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Research progress on the occurrence and therapeutic mechanism of ferroptosis in NSCLC


Ferroptosis refers to a novel way of cell death, inconsistent with the conventional concept of apoptosis and necrosis. It shows a close association with iron metabolism and oxidative damage, as marked by the significant increase of reactive oxygen species, the decreases of mitochondrial volume, and the thickening of membrane density. Recent studies confirmed that ferroptosis is closely associated with the occurrence, development, and therapy of the tumors. As impacted by the high levels of reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxides in lung cancer tissues, it is suggested that ferroptosis is more likely to occur in lung cancer tissues, which may act as a novel approach for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) therapy. In the present study, the research achievements in recent years on the regulating mechanism of ferroptosis and its effect on the occurrence and the therapy of lung cancer are reviewed.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2



non-small cell lung cancer


reactive oxygen species


lipid hydroperoxides


acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 4


polyunsaturated fatty acids

FSP1 :

ferroptosis suppressing protein 1


apoptosis inducing factor mitochondria 2



GPX 4 :

glutathione peroxidase 4


suppressor of cytokine signaling 1


epidermal growth factor receptor

TF :


TFR1 :

transferrin receptor 1


ferritin heavy chain


six-transmembrane epithelial antigen of prostate 3


ferritin light chain

DMT1 :

divalent metal transporter 1


heat shock protein B1


iron response element-binding protein 2


nuclear receptor coactivator 4 protein

HO-1 :

heme oxygenase-1


iron–sulfur cluster assembly enzyme




lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 3


phosphatidylethanolamine binding protein 1


saturated fatty acid


voltage-dependent anion channel

lncRNAs :

long non-coding RNA

G3BP1 :

Ras-GTPase activated protein binding to protein 1


signal transducer and activator of transcription 3

NFS-1 :

cysteine desulfurase


small cell lung cancer

IO NPs :

iron oxide nanoparticles


cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4


imidazole ketone erastin


diffuse large B cell lymphoma


tyrosine kinase inhibitor

IR :

ionizing radiation


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LM Z and YF Z conceived and designed the research. YF Z, RX G, and J L found some paper, YF Z wrote the paper, and LM Z revised the manuscript. All authors approved of the manuscript. The authors declare that all data were generated in-house and that no paper mill was used.

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Correspondence to Liangming Zhu.

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Zhang, Y., Guo, R., Li, J. et al. Research progress on the occurrence and therapeutic mechanism of ferroptosis in NSCLC. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Arch Pharmacol (2021).

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  • Cell death
  • Ferroptosis
  • Mechanism