Autophagy: Cancer, Other Pathologies, Inflammation, Immunity, Infection, and Aging: Volume 8- Human Diseases
by M. A. Hayat (Editor)
Understanding the importance and necessity of the role of autophagy in health and disease is vital for the studies of cancer, aging, neurodegeneration, immunology, and infectious diseases. Comprehensive and forward-thinking, these books offer a valuable guide to both cellular processes while inciting researchers to explore their potentially important connections. Volume 8 Autophagy and Human Diseases, concentrates on the role of Autophagy in human diseases, including tumorigenesis. The diseases discussed include melanoma, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. Loss of autophagy in the central nervous system causes neurodegeneration (Alzheimers disease, Huntington’s disease, Parkin’s disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). Melanoma is one of the most serious diseases in humans. Autophagy plays a key role in the anticancer response to Chemotherapy. However, autophagy can increase or decrease the effectiveness of chemotherapy. The reasons for these contradictory effects are explained. Autophagy also plays a role in idiopathic inflammatory diseases, infection, and immunity. An explanation is given how autophagy is closely linked to control of innate and adaptive immune responses in host defense in part by regulating cytokine production. The role of autophagy in cutaneous malignant melanoma is discussed in detail and expression of Beclin 1 and LC3 autophagic genes in melanoma is included to explain the molecular mechanisms underlying this very serious disease, which tends to metastasize to the brain. The effect of the treatment of this disease using Terfenadine through the induction of autophagy and apoptosis is also included. Autophagy and apoptosis are two main mechanisms involved in programmed cell death.
Considering that autophagy is associated with numerous biological processes including cellular development and differentiation, cancer (both antitumor and protumor functions), immunity, infectious diseases, inflammation, maintenance of homeostasis, response to cellular stress, and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's, Huntington's, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and prion diseases, there is a great need to understanding its role. Cell homeostasis is achieved by balancing biosynthesis and cellular turnover. In spite of the increasing importance of autophagy in various pathophysiological situations (conditions) mentioned above, this process remains underestimated and overlooked. As a consequence, its role in the initiation, stability, maintenance, and progression of these and other diseases (e.g., autoimmune disease) remains poorly understood.
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