26 June 2019
Effective diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic biomarkers can help in tracking disease progress, predict patients’ survival, and considerably affect the drive for successful clinical management. The present review aims to determine how the metastatic-linked protein anterior gradient homologue 2 (AGR2) operates to affect cancer progression, and to identify associated potential diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic biomarkers, particularly in central nervous system (CNS) tumors. Studies that show a high expression level of AGR2, and associate the protein expression with the resilience to chemotherapeutic treatments or with poor cancer survival, are reported. The primary protein structures of the seven variants of AGR2, including their functional domains, are summarized. Based on experiments in various biological models, this review shows an orchestra of multiple molecules that regulate AGR2 expression, including a feedback loop with p53. The AGR2-associated molecular functions and pathways including genomic integrity, proliferation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, adhesion, migration, stemness, and inflammation, are detailed. In addition, the mechanisms that can enable the rampant oncogenic effects of AGR2 are clarified. The different strategies used to therapeutically target AGR2-positive cancer cells are evaluated in light of the current evidence. Moreover, novel associated pathways and clinically relevant deregulated genes in AGR2 high CNS tumors are identified using a meta-analysis approach.