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Pimkina J , Murphy ME
ARF, autophagy and tumor suppression
Autophagy. 2009 Apr;5(3) :397-9
PMID: 19221462    PMCID: PMC2667648   
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Autophagy plays a critical role in the initiation and progression of tumors. The exact nature of this role, however, is complex. Autophagy is suppressive to tumor initiation, and reduces genomic instability. Genes with key roles in autophagy are mutated in human cancer, and knockout mice for certain autophagy genes are predisposed to cancer. Conversely, established tumors appear to utilize autophagy in order to survive periods of metabolic or hypoxic stress. Consistent with this, small molecule inhibitors of autophagy like chloroquine are effective anticancer agents for certain tumor types. The consensus appears to be that autophagy suppresses tumor initiation, but promotes the survival of established tumors. But this premise may be over-simplified. Several groups have recently shown that the ARF tumor suppressor can induce autophagy. While some groups have found that ARF-mediated autophagy is cytotoxic to tumor cells, we have shown that ARF's autophagy function may promote the survival and progression of certain tumors. We have previously shown that silencing ARF limits autophagy and the development of p53-null lymphomas. In this addendum, we show this is not true for primary p53-null sarcoma cells. Rather, ARF-silencing enhances sarcoma development. These data suggest that the survival-benefit of ARF, and possibly also of autophagy, may be restricted to certain tumor types.
Pimkina, Julia Murphy, Maureen E CA 080854/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States CA 102184/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural United States Autophagy Autophagy. 2009 Apr;5(3):397-9. Epub 2009 Apr 7.