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Exp Hematol Oncol. 2013 Apr 17;2(1):12. doi: 10.1186/2162-3619-2-12.

Three are better than one: plasminogen receptors as cancer theranostic targets.

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Center for Experimental Research and Medical Studies (CeRMS), Azienda Ospedaliera Città della Salute e della Scienza, Via Cherasco 15, Turin, 10126, Italy.
Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Science, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.
Contributed equally


Activation of plasminogen on the cell surface initiates a cascade of protease activity with important implications for several physiological and pathological events. In particular, components of the plasminogen system participate in tumor growth, invasion and metastasis. Plasminogen receptors are in fact expressed on the cell surface of most tumors, and their expression frequently correlates with cancer diagnosis, survival and prognosis. Notably, they can trigger multiple specific immune responses in cancer patients, highlighting their role as tumor-associated antigens. In this review, three of the most characterized plasminogen receptors involved in tumorigenesis, namely Annexin 2 (ANX2), Cytokeratin 8 (CK8) and alpha-Enolase (ENOA), are analyzed to ascertain an overall view of their role in the most common cancers. This analysis emphasizes the possibility of delineating new personalized therapeutic strategies to counteract tumor growth and metastasis by targeting plasminogen receptors, as well as their potential application as cancer predictors.

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