Tumor cell proliferation is frequently associated to genetic or epigenetic alterations in key cell cycle regulators. Most human tumors deregulate this pathway to sustain proliferation with independence of external mitogenic factors. In addition, the alteration of cell cycle proteins may confer genomic instability that results in additional mutations in these tumor cells. The frequent alteration of the cell cycle in tumor cells has launched the identification for critical cell cycle regulators as anticancer targets. The inhibition of some cell cycle kinases such as cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) or the Aurora and Polo mitotic kinases is currently under study in several preclinical and clinical trials. Similarly, the clinical success of microtubule poisons such as taxol has promoted new applied research in mitosis regulation. Recent investigations have suggested new targets of interest including additional kinases, phosphatases and other mitotic regulators such as microtubule motor proteins (kinesins). Current research in this area will undoubtedly result in new and improved targeted therapies for cancer treatment.
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Malumbres, M. Therapeutic opportunities to control tumor cell cycles. Clin Transl Oncol 8, 399–408 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12094-006-0193-7
- cyclin-dependent kinases
- cell cycle
- genomic instability
- cancer therapy