Turmeric Rhizome

How Does Autophagy Work to Get Rid of Cancer Cells?

During autophagy, the cancer cell's cytoplasm, proteins, and organelles are surrounded by double-walled membranes. These form autophagosome vesicles, which are then degraded inside by lysosomes. Autophagy sometimes works together with mitotic catastrophe to get rid of cancer cells that escape apoptosis. (vi.2)

Turmeric Compounds Promote Autophagy

The curcumin compounds in turmeric trigger autophagy in cancer cells (such as brain tumors). Fisetin, another compound in turmeric, also induces autophagy. (vi.2165)

Studies suggest that curcumin executes this type of cell death by: (vi.2)

  • Stopping cancer cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle.
  • Suppressing Akt transcription factors and mTOR kinase enzymes.
  • Activating ERK-1/2 kinases.
  • Stimulating production of the membrane proteins needed for autophagy.

Curcumin was found to use both mitotic catastrophe and autophagy at the same time against esophageal cancer cells. (vi.2)

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