Autophagy, the process of bulk degradation of cellular proteins through an autophagosomic-lysosomal pathway is important for normal growth control and may be defective in tumor cells. It is involved in the preservation of cellular nutrients under starvation conditions as well as the normal turnover of cytosolic components. This process is negatively regulated by TOR (Target of rapamycin) through phosphorylation of autophagy protein APG1. Another member of the autophagy family of proteins is ATG2B, one of two homologs of ATG2 that is essential for autophagosome formation and important for regulation of size and distribution of lipid droplets. Relatively high rates of ATG2B mutations were observed in gastric and colorectal carcinomas, suggesting that deregulating the autophagy process may contribute to cancer development.View more View less
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