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Zhao, H., Shi, L., Kong, R., Li, Z., Liu, F., Zhao, H., Li, Z. (2021). Autophagy induction in tumor surrounding cells promotes tumor growth in adult Drosophila intestines.  Dev. Biol. 476(): 294--307.
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During tumorigenesis, tumor cells interact intimately with their surrounding cells (microenvironment) for their growth and progression. However, the roles of tumor microenvironment in tumor development and progression are not fully understood. Here, using an established benign tumor model in adult Drosophila intestines, we find that non-cell autonomous autophagy (NAA) is induced in tumor surrounding neighbor cells. Tumor growth can be significantly suppressed by genetic ablation of autophagy induction in tumor neighboring cells, indicating that tumor neighboring cells act as tumor microenvironment to promote tumor growth. Autophagy in tumor neighboring cells is induced downstream of elevated ROS and activated JNK signaling in tumor cells. Interestingly, we find that active transport of nutrients, such as amino acids, from tumor neighboring cells sustains tumor growth, and increasing nutrient availability could significantly restore tumor growth. Together, these data demonstrate that tumor cells take advantage of their surrounding normal neighbor cells as nutrient sources through NAA to meet their high metabolic demand for growth and progression. Thus we provide insights into our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the interaction between tumor cells and their microenvironment in tumor development.

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    Dev. Biol.
    Developmental Biology
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