Role of autophagy and apoptosis in non-small-cell lung cancer

Guangbo Liu, Fen Pei, Fengqing Yang, Lingxiao Li, Amit Dipak Amin, Songnian Liu, J. Ross Buchan, William C. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

301 Scopus citations


Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) constitutes 85% of all lung cancers, and is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The poor prognosis and resistance to both radiation and chemotherapy warrant further investigation into the molecular mechanisms of NSCLC and the development of new, more efficacious therapeutics. The processes of autophagy and apoptosis, which induce degradation of proteins and organelles or cell death upon cellular stress, are crucial in the pathophysiology of NSCLC. The close interplay between autophagy and apoptosis through shared signaling pathways complicates our understanding of how NSCLC pathophysiology is regulated. The apoptotic effect of autophagy is controversial as both inhibitory and stimulatory effects have been reported in NSCLC. In addition, crosstalk of proteins regulating both autophagy and apoptosis exists. Here, we review the recent advances of the relationship between autophagy and apoptosis in NSCLC, aiming to provide few insights into the discovery of novel pathogenic factors and the development of new cancer therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number367
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 10 2017


  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
  • Crosstalk
  • Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress
  • Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)
  • Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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