instmctions): Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the deadliest cancers. Genetic factors, such as activafing mutafions in the KRAS oncogene, play a key role in PDAC initiafion. Epidemiologic and experimental data indicate that dietary factors, i.e., diet high in fats and calories (HFCD), accelerate tumor development caused by genefic suscepfibility. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Autophagy {macroautophagy) is the principal cellular catabolic pathway in which organelles, e.g., mitochondria, and long-lived proteins are sequestered by autophagosomes and delivered to lysosomes for degradation. The efficiency of autophagic flux is determined by autophagosome formation and lysosomal proteolytic function. Beclini protein is crifical to autophagosome formafion in normal cells. Accumulafing evidence indicates that efficient autophagy acts as a bona fide tumor suppressor mechanism, whereas impaired autophagy is a hallmark of cancer cells. The mechanisms of tumor-suppressive funcfion of autophagy are not fully understood;recent studies indicate that a major role of autophagy is to eliminate dysfunctional mitochondria overproducing reactive oxygen species (ROS), and thus to prevent mutagenic oxidafive stress. In this applicafion, we propose a novel mechanism through which HFCD accelerates pancreatic tumorigenesis. Our overall hypothesis is that oncogenic Kras and HFCD act synergysfically to impair autophagy and cause mitochondrial dysfunction, in particular, overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In turn, this results in accumulation of mitochondria overproducing ROS and persistent oxidafive stress, promofing tumorigenesis. Importantly, the autophagic and mitochondrial dysfunctions reinforce each other, creating a

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