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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 May;1827(5):552-64. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2012.10.015. Epub 2012 Nov 6.

Mitochondrial complex II, a novel target for anti-cancer agents.

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Institute of Biotechnology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.


With the arrival of the third millennium, in spite of unprecedented progress in molecular medicine, cancer remains as untamed as ever. The complexity of tumours, dictating the potential response of cancer cells to anti-cancer agents, has been recently highlighted in a landmark paper by Weinberg and Hanahan on hallmarks of cancer [1]. Together with the recently published papers on the complexity of tumours in patients and even within the same tumour (see below), the cure for this pathology seems to be an elusive goal. Indisputably, the strategy ought to be changed, searching for targets that are generally invariant across the landscape of neoplastic diseases. One such target appears to be the mitochondrial complex II (CII) of the electron transfer chain, a recent focus of research. We document and highlight this particularly intriguing target in this review paper and give examples of drugs that use CII as their molecular target. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Respiratory complex II: Role in cellular physiology and disease.

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