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Cancer Lett. 2006 May 18;236(2):164-74. Epub 2005 Jun 13.

Thioredoxin reductase as a novel molecular target for cancer therapy.

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Molecular Radiation Oncology Section, Radiation Oncology Branch, Radiation Oncology Sciences Program, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Tumor cell proliferation, de-differentiation, and progression depend on a complex combination of altered cell cycle regulation, excessive growth factor pathway activation, and decreased apoptosis. The understanding of these complex mechanisms should lead to the identification of potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Redox-sensitive signaling factors also regulate multiple cellular processes including proliferation, cell cycle, and pro-survival signaling cascades, suggesting their potential as molecular targets for anticancer agents. These observations suggest that redox-sensitive signaling factors may be potential novel molecular markers. We hypothesized that thioredoxin reductase-1 (TR), a component of several redox-regulated pathways, may represent a potential molecular target candidate in response to agents that induce oxidative stress. There have been numerous biological studies over the last decade investigating the cell biological, biochemical, and genetic properties of TR both in culture and in in vivo models. In addition, using a series of permanent cell lines that express either a wild-type TR or a dominant mutant TR gene or a chemical agent that inhibits TR we demonstrated that TR meets most criteria that would identify a molecular target. Based on these results we believe TR is a potential molecular target and discuss potential clinical possibilities.

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