by degrading unnecessary cellular molecules and oncogenic products, thereby suppressing tumorigenesis. By contrast, autophagy enables to promote cancer growth in advanced tumor by supplying nutrients and relieving metabolic stress.
Part of the book: Autophagy in Current Trends in Cellular Physiology and Pathology