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Mol Clin Oncol. 2017 Feb;6(2):139-153. doi: 10.3892/mco.2017.1129. Epub 2017 Jan 10.

The role of peroxiredoxins in cancer.

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Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, I-00161 Rome, Italy.
Department of Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, I-00161 Rome, Italy.


Peroxiredoxins (PRDXs) are a ubiquitously expressed family of small (22-27 kDa) non-seleno peroxidases that catalyze the peroxide reduction of H2O2, organic hydroperoxides and peroxynitrite. They are highly involved in the control of various physiological functions, including cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis, embryonic development, lipid metabolism, the immune response, as well as cellular homeostasis. Although the protective role of PRDXs in cardiovascular and neurological diseases is well established, their role in cancer remains controversial. Increasing evidence suggests the involvement of PRDXs in carcinogenesis and in the development of drug resistance. Numerous types of cancer cells, in fact, are characterized by an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and often exhibit an altered redox environment compared with normal cells. The present review focuses on the complex association between oxidant balance and cancer, and it provides a brief account of the involvement of PRDXs in tumorigenesis and in the development of chemoresistance.


chemoresistance; chemosensitization; oxidative stress; peroxiredoxins; tumorigenesis

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