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Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B ; (6): 1400-1411, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-888811


A major mitochondrial enzyme for protecting cells from acetaldehyde toxicity is aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2). The correlation between ALDH2 dysfunction and tumorigenesis/growth/metastasis has been widely reported. Either low or high ALDH2 expression contributes to tumor progression and varies among different tumor types. Furthermore, the ALDH2∗2 polymorphism (rs671) is the most common single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in Asia. Epidemiological studies associate ALDH2∗2 with tumorigenesis and progression. This study summarizes the essential functions and potential ALDH2 mechanisms in the occurrence, progression, and treatment of tumors in various types of cancer. Our study indicates that ALDH2 is a potential therapeutic target for cancer therapy.

Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B ; (6): 609-620, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-881159


The Hedgehog (HH) signaling pathway plays important roles in gastrointestinal carcinogenesis and the gastrointestinal tumor microenvironment (TME). Aberrant HH signaling activation may accelerate the growth of gastrointestinal tumors and lead to tumor immune tolerance and drug resistance. The interaction between HH signaling and the TME is intimately involved in these processes, for example, tumor growth, tumor immune tolerance, inflammation, and drug resistance. Evidence indicates that inflammatory factors in the TME, such as interleukin 6 (IL-6) and interferon-

Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B ; (6): 55-70, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-881124


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a subpopulation of cancer cells with functions similar to those of normal stem cells. Although few in number, they are capable of self-renewal, unlimited proliferation, and multi-directional differentiation potential. In addition, CSCs have the ability to escape immune surveillance. Thus, they play an important role in the occurrence and development of tumors, and they are closely related to tumor invasion, metastasis, drug resistance, and recurrence after treatment. Therefore, specific targeting of CSCs may improve the efficiency of cancer therapy. A series of corresponding promising therapeutic strategies based on CSC targeting, such as the targeting of CSC niche, CSC signaling pathways, and CSC mitochondria, are currently under development. Given the rapid progression in this field and nanotechnology, drug delivery systems (DDSs) for CSC targeting are increasingly being developed. In this review, we summarize the advances in CSC-targeted DDSs. Furthermore, we highlight the latest developmental trends through the main line of CSC occurrence and development process; some considerations about the rationale, advantages, and limitations of different DDSs for CSC-targeted therapies were discussed.

Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B ; (6): 105-111, 2014.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-329748


Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and one of the most common cancers in the world. Advanced melanoma is often resistant to conventional therapies and has high potential for metastasis and low survival rates. Vemurafenib is a small molecule inhibitor of the BRAF serine-threonine kinase recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with metastatic and unresectable melanomas that carry an activating BRAF (V600E) mutation. Many clinical trials evaluating other therapeutic uses of vemurafenib are still ongoing. The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are membrane proteins with important physiological and pharmacological roles. Collectively, they transport and regulate levels of physiological substrates such as lipids, porphyrins and sterols. Some of them also remove xenobiotics and limit the oral bioavailability and distribution of many chemotherapeutics. The overexpression of three major ABC drug transporters is the most common mechanism for acquired resistance to anticancer drugs. In this review, we highlight some of the recent findings related to the effect of ABC drug transporters such as ABCB1 and ABCG2 on the oral bioavailability of vemurafenib, problems associated with treating melanoma brain metastases and the development of acquired resistance to vemurafenib in cancers harboring the BRAF (V600E) mutation.