Fine-tuning autophagy in pancreatic adenocarcinoma: full blockage is required
Autophagy is a physiological process of cellular component recycling promoting cell survival and homeostasis under unfavorable conditions. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) (90–95% of pancreatic cancer) has been associated with multiple metabolic alterations including autophagy. Because of its supporting role in tumor growth, inhibition of autophagy has been proposed as a treatment of pancreatic cancer (1,2). Autophagy process is regulated by autophagy-related proteins (ATGs) necessary for the autophagosome formation and subsequent delivering of cytoplasmic content for degradation by lysosomes. Among these proteins, Atg5 is a key player for autophagy onset but little is known about its role in tumorigenesis (3).