Ion channels have a critical role in cell proliferation and it is well documented that channel blockers can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The concept of ion channels as therapeutic targets or prognostic biomarkers attracts increasing interest, but the lack of potent and selective channel modulators has hampered a critical verification for many years. Today, the knowledge of human ion channel genes is almost complete and molecular correlates for many native currents have already been identified. This information triggered a wave of experimental results, identifying individual ion channels with relevance for specific cancer types. The current pattern of cancer-related ion channels is not arbitrary, but can be reduced to few members from each ion channel family. This review aims to provide an overview of the molecularly identified ion channels that might be relevant for the most common human cancer types. Possible applications of these candidates for a targeted cancer therapy or for clinical diagnosis are discussed.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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