Recent Patents in Autophagy and Immune Response
María J. Peña and Juan B. De Sanctis
Affiliation: Instituto de Inmunología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Apartado 50109, Caracas 1050-A, Venezuela.
Keywords: Autophagy, cancer, cell death, immune response, major histocompatibility complex.
Autophagy is a complex process in which cell homeostasis of proteins, organelles, exocytic and endocytic
vacuoles is controlled. There is a direct link between autophagy and cell death with antigen processing, generation of inflammatory
response and immune response. In different diseases, deficiencies in autophagy have been reported. In cancer,
it has been proposed that autophagy, at its beginning, is capable of inducing cell death; however, in aggressive tumours
and metastasis, the process is responsible for pharmacologic resistance and tumour survival. More research has to be done
in order to allow us to understand the process and generate therapeutic options in different pathologies important for the
human being. Some patents focused on methodology of autophagosome formation and analysis which seem to be important
for pathological description and eventually in future therapeutic approaches have also been reviewed in this article.
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