The CAS-Croucher Funding Scheme for Joint Laboratories is the outcome of an agreement between The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Croucher Foundati...
Nature Compounds in Autophagy and Cancer Biology
The project aims to increase understanding of autophagy regulation in general, provide novel biomarkers for autophagy-related human disease diagnosis, and promote the application of autophagy-based approaches in the treatment and prevention of human diseases.
Dr Jianbo Yue, Department of Biomedical Sciences, City University of Hong Kong
Autophagy is a catabolic lysosomal degradation process essential for cellular homeostasis and cell survival. Dysfunctional autophagy has been associated with wide ranges of human diseases, e.g. cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Pools of small chemicals that modulate autophagy have been widely used to dissect this process and some of them might be ultimately applied to treat a variety of autophagy associated human diseases. Yet a majority of the autophagy modulators lack specificity or potency. Diterpenoids, nature products found in various plants, exhibit a wide range of bioactivity, and the team has recently isolated and characterised hundreds of new diterpenoids from Isodon species distributed in China. To search for potent and specific autophagy modulators from the Isodon diterpenoid pools, the team has already screened around 100 Isodon diterpenoids and identified several potential autophagy inhibitors.