Thioredoxin and Cancer: A Role for Thioredoxin in all States of Tumor Oxygenation
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Thioredoxin is a small redox-regulating protein, which plays crucial roles in maintaining cellular redox homeostasis and cell survival and is highly expressed in many cancers. The tumor environment is usually under either oxidative or hypoxic stress and both stresses are known up-regulators of thioredoxin expression. These environments exist in tumors because their abnormal vascular networks result in an unstable oxygen delivery. Therefore, the oxygenation patterns in human tumors are complex, leading to hypoxia/re-oxygenation cycling. During carcinogenesis, tumor cells often become more resistant to hypoxia or oxidative stress-induced cell death and most studies on tumor oxygenation have focused on these two tumor environments. However, recent investigations suggest that the hypoxic cycling occurring within tumors plays a larger role in the contribution to tumor cell survival than either oxidative stress or hypoxia alone. Thioredoxin is known to have important roles in both these cellular responses and several studies implicate thioredoxin as a contributor to cancer progression. However, only a few studies exist that investigate the regulation of thioredoxin in the hypoxic and cycling hypoxic response in cancers. This review focuses on the role of thioredoxin in the various states of tumor oxygenation.
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Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified