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Calcium and cancer: targeting Ca2+ transport.

Nature reviews. Cancer

therapeutic use, Apoptosis, Biological Transport, Calcium, physiology, Calcium Channel Blockers, Calcium Channels, Calcium Signaling, Cell Cycle, Transcription, Genetic, Cell Movement, Humans, Neoplasms, drug therapy, physiopathology, Neovascularization, Physiologic, Telomerase, drug effects, metabolism, Antineoplastic Agents

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      Abstract

      Ca2+ is a ubiquitous cellular signal. Altered expression of specific Ca2+ channels and pumps are characterizing features of some cancers. The ability of Ca2+ to regulate both cell death and proliferation, combined with the potential for pharmacological modulation, offers the opportunity for a set of new drug targets in cancer. However, the ubiquity of the Ca2+ signal is often mistakenly presumed to thwart the specific therapeutic targeting of proteins that transport Ca2+. This Review presents evidence to the contrary and addresses the question: which Ca2+ channels and pumps should be targeted?

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      Most cited references 119

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      Calcium signalling: dynamics, homeostasis and remodelling.

      Ca2+ is a highly versatile intracellular signal that operates over a wide temporal range to regulate many different cellular processes. An extensive Ca2+-signalling toolkit is used to assemble signalling systems with very different spatial and temporal dynamics. Rapid highly localized Ca2+ spikes regulate fast responses, whereas slower responses are controlled by repetitive global Ca2+ transients or intracellular Ca2+ waves. Ca2+ has a direct role in controlling the expression patterns of its signalling systems that are constantly being remodelled in both health and disease.
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        Targeting RAS signalling pathways in cancer therapy.

        The RAS proteins control signalling pathways that are key regulators of several aspects of normal cell growth and malignant transformation. They are aberrant in most human tumours due to activating mutations in the RAS genes themselves or to alterations in upstream or downstream signalling components. Rational therapies that target the RAS pathways might inhibit tumour growth, survival and spread. Several of these new therapeutic agents are showing promise in the clinic and many more are being developed.
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          Identification of a cold receptor reveals a general role for TRP channels in thermosensation.

          The cellular and molecular mechanisms that enable us to sense cold are not well understood. Insights into this process have come from the use of pharmacological agents, such as menthol, that elicit a cooling sensation. Here we have characterized and cloned a menthol receptor from trigeminal sensory neurons that is also activated by thermal stimuli in the cool to cold range. This cold- and menthol-sensitive receptor, CMR1, is a member of the TRP family of excitatory ion channels, and we propose that it functions as a transducer of cold stimuli in the somatosensory system. These findings, together with our previous identification of the heat-sensitive channels VR1 and VRL-1, demonstrate that TRP channels detect temperatures over a wide range and are the principal sensors of thermal stimuli in the mammalian peripheral nervous system.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            17585332
            10.1038/nrc2171

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