, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 321–333 | Cite as

Conversation between apoptosis and autophagy: “Is it your turn or mine?”

  • Vincenzo Giansanti
  • Alicia Torriglia
  • A. Ivana ScovassiEmail author
Original Paper


Drug resistance of cancer cells is often correlated with apoptosis evasion; however, an active involvement of autophagy in this scenario has been recently proposed, based on the evidence that autophagy could exert a protective role toward the activation of apoptosis in cancer cells. In this review, we briefly review the basic features of apoptosis, and we describe in details the molecular patterns of autophagy, with a special emphasis on its still controversial physiological function(s). The crucial factors governing the cross talk between autophagy and apoptosis will be illustrated.


Apoptosis Autophagy Cancer Cell death 



This review is not intended to be comprehensive. We apologize to those colleagues whose work was not mentioned. The work in AIS laboratory is granted by Regione Lombardia, Italy (Project Plant Cell) and Italian Ministry of Health (Project SEpiAs); AT laboratory is financed by Retina France. GV is supported by an Investigator Fellowship from Collegio Ghislieri, Pavia, Italy.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincenzo Giansanti
    • 1
  • Alicia Torriglia
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • A. Ivana Scovassi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.IGM-CNRPaviaItaly
  2. 2.Université Pierre et Marie Curie, UMRS 872ParisFrance
  3. 3.Université Paris Descartes, UMRS 872ParisFrance
  4. 4.Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d’Alfort, CROVMaisons AlfortFrance
  5. 5.INSERM, Centre de Recherches des Cordeliers, UMRS 872ParisFrance

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