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Pflugers Arch. 2014 Apr;466(4):811-8. doi: 10.1007/s00424-013-1427-5. Epub 2014 Jan 10.

Low-voltage-activated T-type Ca2+ channel inhibitors as new tools in the treatment of glioblastoma: the role of endostatin.

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The Special Procurement Ward, Department of Geriatrics & Neurology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, 215004, China.


Ca(2+) plays a key role in intracellular signaling and controls various cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation, cell growth, death, and apoptosis. Aberrant changes in intracellular Ca(2+) levels can promote undesired cell proliferation and migration and are therefore associated with certain tumor types. Many research groups have suggested a potential role for voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels in the regulation of tumor growth and progression, particularly T-type channels due to their unique biophysical properties. T-type channels are expressed in normal tissues throughout the body and in different types of tumors such as breast carcinoma, retinoblastoma, neuroblastoma, and glioma. It has been demonstrated that increased functional expression of the α1 subunit of T-type channels plays a role in the abnormal proliferation of glioblastoma cells. As such, siRNA-mediated knockdown of the expression of the α1 subunit of T-type channels decreases the proliferation of these cells. Moreover, pharmacological blockade of T-type channels significantly decreases tumor growth. In this review, we focus on the use of T-type channel blockers for the potential treatment of cancers, particularly highly proliferative tumors such as glioblastoma. We conclude that T-type channel blockers such as endostatin can serve as a potential therapeutic tool for tumors whose proliferation depends on increased T-type channel expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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