Topic Review
β-Hemoglobinopathies
β-hemoglobinopathies are the most common genetic disorders worldwide and are caused by mutations affecting the production or the structure of adult hemoglobin. Patients affected by these diseases suffer from anemia, impaired oxygen delivery to tissues, and multi-organ damage. In the absence of a compatible donor for allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, the lifelong therapeutic options are symptomatic care, red blood cell transfusions and pharmacological treatments. The last decades of research established lentiviral-mediated gene therapy as an efficacious therapeutic strategy. However, this approach is highly expensive and associated with a variable outcome depending on the effectiveness of the viral vector and the quality of the cell product. In the last years, genome editing emerged as a valuable tool for the development of curative strategies for β-hemoglobinopathies. Moreover, due to the wide range of its applications, genome editing has been extensively used to study regulatory mechanisms underlying globin gene regulation allowing the identification of novel genetic and pharmacological targets.
  • 151
  • 18 Feb 2021
Topic Review
β-Catenin in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the deadliest human cancers. Activating mutations in the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) promoter (TERTp) and CTNNB1 gene encoding β-catenin are widespread in HCC (~50% and ~30%, respectively). TERTp mutations are predicted to increase TERT transcription and telomerase activity. 
  • 86
  • 02 Sep 2021
Topic Review
β-Catenin and Hepatocellular Cancer
Hepatocellular cancer (HCC), the most common primary liver tumor, has been gradually growing in incidence globally. The whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing of HCC has led to an improved understanding of the molecular drivers of this tumor type. Activation of the Wnt signaling pathway, mostly due to stabilizing missense mutations in its downstream effector β-catenin (encoded by CTNNB1) or loss-of-function mutations in AXIN1 (the gene which encodes for Axin-1, an essential protein for β-catenin degradation), are seen in a major subset of HCC. 
  • 128
  • 28 Apr 2021
Topic Review
Zinc Complexes as Anticancer Agents
The search for anticancer metal-based drugs alternative to platinum derivatives could not exclude zinc derivatives due to the importance of this metal for the correct functioning of the human body. Zinc, the second most abundant trace element in the human body, is one of the most important micro-elements essential for human physiology. Its ubiquity in thousands of proteins and enzymes is related to its chemical features, in particular, its lack of redox activity and its ability to support different coordination geometries and to promote fast ligands exchange. Analogously to other trace elements, the impairment of its homeostasis can lead to various diseases and in some cases can be also related to cancer development. However, zinc complexes generally exert lower toxicity in comparison to other metal-based drugs and many zinc derivatives have been proposed as antitumor agents. Among them zinc complexes  comprising  N-donor ligands have been surveyed and analyzed. 
  • 381
  • 22 Dec 2020
Topic Review
Zinc and Breast Cancer Survival
Zinc is an essential mineral incorporated into at least 300 enzymes, and is involved in numerous signaling pathways important for, e.g., cell proliferation and differentiation, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis and redox regulation. Zinc has been reported in preclinical studies to trigger an interplay of G protein estrogen receptor with insulin-like growth factor receptor I (IGF-IR) and epidermal growth factor receptor, which results in the activation of important transduction pathways and biological responses such as proliferation and migration in breast cancer cells.
  • 30
  • 04 Jul 2022
Topic Review
Zebrafish as a Model for Cancer Treatments
Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a vertebrate model species traditionally used for studying developmental biology and vertebrate genetics, and more recently, to model human diseases such as cancer. The role of zebrafish as a platform for anticancer therapy studies has been highly evidenced, allowing researchers not only to perform drug screenings but also to evaluate novel therapies such as immunotherapies and nanotherapies.
  • 78
  • 17 May 2022
Topic Review
ZEB Family
Molecular signaling pathways involved in cancer have been intensively studied due to their crucial role in cancer cell growth and dissemination. Among them, zinc finger E-box binding homeobox-1 (ZEB1) and -2 (ZEB2) are molecules that play vital roles in signaling pathways to ensure the survival of tumor cells, particularly through enhancing cell proliferation, promoting cell migration and invasion, and triggering drug resistance. Importantly, ZEB proteins are regulated by microRNAs (miRs). In this review, we demonstrate the impact that miRs have on cancer therapy, through their targeting of ZEB proteins. MiRs are able to act as onco-suppressor factors and inhibit the malignancy of tumor cells through ZEB1/2 down-regulation. This can lead to an inhibition of EMT mechanism, therefore reducing metastasis. Also, miRs are able to inhibit ZEB1/2-mediated drug resistance and immunosuppression. Additionally, we explore the upstream modulators of miRs such as long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and circular RNAs (circRNAs), as these regulators can influence the inhibitory effect of miRs on ZEB proteins and cancer progression.
  • 359
  • 19 Jul 2020
Topic Review
Y RNA
Y RNA are a class of small non-coding RNA that are largely conserved. Although their discovery was almost 40 years ago, their function is still under investigation. This is evident in cancer biology, where their role was first studied just a dozen years ago. Since then, only a few contributions were published, mostly scattered across different tumor types and, in some cases, also suffering from methodological limitations. Nonetheless, these sparse data may be used to make some estimations and suggest routes to better understand the role of Y RNA in cancer formation and characterization.
  • 393
  • 30 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Xenoestrogens and Phytoestrogens in Cancers
According to Global Cancer Statistics 2020, the burden of cancer incidence and mortality is rapidly growing worldwide. The epidemiological features of cancer reflect both the aging and growth of the population and the changes in the prevalence and distribution of the main cancer risk factors, several of which are particularly associated with the environment. Exogenous estrogens, such as synthetic industrial estrogenic compounds (xenoestrogens) and estrogenic molecules from plants (phytoestrogens), are environmental factors that potentially cause various cancers through their interactions with cellular signaling processes involving estrogen signaling pathways.
  • 92
  • 25 Aug 2021
Topic Review
Wnt/β-Catenin Target Genes
The Wnt/β-catenin cell–cell signaling pathway is one of the most basic and highly conserved pathways for intercellular communications regulating key steps during development, differentiation, and cancer. In colorectal cancer (CRC), in particular, aberrant activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is believed to be responsible for perpetuating the disease from the very early stages of cancer development. A large number of downstream target genes of β-catenin-T-cell factor (TCF), including oncogenes, were detected as regulators of CRC development.
  • 131
  • 08 Apr 2021
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