Autophagy in Cancer Chemoprevention: Identification of Novel Autophagy Modulators with Anticancer Potential

  • Yuanzhi Lao
  • Naihan XuEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1379)


Cancer cells have the ability to tolerate extreme conditions, autophagy-related stress tolerance enables cancer cells to survive by maintaining energy production that leads to cell growth and therapeutic resistance. Insufficient activation of autophagy in nutrient-deprived cancer cells may sensitize cancer cells to a broad array of chemotherapeutic agents and ionizing radiation. Therefore, identification of novel autophagy modulators with lower toxicity and better therapeutic index would be beneficial for cancer therapy. Here, we describe several currently used biochemical methods to assess autophagic activity and lysosomal function in cultured cancer cells. We also discuss both in vitro and in vivo assays to clarify the anticancer potential of novel autophagy modulators.

Key words

Autophagy Lysosome Autophagosome Immunofluorescence Flow cytometry GFP-LC3 Cathepsin DQ-BSA Cell death Cancer Caloric restriction 



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (21272135 and 81173485) and Overseas High-caliber Personnel Foundation of Shenzhen (KQC201109050084A).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PharmacyShanghai University of Traditional Chinese MedicineShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Key Lab in Healthy Science and Technology, Division of Life Science, Graduate School at ShenzhenTsinghua UniversityShenzhenChina

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