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Cells 2012, 1(3), 558-575; doi:10.3390/cells1030558

Autophagy and Transporter-Based Multi-Drug Resistance

3,*  and 1,*
1 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professionals, St. John’s University, Queens, NY 11439, USA 2 College of Pharmacy, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China 3 Department of Basic Biomedical Sciences, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 June 2012 / Revised: 11 August 2012 / Accepted: 16 August 2012 / Published: 23 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autophagy)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [697 KB, 28 August 2012; original version 23 August 2012]   |  


All the therapeutic strategies for treating cancers aim at killing the cancer cells via apoptosis (programmed cell death type I). Defective apoptosis endow tumor cells with survival. The cell can respond to such defects with autophagy. Autophagy is a cellular process by which cytoplasmic material is either degraded to maintain homeostasis or recycled for energy and nutrients in starvation. A plethora of evidence has shown that the role of autophagy in tumors is complex. A lot of effort is needed to underline the functional status of autophagy in tumor progression and treatment, and elucidate how to tweak autophagy to treat cancer. Furthermore, during the treatment of cancer, the limitation for the cure rate and survival is the phenomenon of multi drug resistance (MDR). The development of MDR is an intricate process that could be regulated by drug transporters, enzymes, anti-apoptotic genes or DNA repair mechanisms. Reports have shown that autophagy has a dual role in MDR. Furthermore, it has been reported that activation of a death pathway may overcome MDR, thus pointing the importance of other death pathways to regulate tumor cell progression and growth. Therefore, in this review we will discuss the role of autophagy in MDR tumors and a possible link amongst these phenomena.
Keywords: autophagy; MDR; apoptosis autophagy; MDR; apoptosis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Kumar, P.; Zhang, D.-M.; Degenhardt, K.; Chen, Z.-S. Autophagy and Transporter-Based Multi-Drug Resistance. Cells 2012, 1, 558-575.

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