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1.  Autophagy dependent production of secreted factors facilitates oncogenic RAS-driven invasion 
Cancer discovery  2014;4(4):466-479.
The tumor promoting functions of autophagy are primarily attributed to its ability to promote cancer cell survival. However, emerging evidence suggests that autophagy plays other roles during tumorigenesis. Here, we uncover that autophagy promotes oncogenic RAS-driven invasion. In epithelial cells transformed with oncogenic RAS, depletion of autophagy-related genes suppresses invasion in three-dimensional culture, decreases cell motility, and reduces pulmonary metastases in vivo. Treatment with conditioned media from autophagy-competent cells rescues the invasive capacity of autophagy-deficient cells, indicating these cells fail to secrete factors required for RAS-driven invasion. Reduced autophagy diminishes the secretion of the pro-migratory cytokine IL6, which is necessary to restore invasion of autophagy-deficient cells. Moreover, autophagy-deficient cells exhibit reduced levels of MMP2 and WNT5A. These results support a previously unrecognized function for autophagy in promoting cancer cell invasion via the coordinate production of multiple secreted factors.
PMCID: PMC3980002  PMID: 24513958
Autophagy; RAS; Invasion; Three-dimensional culture; Secretion; Interleukin 6
2.  Viral subversion of autophagy impairs oncogene-induced senescence 
Autophagy  2012;8(7):1138-1140.
Many viruses have evolved elegant strategies to co-opt cellular autophagic responses to facilitate viral propagation and evasion of immune surveillance. Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) establishes a life-long persistent infection in its human host, and is etiologically linked to several cancers. KSHV gene products have been shown to modulate autophagy but their contribution to pathogenesis remains unclear. Our recent study demonstrated that KSHV subversion of autophagy promotes bypass of oncogene-induced senescence (OIS), an important host barrier to tumor initiation. These findings suggest that KSHV has evolved to subvert autophagy, at least in part, to establish an optimal niche for infection, concurrently dampening host antiviral defenses and allowing the ongoing proliferation of infected cells.
PMCID: PMC3429550  PMID: 22735194
KSHV; oncogene; DNA damage; autophagy; oncogene-induced senescence

Results 1-2 (2)