Targeting ATG4 in cancer therapy

Yuanyuan Fu, Zhiying Huang, Liang Hong, Jia Hong Lu, Du Feng, Xiao Ming Yin, Min Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Autophagy is a lysosome-mediated degradation pathway that enables the degradation and recycling of cytoplasmic components to sustain metabolic homoeostasis. Recently, autophagy has been reported to have an astonishing number of connections to cancer, as tumor cells require proficient autophagy in response to metabolic and therapeutic stresses to sustain cell proliferation. Autophagy-related gene 4 (ATG4) is essential for autophagy by affecting autophagosome formation through processing full-length microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (pro-LC3) and lipidated LC3. An increasing amount of evidence suggests that ATG4B expression is elevated in certain types of cancer, implying that ATG4B is a potential anticancer target. In this review, we address the central roles of ATG4B in the autophagy machinery and in targeted cancer therapy. Specifically, we discuss how pharmacologically inhibiting ATG4B can benefit cancer therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number649
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • ATG4
  • ATG4B
  • Autophagy
  • Cancer therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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  • Cite this

    Fu, Y., Huang, Z., Hong, L., Lu, J. H., Feng, D., Yin, X. M., & Li, M. (2019). Targeting ATG4 in cancer therapy. Cancers, 11(5), [649].