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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 1998 Nov;19(11):452-60.

From Vanadis to Atropos: vanadium compounds as pharmacological tools in cell death signalling.

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Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Vanadium compounds exert a variety of biological responses, the most notable being their effects as insulin mimetics. More recently, they have been used as pharmacological tools to investigate signalling pathways. Some peroxovanadium compounds act as powerful protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors, modulating both the extent and duration of phosphotyrosine signals at the level of the transmembrane growth factor receptors and targets in the cytoplasm and nucleus. A brief history of vanadium compounds, selected chemical properties of vanadium compounds and the ability of peroxovanadium complexes to modulate the activities of protein tyrosine phosphatases and tyrosine kinases are presented in this review by Anne Morinville, Dusica Maysinger and Alan Shaver. From the range of biological activities of these compounds, this review focuses on cytotoxic effects and possible roles of mitogen-activated protein kinases in mediating the effects exerted by vanadium compounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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