Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.104, No.2, 575-587, 2020
Targeting PI3K/AKT/mTOR-mediated autophagy for tumor therapy
Autophagy is a highly conserved catabolic process and participates in a variety of cellular biological activities. The phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, as a critical regulator of autophagy, is involved in the initiation and promotion of a series of pathological disorders including various tumors. Autophagy also participates in regulating the balance between the tumor and the tumor microenvironment. Natural products have been considered a treasure of new drug discoveries and are of great value to medicine. Mounting evidence has suggested that numerous natural products are targeting PI3K/AKT/mTOR-mediated autophagy, thereby suppressing tumor growth. Furthermore, autophagy plays a "double-edged sword" role in different tumors. Targeting PI3K/AKT/mTOR-mediated autophagy is an important therapeutic strategy for a variety of tumors, and plays important roles in enhancing the chemosensitivity of tumor cells and avoiding drug resistance. Therefore, we summarized the roles of PI3K/AKT/mTOR-mediated autophagy in tumorigenesis, progression, and drug resistance of tumors, which may be utilized to design preferably therapeutic strategies for various tumors.