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National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-19

Mitophagy and oral cancers

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Hi Tech Dental College and Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ripon Md Chowdhury
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Hi Tech Dental College and Hospital, Hi Tech Hospital Road, Pandara, Rasulgarh, Bhubaneswar - 751 025, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njms.NJMS_123_20

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Mitophagy is a progressive process that selectively targets weakened, old and damaged mitochondria, by an autophagic pathway, causing its destruction. Mitophagy maintains normal cellular physiology and tissue development, thereby controlling the cohesiveness of the mitochondrial pool. The mechanisms of mitophagy, tumorogenesis, and cell death are usually interrelated with each other and could be initiated by definite stressful conditions like hypoxia and nutrient starvation, which leads to the overall reduction in mitochondrial mass. This impedes the production of reactive oxygen species, and conserves nutrition, leading to cell survival in such extreme conditions. The inability to harmonize and regulate mitochondrial outcome in response to oncogenic stress can either stimulate or suppress tumorogenesis. Therefore, the relationship between mitophagy, tumorogenesis, and cell death plays an important role in the identification of potential targets of cell death and selective wiping out of cancer cells. This review portrays the mechanism of mitophagy, along with its role in cancers especially on oral cancers, and its importance in cancer therapeutics.

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